181 episodes

If you or a loved one are battling alcoholism or drug addiction, this podcast will give you inspiration and hope that there is a way out. Addiction isn't a life sentence. People recover everyday. It takes time and some hard work, but in the end it is worth it!

Hosted by Tom Conrad, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict himself. Tom shares from his own experiences and the experiences of others to teach you the things that you can do TODAY to start living a sober and free lifestyle!

Real Recovery Talk Tom Conrad: Addiction Recovery Podcaster

    • Education
    • 4.6 • 48 Ratings

If you or a loved one are battling alcoholism or drug addiction, this podcast will give you inspiration and hope that there is a way out. Addiction isn't a life sentence. People recover everyday. It takes time and some hard work, but in the end it is worth it!

Hosted by Tom Conrad, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict himself. Tom shares from his own experiences and the experiences of others to teach you the things that you can do TODAY to start living a sober and free lifestyle!

    182 - Tommy L - How one Corona took him down a deep dark path

    182 - Tommy L - How one Corona took him down a deep dark path

    “I’ve had family members that have died from addiction, but I never thought that I would have an addiction.” -Tommy
    Today, Ben and I are chatting with Tommy, who became an addict after taking narcotic drugs for pain relief after a motorcycle accident. Since he has addiction in his family, Tommy wasn’t a stranger to the effects of drugs and alcohol on a person and their loved ones.
    Why Tommy Didn’t Think Addiction was in his Future
    “I never saw myself as that person that has a need for anything other than myself,” Tommy explains. Looking back, Tommy sees behaviors and patterns that led him down the path to addiction. He would go to parties and drink to the point of losing time, hurting himself or others, and not remembering events that happened while he was drinking.
    Prescription Pain Medications as Gateway Drugs
    Tommy quickly found that he liked the feeling prescription painkillers afforded him as he felt like he could get up and do anything. At first, he would run out of his prescription early, which quickly escalated to increasing his dose, then the doctor hopping to get more drugs legally. When one of his doctors wouldn’t write him refills for pain medication, he turned to buy heroin and oxycontin on the streets. “Then I was so tired from these drugs that I started cocaine and crack.” Within five years of starting his addiction to prescription pain medication, Tommy was out on the street purchasing only illegal drugs.
    The First Round of Addiction Treatment
    In 2019, his family gave him the option of getting treatment or leaving their home, so Tommy decided to go to his first treatment facility. “I was scared and didn’t know what to think. I didn’t fully believe in it and I didn’t want to do it.” At this time, he didn’t acknowledge that he was having an issue with drugs and alcohol and didn’t believe that he needed help to get past his addiction. Realizing that he needed help with getting sober, Tommy was motivated to get back on track during his second treatment at Rock Recovery Center.
    Listen in and find out why Tommy changed his viewpoint about getting help for his addiction, why having a drink will lead addicts back to treatment in a short time, and why Tommy was scared that he wouldn’t be happy as a recovered addict.
    Check out our new website where you can download any episode along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review!  
    Show Notes:
    [03:33] Decompression surgery to his skull led to more health problems after his motorcycle accident. 
    [04:08] What treatment was like the first time in recovery for Tommy.
    [05:37] How his prescription for pain medication led to illegal drug use.
    [07:53] Tommy reflects back on his time at the first recovery facility.
    [13:08] Getting back to life requires a lifestyle change after addiction.
    [18:35] Tommy’s second time in recovery at Rock Recovery Center.
    [23:56] The danger of hanging out with old friends who drink and do drugs when you’re an addict.
    [29:48] Questioning if he is going to be happy when he was in recovery.
    [34:11] The importance of surrounding yourself with positive people after addiction. 
    [39:08] Life changes that happened to Tommy as he worked through the recovery program.
     
    Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat
    Real Recovery Talk on the Web
    Real Recovery Talk on YouTube
    Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes
    Rock Recovery Center
    Real Recovery Talk on Facebook
    Find out more about Al-Anon and how this resource can support your family
    Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com
    Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions
     

    • 42 min
    181 - Noah didn't get straight A's in treatment, but he is thriving!

    181 - Noah didn't get straight A's in treatment, but he is thriving!

    “My mom was my biggest enabler and as soon as she took her foot off the gas pedal my life came crumbling down around me. That’s where the biggest change and growth came from.” -Noah
    Today, Ben and I are chatting with Noah, who was 20 when he received his first DUI. His parents kicked him out of the house after this event. Forced to attend AA, his grandmother took him to his meetings. Not understanding the program or the benefits of completing the 12 Step Program, Noah wasn’t an engaged participant in the program when he first started his road to recovery.
    Events that Led to Noah Receiving His First DUI
    “Me and my mom would get into it over anything and everything,” explains Noah. He would fight with her about little details and would refuse to help out around the house. Noah liked his work pattern: go out to drink, come home, and repeat this daily pattern. Although his mom was encouraging Noah to seek help, he didn’t believe he had a problem. “I was living life the way I thought it should be lived.” He didn’t see his alcoholism because he found that many of his friends lived the same type of lifestyle, so Noah normalized his way of life through others.
    His Life Post-DUI
    Losing the ability to be independent and drive himself to where he wanted to go, Noah soon realized the humiliation that accompanied losing his privilege to drive. “I had all this freedom to do what I wanted and then suddenly it was stripped away.” Sitting at his parent’s house, his mom caught him drinking. She sent him to a nearby detox center to clean up his act.
    Relapse Patterns and His Struggle to Become Sober
    Not feeling like he belonged in treatment, Noah wanted to fast track to the next step so he could get home and live the way he wanted to live. Putting on a show and not being his genuine self, Noah refused to dive into what he needed to do to become a sober member of society. 
    After going through his first detox treatment in his hometown, Noah ended up back drinking alone in his room. His mom sent him back to detox again.
    Listen in and find out why the crowd at the detox center affected Noah’s ability to get clean, what happened when his mom wouldn’t let him live at home, and why Noah was kicked out of recovery.
    Check out our new website where you can download any episode along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:33] Noah’s first DUI, which led him down a negative spiral of life events.
    [04:20] What led Noah’s parents to kick Noah out of their home.
    [05:53] His life after getting kicked out of his parent’s house post first DUI.
    [10:34] Noah struggles through multiple attempts at recovery.
    [14:42] What happened after Noah left his first detox treatment in Illinois.
    [17:21] His mom reaches her breaking point and doesn’t allow Noah to live with the family again.
    [21:01] Ben explains recovery capital and the reason for living after addiction.
    [22:12] Rehab romance and why it didn’t end well for Noah.
    [26:11] Noah was asked to leave on administrative discharge because he wasn’t progressing through the addiction program.
    [28:59] Ben tells mom to stop paying for all of Noah’s mistakes.
    [31:37] Noah regresses back to drinking after this fourth time in recovery.
    [34:13] The importance of pulling the plug and not enabling your addict.
    [41:49] Why a support group is needed to hold each other accountable.
     
    Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat
    Real Recovery Talk on the Web
    Real Recovery Talk on YouTube
    Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes
    Rock Recovery Center
    Real Recovery Talk on Facebook
    Find out more about Al-Anon and how this resource can support your family
    Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com
    Podcast editing and show no

    • 51 min
    180 - The Importance of Staying Connected and How Giving Back has Kept Him Sober with Eric Sheets

    180 - The Importance of Staying Connected and How Giving Back has Kept Him Sober with Eric Sheets

    “Alcoholics Anonymous didn’t just save my life, it taught me how to live a life worthy of having been spared and changed me from the inside out.” -Eric Sheets
    Today, Ben and I are chatting to Eric Sheets, who is sharing his story of recovery and how he has taken his experience to give back and help other addicts become sober again.
    Eric’s Background with Drugs and Alcohol
    Eric says he came to the 12 Step Program a “broken man” and admits that this is the first time he has been honest with himself. “I could see that fear has governed my life as long as I can remember.”
    He did have a stretch of sobriety between 2003 and 2010 when his wife fell ill with a rare lung disease and was terminally ill. “In that time I found God and my understanding of him” because, for the first time in his life, he understood his purpose. Although he realized that God put his wife into his life, he still didn’t believe that he was an addict and didn’t understand what this lifestyle entails.
    The Second Phase of Drinking for Eric
    After his wife passed away, Eric didn’t drink for several weeks until he was invited to a dinner party where a woman gave him a glass of wine after convincing Eric that he wasn’t an alcoholic. He remembers that moment like it was yesterday and picked up his addiction at the moment he left off.
    At the moment he realized he couldn’t move on anymore, he walked into a hospital and told the emergency staff he was going to commit suicide; and he was baker-acted and introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous.
    Living a Life of Purpose
    “Living a life of purpose makes me happy,” Eric comments. He found that when he has a purpose, he can live sober and help others live sober. “Living in communion with my creator is how I found my purpose and what greater purpose can there be?”
    Listen in and find out how Eric came to find his purpose, what happened when he stopped being of service, how fear and selfishness crept into his life, and how he rebuilt his relationship with his son.
    Check out our new website where you can download any episode along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review!  
    Show Notes:
    [05:01] History and background on Eric’s early history.
    [10:58] The days and weeks following his wife’s death.
    [12:45] Picking up his first glass of wine after being sober for seven years.
    [14:54] Eric’s rapid progression through alcoholism.
    [17:05] When Eric started working the 12 steps, he started to care about other people.
    [18:56] How Eric found purpose in his life and how his purpose motivated him to stay sober.
    [20:53] The importance of addressing the little issues that trip up addicts.
    [23:30] How Eric patched his relationship with his son.
    [34:11] Eric found his new wife after his addiction.
    [40:23] Putting a “why” between his alcohol and his addiction.
    [43:34] The importance of having faith when you’re a recovering addict.
    [53:13] His spiritual experience when going through the fifth step.
     
    Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat
    Real Recovery Talk on the Web
    Real Recovery Talk on YouTube
    Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes
    Rock Recovery Center
    Real Recovery Talk on Facebook
    Find out more about Al-Anon and how this resource can support your family
    Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com
    Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions
     

    • 57 min
    179 - Fatih Penda - His journey intro recovery and how his upbringing could have held him back

    179 - Fatih Penda - His journey intro recovery and how his upbringing could have held him back

    “I’m able to get high on life with sobriety.” -Faith Penda 
    Today, Ben and I are chatting to Fatih Penda, a long-term addict who has recovered and is now leading a drug and alcohol-free life. Leading to building a recovery center, Fatih is now leading other adults into recovery and positive life.
    Fatih’s Background with Drugs and Alcohol
    Born in Salem, Massechuessets with a Muslim upbringing, Fatih always felt different than everyone else. Although his uncle did drink, he isn’t sure where his addiction comes from. “Throughout high school I started taking drinking to the next level, then using and abusing drugs and taking that to the next level,” where he went back and forth between drugs and alcohol.
    Spending his summers overseas in Turkey, Fatih understood and spoke two languages fluently, going to school in Turkey and the US. “It was always hard to adjust when I came back to school after the summer.” In his eighth grade year, he found out he was going to start high school in Turkey. With no drinking age, he was able to smoke and drink whenever he wanted to.
    Picking Up his First Drink and Getting into Addiction
    He would experiment with different drugs and return to the United States for his freshman year of college. Fatih found himself treating life as an adult, and it was hard to get back in with his jock friends and the circle of athletes he previously hung out with. Fatih’s friend gave him acid, and he started tripping in classes, and his drug use escalated from there. Moving onto cocaine and other drugs, including prescription drugs, Fatih’s addiction spiraled out of control.
    Fatih’s First Experience with Addiction Treatment
    The Muslim culture doesn’t understand addiction and the concept that addicts can’t just stop their addiction. His parents sent him back to Turkey, in an attempt to get him away from the environment that was supporting his addiction. However, Fatih found a way to get prescription drugs cheap and was hooked on Xanax for weeks, eventually ending up in a mental health facility. 
    Listen in and find how Fatih received sobriety through the 12 Step Program from AA, action steps you can take to start your journey into sobriety, and how sobriety has changed his viewpoint and perspective on life.
    Check out our new website where you can download any episode along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review!  
    Show Notes:
    [04:30] Fatih’s early years and his upbringing.
    [10:00] Returning back to the states for his college education.
    [15:00] His first attempt at recovery from his addiction.
    [19:02] Going to a Scientology recovery center for his second treatment.
    [28:49] Action steps you can take to make your first move into sobriety.
    [33:56] Witnessing the journey from addiction to sobriety.
    [35:44] Fatih talks about his upcoming heart surgery.
    [38:37] What saved Fatih from crashing and burning on drugs and alcohol.
     
    Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat
    Real Recovery Talk on the Web
    Real Recovery Talk on YouTube
    Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes
    Rock Recovery Center
    Real Recovery Talk on Facebook
    Find out more about Al-Anon and how this resource can support your family
    Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com
    Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 42 min
    178 - Brad Jensen - Founder and CEO of Key Nutrition talks drug addiction and how he became the entrepreneur he is today

    178 - Brad Jensen - Founder and CEO of Key Nutrition talks drug addiction and how he became the entrepreneur he is today

    Today I will talk about the process and path of a person moving from being a "normie" to using drugs and alcohol and becoming an addict.
    In this episode, I talk with Brad Jensen, the founder of Key Nutrition, and is in recovery. He comes to us today to talk about how fitness and health have positively impacted his sobriety. Brad also talks about his struggles with sobriety. He'll talk about his experience, his awareness of the three pillars to life, and how he can assist clients with his coaching to be more successful on the path of sobriety.
    Struggling with anxiety and ADD from age 12, he tried alcohol as a release and found drinking worked to relieve his stress. Additionally, he was overweight and was picked on by friends. By age 14, Brad jumped into reading books on health and fitness and was hooked on his health class at school. He remembers wanting to look like a bodybuilder on the cover of a magazine, then realizing that alcohol would not let him achieve his goal and quit drinking. At the end of his sophomore year, he was fit, but still had anxiety and was presented with opiates at a party.
    Even with a stable family situation and a good life, Brad fell into drugs and alcohol. "This wasn't supposed to happen to a guy like me," he says, recalling his stable family life. Brad continued bodybuilding, along with his heroin addiction, until he finally ended up in prison for an extended period.
    Listen in to find out how Brad denied his addiction for years, how he recovered from his long-term addiction in November of 2012, and the best thing his parents did for him during recovery. Brad also talks about how the loss of his grandfather affected his recovery from addiction.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:59] Brad’s journey through addiction and his background with drugs and alcohol. [06:01] Brad tells his story of how he was introduced to and hooked on opiates. [08:45] His experience of trying to take more pain pills and how to get a hold of more.  [10:56] Building his identity through distributing opiates, the significant power this gave him and his first experience with heroin. [14:52] His senior year of high school his mom found a briefcase full of drugs. [22:56] Brad’s first experience with a long-term prison sentence. [26:18] How Brad’s parents stopped enabling him and how this helped him to stop using drugs. [28:06] What happened when Brad asked his mom for drugs. [30:00] Brad’s first steps to recovery after he was released from 30 days in prison. [36:54] How materialistic items can keep people sober. [46:30] How fitness and health has impacted Brad’s sobriety. [51:54] Get your anger, anxiety and issues out of your head with a good workout in the gym. [54:54] It’s not how long you’ve been sober, it’s what you’ve done during and after your recovery time. Links and Resources:
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Brad Jensen | Key Nutrition Coach

    • 1 hr 1 min
    177 - Maya B - Masters Level Dope Addict to Masters Level Clinician

    177 - Maya B - Masters Level Dope Addict to Masters Level Clinician

    “I wanted to take something hard that I had to go through that was painful and help another human being to get through without struggling as hard as I did.” -Maya 
    Today, Ben and I are chatting to Maya who is a full-time employee at Rock Recovery Center. She is here to talk about her past history and how she became a professional in the substance abuse space. 
    Why Maya Chose to Work with Recovering Addicts
    “I never thought that I’d be here working in mental health and the substance abuse field,” Maya says about her career choice. She is excited to be working with us at Rock Recovery Center and is an excellent fit for our team.
    She was born and raised in Florida, growing up in an upper-middle-class family with a strong work ethic. However, both her parents were addicts, and her dad died of his disease. “I never felt a part of, or good enough, or that I belonged in any environment.”
    Her parents divorced when she was one and didn’t have good relationships with her stepparents on either side. “I was an addict long before I picked up any substance,” as she was trying to validate her worth early on with love being conditional based on her achievements. As a result, she was a high-achiever in academics and sports. “It’s hard to maintain that level of expectations.”
    Her First Drink at Age 15
    She remembers feeling scared when she picked up her first drink at 15 and the feeling of the potential damage that could arise with drinking. “It’s like a switch flipped and it wasn’t very pleasant.” However, since there was some sense of relief, she continued with the addiction. It wasn’t long before her disease progressed and friends noticed. Dropping out of school in the next year, she moved from her prestigious private school to public school. 
    Waking Up and Realizing Her Addiction
    Having had opiates in her system every day of her life for over a decade, Maya was struggling just to survive. When she woke up in the medical unit of jail, she gave up hope and thought she would die. 
    Listen in and find how Maya decided to become a mental health provider, why her recovery has to be separate from her work and clients, and her advice on how to deal with someone who is addicted.
    Check out our new website where you can download any episode along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:45] History and how she became addicted to alcohol and drugs. [07:49] Maya now embraces herself with her flaws and strengths. [08:30] Picking up her first drink at age 15 and the consequences of drinking. [11:17] Trying to forge her identity as an adolescent. [19:10] Her dad passes away and she ends up in jail for stealing a car. [27:10] Why addicts can’t stop even though they want to stop the addiction. [31:14] How she decided to become a licensed social clinical worker. [33:44] Her personal experience navigating as a clinical worker and being in active recovery. [34:22] How she separates her personal recovery and work life. [43:16] Maya’s advice for families dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Find out more about Al-Anon and how this resource can support your family Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

melrosern36 ,

A big thank you to you!!!

After soooo many years dealing with drug and alcohol addiction I am finally not only clean and sober but embracing my recovery. I am new to podcasts and had listened to quite a few of these not finding a fit until this one! I listen every day and look foreword to new ones all week. You are an inspiration to me and really help me each and every day to navigate through this long and difficult journey! Thank you from the bottom of my heart Tom and Ben!

Liza_lou ,

Great podcast for people struggling with addiction or loved ones in addiction!

I feel so grateful to have come across this Podcast a few weeks ago! As someone in recovery from addiction myself, it has been refreshing to hear some different perspectives on how to navigate my own recovery, while also learning ways to deal with loved ones in addiction. I also appreciate Tom for being passionate and eager to help fellow addicts/alcoholics. I am excited to continue to listen and learn more! Keep up the great work Tom and Ben!
Best, Your friend Liza in Richmond, VA

pam wicks ,

Tom and Ben Bueno, I can’t Thank you enough for this Production!!

Grandma, uncles and many groups can now listen to this podcast to find out how to unite with Boundaries, love and Understanding. You have been a true blessing to our individual journeys!!!
When you called me with so much compassion and even gave me a chance to prepare a wire from our banks being closed down from COVID-19, you gave me an opportunity to tour the grounds for other family members peace of mind for our loved daughter!! You’re so loved Tom and Ben and may you forever know how important you are to me!!!

Top Podcasts In Education

Listeners Also Subscribed To