my name is Tanya McIntyre and this is the
Red Roof recovery show offering programs
to maintain freedom from addictions… and
it’s not just for addictions it’s for
I appreciate you spending the next
few minutes here with me and my life
partner and best friend who I like to call
sir Lancelot ~ my knight in shining
armor has been with me for over 30 years
and much of that was lived experienced
through my drug and alcohol addictions.
Lance brings the perspective of a
family member of a loved one who’s
affected by addiction. Lance shares his
lived experience with
family members and he has an
extraordinary amount of empathy!
Family members gravitate to Sir
Lancelot because he has compassion like
none other I have experienced.
We also share effective
communication tools which can motivate
your loved one to seek recovery sooner
than later. We offer thoughtful
conversations around a variety of
recovery topics you’re going to be
hearing science-based approaches to
build a life beyond addiction a life
that you won’t need to escape from
because there are literally hundreds of
tools that you can use in recovery and
life the key – one of my favorite acronyms –
is to keep educating yourself until you
find something that clicks for you… and I
saw the rolling of the eyes from Sir
Lancelot with that acronym because I
know he has a deep dislike for acronyms.
I love them because it helps me remember
things Snappy slogans as I say they’re
very helpful to reprogram our brain to
retrain our brain
so what are we going to talk about this
week the topic for this episode is
dealing with life adversities uh
specifically grief I would like to talk
about because I’m
uh feelings of grief right now
heightened emotions around grief losing
someone I cared about someone I worked
with and someone who I watched
uh circling the drain and nothing
I seemed to extend
as a helping hand could help and there’s
nothing I think more painful than to
watch someone you care about
just uh
not being able to find any hope in life
yeah it’s very difficult to and that’s
one thing
the loved ones do a lot of
watching someone
that you can’t help
those are most of the calls that we
field here at Red Roof recovery from
family members
watching their loved ones Circle the
Drain it’s very painful
and as we know since the pandemic not
only addiction rates but also suicide
rates have doubled if not more I think
it’s probably closer to tripling
and it doesn’t seem to be improving
because you know we’re dealing with
broken systems when it comes to dealing
with mental health conditions and
addiction is most definitely a mental
health condition Condition it’s
definitely the most complex mental
health condition I think on the planet
while still being the most stigmatized
condition in the world sadly
so I would like to share with our
audience something that you shared with
me so as I was dealing with the uh
horrific news of the passing of my
friend the suicide of my friend
I needed to distract myself with things
so I didn’t fall back into my own
addictions because that’s how I dealt
with heightened emotions I would pop a
pill or you know snort or whatever a
drink to alleviate the pain of Life the
pain of my emotions that I didn’t want
to feel
so I have learned over the years that I
I need to what am I going to do instead
right we’ve removed the addiction then
we create that vacuum and as we know
nature hates a vacuum and it feel it
needs to be filled with something what
do we fill it with which is why I talk
so passionately around the tools of
recovery and life what are you filling
your toolbox with things that you can
quickly access when you need them to
boost your moods to lift your spirits
and uh for me you know I often talk
about the unconditional acceptance being
the hammer in my toolbox unconditional
acceptance of myself of others and of
life that is what keeps me on the path
to freedom for my addictions for sure so
I actually uh went to a I forced myself
to go to a yoga class on the Sunday
after my friend killed himself because I
needed to get out of my head do some
self-care so I I made myself go and I
actually arrived in my pajamas
um to the point where my yoga teacher
said are you okay
and I said barely I wanted to stay in
bed but instead I’ve dragged I’ve
literally dragged myself here and
um I need I need this hour just to get
out of this headspace and
um just Funk to focus on some self-care
and nurturing so that’s what I did and
it was very helpful I I have a beautiful
yoga teacher here in godrej Tim Damon
he’s a beautiful spirit I’m grateful I
to count him among my life’s blessings
as I am grateful to count you among my
greatest life blessing months I uh I’m
eternally grateful for you every day
thanks when I came when I came home from
my yoga class I had this poem waiting
for me uh Lance is also a very talented
artist and writer and I think he should
publish his book of poetry
so in that hour that I was gone this is
what Lance wrote for me so I’d like to
share it with you it’s titled because we
are human
when we see somebody drowning our first
instinct is to dive in and help but the
waters are turbulent and scary we look
for something
to help us reach them
you have
come okay
we look for something
to help us reach them we look for
something to throw as a lifeline
we become more desperate as we see them
we keep reaching out even when they’re
we lay on the bank berating ourselves
we’re not doing more
but if we had followed our Instinct
jumped in to save that someone
would there have been one or two
someone’s being pulled lifeless
sometimes the person is too far from the
the water is too turbulent to hear our
we know there is no more we could do to
save them but always we are left with
the feeling we should have tried harder
because we are human
and guys should work that
well thanks for that honey because
crying is healing as well feeling a
I apologize to our Watchers and
but it actually feels better to cry to
get it out better out than and as I
always say
yeah so thank you for that sweetheart
that was very comforting it’s still very
comforting to me and it’s been
comforting to a lot of people I have a a
lot of people reaching out to me for a
copy of that poem because a lot of
families are sadly sharing that common
denomination of grief and loss
for one thing I observed
you know review but I presume it’s uh
it’s some ubiquitous
with this situation is that we do blame
for not helping enough
for not for not being there enough for
not but if you’re going through your own
addiction Journey
you have to look after yourself as well
and that’s what a poem was about it was
about you know
we all blame ourselves
for bad stuff
because we do feel we should have done
more we should have tried harder we
should have should have should have and
you know as in
what you say all the time the
masturbating and shooting
is something
that you need to identify
but it’s a natural feeling
but sometimes there is nothing you can
if it’s going to be the detriment to
Detachment of your health
and I know it sounds selfish but as in a
even if you jump in the water
does it mean two people are going to
come out or are two people gonna
go down
as you pull it down a plug hole
so yeah
life life is complex enough without
dealing with
addictive behaviors and addictions
you know life’s is my
my saying is slice [ __ ] A lot of the
times was it Monty Python that uh
ship when you think of it yeah as
they’re all hanging from across yeah and
and a lot of times it is and as soon as
you identified it yeah most life is
I’m memorable we go through our days on
autopilot yeah getting up making the tea
and coffee
yeah and if she said what did you do yes
99 of it you you wouldn’t think
and then there are
joyous periods you know
they’re they’re the really good parts
but on the other end of the scale
there’s there’s times where it’s it’s
not good
and people on their addiction Journey
have to be very careful
they don’t you don’t want to
those bad feelings exactly so that it
that’s that’s the uh the what do they
call it the easier softer way and
12-step meetings you hear that a lot
right we go for the easier softer way
and uh it’s it takes we we need to
become a master of our mind instead of
being a servant to it and that takes a
persistent willingness to exert
consistent efforts to help ourselves
and for me it took me a long time to get
there as you know I relapsed every year
in 12-step programs
that wasn’t the fault of the program
that was because I wasn’t doing the work
to maintain my freedom from addictions
you know I would get a year or two under
my belt and think I was fine
and the the fact is uh we are never fine
if you are struggling with an addiction
I talk to people all the time can I
learn how to moderate and I said well
maybe I’ve never seen it done but maybe
you can right let’s see if you can do
that I I’d be fascinated to see if it
can work you need to for me uh I needed
to accept that there is no moderation in
my life I’ve got lots of evidence now to
prove to me that there is no moderating
drug and alcohol in my life drugs and
alcohol are something that will never be
in my wheelhouse and it’s something that
took me a long time to accept now my
life is uh not at all boring and
monotonous it is joyful and fulfilling
and I can’t even imagine I used to think
I can’t imagine my life without drugs
and alcohol and now I can’t imagine my
life with drugs and alcohol so it’s it’s
a fascinating Journey that I encourage
everyone to take to hop on that
bandwagon and go for the ride and learn
how to navigate the waves of life it’s
fun it’s exciting yeah it’s I mean it’s
not easy you know that you went through
a lot of pitfalls and from
from the loved one’s point of view is
as I’ve said before the realization that
there’s nothing you can do to stop your
loved one in front
either taking or not taking doing or not
doing the only thing we can do is be
present for when
the call that I need help comes
and hopefully that comes before
the person with the addiction goes into
their behavior
and that’s yeah
identifying identifying the problems and
sharing is a big thing absolutely
sharing is caring yeah listening is love
and that’s right it’s that learning how
to communicate peace I’ve got a great
tool you can email me at Red
roofrecovery and ask me for
the communication tool it’s another
acronym PIUS.  PIUS for communication
and you will find when you can hone your
communication skills you know sometimes
it might encourage your loved one to
encourage or or to seek recovery sooner
than later but if nothing else it will
help you feel better and less guilty
about your relationship with someone
who’s struggling. I think putting that uh guilt and
shame to rest
is very important for family members
extremely important
thanks for being here sweetheart we
promise to keep these around the
15-minute Mark and we are coming up to
that so thank you for all you do sir
Lancelot not only for me in my recovery
Journey but also for the friends and
family reaching out to us for help thank
thank you. and thank you for watching and
listening to the Red Roof recovery show
hopefully you’re getting something from
it sign up for Recovery tips and tools
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touch stay connected if something we’ve
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it that means a lot to us please do
thank you thank you thank you.
we are
grateful for you and your encouragement
and support.
let’s remember to talk to
ourselves like we talk to our good
May the force be with you and
YOU are the force!
Thank you.