Auto generated transcript from YouTube
hello my fellow fallible humans my name is Tanya McIntyre and this is the Red
Roof recovery show, a program to soften the path of recovery from substance and
behavioral addictions – and it’s not just
for addictions… it’s for life!
I appreciate you spending the next few minutes here as I’m joined in conversation with my life partner, my best friend… I call him Sir Lancelot. My knight in shining armor has been with me for over 30 years and much of that was lived experience through my drug and alcohol addictions.
Lance brings perspective of a family member living with someone not just through their addictions but also living with someone in recovery because my physical sobriety was just one step then my emotional sobriety is an ongoing journey.
Lance shares his lived experience and empathy with family members whose loved
ones are struggling with addictions, and shares strategies and techniques for effective communication tools that can often motivate your loved one to seek recovery sooner than later.
We offer thoughtful conversation about a variety of recovery topics. You’ll hear about science-based approaches to build a life beyond addiction – a life that you won’t need to escape from.
There are literally hundreds of tools that you can use to manage recovery in life. The key – one of my favorite acronyms – K.E.Y. – Keep Educating Yourself until you find something that clicks for you. This is about you and your recovery.
I’m sharing with you what has worked for me in my recovery and I hope it inspires and motivates you or someone you love.
On this episode of The Red Roof recovery show we’re talking about Great Expectations, setting yourself up for success in recovery.
I think through my experience of watching you go through your phases, and other people during our work, there’s an expectation when you make the decision to go into a
facility to aid your recovery – that once you’ve done your in our case one week or your 30 days, 45 days, 60 days or 90 days, 120 days,that you’re going to come out at the end of it cured.
I think we both feel that there’s no such thing as a cure for addictive behaviors.
When my rehab experience happened in 2009 the only model of recovery available then
was the 12-step recovery of Alcoholics Anonymous. I often say AA saved my life and
something called SMART self-management and recovery training gave me my life
When I was in AA 12-step meetings of AA and NA for 8 years I kept relapsing every year
but that was not the fault of the program. I think that was the fault of my expectations thinking that my going into a 30-day rehab, I was going to come out and not have to do anything to maintain my sobriety. I thought I would be cured. I was kind of expecting that I would one day be able to have a glass of wine with dinner or have that snifter of
brandy after a nice meal. You know those romantic recollections.
I think for sure there was definitely an expectation of a cure that I wouldn’t really have to do a lot to maintain my abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
So, this is coming from someone who is just an observer and doesn’t really understand
what people go through when trying to get out of their addictive behaviors. There seems to be an expectation that – once they’ve made the decision that they need help and they reach out and set everything in place, they go in thinking there’s going to be this
epiphany. It’s a bit like you’re going to go and take your driving lessons and you’re
going to pass your test at the end of it and then you’re going to go out and you’re going to be a perfect driver. You can do anything you like and as we know with driving once you pass your test that’s when you start to learn to drive and it takes work and lots of practice!
It seems to me that a lot of people don’t expect that when they emerge from the facility
that there’s work to do afterwards.
Yes I agree there is an expectation
around that for sure I do see an
evolution since my first rehab
experience though. The industry
seems to have finally developed
that idea that it’s going to take more
than just a residential stay
for you to be on the right path to kind
of set that infrastructure that you need –
that foundation that you need.
I always use the
analogy of treating your mind like a
That you’re creating this
path of recovery that you want to keep
free of bumps as possible so creating
this smooth walk of recovery – a smooth
path of recovery – and you do that by
sowing good seeds and doing regular
weeding. Your garden is the mind that you
are retraining to serve you in healthier
ways. We do that by sowing good seeds
by hanging around with good people,
staying in good places, doing good
things – people places and things – that we
have to keep those elements positive and
aligned with our recovery goals. The weeding
is to avoid the people places and things that
are going to take you away from where you want to be.
Making your recovery path a smoother walk makes it easier to stay on course!
that I tend to go down these rabbit
holes and not finish my thought so
um yes when I left my 30-day rehab
experience there was no aftercare
program. You were basically told to go to
30 meetings in 30 days when you get out
and that was supposed to be the
I love the peer support of
12-step meetings. If you can find good
meetings they are absolutely uh I think
an integral part of recovery.
For me, the relapsing happened when I
got to step 4 and that’s quite
common because step four in 12-step
programs is that you have to do a
fearless and searching moral inventory.
And who wants to do that???!!!
run away run away
That was my stickling point for
many many years – trying to get through
the fourth and fifth steps of 12-step
programs. I kept relapsing because I
didn’t want to face it.
So when I was introduced to SMART
self-management and recovery training in
2018, cognitive therapies resonated
That’s why I’m so passionate
about sharing what’s worked for me.
When I kept relapsing in
12-step programs after eight years, I was also
going to a lot of funerals and I knew
it was just going to be a matter of time
before I didn’t return from one of my
relapses. I went in search of a
solution, something secular that I could bring to
my community. The pickins were slim
when I was looking in 2018. A couple of
things that came on the radar for me were SMART
which was in Mentor Ohio which is
part of the reason why I chose smart. The
other one was LifeRing and I’m now involved with
LifeRing as a meeting convener. It was founded
in the early 2000s in Florida and it made its
way to British Columbia and Alberta. It
seems to be very popular in the west
coast of Canada and in parts of the
United States now but where we are in
Ontario it’s taking a little longer to
get here so I am now a
with lifering as well.
I believe that cognitive therapies can
work, but they don’t work for everybody.
They worked for me because it forced me to do
the work that I was avoiding in 12-step
programs. It forced me to ask the
questions what do you want, what are you
doing about it, and how do you feel about
what you’re doing about it?
I never took time to
really ask those questions.
You made a decision in
2009 to go into rehab thinking that you’d come out
and that everything would be fine and relaxed
and then went on the cycle of relapse
and finally found what was working for
I’ve managed to sustain my
abstinence from drugs and alcohol for
over four years now and that’s thanks to
immersing myself in the work.
I think it’s important to
stay engaged in the work of
physical part of my recovery was just
the first step. Stopping the drugs and
alcohol was just step one and then I had
to work on my emotional sobriety and
As you know, you’ve now been with me
abstinent from drugs and alcohol for
over four years and you know the
challenges that you have living with me!
My observations are with people
who have made the decision to seek help
and have the expectation that once they’ve
finished their time in the facility that
when I finish your program will I be
cured? That’s a tough one because it
depends on what cure means for you.
I feel cured because this has
been a long journey that started in
- I’ve got lots of evidence about
what doesn’t work for me because I had
a lot of relapses.
Now that I’ve enjoyed over four
years of continual sobriety I’m
confident that yes I’m
recovered. I’ve experienced a cure for me.
That’s not to say that I can get complacent
with the work that I’m doing. I stay very
engaged in my aftercare, my relapse
prevention work. It’s a
business for me now too so it’s a little
easier for me to stay engaged in it.
For people expecting that they can come
out of a rehab facility and not do
anything except not drink, drug, whatever
your addiction is, without staying
engaged in something, is setting yourself up for
doesn’t take long. It takes a persistent
willingness to exert consistent efforts
to help yourself. For me it’s
like 10-15 minutes a day of doing
something specific for my self-care,
something specifically related to my
recovery that keeps my path a lot
smoother to walk.
Everyone’s different. There are
a lot of people who may think that
when they are cured at some point in the
future they’ll be able to
drink or do whatever moderately – oh, the
dream of moderation – yes, there are a lot
of programs that promise moderation.
I’ve never heard of anyone being successful in
a program of moderation.
I would love to hear from somebody if
That is one of the expectations – that once you’ve done your
course or your program that you’re going to
come out and everything’s gonna be fine
and you don’t have to do anything else.
Sometime in the future after
you’ve been abstinent for x amount of time you might think that
you’ll be able to become a social drinker.
I’ve never seen it work. What does work
are the elements that you can take into your
You decide that you’re
going to change and
stay abstinent from your addiction.
Then you make a plan, very important .
And then you act.
Decide, Plan, and Act.
Make sure the actions you
are taking are taking you toward where you say
you want to be.
The plan is setting the
So you decide that you’re going to
make the change, you plan for it, you set
the goal, and then you act .
Make sure all of your actions stay aligned with the path that
you’re on and again that treating your
mind like a garden – sowing good seeds and
doing regular weeding. That seems to
be the hard work for me is just to keep
treating my mind like a garden
and talking to myself like I talk to my
Thank you sweetheart. I love your
perspective from being a family
member living through my addictions and
now living with me through my recovery.
I appreciate you, thank you, I love you and
I appreciate you.
Thank YOU for listening and
watching wherever you are in the world.
Thank you so much, and if you get
something from our conversations please
send us a like and a subscription and a
share with your friends. It means the
world to us.
You can sign up for Recovery
tips and tools on our website
May the force be
with you, and – remember –
you are the force!