to the Red Roof recovery show
my name is
Tanya MacIntyre and I am joined by my
beautiful husband of 32 years
together very soon in 2023
I like to
call him sir Lancelot because he’s
definitely been my knight in shining
armor in more ways than one!
brings a family perspective to our
business of addiction recovery programs
to soften the path of recovery from
Lance lived with me through
my drug and alcohol addictions for most
of our marriage he is now enjoying living with
me during five consecutive years of freedom
from my addictions.
But with that of course comes other challenges because
now he’s living with me in my recovery
from addictions which is a whole new
and I love the fact that Lance brings a
family perspective to our conversations
so when we do get together we are having
some insightful conversations from both
sides of this spectrum – this complex
condition of addiction, which is
definitely a global epidemic, to say the
Lance, thanks for being here
think I would have continued doing these
podcasts if you hadn’t joined me – it’s
one of the most anxiety
creating things for me, so I
procrastinate around it a lot. So, I’m
grateful that you have not only joined
me but you are also my accountability partner
to getter done!!!
You’ve done TV and everything like that and
radio and other stuff when you were in
the midst of your addiction
and part of
the coming out the addiction is
opening yourself up to the feelings that
you suppressed … anxiety
and performance anxiety – approval addiction
yeah the fear of being
judged by other people and yes so I can
you have trepidations not unlike what
most people experience.
I talk to a lot
of people who actually express
admiration for seeing me face my fear and
anxiety, and that means a lot to
me, because I try to
practice what I preach because I’m
always telling people to feel the fear and
do it anyway … walk into that fear – walk
That takes a lot of
peer support so
thank you sweetheart.
And that’s called
Well, it’s certainly taken a lot of
courage for people to step up to the
plate to say I want to make a change
that’s probably the most difficult thing
to do in life is say I’m ready to
to make the change.
I went into a
rehab in 2009 when we were living in
Spain – 30 days in a rehab, based on a
12-step model of recovery
which, without question, saved my life.
I don’t think I’d be alive doing this
today if I hadn’t made that step. however
I obviously wasn’t ready because
then I relapsed every year for the next
eight years while attending 12-step
That’s not the fault of the
program – that is my inability to accept
this complex condition that I’m living
with and it took me eight years of
experience relapsing (with learning
opportunities) for me to finally reach a
point where I was ready and you know
that is different for different people
and even though with our intake form
– all the questions that we put people
through when they’re applying for our
one week residential program (because I
still believe that recovery doesn’t take
a long time … it takes a persistent
willingness to exert consistent efforts
to help yourself).
Sometimes we’re just not ready
and getting ready is an
individual path that’s going to be
different for everyone so today we’re
talking about codependence again because
we only scratched the surface of that
We’ve been together for 32 years and you
know I think every relationship has an
element of codependence for sure.
The longer that we’ve been together I’m
sure those dynamics have evolved for
good or bad.
I guess if the relationship
is still working in a healthy way, is it
a bad thing?
We all have strengths and weaknesses
and if you can find someone that
compliments you – he has the strengths
where your weaknesses are –
And is that codependence? for sure
because you’re giving up some autonomy
over what you do to the other person
because they’re just better at it.
We do that in life
anyway you know – whether it’s a job or
relationships with other people.
If you’re on a sports team you know
at five foot seven five for eight would
you be able to play a point guard in a
basketball team but you wouldn’t expect
to be the point
guard because the point guards are
always a lot taller.
We all give up
for people who can do things better in a
In a good relationship we do that and we
don’t resent the fact.
There’s the key– if there’s some
resentment growing, you’re going in
the wrong direction for sure.
so today I want to talk about the
blame and shame game that a lot of
people get into.
One of the things that
is quite common is that the person in
the addiction blames their partner for
situations that forced them into taking a
drink or drug.
you know they might
say they’re behaviour stresses them out
or they push them in a certain situation or
they blame them for
basically their addiction
which is again relinquishing
your responsibility and
putting it on the other person.
From a support person there’s a tendency to
blame and shame the other person, and then we
try and shame the person with
addiction into giving up because it
doesn’t fit with our view of you.
Maybe we don’t have enough money and then we
blame the other person for their
addiction for using our money!
People walking away from friendships
because of what you’re doing and we put
the emphasis on the person with the
addiction and blame them for everything
that’s happening in our life which again
is relinquishing our responsibility to
the other person.
So, what tools do you think we can use to
stop the blaming and shaming?
When we went to Spain, I had my
expectations set for something that
didn’t materialize so I used that as a
springboard to go deeper into my
addiction so that was my excuse
definitely with a lot of blaming
going on there for me because I go through that other
Rabbit Hole of uh this wouldn’t have
happened if you hadn’t
brought us there!
In reality, it was an opportunity to become
semi-retired in a beautiful climate we
we had dreamed of um retiring in a in a
tropical uh climate because I love to be
so you know we went with all the
right expectations and of course uh
yours came to fruition and mine did not
because of bureaucracy and a multitude
of other things.
So I’ll use that as my excuse to
a spiral downwards and
that was actually a good thing I think.
hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have reached
what we refer to and I really dislike
the term Rock Bottom because uh you know
the Rock Bottom was actually a
springboard for me to make a change even
if it was just scratching the surface.
It propelled me into
making some kind of a change you know
reaching out for help to say I need
some help – I can’t do this alone and I
don’t even remember!
I don’t know if you remember the story about how I I
woke up in the morning – after staggering to bed
again – literally climbing upstairs on all
fours to get to bed and pass out (I
never did sleep, I just passed out).
And in the morning when I woke up with a
hangover as I always did and I was
having my first drink of the day uh
vodka and orange juice because I would
appease Myself by with the orange juice
justifying that it was okay to have it
in the morning
and I got this call from Anthony he said
uh hi Tanya it’s Anthony from Serenity
House how can I help and I I had no idea
who he was and apparently I had sent him
an email the night before
reaching out to Serenity House just
outside of Seville in Spain to go check into a 30-day rehab.
So that’s how
my journey began in 2009 and it’s still
unfolding and evolving you know I said
I’m going to be celebrating five
consecutive years of freedom from
addictions but it took me eight
years of relapsing every year to get
so it is difficult.
with all you’ve learned
and as you say you blame the
situation you blame me because it was you know I did plant the
idea and I did push the idea of you know
going to Spain because my brother was
there and my family is in Europe and
you followed so I can understand the
by their stuff but you use that to
propel your addiction?
Exactly that was
my springboard right so my rock bottom
was a springboard as I think most people
who you talk to who have hit that Rock
Bottom say the same thing – it was
it was a springboard for me to make the
change even if it didn’t happen right
away. It was the beginning of a change.
So, what brought you to the point where
you recognized that you were blaming me
that was actually your responsibility
the way you felt and everything like
that you could have said no I don’t want
to go to Spain.
What tools did you
use to change your mindset?
I think a big
question to answer for yourself is “what do
I want? what am I doing about it? and how
do I feel about what I’m doing about it?
These are the three questions through
cognitive therapy that I was encouraged
to ask. And when I started to sit and
contemplate my feelings and
my own sabotage in my life,
I realized that I needed to make a decision – am I
going to do the work to make the change.
and you know that’s again an involvement
I think that continues to
motivate me to remain free from
I keep doing the work. I have a persistent willingness
to make that consistent effort to help
myself and it’s a daily effort from the
moment my eyes open the Journey Begins
again for another day.
I still go to 12-step meetings – I love the peer support
and the snappy slogans … one day at
a time, take what you need and leave the
rest. you don’t have to buy into the
powerlessness and higher power and God.
You just make it what you need
it to be if you can find the right group.
I’m lucky to live in a little town in Ontario
now and I’ve found the right group it’s
great peer support and it works for me
so find what works for you.
I always say ‘the key’… it’s one of my favorite acronyms –
keep educating yourself … keep looking for
something that you’re going to be able
to sustain – something you’re going to do
every day to maintain your freedom from
harmful substances and behaviors.
One of the core tools that I use
to start this process well there are so
many sweetheart as you know…
I call it the hammer in my toolbox – it’s a playlist
that I’ve put together from my time
facilitating meetings with SMART
self-management and Recovery training.
Using cognitive therapies,
they’ve put together some short very
helpful videos around unconditional
acceptance of self, others, and life.
You can find the playlist on our
YouTube channel – Just look for
Red Roof recovery on youtube, and look for that
playlist of unconditional acceptance.
I watch those short videos on a regular
basis and it helps me to appreciate that
unconditional acceptance of myself,
of others, and of life is key for me to
remain free from addictions.
I think also it helps
people who are living or dealing with people
with addiction to do the same thing – to
look at themselves and realize that
we have a choice,
we can accept that we learn to
accept it change it or leave it.
can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t
change it, leave it.
I think the Buddha said
that 2500 years ago well I think it’s as
true today as it was then!
thanks for being here sweetheart and
thank you for hanging out with us for a
few minutes of your day.
is great power in knowing that the only
thing we can control in life is
and let’s remember to be
gentle with ourselves… have a nice healthy
discipline but still be gentle with
ourselves – our inner child can always use
a little bit more love!
May the force be
with you and – remember –
YOU are the force
English (auto-generated by youtube)