Curated exclusively for Rock and Recovery™, musician and recovery advocate Marc Lee Shannon reveals the tactics, routines, and habits of musicians, business leaders, and world-class performers on their personal recovery journey. Marc provides his guests a safe space to share their stories and how they are not just surviving but thriving in recovery. For more information, visit rockandrecovery.com
When It’s Time For the Hard Conversation
It's the front line of tomorrow's America, and being on the front lines can be tiring and messy. It can be lonely yet crowded and chaotic. The front lines in the life of a middle-school student are like a minefield. The students confront, dodge, fix, and try to understand the obstacles placed in their daily lives on the edge of being an adult yet with a child's life experiences. Never really knowing how it impacts them and what the future implications might be down the road.
Enter the middle-school counselor James Shannon. In this frank episode, James talks about the myriad of issues that confront our next generation and how he helps them navigate the choppy waters of early teenage adolescence. James also reminds adults that while the problems experienced by middle-school students may not seem critical, they are of paramount importance to the student, and those problems can be life-altering events.
Marc and James also discuss some warning signs where anxiety and depression can trigger more complex situations and how family and mentors can be on the lookout for them. This practical, sometimes severe, and nuts-and-bolts discussion can impact anyone connected to a young person's challenging, rewarding, and tumultuous life.
A Hobby Turned To a Habit
“I just wanted to feel better. I didn’t want to feel bad.”
These words from Summit County Domestic Relations Court Magistrate Cheryl Wear make it challenging to understand how someone brought up in a well-to-do, loving, well-adjusted Christian home, who never experienced a drop of alcohol, could arrive at this place. A place where simply aspiring to drink until you blackout meant successful relief.
Marc welcomes Attorney Cheryl Wear as she speaks at length about her journey. It is an experience that includes the downward spiral of substance abuse, disrupted family events, lost jobs, and finally being exiled from her husband and children. At the moment of ‘rock bottom,’ she knew that her previous conception of an alcoholic ‘being some toothless guy who lived under a bridge’ was false, erroneous, and now completely altered.
In this episode, Cheryl chronicles her climb out of the hole. She reflects on her re-connection to the importance of Christianity in her life. She vividly explains how her strength allowed her to finally find a new relationship with her children. And she confirms the fact that this disease called ‘alcoholism’ can sink its fangs into anyone and anybody. It’s a powerful episode and a unique story of redemption.
Rise Up: A Story of An Adult Child of Alcoholics
In childhood, Crissy Youngblood was surrounded by grown-ups who struggled and suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse. She is a survivor of the consequences of what is known now as a Mental and Physical Heath Disorder. Born to a mother who was only 16 and later died from complications of her disease, Crissy realized early on that her world lacked healthy boundaries. Her relationships with relatives and friends were absorbed in a life that was not like her friends at school and, later, sometimes included very inappropriate attention from men with the wrong intentions.
But strength and perseverance have a way of polishing a shining star with a kind soul, helping them to find courage, to dig deep, and to rise. After becoming a mother herself, Crissy found an alternative path, from what was her childhood to her reality. She dedicated herself to breaking the chain of trauma and committed her life to achieve through adversity.
She never gave up. Today, she has overcome and has a family life, a working farm, and a life with a partner with whom she walks together along the path of sobriety.
Join Marc as he shares Crissy's fantastic journey from pain and despair to hope and a future. Discover how Crissy found an exhilarating strength that we may not know we possess.
Unicorns and Polka-Dots: A Song of Hope
At 24 years of age, most young people have moved in a career direction. Some have even chosen marriage. A few are giving birth and starting families. Some, like Brianna Brady, will get to choose none of them. Losing one's life to substance-use disorder can rob families of so many things.
In this breathtaking and stark episode on both substance-use disorder and grief, Marc sits down with Joe Brady, Brianna's father. Joe talks at length about Brianna's three-year battle. But more than just sharing the details of yet another victim of substance use, Joe shares wisdom and a powerful message for those who sometimes get left out in the cold: the family members and friends who do their best to help their loved ones navigate their addiction in the hopes of overcoming it, and the arduous task that presents itself to them.
This episode documents a critical life lesson and, in a way, a future challenge for others: the outcome of your loved one is, by and large, beyond your control, and that result rests, ultimately, with the person experiencing substance-use disorder.
Marc and Joe speak directly to those on the front lines of waging the battle for their loved ones in this open and insightful episode through insight, honesty, frankness, and even' song.’
Deep-Diving on Dual-Diagnosis
Mental Health Issues. Substance Use-Disorder. Each poses significant challenges for the person afflicted and the person tasked with helping the person when it comes to diagnosis and, when combined, represents a unique and different course of treatment.
Marc gets down to it with Portage Path Behavioral Health professional Matthew Ragon in this plain-spoken, nuts-and-bolts episode. Within his role as a clinician with Portage Path, Matthew drills down into ‘Dual-Diagnosis' and why this approach is expanding its reach and charting its success. Marc and Matthew both bring to light the various ways that 'stigma' can manifest itself, compound the long-term recovery process within the dual-diagnosis model, and how it can impede the client from actualizing the goal of a self-directed life.
Let's listen to this necessary episode designed to understand more contemporary clinical methods and help those who may be on the cusp of starting their self-directed journey. Additionally, Matthew Ragon offers his contact info to anyone experiencing a dual-diagnosis situation. You are free to contact him at Portage Path Behavioral Health: email@example.com.
Never Give Up
Athena Fleming has endured something that most people will never experience: the loss of a child to addiction.
In perhaps the most gut-wrenching episode of this podcast, Marc and Athena try to untangle and comprehend the journey and tragic ending of Athena’s daughter, Alycia. This episode recounts the battle that ensued to confront her addiction, the victories that temporarily showed promise, and the path that eventually led to Alycia losing the fight.
In Athena’s words, “Our loved ones don’t set out to become addicts. We’re dealing with something that takes over the brain.”
In this gripping, emotional episode, Athena shares with Marc her innermost feelings about doing everything possible to wage war on a scourge that slowly and methodically robbed her of her daughter. And we learn how a mother’s unconditional love can be a testament for others who may be experiencing the same journey.