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Welcome to The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast. We are a community of recovering people who have overcome the odds and made monumental life changes. We don't shy away from the nitty gritty - we like to laugh give inspiration and remind you there is hope. Come join us no matter where you are on your recovery journey. Together, we have the courage to change! Subscribe and join our podcast community to hear amazing stories of courage and transformation!
 
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We made it to the end of Season 4! Thanks for all who listened. In this episode Ashley and Scott host The Courage to Change New Year's Extravaganza. We've got highlights from Season 4. We've got games. We've got music. Put on your finest attire and stop by our place to ring in the new year. Episode Resources Connect with Ashley Loeb Blassingame Tik…
 
Desiree Moore grew up with addicted parents. She wanted desperately to live a different life and when she met someone at 18 who seemed like he came from a white-picket-fence family she couldn’t believe her luck. The two got married and began having kids right away. Her husband moved from job to job, trying to advance his career but eventually ran o…
 
Lacie Hamilton grew up in an abusive home with a mother who was addicted to alcohol and pills. At age 5 was the first time she was slapped and very quickly internalized the message that it didn’t matter what she wanted or needed. As the abuse continued, Lacie developed her own addiction as a coping mechanism. It was her means to dissociate. It cont…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "How Can I Help My Daughter Survive Her First Sober Christmas?". The holidays can be a triggering time for everyone, but especially for people in early recovery. Ashley talks about her experience coming back home and what strategies will help the listener's daughter feel supported during …
 
Nicole and Joseph Ascanio are the siblings of Anthony Ascanio, who died of an overdose in August of 2021. Anthony ordered what he thought was Percocet on the dark web, but in reality the pills were Fentanyl. He is one of the 70,000 Americans who died from Fentanyl in 2021. After Anthony’s death Nicole and Joseph were forced to wade through the comp…
 
Chris Tompkins knew he was gay at age 6, but things weren’t talked about openly in his home so he internalized the idea that it should remain a secret and he grew up ashamed, and hypervigilant. At 24, he came out and jumped into an LGBTQ community that used drugs and alcohol to deal with the internalized shame they’d felt in their own childhoods. C…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley talks about navigating loss and loneliness. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 years, she's a drug and alcohol counselor, interventionist, and the co-founder of a telehealth company called Lionrock Recovery that provides substance use disorder treatment. Episode Resources Connect with Ashley Loeb …
 
Ryan Dusick is best known as the founding drummer of the band Maroon 5. As a boy, he dreamt of pitching for the Dodgers and writing adventure novels. Arm injuries sidelined his baseball career, just as rock music became his new passion and purpose. In 1994 he founded the band Kara’s Flowers with fellow Brentwood High School students Jesse Carmichae…
 
Amy LeClair grew up as a Junior Olympic Gymnast. At 11 she had her first interaction with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while on a trip with her class. Suddenly she was bombarded by intrusive thoughts that made her wonder if she would hurt them even though she had no desire to do so. She was able to find tools to help with her OCD until Amy went to…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley helps a listener with their question "Will My Kid End Up An Alcoholic?". The listener is wondering about how likely it is the alcoholism will be passed along genetically to her children. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 years, she's a drug and alcohol counselor, interventionist, and the co-found…
 
Jessica’s story started in high school with a boyfriend who seemed amazing. He was the class clown, a football player and very into her. In the early years she was able to explain his problematic behavior as expressions of his love for her. There was no physical abuse at first. If she just tried harder his behavior would stop. Then when the violenc…
 
Lee Shuer is a Certified Peer Specialist and internationally recognized expert in Hoarding Disorder and has been at the forefront of developing self-help groups for people with HD. Lee’s own complicated relationship with things started at age 3 years old when he began asking people the question “Do you have anything that you don’t need?”. The first…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley helps a listener with their question "My Partner Is Scared To Go To Detox". She really wants them to go and they know they need to, but they're scared. Ashley shares her own stories of trying to get sober without help, what to expect during a medical detox and why it's better than the alternative. Ashley Loeb Blassing…
 
Michelle Farris is a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in codependent relationship patterns. She helps people to avoid the people pleasing behaviors and issues with boundary setting that can often become stumbling blocks for many in recovery. Michelle began her own recovery at 21. She began attending Overeaters Anonymous and Al-Anon Mee…
 
Amy Farnan grew up in a loving home with three siblings and lots of laughter. Even with all the good she found at her core, the inability to feel like she had worth or a voice. In middle school she found alcohol and immediately felt powerful and pretty. She began saying the things she’d always wanted to say and the feeling hooked her. She had some …
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "How Can I Undo The Things I've Done?" It can feel like it's impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. That the mistakes made are impossible to come back from, but there is reason to hope. Ashley shares stories of how she was able to fix things that she thought were damaged beyond r…
 
Dane Ensley grew up in an AA home. His mother and grandmother were sober and among a long line of family members who struggled with alcoholism and addiction. He grew up feeling destined to be an addict and also in recovery. After his parents split up at age 7, he found himself looking for male role models who had the strength, bravado and macho ene…
 
Stasia Rivera is an expert in the science behind optimized performance; whether it is flying aircraft or building wins in sports or working through a recovery program, the concepts are the same. Stasia developed these processes as a therapist working in trauma, addiction and family systems as well as being a former Division 1 athlete and coach at a…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "Why is Resentment So Dangerous?". The listener isn't sure why resentments matter so much. Ashley shares secrets from her own resentments and why they can be so dangerous to sobriety. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 years, she's a drug and alcohol counselor, interv…
 
Growing up in rural Texas within a Fundamentalist Christian family, Allison always felt like something was missing, like an outsider looking in to a world that she didn’t belong. In her teens, she was introduced to pasture parties, heavy drinking and drugs, and a community of counter-cultural thinkers who helped her to recognize that her sexuality,…
 
Matthew Bocchi’s father was one of the many who lost their lives on September 11th. The news came in a highly censored manner. His mom and uncle told him what they thought was best for his young mind, but it wasn’t enough for him. He wanted to understand all of the story. He became obsessed with the images of people jumping from the building and wo…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "Depression is Threatening My Sobriety". The listener is losing their motivation and their feelings are keeping them from doing what they need to do to stay sober. Ashley shares her own story of depression and why it's important to validate feelings even when you feel like you don't have …
 
Nathan grew up in southeast LA. His parents wanted a better life for him, and began moving to try to find it but lacked the resources to get him there. The neighborhood they ended up in was nearly as rough as the one he’d come from. Drugs were prevalent in his community. So much so that they were easier to come by than alcohol. At 13 he got Speed f…
 
Constance Scharff, PhD is an internationally recognized speaker and author on the topics of addiction and trauma recovery, and mental health. She is founder of the Institute for Complementary and Indigenous Mental Health Research. She serves the Geffen Playhouse as a consultant for their Veterans Writing and Performance Workshop. In the past, she s…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "Why Do I Need To Go To Al-Anon? It's Their Problem." It can be challenging to feel as if you need to do more when you're already sacrificed so much for your loved one. Ashley talks about what you'll gain by attending and why it matters. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober fo…
 
Justin White had been using meth for 12 years when tragedy found his family. His son had been playing outside and drowned in an empty pool at age 4. The loss was more than he could withstand. His Meth use accelerated and he introduced Heroin into his daily life. He spent days and weeks motionless inside his house unable to do anything other than me…
 
Tim Lodgen grew up in Baltimore Maryland where he signed a skateboard contract that had him riding with Bucky Lasek and Brandon Novak. Playing sports kept him away from drugs and alcohol until he enlisted in the Marine Corps as a Senior in High School. He thought he’d let off some steam before he had to enter the highly regimented life of a soldier…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "I’ve Stopped Drinking, Will I Ever Have Fun Again?". It can be hard to feel like you're starting over. In our using, we might have lost the things make us feel happy. We might not have any idea about what we actually enjoy anymore. Ashley talks about her own experience getting sober and …
 
Danny was born in New Jersey, but spent most of his childhood moving around the country before finally landing in Orange County. His drinking and using started in high school like so many but quickly got out of hand. At 17 he was caught smoking weed in a grocery store and was given a way to avoid legal trouble. If his parents were willing to send h…
 
Anna Lembke, MD is professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. A clinician scholar, she has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and commentaries. She sits on the board of several state and national addiction-focused organizations…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the question "How Can I Work in Sales and Not Drink?". Many jobs can feel as if drinking is a prerequisite. Even more challenging is when you drank when you started working somewhere and now you don't. You have to make choices about what you tell people, who you tell and what will become your new way of intera…
 
Chris Howe endured 17 long years of addiction to alcohol and drugs while working as a firefighter. He was different from everyone else in the department. He was smaller, tattooed and spent his time away from the job with alcoholics, addicts and criminals. This double life filled him with self hatred and secrets. He’d been effected deeply by childho…
 
Casey McGuire Davidson grew up moving around the globe with parents that worked as US diplomats. While it provided some amazing experiences it also planted the seed that she needed to be constantly performing at a high level. Being the child of important people made it feel like she couldn’t mess up. As an adult she led a high achieving life in the…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question from a teacher wanting to know how to help their addicted students. They are trying to find ways they can create a safe space for the students to talk openly about the challenges they are facing and want to know how they can help. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 ye…
 
Person Irresponsible, or PI as most people call her, describes herself as having been “fat, funny, forty-something, and in her fourth year of recovery when she felt an unfathomable urge to walk across America”. Previously she had hiked from the sofa to the fridge and back and considered camping to be a loathsome pursuit. She was also a confirmed ni…
 
Elizabeth Sockolov is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a member of Psi Chi, The International Honor Society of Psychology, and the founder of One Mind Therapy. Elizabeth’s journey started eleven years ago when she got into recovery from addiction. Like so many, she used drugs as a means to deal with her anxiety. Then everything changed whe…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the question "Why am I addicted to my phone?". It seems like everyone has a complicated relationship with their phone and its addictive nature. Ashley talks about what is happening in the brain and what you can do to curb your attachment to your device. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 y…
 
Andrea Ashley is a former CPA turned podcast host & producer. She grew up outside of Philadelphia in an alcoholic household. Andrea turned to drugs and alcohol herself at the age of 12. After years in and out of rehabs and boarding schools, she was granted the gift of sobriety at the age of 19 and celebrated 13 years of continuous sobriety in Septe…
 
Parham Nematollah grew up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war where he lived through frequent bombings that sent his whole family fleeing for safety. They eventually made it to the US, but he then spent his childhood moving back and forth from the US to Iran. At age 9 he moved back to Iran and spent the better part of a year learning how to read and w…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley answers the listener question "How do I get my husband to commit to going to treatment?" Her partner has had several relapses and she can't convince him to get help. Ashley discusses how to let the crisis arrive, interventions and self work that can be extremely helpful in encouraging a loved one to get help. Ashley L…
 
Andy grew up searching for a place to fit in and find acceptance. As a Minister’s son, kids were often brought to his house against their will in order for his morality to rub off on them. In high school he found a new persona when he got blackout drunk at a college party. Suddenly people were talking about how funny he was when he was drunk, how h…
 
Roland Williams is an interventionist, author, trainer, counselor and consultant specializing in addiction related issues. He is one of the first Licensed Advanced Addictions Counselors in the state of California. He is a motivational speaker who conducts seminars, workshops, keynote presentations, as well as staff training, skills building and pro…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley talks with producer Scott Drochelman about the reasons that people relapse. Hear Ashley's relapse stories and what factors put people at risk. Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 years, she's a drug and alcohol counselor, interventionist, and the co-founder of a telehealth company called Lionrock R…
 
Lynsie was a high achiever from a young age. Starting dance, gymnastics and singing classes at age three. She joined the pageant circuit at 12 and immediately had success. The achievement of it all brought peace to her turbulent home with an alcoholic father. She eventually found the success she was looking for when she became Miss Teen Arizona, bu…
 
Wes Geer is a professional guitar player, songwriter, recording artist, and producer, who signed his first record deal to Jive Records with the band he founded, (Hed) P.E.. Wes toured the world for nearly a decade, and the band sold over 1 million records worldwide. Their music was on high rotation on MTV, radio stations, as well as having numerous…
 
In this Q and A episode Ashley talks with producer Scott Drochelman about how to maintain hope when you've been trying to help for a long time. You might not feel like there is much more you can do. You might find it difficult to remain connected. Ashley provides practical ideas on how to approach this complicated situation without enabling. Ashley…
 
Benjamin Heldfond grew up in San Francisco where he lived through a high conflict divorce. He internalized the breakup as a signal that he was bad. The experience was like Miracle Grow for his growing drinking and heroin addiction which eventually led to a flatline overdose that saw him clinically dead. But even that didn’t lead to his sobriety. Be…
 
Dr. John Umhau is a board certified addiction medicine specialist who directs AlcoholRecoveryMedicine.com and provides telemedicine treatment for people with alcohol use disorder. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, (NIH). As a…
 
Ashley Loeb Blassingame has been clean and sober for 16 years, she's a drug and alcohol counselor, interventionist, and the co-founder of a telehealth company called Lionrock Recovery that provides substance use disorder treatment. In this Q and A episode she talks with producer Scott Drochelman about how to wade into the sober dating world with in…
 
After Will's mom passed away in 2017, a lifetime of suppressed memories and events came flooding back in. What felt like a normal childhood with humble beginnings began to change. Suddenly he was seeing everything iin vivid detail, defending his mother during an attempted sexual assault, witnessing russian roulette at the kitchen table or being aro…
 
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