There is no better indication of strength, integrity and intelligence than a person who owns his mistakes and takes responsibility for corrective action. It’s why I prefer stand-up comedians to politicians. I’d take Stephen Colbert or Dennis Miller for president over any denying or deflecting boob who actually squirms his way into the job.

Honesty, humility and vulnerability are admirable traits. They are the reason we have thousands of listeners and readers (although this particular sentence isn’t very humble). Taking ownership is a sign of confidence. A mistake can’t take me down! We admit, we fix, we learn and we…


From taking the family to see ice skating princesses, to venturing into the wooded mountains to cut down a Christmas Tree, Matt was all about spending time with his family. They were his first priority, after all. At least that’s how it looked to anyone outside his immediate household. But Sheri knew the truth: that alcohol was always his first priority, until sobriety replaced it atop the priority list. In both cases, Sheri and the family remained second to the consumption and aftermath of alcohol. …


As the daughter of an alcoholic, Jessica had plenty of experience with codependence. When her husband’s drinking was spiralling out of control, she had to make unimaginably difficult decisions with her family’s survival hanging in the balance. Alcohol abuse and a compulsive need to control are such a common story, but one we don’t talk enough about.

Jessica joins Sheri and Matt to talk about the trauma her family suffered, and the progress they are all making in recovery. And now Jessica is using her experiences and her passion to save lives. …


When you walk through the gates at DisneyLand, no one has to tell you what you are there to do. You are there to have fun! The same holds true for attending a college or professional sporting event, going to a concert, or clicking into your bindings for a day of skiing. No one goes to the beach to pay taxes or work on the company’s P&L statement (does anything scream, “LOSER!” like a laptop under a beach umbrella?).

Some signals for entertainment and enjoyment are clear. Alcohol is one such signal that it is time to relax and have fun, too.

I know that our society has adapted alcohol as a tool to manage a lot more than enjoyment. We drink to…


Anyone who doesn’t believe the power of the stigma to hold people locked in addiction hasn’t met Darin Valdez or heard his story.

Darin is the founder and executive director of Colorado Artists in Recovery — a Denver-based nonprofit with the mission to help people find their artistic creativity as a pathway to healing from addiction and other mental health challenges. Like a lot of us, Darin’s dedication to helping people is born from his determination to pay it forward. …


Sheri and Matt agree that the single greatest barrier to loving recovery that most couples face when trying to yank their alcoholic marriages out of the ditch is communication. On this episode, they discuss the seven mistakes they consistently made when trying to communicate. See if you can hear the one of the seven that still plagues them over four years into Matt’s sobriety. Here’s a hint: It’s the one where they stop laughing and sound unsure of themselves. Then, Sheri and Matt offer the most impactful tool they’ve adopted to improve their communication and move them down the path of discovery.

If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:37–63.7MB) | Embed

Originally published at https://un-toxicated.com.


When we surrender, we signal defeat. This is one of the main reasons for the dismal recovery rates from traditional alcoholism recovery methods in our society. Humans don’t want to be losers. That’s not how we are wired. Surrender feels hopeless and helpless. Surrender feels like the end.

My recovery from high-functioning alcoholism wasn’t about surrender. It was about changing teams and continuing the fight. The success of my permanent sobriety has a lot of contributing factors. Recovery is complex and individually unique. But in the end, the most important thing I did was to change my mind.

Tom Brady…


Catherine Craig (LSCSW, 1000YT) joins Sheri and Matt to talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences ( ACE Study), attachment theory and the trauma of experiencing an alcoholic marriage. They discuss that trauma doesn’t have to be severe enough to make a good Law and Order: SVU episode in order for it to do us massive harm, and we have to stop downplaying the impact trauma and stress have on our health, not just our mental health. Catherine points to high ACE scores and chronic stress as causes of shortened life spans, and talks to Sheri and Matt about the seven easy…

Matt Salis

I live in Denver, Colorado, with my wife and four kids. I write and speak about addiction and recovery. Please follow my blog at SoberAndUnashamed.com.

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