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Stories of Recovery | Alcoholism, Addiction & 12 Step Spirituality
41 minutes | May 4, 2021
From College Dropout to NASA Engineer
Brian’s alcoholism in college led him to drop out. However, when he got into recovery, he went on to help build the software for the Curiosity Rover, which took photos of the surface of Mars. In addition, he worked with the Navy on equipment that took photos deep underwater. But before all that, there was a time in his life when he couldn’t stay sober. For example, he couldn’t meet with his probation officer without being intoxicated. Brian shares his recovery journey with us. He talks about being in treatment at MARR and coming to terms with the nature of his alcoholism. He also talks about how surrendering his ambitions to pursue recovery first and foremost allowed him to eventually return to his career goals and have the success that he never thought possible. If you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, our Clinical Assessment Team is available for a confidential and free conversation about the next steps you can take to get help for yourself and your loved ones. Call us at (678) 736-8694, or you can reach out via the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of our website. 0:01 Intro 1:26 Brian’s alcoholism in college and ending up at MARR 6:20 Brian’s view of spirituality when he got to MARR 9:01 Understanding powerlessness over alcohol 12:35 Letting go of ego 15:20 Starting to be honest 19:15 Getting a sponsor 22:00 Going through the steps 28:20 Sponsoring others 32:23 Going back back to school for engineering 33:20 Working on the Mars Curiosity Rover 35:10 The value of letting go 37:04 Starting a family 39:01 What Brian would pass on to people who are listening The post Ep 72: My Alcoholism in College Led Me to Drop Out appeared first on MARR.
59 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
As a Professional Pilot, I Thought I Couldn’t Ask For Help
Nick was a professional pilot, and he knew he had an alcohol problem. Despite his genuine love for flying and knowing that his career was in jeopardy, he could not stop himself from drinking. Not only could he not stop, he felt like he couldn’t ask for help either. He kept drawing lines in the sand of things he would never do, and inevitably he would cross those lines. Eventually, through his friends’ help, he found his way to MARR started to access the help and the acceptance he desperately needed but was afraid to ask for. He talks about how the professionals’ program at MARR helped him get his career back on track. He also speaks about his current role as a MARR employee working as the Alumni Relations Coordinator. If you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, our Clinical Assessment Team is available for a confidential and free conversation about the next steps you can take to get help for yourself and your loved ones. Call us at (678) 736-8694, or you can reach out via the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of our website. If you are an alumni and want to get involved, you can email Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org. 0:01 – Intro 1:19 – Progression of alcoholism before becoming a pilot 6:40 – Becoming a pilot 11:05 – Flying while under the influence 14:20 – Supervisors start getting concerned about Nick’s absences 22:05 – The stress of trying to hide his alcoholism 30:17 – Friends and family stage an intervention 36:00 – Arriving at MARR for treatment 39:00 – Experiencing the power of vulnerability 47:50 – The Professionals Program at MARR 50:47 – Nick’s role as alumni relations coordinator 55:22 – Staying connected means staying sober The post Ep 71: As a Professional Pilot, I Thought I Couldn’t Ask For Help appeared first on MARR.
33 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Recovery Basics for Family Members
Kaitlin Byrne is the Lead Family Counselor at our Men’s Recovery Center. Her job is to work specifically with the family members of our clients to help them recognize how they’ve been affected by their loved one’s addiction and begin the healing process. In this conversation with host Matt Shedd, Kaitlin explains what makes addiction a family disease and also goes over the basics of family recovery. She also shares about a new group that she’s started at MARR, open to the general public, for family members that are interested in beginning their own recovery journey. For more information on Kaitlin’s group or if you’re interested in participating in it, you can reach out to her directly at 678-805-5145. 0:01 – Intro 0:56 – What Kaitlin does as a family therapist at MARR 4:50 – The family has its own recovery journey 8:45 – Importance of family members of making connections 12:05 – Common symptoms of the family disease 15:50 – New group on the basics of family recovery 21:19 – Unique benefits of group interactions 24:05 – Who the group is open to 26:35 – The challenges of a loved one returning from treatment The post Ep 70: Recovery Basics for Family Members appeared first on MARR.
31 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Making Meth for the Hell's Angels
Penelope’s drinking and drug use began in high school and ramped in her young adulthood. During the 1960s, she traveled around and participated in events like Woodstock and became addicted to heroin in the process. She ended up in prison for a year at the age of 21. Upon getting out, she joined a company as a dancer and taught at a college while also making crystal meth for the Hell’s Angels on the side. After a nightmare detox experience in a psych ward, and with the help of her brother, a MARR alumnus, Penelope made it from San Francisco to admit to MARR’s women’s program, now called Traditions Recovery Center. Being new to the South, she felt like a fish out of water, but she hung in and found recovery and made lifelong friendships. Penelope discusses the principles she learned in early recovery, which she still uses to this day 20 years later. She also shares how she learned to accept and share love from people she thought she had nothing in common with. 0:01 Intro 1:33 History of addiction 4:50 Starting on crystal meth 6:30 Calling 9-1-1 for help 8:55 Getting to MARR 10:55 Acknowledging she had a drug problem 14:00 Lifelong friendships she made at MARR 15:12 Being a woman in recovery 19:03 Dealing with conflict 20:08 Getting help for mental health issues 24:19 What MARR provided for her that helped her recovery 29:00 What she would pass on to others The post Ep 69: Making Meth for the Hell’s Angels appeared first on MARR.
40 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
My Family's Boundaries Got Me Into Treatment
Herschel was stuck in a rut, but he didn’t know he was an alcoholic. He just thought he was binge drinking a few nights a week. Whenever he ended up in jail as a result of his drinking, a family member would bail him out. But when he was 29, he wrecked a car when he was drunk and woke up in the hospital handcuffed to the bed. This time his parents said he had to go to MARR for treatment, or they were done with him. When he arrived at MARR, he was surprised to find out the people in recovery weren’t miserable. In fact, he even began to experience moments of joy in sobriety. He was also able to learn about the disease that he was up against. He also talks about how MARR’s family program helped his family members as well. 0:01 Introduction 1:16 Before Herschel got to MARR 6:30 The importance of being miserable 10:58 The first day at MARR 12:20 People seemed pretty happy in recovery 15:40 Getting used to being in treatment groups 17:30 Learning about the disease 22:55 Family week in treatment 27:26 Manipulating family members 31:00 What changed over the course of treatment 37:50 What Herschel would pass on to people listening The post Ep 68: My Family’s Boundaries Got Me Into Treatment appeared first on MARR.
43 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Everything at MARR Was Practice for Life After
Tad was well-known in the Atlanta community as a successful real estate developer. Then he was arrested for a DUI and made the news. In treatment, he learned that his business success didn’t necessarily translate into success in recovery. In fact, he found out that he needed to accept his weakness if he wanted to stay sober. By participating in community life at MARR and diving into 12-Step recovery, he found a way of life that provided him with peace of mind as he had never experienced before. 0:00 Intro 1:00 Tad describes his drinking career 5:55 Arriving at MARR 11:30 The benefit of being hopeless 14:27 Being denied leave during treatment 19:34 The arc of decision 21:50 The love he feels for his counselors at MARR 27:45 What Tad would say to an older person who needs recovery 31:40 The benefits of hitting bottom publicly 32:25 Learning to be just another community member 35:20 Everything at MARR is practicing for life 39:35 Learning how to build community The post Ep 67: Everything at MARR Was Practice for Life After appeared first on MARR.
44 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
The Shame I Couldn't Talk About
Anna K., an anesthesiologist with over 20 years of sobriety, vividly describes an unforgettable night when she gave herself a combination of the narcotics she would administer to patients. This crisis event forced her to confront her own addiction and seek help. Throughout her recovery, Anna has had what she describes as an “exciting period of discovery,” getting to understand and heal the inner conflicts that were underneath her substance abuse. As part of that process, she got to look at how much of her activity and outward success was driven by an aching need “to matter.” Now, very active in her recovery, she lives a life of profound connection and meaning, extending help to others who are suffering as she was. Even more than the gratitude she has for her own life, she is overwhelmingly grateful that recovery changed the trajectory of her children’s lives as well. 0:01 – Intro 1:28 – The crisis that brought Anna to treatment 5:34 – Previous attempt at getting sober 9:00 – Beneficial effect of working the 4th and 5th Steps 11:00 – Getting used to 12 Step meetings and a sponsor 14:35 – Learning to get in touch with difficult feelings 18:14 – The progression of Anna’s drinking and drug use 24:40 – Benefits of the Recovering Professionals Program 30:17 – How recovery changed her children’s lives 32:20 – Getting involved in Al-Anon 39:57 – Changing her ideas about God 41:45 – What she would pass on to people listening The post Ep 66: The Shame I Couldn’t Talk About appeared first on MARR.
36 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
What a Non-Addict Learned from People in Recovery
When you are entrusting yourself or your loved ones into the care of a counseling staff, you want to know what those counselors are like, what they care about, and how they treat the clients. On this episode, you will get some answers to those questions and a sense of the caring and compassionate approach adopted by MARR’s professional clinical staff. The Men’s Recovery Center Director Will Atkins describes the powerful experience of working with people in early recovery and the team-based approach that they take to giving their clients the best possible care. As a person who has never had a substance use disorder himself, Will explains what he has learned over the years from people engaging in Twelve Step Recovery and how he can’t imagine doing anything else. 0:01 Intro 2:18 How Will got into addiction counseling 4:15 The powerful vulnerability of people in recovery 7:40 How Will began practicing the same vulnerability they were asking the clients to participate in 8:52 What Will has learned from people in early recovery 11:45 How the vulnerability he learned as MARR has affected his life outside of work 14:50 The types of changes Will has seen in people’s lives working at MARR 18:35 Stepping into the role of Men’s Recovery Center Director 25:23 How the clinical staff practices the same principles they ask the clients to practices 28:41 Providing treatment during COVID-19 31:20 One thing Will would pass on to people who are listening 35:47 Closing The post Ep 65: What a Non-Addict Learned from People in Recovery appeared first on MARR.
29 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
How I Learned to Stop Enabling and Start Helping
Between her former husband, her brother, and her sister-in-law, Melissa had been surrounded by people in active addiction for years. She was loaning money, bailing people out of jail, and doing whatever she could to try to help. But like many people in this position, all her efforts didn’t seem to get anywhere. In fact, the addictions of her loved ones and their consequences only seemed to be getting worse. She was exhausted and didn’t know what to do, only that she couldn’t keep going the way she was. It was about that time that she was on Facebook and came across Addressing Addiction in the Home, a workbook put together by us here at MARR for family members in Melissa’s position. She started going through the workbook filling the pages with her own examples of how she had been pulled into the family disease of addiction. She began bringing the workbook to her therapist to get support in changing how she interacted with her family members. She shares with us some of the insights she has gained as a result of working through this material, and how she has started her recovery from the family disease. If you’re interested in checking out the workbook for yourself, visit www.marrinc.org/workbook. 0:01 – Intro 2:38 How Melissa heard about MARR 9:00 Learning about the disease of addiction 11:30 The family disease of addiction 13:20 Building tolerance for the addict’s behavior 15:40 Addiction is a monster that everyone’s feeding 16:20 Realizing how she had been enabling 18:20 How it felt to see things differently 20:29 The difficulty of setting boundaries 23:20 The urge to jump in and rescue 26:52 What Melissa would pass on to people who are listening The post Ep 64: How I Learned to Stop Enabling and Start Helping appeared first on MARR.
40 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
The Doctor Who Wanted to Die
“That’s when I found God.” This is how Christopher recalls what it felt like to take hydrocodone for the first time. But before long, his addiction took a brutal hold of his life in the middle of a successful career as a doctor. Despite having everything, he eventually found himself in a place where he wanted to die, and he couldn’t understand why. After two stints in treatment, he stayed sober for 17 years. But he explains how he was starting his relapse long before he actually picked up a drug. After another intervention, he ended up in treatment a third time, but this time was at MARR. Through the loving confrontation of his counselors and support of the community, Christopher began the process of humbling himself and being honest about what was really going on. He learned to stop looking for validation from external things and to begin to take joy in his recovery and helping others. 0:01 – Intro 1:41 – High school, college, and med school 3:30 – Taking hydrocodone for the first time 6:38 – On the outside, it looked like he had everything 12:18 – Spending 17 years in recovery 13:00 – Relapse behavior starts long before the actual relapse 16:14 – The first day at MARR 19:00 – Learning to open up 27:16 – Living in the residence with other clients 29:49 – Healing in the family relationships 32:31 – Going back to being a doctor in recovery 35:42 – Things he still does to stay sober and content 39:05 – What he would pass on to others if he could The post Ep 63: The Doctor Who Wanted to Die appeared first on MARR.
42 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
I Had an Opiate Addiction but I Thought I Could Drink
Despite a significant opiate addiction, Eric was making good money and eventually was even offered a position as vice president at his company. Initially, he had thought drugs were just... The post Ep 62: I Had an Opiate Addiction, but I Thought I Could Drink appeared first on MARR.
33 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Gratitude and Resentment Can't Exist at the Same Time
Caitlin started drinking at 15, around the same time that her mom was diagnosed with cancer. By the time she was 20, Caitlin’s mother had passed away, and her father... The post Ep 61: Gratitude and Resentment Can’t Exist at the Same Time appeared first on MARR.
38 minutes | Jul 17, 2020
I'm Going to Keep It Raw
Jasmine shares her transformative experience as part of MARR’s Right Side Up program. Before coming to RSU, she lived in a room where she blocked out all the light. While... The post Ep 60: I’m Going to Keep It Raw appeared first on MARR.
49 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
The Pastor Addicted to Pills, Booze, and Applause
After college, Gil spent a short time as a police officer who was addicted to drugs but was also arresting people for drugs. He thought that if he became a... The post Ep 59: The Pastor Addicted to Pills, Booze, and Applause appeared first on MARR.
54 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
The Fear You Are Feeling Is Real
We all face moments where we are completely overwhelmed by the problems we are facing and the situations we find ourselves in. At these times, all of the strengths, tools,... The post Ep 58: The Fear You Are Feeling Right Now Is Real appeared first on MARR.
33 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Enough Dope to Kill a Baseball Team
How does a person go from living in the woods and running from bloodhounds to holding his community accountable to protect his fellow clients in treatment? At our treatment centers,... The post Ep 57: Enough Dope to Kill a Baseball Team appeared first on MARR.
32 minutes | May 21, 2020
How I Learned Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance is an important part of recovery. Growing up gay in a community where that wasn’t accepted, Keith W. felt flawed—like something was wrong with him. When he found drugs... The post Ep 56: How I Learned Self-Acceptance appeared first on MARR.
25 minutes | May 5, 2020
A Scholarship Helped Me Come Back
In this episode we hear from Nicole T., a medical professional who went through MARR when she was 19 years old, long before her career started. Later, as her career... The post Ep 55: A Scholarship Helped Me Come Back appeared first on MARR.
25 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
How a Parent's Addiction Can Affect the Children
What are some of the specific ways a parent’s addiction affects the lives of their children? How do parents who are in recovery start to rebuild the family’s home life?... The post Ep 54: How a Parent’s Addiction Can Affect the Children appeared first on MARR.
45 minutes | Mar 26, 2020
Prayer and Connection During COVID-19
What is the role of prayer in recovery? What if I’m not religious, or don’t even believe in God? Can prayer help me in uncertain times? Can it help me... The post Ep 53: Prayer and Connection During COVID-19 appeared first on MARR.
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