EP 154: Is There Ever A Happy Ending After Addiction? Tanya Gioia

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence

Tanya Gioia

Tanya knows that for every addict, 5 people are impacted. Working with women heals a generation. She’s been through all the challenges you’re familiar with: • Striving for a career to make her whole • Chasing a man to fulfill her • Jumping unhealed into a second marriage • Managing new babies and addicted husband as well as her own codependency • Running her own business thinking enough money would “save” her. Finally, Tanya decided she deserved more in her life – from her life. She set out to learn everything, AA, Alanon, Celebrate Recovery, Deep Therapy (EMDR) and decided to help heal others who share similar challenges by getting her professional coaching certification. Tanya works with women who want to finally heal their marriage and family whilst supporting their husbands through recovery from addiction. She uses her unique Dancing with Joy process to help them become the woman her husband cherishes and the mother that places God and love first to create a truly connected loving, and supportive family.

Website: https://joyous-ingredients-llc.ck.page/c85be58982

Free gift for your listeners. Start thinking about family and addiction recovery differently. The family is the expert on the addict. How can they take that knowledge and make a shift. A shift that will change the legacy of the family for generations. This simple 1 hr course will walk you through the first steps in the process with video and a colorful guide for reflections and takeaways.

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Tanya Gioia

[00:00:00] What would you do if your husband got sober five days before Christmas? Would you think that all of your problems are solved? Everything is going to be perfect from now on? You’re gonna find out that is just the beginning of my guest’s trouble.

[00:00:20] She has

[00:00:21] two kids, two horses, 400 chickens, and a dog on 20 lonely acres of land and a big house at Christmas. No money and only a part-time job. No help with the kids because of the temporary restraining order. 400 chickens to feed really. The house is heated mainly with a wood burning stove, with wood hauled in from outside.

[00:00:45] How do you drive a plow truck anyway? so you’ll hear what has happened to

[00:00:51] My guest, Tanya Gioia.

[00:00:54] That is next,

[00:00:55] On the Wounds of the Faithful podcast.

[00:00:58] [00:01:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:01:25] Now, here is Diana.

[00:01:32] Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. Things are still pretty hot here in the Phoenix area. Just waiting for those temperatures to cool down,

[00:01:44] still planting the fall seeds in my garden. And this coming Tuesday is when my other foot surgery is, so if you would pray for me on that, I appreciate it. Everything went really well on the right foot back in [00:02:00] May, so I don’t foresee any big problems. But, as I’ve said before on the podcast, it is really difficult to sit in bed for two weeks.

[00:02:11] The only time you get up is to use the bathroom or get some water, but I do have lots of books to read this time, and some projects on the computer I can do, and I’ll be doing lots of sleeping, and maybe catching up on some TV shows that I’ve been wanting to see, and I am going to be working on the Wounds of the Faithful podcast Facebook group.

[00:02:37] It’s in our private community. I’m going to try and get that off the ground very soon here, so please stay tuned.

[00:02:45] Last week we had Dana Diaz on the show. I hope you enjoyed her. And we talked a lot after I stopped the recording and I wish I had the record button back on, but she was talking [00:03:00] about how her faith had been so strong with God and that her priest was very nice to her, and very supportive of her when everybody around her was judgmental and was not supportive with her divorce.

[00:03:14] This particular parish she belonged to really supported her and I was grateful for that, that she had that spiritual support that we all need. So I wanted to let you know that, if you did not hear her story last week, we talked about narcissism and both of our abusers were definitely narcissists, so if you haven’t heard her story.

[00:03:39] You definitely want to go back to last week and, listen to her story, okay? You’re gonna love it. And so, as I said in the promo, we have Tanya Gioia on the show today. And she’s gonna be talking about addiction and the behaviors that go with that this week. I [00:04:00] already said a little bit about her.

[00:04:02] But her mission is to help heal families with addictive behaviors. And let me read some of her bio here, an official bio.

[00:04:12] Tanya knows that for every addict, five people are impacted. Working with women heals a generation. She’s been through all the challenges you’re familiar with. Striving for a career to make her whole. Chasing a man to fulfill her. Jumping unhealed into a second marriage. Managing new babies and an addicted husband.

[00:04:36] Running her own business, thinking enough money would save her. Finally, Tanya decided she deserved more from her life. She set out to learn everything, AA, Al Anon, Celebrate Recovery, Deep Therapy, also known as EMDR, and decided to help heal [00:05:00] others who share similar challenges. By getting her professional coaching certification, Tanya works with women who finally want to heal their marriage and family while supporting their husbands through recovery from addiction.

[00:05:15] She uses her unique Dancing with Joy process to help them become the women her husband cherishes and the mother that places God and love first. to create a truly connected, loving, and supportive family.

[00:05:32] So I am not going to delay any further. I hope you enjoy my conversation today with Tanya Gioia.

[00:05:40] Please welcome my guest today, Tanya Gioia. Thanks for being on the show today.

[00:05:47] Diana, I really appreciate you and the work that you’re doing, the music that you’re doing. It’s just a fabulous podcast of putting all those things out there. And I believe your husband is announcing [00:06:00] for you. Am I correct?

[00:06:00] That is correct. How did you figure that out? Very good.

[00:06:05] So I made a guess because my husband and I used to do our podcast together and then life got busier, teenage kids, all those types of things. And it was really enjoyable to have somebody to bounce things off of. So I’m glad he is brave enough.

[00:06:21] He has a nice voice.

[00:06:22] He does like, he can do cartoon characters. He can imitate anybody’s voice. And so I asked him to do the intro and, he’s a musician with me as well. And, so yeah we do this together. Oh, he’s the tech guy behind the scenes and he does all the photography. So, I’m not very tech savvy, so I’m glad to have him around for that.

[00:06:45] Yeah, that’s awesome.

[00:06:46] You promised stories of chickens, but I know that, the homesteading is not what everybody thinks it is on Instagram, that it is a lot of work to have a place of [00:07:00] your own with all these animals and doing everything yourself.

[00:07:03] So absolutely. So I was carrying my second child. We were moving off a guest ranch. That’s where we met. So we met on a guest ranch and before I had the second boy, I was managing 80 head of horses, having a great time. But as the children began to come along, I said, I really need to be at home and I don’t want to be underneath the horse.

[00:07:24] So it was a great position. We really loved the guest ranch, but decided it was time to build a home. And so we did. It doesn’t sound very far, but we live four miles outside of town near Arapaho National Forest in Colorado. And we had 20 acres, which for Colorado and probably for Arizona is really small.

[00:07:45] Just, it’s tiny. You can’t really graze anything on it, but 20 acres is still pretty good size. So we built this very large house. And then my husband decided he wanted to be a chicken farmer. They started [00:08:00] coming in the mail. I have pictures of my five year old going down to the post office box and the little peepers in the mail.

[00:08:06] They’re coming. So they let you know when they’re coming because you have to get right down there and get them some sugar water and get them all ready to go. Well, I thought, Six chickens, twelve chickens, all that would be great. Those are kind of like house chickens. And remember, we’re in Colorado.

[00:08:22] We’re in the mountains at close to 8, 000 feet. There is snow. So I thought, and then we got a hundred chickens. And then there were 200 chickens, and then there were 300 chickens, so, so, so think about it, if you live in the city, there’s like those pictures of New York City, there’s people all the time walking by all the types of things.

[00:08:42] I didn’t have people, I had chickens, walking by all the time, everywhere, and for a while we were trying to breed, so we had roosters, and… Diana, I don’t know if you’ve ever been around roosters, but roosters and really small kids, they’re not the best thing. So we have a little story we tell about[00:09:00] the boys were swinging on the swings and everything was okay.

[00:09:04] And then the rooster began to encroach on them and encroach on them and encroach on them. And he’s big and he’s got spurs and he’s dangerous. And so we had taught the dog not. to go after the chickens because we were farming these. Yeah. That was not going to happen to my children. They were not going to get taken out by some rooster spur.

[00:09:25] So I grabbed up the kids, I grabbed up a shovel. I’ve got one kid in one hand, the other one kind of dangling by the side in the shovel and I’m beating my way to the door to get that rooster out of the way. From then on, I taught the dog, get chicken, and he would run all the chickens off. So, we’re developing this life and we’re out on this 20 acres and the chickens are being raised for eggs and they’re going to a five star ranch for their ice cream so they can make this fabulous ice cream.

[00:09:54] It seems to be going well, right? But what, either what I [00:10:00] had turned a blind eye to, or what, I had decided was just going to be okay was I was getting more and more anxious and more and more controlling. And my husband was using more and more of his substance of choice, and that was degenerating and degenerating to where my children were really being exposed to us being violent with each other.

[00:10:25] And I told you, I have a little different perspective on this. We were pushing each other. In fact, We kind of did what a lot of couples do when you have children, one of them works during the day and the other one goes in at night. And so we don’t have to have childcare and we could be out on the 20 acres, all those types of things.

[00:10:43] So the guys were young were young and. Some days, because we’re out here isolated, on 20 acres, some days to leave the house, we fought each other out to the car to leave the house. I mean, grabbing the keys, really being just unpleasant with each other. We were not [00:11:00] in a good place. And so this is what I say to the clients that I work with, because I work with the families who support loved ones around addiction, is, guess what?

[00:11:10] I was as crazy as he was. My rage was exploding. My control was exploding. If I needed him to be okay so that I could be okay, so I needed to control the situation so the kids were okay, so everything was okay. There was just a time bomb ticking. And when it finally did go off, this is what a lot of people don’t understand.

[00:11:32] A domestic violence case is when the police are called and someone alleges domestic violence. It is not necessarily that anything happened, but there’s an allegation in there. And so at least in the state of Colorado, and I can’t speak to all 50 states, someone is leaving the home in the squat car.

[00:11:51] That’s what happens. So as we went through that process, what I figured out was He laughed, which I [00:12:00] thought, in the state we were in, neither one of us were in our right minds, but it was chivalrous of him to leave. There had been no actual physical contact, but there had been, after a long night of drinking, you can’t leave, or if you leave, you can’t take the children, there had been some threats, all those types of things.

[00:12:18] But the story that… Nobody knows is that about three weeks before in one of those struggles for me to get to work, him to come home from work, things to be handled with the children, we were out by the car, something had triggered me, I can’t even tell you what it was, and I can tell you with honest certainty that I would have killed him had he not been About 150 pounds heavier than I am.

[00:12:42] I went after him with everything I did. We’re out in the snow. Had I had any kind of weapon, I would have pursued that. And he gently put me down in the snow and walked away because I was the one who needed to go to work. So when I look at this [00:13:00] is not just This is not just one person not having their life together.

[00:13:06] This is both of us bonding over very unhealed wounds, extremely unhealed wounds, to where we were causing damage to each other and definitely causing damage to our children, which had nothing to do with physicality, if that makes sense. So to me, it’s a very different take on it. And as we got into this, what we realized is, yes, we really needed help and the court is no place to battle this out.

[00:13:38] And I don’t know if you’ve experienced any of that, but I call it Courts, Cops, and Chickens, because when the cops came in and the courts came in, they took over our lives and said, you can do this, you cannot do that, you cannot do these other things. We were already in a very good church family. [00:14:00] And we reached out to support from them.

[00:14:03] They were highly supportive in what was going on. Our extended families were supportive at a distance, but were not. I mean, unless this has happened in your family before, how would you even begin to know how to handle this? And it just… It just began to deteriorate, but God, and so there were some real treasures in there that are going to be hard to understand, but looking back from the vantage point of about 13, 14 years, years, when you look at what God does with.

[00:14:38] In your life, sometimes you understand that some things did have to happen for you to be able to say, okay, I trust you. I need to change. We need to change. We need to shift. And we’ll celebrate just to give you the end of the hopeful part of the story is we’ll celebrate 20 years at the end of this month.

[00:14:59] With the [00:15:00] same man. With the same man. Yeah. I’ll have to say that it’s refreshing to hear someone like yourself that You’d recognize that you were both abusing each other, or you both were up and needed to change, and you did the work, and you’re still together. That is absolutely incredible.

[00:15:23] I don’t hear that very often as an abuse advocate, to hear that people have a happy ending. So, definitely looking forward hearing the rest about that, but did you always want to be a chicken rustler? What was your childhood like?

[00:15:37] So my childhood was I grew up in St.

[00:15:39] Louis pretty standard middle class, you know went to school Visited the grandparents went to church There wasn’t anything terribly out of the normal for us. I wrote Road horses growing up, so I’d always like the outdoors. Chickens!

[00:15:58] Chickens were his idea.[00:16:00] Chickens are sentient beings, but I don’t want to say that they’re not, but they’re different from mammals. And he had read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, and it came out about that time. I think it’s, Maybe 20 years old, something like that, and wanted us to start raising our own food and, very noble ideas to support his family.

[00:16:23] Where we were in Colorado, our growing season is really short and we have deer mule deer and elk and people, animals who will come through and eat things. So, he grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut, I grew up in, in the suburbs of St. Louis. We had been on this guest ranch for a little while, but the guest ranch, let’s talk about guest ranch don’t raise animals.

[00:16:46] They have animals for the use of the guests, but they don’t really raise animals. You’re not a real rancher. You’re ranching guests. So, so the real quality that I [00:17:00] had, even when I was riding horses with them, I’m taking them out on trails. Yes, I can ride, but what they hired me for was storytelling, customer service and connection with people.

[00:17:10] It wasn’t, going to be out pulling calves or making sure that the livestock was okay. I did some of that, but that wasn’t my real function. Right, so you’ve got two basic city slickers like the movie, we really don’t know a whole lot about this, but chickens gosh, this is going to sound awful, but they’re awesome.

[00:17:31] They’re more disposable than any other kind of livestock. If a chicken dies, you just, you go get another chicken. It’s not like a cow where you’ve really got a whole lot of monetary investment. Yes. So he started all that and we went along with it and, it was fun for the boys and there was a lot of learning experiences and he made the mobile coops and all of that.

[00:17:53] I really. He’s really a talented human being and he got all that [00:18:00] started and we were selling eggs and breaking even probably farming’s hard. Yeah and expensive. Yeah expensive and breaking even but there was a lot to be said about it but we as a couple were getting crazier. And let me back you up that by that time we had probably been respectively in Alanon on an AA for six or seven years by then our levels of sobriety, substance use, relationship, addiction, codependency, all that varied, kind of went up and down.

[00:18:37] But, you look at it and you think, where did this come from? , I have a lot of education. He is, comes from a good family and you would look at us and go, I even our church looked at us and went, we didn’t see this coming. To their credit, they surrounded us though. I’ve heard stories and I’m sure you have too, where the church goes, no, I don’t want a whole lot to do with [00:19:00] you.

[00:19:00] Yeah. I got lucky. They surrounded us. So I’m really sorry that you had a bad experience. I don’t at all believe that’s what Christ intended, especially when you look at the people that he hung around with. Yes. Certainly wasn’t the people who were clean and managed and all that stuff. You’re right.

[00:19:21] We certainly weren’t. You’re right. You said you met on the ranch that you met on the guest ranch. Yeah, we sure did. I rolled up to work for about six months. I was leaving one job. I had a divorce prior, two years prior leaving one job and then transitioning to another.

[00:19:39] And I thought, well, I’ll go out and do. a guest ranch stamp and ended up staying for four more years. I tell people, I stayed for four years, got a 2, 400 square foot house, 400 chickens, two boys and two dogs out of it, plus two more horses. We have since been divested of a lot of that stuff by our choice, but yeah, it was quite, quite the life shift [00:20:00] and adventure to do that.

[00:20:01] Were you drinking as well as he was, or was it just him drinking? So my Addiction is control and relationship. And it can look very much like alcohol of, I can have detoxing kind of symptoms and the sense of, I’ve noticed this in relationships that I basically want to drink the person. I need you to be right here with me.

[00:20:28] I need you to pay attention to me and need you to be, doing what I need you to do, not doing whatever you feel is important for you, focused on me as long as I can control the situation, then I feel safe. And then if you go away for a couple of days, I actually have kind of withdrawal symptoms.

[00:20:45] Now I’ve worked through, I would say 99 percent of that, but it is, it’s very much like, the whole pheromone thing of I need this and I need this now.

[00:20:55] Wow. I know that it’s really hard to see what’s

[00:20:59] going [00:21:00] on. Until you’re on the outside of it, looking in and be mindful of what, what was actually going on.

[00:21:07] Was it the, was it all 400 chickens or was it the alcohol? Was it, all of his fault, all of my fault and who’s going to start, who’s going to take this first step to get better or get help? So who was that?

[00:21:22] Well, that, so this is where God really knows what he’s doing. Yeah. I had been in prayer and my Al Anon group had been in prayer for a long time for healing and health in the family, both mine and his, all that, and I had prayed, this is a very dangerous prayer, the whatever it takes prayer.

[00:21:43] So whatever it takes, God, whatever it takes to heal us, whatever it takes to make us a whole and healthy family so that we can be here to raise our boys, whatever it takes. And then one night after Christmas party, it just all went down. I reached out for help from a [00:22:00] girlfriend who came and collected the boys and I, and she actually called the police and It just shifted from there.

[00:22:08] And it’s one of those things where, you know, 24 hours after it all happens, you’re like, wow, God, this is. This is not really what I wanted. This is not how I wanted it to go. We had a three month no conversation other than texting about the children restraining order, which in the beginning, I called the courts, I called the therapist.

[00:22:29] I mean, if you want to talk about crazy people, I was screaming at everybody, going, you’re going to kill our family, you’re going to ruin us, you’re going to do all these things. And I just was rage monster everywhere. And when God began to speak to me, he was saying, you guys need this cooling off time. You need this quiet time so that they’re, so that you guys, each of you in your own way can cool down.

[00:22:57] And then he got substance sober [00:23:00] that night and has, he’s, 13 years, 14 years in right now. And I would like to say that I got immediately sober too. It doesn’t work that way with codependence relationship addicts. We take a longer time to process. It’s kind of like people with a food addiction. You can’t just walk away from food.

[00:23:19] Yeah, you have to figure out what really is going on with you. So we both got help at the same time because. He didn’t spend long in jail and he immediately went to an AA meeting that night and said, I am not leaving here without a sponsor. And I had a person step up and sponsor him. And if you have a really good home group, home AA group stepped up and sponsored him.

[00:23:43] And when he needed to do 90 meetings and 90 days and 90, if you’re familiar with the language, we live in a very small town that was not available, but the person who sponsored him said, I will create meetings for you. So did that. So man, he’s a [00:24:00] hero. He stepped up and said, look, I want my family.

[00:24:03] I want my life. I don’t want to be like this anymore. And he did what it took to make that work. And then I got with my group and my sponsor and worked through the things that I needed to do. I got to say that my change took longer and you can, it showed up when the boys hit teenagers. Oh, how convenient!

[00:24:26] Yeah, I’m like, oh, let’s be stressed out some more! Yeah, the rollercoaster ride on crack, right there. We got hormones flying everywhere from them, and mom is behaving like a just an irrational… Teenage girl. I don’t know how else to put it. I was just so triggered that I had to go and do more work.

[00:24:52] You made a statement you say my husband got sober five days before Christmas, so did you think that was [00:25:00] when everything was going to get better? Honestly, I didn’t know it. We had a restraining order at that time and it was a no contact and we had we had gone to friend’s house for Christmas so I abandoned the four chickens.

[00:25:14] Actually, they helped me feed them no animal rights. Nobody was harmed. Yeah, but don’t make me come down there. Yeah, no, no animals were harmed. These kind friends and some other friends helped us deal with the horses and the chickens when I was just not able to do a whole lot because, it’s five days before Christmas, all of this is going down, brain is just, I’m doing, I’m feeding the kids, and taking care of the kids, and going to bed.

[00:25:41] That’s basically all we’re managing. So, I didn’t know it, And I can’t, people will not believe this, but I think this was pre cell phone for me, I don’t think I had a cell phone, by choice, nobody kept me from not having a cell phone. I chose not to have a cell phone, partially because of [00:26:00] where we lived didn’t have good signal, so we had house phones still, and I didn’t want to be strapped to it.

[00:26:05] Yeah, it wasn’t keeping me from having now it’s like my personal friend. Yeah. All of us probably wish we could have thrown our phones out the window and lived to tell about it. Yeah. So I didn’t know it. At the time, I didn’t know he’d gone to an AA meeting. I didn’t know he’d gotten a sponsor. I didn’t know all of that.

[00:26:24] At that point in time, I was trying to keep calm enough to take care of my children and, the animals still had to be taken care of. So, arranged for that, I may have gone to work. Some of this is a blur. And then we had Christmas, we had to prepare for Christmas. So we stayed with these friends and did that.

[00:26:43] It just, I know you’ve been through the situation. It’s just, it’s a muddle. It’s a mess.

[00:26:49] Yeah. And I didn’t tell you that I grew up with horses here. Well, I live in Arizona. So yeah, we had horses and my parents got divorced when we had horses and trying to [00:27:00] sell them all. And then we had, dogs and all these other little animals like birds and hamsters.

[00:27:06] I remember that stress of the animals, and then the divorce of my parents, and then Christmas. Christmas a mess after my parents divorce. It sounds very similar to kind of what you’re going through. Feed the kids and go to bed. Yeah.

[00:27:25] Well, the couple that we were staying with, this is another provision of God as all addiction begins to deteriorate relationships, mine, his.

[00:27:35] So. As that relationship began to, as our marital relationship began to deteriorate which really started two to three years before, it doesn’t, it’s not an overnight thing this couple who couldn’t have children the wife had been babysitting for my kids. And I had children, no husband, they had no children.

[00:27:57] And so we began to form this [00:28:00] very graceful family unit that I thought, I thank God for that kind of a provision because when a lot of that happens. Spouses can get unfaithful, they wander around, they do crazy things looking for companionship and all that kind of stuff. Well, God insulated me with this wonderful Christian couple who would help with the kids.

[00:28:21] I had time to make dinner for all of us once or twice a week. I did that for them, and we had been doing that for a couple years, so I already had this community base. And that’s what… I really talked to a lot of people about is don’t let secrets make you sick. It’s not that you have to tell every everybody everything that’s going on in your life.

[00:28:42] Maybe you need to certain people, but I had began to build my relationships with the church with Al Anon with, the children’s friends with this particular couple with some other people. So even though I was really sick and really struggling mentally, I had a [00:29:00] community. A small community that I could really tell everything that was going on.

[00:29:07] And that isolation piece, and I don’t know, Diana, if you experienced that, that isolation piece I think is one of the hardest things with both domestic violence and addiction, that isolation piece can come in there too.

[00:29:20] I mean, how is trauma and addiction connected together? Fabulous question. Love this question. What they’re finding in the new research and in the last, I would say the last 10 years, a lot of things have really changed research wise. So both husband and I come out of the very base program of AA Al Anon background, have since gone on to celebrate recovery in a Christian based program, also based on 12 steps, but biblical 12 steps.

[00:29:50] And. There’s even more research, Gabor Mate is on the part of this that he feels [00:30:00] that it is trauma that will cause these reactions. And I can wholeheartedly agree with him that my use of drinking in a person or his use of substance was a solution. It became a problem as we began to use like that, but it was a solution to the pain that we were feeling.

[00:30:25] And if you look at it. It doesn’t even have to be trauma with a big T. It could be trauma with a little T. It’s how you choose to respond to it. So it could be something as simple as you felt abandoned and neglected in the evenings because your parents were, doing their thing without you every evening.

[00:30:46] And you told yourself the story that you were abandoned and neglected and you kept perpetuating that when yes, a lot of that was true. But nobody taught you how to work through that for yourself, [00:31:00] right? So that’s a simple one. Then there is what we call the big T trauma, where there was actual neglect.

[00:31:06] You weren’t fed, you were locked out of the house, whatever that was, or, sexual or physical or verbal or all of those things. Mate’s understanding is it is not that trauma happens because trauma happens to all of us in varying degrees. It’s how you actually work through it and especially how your body works through it on whether it traps it or not.

[00:31:30] So when that early childhood trauma happens and it gets trapped in the body and you don’t have words to manage that pain, because normally it happens very young pre verbal, you don’t have words to have. Manage that pain, then you’re looking for something to deal with that pain. And I’m only smiling not because the pain is okay, but that anybody can choose, with this new research, anybody can choose to work through that and be [00:32:00] released from it with somatic, with EMDR, with all kinds of different therapies.

[00:32:05] You can be released. There’s hope! I mean, that’s the key. There’s hope. You don’t have to stay here, which is, I think, why you do this podcast.

[00:32:14] That’s the exact reason. you said something that was very profound. I did not know this. The divorce rate is higher after sobriety than before. Why is that?

[00:32:26] You would think that’s like the solution to all of our problems and then everything is fine. What’s going on here?

[00:32:35] Doesn’t that seem like an anomaly? Yes. Seems like a total anomaly. This is where my particular work comes in, is when the person who has been labeled as the problem in the family, right, when they make a shift Then the whole family has to shift.

[00:32:55] But the whole family normally doesn’t think it has a problem. But [00:33:00] here’s the key. The alcoholic, drug addict, workaholic, porn addict, whoever, didn’t come from nowhere. They were in a system. So if they make a shift, then the system has to make a shift. So say you are the wife who’s been handling everything, holding it all together, making the children, making sure the children get where they’re going, looking good at church, making sure there’s groceries in the house, making sure the paycheck comes home.

[00:33:26] All that stuff is happening. And we’ll give them ages. They’re five and eight or whatever. Your husband comes back. Maybe he’s gone to 30 day rehab. Maybe he’s had this day out of the house for a little while, whatever. He comes back, he’s sober. Oh happy day. But then he wants to start managing the finances with you.

[00:33:45] He now wants to come in and have a full parent role where most of the time he’s been checked out. Then he wants to say, well, no, I’m not sure I want to have those people over for dinner. I’m not sure that I [00:34:00] enjoy their company. And, you’ve been managing all this all along, and you’re who’s this person?

[00:34:06] I’m not sure I like this person. I don’t know that I want to give up control of these types of things, so the shift happened, and the family hasn’t caught up yet, because the family didn’t go through all this treatment. Right? Unless they’re a very astute family. Now, we did because we chose to do it.

[00:34:24] We took the kids to the Betty Ford Clinic, the children’s program twice, maybe three times. We got them therapy. I got therapy. We did some other extra programs. We did some programs as family. We did all of those things. We took this journey together. But if you don’t take this journey together, This is also why the person who gets sober says, I can’t stay in this family.

[00:34:47] So what if you have the family that says, yeah, well, alcohol doesn’t hurt. We’re going to smoke a little weed on the weekends. It’s all going to be okay. But you’ve got this person who is desperate to stay sober. They can’t stay. They [00:35:00] can’t stay there either. So it can be one partner saying, Hey, I don’t know who you think you are, but I’ve been doing this quite fine without you.

[00:35:09] And I’m not sure you want you in the business. Or it may be the other person going my sobriety is the most important thing to me and I can’t do it in this. environment. I just can’t stay here. It may not be that they’re using substances, but they can’t control their rage. They haven’t learned how to deal with emotions.

[00:35:26] And you’ve got typically a very emotionally fragile person coming home because they are learning how to deal with their emotions without their substance of choice. But the family is still acting in the same way that they’ve always acted.

[00:35:40] It sounds like very similar to men that go off to war and they come back with PTSD and their family’s been surviving on their own and then dad’s back and he’s

[00:35:55] traumatized by what he saw and then he’s trying to become part of [00:36:00] the family again and it isn’t working. It definitely sounds familiar, similar to that, right?

[00:36:06] Well, yes, and Gabbermonte’s theory is that the key to addiction is connection. Because we’re, with the addiction, we’re trying to solve a problem, right?

[00:36:18] I’m trying to drink that person in so I feel better. He’s trying to use so that he feels better. So, the connection is the ideal. I may get this wrong. I think it was Vietnam. It’s either Vietnam or the Korean War. I can’t remember. They were very worried. There’s a study. They were very worried about the men coming home.

[00:36:36] I’m pretty sure it was Vietnam because they were using heroin while they were there. They got it over there. Yeah. They were very worried about them coming home. But what happened was when they came home and they were reconnected with their family units and the access to heroin is not like we have now, the access wasn’t there.

[00:36:59] That [00:37:00] connection brought them back into a place of, I’m okay, I can work through my feelings. Yes, there were some with PTSD, there were some of that, but. I think it was like 89 percent did not return to drug use. I mean, it’s a huge amount. And it’s about, the theory is it’s about that connection rather than non connection and using something to soothe the pain, whatever the pain is.

[00:37:29] In a war situation, we’re pretty clear on what the pain is, but in other places it could be other things. So, When you look at it, sobriety, yes, needs to take place, but it’s not the answer. Just like a really nice wedding is not the answer to a happy marriage. You can have a 40, 000, what are they, 120, 000 wedding, with helicopters flown in and doves flying around instead of chickens and all that kind of stuff.

[00:37:57] That does not [00:38:00] guarantee that the next 50 to 70 years… are going to be harmonious, just like sobriety doesn’t guarantee it. In my understanding of faith, yes, I need to have the wedding first. Let’s do that. But it doesn’t mean everything is going to go smoothly from there. Spend that money investing in, therapy before your wedding.

[00:38:23] That’s what I recommend. Anybody who has been long term married, you know what, there are at least, I would say three to four breakdowns that are pretty serious in that re total renegotiations of the marriage and they can be. You’ve had children, so you need to renegotiate how the marriage looks, but that’s the place that you should be spending that 120K rather than on the doves and the cake.

[00:38:48] And yeah, I definitely agree with that.

[00:38:53] What’s the difference between being dependent on somebody and co creating [00:39:00] with somebody?

[00:39:01] So, this is, I think, this is best explained, and I really like how you put co creating in there, is there’s dependence, and when you look at mammals, we have a long childhood and almost all mammals, Right, so they need the care of the mother. Whereas reptiles and birds very different.

[00:39:24] They can walk away. They can eat their young, all those things happen, but that care trait means that at points in our life, we are going to be dependent. Then you have the opposite side of independence. And for us in the United States, that’s very valued. Very being independent is super valued. I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps.

[00:39:46] I started my own business. I did this. I did this. I did this. What we’re coming to understand is there is no, I did this. You may have done separate and done a lot of those things, but there were other people that you worked with. So you’ve [00:40:00] got dependence and independence, both of which are okay. But as humans, we need intra dependence.

[00:40:08] So interdependence means that I can go from dependence to independence back to being interdependent on other people. That to me is the co creation right in there of all. None of these things are bad. I can use all of them. When I need to, because, when our kiddos get to be, what, three, four, five years old, we want them potty trained, picking the fork up to their own mouth, eventually tying their own shoes, putting on their own clothes.

[00:40:37] That’s independence, but there’s interdependence in there as well. It’s not, I’m going off to live in the desert all by myself and not talk to anybody. And then co creation, I think the other piece that co creation always says to me is not only am I co creating with the other person, because my work is Christ centered we’re co [00:41:00] creating with God because a two legged stool doesn’t stand, but a three legged stool stands very solidly.

[00:41:06] You can get up on it and get the cookie jar out and eat the cookies. Yeah, right. I like that analogy. It’s always my favorite.

[00:41:14] I think that my marriage with my now husband Brian is one of, we’re co creating, we both have our own likes and dislikes and our own choices, our own paths and their own goals.

[00:41:28] And we support one another, but it’s not me depending on him for Everything, my emotional needs, my spiritual needs, my physical needs. It’s we’re two people that we can coexist together, but we’re supporting one another. It was totally different than my first marriage where it was okay, he’s the man and you get everything from the man.

[00:41:52] He, your spiritual head. He is your breadwinner and he’s in charge of the sex and you do what you’re told and you[00:42:00] life is supposed to, bow to his life and you exist to meet his needs. It’s like that is so unbalanced.

[00:42:08] Totally. Well, it’s unbiblical too. Yeah. I mean, the passage can be used as a weapon, but what is really meant by the passage is you’re taking two whole beings.

[00:42:20] So even Adam and Eve were two whole beings, right? They’re completely whole. They are w h o l e whole. They are not Holy, H O L E Y, but they are whole, nor do they have holes in them, the other spelling of whole. So you’re not taking two people and doing this and creating one. You’re taking two people and and putting them in union so you create something totally new.

[00:42:47] And that’s what God designed for us. That’s what the passage is coming about, is being new. Because if you take two people with lots of holes in them and try and mesh together, then you have less than a whole [00:43:00] new thing. You have less than that. And that’s, I think, where my husband and I were coming at it, is we’re trying to heal We’re trying to heal ourselves, heal each other, figure out what’s going on here.

[00:43:11] And we went like this Instead of doing our work and then coming together and being a whole thing a whole Holy h o l e y. That’s why I think marriage was designed. It’s the closest thing to our relationship with God Is supporting and making each other holy and in that we’re taking two whole people and doing that. I really don’t like Jerry Maguire.

[00:43:35] Not you complete me. You don’t complete me. I was already resourceful and whole the minute that God thought of me and created me. Amen. Amen. I love that. Love all that you said. How did you know? Now you told us you have a happy ending. How did you know you guys were going to make it? Was there a day that you figured it out?

[00:43:57] You’re still here, and you’re still putting [00:44:00] one foot in front of the other and choosing to make this work each day.

[00:44:04] Yes. And that’s where the one day at a time, AA really, I think is a valuable, I’m only gifted this day. I don’t have yesterday. I don’t have tomorrow.

[00:44:13] This is it. This is what I’ve got to work with. Couple things happened. And I had already been coming closer to the Lord and I don’t have audible words. I wish I did. It’d be easier, but I had words in my heart of, you will stay married. And that was a direct, I would say, direct command. You will stay married.

[00:44:34] This isn’t, you’re not walking away. And as I said, he was working really hard. He had a lot more hoops to jump through than I did. He was working really hard. He wanted his family. Our church family surrounded us. As we were able to counsel together, it took a year before we could do that because of the state of Colorado laws.

[00:44:55] Again, when the court gets involved it’s really messy. So [00:45:00] as we were bega able to counsel together, it was a commitment from both of us that we wanted to. Remarry, which is what we did. And people said, well, did you bring the kids? I’m like, no. I had a dream about it. And I said, these are the people who are supposed to be there, the minister and his wife.

[00:45:16] And then we had a really good friend and we did a small in church ceremony and had a soup supper afterward for the people who were in attendance. So you had a vow renewal. We had a vow renewal, and the main thing about that was it was for nobody else but us.

[00:45:35] We needed the other people there to witness, but it was for nobody else but us, and we were standing before God, and we were saying, okay there’s been a lot of blood, and a lot of tears, and a lot of hurt, and a lot shed here, but we’re going to drop that. and move forward with what’s next. So it was a very important point[00:46:00] Like I talk with a lot of my clients about, it didn’t solve everything.

[00:46:04] We still had children to raise, bills to pay, things to work through, our own insufferable actions that we did. So, even if you don’t have domestic violence and you don’t have addiction, marriage is hard. It’s work, right? So if you have those extra layers on top of it, we were just getting to like normal marriage work stage is where we were.

[00:46:30] Which is better than screaming at each other, drunk, stage, definitely. I don’t, I say this for all these people there with my particular addictive behavior, it was a lot easier to manage him when he was using, because he didn’t care. I could do as I pleased. So that shift took a while to figure out, how are we going to do this dance together?

[00:46:56] And it really is a dance and you step on each other’s toes and you hit each other’s [00:47:00] knees and figuring that out took considerable amount of time. And we actually did the rededication ceremony, but we didn’t live together for the next couple weeks. I think there were still things we had to work out and all.

[00:47:16] We did the ceremony first, and then made the shifts. . And like I said we took the time to bring the kids along. with us in the process. Now they didn’t need to be at the ceremony, but to explain what was going on, why this was happening, what the choices were happening. Hopefully what we’ve built in My Young Men is a lot of resilience to say, look, you don’t have to walk away when bad things happen.

[00:47:40] There needs to be corrective action, but you don’t have to walk away. I think the fact that your husband really wanted to have his family, that really counted for a lot. Yeah. That he’s already… As imperfect as it is he wanted to work on himself and he wanted to fight for [00:48:00] the family and the marriage and hats off to him. Hats off to both of you guys, I think this is an incredible story.

[00:48:08] I, like I said, I don’t hear this very often and you guys are the real deal.

[00:48:14] There’s more people out there than you think. Oh, I hope so. Oftentimes it’s something that they don’t share because we have such shame around this, which is unfortunate because, there are marriages that fail because there are moves that happen or job changes or, rearing children is more than what you thought.

[00:48:34] And we’ll talk about those things. It really is. It’s truly a miracle because we both said, God, what do we need to do here? This came from both of us. So sheer willpower alone would never have made this work. We needed that third leg of the stool. And I have to give all the credit to God of we listened, [00:49:00] but we could not have worked this out on our own.

[00:49:03] There’s no way. That we would have been able to do that because in, in our human flesh, man, we still wanted what we wanted, how we wanted it, when we wanted it. That’s the thorn in the side, as Paul says that’s just something that keeps cropping up this whole time.

[00:49:17] It was really it’s really all God. It really is.

[00:49:21] Yes. I definitely agree with that. Now I wanted to give you a chance to talk about your coaching because if I had that problem, now neither of my husbands had substance addictions, but if they did, I would definitely come to someone like you who’s been through this.

[00:49:40] and lives to tell about it and is helping others. So tell the folks about what you have to offer them.

[00:49:49] Sure. So I work with women and there’s a reason why I work with women. It’s the right connection in there. If there are men, I have companions that I’ll [00:50:00] refer you out to, but I work with women.

[00:50:02] It is normally the woman who has been caretaking in this situation, whether it be, it doesn’t have to be husband, it could be child, it could be brother, it could be sister, whoever that is, but it’s normally the woman who’s been caretaking. And the shift that we work on is reclaiming your life.

[00:50:24] Because what has happened, typically, is you have given away your life to whatever is taking place in your family, and in doing that, I’m going to be real forward about this, in doing that, you’re taking away their dignity. A lot of the decisions they need to make. Because if you keep, like your cousin, if you keep cleaning up after them, if you keep making this okay, then you’re actually keeping them sick for whatever your own reasons are.

[00:50:52] And I told you some of mine was it was just easier. I could make all the decisions, I could make all the control, I could do all those [00:51:00] types of things. So in that family dynamic, I start with the woman. We would work with the whole family if that’s how they chose to do it. I typically work after recovery because what will happen, this is so interesting, is there will be a sobriety bottom where the person who has gotten sober is like, why am I doing this again?

[00:51:22] What’s important about this? Why am I continuing to do this? And as I said earlier, if the family hasn’t dealt with some of its issues and some of the reasons that Things were happening this way, then either the person who has gotten sober is going to say, I need some distance because I can’t be there, or the person who is still in the family will say, you used to behave like this, why is this not working anymore?

[00:51:49] So there has to be a whole shift. Here is what we know statistically, and this is such a great statistic. If the family chooses to deal with their problems [00:52:00] simultaneously to the addict getting well, or prior to the addict getting well, They have an 89 percent higher rate of staying sober for the rest of their lifetime and passing on a legacy of problem solving, sobriety, working through issues that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

[00:52:22] So really, The family is not powerless. The family can influence both getting sober and maintaining sobriety. And if the family chooses not to do that, then it’s a higher likelihood that it will not go well. Either breaking down the connection or the sobriety isn’t maintained. So that’s what I do, is I work with the family on what it is, where do you need to take back your power, where do you need to see yourself as an expert, where can you make changes, where are things that you need to take responsibility for, and I can hear people out there [00:53:00] going, I don’t need, it’s them, their fault, well, Part of what we’ve done in a family like that is we’ve scapegoated that person.

[00:53:07] So everything that goes wrong is their fault. Everything that doesn’t get paid for is their fault. Everything that, every relationship that breaks down is their fault. What you and I both know… Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard, even without that component. So it isn’t all their fault. And the other thing I find with, especially women, is they’ve lost their identity.

[00:53:30] They don’t know who they are anymore. They don’t know what they like. They don’t know what they would enjoy doing. They have just been Trying to prevent things from failing for so long. That’s what their job is. Well, if the person gets sober, they’re out of a job. Nobody likes being out of a job. So figuring out who she is, what she really wants, what’s her new job?

[00:53:53] What’s her joy? Where can she really serve the Lord? Because she doesn’t have to do that job anymore.

[00:53:59] That’s [00:54:00] good news. What is what is your website where we can reach you

[00:54:04] ? So I’ve tried to be ubiquitous. So the the website is Tanya Gioia, T A N Y A G I O I A.

[00:54:15] com. And then I have the Sober On Purpose podcast. That’s a little easier to remember. Sober On Purpose podcast. We talk a lot of, we’ve been talking about unhelpful help lately, which has been really important. And then. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Instagram. I have a YouTube channel. If you look somewhere between tiny joy and sober on purpose, I’m there.

[00:54:37] I think I sent you the unhelpful help quiz. If you want to put that in the show notes and people can look at. So unhelpful help has another term called enabling. Yeah. So take the quiz, see where you fall on the scale. And then you can do corrective behavior for yourself, right?

[00:54:56] So, it’s a really an opportunity and it’s very eye [00:55:00] opening to some people. They’re like, but I thought I was helping. Maybe not.

[00:55:04] Wow, we’ve we’ve been all over the place like a chicken with a head cut off. Have you ever seen that? That’s awful. Yeah, that is awful. So maybe that wasn’t a great illustration, but was there anything that you wanted to mention to our listeners that we didn’t cover?

[00:55:21] I know we covered a lot of bases there. So, one of the things, I pulled up the scripture, and let me see if I can get the right section. One of the scriptures that I hung on to during all this time was in Chronicles. And it is when it’s when Jehoshaphat is, he is with the people of Judah and There are three armies coming against them.

[00:55:48] And what God says to them, okay He says that this is what the Lord says to you, do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, [00:56:00] for the battle is not So as we’re going through all this process, yes, I had things to clean up. My husband had things to clean up, but the battle was not really ours.

[00:56:11] This was a spiritual battle being fought. So God says, do not be afraid or discouraged. That’s the first thing because of the vast army. So the vast army was bills and chickens and children. And I only had a part time job and we had to live separately for 23 months. And blah, blah, blah. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

[00:56:28] Tomorrow, march down against them. They will be climbing by the pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the edge, at the gorge of the desert of Jerro. You will not have to fight this battle. So that’s where I talk with wives and moms a lot is, maybe you need to stop doing some things. Maybe you are fighting the wrong fight.

[00:56:51] This is not your battle. And I know there’s a lot of fear around death or things like that, but to look at that and [00:57:00] say, where is the helpful help versus the unhelpful help? You do not have to fight your battle. Take up your positions. It doesn’t mean you’re not vigilant. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.

[00:57:13] Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Go down to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you. I hung on to that because he says, I’m going to be with you. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be afraid and stop fighting. You’re fighting the wrong fight. That’s what God was saying to me was really this fight is for your healing, for his healing, but with the two of you in this broken state going at each other, you’re fighting in the wrong direction.

[00:57:44] I just love your transparency and your honesty in telling your story, because it’s not easy I know you’ve probably done it a million times now, but each time it’s hard to go and relive some of those things. And [00:58:00] I appreciate you showing us the grace of God and how powerful he is and how good he is to save marriages and to heal addiction and trauma and even abuse.

[00:58:14] So, I thank you so much for being on the show. This has been awesome.

[00:58:20] Diana, I really appreciate it. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share and this is my service and this is a calling and hey, reach out. I’ve got all kinds of resources. Let’s talk. Let’s see if this is something I can help you with or I point you in a direction that works for you.

[00:58:38] Thank you so much. God bless you.

[00:58:41] Thank you, Diana. I really appreciate it.

[00:58:43] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries dot org, where you’ll find our blog [00:59:00] along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week!

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