The Empty Chair tells the stories of addiction, from the fall to the crash, to the soaring freedom of recovery, by those who have walked the jagged path. Messages of deep despair and, ultimately, hope to light the way of those who want to end their struggles with addiction.
E54 - Jim G and Jimmy G. (No, not that one)
*** BIG NEWS ***MVPASAP is Beyond thrilled to start this year's "Empty Chair" series with the RED & BLUE First Responders endure and tackle challenges that are thrown at them. Through these experiences, they may find themselves facing wounds that scar the body & the mind, and question if their own experiences and stressors are severe enough to seek health.Join Cole Welch-Caffrey and her "2" Amazing Guests and hear these First Responders testimonies that addiction comes in many forms and so does RECOVERY! Jim G. is a Police Officer and Army Veteran who over came food and alcohol addiction.At his lowest point he weighed over 300 pounds and was drinking & eating himself to death. Jim will share his story that led to personal growth in both Sobriety and weight-loss. James G. is a Fire Fighter, who struggled with food and alcohol. His relationship with alcohol brought him 2 DUI's and an unhealthy eating habits brought him to a morbid weight of 370 pounds.Hear how his 10 year journey of reflection, faith and forgiveness has kept him sober and gave him permission to care and love himself. Combined these men lost: 265 pounds & have 13 year of Sobriety.This is show you don't want to miss!!!!
E53 - Nikki
Phil Lahey's next guest for this episode of The Empty Chair is Nikki G. "Like many others, she began using at a young age. It took a while, but she found a 12-step program and started her journey to recovery. I always admired that although she had bumps in the road, she always learned from them and she would come back even more determined. She is an excellent example for those who relapse and want to give up. Nikki's story is that she never gave up. I have watched and been a part of her incredible journey and I’m so proud that she has decided to share it with all of you. Please tune in and help us celebrate another miracle of recovery. This episode is being dedicated to the memory of Kim Holland."
E52 - Kimberly and Vincent from Blue Lotus Wellness
May is Mental Health Awareness MonthJoin Cole Welch-Caffrey and 2 Amazing Guests from Blue Lotus Wellness Center this week to learn of the importance of taking care of your own "mental health".
Kimberly Sieper, MS, MBA, LCMHC, MLADC works with individuals experiencing many diverse mental health problems. She will discuss several modalities that assist individuals to achieve optimum mental health.
Vincent Ardizzone, mental health counselor, dance/movement therapist, & yoga/meditation teacher will share his experience, strength, and HOPE of overcoming obstacles and creating a life of wellness and balance.
This is a show you do NOT want to miss...
E51 - Steevie, Brook and Lauren. A Show About Sponsors
This episode of The Empty Chair is being dedicated in memory of Joy Gallagher. Joy by being a Sponsor was responsible for saving the lives of many young ladies. Unfortunately, the only one she didn’t save was her own. We honor her by bringing in three young ladies who share a sponsorship family of their own. The group includes Steevie Groves as the sponsor and two of her sponsees Brooke Dewhirst and Lauren D’Amico. They will share their story of recovery and the part that having a sponsor plays in that recovery. Please join in and you will see that, yes, women do recover
E50 - Louise Griffin, the President of Zack’s Team Foundation
Phil Lahey's guest on this week's Empty Chair is Louise Griffin. Louise Griffin is a proud “Lowellian” and the President of Zack’s Team Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the stigma and shame associated with substance use disorder through education, information, and compassionate support. Zack’s Team's primary focus is to enable families who lack financial means to send their loved ones to recovery living following in-patient treatment.
Zack’s Team was launched in the fall of 2014, in memory of Louise’s youngest son, Zachary Gys. Zachary died on July 19, 2013, from an accidental opiate overdose at the age of 21, after struggling with substance use disorder for several years. Louise is a strong advocate for education, support, recovery, and treatment. Louise founded and continues to facilitate, the Merrimack Valley’s Zack’s Team Foundation’s Coping Today support group to assist families struggling with the loss of a loved one due to substance use disorder.
Louise also worked with Jim Wahlberg on the production of the movie, “If Only.” If Only is a short film intended for teens, parents, and adults to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs to keep them out of the hands of kids. Her next project with Jim is the documentary entitled, “Out of the Ashes” which explores the impact of losing a child to substance use and turning grief into purpose. She participated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s “Stop Addiction in Its Tracks” campaign, sharing Zack’s story and the effects it had on her family.
Louise was appointed to the City of Lowell’s Opiate Task Force and was the keynote speaker at the first Opiate Youth Summit held at the Tsongas Arena. Louise has been a featured speaker at many community events in the Merrimack Valley. She is currently employed by the University of New Hampshire as the Associate Vice President and Chief Research Administration Office.
E49 - Elias and Stella
Excessive alcohol use accounted for more than 140,000 deaths per year.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. This month is designated to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. Join Cole P. Welch Caffrey with two amazing guests, Elias & Stella as they share their experience and strength while offering HOPE to those who continue to struggle.
Elias ground alcohol at a young age and quickly began on a downhill slope. Arrests, detoxes, and frayed family relations followed him until he got sober in 2012. Today he is active in the recovery community and holds a job in corporate finance. He enjoys the gym, disk golf, home repair projects, cooking, and reading.
Stella was a troubled teen who struggled since she was little. Had a son at age 16. She found a solution to her mental chaos in drugs and alcohol. Got married at the age of 23 after having a second child. Drug-fueled marriage followed by divorce, then another drug and alcohol-fueled relationship. Shattered relationships, lost jobs, and hurt children & parents were left in the wreckage. Landed in detox at age 35, for the first time in her life, scared and hopeless. Followed by residential treatment and sober living where she was introduced to the 12 steps and began a life-saving journey to recovery and hope. Today she lives with her two children, works as a clinician at a treatment center, plays on a few sober softball teams, and spends much of her time being of service to her community.
This episode is dedicated to: "Justin Stout" Justin was a well-known member of AA in Portland, ME. His jovial personality touched everyone he met. He made everyone feel loved and his smile was infectious. A father of two, he enjoyed being with his kids, working out, and helping others. He was deeply involved in his church where he could be found every Sunday. An electrician by trade, he worked hard and took pride in a job well done. Justin is deeply missed by many.