Family Addiction Recovery Podcast
Podcast Video Episode 1
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Hi. We want to welcome you to Family Recovery Matters. We are so excited. This is our first episode, uh, we are the Dixon family, we own an addiction recovery treatments. And we’ve wanted to do this for a really long time. We have probably over 15 years of being on the frontline, working with people with their addictions and their family members, what we’re here to share, what’s working.
We know that family addiction or that addiction is a family illness. It affects everyone in the family and what we have noticed and what the research shows and. Is that when a family members becomes knowledgeable about what’s happening with their addicted, loved one and the principles and the practices that it increases the likelihood of their loved one finding treatment, staying in treatment, maintaining long-term sobriety by almost 80%.
It’s huge. And we are witnesses of that and we are so excited to bring you some hope. And we know that many of you that are joining with us today are, you know, you’re right where we were many years ago. You’re in a lot of pain. And you’re trying to figure out, you know, what can I do to help my loved one? And, um, we’re here to help you learn what to do when you don’t know what to do.
And I’m so excited that I have my husband and my two sons. Uh, we all work with the, uh, Renaissance ranch and, um, we all kind of play a part, but I’m so excited that every episode we are going to blend the boys. Um, the person with the addiction and the family member from that codependent perspective and the addicted perspective, we want that 50, 50 every episode.
So it’s going to give you a lot of resources. We’re going to share with you, everything that we share with you will be free. We have a family classes that are free every week. We have four classes a week. We have, uh, just a lot of great resources that we’re excited. So pumped to share with you today. And, um, I want to introduce you to my husband, my better half.
This is Rick, and about 15 years ago, um, these two boys here were struggling a lot and we, um, let me ask you this. This is Tyson and this is Preston. There are two oldest of five children and, um, Yeah, we were in a lot of fear. And I remember thinking, you know, who is going to love them the most more than their mother. This must be my responsibility. This must be my job. So I remember, um, just going crazy racking my brain is trying to do everything possible to be worthy for God, to show me how to fix them and everything I tried. Wasn’t worth.
So, um, I want you to introduce Rick, he’s going to talk a little bit about what’s going to happen today in this podcast and what’s going to happen in future podcasts. Thank you, honey.
Yeah, we are excited. We are just, uh, uh, excited to be able to share with you kind of. Uh, both from, uh, our loving addicts perspective. And as far as, as, as parents, what happened, how we got through this. So what we want to do is have each one of us share a couple of things. One what happened. What, how did this addict addiction, uh, grabbed hold of our life?
Uh, what, what happened? What were some of the consequences? And then what was the recovery like? How did that work? And, um, uh, so you see the whole. Uh, 15 years ago or so, uh, our family was really in despair, uh, really struggling. Uh, we had no idea as parents what to do our, our two boys, our loving boys, our oldest boys were straight.
So we really felt short as far as understanding and knowledge. So hopefully with our experience that the darkest of best can be, uh, our greatest light to you to share. So you see, what’s what what’s what’s possible. So you can see, uh, uh, the hope of recovery. We really believe that the 12 steps are the power that, that helped us.
In our recovery, uh, uh, Christy and I have been, uh, working in recovery for over 15 years. We’ve went to hundreds of meetings. We’ve, uh, been group leaders, uh, for years with our church, we served out in the, uh, prisons for over 10 years, uh, again, hundreds of 12 step meetings. And what we’ve learned is that there’s great hope even with those who have struggled.
With addiction for 10, 20, 30 years. There’s great hope in receiving some recovery. So we want to just go ahead and share, share our stories of, of struggle and then have hope. And, uh, each and every pod. We’ll first work start step. Next time will be step one and then step two and on and on. So you can see how recovery has worked in our family’s lives and in the guests we bring on.
So with that, and if I could just really quickly, um, I wanted to say with this podcast, we really want to hit the bullseye. Of how to recover. And that’s what the 12 steps back in the 1930s, there were two men, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob who started a program called Alcoholics Anonymous. And I know many of you have heard of it.
I didn’t know a lot about it, but they came up with these amazing 12 steps, which are so spiritual in nature. There, they are been able to heal millions of people. And if you look back, we have a wonderful track record. Now over the last 90 years where we can say. What was working, what wasn’t working well, the addicts were finding hope and peace and growth, and they were finding long-term sobriety.
But what was happening with the family members? They were still kind of stuck. They were stuck in their resentments. They were stuck in fear and fear. They were, you know, for so many years they had a purpose and helping their addicted loved one, get better. All of a sudden what’s my purpose and, and, and their relationship, you know how to be reframed.
We have discovered that the family members working the same 12 steps helps heal that relationship. The number one cause of relation or sorry of that cycle of addiction and relapse is relationship conflict. So that’s why we’re here to bring this message to you. The number one thing that we can do to have an influence on our loved one is work on that relationship.
So both of us working on this together, you guys is going to heal that relationship. And, and really it’s the best thing that we can do that we learned was to work on our own recovery. So we’re super excited. We’re going to turn the time over to our sons because it’s critical that in every episode we’re understanding each other, we need to understand.
What are kids going through or what is my spouse going through? And we need to learn about the disease of addiction. We need to learn about shame. So the boys are going to cover that. They’re going to talk about. You know where they came from and where they are today because of those 12 steps because of recovery.
Um, so when we start Preston with you, can you share your story? Sure. So I remember just sitting here thinking back in 2006, Tyson and I here for the previous few years. Um, and just out of high school, uh, we got involved in, uh, Uh, in drugs and alcohol, pretty hard. Uh, it started off fun, um, as kind of an escape from, you know, kind of a controlling, uh, environment to dad was more so that, uh, you know, you gotta be here at nine o’clock, you gotta kind of the, uh, almost a military and mom was more of the, uh, codependent enabling or whatever you need, honey, what can I do to help you?
Or, you know, it’s just that, that dynamic was, was interesting. Um, my personal story, uh, you know, I didn’t make the Alto high school soccer team. I had a lot of feelings growing up for some reason of not being, not being good enough. Like I didn’t measure up, uh, you know, and always wanting to fit in. Um, and then the first time I drank or used a pill.
It seemed to numb that out and I seem to feel good enough. I seemed to be at peace and I can figure it. Why doesn’t everybody use this stuff? This stuff’s amazing. I feel, I feel free. I feel, um, uh, you know, more relaxed. Um, and so I started experiment with more and more different, um, chemicals and drugs and, you know, slowly but surely, um, I started to have to use more drugs just to fill that way.
And then I had to use those same amount of drugs or alcohol just to feel normal. Um, and then, you know, I remember many times waking up just trying to figure out, uh, why feel so crappy. Um, and so, you know, along the way as well, I would justify and rationalize my behaviors. Um, and I just kind of dug myself in this pretty deep hole where I just didn’t really know how to get out.
Um, I was, I was severely addicted. Um, um, To, to heroin in 2006, um, and uh, had a few friends pass away and it started getting very real. Um, didn’t like who I’d become. Didn’t like the guy looking back in the mirror, um, and I wanted to change. And so I had the desire to really, uh, do something. I just didn’t know what to do.
I was scared of being sober. I didn’t know how to do that thing. I didn’t know how to do. Um, and so March 16th, 2006, after detoxing in the hospital, uh, I checked into treatment and I started seeing guys who had a genuine happiness. They seem to be having fun. And that’s something that, you know, I hadn’t had in a long time.
You know, the fun for me was getting high and playing video games or, or just not really doing anything of real, um, purpose or value and seeing guys who were actually genuinely happy and laugh. It’s kind of the beginning part of my recovery, as far as having that desire to want to do that again, just to be able to laugh and, and, and feel joy and peace without, uh, having it being manipulated.
So then after I got out of treatment, um, I had this amazing, you know, experience where I learned, uh, how to do life. I learned how to connect with others. I learned. How to have a relationship with, with God, and it’s my own understanding. And I learned that I didn’t have to be perfect, you know, growing up, I think one of the sources of, of my shame was feeling I had to do everything perfect to be good enough.
I had to be perfect to be worthy of God’s love and to be perfect, to, to have a girlfriend or, you know, I just, all these really, really high expectations. And I learned that it was. Um, and they’re doing a recovery. I didn’t, I didn’t have to do it perfectly. I just had a show up. It’s an action. It’s an action game.
I had to put action and slowly but surely I started seeing and feeling the results of that. I started liking the guy, looking back in the mirror. I started trusting that guy. Um, I started having meaningful relationships with, with people around me. Uh, I learned how to get vulnerable and talk about how I was feeling before, before treatment.
I didn’t know how. And so that for me was a huge piece of, of recovery is being able to just get down to the, to the roots and identify what emotions I’m having and to be able to express those and not feeling like I had to carry them around, like my rocks in a backpack, that to the point where they just was pulling me down.
Um, and just learning how to be okay with me and who. Um, and I’m still working on that. That’s not, it’s something that’s a continual process. And that’s one thing I love about recovery is just, it’s kind of like a big game of whack-a-mole, you know, once you start working on maybe your ego or pride and you start getting that in place, all of a sudden this other, you know, mole pops up, you gotta pop back then.
It’s just, it’s just this, this fun, fun game. But overall, I wouldn’t change anything about my recovery at how I’ve done it. Cause I felt a lot, but I’ve learned so much from those. And our relationships with my families, you know, we’ve had our struggles, but we’ve, we’ve come together. And, uh, over the last, um, you know, since 2006 where we’ve, where we’ve come as a family, um, I, you know, I’m a grateful addict.
Um, and I don’t really generous, you know, now I don’t look at myself really as an addict, in a sense, a lot of people see or their perception. See it, it’s more so just having that, understanding that, uh, I know if I use it. That my brain said we were crazy on me and I’m going to be craving that again. And it’s just, it’s just not worth it.
You know, my life is so much better today. Um, you know, Pres, what I love about what you said is that, um, you’re learning how to feel. Uh, this is truly a feelings, disease, and, uh, I look at where you were years ago. You’ve got now what? 10 plus years of sobriety. I look at your life. Uh, it’s a miracle. I look at your wonderful wife, your two kids, um, the love at home, uh, but yet the disaster you had years ago.
And it’s just amazing. What recovery has done is truly, I’ve seen, it’s truly been a miracle and you reminded me that you are sharing your story. When I first started, we Rick and I first started going to 12 step. Before the boys did, because I had heard there was a program in our church. And I had heard that the only advice I ever got was, you know, go to a meeting.
So you and your husband can come together on the same page. Which was really helpful because I actually was having my kids don’t know this, but I was having thoughts of separating and divorcing from my husband at that point in time. So when you were sharing your story, it reminded me of when we started going to the meetings and hearing the people with addiction in the room, like hearing their hearts and their, their feelings and how hard it was to stop.
And when you just expressing that you felt so less than, and using made you actually feel. You know, you, you, you actually were somebody and, you know, expressing that it just softens our hearts as family members. And if I could ask you, what are the two things Pres, would you say that that recovery and working those 12 steps has done for you the most important things in your life?
Those two things, what would you say? I would say the number one thing is having a relationship with myself and be able to love myself, respect myself. Not be so hard on myself. Um, just having a, just valuing myself is this is where does that sound analyze? You know, cause there was a time where, uh, if I made a mistake or I messed up or I did something wrong, um, I would get into this place of, of anxiety and depression and it was hard to pull out of because I was so hard on myself, you know?
It’s almost like you just skip the efforts, you know, in the house, you’ll do this. And then you do other, you do tension relieving things and not real, you know, like self helping things without goal-achieving. Yeah. But more so. Yeah. What would you say the second greatest gift of recovery has been for you?
Probably this, just the connection connection with family and, you know, today I have a wonderful one. Uh, I’ve got two kids, so much fun. Just being able to wake up and have time in and be present. That’s one that’s one huge gift to recover that I’ve learned is, is to be present with. Um, cause it’s easy when you come home sometimes.
I mean, they just want to check out and watch TV or, or whatever my, my new addiction is working out or whatever we have. We all have these vices. Right. I still do, but it’s, it’s, it’s being able to take a moment and see what really matters and being present with the kids, playing with them, be present with my wife.
If she wants to vent, let her vent. Yeah, we’re not trying to fix your problems. You know what?
here for all men. Yes. We don’t need to fix their problems. We just like us women. We just want to be heard. We just want to be validated and had, and we just want that emotional connection, so we don’t need to be fixed men. So I’m glad you said that. Preston. Thank you so much, really fun. Before we move on to Tyson story.
Thank you so much that as a mom, it’s so good for me to hear that again and be reminded there was a documentary done on Preston his life, my family, and I think you’ve got a YouTube and it’s like 12 steps to change Google, to LDS. Well, I think he could just put, I checked 12 steps to change the video series and it stepped two and Press, and this is where he found God.
Like he didn’t really have gotten this life too much until that point. And it’s beautiful. It’s powerful. I think it was ever, has ever been done though.
I mean, it was in it’s two minutes. Yeah. So Ty share with us your story, you know, what, what happened, what happened with, uh, the starting of your diction? Uh, maybe some, some consequences and then the whole that followed in how you, uh, uh, got into recovery and, and why. Very
nice because you know what? We know a lot of you out there are hurting. A lot of you have members of your family. It might be a, a son, a daughter, it might be a husband or a wife and you’re hurting and you’re winning. What can I do? And so we validate that and, uh, uh, we just want to be real here. And, uh, are, there is a reason the emotional dishonesty in what was happening in our family is a reason why we had addiction in our family.
And so, uh, through these episodes, you’ll see more and more of that, but Ty, go ahead. Well, I mean, And it’s no surprise mom that you felt you like, you want you, you like it. Wasn’t going to work with data that time, because the, the, the relationship between us was so toxic and so much anger and so much passive aggressiveness.
Right. And, um, we would try to avoid each other at all costs, but when we did overlap, it was. Yeah, it was on, you know, we were getting is just about the same size as dad and, and even from way younger, it was like, you, you know, we just had some weird personality trait that we wanted to do everything that we were not supposed to, um, for, I think that some of that is personality, I think.
And then some of that isn’t. By the environment and in our environment, um, was, uh, it was a shame-based, uh, family system. And it’s a lot of the, it’s a lot of, I think the things that are difficult to really describe and, and highlight, um, issues that people have with, with organized religion. Um, and because of a lot of the, the.
The good things and positive things that are involved with religion. However, there, there can be imperfect people that. Unconsciously, um, shame themselves and shame others for not living up or measuring up and making more mistakes. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of things are going on. We fear is the big driver between, between a lot of them.
Well, I think it’s good also for the viewers to see where we’re at now, we’ve talked at work we’re in long-term recovery. My experience is. Similar to Preston’s um, everything you said I experienced, kind of went through and he was a massive catalyst for me. Um, kind of paving the way. So me seeing that it was safe to move and okay.
To move that direction of, of experience in recovery. And I’m forever grateful for that. Um, but I, I think so today, um, I’m also a clinical professional. Um, I have, uh, advanced substance use disorder. Um, as well as a degree in psychology, um, I’ve also been engaged, uh, in, in many different 12 step fellowships, but also engaged in the clinical professional side of it.
And, and that’s, what’s awesome. I think about Renaissance ranch and what I experienced, um, Compared to working and being a patient at many other places, um, was that there’s also a very heavy dose of, uh, the newest clinical advances in treatment therapy. Uh, there’s very, very specific psychotherapy, motivational interviewing taxes and approaches, um, that are being done.
In conjunction with really out of the box, authentic spiritual, uh, engaging solutions to help family members and to help help guys like us. Um, which is, which is just it’s, it’s unreal to be a part of it. And I think that it’s important that viewers understand right. That we’re also not just coming from.
Uh, personal recovery and her family and recovery experience, but some people with real hands-on in the trenches experience. Um, and, and what we’re also going to have, I’m excited to see in this podcast is a lot of the other professionals that will come on and their experience and how it intertwines with what we’ve experienced.
Um, and I think even just to move a little bit back from there you say, what’s, you know, If you look at conflict, relationship, conflict, conflict, um, it, it, it, for me, the way I see it, it’s a breakdown of communication and inability to communicate. And the family members working a program of recovery or working the 12 steps in conjunction with the addicts, getting treatment and working a program, it helps to create a bridge.
A lot of family members think that, Hey, let’s just put them in there, fixing them. Booking and send it back. He should be good. Cause he’s really most of the problem. Um, which a lot of that is true. Um, our behaviors insane. Um, however, when the family members really engage and get some awareness and some understanding, a bridge starts to get built almost in linked to where then there, there actually starts to be some full of communication so that both parties can start healing and progressing and.
Our practical experience shows that that, that that’s, it’s a massive difference maker when both sides of that coin make genuine and sincere progress. So really that’s the heart and soul of, of, I think w why we’re here, why our family went through this experience of, to share and show that that is possible, but it is not over for us.
It’s something that we, we still work on a very daily basis. Um, to maintain what we’ve been given, um, in, in regards to being involved in a shame-based family system, it’s hard. It’s always been hard for me to really describe and to pick that, what that feeling, uh, what that is and what that looks like. Um, for me, it manifested in, in just in a lot of anxiety, um, intention and.
You know, that’s really what I kind of knew and understood, and is adolescent. I, I didn’t have the skills to really even label that. That’s what I was feeling or that’s what I was experiencing, you know? I just, that’s just how I was feeling. And so when I found things that relieve that it’s kind of like a, something that lets a little bit of pressure out of the bag, let us steam out.
Right. Which first it was, you know, just being accepted in, uh, in, in, in, in the popular group, um, and doing what, what, you know, um, what I was being communicated, what was being communicated to me is cool. It was objectifying. Um, and, and using drugs and alcohol, you know, that was, um, that was, that was fair. And that was county that was different, very different than what we had learned at home and what we had learned in church and what we been taught, that kind of what happiness kind of brought and stuff.
And so when, you know, you, you kind of find yourself in, in this polarizing situation. And when, uh, when we started, when I started to experience experiment, With different things. Um, I went to a place of deep sense of shame when I was at home. And then when I was there and it’s almost like I had to create a different personality and facade to, to be around you guys and or anyone related to.
You know, church or anything like that and, and a completely different person in my peer group and with Pres. And the reason we got so far without you guys, knowing anything is because we looked out for each other and we kept it secret and, and, um, and, and, and everything like that. But I, I just remember feeling that overwhelming sense of, of anxiety and pain.
Um, You know, we’re stupid kids. We’d seek out and get caught, you know, or get caught by the police, you know, with alcohol or marijuana. And we came home and I just remember being just terrified, terrified, um, to, to have to go in your master bed room and sit down and get right, like get talked out. And how could you do this to, to me and our family?
And, and, and, and, and being a father now, like being a father now, it’s just, and my heart hurts because it’s like, I get it. I’m starting to get it. But because what do you do in that? I mean, I completely defiant kid, and it was just, it’s just a lose, lose kind of situation. And I was thinking ties. You’re saying that how perspective shifting when we were going through that, you know, 19, 20 year old.
The perspective that we were only seeing was own. Right. You know, we were using these drugs and alcohol and we were looking at those as a solution. And you know, what we’ve really learned in recovery is the drugs, the alcohol, I mean, they were never the problem. They were a problem, but the real problem was these underlying causes and conditions.
The reasons why we felt we had to use. The reason why we felt we had to continue to use the inability to cope with uncomfortable emotion and inability to place it and to work through it. Um, and, and sort of appropriately. So with with, with you paving the path Press, I remember getting a letter from my brother when I was in jail.
Um, one of the 10 times I got to visit our fine Salt Lake county, Metro jail. I’m grateful for law enforcement. I really am grateful that, that my insanity got locked up because, uh, I’ve I’ve I could very well be dead, but I got a letter from you and I didn’t recognize what I was reading. It was like, Hey bro.
Like, like, Hey, I’m having a lot of fun and I’m not on drugs. And, and, and I’m, I’m discovering. You know who I am, I’m discovering a higher power greater, and it’s actually very different than what we’ve been taught. And I don’t remember what you’ve said, but I remember what I felt like. Okay. That means that that feels right.
Click something clicked. That makes some sense, you know, the first time I ever felt any kind of hope, um, that things could be different because I was so, um, Putting a vice grip of addiction and what was happening in my brain, which I is come to understand now developing the disease of addiction. Uh, and I didn’t know that that’s what was actually going on and in my brain until it was there.
And I was essentially my ability to make decisions was taken off the table and my brain had been chemically altered. And so. My mid-brain, the amygdala was calling the shots and making the decisions for me. And it’s a place of complete utter selfishness. And, um, I mean, and, and, and so that’s what drove me to jail and, and insanity, but feeling that hope was, uh, was fascinating.
But still thinking I could do it on my own and, and, um, going back out. But at that time you guys started getting help going to meetings, meeting with other professionals. And so, and so, even though I was drinking and using, you were responding to me very differently. I remember you were responding to me, not with this.
I didn’t feel like. Uh, condemnation and shame. It was, it was different. It was okay. I’m being treated as an adult. Maybe I should start acting like an adult. Right. Kind of thing. And so, um, I got to go to, uh, an amazing treatment program. Uh, it’s not around anymore. Um, the same program Presley went too. And I had a lot of massive chat.
I was 19 I made, but I completely changed all my goals and, and what I wanted to do with my life. And, uh, it has so many positive experiences there that, um, that, that I feel changed my very personality, my very perspective. Um, you put it beautifully pressed changed. Um, you know, one of the biggest gifts is how I’ve looked at myself.
Um, and, and how I look at how I look at others and addiction is a complete self-centered. Um, Engulfing perspective and, and real, real happiness and recovery has been turned that outwards to others. And you know, how can I, um, influence others’ lives for good. How can I add to my family’s life? How can I.
You know, one of our deepest needs is, is to be loved and wanted a happy, meaningful relationship, more than anything. Uh, but not realizing that in order to have that, I need to give that and, and kind of starting to figure out life and how things work, like how people live, happy, normal, um, successful lives, um, because I have been doing the complete opposite.
Right. So it was treatment was really good to highlight, shine, a light on all the insanity and all the unmanageability and the powerlessness that came from that way of living. And, and then, and then I’m ready for solution. And I was ready to make progress, even though I made massive progress. I was sober for a year and a half.
Um, and I slowly stepped away from a program of recovery and action and. Uh, when I was, when I was 20 and then was relapsed and then went back into the ranch. Uh, we’re not back in that’s when I that’s, when we were all introduced to Renaissance ranch in September of 2008, um, and was able to then reestablish what I had gained in my recovery and then have it taken to a whole other level with, with a massive support group of, of the Band of Brothers.
Um, that we have today that, um, has been instrumental and continues to be instrumental in my sobriety, my recovery. Uh, today we have a lot of fun and we live life and we help each other. It’s interesting Ty. How, when we were kids, we talked about, you know, growing up girls, each other’s best friends. I remember talking about how, uh, when we grow up, we’re going to live in the same number neighborhoods and our kids are going to be friends.
You know, the, the, the coolest gift of recovery that I’ve seen, you know, is that, that, that literal dream has become true. We live right around the corner from each other. Our kids play together all the time. And for me, that’s what recovery looks like. That’s, that’s the hope piece of, oh yeah. I look at you man, and see how much you love your kids and the relationship you have with your wife.
It’s just so genuine and honest. Um, Yeah, that that’s that when I think of recovery, that’s, that’s the kind of thing I think of, you know, the relationships of a film, really? What was the framework you used Tyson to find, to find all of this strength and, and to find yourself and to move through your coverage.
What was the framework? You know, how did those 12 steps, how did that fit into your life?
Well, I think, I think working the first step for the first time, you know, I really did with, um, you know, it’s always said that the first step is the only step that we have to work perfectly. And then first step is we admitted, we were powerless over drugs or alcohol, and that our lives would become unmanageable.
We admitted that a lot of us think we admit it like chorus, but we don’t really. Fully in concede to our inner most cells that we are completely incapable. 100% in capable of overcoming this illness. Our addiction. You know, we, we, we, we might let go 80% of it, 90% of them for the steel, like some holding a couple grips on it of a percent.
And so, and everybody that they wanted to, so that I see relapses after they ever recover it’s. Cause they always had a, uh, a grip or to a threat or to hanging on to a thread maybe that they can do it. Um, in my experience, going to the ring. I had a complete, just that shattered, that just complete chop down, um, through my step, one experience that had do we do with the group and, and the professionals where it’s really driven into too, was driven into me in my awareness was heightened.
It was. But really the value of any treatment provides awareness for individual awareness for individuals? Well, for, for then it was, it was not, not yet, right? It was like, it was ego crap. It was, it complete ego dismantlement, which is critical for a personality shift because when that crack happened, then.
Some, some spirituality could get in. I had to completely admit that I can’t do this thing. And then it’s like, okay, well now what, who can, what can then it’s like this God stuff has got to be real or I’m screwed. I’m under like, I’m going to cause because you don’t see everything, they do the step one.
After a few weeks work, you get to know all these guys around you and they start to see are your characteristics. And you’re in these defects, in your defense mechanisms. And so you’re sitting there and you’ve got all these guys, cause we don’t have an x-ray. We had rain camps. We can go into doc, can put a EKG and say, look, here’s a, here’s a tumor for a guy.
Who’s an addict. We think we’re pretty much normal. Yeah. We got a few problems you got to deal with, but when you’ve got a room and you’ve got 9, 9, 12 guys saying, Hey man, you’ve got this, this, that, and the other. And then at the end they go around and then I’ll call it all the defense mechanisms. You know, the denial or the apathy or the justification or the minimalization they come from from the other addicts, not the family members.
So take it back to, um, the spiritual part of it, because she said at first it was not the spiritual approach because what, that’s, what we see with people with addiction and the family programs, the family. We all have so much fear because, oh, we’ve raised our children in a spiritual environment and now they’re going to set their way.
And then that causes us to be given all this unsolicited advice and all this preaching and, and the more we do this, then the more they run away. And so maybe talk a little bit about to calm us family members down, contact a little bit about how those 12 steps. You mentioned that when, what we’ve seen is a person, um, when they’re in their day, Uh, they tend to push God out of their life.
Or just to find that he’s done. So you might remember this when you were in your late teens, 18 ish or something like that. Uh, you says, dad, look, I know you believe in God. I know you believe in the scriptures. I don’t, you need to respect me and I’ll respect you deal. You remember that talk and, uh, you know, that’s, that’s a lot of times where an individual is when they’re struggling with this addiction.
And so, and I know you remember. Yeah. I remember in that moment. And it’ll tie in with your point. Mom is, you know, dad, you, you, you didn’t say a lot, you were kind of confused. You’re genuinely confused and bewildered, but this was like, you know, it was a big thing for me working up the courage to say, I’m not going to do that stuff.
I’m not going to lie to you or the Bishop anymore. Like all that I, you know, this is too much shame and crap to carry. I’m just, I’m, I’m fucked, you know? And you’re like you said, Okay, one day, you’re going to have to know one day, you’re going to have to know. And at that, in that day, it came that day that my, I really took that first step in my heart.
That day came because I was, um, utterly alone, you know, um, and without, um, knowledge or power to, um, to fix my, my issues, my brother. And so the second step was we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. And so once you’re at that place of hopelessness, it’s kinda like a process kind of coming down to right size and the reality in it, but then opening up the door to.
Rainbows butterfly sunshine, right? Like for, I guess to explain it because it was like, come that process then treatment became for me or my recovery process became a quest to come to believe if there was a power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity and. And it’s a process for everyone.
And the cool thing about it is it even works. If we’re just willing to even believe that we can be restorative or willing to believe that something greater than our ourselves. And so I started following like this suggestions in the, in the directions. Um, I kinda, I, remember, you know, cause I’m kind of visual ought to do things visually to understand them a lot of times even make stuff up in my mind.
And I remember. Uh, I remember saying to the group, so what you’re all telling me is that everything that I think I know about life and in recovery, everything. Cause I know, I know a lot of stuff. I know I’m a smart guy, but you’re telling me everything. I’ve got roll it all out there. And there was like a resounding, like yes.
You know, and when you have 12 people that have a different perspective than you out the window, you just do it because it’s not serving you. And so it’s like, here’s the, you know, My head had come out and I’m like, oh, okay. And I, and I threw it out the window. And then, and then, and then, and then I’ve started just listening and absorbing what was, what other people were saying.
And for me it was a deeply, I, then I started realizing what spirituality was cause shared feeling sure, feeling stuff that, that I can’t. I can’t describe. And it’s a guess maybe it’s what hope feels like. Maybe it’s what faith feels like. Maybe it’s what peace feels like. Um, hope that the future can be different than what I thought.
I thought it was going to eventually be homeless and stuff. Like I was kind of okay with that. I remember, I remember time when you’re in early recovery, when you’re starting to get it. I remember a conversation I had with you, like do what’s working for you, man. I remember you said I’ve been praying for a new perspective.
Hmm. Well, well, we’re going to, we’re going to take this. We’re gonna take this a lot further as we get into these podcasts, as we do step one, step two, et cetera, but let’s shift for a second because what happens when there’s a family struggling with addiction? Uh, the addict is really struggling. Uh, his or her life has become unmanageable.
It becomes a Trainwreck. It it’s disastrous. Uh, there was many times not a few that, uh, our boys, uh, were in jail many times and, uh, it’s a tough, tough thing for them. But what about the family member? What about the, um, the wife whose husband is an addict? What about the parents like us who sons or daughters are addicts?
What we have found is yes, there’s a lot of pain and struggles with the addict, but there’s a lot of pain, anguish, fear, resentments, uh, uh, uh, just a lot. Your life becomes unmanageable as well as a family member. And so. It’s important. When, and when Chris, you said a bit ago, so this is important for the family member to engage in their recovery.
It is not recovery from drugs and alcohol necessarily, but recovery from these resentments, the fears, the enabling, all the things that are, that are causing the issue. So what I want to do for a minute, if we could, is let’s say. Switch and have Christy you, why don’t you share now your, your perspective, maybe, um, how, uh, this is affected you, your, your struggles in the beginning and then the recovery part, and it just let it flow, share with your, with us, your heart.
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Um, I just want to tell Tyson really quickly that, um, wow. It’s this is so special for me to hear. It’s so special for me to hear my sons express their feelings, because I feel like men are kind of conditioned to not share their feelings. And, um, I just, I think that’s so cool.
I just got to ask one question before I, before I maybe share, uh, with Ty. Ty, can you just share maybe what was the greatest gift to guests really quickly of recovery for you through working your study? Um, being willing to, you know, learn from other addicts that were in recovery, go to meetings. What was the greatest gift today?
What are the two greatest gifts for you?
The greatest gift is. I started a lot, a lifetime relationship, um, with who I come to understand and identify is Jesus Christ. Um, this dude I’d heard about, um, that I guess died in a horrible way for me or for mankind. I didn’t understand it. Um, Have a relationship with a power, much greater than myself that, um, could not just relieve me of the despair and the depression of the things I, if of the spirit of addiction, but that, that, that could provide me with an immense amount of hope and love and peace and ability and to do life and to be in and to have a meaningful success.
Life. And so that, that is, that is the gift. Is, it was, it was a new heart, a new life, a new perspective. Uh, and then, and the, the, the blessings and the gifts that have come after that, or too much for me to hold. Like, I feel like a bowl of just overflowing goodness. Like it’s kind of been like that since that’s been my.
Um, it all stems from, from that, um, that love from, uh, uh, being that, uh, uh, that I still don’t understand, but I understand enough to know, um, in, to feel the power of it. Um, and, and to have experienced, um, great change and the ability to. Cheap debt changing in remission. I love that. And both of you are such amazing husbands and fathers, and I feel like my husband is.
Probably to me in my life, like the greatest miracle of recovery in our family as well, recovery doesn’t just affect the relationship you have with your addicted loved one. But the principles that we learned start to just flow into all relationships in our lives. And I feel like, you know, with every family system, we all, none of us are perfect.
There’s not one family that doesn’t struggle. We all have those generational patterns, right. Of. Positive behaviors and negative behaviors. And, and I see that because of recovery because of you guys, his willingness to work, those steps, the way that you interact with your wives and your children is very positive.
And I, and I just now got to believe a lot of that’s comfort, what you’ve learned in recovery. Through working hard, those 12 steps. So I, I honor you and I’m so privileged, you know, to be your mom and, and we, we recognize that many of you listening may have lost your loved ones to addiction. And we have in our family means over the last 15 years, you know, we’ve met several people, you know, who have, and I will share with you.
I think we’re going to have him on the show and we’re going to have him on the podcast. In the future. I have several, we have so many resources of people in long-term recovery, but because they are willing to learn and grow emotionally, physically, mentally do work in those steps. Those 12 steps, people who have lost loved ones.
Talk about the. That those actions have brought to them. And so we’re just so grateful to have this platform, to have this technology, to reach out to you all. I, I would like to share that, you know, years ago it started about 20 years ago. When I first heard that Ty had a phone call from a parent talking about he’d been to a party in junior high.
Most of the 80% of people it’s been said, get started with addiction experimentation in junior high, right. In such an awkward stage, but I got this phone call of, yeah, there was marijuana at this party and that’s the first time I started to recognize and see behaviors, you know, with the boys of, of, uh, leaving the path that we, you know, our hopes and dreams.
And it kind of puts you as a family member in a place that. Because you’re all these dreams and all of these expectations that you had, you know, from your culture, from your religion, from your own personal dreams and hopes kind of flies out the window for a minute. So at anyway, so what’s interesting here is that, uh, with the family, uh, there’s a lot of reasons why addiction has.
In ours, it was emotional dishonesty. It was shame. Uh, boy, I, I was a shamer and it was not okay to feel and our family wasn’t okay to talk about feelings. It wasn’t okay to feel feelings, to believe your feelings or heaven forbid discuss your feelings and you just had to buck up. And when I saw issues with the boys.
I would try to shame them into being better, which is the core center of addiction shame. And we’ll talk a lot more about that in the future. What I want to give us all hope though, is that, uh, there is great hope in whatever situation. Do you know these two boys, uh, for years they struggled in addiction, many times in and out of jail.
Uh, we had to actually ask them to leave our homes because we couldn’t trust them at our home. I mean, it, it was not a good scenario, but you know what great things can happen. Great things can happen and you see the results. In fact, right now, Well, let me back up here in 2014, we had an opportunity to purchase the that ranch.
This is several years after Tyson had gone through and, uh, now together, Christy, I, Pres and Tyson. We are the owners of the ranch. It’s a miracle. And, uh, right now, uh, Tyson’s the CEO of the ranch. Preston to see all of the ranch and Christie. She runs the whole ranch. No, no, no. She is just about education, about education, but it’s I need to just, but yeah, let me turn it over to her.
We’ll we’ll end this. There’s just great hope that can happen. So when, what you wrap us up, and this has been awesome, we were going to have to do a round two. We are Dixon’s. We tend to talk forever and never, um, our son’s going to have a hard time shopping this out, but really quickly we have some resources for you and every week we’ll share these, but the number one thing, if you want to learn more, we offer free public education classes.
Uh, we have four weeks. So go to Renaissanceranch.com. Um, or you can also go to addiction recovery mom on Instagram, and I’ll post some links for you. So you can get involved in our classes. I know a lot of you don’t have money, you can’t afford treatment. And so we want to share as much as we can and encourage you to Google 12 step meetings in your area.
Start going to 12 step meetings, start going to Al-anon, which is the family member program of eight. Uh, there’s so many resources out there. And, um, in the future, we will, we will share more of our experiences with you. Um, we have learned from our mistakes, but also we’ve been able to observe hundreds and hundreds of individuals, both with addiction and family members side.
Um, we’re still doing that, you know, in doing that for 15 years and then professional. Um, with the ranch and family education classes, the last eight, uh, appreciate Tyson’s clinical perspective. We’ll be having our, uh, lots of clinical people coming on as well. But again, it’s, this is going to be the attic perspective and the family member perspective.
We need to understand each other. We need to, we need to save lives. We need to save relationships and families and, and we all, we all can start doing that with a little bit of information. Just sharing that information with the world. Well, Well, really, really help and this opioid crisis. So thank you so much for tuning in with us in the future.
Podcast Video Episode 2
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Hi, this is Christine again with Family Addiction, Recovery podcast. If you’d like to learn more about the journey of addiction within a family, please continue listening to our second podcast. Thank you. So Hon, share with us your story from your perspective from a mom perspective. The fear maybe the, the, the issues that you were going.
Okay. Okay. Well, thank you so much. Well, like I mentioned at the beginning, I, uh, when I found out about this and, and watching them, we had tried so hard to do what we thought was right. You know, we were taking. Family to church every week, we were actually having family prayer every day. We even did scripture study every day.
And so to have, um, our, our sons, you know, moving off of this road and, and I’ve sense of sadness in them. I really did. I, I, uh, it, it made me so fearful. Um, and I ha I did, like I told you, I had that sense of I’m I’m the mom, this is my responsibility. I have to fix it. So. I did notice one day in church and man had a tag and talked about, um, addiction, recovery mission or something like that.
And I had this feeling to reach out and call him. And when I did, he just gave us two things of advice, you know, start going to these 12 step meetings and you and your husband had come together on the same page that really hit me in my heart cause we’d been struggling. So when we went to our first meeting, I’m sitting there listening to people be so vulnerable.
I had never experienced that in my entire life and, and sharing kind of what my boys had been trying to tell me. But for some reason I was closed off to that. Uh, I started to feel a spiritual feeling in my heart. It was a burning, it was. I don’t, it scared me. I don’t know that I had felt a spiritual feeling that strong in my entire life.
And I was confused. I was like, what is this meaning? What is this? What is God trying to teach me? And, um, the meeting went through, people were so loving, so kind, and it was really starting to. Melt my heart. I had no idea. My heart was so hard and, and so angry and resentful. And as we started to walk out of the meeting, we were just walking out the door.
When my husband turned to me and Rick he’s sitting right here, he turned to me and he said, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like a spiritual feeling that strong in my entire life. So this is where God performed a miracle for our family and for our marriage. We felt something so powerful that we decided we’ve got to keep going to these meetings.
And what happened was we came home and I think that it was interesting that Tyson mentioned that he felt like we were finally treating him in a different way. It’s like understanding the disease of addiction and hearing it, hearing the perspective from the people with addiction. Um, it helped me recognize that I had been judging them and, and looking at them with so much frustration that it was no wonder we had no connection anymore, you know?
Um, and, and that was driving some shame. Um, when I learned, um, about this disease aspect of addiction, and it’s really interesting in 2011, the American society. The American society of addiction medicine. They came out with this new definition of addiction as being a disease and not just about bad choices.
And there’s a lot more information than that. But as I came to understand the disease and that my sons no longer had a choice, something, there was a big paradigm shift in my brain. And all of a sudden I was like, oh my gosh, they need help. They need treatment. They need, I need to find the right doctor, the right medication.
I got to help my sons. And, and it’s kind of like, you know, before that, I think I just had so much anger that I just thought, and I had a lot of denial going on. I thought they’re just being kids. They’re going to grow out of this. No. When I started going to the meetings I learned, this is a real, uh, this is very dangerous.
Uh, disease and I need to do something about it. So we’re going to treatment. Um, we found by the grace of God, we were able to get the boys into. We the treatment center was awesome because they had family education every week. They did what we’re trying to do. They brought the addict perspective and the family member perspective together, and they talked about issues and topics, and they did processing groups and we learned so much.
And as we started gauging recovery, all of a sudden we had a common language with the boys and we started to hear each other and understand each other. And, and there was this common respect. And love and appreciation for each other. And I mean, they kind of saw our perspective and I was able to actually, you know, seek their forgiveness and say, I’m sorry that I’ve been preaching and giving all this unsolicited advice.
I just have been in so much fear. I mean, in my mind, I just saw them on a, I saw them walking towards the edge of a cliff and they were going to drop off and I’ll never forget where I was in my room. When I, I remembered I was completely powerless. Over our helping them. I couldn’t help them to stop and no matter what I tried, it made it worse.
And I had this sense that I was getting in God’s way. And so it’s interesting that Tyson expressed that moment of when you recognize I am completely powerless to save my precious babies, right. I’m powerless. And in that moment of utter. Despair. It’s like hopelessness. There’s nothing I can do came this beautiful thought.
Oh my gosh, hold on. You know, I believed in God who I believed in my higher power, who I define as God and his son, Jesus Christ, but I didn’t know how to trust them. And so at that moment in time, I just remember begging God and begging Jesus, you know, please, please help me. I can’t do it anymore. In fact, I’m making it worse, please help them.
And I remember just stepping back and, and then in that prayer, I’ll never forget feeling this beautiful. It was just like, and I know the scriptures declare it as, and not declare it, but speak it as this beautiful, um, cloak of redeeming love. It was just like this blanket being wrapped around me and I felt the central.
Love and I’ve got this and it was so empowering for me. And it was such a miracle to know that it wasn’t my job. It wasn’t my responsibility that wow. If I’m feeling God’s love and I’m feeling this reassurance, maybe this means that God’s trying to tell me that he is going to help them. And that was just the beginning of my letting go.
And my whole family, I think, recognize that I’m going to have my daughters come on as well, because I want you to understand the perspective of the other family members, uh, both in the, the, um, family of origin, but all the nuclear family, but also the extended family. But I think this has been a blessing for my whole entire family.
We started going to meetings. We would come home and share with our, our kids, the stuff we were learning, and they learned that their brothers were not. You know, even though their addiction took them to criminal behavior, they learned that they were not bad, that needed to be good, but they were sick and needed to become well.
And so they started to look at it and we all looked at as an illness because that’s exactly what it is. Addiction is a disease. And we’ll talk more about that, but, um, I really want to hear your story, honey, where you were at. But today for me, the gift of recovery my greatest gift, I would say is number one, is it introduced me to a new concept of my higher purpose.
Of, um, it, I learned a pattern of how to connect with God in a way that I never knew. I learned how to get answers, how to get this, this personal, um, insights and revelation and have that kind of, my co-dependent crazy behaviors were replaced by this beautiful divine connection. That’s number one, number two, it got me, my family back saved.
My marriage helped me. And it really helped my, my other younger children, the three young kids were introduced to drugs and alcohol and pornography and gaming and all of that. And they all knew where to go to look for solutions and working their steps and, and treatment and reaching out for help. So we’d love to hear your story.
Thank you so much before you go move on to dad. There, just a comment on that. So, you know, it’s interesting how selfish, uh, I was in my addiction, um, and how I didn’t see. You’re pleads for getting help or I didn’t feel, um, you know, I didn’t really feel that support or, but I remember in treatment, we had family group after the drugs one-off, after I detox as feeling my emotions for the first time, you know, a few years, really.
Um, how dad was talking about how you were so scared when we were out. Cause you didn’t know where we were. And uh, when you started looking for treatment that you were. All hours of the night Googling, trying to find somewhere to go. And you were just shaking gives you’re in so much fear. I remember him expressing that, uh, in family group and our process group.
And I was really feeling, um, you know, a lot of just so many feelings, but I knew that you loved me. I knew that you’d care. I knew that you cared. And I felt that for the first time, a long time that I felt how much you loved, because all, all of this that you’re trying to do to, to help us in that our actions.
Yes. Yes. We didn’t know that we’re aware. Right. We were harming anyone. Yeah. Well, and I think that’s why it’s important that the, in these podcasts that we’re bringing these voices together, that we can understand each other. And I think that helps with that connection, you know, and just say, wow, you know, all the times when you’re being cell pushy and preaching at me all the time, you mean.
Afraid, you know, and you had all that fear and, and there’s a balance back and forth too, because when I was waking up in the mornings and I had a talk every other day of, of a prophets talk, you know, I feel I’m, I must not be good enough. She’s sending these talks every other day must be screwing up. And I must, you must feel like she needs to fix me because I’m so.
The effective and so back and forth, a lot of the communicating once we started getting healthier and all new members, we don’t, we don’t understand how all of that kind of pushing, pushing, uh, it just drives the chain, even deeper. It, like you said, it makes you feel like I must not be capable, you know?
Yeah. At a subconscious level, I wasn’t really consciously thinking I was consciously just manic was sending me this stuff, but subconsciously you know, emotionally, it’s just, you just. Yeah, thank you for saying that. I just want to share just really quickly. I think the number one thing that family members are worried about is how do I get my loved one in treatment?
You know, I know that they, I think they have a problem. I’m not sure. And, um, you know, your local treatment centers may have different things. For me, it was really important to me, but I found a treatment center with the strong aftercare program because my new, my boys were only going to be in treatment back then and common to be 30 days, you know, they’re only gonna be in 30 days of treatment and then they gotta go back to.
Uh, lifestyle and they’d had for maybe several years. I think that, um, it’s nice. I know if you, if you are worried about that, you can call a Renaissance ranch.com and they just for free, we’ll give you some ideas on, you know, how to go about getting insurance. How do you know how to go about that? Of getting your loved one willing, and then as you join our family education classes, you know, they’re all online.
It’s so easy. It’s a click away. You’ll start to get a sense of what to do to help get them the help they need. But really, as you start modeling recovery, by going to your own, you know, AA or 12 step meetings, when one person, the family starts to change for the better, it really helps to shift the whole.
The whole, all the behaviors in the family. Yeah. Yeah. Just that like, yeah. It’s credible, but Rick, can you kind of share a little bit about, you know, you’re, I feel like you’re such a different person now because of recovery than where you were before you were a great dad. I mean, we went camping, we did so many fun things together and, and we tried so hard spiritually with our boys.
And we had so much love. There was so much love and connection. And then with the addiction, just, just with both of us trying to come at it from that male and female perspective, we could not get on the same page at all. Uh, talk a little about the tough love. I don’t think it was so much that we had a conscious law.
Don’t talk about our family secrets, but it was just that we didn’t know how to relate. We didn’t have the tools. We really didn’t kind of share a little bit about where you were as a dad. And that male perspective and real, real quick before you dead, if I could interject. So I’ve, I worked with hundreds of people.
I mean, thousands of people go through recovery, mainly the addicts themselves and, and, and, and see literal miracles, miraculous changes, um, night and day, just similar to like our experiences on what we were and where we are now. And, um, it’s just cool. Um, To, uh, look at you dad and to see, um, and, and, and to see such great of a change, um, in that it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, I think a lot of people believe don’t believe that real change can happen, you know, um, or that it’s possible, very concrete, real personality, perceptual, he’s honest, all the time telling us we catch.
Well, and, and, but what’s awesome. What, what is really cool to see is, is have seen such a massive character perspective, shift and change, um, you know, huge. Um, that’s like, how did that happen? That’s a, and that’s a Monday asking you to, right. Thank you all for sharing that. Um, so, uh, When a family struggling with addiction, it is a family disease.
It’s just not about the addict. Is it? Um, and, uh, you know, when, when experiences happen in your life around addiction, it’s, it’s devastating. I’ll never forget, uh, the day that, and this is, there’d been a number of times at the boys, as I’d mentioned, had been in jail. Uh, Christy and I had a chance to go in and visit one of the boys in jail.
And, uh, we’re able to look at him through the glass and he was in an orange jumpsuit and he was chained up. You remember that chained up? And, uh, they, they changed him from his wrist to his, to his waist, uh, shackled him on his feet and his, he can walk and he was shuffling because they had the shackles so tight and here was the boy.
Uh, that should have been 185 pounds at least, and maybe maybe was 130, uh, because of what addiction had done. And I remember saying what happened to my boy? What happened? You start blaming yourself. Uh, you, you, the anger of the resentments and, uh, in a family where there’s addiction. Many times the co-dependence, which are Christy and I, in this case, we look at it in a different perspective.
Codependency has many different tentacles. Um, for me, there was resentment, there was anger, I’m an, a personality. So I don’t like to be taken advantage of. I felt, you know, I was being taken advantage of why would they do this to me? Uh, at the same time, I mad at them. I’m mad at her because I feel that she’s maybe enabling some of this, allowing some of this.
And as things got worse, what was happening, it was crippling our relationship and it came to a point and I’m sad to say this. I’ve just, I’ll be vulnerable with you. Um, we were up in the bedroom and, uh, we were having it out Christy and I said to her, I said, either you’re out of the house or they’re out, which ones are going to be, see, that’s what had happened in our family.
And up to that point, We’d had a great marriage, five wonderful kids, things are going good. I’m always doing things as a family, but things had completely come apart at the seams and, uh, yes, addicts need recovery, but you know what? Family members. Are emotionally bankrupt as well. I remember coming home one day, watching her looking hit or her in the corner, in the fetal position, just emotionally bankrupt.
And so recovery for me was about working the 12 steps, learning what addiction was learning, how to get rid of this resentment, this anger, this almost hatred. If you will. And how I could work through all this stuff at the same time, learning about that shame is the core center of all addiction. And that there’s a difference between guilt and shame.
Guilt is good. Shame is not guilt is I did something wrong and I can make it better. Guilt is I, I mean, shame is I am wrong. I’m worthless. See that comes up. And so shame, we had a shame-based family and I didn’t even know that I learned this through recovery. I didn’t even know that when I’m talking to the boys, I’m saying, boy, you know what, if you keep doing this, you’re going to be living under a bridge with your hand, trying to warm under a fire.
And these types of things that when I got. They’re already feeling like junk and they, it was just confirming to them. They’re just a piece of work and they just wanted to go use to numb out the shame that I just caused. So, you know, we didn’t necessarily, as parents cause it, we can’t try to fix it, but we can, we, we contributed to it.
And so the 12 steps to me, if people say, well, well, why is it so important than family members? Work the 12 steps, as well as those struggling with addiction. This is what I’d say is the 12 steps for me was a practical application of the atoning power of Jesus Christ. That helped change me where I could not change myself.
The wall that we had between me and the boys were, it was an 18 inch titanium wall. It was causing shame resentments issues. When I worked through recovery just started it didn’t take very long, a matter of weeks or several days. The difference that I noticed in our relationship was profound. The difference that I noticed in my boys and me was profound.
I’ll never forget about the third one. After we were at the ranch and we’d just come out of a family, meeting a family meeting and they let us visit with Ty. You might remember this Ty at the, uh, um, after that it was about three weeks. And I remember going up and I’d had a complete paradigm shift, emotionally, spiritually, everything, understanding, shame, understanding that addiction is a disease.
I remember saying to you. Uh, to Tyson in that visit saying, you know, uh, man, I had no idea that this disease of addiction was so great and the struggles, the Mount Everest struggle that you’re dealing with. I respect you for even being in recovery and still sticking with it and staying with it. I’ve got a lot of work I need to do.
I’ve been ashamed. I’ve been, uh, not respecting the whole, uh, situation. I I’m sorry for what my part is on you to go work my recovery, because I know you’re working yours from that time on time. Ty never used again. The important family members have, and I can trace a big emotional shift in my causes and conditions to that company.
Right because a lot of the inadequacy and, um, uh, you know, shame that I fell in less than, and that dissonance in our relationship was shattered at that moment. When I realized my father is also needs help and met, never been community. You know? Yeah. Cause at that point I’m not the problem. I don’t need the have the issues you do because you’re the one that’s having drug issues.
You’re the ones that launched you, et cetera. It’s really easy to cover that. But, but through recovery, I really learned my part in it as result, just to wrap this up in recovery, it’s allowed our marriage to be now as one stronger than we’ve ever been. It’s allowed us as father and sons to be stronger than we’ve ever been.
Whereas before I basically, I’m sad to say this, but that we’d just written off that, those relationships and that sad. So there’s great hope. There’s great. Hope. So, if you’re hurting, whether you’re struggling with addiction or you’re a family member, there’s great hope. And the 12 steps are at the beginning.
And again, our family classes, which are free tune in tune in, uh, go to Renaissanceranch.com. There’s several. Uh, done by several, um, uh, group leaders. You go to the family tab, right? The, the dog, and you go on the site. So people know where to go, family busy and, and, and, and join us and be with us. And you’ll learn what recovery can do for you as a family.
So do you want to wrap us up on it? Yeah. Just in hearing the perspectives, you know, Struggle with addiction, the family member. I hope that us being vulnerable and sharing some of our weaknesses and character defects, you know, uh, wasn’t too heavy. The nice thing to know is there’s no blame in recovery.
You guys there’s, uh, there’s no blame. We’re all doing the very best we can with the information and the. And, and the models from our family systems that, that we’ve grown up with. Right? So I, I, it was really helpful for me to hear Rick share his story and you can see all the feelings and the emotions that are brought in, and that’s why we use the word codependent.
You know, our feelings and emotions become so dependent with co. You know, our loving addicts and we can get to a point where we can have peace in our lives, regardless of the choices that are being made around us, by people we love through work in our own, working on our own growth, you know, through learning the principles and the practices of recovery.
But you can see in hearing Rick story, why we’re so passionate about this because in the hundreds of meetings we’ve done over the last 15 years with the church meetings, you know, a dish recovery program that we’re involved in. And in hearing the number one thing we hear that causes the cycle over and over again, as relationship conflict.
Right. And so we don’t want to, as family members be that trigger to keep that shame, you know, driving that shame. And it’s so great to understand each other. So thank you so much. And I just want to show you one thing that you can get right now and I’ll put it on the addiction recovery mom Instagram site.
This is the Healing through Christ book. This is the best resource that we have found for family members who have loved one or significant others have loved one in addiction and you go to healing through christ.org. We’ll put all that on the addiction, recovery mom, Instagram page, but anyway, we love you guys.
Thanks so much for tuning in, and we hope that it’s been helpful. Thank you.
Podcast Video Episode 3
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Hi, welcome to Family Addiction, Recovery podcast, sponsored by the Renaissance ranch. We are so excited about this opportunity to blend the voices of the addicted, loved one in their family member in the same episode, so that you can start to understand, um, and learn what to do when you don’t know what to do.
And we’re super excited for our guests today. They both have personal experience with addiction. And then my husband will represent the family member perspective and we’ve, uh, for the past 15 years have had the privilege of, uh, facilitating 12 step meetings and also teaching family education classes that you can find at renaissanceranch.com that are open to the public.
Um, today we are excited to jump into step one last week, um, sorry, not last week, but our last couple of episodes were sharing our family’s story. Uh, we have five children and our oldest two sons Preston and Tyson were on with us in the first episode and sharing, um, our experiences as a family. And, um, so we’re going to jump into step one.
We’re going to talk about that a little bit. We’re going to focus on solutions rather than the problem. And then we’re going to talk about how to get your loved one into treatment, or at least be open to attending some recovery. Uh, classes with you like AA, or NA, um, some of your churches. I know our church has an addiction recovery program and that way that’s what we did when our sons were struggling.
We did not know what to do. So we started attending addiction, recovery, 12 step meetings at our church. And from there started to learn. From the people in the room, what worked for them and what didn’t work for them. So, Rick, do you want to introduce her? Yes. Thanks, honey. I’m grateful to be here with you.
And I know those of you that are many or that are listening are probably hurting and are wondering what. Can I do what, what should be done with my loving addict? I, I just don’t know what to do in your hurting. And I want to validate that. And that’s what we’re here to talk about is how to help you help your loving addict.
And we have here two incredible individuals. So I just love, uh, um, on the right. We have Lane Porter and Lane is a clinical mental health counselor. He works at the ranch as the intake specialist. He works all day with family members. And a loving addicts that need to get into treatment. Uh, he’s going to share a little bit of his background because he is a recovering addict and he’s also now a clinician.
And that really is a powerful combination to help, uh, in, in helping you today, uh, next to him on the left, we’ve got Dave Belt, wonderful man, a recovering addict. Both of these gents have five years of recovery. And they’ve got some dark abysses that they had to face first, and we want them to each share a little bit of their story first.
So, you know, when they share that, uh, what they have to say, we’ll, we’ll have some credibility and some impact. So Lane, what we start with you, why don’t you take maybe a five minutes or so share your story, your struggles be vulnerable if you could. And, uh, w we’ll then, uh, turn over today. Thanks. So like they said, my name is Lane Porter and, uh, in about 1999, I had, I had had a crisis of faith that had proceeded this by about four years, but had stopped attending my religious services, had fallen out of, uh, contact with God and, uh, with my spirituality and was really struggling to find my place in the world.
Um, Was experimenting with drugs. And, um, how old were you? 23. Okay. So kind of later onset more of an onset as an adults. Um, but in, in, in 1999 at the age of 23, I found cocaine and. For lack of a better term. It was an instant love affair. Um, uh, it really grabbed me and just held me tight. And I thought I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Like those were the, you know, there was an emotional relationship with that. Uh, what I didn’t recognize at that time was that, uh, I began to sacrifice everything else in my life. That was important for me. To continue using, uh, I, and through that, I, I lost relationships. I lost, um, jobs. Uh, I lost my home. Uh, I became homeless and at, at, at some point I was living every day on the streets, committing crimes, um, and hustling just to get more drugs, um, I ended up serving some time, um, getting incarcerated and while incarcerated, I think, um, as frequently happens, although it’s cliche, it is a very real experience.
I had a, uh, a mighty change of heart. I, I recognized, um, because in that silence of incarceration, um, you can’t help, but experience the spirit. Um, and. I began to develop again, a relationship with my higher power. And I decided one that I wanted to change my life to, that I wanted to relationship with my higher power again, and three that I wanted to maybe stay involved with recovery in a longterm way.
Uh it’s so over the course of, you know, a few years I went back to school, uh, I started getting my bachelor’s in psychology. Um, Re-establishment relationship with the church, with my higher power, um, started mending relationships with my family and was really able to. Kind of turn it around. Um, ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis on addiction, graduated Summa, cum laude, um, and valedictorian of the psychology department from Utah state university, which was neat as a felon from homeless to valedictorian.
It was crazy. It was crazy. And when people, their, their loved one gets into jail or is in a prison, they think, oh man, all of this. Well, it isn’t it isn’t, I son says that that going to jail saved his life. And that’s where he found Christ. That’s where he found Christ. And it’s, I think it’s amazing because I think that when we have stumbling blocks, what we don’t recognize is that the counter of that is that we’re offered opportunities and ability that surpasses maybe what others could do.
So now you’re, you’re working at the ranch. You’ve been there quite some time. Uh, your darkest abyss has been your greatest light now to help others. Uh, you know, uh, it takes an addict to heal an addict. You know, when you get a call by a mom or a dad or an addict, what they’re feeling, what they’ve been through, uh, how to help them, how to counsel with, um, a family member that has a loved one in addiction.
And so it’s a powerful thing. Uh, you know, it’s just wonderful to hear. From the darkness and then the light in to see your life now and to see what’s happened. So we’ll hear more, but thank you lane. That’s all. Yeah. Well, well, if I could see, I kind of want to hear the rest of the story just because I know there’s a little bit more, because I know that you got into, you were doing really, really well.
You got your schooling. And then, and then maybe finish your story. So, yeah, very edited version. So I ended up getting, uh, the psycho the best bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree became a clinical mental health counselor got nationally board certified as a master’s addiction counselor was a clinical director at a huge organization, um, in our state.
Um, and then I got complacent. I stopped doing my work. I started letting anger with interpersonal issues, um, pride with my success and those things interfere. And I, I started thinking that I didn’t need to work on my recovery anymore, that I had this figured out, um, that I didn’t need to do my daily it’s that I didn’t need to work an active recovery program.
Shoot long story short. It was only a matter of time before I relapsed. And so I have gotten a degree in the field, risen up in the field relapsed while working in the field and now I’m back in it. And most, most importantly, what I recognized is that this disease is cunning, baffling and powerful. You can not lose your relationship with your higher power, you cannot stop working your recovery and think that you are recovered. There is no recovered. It is a. Journey. And it is a lifelong ongoing journey. Wow. That’s powerful. It’s so easy to get complacent just in life. And we’ve heard that so much over the last 15 years from so many people that addiction, you know, at first too, I was so devastated.
I thought, you mean my sons have to do addiction for the rest of their life. They have to go to meetings the rest of their life. But, but Rick and I were actually attending meetings as well. And we have been, um, because our, our church actually in. Kind of gave us a calling to facilitate meetings in the jail and the prison.
And so we did that for over 10 years and, um, it’s crazy how. How you start to love recovery and you look forward to those meetings and you start actually getting addicted to the meetings, you know, and you just have never met more wonderful, authentic, loving people where there’s more hope in a room than a 12 step meeting.
So, um, Dave, it would be so fun. Lane we’re going to come back and I want to ask some questions with you to Clint clinically, but as far as step one goes, you know, when we come to recognize that we’re powerless. Um, at least from a family member perspective, we are powerless over the addiction of our loved one and our lives are becoming unmanageable.
And then Dave, I’m going to have you kind of state step one from maybe the addict perspective for those of you who are struggling with addiction out there, and then kind of share your story as it relates to step one. Okay. I’m grateful to be here. I’m Dave, I’m a recovering addict. Um, step one says we admitted that we were powerless over our addictions and that our lives have become unmanageable.
Um, this is a very abridged version of my story. I want to talk about two days and I’m going to tell my story backwards. I’m going to go back to the last time that I took a drink and my sobriety date, which is, which is June 29th, 2015. Oh five years ago now. Yeah. Uh, so I was at, I was, uh, about 11 o’clock in the day and I was at a job I didn’t really like, and it was just getting, I just was just all balled up in, in my nerves and I wanted some relief and I knew exactly how to get that relief.
And as soon as that idea was in my head, it just took over and that’s all I could think about. And. Uh, I do. I walk out of this of my job. I didn’t even say where I was going. I got in my car and I started to drive and it was just get me that sense of ease and comfort that I had come to know so well. So I left my job.
I drove to seven 11 as quickly as I could, uh, bought some tall cans. And, um, and, and proceeded to get in my car again and drive to the nearest alley. I put my car in park and I popped the top and just started to guzzle. Now, remember that word, powerless. This illustrates for me how powerless I am over these addictions, because I, here I am at that time 37 years old.
A guy who had three DUIs and knew that if I was ever to get a fourth, there’s probably looking at serious jail time or prison time. Consequences weren’t keeping me from that alcohol I’m powerless over it. Right. And so I, I started to guzzle these drinks and I wanted to go somewhere to, to drink them. And so I drove to the park, nearest to my dad’s house, where I was staying.
And, um, and I, and I walked over to a park bench and I sat down, uh, at this park and I just started to guzzle these beer, this beer. And here I was, I was the guy in the park with the brown bag and beer in it. That was not where I envisioned I would be at 37. Right. Um, that was not the vision I had for myself and for my future.
Jumped back 16 years earlier to when I’m 21 years old. Uh, I came home from a mission and honorable mission, a servant in France. And, um, I came home on Thanksgiving and I started to have this idea that I needed to rebel that I wanted to rebel that, uh, I believe in and Lane said it’s coming baffling powerful to me.
That’s how. The adversary works on me in that same way with these cunning illusions. And I told myself I needed to rebel to be more well-rounded and I convinced myself this was a good idea to try alcohol for the first time. And so. Uh, about two months later at a Superbowl party is when I first tried alcohol on this.
And I always remember to me that tasted like soggy Cheerio’s. I hated the taste, but I love the effect. And it was like, as soon as I found that, I said, where has this been my whole life now I’ve got my miracle drug to get me through, uh, anxiety, to get me through family situations, to get me through, um, nervousness at parties and being shied.
And, um, you know, so those are the two days, and I obviously, I can’t talk about all the in-between. Maybe we’ll get into that a little bit, but, um, let me sum it up this way, um, to give you an idea of, of the state of mind. I was in five years ago, um, I was constantly at war with myself and I was in these inner turmoils all of the time, because I was waking up in places that I didn’t know how I got there.
Um, when I was drunk, I was full of recklessness. And when I was sober, I was full of remorse and that is not a way to live. And it was just this constant ball of nerves. Always just could not stay sober. I’d been to treatment two different times, including 90 days, inpatient and, um, another outpatient program.
And here I was 37 years old on a park bench. With the brown bag and I’m drinking in the middle of the day when I should be at work. I cannot imagine the shame of that. I can’t imagine. So how did you get, like, how did you get to where you are now? Like that was five years ago and now I know that you’re giving back, you’re working.
I think you work at the ranch, right? I get to work there one day a week on the weekends. Right. So tell us kind of how you got, you know, what, what was recovery like for you and how did you get to where you are today? You know, I remember this really important decision. So I was trying, I was picking myself up.
I was going to meetings. I was trying to work with sponsors. I was, I thought I was doing what I needed to do, but, but I, I guess, you know, I wish I could just figure it out too. I guess I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t, I wasn’t willing, you know, they say you need to, you need to be honest and open-minded, and, and willingness are three really crucial things of, uh, ingredients for recovery.
Maybe, it just didn’t all come together for me, but I I’ve been going to ARP meetings. And I remember I was at a new ARP meeting and it was after that meeting, you know what we call the meeting after the meeting, where I was talking to another addict and learn, and, and she suggested to me, why have you thought about getting back into treatment?
And I thought, man, maybe that is a good idea for me right now and gave me a phone number long story short. I called up. Um, Tyson and, uh, and I was actually in treatment that afternoon or that evening at the Renaissance ranch in the outpatient program. And so I was, I w I thought that I would try that and if needed go inpatient, but there I was sitting in group that night and, and the rest is history.
Right. There’s been a lot of, I’ll tell you one thing. It’s taken many good decisions and many, it has been many small things that have gotten me to where I’m at. And at times not listening to my head and not listening to my thoughts and going with the instant gratification and desire, but even, even all of that the only thing I can say to you somehow, God’s kept him sober for five years.
It’s really what it comes down to is perhaps I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t willing enough yet. Uh, and when it clicks, it clicks and I often would hear, please don’t leave until the miracle happens. And, you know, luckily I didn’t die in between relapses and meetings. Um, and I kept coming back, even though I was just defeated over and over again, I kept coming to meetings.
I kept coming back. Um, and I, let me ask you, you know what, I look at your, your life now, since you’ve been in recovery five years. You’ve got a wonderful wife. You’ve got a little boy and the little girl on the way. Uh, you’ve got a great job. You work to giving back at the ranch because of your love for the ranch.
You know, I’ve heard it said that this addiction is a brain disease. It’s a disease. Diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’ve got to manage that with insulin. This is a disease that needs to, you have to manage it. You’ve learned that maybe in just one minute or so. What have you learned on a daily basis?
What you’re doing now to help manage the disease versus what you weren’t doing before? That’s great. Okay. Uh, I want to refer to a sign that I see in every ARP meeting that says principles with the promise and on the wall there, it says prayer meeting. And scriptures. Those are Sunday school answers that I didn’t want to believe were part of the solution.
But what I’ve come to find today is that is part of the solution. And, um, my dailies are every morning, I start with the prayer to heavenly father. Please keep me sober today. Um, I find that if I, if I can do that in private it’s best. Um, and so me in particular, I do, I say my prayer in the shower in the morning.
Um, and I say, please help me stay sober. And then I do, um, some reading out of the, any kind of recovery reading. So I like the 24 hours a day book it’s called the Little Black Book starts with the little prayer of the day in meditation of the day and a thought of the day. Then I do a chapter in the Book of Mormon.
And then following that. I make lists. I have an app on my phone. It’s, it’s a, it’s a gratitude app. And I, and I, and I type in three things I’m grateful for. That is my routine in the morning. And I’m, I’ve gotten to the point now where I don’t feel my days can start until I’ve done those things. Or, you know, if I don’t do it, it, it gets at me, but it took a while to get into that habit.
Then I go throughout my day. And when I’m, you know, when I’m agitated or when I make a mistake, I try to admit that, um, And try to apologize as soon as possible, but you know, I’m jumping ahead through, through steps here and I want to keep it on step one. But, um, then at the end of the day is, is to thank God for keeping me sober another day.
So it’s, it’s just this, this acceptance and this realization that it’s not me, that’s doing this. It’s God that’s doing it. For the longest time I would hear people say that and I couldn’t figure out how did they tap into that power? It sounds great in theory, but how do I make it so that I’m letting God lead my life?
You know, what does that look like? And all I can tell you is that I had to experience that in my own way into myself. And I had to, I had to, I had to come onto God with. And honest and open-minded and, and just, and just, just be defeated. It took me just literally being completely done, surrender with the white flag.
Um, and that, and it’s just helped me from there. So what I hear you saying is that where you were so powerless was step one, you know, you recognize you’re so powerless and then you come to recognize your life’s unmanageable, but what you have found the power sounds like. Well to work in your 12 steps through finding your higher power and every single day not being complacent, like what lane talked about and doing those actions every single day, you know, it’s interesting because from a family member perspective, before I recognize step one, you know, when I thought that it was in my power to heal my sons, it was, it was.
So painful because everything I tried didn’t work and it was so liberating for me to start going to toast at meetings and realize, oh, so you mean, I actually, this is not my job, you know, that I’m supposed to be powerless. So let me qualify that I’m powerless over the life threatening brain disease of addiction.
I am powerless over addiction, but I have power to be able to find peace. And happiness, regardless of the choices of everyone around me. And so that’s why we love the 12 steps so much. And we learned that teach us help us to become, take that unmanageability and have it teach us how to have a managed life physically, emotionally, mentally, but Lane.
I want to come back to you real quick now, um, and that you are an intake director. A lot of these people. A lot of you that are finding our podcasts, probably have loved ones who are struggling with addiction. They may live at home. They may not live at home. They may be, uh, teenagers, you know, under 18, or they may be legal adults.
So Lane, I know every day you have tons of people calling you, um, that you’re counseling with. Can you maybe share with our listener listening audience. You know, what do I do if I have a loved one and I want to help them get involved in recovery, or at least maybe going to recovery meetings, um, and then maybe even be open to treatment if they need, if, if that’s the level of care that they need.
Sure. Um, before I do that, because we’re on step one, maybe we could read the Rick, if you could read this one on your free family. For the addiction manual. And then for the family man manual, here’s the step one for those struggling with addiction, admit that you have yourself are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
This was as a family perspective. This is how we’re feeling. This is where Christy and I were come to understand and accept. We are powerless over the addiction of a loving. And recognized that our lives have become unmanageable because yeah, maybe they’re out of control there. They, they, their life has become unmanageable, but as a family member, our lives become a manageable, right?
I mean, how many times were we at three o’clock in the morning, couldn’t sleep because we’re trying to figure this out during the day. All we can do during the day is worry and have fear or resentment. It just, our life becomes unmanageable. And so that’s step one, realizing that, and under. Our lives are pat, you know, w we’re powerless over the addiction of another.
So anyway, Lane, why don’t you go ahead with, yeah. That’s sure exactly what Christy and Rick are talking about is kind of what I wanted to emphasize very frequently when a family member calls me and they are, whether it’s a mom or a dad or a wife, those are the three main. Uh, phone calls that I get, or, um, moms and wives first.
And then dad’s probably in that order, um, very frequently what I have to do on that phone call to mental health professionals, to quickly triage the situation. And what that means is I decide what’s the most critical situation and very frequently it is not the addict. Uh, it is the family member. Hold on.
Okay. You’ve got an addict. They are in active addiction. Their life looked incredible. What I just heard you say that is a big issue, but you’re saying a lot of times the bigger crisis is the family members. Absolutely. Yeah, because I’ll get a mom or a wife calling me in intense pain and say, Just almost a sick, sometimes more sick than their addict because they’re up at three o’clock in the morning, trying to figure out what to do because they are spinning their wheels because their addict is just joined the house, destroying the finances, destroying their relationship, losing their jobs.
They’re on the street, but it makes the family members sick. And so. I don’t have that addict on the phone with me. I don’t have that addict in the room who I have as a sick and a suffering family member. And I have got to, so being solution-oriented, I want to figure out how do I help this person? And so very frequently, it’s not let’s fix your addict.
Let’s fix you in spite of your addict. And so I’ll provide them with resources, the family group that Christy and Rick do on a weekly basis. Can I just say you’re doing an amazing job at that? I, you know, for the last eight years, we’ve tried to get our family members to come into our education classes because it really is a family illness.
And we can all heal together and it really does increase the likelihood of our loved ones, maintaining sobriety by we, we say like at least 80%, it’s huge and Lane like assist this miracle worker and that he, for every single client that we get, he’s getting. Typically an average of three or four family members, you know, for us to reach out and invite them to come and learn how to support properly.
So we have online, um, family education classes that are open to the public. And again, you can find that from renaissanceranch.com or just call Lane. But anyway, yeah. Keep, keep shining. So what do they do if they have a loved of. He’s resistant to, you know, which is normal resistant to wanting to come in.
How do you kind of encourage them to help them to get help? Yup. And there, there are some answers to that question, but I want to emphasize that the first thing you do is get healthy yourself, because if you are attending family groups, if you are working your own recovery, what you will learn is how to set boundaries.
And that’s how you’re going to help that family member one, you’re going to. Let them know what you’re willing and not willing to put up with. So you’re going to set boundaries. You may kick them out. You may tell them that you won’t support them in any way. Um, there’s, there’s various things that, um, if you call Renaissance ranch, I can help you navigate.
But really it is about getting yourself healthy. If you are unwilling to participate in the toxicity and the disease that is addiction, and you are insistent on being healthy and getting healthy, then. Your family member will get healthy with you, or they will continue on their downward path. If you know, you know what I mean?
I want you to address this as well. And you know, uh, Dave, as well, you were living, you told me before, you’re living at 37 in the same bedroom with your parents. That’s right. That you grew up in. And you know, it’s interesting because I heard it this way and tell the pain of the consequence. Hm becomes greater than the pain of recovery.
An addict won’t go into recovery. Cause they don’t think that there’s a problem. Cause there’s no real pain. They can’t really see it. Um, a lot of powerful. Yeah. A lot of times we, as family members, we think we’re helping our addict. We we’re, we’re, we’re thinking we’re helping when we’re actually enabling. In their addiction.
And there’s two things that make addiction worse. Number one is using, but number two is enabling. And just as an example, sometime ago, I was on the phone with a family member. Uh, their son was living with them in their home. Uh he’s in his thirties. Uh, can’t really keep a job, uh, as out all night, basically sleeps all day, uh, pays no rent.
Um, so there’s no real consequences, no financial. Uh, parents are perhaps paying him, you know, a couple thousand a month, so he can just live and survive. And, and they’re just doing that. They think out of love, but what’s actually happening is they’re enabling the disease of addiction and they, themselves, as family members are hurting, they’re sick, emotionally.
Uh, physically to some degree, and it’s just really, really well not knowing how to help, like how do I do this? So Lane work your magic. Yeah. And we think we’re helping don’t we, we think we’re helping, but we’re really an enabling and push out. Maybe you don’t put some meat on that bone. There is, you know, I, I say this in, in, you know, to every family member I speak with.
You have to recognize that love is setting boundaries. It means having the difficult conversations where you tell them, I love you too much to help you stay sick. And that means if you’re going to be using you, can’t do it here. This, this home and this body are a temple. And I have to keep them healthy and to do that, I can’t have anything to do.
Um, with, with your pathway downward, we are here. We love you. We would be happy to help you get healthy, but we will not in any way help you stay sick. There’s a quote that, um, that I’ve used in other podcasts that I tell family members frequently. Um, and that Dave Collister told me, and that is. The addict doesn’t die on the street. He dies in his parents’ basement.
I was told my two sons was struggling with heroin and we did a gentle intervention. And the gentleman shared to me on the phone if I come over and, uh, To do an intervention, you know? Yeah. And he was, he was attending our 12 step meetings that our church as well, we became friends with him.
He said, you’ve got to follow my lead. And I cried and cried for days because I knew he was going to say he was going to make me set boundaries. But he said to me, he said, how many 30 year old men do you know, that are still living in their parents’ basement with heroin? You said, he said that it’s, it’s a very deadly disease.
And I’m so grateful that he really. Helped us. So we did this general intervention and we gave a home, the bishops phone number, the homeless shelter and the transient Bishop’s phone number, you know, so they had something to fall back on and we, we were taught to share, I can, I can support you in your recovery, but I cannot support you in your addiction.
And if you are willing to start going to recovery, You know, and do actions of recovery. We will support that, but it was very difficult, but it was necessary. I mean, I don’t think that the boys and, and they have told us if we would have kept enabling them, they would have, they would have not survived their addiction.
And when we set boundaries and what a boundary is, a boundary is not against them or to them as your loving addicts, a boundary is for you to feel safe. That’s what it is, is for you to feel safe in your own space, in your own home. And a boundary is not a boundary unless there’s a consequence. And so before we set a boundary, that consequences has gotta be thought through and it’s got to be.
You know, solid when, when it’s not met, it’s simple. It’s the most loving thing we can do because it maintains the relationship. And we start setting boundaries, really small, really small steps. We don’t usually do something huge and really ask somebody to leave the home is the last possible thing. I mean, we would recommend.
Going yourself to 12 step meetings, getting involved in educational recovery classes, do everything you possibly can. And then you’ll come to where you’ll realize, and you’ll naturally know those limits, and then you can set, but it is. Loving thing you can do, because it helps maintain that relationship.
Otherwise the relationships kind of blow up, but, um, Lane, please continue. I felt like I should apologize. I felt like that’s fine. I want to put a fine point. I like Rick defining and I like to guys defining a boundary because I do want to kind of let you know about Andree a boundary when you’re setting a boundary, you’re telling the attic not what they’re going to.
But what you are going to do. So my home is not going to be a place where there are substances. So if you’re using substances, you won’t be in my home. Cause I don’t let anybody in my home. That’s using substances. I also won’t be around people who are high. Uh that’s I have that boundary in my life. Um, and there’s nothing wrong with you as a parent or a, or a wife, uh, who has an addict setting the boundary with them that I won’t be around people.
Under the influence. I won’t have it in my home and I won’t be around it. And I love you too much to help you. So take you places where you’re using it. I won’t let you stay at my house while you’re using it. I won’t be around you while you’re using. Cause I love you too much to help you die. I just can’t do it.
You know, so we can set those boundaries immediately. We can set those boundaries right now. Here are the things that I will and won’t do. And then what Christie was talking about it a little different than boundaries, but expectations. If I’m going to be in your life, here are some things that I expect to not start small.
I, I expect you to attend meetings. Um, maybe you expect from your child that UA, um, twice a week, or you expect, um, that is, uh, your urinalysis. So you expect them to pee in a cup and show you that they’re clean. Um, you know, you can, you can set these things, but you can have, you can set boundaries and you can have expectations.
For loved ones, they can resent you. They likely will resent you. I would rather have my loved one, resent me and live then appreciate how I helped them and die. Wow. That’s powerful. Can you share what your mother did with. You had a very wise mother. Yep. So I remember I have a very wise mother and a mother who gets what she wants from God.
And, you know, I was out there using, and I had money on because I had owned a business and so I could get the dope I wanted, I could stay high. I could, you know, stay in hotels and, you know, I was going to use until I was dead and I had the means. To use until I was dead. And then my mom went and prayed for stumbling blocks in my life.
And I started getting busted by the police and I started not being able to get high. And I started, you know, um, running into just, um, barrier after barrier after barrier to the point that getting high was so much work, it wasn’t fun anymore. And it ended up being those stumbling blocks and those barriers that were, that gave me pause long enough to have an awakening.
When I went, where I asked myself, what am I doing with my life? Who am I? And what do I stand for? I remember looking at myself in the mirror one morning in November of 2015 and saying, what are you doing? Lead, what is your end game? You know who you are and you know what you stand for and you have lost that.
And it was that moment that helped me call my wife and say, I want to get into treatment. I want to come home. Um, but it had to get uncomfortable first. It had to get painful and if, and if family’s on board and I can stay at home and, you know, they’ll drive me places or they’ll, you know, um, uh, allow me to use around them or have a safe place.
I’m not going to get to that place of pain, taking, taking. Uh, thank you. That was beautiful. That was awesome. This will dovetail because Dave, with your story, what are some of the things that happened that help you? Because again, it tell the pain of the consequences greater than the pain of recovery, people won’t go to recovery on a fan with your family, this for you or Mary, with your family, what were they doing to help? That helped your road into recovery that you can look back on that might help our audience. Yeah, no, my family was always supportive and let me know, they left me and. I would say it’s more what my family didn’t do.
And I’ll tell you I will own something that I was very manipulative to my family, and I minimized my part in everything because I didn’t tell. Responsibility for my actions. When you say minimize, what does that mean? And you said manipulate to, to, to lower the, the, the issue at hand. Maybe, maybe share a little bit more on that because yeah, sure.
So, like, for example, when I got my first DUI, you know, it was, um, I was on prescription pain meds and, and Somas and muscle relaxers and Xanax and, um, You know, the, what I told to my parents, which was a half truth was that I was using these substances because I was, I was hurting inside because I, I, and this is true with almost every addict that I meet and get to know I had.
Um, so I, I was a victim of sexual abuse in my. Um, on more than one occasion. And when I found certain pills, they, they took that pain away. You know, they made it so I could sleep all night. They made it so that I, I wasn’t feeling those feelings of your, your brain just goes through so many weird feelings through.
And I didn’t understand a lot of these things. And thankfully I, you know, through treatment and through therapy and I needed professionals to help me with this, but here’s how my manipulation worked is I would, I would use that as my reason and my justification for why I needed the pills. Why I just, I just overshot the mark.
I took too many. Um, I remember this one time when I was supposed to be tending to my little brother and sister. Well, my parents were out and, um, I had just gotten some Somas from a recent trip to Mexico, with a friend and I was just popping them left and right. And, um, I was sitting there. I was supposed to be 10 and my little brother and sister that are about seven and six.
And, um, and I’m eating a bowl of ice cream. And I, and I was so out of it. And so loopy that I literally passed out into my bowl of ice cream and next thing I woke up and there was paramedics and cause my little brother was so scared when he saw me do that. He didn’t know what to do. And he called the paramedics and I still did not come clean about having a problem.
I said that, uh, I made up something about how I took a pill, thinking it was a vitamin or something and I accidentally took the wrong one or, you know, and. I think here’s the thing. I think my parents and my family knew there was a problem with me, but because they didn’t know how to help, they were paralyzed and they chose instead to almost pretend like it wasn’t, it was nothing going on and, and never attack it and address it and confront it.
Um, and even through some legal things and different, you know, it was kinda like they let me just deal with it on their own. They didn’t offer. Give me financial. Um, they didn’t have the finances to help me, but it wasn’t, it was kind of just like I lived in another state and it was kind of just like, I try to keep things, you know, as low key as I could.
And just really, really just try to explain it away all the time. And if I could interject right there too. Thank you for being so vulnerable because as, I mean, you hear these stories. This is one thing that when I started going to meetings is just really tug at my heart is how, how vulnerable and honest recovery is, and individuals are so willing to share.
Um, and, and thank you. And that reminded me of the many years that I knew something was going on and just. Not realizing I was in so much denial and thinking, well, someday the boys are just being boys and they’ll just snap out of it. And I’m so grateful that one day into my mind came this thought. Why don’t you start going to these 12 step meetings?
Well, actually thought was call this missionary in our word or in our church. And ask him about their addiction recovery program, right? We’re members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. So I thought, no, I can’t do that because then they’re going to all know what a whore, bad mom I am and how dysfunctional our family is that I felt so much shame.
But then that was like this side of my head, the other side was, no, this is this. This could be about life and death. You need to, you need to figure this out. And I will tell you, by going to those meetings, we learned so much. And then we came home and started telling ourselves. Our boys that were struggling with the addiction.
All of the hope stories we were hearing were like, wow, we met this wonderful man. We need to have him on the podcast. Mike patients, you know, addicted to meth for like 13 years and, and he found recovery. And just, and I don’t think they recognized that you could actually recover from addiction. You know, if you’re out there right now using there is so much hope we have heard hundreds and hundreds of people over the last 15 years share their stories.
And, and, and, and people recover every day from addiction. And, um, when you go to your first 12 step meeting, I’m not kidding. You’re going to feel stuff you’ve never felt before. I didn’t even know how powerful the spirit could be till I went to my first meeting. It just blew me away. And then, um, You’ll know that you’re not alone.
You’ll know that there’s hope and you’ll learn from other people. And as a family member, we’ve learned what to do and what not to do. Right. Um, it was powerful. So today we celebrate recovery. We, we. We feel like the 12 steps and working those partners with Jesus Christ, with heavenly father, whoever you define your higher power as that is like the bulls-eye approach to healing.
It’s all the pieces of the puzzle coming together. And I love how both of you talked about complacency about how you thought you got that. And you came to respect addiction and came to recognize that this is something that I need to make sure I’m doing every single day of my life. Lane, Dave talked about the dailies.
Do you have a daily practice that you do now to maintain your sobriety? Yes. I use, uh, the wellbeing model, which looks at our emotional intellectual, spiritual, and social wellbeing. And so what I do every day, uh, and mind is generally towards the end of the day. I look back on my day and say, what Lane, what did you do today to take care of your social wellbeing?
Uh, and if I fell short, then I set a goal for tomorrow. Um, and I do the same with the emotional intellectual and spiritual. So every day I’m taking a measure of how my day went. Where I fell short and how I can do better tomorrow. Uh, so it’s kind of like the, you did the morning inventory, you do the morning work and you do the evening work.
Beautiful example. Yeah. Well, I do. And, and, you know, I keep thinking about what Dave, you just said, you know, you had some abuse from sexual abuse when you were younger. A lot of times that will trigger addiction later on. And we know that an addict will use a drug of choice to numb out feelings. This is a feelings, disease, disease, and they will want to numb out through their drug of choice.
Um, shame being the core center of all addiction. Uh, it can come many ways, but in the tree in treatment, uh, that’s what is dealt with. So the shame can be rid from our souls. So we don’t have to use anymore. With couple therapy at the ranch with the 12th steps. And people say, well, what exactly are the 12 steps?
The 12 steps to me are a practical application of the atonement of Jesus Christ doing for me, what I cannot do for myself, helping me read these things out, working alongside of a therapy. To help me to develop my, my contact with my higher power to help me read these things that, that are afflicting me that are a ball and chain emotionally and spiritually, that I’ve been dragging around that I try to numb out.
So it’s a powerful process. And those of you that are family members and are struggling and saying, man, I don’t know what to do now. I’m hurting. I’m sick. I’m just physically hurting. Call Lane. He will be able to counsel with you, give you some ideas. It may not be that your addict is ready right now to go in.
But one thing for sure, that will help is you work in your cut recovery is the number one thing that will help your loving addict. Not Rick, not you working your recovery from drugs or alcohol. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking recovery from the emotional pain, the resentment, the fear. Uh, recovery from not learning, um, um, how to set boundaries, all of that stuff and counseling with Lane will really, really help you.
And it’s free. Also, what will help is going to 12 step meetings. You can find them online or, and coming to our meetings, we. As a ranch, uh, for coming, coming five meetings. And you can zoom in there. Zoom meetings, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. One of them is strictly a woman’s meeting that is only for women, which is just a sacred experience and very needed and helpful.
And I Christy and a, another individual run. So as some are taught from a parent perspective in stem, Perspective, because if you have a spouse, it’s really nice to kind of hear, you know, what worked for this other couple. And every one of our educators have a personal recovery experience with their own addiction or with a family member addiction.
And, um, we’re growing this program. We use a healing through Christ manual. Uh, I want to show that rolling quick. We love this. This is the best workbook I have found on the internet for, uh, family members who have a loved one in addiction. And it’s the blue right here. It’s. Hope and healing for family members who have loved one in addiction.
Um, we love this manual because it has the 12 sets in it with the questions where you journal. That’s how you really start to apply the steps to your life. And then the second half is the appendix. While you’re learn about the disease of addiction, you’ll learn. How do I set boundaries? How do I detach from the negative part and maintain this beautiful, sacred relationship with my loved ones?
You guys recovery. Um, it’s for the whole family. I just so critical that you, as family members start learning this information, um, that you learn how to set boundaries and learn how to be happy, regardless of the choices being made around you. Um, our next episode, we’re going to talk about codependency.
Those are some enabling behaviors that family members just naturally pick up just from the fear and the frustration of not knowing what to do and the despair actually, you know, um, there’s enabling or rescuing behaviors predict. And suffering behaviors. So we’ll talk about that. We’re going to actually be, um, moving on to step two, which is, comes to believe that the power of God can restore me to spiritual and emotional health.
So join with us, um, again, uh, in a couple of weeks, we’ll get that podcast out and it’ll be wonderful. Thank you so much. And God bless you and we’ll be praying for you. Thank you. And thanks to our guests lane and Dave, we love you. And, and we learned vicariously from each other. And so appreciate your willingness.
Thanks for kicking the tires. Wonderful to have you here and to see you so vulnerable and helpful to many. So thank you. Thanks. Thanks everybody. We’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.
Podcast Video Episode 4
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to family addiction, recovery podcast, where Rick and Christine Dickson. And we are so excited to be here today with our guests. We actually have parents, Sam and Heidi Nelson and their son, Sam Nelson with us today. And we’re super excited to have Gil Pope who actually was the therapist that helped us family when Sam came through our treatment center about three years ago.
So with that, I want to talk to you a little bit about what we wanted to cover today in our podcast. Um, we’ve covered step one in episode three, we’re moving on to step two tonight, just like in our family education classes, we usually talk a little bit about this. And then we talk about a skill, some of the topics and the themes that we need as family members, as we are trying to, um, navigate the effects of addiction in our homes.
And, um, and talking about step two today, I will never forget when we started going to our 12 step meetings. Um, how I looked, I remember seeing the poster and it was step to come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual and emotional health. And I remember looking at that and thinking, oh, is that even possible?
Because I had got to a point, um, with addiction in our, in our home with our two boys where I remember this is kind of sad to say, but I remember, um, hearing people laugh and I would think to myself, oh, I remember when I used to laugh like that, I will probably never laughed like that. I had no idea how much depression had been coming into my, my life and how my thoughts and my behaviors were becoming so hopeless and, and with so much despair.
And so when I saw step two, you know, come to believe the power of God can restore you. I was just in awe of that thought I’m like, is that really can not really happen. And I’m here to share with you today that that does happen. That as we’re willing to just open our minds and our hearts to this idea of a higher power, um, someone that can do something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.
And for me personally, that’s heavenly father and Jesus Christ. And, and we invite everyone to find not only their higher power, but find that connection of what works for them and what resonates as true for them. And they’re in their own hearts and souls. And so we are so grateful to have this family with us today.
Yeah. I love what you just said, honey. And, um, you know, recovery is not only a, uh, a powerful thing for the loving addicts in our lives, but for family members, you know, as, as an addict, there’s a lot of, um, trauma. There’s a lot of devastation, a lot of, uh, shame, guilt, um, self hatred, um, as family members, uh, there’s a lot of, uh, disconnect, uh, fear, uh, resentment, anger.
And so, um, what we learned, the best thing we could do is to work on our own recovery, uh, recovery from these emotional things as well. And so this step two, I remember in, uh, in a family group when, uh, the, uh, instructor says, uh, do you really trust a God, I know you believe in them in a higher power and a God, who do you really trust?
And I had to look inside myself because I was traumatized where my boys going to die from addiction. I was trying to control it, trying to stop it. I was angry. I was mad at them. I was mad at her. And you remember that. And um, this idea of come to believe that the power of God can restore me to spiritual and emotional health.
That was a powerful thought and idea. So we’re excited to be here with, uh, with all four of you. We’re grateful that you’re here. So Christy, why don’t you go ahead. I want to share too. I am so grateful for Kel being here because the goal of this podcast is a blend, the voices of the person with the addiction.
The family member and then have a clinician here to help straighten us all out. Right. So Kel, thank you so much for being here. And, um, maybe Sam, I think we should start with you. I would love you to introduce, because you were the one that brought this family into recovery. I mean, it took, and it takes a lot of courage.
Doesn’t it to actually decide. Okay. I’m going to accept, help. I’m going to reach out there. So maybe share a little bit about your story and then, um, maybe introduce your mom and your dad and kind of once your story and how you invited them and how did you get them involved in recovery too. That’d be all.
Yeah. Um, so yeah, this might my parents, Chris and Heidi Nielsen and grateful for having them here. And, uh, yeah, I guess it would really all start when I was born and raised by these two, uh, all the family dynamics and everything. And, uh, I won’t go into too much detail, but it’s grown up with super loving parents.
When I did start to get into my addiction and, uh, carry that on. We’re here to support me and, and help me through, through everything has been such a blessing. Um, as far as my story goes, uh, it’s kind of where it starts. Uh, I started off using drugs, marijuana that was in my high school days, and then grew up thought I grew up and decided to serve in LDS.
Mission. Went on my mission, came home, uh, played football for the university of Utah for a year after my mission. And while I was there, started using again, uh, primarily again, marijuana and alcohol, and it just became my, my number one in life and, uh, followed that path for a while. Until one day I work with my dad had, uh, construction company, family construction company, and just was struggling really bad.
And we had a chat. Decided to give Renaissance branch a call. And I remember getting on the phone that day and Jimmy answered, I don’t say names, but Jimmy answered and said, yeah. How about you guys come in today? And I was like, like right now, I’m here in the office. So now it’s like, all right, let’s go.
And I was more on the reserve side, like, well, let’s just give it a few days. Let’s hear about this. So let me ask you, you said a minute ago, drug I was using drugs and alcohol. It became my number one. What do you mean by that? What, I mean, it becomes a priority, but, but what do you mean what happened?
Okay. That’s a good question. Uh, I think that it’s tough to answer because you don’t really, I didn’t really know it was happening at the time. You know, just kind of takes precedence over everything else. Everything I was doing slowly became I’m going to do this so that I can drink. So that I can smoke whenever I want.
Um, really just drove everything. Uh, what I think the most important thing that happened to you was, is kind of split my life into these two different paths of this is Sam who I know I am like to use, uh, to do this stuff. And then there’s Sam, the good son, good brother, brother, you know, this and that, and really kind of split.
And the more and more I would use, the more I was on this road, on the road of me wanting to, so you’re living two lives, you’re living two Sams. Yeah. And they started out, I would get, say more as the sun and hiding this a little bit, but slowly and slowly as the years went on, I was fully invested in, we prayed that so much.
That’s like that cognitive dissonance, right? Well, you do, you do start living these separate lives and it becomes a very complex and complex. Absolutely. Um, you know, one thing, are you okay if I share a little bit? Yeah, no, listen, listening to Sam talk, I think so much about, you know, the nature of those two lives that we try and bounce so much.
And we go back to this theme of like codependency today and, you know, with, with permission, you know, having worked with Sam, I got to see so much of his desire to please who to be the person who he thought his parents wanted him to be and kind of pleased the expectations that he’d created for them, not even necessarily what they had said or done, but he kind of created this own thing in his own mind.
And so, yeah, he created what we call cognitive dissonance and that’s where reality just does not match up with what we think is actually going on. And it was a big thing and it’s really common for a lot of people to go. But to hear him talk about it today, it’s just such a common story and loved ones go through, especially with the religious family.
There’s a lot of action. Would you say this could be shame-based or partly, or, uh, mostly? Or what do you think? Yeah. I love how we laugh today, right here. So I love, I got to say, I just love the family, cause like we can laugh about it today, but you know, just it’s, there’s so much fear entangled with the idea that we’d even address the word shame within the family system.
Right? So many families are based off this either. Like, no, we just love our kids or we just love each other. We want to make each other happy. And ultimately we talk about things and reality always comes back to the same thing. There’s unhealthy belief systems that we maintain. We hold on to them and the slightest behavior, while it may have the best of intentions, creates a message that is some so sometimes so difficult to let go of.
Okay. So let me ask you kale. We know that the shame, uh, is the core center of most addiction. Can you explain what the difference is between shame and guilt, guilt being good, of course, in shame not. And that, you know, as an addict, an addict will use their drug of choice to numb out this shame. Well, what is it if it’s the core center?
So, yeah, that’s a really good question. Cause I think that’s something that a lot of people struggle with. We always kind of use the two words of like guilt and shame like interchangeably. And honestly, they’re just not right. The one example I’ve used quite frequently is it within our lives that we all exist within like our own set of core values, a moral compass, right?
And that’s a term that’s commonly used in the field. And so when we talk about like our moral compass, that’s typically what guides and directs all of our behaviors. And so when we talk about guilt, that’s typically us acting or engaging in behaviors that are contrary to our own moral compass. When we talk about shame, that’s typically our emotions related to us acting outside of somebody else’s moral compass.
Meaning I am a bad person because I’m not living up to what my parents would expect of me. And when we throw like religion in there, you know, that’s another culture that most of us expectations, like culture that we all exist in. And so when we talk about like religion, it becomes this whole thing.
That’s like, I’m not a good member of any organization. If I can’t adhere strictly to these behaviors and expectations. So shame is, yeah, I’m not, it’s not even, I’m not good enough. It usually comes out and like I’m worthless or I’m horrible, or all these things that just aren’t. Character so unfair. Right.
I love it. That’s what I hear. I love it. And we’re going to, and I knowing Chris and Heidi, because, because we’re deep friends from our family group from years ago, I know that the dad’s going to get into that part because I just remember you always introducing yourself and found the group was, Hey, I’m, I’m Chris, I’m the king of shame.
But anyway, now, and it’s still fun. You got to talk about things and I know we’ve covered a little bit of that in the first episode. So if we can, I would like to get back to Chris a little bit. Let’s keep going on or stop. Sorry. Sound
down. Okay. So here we are, you, you guys are like come into treatment and you’re like, okay, let’s go today. Wow. That must’ve been exciting for, for mom and dad, for sure. But let’s come back to your story. So here you are coming into treatment, just kind of speaking on, on the shame thing. Uh, I think a lot of the.
It was part of that. I always wanted to please, my mom and dad, I guess you could say, or be the person I thought that they, they wanted me to be. And I think a lot of that is what got me in the door in the first place. Um, and, uh, just wanting there, there was a lot of wanting to get better on my end. I think I was just tired more than anything of trying to balance these two lives that I was talking about and all the lying and hiding more than anything, I think hiding is the best word.
Um, and so yeah, we went and decided to enroll. Is that the right word? Enroll in outpatient therapy I’ll use, yeah, we’ll use school words in depth. So then I did outpatient therapy for a few months and, uh, I was suggested that I should graduate to a higher level of care to then go in-house of in-house treatment, residential, residential treatment.
Yeah. And did that for 3 months. Um, got out and, uh, it worked a little bit, but I still was in small to behaviors and relapsed a few more times. And then finally had my last drink on the night of February 7th and woke up February 8th and had been sober for three years today, now three years today.
Congratulations. So, oh, well, so there were some relapses, but then all of a sudden it was like done. What, what, what was the catalyst for that? Like how did that, that’s a good question. Um, and just thinking about it, preparing for this podcast and everything is, I think it all does come back to step two that I finally came to believe that there’s a power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity and helped me never drink or drug again.
And, um, that took time for sure. It took almost almost a year, um, to the date, to, to come to believe that just in pondering things, I feel like most alcoholics, most addicts. Are half step one covered. Um, they usually know that they’re an alcoholic or an addict, whether they’ve admitted it to themselves or to people around them deep down, you know, I, while I’m using this stuff a lot and probably shouldn’t be ruins a lot of things, but, um, I think step two is where the real work starts for, for most of us.
Um, to finally believe that you don’t know what you’re doing, but someone out there does and someone can help you. And, uh, that’s why I’m super grateful to the ranch and to the people that mentored me through the ranch was seeing them and seeing that it did work, that there, there is something out there and maybe I should listen and really came to believe that if I did, I could be like these people that I, that I really looked up to.
And, uh, so that’s, that’s really where it changed. I think that morning I went to my first early morning AA meeting at the Atlanta club, and then I hit that meeting every morning. Like a three, four or five months. I can’t remember how long, super long time and awesome that’s got a sponsor. I finally got a sponsor after almost a year.
I just finally did what people were asking me to do. And once I did that and stopped trying to restore myself to say them and things started clicking and it became a lot easier. I think earlier I said, I was just tired. I was still tired that whole year, trying to, it was even harder. You know, now I’m getting drug tested and have people asking me if I’m using every day, it just got harder and harder.
And I finally just gave it up and decided that someone else can help me for a while. So, um, and so, you know, I think that’s interesting your, your, your vulnerability, your honesty, and that you says, look, um, it took a while for me to buy into, to believe that my higher power, my heavenly father could truly do for me.
What I. Could not do for myself. And, you know, as a faith-based Christian treatment center, this is what we believe is just right in line with what you’re talking about. That the 12 steps are a practical application of the atonement of Jesus Christ that grace, that truly can do for us, what we can’t do for ourselves.
It just takes a minute for us as loving addicts and family members that are really struggling, both sides to really understand. That’s why it’s so powerful for all involved all family members. Cause this is a family disease, so important for all of us to work the 12 steps together. And step two helps us as family members as well.
That’s just, that’s just awesome. And I was excited to ask Heidi. So, I mean, I, I’m just thinking back as a mother, you know, when my son made that decision to actually go, go into treatment, how did that make you feel that day? Sam was now going to be in a safe place. Like, like where were you? What, what, tell us about, tell us about your story.
Um, where were you? My story probably goes way back again, like Sam said when he was born, but first answer the question, how I felt when he went into treatment, I was pretty, not emotional. There was not, I was like, whatever treatment I, I came from upbringing where I believe that you just back up and you just stopped drinking.
This is ridiculous. So was Sam, you know, I don’t know how many times we had the discussion. I’ll never drink again, mom. I’m like, okay. Cause that’s what we do. We don’t drink again. And we won’t tell dad this time, but you know, if you do it again, Sam, we’re going to tell dad. So it just, this was a pattern. So these two are really responsible.
Well, yeah. And Chris would tell me Samson addict and I’m like, okay, He’s not an addict, he just drinks. And, um, so I was really the, really the non-emotional part of the trio here. Those two were working at and Chris fully believed he was an addict and mom was like, oh no. And I’ll tell you why is because, like we said, Sam was a people pleaser.
And so we, when I have five boys and one girl and our fifth son, when he was born, he was born with special needs. And so I kind of thought, well, this is my lot in life. I’m going to have a son with special needs. And then my oldest son, um, came out gay and I’m like, okay, I can, you know, that took awhile and that’s another podcast in itself, but we’re kind of dealing with that too.
And then we had some other issues going on. And so Sam’s issue was just in the background because Sam was kind of our golden child. If I daresay. Sam did everything right. And I never worried about Sam. So I think when Chris kept telling me he had an addiction, I was like, oh, not Sam, Sam’s too smart for that.
Sam’s too bright for that. Sam is like, he’s always done everything. Right. And, um, so it took me a long, long time to admit one that Sam was an addict and two that he needed treatment. So I wasn’t really involved in his treatment until one day he had been in California and he hit rock bottom and he was flying home from California.
And, um, his girlfriend at the time said, can you pick him up? I think he’s in a bad way. And it was that night that I finally looked at Sam and said, I understand you’re sick. And that took all the pressure off of Sam. And it took all the pressure off of me because finally it became a real thing. Um, it wasn’t any more to say I’ve just stopped doing.
It was, Sam is sick and we need to deal with this. And so it was a huge education for me as a mom, um, being a very religious person out of fear. And that’s, I wasn’t raised that way. It was my personality. I was obedient because I was fearful of God. Um, and so today, three years later, I’m still working on my recovery.
I worked with a sponsor once a week and I’m at step two. I’ve been through the steps, maybe five or six times now, and I’m still stuck on step two and we can get later into my fear of God and why, um, why I have such a hard time turning over my will to God and learning that he is a God of love. And so that’s kind of where as a mother, I think I’m a backwards mother.
I think I didn’t react like most, most did cause I just thought he could stop.
So the us just stop, just stop doing that. But finally, when she learned in essence that, you know, Sam’s not a bad person needing to be good, he’s a sick person needing treatment to become well. What did that feel like Sam, when mom finally, emotionally almost says I get where you’re at. What did that do for you and to you?
Yeah, I think she alluded to it pretty well and just putting, taking the pressure off of me and an off of them. And I think taking the pressure off of our relationship together, where before it was kind of, I don’t know how to explain it. Like there was this thing blocking our relationship, you know, this elephant in the room, you know, I felt sick.
And after I had been going to treatment learning all these, all this stuff, that it is a disease and she just wasn’t really getting that. Um, still that, that finally, it didn’t feel like that was blocking it. Um, became the common enemy in a sense. And we were then working as a team more than on my own or against one another.
Must’ve felt really good for you to feel understood. Finally, now mom is really is hard. You know, this really is a disease. This is tough. And you know, I love Kelly. I love that. You mentioned that Sam was a people pleaser because when, when we, when our son went into treatment and we were in our family education class, I remember our family counselor talking about the fact that, uh, codependency a lot, most of the time and Kelly, you can help me with this.
Most of the time, people that fall into addiction or codependent first, they, they do have relationships in their life. That mean a lot to them and they want to be, they want to show up. They want, they want to make, you know, they want to have that good relationship and the good feeling. Yeah. How’d that mutual respect, but that codependency a lot of times is, is, is kind of the root right.
Absolutely. And you know, it’s interesting even hearing, you know, you say like, oh, it was the backwards mom. You don’t have thoughts about it. And you know, I kind of smile even when I hear him talking, cause like knowing them now and like reflecting them back, like where you guys were. It’s really kind of funny to me.
I’m like, I can’t imagine like even going back to that place now. Um, but you know, when I think about it, I just, as you said, that was like, man, how little we recognize codependency in our lives and how it manifests itself in so many different ways, you know, just that emotional disregard and, and the avoidance of all the emotional honesty with it, that in itself was codependency.
Right. You know, oh, we’re not going to tell that this time, we’re just going to stop them and tell that. And once again, it’s that thing, it’s like, we can just fix this and we’re going to be just fine. And that that’s another form of codependency that demonstrates and manifests itself so frequently. But so many times we don’t acknowledge that as it, because everyone has.
Mindset of what it really looks like. Oh, you means you’re doing everything for them. I’m like, no, sometimes it just means like ignoring things just because you don’t want to address. There’s so many different sides and faces of codependency. For sure. I read a statement this week said with 19 million Americans suffering from depression, either perpetrating or stemming from codependency, it’s important to be aware and reflect upon our own behaviors and motives.
So basically if I can define codependency for our viewing, uh, listeners, um, it’s co is the word that means with, and then dependent. So we become very our thoughts and emotions and feelings become very tied up and dependent on this person that we love so much. And, um, Rick has a great way of defining codependency, telling your bias where our life, where our life stops and there starts cause we’re so admission.
In other words, a quick definition of codependency is if, if my loving addict is doing good, I’m doing good. If my loving addict is not doing good, I’m not doing good. That’s co-dependency and that’s not what our heavenly father wants. He wants us to have joy and happiness, no matter what’s happening. And that’s what recovery does for the family members of those struggling with.
So now I’m super excited. Come over here to dab. So Chris, and how do you actually, our, our newest family educators there on Tuesday nights and, um, they do a great job helping family members. We work our 12 steps together, and then we always work on the skills, but, but dad for you, Chris, so now your son is going into treatment.
And it’s interesting because when you guys first came in to at least to our family, you know, a few years that it seemed like you guys have you two have kind of reversed roles a little bit, a lot of time, we see the female, like for me, I can speak from personal. I’m the enabler, the helicopter mom, I’m going to fix this.
This is going to, you know, this is my job. And then he’s kind of the tough one. And then you have a lot of emotional dishonesty between, cause I have just trying to keep the peace over here. Cause he’s being so hard, Bob with the kids, right? Because laughing with you too, you kind of reverse the roles. So Chris was a little bit more of, I think, working with your son every day, that connection of I’m going to, I’m going to help him.
I’m, you know, a little bit more of, I mean, is this fair to say that you may have been a little more than Naval? You may have been a, but more of that tough love, you know, I’ve got these five boys and just fuck up and just put it aside and ignore it. So that’s a big, a big, uh, rescuing behavior as well as that denial for sure.
But yeah. Chris helped a little about your story. Yeah, I was. I’m starting those off. Like we were at a meeting covering codependent. Uh world’s greatest nonverbal shamer pastors and shaming, doctorate, and non-verbal shading. Right? I can give a look there. We’ll just use Rick’s words. Take your wind pipe out and beat you with it.
And that’s a tradition long hell. I mean, it’s, it’s generational. I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just saying it’s something that we learn traditionally. Um, a little bit of background is my father, um, was an alcoholic my whole life. Um, great guy, wonderful human being. Couldn’t ask for a better dad, but boy, what I would give to, uh, had Renaissance rage, um, and the 12 steps in, in my life as a young man and, and learned how to talk to my dad.
Like my son, Sam here can talk with me if I, if I would’ve known recoveries and use that as recoveries, I think, want to refer back to that. But, um, it, uh, our lives in my household growing up would have been so much better. And I know my dad didn’t want to be an alcoholic. Just like I knew Sam didn’t want to be an alcoholic, um, in my heart of hearts when we’d have that battle within ourselves, when you’re talking about travel and what just blows up the family is the arguments with Heidi.
And I would be as well. And I’d watch my dad for 50 plus years of my life. And if you want it to, he would’ve quit. I just, I didn’t know where to get those skills. I didn’t know where to help. I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to access any of that. Um, and so hindsight’s 2020 on that, and that’s why I’m here doing this podcast.
I mean, step 12, anything I can do to give some ladders on the games of chutes and ladders to some families I’m all in. Um, well what did they do for you personally, as you started coming into family group and working your own 12 steps, I may have pulled their Renaissance much out of it. You guys, because a lot of people can’t afford treatment.
So we’re here to tell you, you can start going to 12 step meetings. Yeah. And that’s what we did. We started going to 12 step meetings. They’re free. They’re everywhere. They’re in your communities, they’re in your local churches and you start learning these principles. And man, there’s a lot of hope that comes in, right.
And a lot of recognition of what you can do. Well, I want to talk to is mostly the parents. I mean, Sam did a good job talking to, to those that are suffering, but, but from parents, I didn’t understand that. So just back up just a little bit, when Sam and I call up and Jimmy says, Hey, come on in today. We’d go out there and meet this awesome dude who just sits down and does an intake that like, I was like, whoa, this guy’s bad day.
And he starts to try to tell us background and where he’s from, what’s going on. I’m like, this is exactly what it’s saying to me. It’s just all like, let’s just leave me here. But, um, he starts on the outpatient. That’s why it’s important about this timing because actually I didn’t realize how much of a contributor I was to Sam’s addiction.
And I would just say that as part of my getting well, um, I need to be honest with you about that. So, um, we’re going out patient and we get home and there’s a letter from this woman named Christy Dickson and invites us to go spend more of our time in a family class. And I’m just feeling like we run to the finish line, had gotten Sam in there and I thought it was over.
Right like, he is going to run out patient right now. Um, everything’s going to be solved from here. And then this woman wants more of my time and I’m like, oh my goodness, what do you mean? We’re going to go to class and what are, why are we going to go to class? And so I’d say reluctantly went out to the 90th south upstairs.
And I mean this room and meet these two wonderful people who are just happy. And I’m like, what’s going on here? I mean, these people are like two kids that have been totally addicted. Um, they’re telling me how much peace and love they have in their lives and everything. And I’m like totally confused. And I’m like for two or three sessions, two or three weeks, I’m just shaking my head going really.
I’m going to, I’m going to drive all the way out there, traffic time. And I’m going to be in a meeting for two and a half hours. I’m going to drive home and my whole night shot. Why am I doing that? When I’m already like spending all my time. If you’re an outpatient, I’m doing more work. I’m, I’m just having all these crazy kind of thoughts, right.
All this stuff. And, um, so, but the reason why I’m getting this point is, is that without that, um, I would have continued to be a roadblock for Sam’s recovery because on about week three or four, I started to hear about work on your own recovery what’s going on. And I had to look inside, I had to say, and I remember you telling me, Hey, he didn’t cause it, you’re not going to cure it.
And you’re not, um, you’re not going to control it. And I was like, oh, control him. I’m trying to, I’m totally trying to control this deal. But then the one that really hit me was that I did have contribution. And, um, and I, I took it really to heart, like what have I done to contribute to Sam’s addiction, but more importantly, what can I do to contribute to him getting well?
Um, and so I think we locked in on the family classes. Then it’s important to know the timeframe is, is that as Sam mentioned, you went through out. Then through intensive outpatient and then into inpatient rehab, Heidi alluded to when you went to California and you’re cool with me just having this. Um, so here’s the situation that never would have occurred without us being in, working on our own recovery is, is that Sam is down on a vendor down in California.
It’s a bad one. Um, and, uh, he comes home and he has decision point in his life. Um, get a call from an Uber guy who had your phone. We still laugh about all this stuff now, you know, it was the second last one of that traffic. And, uh, so who knows where Sam is, he supposed to be on this flight and Heidi and I drive out to the airport and we’re circling around and we’re circling around and we’re sitting around, there’s no Sam and he’s not showing up.
Um, and, uh, we were sitting in silent prayers and we’d been through the recovery classes for months now. Um, and, um, my point is that we’re in a much different frame of mind and we were speaking recoveries and we had some skills and some. So Sam had gotten on a track stream and was headed for downtown, not going to be his mom and dad.
Um, and, uh, no divine intervention, right. I believe, um, getting back and we just kept circling for our son. And then there he was. And the interaction that happened at that time was 180 degrees from what would have happened the first time when you got in the car? I would just, if I said anything or not, I would have beat you with your windpipe on what had gone on and didn’t understand where you were.
I don’t think your mom would have understood that you were sick. And so between mom understanding that you were sick and me having some skills to actually communicate with you rather than make you want to go use, um, we had a chance and so we drove home. I’ll never forget. We drove in the garage and we shut the door to the car off and we sat in silence for a while.
And then we basically said to Sam that we were there. And want to know his plan to see if we could support it. And I wasn’t trying to fix him. And I wasn’t trying to enable you and I wasn’t shaming you for the first time. Um, and that was because of schools and tools that we had invested in during the weeks prior that actually taught us how to not do that.
So my, my point for anybody to listen to this podcast right now, don’t feed for a second, um, that you can’t help your loved one, but it’s not by making them change it’s by changing yourself. Um, so it wasn’t until I changed myself that I feel I give this guy a fighting chance. So Chris, let me ask you if that was powerful.
Wow. You said something that was really interesting. Um, you said something to the effect that prior you, you, you, um, contribute to his addiction. Uh, you’ve mentioned shame. Maybe we had to just define that just for a second. For some that have not heard our other podcast, Shane being the core center of addiction.
Um, it it’s, it’s painful. It’s emotionally hurtful. That’s why an addict will use our drug of choice to numb out that shame and shame is, is, you know, guilt is, I did something wrong and I need to repent and be better. Shame is I am Raul. I’m a piece of work. I’m, I’m hopeless. I hate myself. That’s shame. And when a father or parent shames, they’re there, they’re loving at it.
Um, that causes emotional bleeding and cravings always come from emotional bleeding. Well, I met with my boys. I’d you shame them and they just want to go use, and I’m thinking I’m helping them. Can you share a couple of things that prior to recovery contributed to the shame? Or maybe Sam or maybe sound from your perspective?
What, what was it that was kind of caused you kind of want to go, man, I want to numb out. This is too, this is too much for me where my codependency comes in because I don’t want to get them mad at me.
um, I don’t know. That’s that’s a tough one to, to go on because she won’t be, I don’t want to interrupt. I won’t, he won’t be able to say anything because mine was non-verbal shaming. Sam knew what was expected by me. And if you did something wrong, did I ever really see? No, no. I agree that we take a look.
I’m sitting here trying to think about dealing though. Right? I sued it so far. Non-verbal shameless real can drive absolutely shame right? To the marrow of your bones, to the seat. Uh, non-verbally can you physically show what, what would happen? Something happened? What people it’s like, do you still have the skill set? We got some old skills, man. I think a lot of times though that with the nonverbal, now that I’m sitting here thinking about it, like, what are some of the non-verbal things? And I think one of the most powerful one growing up was, and I, again, it’s not out of any, uh, what’s the word I’m looking for.
It’s not in a bad way or anything it’s new. And my dad is just such a, a hard worker and always has been a hard worker, you know, in the yard, Saturdays doing yard work versus just wanting to lay on the couch and watch college football take things. And, uh, I know it was never coming from a place of, uh, wanting to shame us into working hard.
But I think a lot of times, especially as an alcoholic and you know, that battle between we have the biggest battle between. Uh, feeling shame and self pity and self-loathing while at the same time we have such an ego, you know, it’s such a weird dichotomy that, you know, to see him always working so hard and feeling like I’m never going to work that hard.
And he hates me because I don’t work as far as them. Just those, I think that that’s a small example of just kind of what it would feel like. Um, yeah, just, uh, trying to always reach a level of someone so great that it’s, it’s hard to do. Chris. You said something that you use, you did say a lot of things, but it was non-verbal, uh, develop that thought doesn’t color that I’ll put some color on it for you.
I was saying to Sam, um, this, this is how shaming works, right? We have another one of Sam’s brothers. He tells the story of when he would see the white truck pulling in the driveway. He would be on the couch, in the room that you could see inside from the driveway. And he would roll off the couch and crawl out of the room.
So his dad didn’t know he was on a couch watching TV, but, and Chris never, ever hadn’t like, he’s never, ever said, you know, you have to work, but they knew they knew they should be moving. If dad walked in the house, I heard the best definition of expectations there predetermined was that month. I will, I will answer your question.
What are the things that I think I became a master at was that I’m pretty fun and gregarious and get everybody involved. But then if, if I didn’t like something that was going on, I’d go quiet and I’d withhold love. And so the withholding of, even though I didn’t withhold love because I’ve always loved them.
I would cut communication a bit is, is I’ve been doing my own inventory myself and looking at what am I really bad behaviors is, is that I can, I can go pretty silent. I can ramp down and, and I can. Ramp up that feeling between me and a child by not being Mr. Fun, because I’m serious now about something.
Does that make sense? Yeah. It’s like this emotional abandonment, you know, is what happens and you actually think that district, but back in the day I can relate. Cause I used to think, am I supposed to kind of give them the cold shoulders? So they’ll get the message that what they did was really bad, right?
I’m not seeing anything within bounds. I’m not, I’m not a verbally abusive dad. And as long as I don’t do that, I’m fine. But actually I think we did have one young Polynesian, um, son. We had a lot of different kids that live with us through the years. And I remember one time, our one Polynesian, sunset, why won’t Chris just hit me.
Like my real dad does, because that would be so much easier than when I know that he’s disappointed in me. So through my inventories, my own inventory, I’ve been thinking. He’s telling me that he would have rather had me smack him than do what I do, even though I don’t know that I’m doing it. I do, but I don’t.
Does that make sense? I’m holding that whatever I’m doing to that is so painful to that young man and I’m thinking at least yet he was brilliant. He wanted to get hit by his real dad because his Polynesian dad rather than, and take the gears know that’s so true. That’s exactly what I would do when there was an issue I would emotionally abandoned, uh, my son or sons kind of, and Kel.
I, you know, I w I want to ask you this emotional abandonment we learned was, uh, the w well, let me back up and say this. Um, emotional dishonesty is fertile ground inside of a family for addiction, emotional, uh, you know, dishonesty, which emotional abandonment, when you emotionally abandoned a child, That’s an emotional dishonesty and it hurts.
It hurts. Um, it drives shame. I heard it said that emotional abandonment is the worst way you could drive shame. Can you shed a little light on that? And, and, and why that, I mean, I thought we were doing all good as a family, but man, that was a current under, that was taken our feet out from under us. Yeah.
You know, even hearing like listening to the comments and Jen I’d love like the insight and here it said, because so often we think of things, um, that we’ve defined as okay. Right. And, you know, I think everyone, for the most part culturally knows that it’s not okay to abuse your children. Right. Like you watch the news and you hear about severe cases of abuse.
And, and everybody’s like, oh no, I can’t believe that’s going on. You know, I don’t do that. And so we kind of give ourselves as a measure to say, we’re not doing these things. And we find acceptance with where we’re at, you know, and, and we forget. And please understand that I’m not justifying any negative behavior.
I’m just saying they are all coping skills, maladaptive coping skills that we’ve developed. It’s easy to withdraw my emotions, especially from a relationship with the person who I believe is causing me all the pain, right. If I can step away and say, Hey, I don’t have to feel emotion to your, whatever we’re going to call it.
Disobedience or disengagement or laziness, or however, we’re going to define it. I can emotionally step away. I can set this barrier, you know, you’re going to fill it. And this is a skill that, that, you know, some of us have developed our entire lives, right? This isn’t something that, that Chris audit’s obviously developed, like once he started having children, right?
This is something that he probably learned from very few that are perfected. Not all of us.
that’s the thing. Like he talks about it and I love the joke of like the masters and the PhD, because really that’s all it is. It’s education. And then some things that, that we have learned and developed, and we’ve become masters and experts in our own right. To. Right. And, and, you know, it’s so funny because like for a family that has such amazing insight, you know, for them to be able to bring up so few actual examples, that’s really good awareness.
It says like, yeah, this was something that became ingrained within the family that became such an unhealthy role that they stopped even identifying it as unhealthy. Right. And if we came second nature and we’re so quick to judge what we see as bad when we forget this like introspective nature, you know, Chris talked about it’s like when he realized the idea that like his help and his support for Sam wasn’t for Sam, it was for him.
And when he changed his nature and he stopped believing that he had that much control over Sam’s life. And he only had control in his life. All of a sudden he became capable and more than capable and amazing, you know, got his own masters at being connected with the son, you know, kill it. Typically we, we learned as we first got into the class.
Um, and I was worried, Chris was, you know, why am I here? I’ve already spent part of my retirement to get this, these kids heal. Why do I have to take my, you know, so I’ve got kind of a, why do I say this? But I remember saying, what do I have to do to fix these kids? I mean, I’m done with this. I’m a fixer. I can solve you just going to tell me how to fix it.
And very humbly our, uh, our instructor says the best thing you can do is to work on your own recovery. And that I’ve been set with me real good at first. But then I learned that not recovery from drugs or alcohol on my part, but recovery from this emotional dishonesty from shame, codependency, resentment, all these things.
And, uh, what I found is a family member of addicts, is it that’s really what helped our relationship, maybe Heidi and Chris, you guys, can I interject one thing here? I’d love it. You know, I, I think about where we learn these skills and people are always like, yeah, well, they can look at their own lives, but I think if you really want good insight to where we’re learning some of these skills look at your life professionally, because we find that like success in our profession is fixing the problems that arise within that profession.
And so it’s really hard to view our family is different from the success we’re having in a professional setting, right? When you talk about construction in the company, your job is to fix it, right? People turn to you and say, fix this problem. And they may not say that, but you know that your responsibility is a disease.
There’s no fix it, right. For as much successes as you guys have had, even professionally, that was really hard, like cognitive dissonance to separate from. It’s like, man, my life is based off of me fixing problems and figuring out solutions to everything, right. There is no solution to that. Then it comes down to, okay, so nine and we’re going to pull this back into step two a little bit, because you can see that we get to this place over here.
Our loved one has. We can’t fix it and it becomes, so it’s become so baffling that we come into these family education classes going, why am I here? And honestly, you know, Cal, and I’m so glad you’re here because you’re, you’re one of the few, there’s been so many research studies that have shown that if the family members don’t engage and they don’t start learning these principles, their loved ones come.
And we see it all the time and it makes me sad. They come into treatment, they work so hard on themselves, but they go home to the same family dynamics, the same codependent, fearful behaviors or, or angry behaviors or whatever. So Kel as, as in the field, uh, what I love about you as you get that. And you with your, your clients, especially in addiction, you pull those family members in as soon as possible.
So kind of share a little bit about your perspective with the family is what that looked like working with the family. And, and, you know, they’ve worked hard. I mean, I’ve seen these guys work, their steps really hard, and I’m talking about step four, that personal inventory, you know, they took taking that to heart, both from a mother and a father perspective and Sam’s work in his steps.
So now they have this common language, but back in the day, you’re drawing them in. What were some of the things that you felt like you needed to help them understand as parents that were helpful? So I have found in your right Christy, like I don’t, I don’t think you have to have your family present and find recovery, but man, it helps so much, right.
It can help so much in. You know, without going into specifics, um, I will, you know, Sam and I just laughed about this man, when I first challenged you to bring your parents and you were like, Nope, not going to happen. Nope. You don’t know my parents. Right. I’m bringing this and I’m sure I’m sure there were inappropriate word shared on both our sides. It’s like, Nope, this isn’t working, you know? And I think one of the very first things and they would, they could attest to this if I’m right or not. Um, and the reason I say this is because it’s something I do with most families and every family.
Cause when I start family work, like my first and foremost discussion is like, I’m not here to save your relationship. I’m here to teach you guys how to decide what your relationship’s going to look like because the family members can’t present themselves and work on those things for themselves. Like clients sometimes have to separate themselves and you know, vice versa as well.
Like, especially in the beginning, like I’ll bring in family members. I’m like, man, if, if the relationship is only toxic, sometimes that separation is the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves. And so to bring them in and have it, I would bet, you know, a lot of things that we worked primarily on communication style and learning to understand each other and just to share things in a non co-dependent way.
You know, I go back, I love movies. And one of my favorite lines in any movie comes from the movie. Cool runnings. And there’s a part where the coaches there and the head drivers asking the question, he says, he asked the coach why he cheated. And the coach’s response was like, you know, if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.
And so many family members think their loved ones are going to go in and get sober and we’re all going to be happy again. And so I challenged that immediately to come in and say, Hey, now it’s time to tell your dad, Sam, how you really feel about the looks and about the feelings, you know, and to be able to share with your mom how it feels to hear those things, and then getting parents to say the same things back to their children.
Without it being, and this isn’t parents, I use the example cause, cause we’re here tonight, but it’s husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and whoever it may be. But to relinquish that fear that keeps us from being emotionally honest with each other, because we think we’re going to cause somehow more problems.
And the reality is we’re not that cool. We can’t ruin each other’s lives. Oh, I really can’t get to that level of emotional honesty until we’re able to create a feeling of safety. Right. And so, um, I think we’re, we’re getting kind of close to time, but I want to come back to that step two, because if we can’t get to step two, it’s really, really hard to move to the other steps.
And every one of those steps is a divine principle that has so many blessings and promises attached to it. And I remember Rick and I had the opportunity for about 10 years to, to facilitate 12 step meetings in the jail, on the prison. And I remember seeing, you know, seeing people, the transformation and the men and women.
They are when they start working their steps and they came to find their higher power and that connection, that connection, that, where they felt that that love and, and hope. And I love that Sam, you know, said that so beautifully that, you know, he went through treatment, but he still was struggling until he finally funny, you know, have this willingness to believe in a power higher than himself, you know?
Um, but, uh, as you three have gone through recovery as a family coming back to that step two again, how has that helped you, uh, to proceed here other steps or to, to even, um, open your heart up to the ability to change? Because I think, I think Heidi, she, I saw a complete metamorphosis, I mean, like a caterpillar to butterfly because when she came in first, she was not happy.
Um, and the higher you may share what you went through and how that impact. The recovery process with you and with yeah. And why you’re thinking about the hiding too. I’m so similar. I had a complete different concept of God is a very rigid God. And I remember that when my sons were really struggling with their addiction and just going through, you know, gel things and hard stuff, my heart actually swell.
I felt like it just swelled with more love for them. And one day it was like, oh my gosh, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Like the more they mess up, the more I love them, you know? And does that mean that, you know, so that helped you recognize that no, God is not angry with me or he’s not punishing me.
Maybe he feels the same way. The more I mess up, the more he loves me. And so just, it’s just this whole different shift in our brains of what God looks like and what he feels like. And then really feeling that connection in our hearts, it kind of changes the ballgame. Right? I think. I love the word awakening and step two.
Um, I was speaking with my sponsor today and an awakening is a process. It’s not just an experience. Um, like BLW had. He had an experience, a spiritual founder, the founder of AA, but I I’m more of a having this awakening. And I remember walking into one of my first classes at the re uh, family education.
And I was just like, everyone here believes in God, what is wrong? I don’t feel that God, that you’re all talking about one. I don’t like calling my addict a loving addict, you know, that was really rough. And too, I was like, who is this? God, my God has rules. My God says, if you mess up, then you basically go to hell.
Yeah. You know? And, and yes, I said, I’m really religious. And I love my faith and I love being part of a religion, but I did not like this. And so it’s taken me to, I’m probably will be on step two, the rest of my life, I’ve gone on and, and I’m awakening to this idea of, but I want to feel God and I want to know my God.
And so working my step two, I have done deep study into what I thought God was, and then having no God to who my God is today. And I’m starting to feel him. And I’m starting to hear him through this awakening. And I have experiences that I’m like, that just didn’t happen. That must be God. And so I’m finding my own God language too.
And it’s step two is the best step I’ve decided it is way cool for those of us. I mean, it’s like I was reading today in a book and it’s like, some people walk into a meeting an education class and they believe in God, that’s that’s them. But there’s a lot of us that walk in saying, I don’t know if one, I don’t want God to judge myself.
And to, I don’t want him to judge me as a mother. We’re falling apart, we’re unmanageable. And so it’s really cool when you start feeling that God, that higher power and, and I think for a minute there, my higher power was just family group. I just I’ve been remember Cal, just, you know, having people explain this to me and talk to me and say, I’ve been there.
And I remember Cal saying, are you going to be okay if Sam’s not okay? And you know what, today I’m, I’m okay if Sam’s not okay, I I’m over that. And I think that is God, that’s God, that’s me relying on God and my step too, and saying I’m okay today. Even if Sam isn’t okay today and that’s recovery from co-dependency and that takes so much pressure off him.
Oh yeah, you guys, we got to wrap this up, but this is what I’d like. Um, just a thought to what does recovery do for relationship in this time? Mom and dad with the. You as the addict with mom and dad, when, when there’s recovery as a family, because addiction is a family disease, and maybe Sam, you can share with us what that meant in your recovery.
When you saw that mom and dad understood shame, they understood that this is a disease. This isn’t, I’m not being bad, needing to be good. This is, they understand that I’m sick and they’re not trying to control. They’re not enabling this or whatever. And they’re mostly being honest. What did that do for you in your recovery?
And then Chris, maybe you can share on the family side, what’s that done? Because what I saw here is before recovery, two individuals in the same family, a grand canyon apart emotionally, but now you become as one. Yeah. Uh, for me, what recovery has done is just, I guess, polished everything down to what’s really important.
And brought a lot of emotional honesty and, uh, coming back to the codependency thing, it’s, it’s because we both worked our recovery independently. And I think knowing that they have worked, their recovery helps me tremendously. Um, it takes a weight off my shoulder to know that they know that he is a non-verbal shamer or that she is the aggressor.
I guess be aggressive coming back to our first family meeting. I remember, uh, it was Cal. It just gave us a safe space to be emotionally honest. I specifically remember my member, remember my mom telling me something that I had done and that it hurt her. And I had never known that. And just to know that it goes both ways.
And so we both have to work on ourselves in order to come together. Um, just an example. I think this was just last week. I was over at my parent’s house with my daughter and coming back to the nonverbal shaming, Chris comes home and there’s trash by the back door. And none of the boys were all just sitting around the counter.
None of them had taken it off, taking it out. So Chris, you know, this does, this thing starts walking downstairs to get his shoes, gathers up all the trash. And I just see me and my younger brother, um, just kind of like, ah, you should have done that here. It comes again. Instead, you know, I just, I used to hurry, grabbed the garbage run out and then stress about that, you know, but today because I do work, my recovery, the most important principle to me for battling codependency is to focus on principles versus personalities.
And, uh, my principle is I want to be helpful to them that they do so much to me. If taking out the trash is one way I can do that, then I should do that and I will feel better about myself. And that’s where. And that’s where Chris begins. You know, I, it doesn’t matter what he expects of me. It doesn’t matter if he was gonna be mad if I didn’t or happy that I did that’s that does, that’s not what matters to me anymore.
What matters to me is that I feel good with myself. I followed my principles of being helpful and that’s that’s we can go from there. Um, and I, I, that really illustrated just the leaps and bounds that we both made me personally, especially on no, that would have carried on to in a week of work thinking my dad is mad at me because I didn’t take out the trash.
Yeah. There’s a code word. There’s a code word for that called differentiation. Like you’re learning how to like differentiate. You’re like, that’s, that’s his stuff. I’m not responsible for his stuff. And you’re able to say, that’s his stuff. I’m not responsible for that. It’s such a good feeling. When I learned I wasn’t responsible for the relationship my husband had with my son.
I was only responsible for the relationship that I had with my sons, but today’s a really special day. And so, um, I wanted you guys to share what, what is, what is special about today? Cause you were sharing a little bit about that before. Let’s hold on that one, Chris, maybe you could share now this idea of working your step as a family member, as a dad, what’s what’s that?
Why has that helped the relationship? Because the opposite of addiction is not, you know, sobriety it’s connection gets its true human connection and that’s what recovery does in recovery. How has that been manifest in your relationship with Sam a little bit before? What’s the disconnect? So if the opposite is of a addiction as meaningful human connection, what I found I was doing was disconnecting, right.
It wasn’t verbally, but it was emotionally a disconnect. So. I was becoming disconnected for the evening, your whole evening from there. I mean, I feel like crap, right? Um, one of the things that just came to my mind that I want to share here is when Heidi was describing the God that she believed in, how did two people, how were two people married for 30 years?
And until they went to recovery classes, I didn’t understand the definition of her. God we’ve liked served in church, joins together really helpful. We’ve read scripture together and everything. I didn’t know. Heidi’s definition of God and her fear. I knew a little bit, but I didn’t know how deeply different our interpretations of our higher power or we both, I knew that she believed in God.
I knew she lived in Jesus Christ. She knows. I believe in God that I wouldn’t use you guys were, we were actually, we’re shooting two totally different people, two different our interpretations of who that person was. And it wasn’t until, um, working our own recovery and I’d watch her and go to meetings and hear her share that I was like, wow.
Um, I understand this now this is like, wow. This was like, I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yeah, I’m really grateful Sam had his addiction because I know a lot more about my wife than I did going to these classes. Right. And getting these tools. I actually know, um, where she’s on now we joke around about it, you know, with, with her fear base of God.
And I was raised by a mother that man everything’s going to be okay. You know, it was my mom’s birthday today, which happens to be today. They were so close. Um, I think that might have something to do to February 8th. I don’t know. I don’t mean to throw that on you, but he’s a pretty special day for this guy.
Um, she’s since passed that, um, my older brother, when a group text was just talking about one of those mom hugs today, how, how badly she had her here. Cause it can make everything right and good. And that it’s sort of the image of God that I always had this loving God. And I didn’t realize my wife for 30 years.
I was dealing with a God of shame and everything, um, of fear. And so now what I understand that, um, I do things differently. I hope a little bit to help encourage, um, a little bit of healing in our relationship because that, that was, that was getting, uh, uh, that was a big enlightenment. And so I guess what I’m saying is, you know, a long way is, is that I’m really grateful.
Um, Sam has his struggles for me, um, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world in the education we’ve had and the life lessons that we’ve had. And when we’re talking about things, Sam’s, I’ve used the analogy of like, he’s just cleaning his side of the street. I, as a father and a husband, always creeping over to the other side and sweeping up the other kids we’ve been upstairs working on his side of the street.
Cause I, I thought I could really, really clean things up over there. I mean that commercial stay in your lane away for the last, for the last three years, I’ve been trying to like stay in my lane, stay on my side of the street, just worried about my gutter. And when I do that, man, things are so much better when I realized I’m not my son savior.
I mean, I remember when that was just a family recovery, a really sweet woman says, you know, I don’t need to be my son savior. And it was like, so believable that I thought I was capable of that way. She just that’s insanity. Right? I mean, you talk about how sick you are as a father. When you think you can be your son savior that you even pretend that you could be a savior of another person that that’s, that’s pretty sick.
That was pretty sick. And we don’t realize it. And we don’t realize that so many of these behaviors just happen, you know, because you’re, you’re, you’re trying to fix the unfixable, you know, and, but one thing too, that’s interesting with you, Chris, is as, and we see in our family rooms a lot is people come in and, and they come in for their, you know, for their spouse or their son, but they, they forget that they maybe have been raised by someone who struggled with alcoholism or drug addiction.
And so how did it help you as you started working your own steps? How did that kind of help you understand maybe your father and, and help you, and you tell us about that a little bit, but how did that kind of help put your, put some peace in that relationship with maybe your dad? So the only difference I see between my dad and myself and myself and Sam is that I didn’t take a drink and continue to drink.
I, I messed around with some alcohol in high school, and I’m glad I didn’t any more than that because if I had. I would’ve been coming up because I’m an alcoholic, I’m a dry alcoholic. What I’ve realized through my studies is that my behaviors and my thinking, I think exactly as an alcoholic, it’s in my genetic strain to think like an alcoholic.
Um, I did not use alcohol to go into numb out. I, I am member of the truth that Jesus dress latter day saints, and that I’ve lived the word it was originally. And that’s, what’s the only difference. And I don’t, I see that as a very small little difference between my dad and myself and myself and Sam. And I’ve come to realize that that the, basically it’s a thinking disease and I think like an alcoholic.
And so my recovery is so important to me because I’m on read to be around just like someone who’s not having a drink. If they’re not working to recover their Henri, you can identify the alcoholic in the room, not by when he’s drinking, but when he’s not drinking. And that’s me at times, if I’m not, if I’m a dry alcoholic, When I, when I read these, these, these words come off the page and how they think and what they do.
And the whole process is, is that I’m an alcoholic without the alcohol. So instead of a big, big way. So it’s helped me understand my dad. And it’s not that he was weaker or that Sam was weaker. We just dealt with it differently. Maybe have a little more compassion now, can I
no, you’re totally fine. We have to wrap up, but I was going to go with you Cal and say, Cal, can you sum this up for us? And from the clinical point of view from a clinic really quick, I’ll take 30 seconds because the woman, I always see ya. I just want to say the coolest thing about recovery is discovery, right?
And tonight I’ve like learned a ton more. And I think that is so cool. And like when Chris just said that. Um, that he didn’t realize I’m like, we’ve even worked that for three years now. And not until tonight. Did I really hear him validate my God? And I think that that was, that was really cool. And, and then it made me think just one step farther that because of my God, I numbed, I just numbed all emotion because I didn’t want to feel all this disappointment.
And I was letting down everyone and I’m tough and I can just buckle, you know, just get through this. And so every morning when I wake up, the first thing that comes through my mind now is I’ve got to fill it to heal it. And so I think because I’m learning about God and emotions, I’m becoming a much more emotional person, emotional attached, and it’s kind of prickly.
It doesn’t always feel right because I love numbing emotion. I can feel the emotion now and I can feel the pain, but I can also feel the joy. Right. And it’s way. Cool. And, and that’s tonight, I’m just like, oh my gosh, all this stuff I’m even learning tonight. That’s why they say addiction is a feelings disease, because we don’t want to feel as a loving.
You don’t want to feel as a family member. We don’t want to feel, we want to numb out. We just don’t numb out with drugs. Perhaps we numb out through shopping or through exercise or work or whatever. Are you kidding? You know, what’s funny about that is exactly what you said is exactly what I’ve been feeling this entire night.
Like, so, so viewers, you, you don’t get, like, I don’t, I don’t come to this, this isn’t like my thing to come to. But when I had an opportunity to come see this family, like man, all my family mean the world with me, but this is just amazing. Um, I am not like you because I spent so many years learning to cry now.
You know, I think about it. I love it. My sponsor this morning, I’m like, what is wrong? It’s perfect. Because you know, if there’s anything that I could say, it’s like being able to come here tonight. You know, there’s a thing that I learned a long time ago being a professional. And that is like, I refuse to take responsibility for anybody’s failures and in doing so I refuse to take responsibility for anybody’s success.
Cause you can’t do one without the other. And I think the message of tonight, that’s probably been the most clear for me. And probably the most end of the stamp that in for the day is like, as you listened to the family talk, each one of them has worked their own program and they haven’t worked each other’s.
And it’s amazing to hear their perspective, they’re sharing memories and experiences of what they’ve learned about themselves. And yes, along the way, they’re learning about each other, but each one of them is like, man, my foundation is based off of like who I’ve become and not what I’ve been able to do for other people.
Right. I was not a therapist for them. I was a therapist because I believe in the work and the passion and the love, right. It just so happened that we got to work together. Right. They didn’t become healthy. People are becoming healthier every day because they’re doing it for each other. They’re doing this because they found passion for themselves again, and what they believe in.
And because they work together, it’s something that becomes powerful and beautiful. And that’s like probably the strongest thing that I’ve seen for the night. Thank you, Cal. Well, we gotta, we gotta wrap up those, those of you, um, that, um, have loving addicts in your life. Um, you might be hurting, uh, you may want to have them engage in recovery, but you’re hurting as well.
Uh, here at the Renaissance ranch, we provide every single week free five family classes, four of which are open to the public. You do not have to have somebody in the ranch, uh, to engage in recovery yourself. Um, and Christie will tell you a little bit about more, how to do that, but this is the book we use.
It’s called Healing through Christ. Uh, you can go, you can get that at healing, through christ.org. This is powerful, but we work this together as families and as loved ones. And we’d love to have you come along with us. And, uh, uh, um, Chris and Heidi teach Tuesday night and it’s a fabulous class, Christy and I teach, um, Wednesday night and a Thursday night.
There’s a, women’s only class, which is really unique and special all in all there’s five classes. Oh week, how do you get on that plane? Right. And you can go to Renaissanceranch.com and click on the family education tab. And you can find all the zoom links, the classes are free. And also we have podcast.
Well, we have the previous podcast, then we have quarterly webinars. And so those are, are great to listen to as well. You can also go to our Instagram page, addiction, recovery mom, and get some tips for family members and then see all of the upcoming things. We’ve got a webinar coming up March 3rd. We’re excited about, but anyway, we’ll love you guys.
Uh, hopefully this is helpful and share this message with your friends and, and let’s get the word out that addiction is a recovery as for the whole family. So thanks so much. Well grateful Sam for you and your vulnerability and being here just grateful. You’re, you’re, you’re truly a help and a support to many others.
I know it has been to me, uh, Chris, your vulnerability and Heidi, really sharing some, some personal things. Uh, it’s not easy, but man, it’s, I’m sure helpful for many others and kill to have your emotional impact. And the clinical side of things has been invaluable. So we love you guys. Appreciate you so much for being here and thanks for helping this wonderful family saved since.
And Stephen R Covey said successful families are families who never give up, so don’t give up. That’s right.
Podcast Video Episode 5
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the family addiction recovery podcast. I’m Christine, and this is my better half Rick Dixon. And we are here tonight with our guests, mud, Castleman, Lindsey, and Terry, Allred. And we’re so grateful for them joining us. We’re going to talk a little bit about step three tonight, and I’m super excited that we’re also going to talk about pornography addiction and sex addiction.
And we try in these podcasts to blend the voices of the addicted, the family member, and then have a clinician and a counsellor with us and Mark Castleman tonight will provide that role. Um, their stories are so impactful and we are so again, so grateful that they’re willing to be vulnerable. I mean, I think pornography is probably the most shaming of all addictions and yet it’s so important that everyone understands that it’s the chemicals in the brain that are produced are exactly like any, any substance.
Or behavioral addiction is the same chemicals in the brain. And in fact, a few more, if I’m not mistaken and Mark will cover that, but I’d like to turn the time over to Rick, kind of, can you kind of introduce step three and why we love step three so much and I’ll help with that. And then maybe introduce our guests.
You bet ya, you know, step three is Christy your favorite step. You love it. And she’s been so excited to talk about this. Step three is, decide to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, the eternal father and his son, Jesus Christ. We’re going to talk about that. Uh, but first what we want to do is we want to introduce.
Uh, our guests and they will share their stories and how step three is intertwined with their personal story. And, uh, we’re just going to have a wonderful discussion. Hopefully it will be, be motivating and helpful for those who are struggling with addiction, sex addiction, pornography addiction, and those family members who are greatly affected, especially the spouses.
I think it’s really important tonight that we include betrayal trauma. And we, we remember the spouses, right? So let me introduce first off, uh, Terry and Lindsey, uh, as husband and wife, they’re a blended family. They have six kids between the two of them. This is what’s interesting years ago. Uh, Lindsay, uh, struggled with a chemical idea.
And it took her down some dark places and she’ll share her personal story. It cost to her marriage. Uh, she had to give her kids up for a while, uh, because of the addiction. Uh, luckily, uh, she worked through it and, uh, she has got been clean and sober for years and found Terry and they have been married for some time and, and, uh, are doing very well.
The fun thing about Lindsay and Terry as they are doing, are we, you know, we do the weekly family education groups that we do, and they are doing the couples, um, recovery group on Thursday nights. And so I’m excited for you all to get to know them a little bit better. Oh, thank you. So Terry, uh, struggled with his own addiction, sexual addiction, uh, which contributed cost him his first marriage.
So here’s two people who struggled with their own addiction, such that it cost a marriage. Yeah, they both have worked their recovery, both have been clean and sober for quite some time, both found each other. And boy, they have got an incredible story of hope and healing. And so we’ll be hearing from them and asking them questions and really, uh, uh, having them provide some hope and healing for us.
So it’s going to be neat. Now, Mark Castleman is a man that I’ve known for years and years. Uh, here’s a man that struggled with his own, uh, addiction as well, pornography and sex addiction for over 30 years. Um, he is now doing incredible things in this field. I chose to read a little bit of his credentials so you can see the power that we have in this podcast.
Listen to this. Uh, mark is an internationally acclaimed speaker trainer. He’s an author. Uh, mark is a board certified Clint clinical chaplain and pastorial counselor with a specialty in addiction recovery. He has worked with leading brain scientists and psychologists and developing education and training programs used worldwide and has personally mentored, struggling individuals in over 80 countries.
Mark is successful in successful long-term recovery, uh, over 30 years battling his own addiction. As I mentioned, Mark is currently the program director for a reclaim and an intensive outpatient program for pornography and sexual addiction. And is located in Sandy, uh, as an author. This is the book that he wrote, uh, the, the Pornography Paradox.
Uh, let me just mention some bullet points so you can see the caliber of individual and the type of book that this. Uh, sexual shame is a religious culture boy. Oh boy. That can really drive an addiction. Um, sex as a substitute for connection with others. It’s not about sex. It’s about looking for other things.
And Mark will talk a little bit about that. The science behind why we act out sexually, uh, pornography use is substance abuse. It is an addiction. Uh, am I beyond saving many feel after a while? Boy, I can’t be saved. And, uh, that’s a myth, uh, on and on. There’s a lot of powerful things in here, but, uh, Mark have, we’re grateful to be, have you be here and share your story as well.
Uh, provide some insight as a counselor as well. So with that, why don’t we review the steps real quick? Cause we are on step three. So the first steps we talked about, step one, where we come to recognize that I’m powerless over the, um, for the family member perspective, I’m powerless over the addiction of a loved one and my life is becoming unmanageable.
And for the person with the addiction come to recognize that I’m powerless over my addiction and my life is becoming unmanageable. Step two is where we come to believe that the power of God can restore us. Um, take us back to sanity. You know, we call that spiritual and emotional health step three, the step that we’re on tonight, which I love so much.
Because it’s the pressure release valve, you know, it does remove so much pressure off of us is when we make that decision that we’re going to turn our life and our will over to God. You know, however, we define that for, for me, it’s, it’s, it’s God in his son, Jesus Christ. So step three was so powerful for me.
Um, as a family member, um, I had so much fear and I know a lot of you spouses and a lot of you moms and dads out there, when you have a loved one addiction, there is a lot of fear. There’s a lot of negative emotion that comes with trying to control the uncontrollable. So when our sons were struggling, 15 years ago, we started attending 12 step meetings.
Um, and I saw step three, turning my life and my will over that meant that I had to trust in my higher power. And that was really scary for me because I didn’t know at that point in time, I didn’t know if God would actually. Saved my sons from their addiction. And so I thought I had to be the backup plan and as I started going to meetings and I, I, um, started to see that by my kind of letting go and letting God is how they talk about and all, but just kind of stepping back and letting God start to work with them one-on-one.
It started things started to go so much better. Um, as I worked my steps and I answered the question from each step, it’s like, I had so much fear, but it kind of helped my faith to go up and then my fear to go down.
And I just wanted to share one quick story, just to bring in the feeling and the essence of the power of step three, uh, my son and you met them, Preston and Tyson, and the first two podcasts, but Tyson, I had put him in a special high school, uh, because you know, the first high school I felt like, oh, he’s got these bad friends, so I’m going to put him in another high school so he can get good friends.
Right. But I had a phone call. The school was about ready to kick him out of the high school. And, um, he will share this story with you, but I was very concerned. And, um, as a mom, I was actually pretty devastated. And I remember meeting my dad, um, for lunch and we were sitting down having lunch together and, and I was kinda talking to my dad.
I was a little concerned at the time actually, he was living with my dad because I think, uh, Rick and Tyson were kind of butting heads a little bit. Rick was really big, tough love back then. I was the enabler. The house was just, you know, totally. We were dysfunctional in shambles, right? So we, um, I’m meeting with my dad and we, we thought living with my dad is such a great man and he’s totally non-judgmental has so much charity and we’re having lunch.
And he, and I could tell he was worried about me, you know? And he, he looked at me and he said, listen, he said, I don’t want you to worry about Tyson. He said, you let me worry about Tyson. And, um, I just remember thinking in my mind, you know, wow, That’s easy for you to say, but as a mom, I’m just, I’m struggling so bad, but I took my lunch and we were kind of in a cafeteria type place.
And I, I showed up to take my tray and I walked it over and I set, you know, set my tray down and I went to leave. And as I took a couple of steps there, I had such a powerful, spiritual filling. Hit me right here in my, in my chest. It literally stopped me. I took a step and I stopped and I had this strong, spiritual, just powerful feeling.
And I remember thinking, whoa, what, what does this mean? You know, what, what are you trying to say to me? You know? And I had the distinct impression that, um, God was saying to me, don’t worry about Tyson. Let me worry about Tyson. And it was such a powerful breakthrough for me to be able to start trusting heavenly father because before then, I didn’t know how to try.
I believed, but I didn’t know how to trust. And it also helped me to know that it, it, I felt like there was some pain, you know, when, when we suffer and we don’t have the power, you know, and God has the power and he watches us, he watches his daughter suffer, or his son suffer. Maybe it pains him as well. I had a feeling that it does cause him some pain.
So I started to think about that and I thought, you know, I can do this. I need to turn it over. And as I did, and I started trusting a little more and a little more, it’s like those tender mercies just stocked on top of each other. And then there was just this strong faith that I could let go and let God.
So that’s kinda my step three that you can see why step three is her favorite. It was really hard for her to be able to turn it over for moms. And I think for wives, as well as we worked those steps and we worked those steps and we’re answering, and we’re really doing that work one-on-one with the Lord, he knows our weaknesses and, and he will help us.
And I think it’s a gift of grace. It’s a little gift of grace. So with that, let’s, let’s go ahead and have, let’s start with you, Lindsay. Maybe you could share your story, um, uh, you know, how you feel you’d want to share it, uh, you know, your dark times, your recovery, your hope, and, and just what you feel, uh, from the heart.
What happened? Thank you. I was born in California, to a mom and a dad that were really great parents. Um, I had a really great childhood. I was an only child. Um, so that was different and good and bad. I remember always asking them, um, mom, dad, we have another, you know, have more kids. I just remember feeling really lonely.
And I think that’s really what that was about is I felt really alone a lot. Um, from the time I can remember, I felt really alone. And so, um, that was kind of an ongoing thing. Um, but I went to church every Sunday. Um, we went on family vacations all the time. We, I swam competitively and got good grades and I mean, I had a pretty typical childhood and there was no abuse, no trauma, no big event.
Um, and I always like to point that out because I feel like a lot of times when you’re talking with a group of people that struggle with different addictions. You do hear about a lot of traumas and, um, that does come up a lot, but for me there wasn’t, and that actually created for me a lot more shame. Um, and I felt even worse about myself because I just thought, well, you know, there’s no trauma, everybody else here that I know has all this trauma and I don’t, and I had all these opportunities and this is where I’m at.
Um, and so it really, it really was hard for me. Um, but the more I learn, you know, now in recovery, there was a lot of emotional dishonesty for sure. And we didn’t talk about feelings. Um, and I remember from the time I can, from just a small child, I remember that my mom, um, would do this thing where she’d just kind of laugh at me.
And, um, and she still sometimes does that. And it really hurts my feelings and. You know, there are things that I’m taking seriously. Like, mom, Hey, I got a new job, mom, Hey, I got engaged. Um, and, and so I feel kind of humiliated and ashamed and like something’s wrong. And that’s something that I grew up with, you know, um, from the time I can remember as well, my parents got divorced when I was 12.
Um, and that’s really where things started to go downhill. Um, I don’t remember feeling angry though, but as I was talking to my parents about it recently, they reminded me that I was pretty angry initially, and I didn’t want to go to my dad’s house. Um, and I read this letter, it was like a journal entry and it was saying how I just kinda lost it.
And I started yelling, um, at my mom. I think I was at my mom and saying that it didn’t want to go to my dad’s house only if my best friend, um, Jessica would come with me. And, um, and so that was kind of a thing that was going on. Um, but then I. You know, had other things happen and it was kinda hitting puberty and things just kind of started to blow up.
I went from straight A’s and this ultra competitive swimmer and, you know, a pretty, I mean, I thought pretty good self concept and confidence, um, but really not, um, to basically flunking out of school. And, um, I hadn’t talked to my mom and about two years when I was maybe 15, we had no relationship at that point.
Um, and my dad got remarried when I was 15 and was married for about six months and then got remarried again, like got divorced and he got remarried again a year after that. Um, and my addiction just that’s where it took off. Um, and I started doing just kind of what I think a lot of teenagers do.
I start smoking weed and cigarettes. And I thought, you know, smoking cigarettes would be a cool thing to do. And I really wanted to fit in. I so desperately remember wanting to just fit in because I remember always feeling like I just never quite fit in. I never quite belonged. Um, and that’s still something that I struggle with sometimes today is a feeling of not belonging.
Um, and so I, um, started to progress in my addiction and, uh, drop out of high school my junior year. And I, um, got a DUI and I went to these treatment centers and, um, and I just really struggled. I got married when I was 19 and had my first child. Then I actually placed my first child for adoption. And that was probably the most painful experience.
Um, and he is almost 17. Now I got to see him for the first time, about a year ago, which was really cool. Um, and that was definitely a blessing of recovery. I mean, to be able to see my son with his mom and his sister, and to see what a great young man he had become because of the decision I had made, you know, 16 years ago and in conjunction with his awesome parents and his awesome spirit, um, was a miracle.
And, um, so that was really just such a blessing. And I do believe that there are certain events and certain things that happened in our lives and their crossroads. And I believe that when these crossroads happen, we get to choose what we’re going to do. And we can either go left or we can go, right. We can either do it our way, or we can do it the Lord’s way.
Um, and I feel like with the adoption. As hard as it was, and as scary as it was, I decided to go the Lord’s way. Um, and it was painful and scary. And a lot of people didn’t understand, um, you know, they’d say, well, why don’t, why don’t you just raise him? And, you know, and even throwing out abortion and different things like adoption was such a terrible thing.
And I have adoption is such a beautiful thing. Um, and I feel like because I made that decision and I was able to make a decision to turn my will and my life over in that moment that the Lord has carried me and blessed me. And it’s been a ripple effect, you know, the last 17 years of my life. Um, I still continue to use though, you know, it was still painful, even though I knew it was right.
And so that really, I just spiralled my addiction even more. And I started using even heavier and I, uh, was married. I had two more kids.
I moved to Utah because I thought, well, that will solve everything. You know? Um, I’ll move. And, and then I was like, okay, I’m going to buy a minivan because I see these moms driving minivans and they look like really good moms.
And I’m like, I’m going to move to Utah and I’m going to drive a minivan and we married and I’m going to do these things. And I, then I will be good. Then I will be good if I can do these things. Um, and what I discovered is nothing on the outside is going to, to make me good. Um, and really we are good.
It’s about finding our goodness and, and letting the Lord show us. Um, but that was something that had to evolve for many years to come. Um, and those are real stories too. I really did do the things with that really in mind too. Um, and so I ended up going to treatment and this was probably my sixth or seventh time.
Um, I got separated, moved away, moved back to California, well left my, um, I wanna say a year old and two and a half year old babies, um, with my ex-husband at the time. And he raised them for a little bit. I was going for treatment so the intention was to come back. Um, but when I was in treatment, I met a guy, um, and we had decided to get divorced.
Um, and I, I don’t know the order really. I think the divorce did come first. Um, but the relationship with guys that’s always been something that has come up and has always proceeded my addiction is my relationship with men, my desire to belong, my desire to be approved of, um, having an attachment. Yeah. Because the divorce with your parents, all of a sudden, there’s no secure attachment.
You’re like in limbo trying to find that bond again, someone. Yeah. It makes total sense. Yeah. Desperate. I think just desperate to feel. No, we all need. Yeah. Um, and you know, you hear about that about with pornography addiction. It’s so true that it’s a replacement for connection, you know, we desire to connect and they say that the, you know, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but it’s connection.
Um, and I feel like that that’s true. And that’s what I was always seeking. Um, and same thing with the drugs for me is it was in a sense kind of connection as well. And it was something to rely on kind of like a toddler with a baby. Like a blankie that he carries around. That was my pacifier that I would go to when things got too hard.
Lindsay, let’s jump ahead a little bit. How did you finally find that, that longterm sobriety? Yes. So when I was down there, things fell apart and I ended up homeless and got arrested and I called those police officers, my guardian angels though, because they intervened and, um, truly, and I went to jail and jail was just amazing.
Do you know who knew? I say that, you know, everybody like laughs and I laugh too, but truly it was, um, it was a miracle. And when I, the first day I was in there, they said, you know, this is God’s hospital. And I said, no, what are you talking about? And they said, no, this is God’s hospital. And I said, okay, All right.
Um, and I remember I had been fighting and fighting and fighting and fighting it. I did not want to be there. And I told, I called my dad one of my few phone calls and I said, I, when I get out of here, I’m believing I’m going back to my diction. I’m done. I hate this. I hate everybody. Blame, blame, blame, blame, blame.
Um, but I had a really amazing experience in there. And I, uh, this guy that I hadn’t met in a previous 12 step meeting came in and shared a story. Um, and it just, I knew that the Lord newbie and I knew that he was aware of me. And, and from that moment on, I was willing to do what he wanted me to do. Um, and it was about a profound experience for you?
Yes. Gel was super, super profound. Um, I mean, that was the biggest pivotal time in my recovery. So Lindsay, this was a time where. Where you says, okay, it’s time for me to turn my life and my will over it. It took a lot of hard knocks, similar to what Christy went through, what we went through and why is so sacred steps three is so sacred to you.
If it gets to the point to where you just say, I can’t do this anymore. Is that what happened here? Why, why? All of a sudden was from I’m going to get out and do it my way too. Okay. I want, and we’ll do it. I’m going to turn my life over. Yeah. What happened there? I just was so angry. I mean, I was angry. I was alone again.
I was, um, you know, I was detoxing. I was just miserable and I was mad and, um, and I just remember blaming everybody. I’m like, you know, it’s my counselor’s fault in treatment because she told me to go to court. I went to court and then I got arrested, got put in jail. So it’s her fault. It’s the judge’s fault for sentencing me.
It’s my dad’s fault for sending me to Utah. It’s the cop cops fault for arresting me. And I just, I think that the Lord just intervenes and I feel like it’s only through, through him and, you know, his tender mercies, um, that we’re able to kind of have that those moments because there’s really nothing that I did other than I just felt the spirit really strongly.
And I remember looking around in the jail and I’m like, okay, well, the judge isn’t here. My counselor’s not here. My dad’s not here. I’m the only one here. Um, so this is me and this is on me now. And I’ve got to do this and I. Like I do at that point. Did you have any kind of relationship with God, like where y’all going to pray or nothing yet?
I mean, I always knew he was there and I always knew, I mean, I knew he was there and I do feel like I was blessed to have a pretty strong testimony of that, but I didn’t know he was there for me. Um, and I was very ashamed. And so not yet. No. No. And then how long after that experience, did you get into treatment and then gain your long-term?
Yeah, so I spent a couple of months there and then I went straight to treatment and that was in 2010. And I, um, is that the, was that the French that was called? No, that was called the Arc. They’re no longer around, but it was amazing experience for me. And, you know, I was pretty much willing to do whatever they wanted at that point.
I would hope because of jail. I didn’t want to go back. I was pretty grateful to be at such a beautiful place. Yeah, it was hard. And I fought a lot of it still and, you know, but it was a process and, um, I just continued to plug forward and I had these little spiritual experiences there. I mean, I, when I was graduating, this is a tiny thing, but I wanted to invite my missionaries that had been visiting me or that had been coming in the jail and teaching classes.
And, um, because they would bring church and different things and I wanted to invite all of them. And there was one specifically I could not remember and I could see his face and I cannot remember his name and I prayed and I prayed and his name just popped in my head as soon as I said, amen. And I don’t think I’ve had a prayer answered like that since then.
Um, but in that moment, the Lord knew that’s what I needed. Um, and it just testified to me that the Lord knows me. And even the littlest things that are important to me are important to him. Um, and. And I’ve just had moments like that. I was married before him and he was struggling with pornography addiction and it, I was sober, but I was miserable.
Um, and I hated myself and I thought it was my fault and I was terrible and I wasn’t good enough. And, you know, back to the alone, not connected, not good enough, not belonging. And so it triggered me a lot as addiction caused pain for you. Yeah. Yeah. And caused a lot of my own unhealthiness, like coming back.
And, um, I actually, like, I cut it like two or three times ever in my whole entire life. And I know a lot of people have struggled with cutting addictions and, and I understand why when I was in that much pain, I knew drugs. Weren’t the answer, but I’m like, I have to do something to relieve this. And so I turned to, to that and I mean, that’s how terrible it was.
And I remember he decided to go to treatment. Um, and I was driving home and I was just in tears and sobbing and thinking how I got, I had my kids. They’re little they’re two and three years old. How am I going to do this? How am I going to be a mom? How am I going to be okay. And I was talking to my friend on the phone and I’m like, why does nobody care?
I felt like nobody cared. Why doesn’t somebody do something? Why doesn’t somebody call me? Nobody cares. Um, and I was saying these things and they just told me, they said, Lindsay, they all do care, but they just don’t know what to do. And in that moment, I just felt the spirit so strongly, um, touch me and say, nobody can help you.
Nobody can save you except for your savior. And, and in that moment, I just, I knew that I had to turn, turn things over to him. Um, and I couldn’t look to him for my rescuing and my saving, which is what our relationship had become. Um, And so when you come up to your boyfriend, you had to that with my husband at the time of your husband.
Yeah. He used to look to the Lord. Wow. Wow. Because he was doing the pornography. So when did you find the longterm sobriety case? Like, like you’re you’re I hear you like, there’s the addiction, addiction, addiction, addiction, and there’s. And they say that addiction’s just, you know, that’s not the problem.
It’s the underlying causes and conditions, which I’ve heard. So many of you, how did you get that? Long-term like, when did you get to that point where you had that long-term okay. Um, yeah, and that marriage, I mean, I was sober during that whole time too, so that was part of it. Um, but I mean, the longterm, how I did it was, you know, jail and treatment.
Um, but praying and journaling and working the steps and working on again and going to meetings and having a whole. You know, I had a meeting every Friday that I went to and I knew every single person that was in there and I always felt welcome and that they knew me and I knew them. I was accountable and I always felt the spirit there.
And then you went to school, didn’t you and get your got some counseling, uh, got your substance abuse disorder counseling. Right? Cool. And did that and became a counselor and worked at treatment centers, surrounded by people in recovery and supporting each other and have a lot of amazing things. And you didn’t lose your kids for awhile, right?
Your children. Oh my gosh. Now, too, because of the addiction. Right. And what was your addiction at that point? What’d you say? Um, my drug of choice was heroin, but like you said, it’s a symptom. And I think my main addiction was, you know, approval and, and men really. Um, and codependency. Um, and so I, they were gone for a couple of years, um, when I was using in a way and in treatment, how old were you at this time?
Um, I was about 25, 27. This has got to give so much hope to our listening audience, because I know a lot of you have loved ones who struggle with addiction and who get to the point where, you know, addiction is chronic, it’s progressive, and it sadly can be very fatal, but you have loved ones and you see that they’re, they can’t take care of their children.
And that’s how powerful this disease is. I mean, with, with the brain, I mean, it just gets to the point where it becomes like air. Like you have to have areas, the number one thing you think about. Right. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard from so many people. How long have you been, how many years have you been sober.
I been in recovery for 11 years since April, 2010. Wow. We had to give up hope for a loved one. Yeah. I think that was a happy day when you got your kids back. Oh yes. I mean, it was amazing and it’s so amazing. Let me just ask to go from that place from calling them from a jail cell. And when I was in treatment, I know didn’t know what to do.
So I draw these little pictures for them, um, to now being able to be their mom and to suit up and to show up and to tell them, okay, I’m going to go out for a couple hours. I’ll be home in a little bit and to say goodnight to them every night is a miracle and a blessing from recovery. You and Terry tell about how you met Terry, how long have you guys spent together now?
So we met about four and a half years ago. We met about, I guess, five and a half years ago. Um, and we. Um, 5, 5, 4, 9.
Now that together, now you have six, right? Yes. And I see you getting a little emotional hearing Lindsey’s story. That was really beautiful for me to watch that, Terry. Yeah, that was really beautiful. Terry, what hit you? What, why did you get emotional and then share your story?
I don’t even know if I can say it.
I just love her so much. It’s been through a lot. She’s climbed some Mount Everest. And you guys have got to come to Terry and Lindsey’s family groups on Thursday night. They’re an amazing couple have so much experience to bring, and they’re doing their own blended family podcasts, which is super cool too.
Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, um, my manifestation of the Lord, um, is a saving grace because
I feel like she saved me in a lot of ways.
um, she has truly saved me in so many ways. I, um, and I hurt for her some times.
It pains me to think that she had such a hard life that self-inflicted, but really like that’s not really self-inflicted and the things I’m learning, um, about what we do as parents and how we raise our children. When you leave your kid alone for hours and hours, that’s traumatizing, you know, and they don’t know where they don’t think they have a place in this world when you leave them that long.
Um, I just, I just love her and just really grateful for. Okay, well, look, um, I’m just grateful for awesome. So Terry, she shared with us share with us your, your story recovery, uh, because of time, we’re have to condense it a little bit, try to do it in about 10 minutes or so, but share with us from the heart, what you went through, uh, why you think, uh, you know, you struggled and then your recovery and hope.
Um, well, you know, when Lindsay and I first got together, I used to talk about, well, we first three and a half years, really? I used to tell her, oh, I have the greatest childhood. It’s, you know, Saturday morning cartoons. I was up with friends all the time. We had a trampoline in the back and a swing set. I had two brothers, two sisters.
We actually played together quite a bit as really young. And, um, we just had a great childhood and. I got to kindergarten and it was, I was obsessed with girls. Oh, I didn’t know why. I didn’t even think about it. I thought everybody was, I don’t even remember my first kiss because I had, I, that was what I’m pursuing my entire life.
It consumed me, but most of my life, I didn’t even know why everything I did was for girls, but then it was afraid of them too. I also pity them and I looked at them as objects only make me feel good. Um, so my sexual addictions started with was like seven or eight years old.
And, um, when it was probably nine or 10, um, well, during that time, my parents didn’t have stuff in the house, you know, none of that, like pornography or anything like that. Um, but sometimes we would come across it at my friend’s houses and, um, wasn’t like, be just looking at picture. It was like,
I was like paralyzed.
So anyways, so fast forward about those maybe 10 years old. Um, my friend had found, uh, I was nine or 10. I’m not sure exactly. It’s hard to put things together back then, but anyways, um, I. Um, we came across, my, my friend found a porno, a pornographic film on a VHS. And, um, he brought it to our house when my parents were gone and we didn’t know what it was.
He didn’t say anything on it. And so he threw it in and my friend was four years younger than I am at this time. And he watched it with us as well. And I was, I was overcome by what was, and I was, we were all laughing at it, but inside, I was just like, what is this? And, um, it was just another contributor to me being obsessed and that obsession, you know, came thoughts.
Um, like terrible thoughts, um, of girls. And as the years went by, I never really saw a lot of, um, visuals and stuff like that. I didn’t see a lot of them. I see them every now and again at a friend’s house or something. Um, but I had that sexual addiction, um, every single day. And, um, so, um, I got to the point where I didn’t, I had so much shame about myself, uh, that I didn’t want to go to church anymore.
I didn’t want anything to do with it. I could feel myself going. Um, I was getting in fights all the time when these fights started protecting girls. And then later on, it became my signature of who I was like, I wanted every man or I wanted everyone to be afraid of me and I wanted every woman or girl to want me.
And that was just, it would, it literally consumed my life. I mean, when I’d go to football or working out and stuff like that, I was working out to get girls. I was playing football to get girls. And then if I got a girlfriend, I’d stop working out because I reached that objective. Um, well, so I had this sexual addiction and then, um, so I took seminary ninth grade completely changed my life.
’cause. I was like, so embarrassed to go. Cause I for anybody to think I was religious. Right. And, uh, then I, um, that changed my life and I just kept thinking, wow, I love this. I love this. So I stop swearing. Um, I still have my sexual addiction, but then I’m in 11th grade and I’m not promoting anything. Um, however, that was the first time I picked up the Book of Mormon and began reading it and kind of getting spiritual, like your eyes are starting to get open a little bit spiritually, but you’re still struggling with the, with the addiction.
That brings a lot of shame, right? Yeah. And then, um, it was the first like go into seminary was the first time I felt what love. And, um, cause I never felt loved and I never felt like I could love, I always thought I did. And there was a perception of what love looked like to look like, but it was the only time that I ever felt filled to where I just wanted to give and could give.
And um, so I read the Book of Mormon. I didn’t read all of it, but I read a whole bunch of it. And I remember every night praying before I had read, like, you know, I had a question. So, and I, that was my worst year. I thought, whatever, you know, and 11th grade and every single night I would reverse sometimes pages.
And I always got an answer to every single one of my prayers. And it was every, I mean, not, not one. And, um, what do you, how, and I had this deep desire to serve the Lord. Um, so I still have the sexual addiction all this time and I’m shaming myself even more, the more spiritual and, and closer that came with the Lord.
The more shame I felt and worthiness and, um, uh, come to the time that I wanted to go on a mission. And, um, uh, the, uh, stake president told me you’ve got to stop and amazing the way the Lord works, because I, all of a sudden didn’t have any desire from that time. Um, so for four years, although I’m on the mission and afterward, no.
When you say mission, there’s a lot of people listening out there may not understand it. So two years served the mission and Scotland. Wow. Yeah. It was really amazing. Um, and, and terrible at times. But, um, no, it was really amazing changed my life, but, um, I, so about four years never had a desire and I, then I got married and I thought, oh, you know, like it’s, it’s crazy.
Cause I was always reading a scripture that is very spiritual and I never saw myself as a religious that myself, myself is just, I love the Lord. Like, I didn’t know. I didn’t put a label on it. You know, that divine connection. Yeah. I just felt like it was natural, you know, it’s supposed to be, and I never even thought of it that way either.
Um, until now. So anyways, I, um, got married and we had a terrible marriage. Um, I mean really terrible. And I, and up to this time, I’m still objectifying every woman that comes to my life. In fact, I objectified it, every person that came into my life and it was a way to protect myself, you know, I wanted to make everybody laugh and feel good.
And please everyone. And especially girls, especially women, mostly older women, which I know why now, but, uh, that’s, that’s just what I was my desire, you know? And, um, anyway, so I, we get married, terrible marriage, like horrible from the beginning. And, um, she is a good person. Let me just state that. I just, you.
Just grinded all the time, you know? And, um, so it would be months at a time between when we’d have sex. So during that time, like what was the easy way I wanted to feel connection. I wanted to feel significant. I wanted to feel, um, certainty and uncertainty. I wanted to feel those needs that I longed for. I wanted to feel like I was attractive.
I’ve always in my whole life. That’s how I felt, but I also hated myself the whole time. And I, and I didn’t see, I never saw that until less than a year ago. Now, six, seven months ago. I never knew that I hated myself. I never knew that. Um, I was having anxiety. And that, that was, it was all surrounded about this addiction around women and girls.
Do you get to the point where you started to feel some sobriety and feel like you were starting to get a healthy and healing? So we were married for 13 years, almost 13 years. So it was like a few months shy. And, um, hi. So, um, a year and a half, almost two years before we got divorced, I got really depressed and she started drinking at this time too, and I just fell apart.
And so, um, I, I let my values go. I let she let her values go. And, um, like pornography was just. Uh, go-to. It was like, you know, oh, you to not watch cartoons, let’s just throw on some, you know, for me, um, eventually I was so depressed that I literally scheduled my day around sleeping. I was so down and I was just telling Lindsay, like, during that time, I didn’t want to kill myself, but I didn’t really care if I lived.
And I remember, um, my daughter, who at the time, she wasn’t kindergarten every morning, you see one of the play and I would fall asleep and she would get so bad feelings got hurt so many times.
Um, anyways, so get to recovery. Right? So, um, um, so I’m, I got to the point that this was sung was six months. And then I, I was so desperate. I didn’t, I didn’t know what to do anymore. I was just like, at the end of my rope, I mean, I wasn’t suicidal ever, but I was so down that I just didn’t know what to do anymore.
I felt like I was in space without any thruster and no way to move. I just felt like I can’t do this anymore. And it got to the point where step one, like, it just was like, my wife is completely unmanageable. I cannot do this. And I went to a friend and I said, I, I, I. I’m so grateful for him. Like, I love him so much.
So I went to him and I was like, I heard you had a tough marriage. How did you deal with a wife? That’s just, you know, hates you. And he saw right through me. He knew exactly. He knew exactly what I was going through. And, um, for the next year he spent 1, 2, 3, 4 hours every single day, Monday through Friday with me, like a sponsor type of thing.
Oh my gosh. He was with me. He was right next to me cause he was working with me, but we’d sit in his car and he would just talk to me. And it was part of my. The grace that the Lord shows, um, to us, we didn’t know it was going to cry so much works through other people. Yeah. And, um, so that was the beginning.
And so about seven, eight months later through him working with me. And again, he stayed for me with me for a year, every single day, five days a week. Um, you sat with me and just sometimes you had to comfort me when I was crying and stuff. And, um, anyhow, I, all of a sudden didn’t have a desire to, but I think that because I’m made the decision that I want the Lord of my life, and I want him to take over.
That’s when pornography just stop being a burden for me. And I did it out of anger most of the time. So there was attachment to the same or to deal with it. Wow. And then about six months later, I divorced her and found the most wonderful woman on planet earth. And I know that you, two guys have been working really hard together, as well as a couple.
Like you guys worked the steps together and you work, you each work your own recovery and don’t you work at a treatment center as well? I did for a little bit. I wish I wish I was still. Um, so if there’s any more openings or anything like that, just, um, in the interest of time, I mean, I, you. Both have been very vulnerable and very helpful.
There are so many people out there that don’t understand, uh, this, this connection that as human beings, we are wired for this bonding and this connection. And if it’s okay, I mean, I still want to hear more, but if we can maybe bring, pull Mark in just, just with the time that we’ve got, I would love so much to hear, um, you know, a little bit of your background, but a lot of, of your knowledge.
Cause we want to just get into this dialogue. And I think it’s so important that people understand pornography is in addition, just like, just like the heroin, right. But it’s really about the relation. It’s really about this core need of, of this, the hole of the soul, that connection. And it just like what, what, what was interesting for me?
And you can come. And you had always felt like you needed some kind of an attachment. You always felt like you were not getting that. That’s why you wanted that with the girls. Right. But then even when you had your friend and that’s what I’ve seen from, from the last 15 years, we’ve had an opportunity to facilitate 12 step meetings.
How many times do you hear when I finally had this good friend or a mom or a dad or a brother or a sister to kind of be my support person, I could actually start healing. Can you talk about that? Tell us, talk about that a little bit and then tell us a little bit of your story. Yeah, yeah, no, I, uh, Terry and Lizzie, thank you for sharing that.
That’s like super vulnerable. I really appreciated that. And I, you know, it’s really important for everybody listening. If you, if you noticed these two, you can tell that you’re just welded. I mean, it’s, it’s the word that I’ve learned over the years we come in our brokenness and. And we think that we’re never going to find anybody that we could ever deserve or that would ever want us or desire us.
And yet through all the chaos you found each other. And now, because of everything you’ve been through you, you cannot, you could drop an atomic bomb on the two of you and you would not come apart. Right. I know you said there’s no way. And it’s so amazing how you see that. And I think it’s because you’ve come from a place where you had this, this hole inside of you that just wanted to belong and to, and to feel like you were worthy and that you mattered and right, this whole yearning so much of your lives.
And now that, and then you both started to get healthy and that’s so important. That’s why we want to, we want to get healthy in our own recovery and healing. And then those two parallel paths as we get healthier and healthier come together, and then we just, we just weld and now you have that connection that you always long for and you have it and you can see it and feel it and write, and it doesn’t just fill you up.
So beautiful. So amazing. Yeah. It’s amazing to see. And it does, it just gives everyone should have hope. You’re, you’re not a lost cause nothing’s impossible. Right? If you can find each other through everything you’ve described, right. There is a higher power that knows us and is, is navigating and orchestrating.
Even when we don’t realize it. Yeah, so awesome. The second we turn our thoughts to him, like he’s there as soon as we, your story? Little, a little, yeah, a little of my story. Um, uh, so I was, I was born through a teenage mom, uh, uh, who had a very tragic life. My mother, um, she’s actually my, one of my heroes today. Um, and so I had a really rough childhood that was pretty bad, a lot of string of very abusive stepfathers, and just always, uh, my whole growing up, I just felt completely unworthy all the time.
I don’t measure up. I’m not one of the good ones. I’ll never amount to anything. And I just had this horrible, terrible self-image entire from as far back as I can. And so I grew up in the progress, the production capital of the world, the San Fernando Valley, California. And so it was exposed really young.
And that immediately became my attachment from the very first time I was exposed. I tell people I was spoked from the first first experience. I felt something, you know, I felt something that was just like, wow, this is what I’ve been longing for. Right. This is what I’ve been needing. And so from that point forward, it was just, I was, I was gone and I didn’t do anything in my teenage years to do anything about it.
The more I could get the better it was because it, it filled me. I felt good temporarily. And through a bunch of miracles, I won’t talk about, I did, I actually did go on a mission from my church, which was, people were shocked. Like I went to Australia down to Australia. Had a pretty successful, I mean, I had a lot of issues and it was very hard and came home and got married pretty quickly. I met my wife before I left and I thought that part of my life has done. I’m married. Everything’s awesome. I’m good to go. And about six months into my marriage and a child on the way full-time job, full-time school calling some, my church pressure was unbelievable.
And where did my brain go? I call it, you know, run home to mama. And I went back to what I learned as a, as a team. You go, when you’re stressed out and life is unmanageable, you run to your drug of choice. Yeah. So I fell right back into it, just headlong. And I kept it a secret from everyone, including my wife.
Because I was so scared that if anyone found out that my life was over, no one would ever love or accept me if they knew the kinds of things that the behaviors that I was engaging in. And so that, that was, um, 25 years after my marriage add to that the 8, 9, 10 years as a kid. So we’re talking a 30 plus 35 year addiction.
And so I became so hopeless, the roller coaster ride. And I was convinced I couldn’t ask for help because no one could know. So I went alone, right. Talk about not living the steps. So I couldn’t tell anyone because it was, that was unthinkable. So I tried everything, everything you can imagine. And I just kept falling back over and over.
And so I, I came really close. Uh, I had a gun in my hand and I was really close to pulling the trigger and, um, God was aware of me and kind of pulled me out of that a little bit. And so through a series of events, uh, being the, you know, nobody who who’s watching that has addiction knows about black or white thinking or all or nothing, or that was me.
So I had a pretty successful career in the financial field. And I said, if I’m going to do this, I have to go all in. So I left my entire career to my wife’s chagrin and I left and I jumped into the mental health field and changed my entire, my entire profession and said, I’ve got to do this. Oh, thank you.
And the thing is just because I did that, I wasn’t cured. It took me 10 years, even after I had written books and had credentials and I was still not permanently sober. It took another decade for me to work through the whole thing. And so it’s been a really, really long road for me. I tell my clients of all the people I’ve ever treated for sexual addiction.
I have one of the most severe that I know of is my home and all the mental health issues. I mean, I’ve had, you know, bipolar depression, anxiety Tourette’s. I mean, all of it is I’ve suffered from it over my lifetime. So, so Mark, I’ve got, you know, what’s interesting as we listened to both, uh, Terry and Lindsey, um, when they were young, I thought it was interesting because Lindsey, she didn’t have, uh, she was not sexually abused, physically abused, uh, Terry the same thing, but, but the thread of consistency here was, remember what Terry says is I didn’t feel loved.
I was actually, uh, so I was spanked. Um, but the one thing that, and this is, this is kind of like covert stuff, but, um, my mom would actually take a stick or a, or a spoon. And so she would put us in a room, then she would kinda cool off and then she’d come in and spank us three times. Um, but she would have pulled out her pants and what we’re learning now, it’s not, it’s actually sexual abuse by doing something like that.
And it’s, um, it’s humiliating and yeah. And I’m sure she had no idea. And she had no idea. Right. But she was taught that that’s to my point is that Terry says I don’t, I, I never felt love even through his teenage years, let alone, when he was young. When, when that love isn’t felt, when there that means there’s no connection as human beings, we are yearning for connection and we’ll go after one way or the other.
Right. Um, you know, that, that there’s consistency in both their stories with you as well. You were good enough. There was not, it seemed like love or connection in home. And, and so maybe you talk a little and question and how did your marriage survive through all of this, the most amazing person. And maybe, can you talk, can you talk a little bit about, um, the women, what the wives got you?
Cause I know you have a really cool thing where with your partner, um, Steven Moore, you guys do like three times a week, like the first Monday, or whatever you meet with the individual. Whereas you meet with the wife and the spouse, and then you meet with the couples. So it’s kind of cool. It’s like this couple therapy with two therapists, you know, it is, it’s a cool program that we have, but talk a little bit about betrayal trauma, because I know we have a lot of wives listening who have, are dealing with that and your wife, her perspective.
I’d like to hear a little bit. Yeah, it’s really interesting because if you look at what we suffer with as addiction, we have all of our insecurities and this hole in our soul, as you said, Rick, which is so, so accurate. And we, in a lot of times, there’s so much attention on the addict that the spouse gets left behind, just sort of in the background and there’s, she thinks, you know, well, what about me?
What about my needs? You know, what about what I’m going through? And a lot of ways that, uh, the, the symptoms of addiction can actually be seen in betrayal, trauma symptoms as well. The cause is different, but you have the same feelings of inadequacy and, you know, I don’t measure up and you feel like you’re going crazy.
And just all of these things hit you and especially with sexual addiction and pornography addiction women’s and suffer horribly. I mean, look at the culture that we live in. It’s all about comparison. And imagine if you know that your husband is involved, you know, in seeing all of these airbrushed perfect women, you know, by the thousands and unlimited numbers, and then there’s, you, you cannot help, but, but feel this comparison and inadequacy.
And so I see women who they first will take ownership of that maybe I’m not good enough or, or demonstrative enough or responsive enough. So they start feeling that way. Uh, there’s often angels. Legitimately. So it’s just, it’s this incredible emotional variability, a roller coaster ride as we call it. And it’s just so important for women to understand that they’re the addicts getting help and recovery, but a spouse needs to have her healing journey and women, lastly, what’s my priority.
And they, they think it’s my husband, right? I’m I gotta help him. I gotta step in and bless their hearts for being nurturers to do so. But we, he has to be re responsible for his recovery. And I tell women, your first responsibility is to your wellbeing and your healing and taking care of you. And then hopefully if you’re both traveling that path, as I said, you’re, you will come back together at some point, you know, as, as these two have.
And I think it’s important for women to realize that. We may think I know with my son, I can’t tell anybody about this because then I’m not being loyal. And then that, that prevents them from getting the help that they need for their own mental wellbeing, you know? And so it’s really important that, um, I was so grateful that my son, one time I said, I feel like I need to talk to people about this.
And he said, I’m realizing that I’m just like everybody else and that, um, I make mistakes and it’s okay if it’s okay for you to share or get help for you. You know, I really appreciated that when my, my son told me well, in a lot of women, we may not realize just the level. A lot of women have shame because of their husband’s addiction.
Right. They don’t want people to know who wants, who wants to tell someone, oh, I’m married to a sex addict. It’s, it’s very awkward and embarrassing. And so women have great struggles to, to get help as well. And they start to think, you know, look at me, I married this guy. How, how dumb was I and why didn’t I see and how come?
I didn’t know that. Along the way. And then it’s like a, it’s almost becomes yours as, as a woman. It’s almost can become as yours because it’s like, I’m letting it happen. I means I must be terrible. That means I must be justice, justice sick. And you know, well, I will tell you though, on a positive side, so with our, with our church, for, we have the opportunity to do all these meetings.
And some of them that we were facilitating was with, uh, he would go with the pornography meeting, right? And I would get to go with the wives. I have never seen stronger women than those women who are in a marriage with their husbands, struggling with pornography or sex addiction. And they decide, you know what, I’m going to take care of me.
And they start working their stuffs and they get a group and they get a sponsor really important to get that sponsor. And, um, they are the strongest women and they find peace. They find this peace and, and I have a really good friend whose husband had a 32-year addiction. And she kept thinking of any day. I think God’s going to tell me to divorce him.
And everyday she kept feeling like, just hang on one more day, one more day. And then they discovered the 12 steps and he’s got like 10 years sobriety. Then they wrote this book together and they’re the happiest most welded couple ever. And so it seems like when the wife can work her part and he works his part, that’s the strongest marriage I’ve ever seen.
You know, Mark to what you said a minute ago was, uh, you know, I, I was in this addiction and I just couldn’t tell anybody because I mean, my whole life would be judged. It would all fall apart. And so I’ve got to go to my grave with this. I got to go it alone. And, and the principle here is we’re only as sick as our secrets.
It seems that when we when, when we’re secret about it, that’s when the addiction thrives and in the talons just have us. But when we open up, uh that’s when the talons loosened, can you talk a little bit to that? Yeah. I actually had a really pivotal experience. I had a PA I had a business partner when I was in the financial field and he didn’t know I had an addiction, but he suspected something was up.
And I was in his office one day. And you know, when we come off of our addiction, binge would go into this pity party, wallowing place, self flogging. Right. So I was just, whoa, is me. I’m such a loser. And I was just pouring it out on him. And I thought, he’s just going to be so compassionate. And, and he looked me straight in the eye and he said, he said, you think that your sins are so special.
That you’re the only one that Jesus didn’t suffer for. You said, you’re arrogant and you need to repent. I was like, how dare you? Right. And I stumped out of his office and I was just so mad and it took me like three days. Okay. And after I really thought, but I thought, wow, he’s right. I thought I was in sackcloth and ashes of being all humble and what I was really being was prideful.
And that’s when I started to learn about the first three steps, which was, we have to move from me by myself, in my, in my pride and my fear and my shame. Those are all so closely connected, right? Pride, you know, fear, shame. I have to move from me to we and I have to, I have to admit a step. One says I will never overcome this by myself ever.
And it took me 30 plus years to finally admit that I was so broken and so down, I finally, I call it, I finally said, uncle, like a kids got you in a headlock and you won’t use this cry on say, uncle Sam, uncle. And I finally did. I’m like, okay, God, uncle. And then you go to the we part, then you go to we and you say, okay, I can’t do it, but maybe we can.
And when I say we, I mean, I I’ve of course God, but then we surround ourselves with a support system. Like, you know, like you, like you had isn’t that, I mean, it’s just so critical. And I, I thought for most of my life, okay, I’ll call on God. But only after I earn my way back into his grace or circle by so many days of sobriety or one, once I’ve done this, then I can approach him.
And that never, it was just never going to succeed. And I love step three because what it says to me is, you know, basically here’s the, my faith tradition. Here’s Jesus Christ with his, with his arm out my whole life. Just say, Mark, I’m waiting for you to grab hold. I’m waiting for you to grab hold. And I’m saying I can’t, I can’t, because I’m not good enough.
I haven’t earned. And then finally, one day I just said, I’m just like, okay. Right. And I grabbed hold and I felt so ridiculous because I suddenly realized, do you mean to tell me that there has been this power source right there? All I had to do is plug myself into it and it was waiting my whole life. And I, and I went into alone all those decades.
I was like, what? So it was right there with no conditions. No nothing except saying I I’m open I’m here. I know. Yeah. It’s truly, once you feel that once you feel that tender mercy, you feel that connection, it’s like emotional electricity. You got to have it. You can’t live without it. You can’t deny it.
It’s it’s like, so Mark, let me ask you this, you know, three is, is turning our, our will and our life over. Yes. Um, if you think about it, Um, anything that we can give our higher power, anything that we could give our heavenly father he already has. If you think of anything, there’s nothing we could try to give him that he doesn’t already have, except one thing our will turning our will over in your opinion.
Why is that step three? Why is that so important that without doing it, we can’t progress in maintain or, or, or, or of having long-term sobriety? Yeah. I have some pretty strong feelings about that. I think that the thing that God or higher power values above all else is choice. He will not force us to do anything he wants us to choose because that’s what it’s in the best interest of our growth and our development.
So he wasn’t. Make us turn to him. And so he he’ll of course bring about circumstances that will certainly nudge us sometimes very strongly in that direction. But I think that he’s waiting for us to say, okay, I invite you. I’m I’m willing, I’m giving my will to you. So that now we, instead of being be by being by myself, we can partner together, right?
I love Christ’s invitation. He says, come all you that labor and are heavy Laden. And I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you. And we know a yoke, right? This big wooden structure with him, with the two oxen and Christ is said, right, join with me, like literally yoke yourself to me. And together we will do this.
And that’s where I learned what surrender meant. So I’m in this moment as an addict, life is unmanageable and my ego brain says, oh, I know the solution. You hear that? Hear the word? I, I know the solution and we go to our outlet now in surrender. I say, oh God, there’s part of me. That wants to just do it my way.
But I’m going to surrender that over to you. It’s off the table. And a lot of people will go that far, but that’s only half the equation giving that part away is great. But then I ask, okay, I’m feeling this because I have needs, we misinterpret urges in these things as bad. They just say, I have it. I have needs and I have to meet them.
So I give that part away and I say, okay, God, that’s off the table. What do I need most in this moment? What do you think? And impressions come and little insights come. And then you act on. Yeah. See, that’s not willpower because willpower doesn’t work. It wears you out and you give in, I called those little acts of the will.
God says, make a choice Mark in this moment. And I say, okay, God, what do I need? He says, how about this, ah, act of the will? And I go, and I, I pursue it. That’s surrender. That’s partnership. That’s step three, give that to him. So he can now come and join with you and together you will travel that path. Right?
I, I feel it just say something about accountability too. Like, um, I’ve heard so many over the years through the meetings, talk about how helpful it’s been to have an accountability, like sponsor person with pornography and sex addiction and how critical that is because it is a powerful addiction and it is the most shaming of addictions.
Like it’s, it’s the one that people are going to be least likely to talk about. Which, which as soon as you can talk about it and just find that group find a special group, 12 step pornography group, whatever group you’re finding, where you can open up and you can talk about things and, and have those friends that can help you.
I mean, that’s, that’s kind of like, that was just what it took for you just to have that. Yeah. And a spouse. Like if you have a spouse that you feel safe with. Oh my gosh. And that’s, that’s why I say like, she’s part of my, my saving is that because she’s my spouse. And when I am transparent with her, those needs become filled because I’m vulnerable now.
And in a, let her in, let her give me the comfort that I needed in the first place. Same with her when she comes to me. Told me her feelings and I can actually comfort her a good word.
sometimes she never got that. Uh, husband and wife, like a good, I mean, a marriage, I think can be one of the most powerful, the most powerful place to heal and to do the work and to transcend the very trusting partners. It can be, it doesn’t necessarily always like that. But if you can get to that point, I think it can just be so transforming for, you know, what, what you just said is, uh, and Terry, what you just said is that if you feel safe, you know, uh, I remember when we were going through a family education and we were taught that emotional dishonest.
Is where addiction just thrives and emotional dishonesty. What exactly is that? Yeah, but the idea is, you know, you’re not feeling safe. You’re, you’re not sharing your true feelings. Uh, you don’t feel connected. You feel alone, that’s a difficult place to be. And I look at you guys now you’ve been there, done that.
Yeah. But now in this marriage, you’re so vulnerable with each other because you’re both safe because you’re both done the work. Yeah. You’ve done the work. And I learned that from you. I remember you talking about that. I just want to speak to the parents out there too, because as we learned this idea of creating a safe.
Um, I know that in the beginning, before we started learning about recovery and started working our steps and recovering from codependent behaviors for your parents out there, you know, this is another reason why we encourage you to come to the family education classes. They’re free. Um, there’s people in those classes like Lindsey and Terry who have years of experience with recovery.
Um, and, and it just helps you. I always learn something from someone a little farther ahead of me down the recovery path, you know, and I think our time is a little bit short, but I feel you have one last thing and I want to hear it. There is. I appreciate we’re going to have you on again. You’ve been so helpful before we wrap up.
Your podcast and some things that would be helpful. Yeah, we can do that real quick. So, uh, Steve, my colleague, Steve Moore, and I have a podcast that we do every week. It’s, uh, you can find it at, uh, PBSC podcast.com and it’s, uh, PBSC stands for porn betrayal sex and the experts, but we get super Ron real.
He’s also a sex addict in recovery, and we just, we pretty much people are amazed that we just say whatever we need to say. So, so PBSC podcast.com and then we just launched, uh, two weeks ago, uh, kind of a dream of ours. We wanted to provide to the world to therapists, you know, spending time with people in one.
Group online, uh, you know, is, is through yes, basically through, uh, a video, uh, broadcasting service. So Mondays we talked to addicts for 30 minutes, Wednesdays wives for 30 minutes and Fridays to the couples. And so it’s dare to connect now.com and it’s not therapy because you can’t do therapy in that setting, but it’s mentoring.
It’s getting Ron real. It’s helping people. They can’t access therapy or they can’t afford it. Or they’ve been in therapy a long time. You can’t stay there forever and they want to maintain the want to keep their trajectory. So we just, we just launched that. We’re super excited about it. If you want to work your 12 steps, which I think that’s, I think everybody in the whole world needs to work.
Their 12 steps. You can work the tall steps with and Lindsay on Thursday night, our social media site for family addiction recovery is that called addiction recovery mom. And that’s on Instagram and Facebook and we have. Webinars. Well, our other, our total five classes, we have classes, um, you know, Terry and Lindsey, they do the Thursday night class and, you know, you know where they’re coming from at this point, you know, their, their, their position, you know, you know, you know what they have to offer if you’re in need or, you know, others send him Thursday night, six 30 and, uh, their life will change Christian.
And I do one every Wednesday night at six 30. Um, we ha we have, uh, uh, meetings, uh, or a PI or zoom classes Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, and then a woman’s only Thursday, which is real special. It’s really special. So wrap us up, Mark. I’ll be wrapped.
Well, I just, I, you know, what I noticed about the two of you were scared of. When addiction or, or betrayal, trauma, whatever, to be vulnerable and authentic, to speak our truth to show up. And have you been amazed that you’ve been able to actually do that, that you’ve been transparent and authentic with each other and you have, he accepts you like fully and she accepts you fully.
Yeah. And so that part of you that said that could never happen if I’m completely transparent. That wasn’t true. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah. I was just, I was always embarrassed about everything. Yeah. And before I told you guys my story, I only told her. Wow. And, um, maybe that’s why it was so hard for me. Um, but yeah, like she’s the only person I’ve ever told everything to and it speaks.
And the fear that men have is, oh, she’s going to find me out. And if she finds me out, she will leave. And, um, and I gone with her. And she’s honest with me, cause I can say, well, I feel this way. I feel that adequate. I feel like I feel stupid and blah, blah, blah. You know? And she goes, I feel more safe now.
And I’m like, I know, I know it sounds safe because I feel this it’s amazing how it works. I just love the fact that you modeled that tonight. This really beautifully because, because the men are in our culture are kind of socially taught, not to share, not, not sharing emotion and, and in a way they need to feel like they’re the protector and they want to protect their wife and protect their kids.
And, and so it’s hard for them to be authentic and be vulnerable. And yet that’s what women love. I love that. So none of the house. And I might just tell me, you’re hurting. Tell me. And I do you do feel so much closer to when we can be emotionally honest with each other, but I’d like to just end with one scripture.
If I can. That just brought me so much peace. I know a lot of you are out there and your loved ones are not yet into recovery. You may not even know what recovery is. So you’re taking a big chance with us tonight, but there was one thing that I share. I mean, almost every night when I had two sons that were struggling in their opioid heroin addiction, but I would say that would help me go to sleep.
Brought me a lot of peace. And I would say often throughout the day, many, many times, and it just goes like this and it’s my perfect step three scripture, but it’s, um, Proverbs three, five, and six trust in the Lord with all thine, heart and lean, not unto thine own understanding in all my ways, acknowledge him.
And he shall direct. So I hope that I hope that this podcast has been helpful for you guys. Thank you so much, Terry and Lindsay, I love you even more now. We’re just been connected for 10 years since we did the outpatient program and I just saw happy and love you and more than ever. And I thought how tender it was when you had a teenage mom take care of her story that had to heal the pieces of your house.
You know, I mean, she, on the way representing kind of like your mother, like what she went through, right? So how special tonight this was, uh, this is a God thing. Hey, join us in the near future. We will have step four out. Remember you got to feel it to heal it. Uh, please join us in the future. Thank you so much for spending the time.
Thank you. Thank you.
Podcast Video Episode 6
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Hi, welcome to Family Addiction Recovery Podcast, episode five or six. We are so excited that you are joining with us tonight. We have, um, two of our awesome, uh, directors from the ranch, uh, Brian Hayden, who’s our executive director and his brother Jamison, who is a social worker and he runs our outpatient treatment center and I’m Christy.
And this is Rick Dixon. And we’re excited to now to talk about step four and a little bit about, um, uh, personal inventory. And if you remember, step one is when we come to recognize that we’re powerless over our addictions, that our lives are becoming unmanageable. And for the family member, it’s come to recognize that I am powerless over the addiction of my loved one and my life has started to become a manageable.
And then step two is we come to believe that a higher power can restore us to sanity, to emotional and spiritual health. And step three is where we start to turn our will over. We become willing to turn our will and our life over to the care of our higher power. And I know that that’s different for everyone, um, for, for my husband, Rick and I that’s heavenly father and Jesus Christ for other people that our higher power might be.
Um, the group, it could be various different things that, that help them to feel peace in their life. And that’s what we’re all looking for is for some peace. When I first started going to 12 step meetings, about 15 years, We had two sons, um, there was struggling with opioid addiction and episode one and two.
Uh, we met with our oldest son, Preston and Tyson, and they shared their story. But as I started to come, initially I was coming to help them and everything I learned, I applied to them, um, and thinking, oh, I hope they, they read this on, oh, this is for them. And I gotta make sure I have them read this. But it was interesting when I got to step four where it talks about taking a thorough and honest inventory of yourself, I sat back and I’m like, wait a minute.
You mean, I have to, I have to look at my character defects and weaknesses. And, and I, I didn’t understand that. Um, but as I kept going to meetings, I started to learn about this thing called codependent. And I started to have my eyes. It was just, it was almost like I had blinders on. I had so many blind spots that I couldn’t see, um, that were really wreaking havoc in my marriage and in my relationship with my sons and my other family members.
And so it was so helpful for me to become willing, to start looking at myself and doing that personal inventory. And, and I wondered, Rick, do you want to share a little bit about your, you know, how that step four hit you a little bit, and then I’m super excited to hear from Brian and Jamison? Yeah, so I am too really excited to have both, uh, Brian and Jamieson here as brothers.
Uh, they went through the ranch, they went through the ranch a year apart and, uh, just real quick, um, you know, step four, for me, uh, was about, um, uh, uncovering the, um, the beliefs, uh, the habits. Uh, the slivers, if you will, will the, the emotional pain, it seems that, uh, you know, whether we’re a codependent or an addict, those things, we need to work through, uh, to find peace, to work through character defects, to work through our addiction.
If we have a addiction in her life, and, uh, for me, it changed me. It was a powerful, uh, but uh, in this podcast, we want to spend some time with both, uh, Jamison and Brian, both of them has mentioned are recovering addicts. Uh, we want to have you hear their stories, and then we’ll talk about step four afterwards, but we want each of you, if you can take 10 minutes or so, uh, and share vulnerably your story, kind of what happened, maybe a little bit about your family.
Um, you know, how long you’ve struggled, what happened, uh, the dark times as well as then the light. Uh, and, and maybe your sobriety date, how long you been sober now, what’s wonderful is you’ll see, in these two brothers, these two blood brothers, their, their, their darkest past has now become their greatest benefit, greatest asset to help others.
Uh, Brian is our executive director at the ranch, uh, and works here at the residential treatment, uh, facility, uh, Jamison works in the outpatient facility as the head clinician there. And so, uh, what a great story, what a great competent it would be really fun and helpful. I think for some of you to learn the difference between residential treatment and outpatient and kind of what the ideal step down is.
And I think that’ll be really special then guys talk about that and why you guys are thinking just really quick. I had a thought come to me. So about 15 years ago, as we started attending classes, our church actually asked us to go and run these 12 set meetings, self-help recovery movement, which is, which is super successful.
I mean, that’s what has held millions of alcoholics with the AA program. So we started going to the jail and the prison, and I cannot tell you how many times we heard people say, you know, I really, really was doing really good with my recovery until I got to step four. And then, um, you know, and then they would talk about, and then on, and then the meetings we were doing in the churches, people would say, I never could stay sober for a long period of time until I did a thorough step four.
I heard that so many times and I kept saying, what is this magical thing about step four? So maybe you could just could, you know, share a little bit about that too. Step four is like, that’s the Archway that leads us into that long-term recovery. So, so Brian, why don’t you hit us up and to start us out here and share with us your story and, and, uh, and what happened?
I’d love to I’m Brian, I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict. Um, father, a husband, three beautiful kids, nine, seven, and three. So chaos of bounds in our home, beautiful wife, uh, grew up with four siblings, jammer being one of them. We call them jammer. Um, grew up in Utah, uh, mostly in Davis county, Farmington, Utah, um, grew up in a pretty religious home, uh, church on Sunday, Cub Scouts, um, played ball.
I, we, we played all the sports. Maybe not all of them, but baseball, basketball, jammers, a good football player. Me, not so much golf, uh, soccer, pretty normal, just kind of all American, um, childhood. Um, I was always a, a shy kid, um, when I was younger, um, not so shy anymore, but, um, definitely had a lot of fear in social settings.
I remember in elementary school, um, or I would get embarrassed very easily, um, very easily, um, but was, was still active in, in lots of stuff. Lots of fun stuff, family vacations, you know, cabin Disneyland, you know, um, I, I’m not a guy. Uh, my, my story’s not one, uh, to give a bunch of really tough, hard. Um, I joke that the toughest things going on in my life growing up was remembering the, the pool code in the neighborhood, you know, I mean, uh, we were rollerblading and swimming.
Yeah. Pretty routine, pretty normal. Um, got to junior high. Um, and things started to change. I mean, I, I, I started to, I was very curious, uh, 12, 13 years old. Um, I like to fit in. I like to, I found that if I did certain things, I could get more friends and fit in and, um, starting act, acting out a little bit. I mean, I remember doing strange enough things like, um, filling up the party blowers, you know, with pine needles and leaves and, and smoking them like cigars, you know, as a 12, 13 year old.
Um, and just kind of doing strange different stuff, uh, with a couple buddies and, um, And then I start, and then I first used substance when I was 14. Um, and it was awful. It was, I got really sick. I threw up everywhere. Are you comfortable saying what it was? It was Robitussin. And actually I used Robitussin to alter my state of mind, um, at a, at a sleep-over a house party, whatever you want to call it.
Um, and I didn’t like it, but here’s the strange thing is, is when I was done throwing up. Um, I remember feeling and thinking, I want to try that again. Oh, wow. So it was strange because it wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t, I didn’t have this great sense of, you know, euphoria that you get from, from substances. Like some people do initially.
Um, it was kind of awful and, but, but even still I being altered or not myself, I, I think felt good. You know, I think I was in enough pain that not being who I truly was for, for that moment. You said that, you know, there was something inside kind of the whole, and, you know, trying to find that the, the, the hole in the donut, they say, you know, at times where boy, you took something and it, and it just feels something that was lacking.
Is that kind of how you would describe it or how you felt? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, again, I, I didn’t feel like I had a ton lacking, but that’s true. Obviously I did. Um, because my life, um, was full of a lot of really good things. Um, and when I tried alcohol, you know, a couple of weeks later and some different things, um, I had a different experience.
It was, it gave me a positive relief. So that was kind of how the substance abuse started. Um, and, and my story is also kind of a Jekyll and Hyde, you know, I, um, I grew up in, in, in the religious deal and had positive experiences, um, profound experiences that I felt. So once you’ve, once you feel those, I don’t know if you shake them.
Um, and so acting out and doing things like that kind of started that shame, um, that, that, uh, just barrel of shame, you know, when I would, when I would Jekyll and Hyde thing and be this, this different person, um, and, and blessed sacrament, or, or then go do that other side or that other life, I think it, it kind of raised the shame stakes unknowingly at the time.
I mean, I was just kind of getting by, I think, and, um, you know, playing ball and, and hanging out with your buddies, but at the same time, um, There’s the shame started to go up for sure. You, because I wasn’t living aligned with who I want it to be. I always had good intentions, I think, um, to be happy and positive and, um, just productive in life.
And, um, when I, when I wasn’t aligned with that, it really took a toll on me, you know? Um, so then the, the frequency escalate, and then when did you know, it became an addiction and then, you know, what were some of the consequences and some of the issues that come up along the way? Yeah, definitely increased, got into other drugs.
I’m kind of a garbage can drug addict. So, um, I’ve tried pretty much everything. Um, the, the frequent use was opioids for me, opiates and Oxycontin, um, and, and heroin by the time I got to treatment. Um, but I knew I had an issue in my early twenties, um, and getting to my early twenties was a lot of, um, trying to do the right thing.
Go to school, go to college, go on a mission. Um, get married. I did all of those things. I checked all of those boxes with good intentions, um, was too sick to do them in a healthy way. So I went on mission for two days, you know, um, and got the heck out of there as I started withdrawing in the MTC, because I just couldn’t be honest about what was really going on.
And, um, so I ran through, you know, friendships relationships. Um, wasn’t honest, which we’ll talk about today was step four. I mean, I thought I was honest. Um, I always thought I was an honest guy and, and a man of integrity, but I wasn’t, um, unknowingly. Um, so yeah, I think in my early twenties, I remember having moments where it’s like, I can’t stop, you know, even if I wanted to stop, um, there’s no way I could stop.
Um, and so I just lived kind of a secret life. I mean, me and jammer, um, me and Jameson have have history using together and being on that side of it, a lot of it, um, every day. Um, so he knew what was going on. Um, our friends that were doing the same stuff knew what was going on. How far apart are you in age or three years?
Three years old. Over jammer. Um, so they knew what was going on. Um, my, my, the rest of my family did and, and, and other friends that, that definitely weren’t in that lifestyle or that, or live that way. They didn’t, they didn’t know what was going on. And, and, and for sure that people closest to me bless their hearts now.
I mean, I ran people through the gamut, you know, um, who aren’t in my life anymore because. Um, and they shouldn’t be, you know, cause I heard a lot of people along the way and burned a lot of bridges. So I kind of dragged into a treatment when I was 27 back in 2008. Um, suicidal thinking about suicide every day.
When was your marriage, how was your marriage doing at that point? Rocky? I was, so my first marriage, I was set, we were separated. So I was living in my mom’s basement using heroin, just kind of dying, you know, just slowly. And I was kind of okay with it. Like I felt at that time, I remember feeling like I had failed so much compared to who I thought I should be.
Um, that they coming back from it or, or rebounding or, I mean, I, I felt like I had already of. Blew my chance with who I should have been in life, who showed you? I heard the statement that addiction is kind of like, you know, a ring with keys and in an addiction because it’s progressive, it kind of clicks off one key at a time you might have a house, you might have a couple cars or a boat or whatever it just, because it, you lose your ability to function.
You just lose one kid at a time and tell you basically don’t have anything in your, in your parents’ basement. And you’re you’re so shame-based and have some so hatred that you just want to use to, to numb out. Um, is that kinda what happened here? Um, you know, I imagine with the marriage you’re separated now that’s got to just emotionally, you know, kill ya.
Um, and you’re trying to numb that out as well. We all know. Yeah, that’s true. And then also, uh, to go along with that, to be honest, Emotionally. Um, I was so far down the road of, of apathy and depression that, um, being separated from, from that marriage. Um, wasn’t killing me. I was okay to die. I mean, um, I knew, I knew for myself that I had, you know, blown that relationship and then had kind of conceded that and, and deserved it, you know, so I’m pretty hard on myself.
Um, it’s like, I got what I deserved and she’s better off which she was. Um, and I’m okay to just, uh, kind of, kind of use in this basement and see what happens. I mean, um, but that’s where I had my moment, you know, that’s where I had my first, uh, God moment really was in that basement. Yeah. Uh, cause I was sitting here thinking, you know, you do you get to that point where, for what I’ve heard from so many people that you’re just, you’ve tried so many times.
Um, and you’re stuck in all of this shame and you kind of just feel like you’re unworthy and you’re not, it’s never going to happen anyway. So yeah, and even, even these guys knew what was going on. Um, they started to look at me different at least what I, what I recall. Um, so when you’re, when you’re using buddies and your buddies that are, that are also in a similar boat start kind of distancing themselves and looking at you different, it’s like, you know, I don’t have anything left, you know?
And so, um, so I said a prayer. I was, uh, I was in that basement. Um, I, I was about day two of, of withdrawal going through a pretty rough one and hadn’t prayed for a long time. And, uh, I said a prayer. You know, if you’re out there, I mean, I, you shouldn’t be, you know, kind of that prayer. Like I understand if, if, if you’re not out there, if you’ve given out cause, uh, cause I’m ready to like resign this, um, this life.
And uh, after praying ahead, I had three thoughts come to my head and the first one was, uh, you should take your life. Okay. Which I had had before, but this one came with some more adrenaline, some energy, which scared me. Um, second thought was you can go use, I didn’t have any money. I had literally stolen, um, gas out of my mom’s garage gas cans to get to Salt Lake.
And, and, and that’s kinda what I did the last couple of weeks. I had no money. I had to convince people to give me anything, just to get me through another day. Um, and the third thought, which is which. The one that, that worked was ask somebody for help. And that seems like such a simple thought. Um, and I joke with a buddy of ours, um, still to this day, it’s like, man, that’s such a simple thought, but if we just ask somebody for help, who cares, that’d be probably going to help us.
But we just don’t really think about doing that. I don’t know if it’s pride or stubbornness or embarrassment or shame, or probably a combination of all of those things. Um, that thought came with a power greater than myself to get me up the stairs. I heard somebody in the kitchen. Um, I, I, I got up the stairs.
It was my older brother, our older brother, Landon. Um, and I kinda crawled into the kitchen and Landon asked me, you know, can you feed you. Uh, my nephew who’s two or three at the time. Can you feed him some breakfast? And I was still just pretending like I was okay. You know, and sure I can do that. And, um, but what I did cause I was so sick and weak as I laid on the kitchen floor with a bowl of cereal and I couldn’t feed my nephew.
Um, cause I was shaking so bad. I couldn’t get cereal to his mouth and I looked up and Landon was just laser-focused on me, you know, at this point, um, how old was he? Landon’s uh, 18 months older than me. So, uh, at the time he was, he was 29 or 29. Um, and he just said, bright, do you need some help? And I said, yeah.
So that day, uh, got me to the hospital, got the ball roll ball, rolling to get into treatment. Wow. And did, were you one of those lucky ones that just wanted to treat her one time and then you were pretty good after that I’ve been to treatment one time since then for a few weeks. Okay. 2013. Okay. That’s still pretty lucky because I, I, someone told me once that the average time of treatment is like three times typically.
Yeah. Because it’s kind of, I mean, it’s a pretty serious brain disease, right? I mean, wow. You know, it, it, uh, makes me, it makes me think that I keep hearing what’s going through my mind is until the pain of a consequences greater than the pain of recovery, we won’t really ask for help or go into recovery.
It seemed like the the pain from the consequences out of money, out of relationships, you know, uh, emotionally bankrupt, I mean, a lot of pain going you’re in your second day. Uh, withdrawals, which I understand that if you’re on heroin, you just afterwards need to use just to be normal. If you don’t use the symptoms are worse than the flu symptoms, times 10 you’re in a two days.
And so you’re feeling consequences. You’re, you’re feeling the pain. Uh, and so you, you, you were prompted. I need, I need to, um, I need to ask somebody for help. And, you know, for those of you that are listening, a lot of times, we want to help, help our loved ones. Uh, but until they’re ready, we can’t force them.
We can’t push it. Uh, and that’s step three is turning it over and allowing our higher power to work with or for on our loving addicts until they’re at a point to where they’re wanting help. Yeah. Case in point, which is a scary thing to do. Very courageous and hard thing to do is to watch. And, and pray for a parent or spouse, right.
That’s watching the one suffering to, to not jump in and try, okay. Everything in your nature, you know, as a mom, you want to nurture, you want to protect and save so badly and yet you need to allow those consequences. Cause that’s the only thing that helps people recognize that they need. Yeah. I can imagine.
I mean, my kids are young, like I said, nine, seven and three, and I already feel protective kind of a impulse to jump in and stop the pain whatever’s going on or, you know, save them from a consequence. That’s what what’s interesting here is that again, we have, uh, two brothers that are using together. Maybe we can switch gears for a second.
Jameson. Maybe you can share your story. Uh, maybe, uh, uh, a little bit more color on, uh, the using together. Um, how that worked out, um, your, your, um, uh, experience your dark time, why, and then how, you know, getting into the ranch, how that happened, uh, was that your first and only time, um, you know, what happened in, in that process?
Uh, maybe start from the beginning when you’re a young, first time that you used, why, why did you do, and what did you feel? What was going on, maybe in the family that, that, that you feel now, as you look back, particularly as a clinician, that you can look back, because it seems like, uh, emotional pain is what drives this addiction, emotional pain, what maybe was going on in the family that caused that emotional pain.
Yeah, sure. So, I mean, same family, obviously. And so, you know, you know, all of that was my experience. I think we all experienced things a little bit differently, but. Church going family, uh, pretty, pretty kind of standard stuff. A good neighborhood, good friends around me. Um, sports, everything that Brian had had mentioned, I think, um, I mean, as part of my story growing up, I had no idea.
I had no idea what was going on with my family. Like looking back, I can see, um, you know, a pretty strong culture of secrecy, not just in our family, but in the community where it’s like, we, you know, we don’t like to talk about the struggle or the pain or the things that, you know, not just the individual has problems with, but family.
And I think that can be a pretty strong culture in certain places. And it makes it hard. You know, I heard on a podcast recently that we’ve become professional secret keepers and we just start learning. And I think that’s part of my story. I just started learning how to keep secrets in line and I just never stopped until, you know, I was introduced to the 12 steps of recovery, but, um, I was just a chronic liar and secret keeper and, and I, you know, Even still today.
I struggle as a part of the struggle I have as a human being is like not keeping secrets, even if it’s stuff that is just like, it doesn’t need to be a secret. And so, um, but yeah, I mean it’s, as a kid, for me, it was around fifth or sixth grade when I felt kind of the first twinges of what I would identify as mental health issues or addiction.
And for me, it was, I started to care where I always had friends and was in socially, um, you know, interacted well fairly well. I was shy, but interacted fairly well. I think around fifth or sixth grade, I started to really care about what my friends thought of me and I, and I just don’t for whatever reason, you know, I just started caring about what the people I look like, what people thought of me and started doing things like getting bad grades on purpose and started acting out in class and, you know, trying to get like kicked out of class.
That’s where it started for me and it, and it was just, it was all about like trying to fill a role that I thought I was supposed to feel like, I thought it was supposed to be a certain person for other people to then accept me, you know? And, and I think if, you know, I was just like chronically felt misplaced, always, you know, at school or at home is just even with brothers and like friends.
It’s just like, I just felt like the one who was on the outside chronically. And, um, I think that’s kind of when it boils down to it, the big struggle that I had as a kid and, um, it’s an elementary school. And then as you know, we hit puberty, the older it gets for me, that gets exaggerated because then social pressure hits and hormones hit.
And, you know, a lot of these things become really, really difficult. So I would withdraw and started to isolate more and felt alone though, had a ton of. Because I was, you know, because, you know, I was, I played sports and had people around me and grew up with friends. It’s like, I didn’t appear to have, or maybe I did.
I don’t think I appeared to have any big issues going on at side. And, but internally everything felt wrong. Like everything just felt off. And I felt like it was difficult to walk into classrooms and it was difficult to interact socially. I started to really struggle socially and really start to do things alone.
And unless I was, you know, with my friends and I found out at, you know, 13, 14, that if I could, you know, first thing I did that, I drank alcohol. Um, that was the first time I kind of altered my mind. And, and I just liked it. You know, I, I, looking back, I have a lot more to say about it, but at the time it was like, I just liked it.
It was just like forever. For whatever reason I had just like I found my calling. So everything inside of me that felt off or different or wrong just immediately evaporated. And I felt like I was confident and I felt like I was at home wherever I went, I felt comfortable. And that’s a big thing for me. I just want to be comfortable.
And, you know, I don’t, we have that thing, you know, to challenge ourselves as good and to be uncomfortable as good. I didn’t have anybody telling me that as a kid, I didn’t learn that lesson. And so I felt like I didn’t talk, you know, it was a secret keeper. So I didn’t tell anybody, like, it’s really difficult for me to fit in.
And so I thought there was something wrong with me and only nobody else understood. And so alcohol became that person that I was seeking it just, and, you know, alcohol, marijuana, opiates. At that point, it was anything, you know, in high school and junior high, anything I could get my hands on. And again, it’s like, I have a lot more to say about it now, but at the time, all I thought was like, this is fun.
It feels good that, you know, it’s what the people around me are doing. Um, and can I ask you a quick question? Sorry about, but with you being a clinician, um, I have heard that like 80% of people who fall into addiction have started usually like in their junior high years, you know? And I mean, think about when you’re in junior high, we all wanted to fit in and our bodies are doing this word things.
And when we look funny, our teeth are bigger or faces, we get pimples, like it’s a horrible junior high as a horrible, tiny, right. So, I mean, nobody, you want to fit in some that, but have, have you heard that? I mean, I’ve heard that like, almost like the majority of people start experimenting in junior high and that’s a scary time.
I haven’t heard the number, but it makes sense because of all the reasons that we’re talking about. And then also the reasons about, you know, the culture of secrecy and it’s like, we just don’t have good. I think it’s getting better, but we don’t have good avenues in the junior high school to go and tell someone, like, I don’t feel like I fit in.
That’s an embarrassing thing to say out loud. Right. And when you’re a kid, a lot of times, like your family is not saying that. And it’s like the teachers aren’t saying it, the messages we get from, from everywhere outside is that we’re supposed to be okay. And if you’re not okay, which like, most people are not okay in junior high, like inside.
And so, so for people like me, who you mix that with like genetics and like this cocktail, it’s just like, uh, it was like, I had no hope. So I was going to be an addict. Just so Jamie, what’s interesting here. Uh, I want to lean on your clinical training now a little bit, several times you’ve mentioned secrecy.
Yeah. Uh, the culture of stick in the family secrets. Uh, it seems like addiction when it’s in secret. That’s when it. It seems that, um, you haven’t said this, but maybe you can develop the thought around feelings. It sounds to me like in your family there, things would happen in let’s not discuss it. It was a secret.
And so it wasn’t okay to feel. It reminds me of the five, uh, you know, the five rules about feelings that are there, incorrect traditions of our fathers. You know, number one is, uh, don’t talk about your feelings. Number two, don’t think about your feelings. Number three, don’t feel your feelings. Number four, don’t share your feelings and number five heaven forbid don’t trust your feelings, feelings that are buried alive.
They never die, but later they come out in the form of cravings, addictions could. I’m looking at this and you know, when both. We’re first experimenting. When you were just young, it altered your feelings, it made you feel something better as you described it. Could that be that there was emotional dishonesty in the family?
Like what we experienced in our home, it was emotional dishonesty. It was all beat up. And when our boys started struggling, you know, all of this count come out. Maybe you can develop that. I thought a little bit. Yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, and it’s like, so like you guys said, you didn’t know like there’s and I keep saying this, but like at the time, there’s no way I could have put words to this because I was completely blocked off from the fact that there was even a problem.
We didn’t even, it wasn’t even, like, we sat down as a family and said, we’re not going to talk about this. Like, our family didn’t even communicate that much. Like we just didn’t talk at all. And so subconsciously you received the message that it’s just like, you just don’t talk about. Like I, you know, I didn’t get a sex talk when I was growing up.
I was like, we just, like, if it’s a hard topic, we don’t talk about it. We joke and we laugh and we do other things, but, but we don’t talk about it. So again, you get the message that if there is something and like, I don’t even, the other thing is that I don’t even have a vocabulary to put words to what I’m feeling like.
I don’t even have the tools. It’s a different language. I don’t even have the vocabulary to tell you, like, I’m feeling anxiety or anxiety was a thing that was so obscure to me. Like, I didn’t know what it was. And so I just didn’t have the words to put to it. I mean, it was like, and when you’re in that situation again, the school probably had some tools, but they weren’t like a vape, you know, they didn’t seem available.
It seemed like a weakness to go to a school counsellor. It wasn’t promoted. You know, I’m not seeing signs on the wall that talk about mental health or anything like that. So, I mean, it was just, again, I said there was just no hope for me. It’s just like, I was on a direct course for the thing that worked best in my life.
And that was just drugs and alcohol just immediately solved all of them we problems. Okay. So, um, that’s, that’s why addiction is called the feelings disease is because we don’t want to feel when hard times happen. When we’re growing up, we’re not taught about feelings. We’re not taught to express our feelings.
We’re not taught how to identify feelings. And so what happens is our family becomes an emotional dishonest family. And that’s what happened with us. And we didn’t know what was going on. Recovery for the addict is working through that, but recovery for the family members. Is working through that as well.
And it’s a glorious experience. Um, but, um, again, uh, you know, this is why they call it addiction, the feelings, disease inadequate use his or her drug of choice to numb out because they don’t want to feel, uh, they don’t want to go there. So, uh, anyway, continue well, and just really quickly too. I think, I think it could be, I mean, I know definitely it’s a cultural thing too, but I think also it’s just a human tendency to not talk about hard things.
I think as far as communication goes, that’s like the number one problem I hear all the time is I just don’t know how to communicate with them is, and that’s why we love the 12 steps so much because we were the same similar family. And I thought that there was something wrong with us. But now that we’ve been working with family members for eight years, it’s just human nature.
Like most people really have not been taught how to communicate, how to share their. And we were taught. You have to fill it to heal it. And with family members too, as a mom, I know I was in so much denial. It was so much easier for me to, to not think about it or to minimize, you know, to minimize that and think, well, they’re just going through a hard stage right now.
They’re going to, they’re going to snap out of it. Um, this is normal. So I think the communication part too, and I love that you said I just didn’t have the vocabulary for it. And again, the 12 steps are such a blessing because it takes us to step by step. It’s such a simple, simplistic way that is just like all the pieces of the puzzle are there to heal emotionally, physically, spiritually, and relationally.
It’s such a blessing. Right? But so here you are. You’re so how did this, how did the progression go for you? But Gretchen is, and this is also up to this point junior high and high school. And again, it’s like. I was on a fast track to addiction. So I would have used every day, if I could, I just didn’t have access.
You know, it’s a lot harder than, um, and at this time I’m, I’m playing baseball a lot. When in high school it turned into just like a lot of my life was baseball and partying and, um, held it together a little bit. I had some teachers bail me out, some coaches bail me out, you know, I was lucky to graduate and, you know, I get to experience a lot of the kind of privileges that go along with being raised, where it was.
And it’s just like, Hey, luckily graduated. But by this time, um, I, I had become so accustomed to numbing myself through drugs and alcohol and any other, if I’m sober, any other means, like, I’m just, I’m so disconnected from, um, my feelings that by the time I got out of high school, this, this apathy had set in, that was just, I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t have that word apathy.
I didn’t have the vocabulary, but looking back, I was just so. Um, apathetic towards life and nothing matter. Is that part of the numbness too? Cause you’re really numb. I mean, when you’re using, you’re pretty much numbing numbing out, you know, and we do that as family members, too, with the denial with denial, we’re like we’re literally numbing ourselves.
And the sad thing is, is you numb the positive feelings along with the negative feelings. And so you both mentioned this thing about apathy and you just, I appreciate you sharing that because that’s, that’s, that’s kind of a flat, so it’s interesting just as addicts go through that we as family members do as well.
And you know, Satan’s counterfeit for peace is numbness and we’ll numb out. We might numb out not through drugs, but through TV, sports, shopping, hunting, uh, just checking out, uh, our cell phones apathy, uh, it can’t be that big of a deal. Our son or our daughter is not. You know, and you numb out as well. So it’s interesting.
The parallel between what family members go through and the actual addict go through. So anyway, continue. Awesome. So that app, so that apathy sets in and it just made it feel like an apathy to me is worse than numbness. Cause numbness is like, I don’t feel an apathy is more of an emotion. It’s like, I, I actively don’t care anymore.
I get, and that to me is like more of an emotion. And so like, you know, I went to college for one day and I just didn’t care. It’s like I was gonna party. And, um, I didn’t work. Like I had odd jobs, but it’s like I had, and part of this goes into the brain part of it too, where it’s like, I, I just, like, I don’t think my brain had developed, so my maturity was lower.
Um, I hadn’t developed socially because I’ve been using since I was 15. And again, it’s just like this cocktail of things that made it. So I was just, I, you know, I guess I thought in my early twenties, that life was about just like finding a drug or a drink and getting high and going to parties. It’s like, I was bad at keeping jobs as bad at colleges.
You know, I was on top of that. It’s like, one of my ways of numbing was I was emotionally dependent on a girlfriend for a lot of this time and through high school and I’m emotionally dependent and I’m codependent and I’m addicted to drugs. And so I’ve just become a professional at, like we said earlier, keeping secrets, being apathetic and not talking about like the struggle, um, which is like, like you said, Christie, it’s like a, it’s a very human thing that we all struggle with.
And it’s like, I don’t know to what degree it goes away, but I still struggle with it. You know, it’s like in my marriage, it’s like difficult to talk about hard date and steel, but it’s more like it’s like working out. It’s like, if you want to get stronger, you have to keep doing it. And so despite the fact that it’s a struggle, we just keep doing it.
So, you know, with, with parents that have, um, kids that are using, uh, maybe they’ve used a long time, similarly, you guys had in your early teens, 14, 15, 16, My understanding is when you use at that point, you physically grow and develop, but you emotionally pretty much stopped. So a person could end up being 20, 21 years old physically, but emotionally they could be 15, 16 years old.
And you’re looking at your kid and saying, what in the heck is a problem he doesn’t know, or she doesn’t know how to do this or that. And they’re 21 year. Maybe you can put some and on the brain when you’re a teenager too, is so much more dangerous, right? Because your brain is still developing and then maybe you can like explain them.
So it’s still developing, but it’s also like, you just don’t gain the skills. And so I started using when I was, I don’t know, 12 to 14, somewhere in there. Um, but I really started using in a hundred percent, maybe 90% of my social situations when I was 15. So I never developed social skills. So I have. Had zero social skills.
And so, so again, it’s like my family, when they’re looking at me in my early twenties, 22, and they’re comparing me to another 22 year old emotionally, or like by my career. And this is just not a lot of addicts. They take all forms, but this is just mine. It’s just like, it’s an unfair comparison because I just wasn’t developed.
I just didn’t have the skills that other 22 year olds had. I went to them, you know, the shame and the guilt and, you know, the way you feel about yourself, like all of that just keeps compounding and compounding and getting worse and worse as the disease gets worse and worse. And so, you know, and the high gets worse and worse.
So it’s, it’s worse. It covering up how you feel about yourself and that’s getting worse. And those two things are on a collision course until eventually. It’s just one, the way you feel about yourself, just surpasses the ability of the drug to cover it up. Good news. For those of you who have parents that are listening and you’re thinking, God, this is my son.
And you, you, you have a loss of hope. Look at Jamie. Um, look at Brian, they made it through not only are they productive, they’re, they’re both married. They really, they lead a great life helping others, uh, and that emotional maturity does come back. And so there is a lot of hope here and may maybe because of time Jamison.
So we get into step four share now about what happened with your recovery going
yeah, I’ll do the fast forward version. And, um, so I, uh, eventually Brian went to treatment in 2008. And so what happened to me is I think in 2008, I was probably ready. But again, my family isn’t like talking if they’re talking to each other, but not to me about my issues. And so I watch him get sober and get a whole, like all of these new people come into my life.
And at this time just like cam I ended up in my mom’s basement. And good base. And I’m just like compulsively reading and on drugs. And, you know, I’m on drugs that are there at that time were supposed to help me like Suboxone and methadone and they were not helping, it was abusing those. And, um, and he started, he gets sober and this light comes on in his eyes and he starts bringing around a whole new group of people that all of us know.
Right. And it’s just like, and I’ve, you know, I start meeting people and it’s just like, how do I get this? And for whatever reason, I just didn’t think it was available to me. Like I wanted it. And I thought like, I can do this, but I didn’t think for whatever reason, I didn’t want to ask for help. Um, because of like, who’s going to pay for it.
And like all of these reasons, like just nobody’s going to help me. Um, until finally that just, I think that they, at one point, you know, I was in the basement, they just came down and kind of like they had, they had an intervention, you know, stage with like all these people. And I don’t think that they realize that.
Like, all I really needed was someone to say, like, let’s go. Like I was just, I was just ready. It was an easy intervention. I was just ready. And so, you know, I went to, I did want to finish the documentary. I was watching. I was twenty-five twenty-five twenty-five it was July, um, 2009. And I, you know, I ended up in treatment at the ranch and, um, I’ve been so resistant.
So that’s my only treatment stay blessed. You know, I, I want to say something that, that you’re not expecting. Um, but so, you know, both came from the same family there, some belief differences here, and I just want to bring this up. Uh, Bri is, is religious. Meaning. He goes to church. He said, Um, uh, praise to heavenly father, his savior, Jesus Christ, et cetera, et cetera.
Jamison in the same family has got some different thoughts. He does have higher power. He does believe in the 12 steps. He went through the ranch and both of them found healing. This is my point in bringing this up. If you have a son that is not religious. And I remember one of our sons, he says, dad, I don’t believe in God.
I know you do, but uh, you gotta respect me. I’ll respect you. Is that a deal? Well, we got him into the ranch and man he’s been sober for 10 years, plus, um, if there is not a belief in a higher power, we can work with those types of, of men. If they do have a belief on a religious site, We work with them as well.
See, we meet them on the, with the place where they’re at. And so anyway, oh, sorry. And I just, and I just felt the sheriff something too, because we, we see this a lot. So we, you know, we raised our kids in, in a pretty strict religious home and I mean, and for us, that was our truth. And so what we see is that sometimes we get, so like, we were very overbearing with all of that very, um, zealous, if you will.
And what we see and what we saw with our boys is, is it kind of is like that pursuer and the distance, or there’s a pattern with that, you know, we’re pursuing and they’re going to distance. We were putting, we were too pushy, too, too pushy. And all my kids were telling us that they were all telling me that, uh, one day Preston.
In the kitchen, he just blew up at me and he’s like, mom, can’t you see every time you open your mouth to me, like you’re preaching, you’re sending me scriptures. You’re sending me prophets stories. And you guys the holy spirit, right? I mean, I hit me so hard in this prayer. It said, he’s right. And I said, I am so sorry.
And I said, I promise I will never bring up, you know, a church again, unless you want to talk about it. You know? And, and fast forward all these years later, both of the boys are actually very spiritual today. And they’re very, they’re very happy, but you know, we have to take people where they’re at. And it’s really important that we learn to love our kids.
And, and Stephen R Covey said something that really, sorry, this is important to me. Stephen R Covey said something. If you really want to change your help, your loved one, a change you want to help them see themselves in a new light. And we do that by focusing on their potential on, well, I don’t want that.
Word’s kind of shaming too, but focusing just on their, their goodness and, um, uh, there’s so much good in all of our, our kids. And we kind of forget that we it’s like driving up to the Grand Canyon and you’re parked there and your windshield just beautiful Pano panoramic view. It’s just breathtaking.
And you’re focused on the fly on the windshield. You know, that’s all you can focus on the fly on the windshield. So when addiction came with my boys, man, that’s all I could focus on. That’s all I talked about. I’m pushing my religious agenda and, um, it doesn’t work. And so if you’re hearing me, please just understand that it doesn’t work.
And maybe Jamison as a clinician, you can just adjust that because as parents, you know, we, we feel so deeply about our faith. I mean, 70% was research and I was just reading the research study over 70% of people say that are. It’s like the most important thing to them in their lives. But when I loved ones are in all this shame, um, we have to be really tender and respectful.
Right? Yeah. And it’s counterintuitive. Cause it’s like, you know, I always say to people that I work with, it’s like at some point in this recovery journey, you’re going to start realizing your parents have always been right. Because it’s such a good example because, but we just don’t hear it that way. And so like, as parents, or as family members, we just want to like give them the cheat code to the test and that’s just not how it works.
It’s not productive. It’s we got to have a little bit more faith in the struggling person than that. And a good example is Brian, it works with church and it works with AA because in that year, cause he went in July in 2008 to Renaissance ranch. And I went in July of 2009. So it was a full year and I’m watching, like I said and all that.
And he never said anything to me about never once. Like he never offered to take me to him. He never, like, all he did is sit and listen to me, come up with terrible ideas to get sober. It’s like one after the other. And it’s like, I want to be sober. I’m talking to him about it, but he just let me have my, he just let the steam run out until eventually it was gone.
And it was the attraction part of, you know, what I saw in his eyes and the people, these new people in my life. Um, that’s what was finally like, okay. Like I need that. And I think that they had enough faith that I was going to be okay to let my process happen the way you did have. Um, and I think we, we, uh, cause I remember that that year, well, and it was hard to not jump in because my life just changed dramatically from like I, what I explained extreme as dark as it gets to, um, as much light as you can manage to try new people, new friends, emotions, feelings, Um, you know, uh, what, what treatment does and, and to have your little brother who you’re so close to, to watch them suffer and, and also know that you have a solution, but the solution won’t necessarily work until the time is right.
And so, um, that was tough to watch for a year until finally, um, on a Sunday, uh, me and a couple buddies and my mom was there. Um, just kind of looked at each other. We, we used to go up to her house for, for different things on Sunday. Um, and we kind of looked at each other. He was in the basement and it said, it just felt like it was time.
It was like, let’s go down there and do this. Um, and so we did, but it was extremely different. So wait and watch if, if you’re listening to this, I mean, I empathize with you if you’re in that position now, because, and that’s what makes you such a beautiful executive director. In fact, I have to share it whenever the family members are struggling.
Brian’s the one that always have him call. She was such a, you’re such a good listener and you do have so much empathy. And you do understand that family member precinct, well, you’re just going to say you guys, here’s two brothers that ended up, uh, PRI lost his marriage over addiction, ended up in his parents, um, basement broken as did Jamison and, uh, you know, you think, boy, is there any hope?
There’s great hope. Uh, look at now what’s happened. Um, it takes an addict to heal an addict. Um, if you have somebody that’s struggling in addiction, wouldn’t it be? To have them sit down with one or both of these guys, it takes an addict to heal an addict. Now, Brian is the executive director. He runs the residential treatment center and is powerful.
His brothers of course, running the conditional the is the head clinician there in the outpatient. Just it’s just miracle. What can happen now let’s talk about step four. Let’s talk about how this happened, how they went from the basement in a treatment and was able to maintain sobriety. You know, step one is my life is unmanageable.
I can’t do this. Step two is my higher power can do this or I can’t. Step three is I’ve got to turn it over and allow my higher power to help me to do what I cannot help myself do. Step forward. After we’ve got that foundation of those three steps. Step four is working on ourselves, working on ourselves.
And step four, is this making a searching and a fearless written moral inventory of yourself? Well, why would one need to do that? Why is that important? Why is that such a critical part of recovery? And I want to turn to you Bri, and have you addressed that with this in mind, I’m looking at the ARP manual.
Step four, listen to this. I’ve read this many, many times and pondered on this for hours. It says this quote, your thoughts, your feelings and beliefs are actually the roots of your addictive behavior. Again, your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, unless you examine all your tendencies towards fear pride.
Resentment anger self-will and self-pity, your abstinence will be shaky at best. You’ll continue with your original addiction or switch to another one. Your addiction is a symptom of other causes and conditions. So, so you know, the
of the big book. So here it is your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs are the roots, these, these, these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. And unless we examine them and deal with them, the resentments, the pride, et cetera, um, you know, our abstinence will be shaky at best, or we’ll just switch to another addiction.
So this step for searching and Philips, how do we do that? Why is it, how did you do yours share you thoughts on that I’ve done in recovery in the last decade. Um, I think the proceeding steps support it. Step four beautifully. Um, you know, I kinda had this new drive and a hope and optimism in steps. One, two, and three step three says, made a decision to turn our wheel lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
Okay. And I don’t take that lightly, that decision to turn your will over. That’s a big deal. So you gotta be ready to do that in order to do step four. That’s what I would say first. Um, there’s a couple of words in step four that I love. The first one is searching. Okay. This isn’t a surface level.
Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I, uh, am dishonest. Um, that’s a kind of a surface level inventory searching and fearless is the second word that I love, uh, cause it takes a lot of courage and you have to be fearless to do a proper. Um, so what things that we talked about earlier, um, the Jekyll and Hyde hide the dishonesty, the secrets, um, step four, hopefully starts to open us up to who we really are.
Both positive, negative, productive, unproductive, harmful, uh, helpful. It’s an inventory on both sides, strengths, and weaknesses, but it’s searching and fearless. So hopefully, um, we start to learn about the things that have crippled our soul decimated our soul. Um, for me, that was the dishonesty. That was the selfishness, the self-pity the victim mindset.
I started to see patterns writing a fearless step four, and I believe see quickly going back to growing up. I just always felt like you had, you just had to be good that. Um, to live a productive life that the only feeling acceptable was I’m doing good. I’m doing good because it felt like you sh you shouldn’t be that.
That’s what this is all about. So feelings like sadness, anger, worry, stress, anxiety, um, um, you know, anything other than I’m doing great. We kind of live in that, in that, um, as humans, most people, how are you doing? I’m doing great. And it takes courage and bravery to be vulnerable, but if you can do it, and that’s what step four is, is if you can be brave and vulnerable and fearless and searching, you can start to really learn who you are first, but then accept, accept who you are.
And if you can accept who you really are all around, then you got a shot at. The truth, the truth, the truth shall set you free, then you got to shop to be free. Wow. I love, Hey, explain that. And did you, have you guys noticed too, at least for me when I was what I was doing, like the, the graphical type inventory, you know?
Um, did you notice how much self-compassion that you receive from like at first it’s super scary and I’m sure there’s a lot of shame, but for me, like I did gave me a lot of compassion for myself. It’s like my dad was in the Vietnam war and I went through some really scary things that a little five-year-old and I heard stuff that a five-year-old should never hear about prisoners of war and stuff like that.
And I’m writing in my journal and, and I’m doing my stepfather. I’m thinking, wow, no wonder I I’m kind of a fearful person. You know what? I just, I, God has gave me these insights and I had so much more compassion. Did you guys find that and working through step four? I think you’re going to find a lot.
Again, it’s like, if, if, uh, if you start to turn over those stones that have been there for so long and own them, it’s okay. That it’s okay. That this has happened. It’s okay. Um, it’s difficult. It’s tough that these things have happened. Um, but you start to really, um, not run away from or hide from who you’ve been.
Um, then you got a shot and, and it’s also, I think sometimes step four and I’ll mention step five, which we’re not going to talk about, but, um, not yet, but, uh, a lot of times it gets thrown into the box of you’re doing a confession, which I confession happens kind of in as part of what you’re doing. Um, but the book teaches us and I believe that it’s a fact finding.
So you’re on a mission to a fact. So, you know, the question, some of our viewers are probably thinking, why, why do we need to do that? Why do we need to go on a fact finding, uh, mission? Uh, I mean, as a family member or as an addict to help heal them, I don’t quite get that. Can I, can I, uh, at the point of the spear, uh, just say this, this, this is from a book that I read, he did deliver me from bondage.
It says in doing the step forth and doing a step four, we came out of denial about three things. Number one, how much we have heard others came on out of denial on that. Number two, we come at a, at a denial of how much we have been hurt by others and especially numbers. We come out of denial. How much we’ve heard ourselves now?
Um, let me relate this to an interesting story. So we have some, some friends, uh, she was, um, in barefoot feet on her carpet and all of a sudden she felt a picture, oh, that hurt know we’ve all been there. She looked down, she thought it was a sticker. Couldn’t find it moved on with her life. A couple of days later, they leave, they go, I think to Disneyland or something like this.
And she’s walking around and she’s saying, man, this is my foot’s hurting. And you know, you walk that much. It could hurt anyway, but it’s really hurt. Well, finally it really hurt and they go in, have an x-ray and she’s got a needle in her foot that long, what happened is as she was walking around and it just slipped it and she didn’t even see it go in, you know, you can feel that, but you couldn’t see it emotionally.
There’s things. There’s emotional wounds. There’s pain emotionally that drives the addiction. Step four, it seems to me is a way to work through and get those needles out so that we are not in emotional pain. And every time we’re seeing addiction family members, we need to, you know, share you say codependency because that’s the struggle that we, we struggle with is that codependency combing with dependent, our thoughts, feelings, emotions become very dependent with another person to where we’re not living our own lives.
So we can’t sell people well as codependent. One thing that is really embarrassing, but as we are raising our kids, Um, I would fly off the handle on little things, for example, would be eating. And one of my kids would spill milk and meant it. It was like on a scale of one to 10, it’s like a 12, what would, you know, I could go nuts.
And afterwards, I kind of think why, why does it happen? Listen to this. This is, uh, one quote out of, he delivered me from bondage. When I read this, I go, I get it. And this really helped. It says this many of us have spent a lifetime stuffing down or repressing negative feelings. The sad result is that all feelings including positive ones are and including positive ones are muffled and numbed out.
Or sometimes our inner self might take just the opposite stance. We overfill and overreact to little things. For example, We may become angry completely out of proportion to a spilled glass of milk. That’s exactly what happened as I worked my, my four step, it helps get these needles out well, and it’s interesting too, because as you work your steps, like the journaling part, the writing part is a huge part of step four.
And we’re, we just love to talk about the writing and the journaling part, because that’s, for me, that’s where the magic has happened. That’s where I feel like God has given me impressions and helped me understand why I’ve done certain things. What, why had the shame, why had the, the, um, low self worth and things like that?
The pity party, all of that. Um, but, but with Rick, this is kind of vulnerable, but in working his step show, we figured out where a lot of those explosions came from. He, his parents divorced at a very young age. And a lot of bullying, a lot of bullying, you know, at a young age. And so the, the step four helps you figure it out.
The step four is not just for the addict is for us. It’s for everybody. Now let’s switch Jamison. I think we’re almost out of time too. I want to make sure we have time to explain to everybody what treatment looks like residential and, right, right. So, so, uh, Jamison, uh, um, your thoughts on, on your step four, what it did for you, um, how it helped you in your recovery?
Did it affect the cravings and the issues in the, the hole in the soul? How did, how did it. How does step four help you? We’ve heard many times. Boy, if I did not do my step four, I tried and tried and tried to beat recovery meetings, but I never could maintain recovery until I did a third, a little step forward.
Yeah. I mean, I think for me, it’s like you said it in the beginning, it’s like our thoughts and feelings and emotions are driving the addiction. And, um, to me that’s kind of the essence of step four is like in order for us to recover and to, you know, feel the whole and all of that, we have to identify the patterns of behavior that have led to where we’re at.
And, um, you know, the Dr Silkworth and the doctors at PTB in the big book says that we have to have an entire psychic change. And I think to me, it’s like the first three steps are an internal spiritual process, um, in a, in a decision process, like we have to like truly deep down, make a decision and then we get to start to change and that to me to step forward.
But we have to identify. The, the issues and the patterns of behavior, the manipulation, the lying, where like pride, ego, anger, like where are these things are driving our behaviors. And it’s so effective just because, you know, when your list resentments, because when you do a step four, I mean, step five is involved with support.
So you list resentments. And then on the other side, you list, what part of you it’s affecting. And so when you do a step five with a sponsor and they cover up, you know, we forget the other person entirely. And then we get to see like, oh my gosh, like, look at how often my self-esteem is causing me to be angry at people in my life, or, you know, in 12 steps or AA, we do sex inventory.
And through looking at sex inventory, it’s really, really effective at identifying how we manipulate people in our life. And a lot of us just never, ever have insight into that. We have no insight. And so step four is a good PR and we do step five because it’s like, we don’t have insight. We can’t read it.
Objectively view ourselves. So we bring another person in and we start to really dissect the patterns of behavior in our life that have led to where we’re at. And, um, and then through the rest of the steps, 6, 7, 10, we get to start changing that like actively trying to be the person that we want to be based on the values that we choose.
And, and like, for me, all of that kind of starts in step four where it’s like, I’ve got to change the way how I got here. And some of this has to change in order for me to live a different life and have a complete psychic change. I have to identify what the problem is. We always want to, you know, you know, a lot of times we come into treatment thinking that like the drug or the alcohol is the problem.
And most of the time it’s just not. And so we have to identify the problems, whether it’s through CBT or DBT or therapy or through 12 steps, it’s like we have to get. The big book says we have to get down to causes and conditions if we’re going to stay sober. Long-term. Yeah. And I think that process starts in step four.
Um, man, this is how powerful it is. So you can see the type of treatment that happens. It’s it’s it, you know, they say that, uh, for our spiritual body to overcome our physical body, we must first go through our emotional body and that emotional healing is what the ranch focuses. It’s it’s miraculous is life changing.
You see two miracles right here. Our two boys are miracles of recovery. Long-term recovery, maybe a to your point, hun, we can maybe have you guys talk a little bit about, um, the residential side and the, how does, how does treatment work? Like when someone calls you and say, well, how does treatment work? And what’s the, what’s the ideal situation?
You know, because it used to be where, when my voice went, you know, clear back long time ago, what 12? Well, 15 years ago when they first went in 14 to other treatment centers. Yeah. It’s like a 30 day thing. There’s just no way. I mean, you’ve got this addiction that’s been going on for many years and 30 days.
You’re supposed to change all your behaviors, patterns that doesn’t work. So, yeah. Okay. So I, uh, and to add to what you’re saying earlier, I mean, jammer and I are, are, uh, doing well in your boys who I love are doing well, but, but I can tell you that. We know hundreds of men that are doing well. And so this isn’t a, a snapshot, isolated success story.
I want to, I want you to know that we, we know literally hundreds of men that have followed the same path, um, and we, and we’ve done it together. So they’re in the brotherhood and their families are in the family and the family. Oh. And just really quickly, I was reading a paper. My son wrote for school and he, he said, he went back to all those kids that were in the cohort with him and his addiction group at the treatment center.
And only two of them, you know, fast forward, what, 12 years later, whatever are, are doing well in their sobriety. And it’s the two whose family members got involved and were attending their meetings and learning and, and we’re engaged in. Process. And I said, well, see, we see that all the time. Yeah, we’ll see though.
So family supports a big part of residential. I think, uh, my opinion is, is a treatment continuum of care starts at a detox level, uh, which we, which we provide, um, residential, whether it’s 30 days, 60 days, this is a mass unit. This is, uh, we’re putting tourniquets and, and diagnosing extreme trauma, extreme, uh, pain and injury, and a lot of internal dissection of, of trauma abuse, pain, um, or also stabilizing.
So it’s a period of stabilization, whether that’s, uh, uh, relational, legal, medical, psychological, um, emotional kind of everything at the same time, uh, that’s residential treatment. Um, and so it’s kind of this, it seems like a long time to commit to, but in reality, Uh, it’s not it’s, it really is a breakneck, uh, crash course on, on the internal soul of a person.
Um, and the transition to day treatment, intensive, outpatient, which jammer, um, uh, overseas with some other guys. Um, my opinion, I, I think we’re trying to help men build a tool belt and a backpack and a new outlook on life and a new heart, uh, and, and a healing mind to carry on into what jammer does, which is residential is how long, uh, at the ranch at 60 days, 60 days.
And then they do a step down into, into what we call day treatment or PHP. Well we’re living. And so Jim or run with that one. Sure. And it’s, it’s, it’s abs to us, it’s a critical piece to get there, really, you know, and we do day treatment, which is 20 hours a week in IOP, and then stepping down. Um, for six to six months, six to nine months, somewhere in there, but it’s like, residential is good.
You know, I always talk about, like, we plug these guys into a cog. That’s always spinning. It gets a little bit compulsory. It’s like, you know, you kind of have to just get in and follow with the, with what’s going on. You’ll learn stuff like all the stuff we’re talking about today. A lot of it, you learn there for the first time sometimes.
Um, and then you get to get out and practice it because what happens is like you get out and bills hit you, family stuff hits you, you know, all of the conflict in your life is still there. So while you can avoid it a little bit, while you’re inpatient, it’s absolutely critical to be plugged in when you get out.
Because if you’re not plugged in, it can pretty quickly revert. You just go right back to all of those causes and conditions that we talked about. And a lot of times. You know, like we talked about the drugs and alcohol, if weren’t the problem, well, they’re the solution and they’re the best solution. So if you go right back into the dynamic that you came from with no outside accountability or support, it’s so easy to just immediately start seeking that solution because there’s drug addicts, alcoholics.
We know it’s the best solution short term. So we like six months, two weeks of day treatment, which is 20 hours. And then six months of IOP and GOP, which steps down from 10 hours to, you know, all the way down to two. And they’re starting to work now in there. And as far as the family dynamics, I love that you mentioned that they’re going to, if they go back to the same exact family dynamics, that’s going to be problematic.
Right. But, but that’s why we’ve worked so hard with the family members. Right. And you’re trying to bring in the family members whenever you can just try getting them working on their recovery, which we’ve discovered the 12 steps work beautifully for the family members as well. And they’re all on the same page.
You can tell him, okay, we’ve got six classes a week online zoom. It’s a click away. Family members, family members, sip classes, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, night and Thursday at noon. Just women’s only cause women are special and they need special things sometimes, but they’re all free and they’re all zoom.
And you can go to our, uh, social media open to everybody. And if you want to connect with us, you go to addiction, recovery, mom, and all the resources in there on the link. You can see our podcasts webinars and our classes. Um, oh, and the perspective is which kind of cool and our family classes, we have parent perspectives.
We have spouse perspectives. It’s kind of nice to go to a group where if you’re a spouse, there’s other spouses, you know, and all of our facilitators have personal experience with addiction or with addiction within their family as the codependent. So it’s, they’re, they’re powerful. Our facilitators are amazing.
I mean, you know, before. And, uh, one of our family member, our, our son or, or our loved one has cancer and the stats aren’t maybe in our favors, maybe it is whatever we don’t met. It doesn’t matter where we are going to get them the best help, the best treatment, the best Medicaid, whatever we have our means to, to help them overcome this cancer, that disease is, is, is, is a tough one.
This is another type of disease, and we wish we had a hundred percent success rate that we don’t, but what I’m going to do, if I have a loved one, I’m going to get them in a treatment in a place that I believe in that I’ve seen success, and this has had success and they get their best chance.
Brian, your, your, uh, parting thoughts. Yeah. So I’ll answer, um, and talk about the brotherhood, you know, every once a week, Uh, and more often quarterly, monthly, or we’re going down this weekend. There’s a group going down to Moab a Wednesday night. We have an alumni meeting where we just absolutely packed the top of the barn on site with, uh, how many are usually there?
Oh, 60 to 90 guys, depending on, yeah. We provide zoom access for out-of-state guys or those that can’t travel. But, um, maybe the best thing that we do is, is the opposite of addiction is connection. Right? Uh, I’ll, I’ll add in that. I think it’s vulnerable right. Of connection. Um, and, and that’s something we’ve talked about tonight that, um, uh, it’s tough to learn how to do, but this is a group of men from the age of 18 to, to men in their seventies, even that have started to speak a language of vulnerability and, uh, connect.
And a lot of it started if they did a genuine stuff for. So, um, the brotherhood, I, I I’ll finish with this as I was, I was meeting with the guy in house today and he asked me, he said, Bri, what’s the most important thing, um, that you could attach your recovery to, um, up to this point. And I said, it’s, it’s my friends.
It’s my network. It’s the brotherhood. Um, being plugged into that is, um, what keeps me accountable, what keeps me connected, uh, which keeps me with like-minded men that, uh, can speak the language that I speak in my relationship with the savior and, and my, my personal sacred recovery work that I do, uh, supports that.
Um, and, and, but it’s the, it’s that connect. That’s wonderful. It’s interesting that Jamison mentioned too, that it was the friendships that he saw and he wanted that connection too. And that’s what attracted me to take the ranch actually, is that they had such a strong aftercare program because once you’re out of treatment, if you don’t, if you’re not plugged into any kind of a network or friendships, it’s a pretty hard lonely.
I mean, w when a person has addiction for 10, 20, 30 years, it doesn’t take 30 days or 60 days to get healed. That’s why I love our program. It’s, it’s serious residential and then outpatient, and then a step down, up to a year, and that’s powerful it really. And then we’ve got our new couples’ class for our alumni.
So we have a couples, couples, recovery group with our alumni now is going through, right? Yeah. Well, we got to wrap things up. I just want to end with, with a thought, a spiritual note, and then Christie, maybe you can. Wrap us up here. This is out of heated. Deliver me from bondage in reference to step four.
The inventory. After this inventory process, we must turn to Christ consciously and deliberately and ask him to apply his atoning power to our hearts, to purify them of those character traits that have caused us to resist his gracious offer of cleansing. To give us a remission of our sins. He will then burn through our inner unconscious cells, cleansing us and revealing to us all that we’ve missed.
That’s the power of the inventory as the power of step four and these 12 steps. Uh, to, to healing, it’s just powerful. So, um, and I just find to share, I’m just so grateful for, um, for the 12 steps, but, uh, particularly for the knowledge of writing and how important it is to, um, to just answer, we always tell our classes, try to answer one question a day, read your step, think deeply about it.
For me, I like to include some, some prayer with my higher power and to answer that question, and that’s where I feel like God has answered my prayers. He’s has shown me so much of my false thinking errors. Those things that have made me feel best that has prevented me from a fullness of joy. And, and I can’t say how much today to this very day when hard things happen.
That’s my, that’s my recipe. As I sit down and I start writing a letter to God, you know, dear God, I feel, and just writing down. Feelings and emotions that, you know, like, I love how James is that I didn’t have a vocabulary. I didn’t have the tools. I didn’t know how to do that. But as we learn to write, we start gaining a vocabulary and, and for me, it’s just been miraculous.
So I, I love this, this idea of writing this personal inventory and it, for me, it never stops. I don’t feel like I’m ever the same person the next day. I feel like I’m a different person and it’s this, this is for momentum and this growth and being proactive and, and focusing on our own side of the street, cleaning that up does so much.
If we’ve got a relationship with our addicted, loved ones, that’s the best thing we can do is work our own recovery so that we can have that connection with them and talk and talk with them. And they trust us to help us, um, help them find the help that they need. But thanks to you guys so much for tuning in, look forward to having addiction, recovery mom on Instagram or Facebook.