Morgan Jones 0:00
It was the addiction recovery program that brought Keith Meyer into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church's Addiction Recovery Program has adapted the original 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous–with permission from AA–into a framework of the doctrines, principles and beliefs of the Church.
If you're familiar with the 12 steps, you'll recognize different ones as you listen to Keith's story, but I wanted to highlight just three before we get started. Step one, admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable. Step three, decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Step twelve, having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.
We are so grateful to Keith and his wife, Brooke, for sharing that very message on the podcast today. Keith Meyers work in the sports industry for brands like Trek and Timex has partnered him with iconic franchises like Ironman, the New York City Marathon and the New York Giants. After a successful career in marketing, concluding as a vice president at global Atlantic Financial Group, Brook Meyer now works as a marketing consultant. Both Keith and Brooke have completed multiple Ironman's and together they are raising three beautiful children.
This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones, and I am so honored to have Keith and Brook Meyer with me today, Keith and Brooke, welcome.
Brooke Meyer 1:52
Thank you, Morgan.
Morgan Jones 1:53
Really, I should say thank you for welcoming me into your home. This is so good to be in person.
Brooke Meyer 1:58
It's fun. Yes.
Keith Meyer 2:00
It's nice to see people in person.
Morgan Jones 2:02
Yes, yeah, it's kind of a weird change of pace. But here we are, 2021. Let's go. Um, I guess I want to start with how the two of you met, and that will lead us hopefully into your conversion, and also the experience that we're going to talk about today.
Keith Meyer 2:19
Sure. So I think it was 2004, we were both working an event in Florida, an Ironman event, Brooke wasn't actually supposed to be there so she got called to come in, like a week ahead of time or whatever and we kind of were checking each other out from across the expo at this, at this event and–
Morgan Jones 2:37
Your eyes locked and it was magic?
Brooke Meyer 2:39
We were young,
Keith Meyer 2:40
And she was walking back with lunch it looked like for the whole team, you know, and I said, "Oh, can I give you a hand?" And she said, "Oh, well, thank you," like, "I passed all these other boys and no one stopped," or whatever. So we started talking and you know, like, "Hey,” you know, “What's your deal? Where did you go to school?" And I'm standing there with a Miller High Life and she said, "BYU," and I'm like, okay, great. This is, this is over before she even–so I jumped in our truck and I got online and I said, “Do you have to be Mormon to go to BYU?”Like, “Can this–“ like, I'm basically asking, like, "Will this relationship ever work?"
Morgan Jones 3:12
Keith Meyer 3:13
We ended up, yeah, just starting to . . . she was living in Denver at the time, I was in Madison, Wisconsin. And we ended up commuting back and forth for a few months and just really hit it off quite well. And then somehow I talked her into moving to Wisconsin, from Denver, which she did. So we got married in 2006, and I think it's important to know I was not a member of the Church, obviously the Miller High Life maybe–
Morgan Jones 3:36
Maybe tipped some people off, but just in case.
Keith Meyer 3:39
Yeah, I didn't grow up in the Church. I grew up Lutheran. So I . . . strong faith, I went to Church every Sunday until I got, you know, until I didn't have to basically anymore and stopped going to church but never really stopped believing in Christ. So then, fast forward to 2009, is when I joined the Church.
Morgan Jones 4:00
Keith Meyer 4:00
So we had gotten married in 2006. And you know, basically that time I was still drinking and watching Brooke go to Church by herself, you know, on Sundays and I think when we first met or when we first started talking about marriage, I said, “Oh just, you know, I grew up Lutheran, I'm good. I believe in God and Christ and everything, I'll just join the Church," and she's like, "Mmm, doesn't really happen that way." And she said, you know, just . . . I forgot what she said, but it was something like, "You have to join for you” or some, you know, “You have to wait for you," so.
Morgan Jones 4:32
Okay. So Brooke, I want to come back, your experience at the Ironman. So you are a Latter-day Saint, you meet Keith, he has the Miller High Life in his hands, what is your first impression and then kind of walk me through from there to getting married–the decision to marry somebody that was not a member, I would love to know your perspective on that.
Brooke Meyer 4:57
Yeah. So I share this knowing and wanting to acknowledge that everybody's experience is different. So I don't put this out to people as a promise that if you marry someone who's not a member, they will join the Church or, or anything like that. But here's my experience. Um, met Keith at Ironman and was, you know, we just–we connected, like we hit it off. I don't know how to explain it, I would never have thought I would meet my future husband in Panama City Beach, Florida, like it's, you know, just not what I had expected. But we met and I was never worried. Never worried about the fact that he was not a member. And always knew that we were just supposed to be together. So, you know, I, I'm grateful for that inspiration. We've seen it play out over years, but it enabled me to move forward to do something that maybe wasn't exactly what I thought my life would look like and has really blessed all of us.
Morgan Jones 5:56
Okay, so now I want to hear about your conversion. So how did you finally end up joining the Church?
Keith Meyer 6:03
Okay, so just to start, I started drinking about 13, and this is just casually like, you know, at Thanksgiving, or my parents have a party or something, and I would make drinks for them, I'd love to do that. And I'd start sipping and then, like, by 15-16 in high school, I was taking vodka orange juice in like, second period, you know, in the morning, drinking and thinking it was kind of cool at the time. Going out to a friend's car at lunch, drinking wine coolers back then out of a two liter. I had no idea what I was doing. I just thought it was like cool and fun. And I liked how it made me feel.
So then I drank every day for . . . until 2009 essentially, but I drank every day, whether I was sick, flu, taking opioid, you know, for painkillers or whatever, just–I drank every day, but I was what they consider a functional alcoholic. So I'd go to work every day and do a great job. I was competing at Ironman's and running marathons, but when I got home, I would drink from as soon as I got home until I blacked out, and I'd black out just about every night.
So shortly after we got married, I was probably 32-ish, so this is like 2007-2008-ish. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I remember going in to the . . . Brooke was asleep already and I like type in Google like, "Am I an alcoholic?" And there's a quiz. You can take this quiz and lo and behold, like I aced it. First exam I've ever aced in my life, right?
So I was like, okay, so this is kind of concerning. There were some stuff like, gosh, I'm drinking so much. And I was just self-aware, like, am I drinking too much? Am I not? I felt really guilty like drinking a beer watching her go to Church on Sunday, but I was like, it's football, like you drink beer or whatnot. So I sought out help. And I started going to some AA meetings and they just were not for me, you know, it was just like this–"Hi, I'm so and so," you know, and AA works for so many people, and I–this is not a knock against them because it did actually help me in some manners, it was just the, for me, it was like reinforcing, hey, you know, I've relapsed, and I've relapsed, and I've relapsed. And it's all part of the process like that, that just kind of set me back a little bit.
So anyway, I was on and–like, I'd maybe, you know, cut down, "I'm going to only drink on the weekend," or "I'm going to cut down" and that just, nothing was working. Like I–that's really what told me I think I have a problem because I just can't stop. So in 2009 this is where the . . .
Brooke Meyer 8:38
You want me to tell the story?
Keith Meyer 8:40
No, I got it. So in the three years we've been together. I think she asked me, I think I went to Church a couple times. Mostly when we were in Colorado with her family. And one Sunday, she just she asked she said, "Hey, I'm speaking in Church, do you want to come listen?" I was like, "Alright, cool. Yeah." So I went, and we get through sacrament, and then went to Sunday school. And off to Elders Quorum and here I am in the back of Elders Quorum all by myself, like what am I doing here? And . . .
Brooke Meyer 9:12
Someone got up in Elders Quorum to announce the beginning of the Addiction Recovery Program that the Church was–I think just launching at the time. So Keith hears that in Elders Quorum, I'm sitting in Relief Society and get the same announcement. And so I'm sitting there thinking, "Oh, like, I'm sure he's getting the same announcement in Elders Quorum and he's going to think that I totally set him up and invited him to come to Church to hear this."
I had no . . . like, I had no idea that this was going to happen. And so the drive home was kind of quiet and then I don't remember what I asked but I said something about you know, “Did they, did they talk about the Addiction Recovery Program in Elders Quorum?” and so we talked about it and he decided he wanted, wanted to, to jump in. I think it's important to note–after, so I spoke this Sunday and after I was standing outside the bishop’s office and one of our friends came up and said, "Oh, Bishop, I'm, I'm really sorry that I never called you back about speaking today." And he said, "That's okay, I was led in another direction." And so I think this is just one example of where I have seen God, like, orchestrating things for our good, for our family. If I hadn't spoken, Keith would never have been at Church, he would never have heard that announcement, and, you know, this journey would have looked very different.
Keith Meyer 10:36
So here I am, like, going to AA, trying to stop, I was going to see a therapist, like I'm trying all the, antidepressants, trying all these things, and like, nothing seemed to be working. And then I go to Church, and I'm like–every hair on my body stood up. And it was like, if this isn't where you're supposed to be, right now, like, I mean, it was just a smack in my head. And I was like, "Okay, this is where I need to be." So I went to the Church's program, I was one of the first. And it's a 12-step program, similar to AA, but just with a gospel tone to it. So not only did it help me learn more about the Church as a, you know, someone that wasn't a member, but it got me to stop drinking. So I stopped drinking about halfway through there, joined the Church about five weeks after I finished the program, and was sober for 11 years after that.
Morgan Jones 11:29
So–I love this, I had no idea that the Addiction Recovery Program, like, played into your conversion, I think that's amazing. You mentioned that in the addiction recovery program, you were able to learn not only how to overcome your addiction, but also about the Church. So can you tell me a little bit about, as somebody–because I think we hear about the addiction recovery program, but unless we've really gone through it, I have had friends that have talked about this, about how much it draws upon the power of the Atonement. But can you talk to me about for you, somebody that had lived with a member of the Church and been around it, but hadn't learned about the meat of the gospel, how you learned that through the Addiction Recovery Program?
Keith Meyer 12:21
Yeah. And you said it was, you know, very heavy on the Atonement, and kind of some, just some fundamentals of what Christ wanted us to, to be and how to, how to act. The fundamentals of how the church operates, and what's important in loving one another, you know, the importance of family values, and of course, the Atonement. So I think it was just different because I just–it didn't feel really rehearsed or systematic. And it was very intimate. It was a smaller group of us that were, that were in there, and people kind of came and went as they, they felt. So yeah, and it just made me feel comfortable. Just walking into the building and getting used to the surroundings and stuff like that. I think it all kind of helped with my, with my comfort level of the Church and my understanding of it for my conversion.
Brooke Meyer 13:11
And those Addiction Recovery meetings are really sacred spaces. I went with Keith and you know, so they encourage–couples can come together, or people can come by themselves, and it just, it was a place where even for me, a lifetime member of the Church, you really see and feel the power of Christ's Atonement in a way that, you know, maybe I hadn't before. You just see it in action in people's lives and its life changing.
Morgan Jones 13:38
Amazing. So I now want to talk fast forward to what happened last year, so walk me through that a little bit.
Keith Meyer 13:48
So I was sober for 11 years, 11 months, something like–I don't know what it was, and, and last, so it was March-ish of 2020, I was running my own marketing consulting company I'd been working by myself basically for two years, everything was shut down, most of my business was, you know, built around events, like marathons and stuff like that. So business was kind of down. I was doing, you know, a lot of the running around of our kids to therapies and to school and picking up and dropping off as Brooke was working in the office and doing a lot of stuff and I was stressed. I was depressed. I didn't know it though, like I had no idea what depression was. I was just angry. Like, there's all sorts of stuff going on that I didn't really comprehend. And I think Brooke went to a fireside Jane . . .
Brooke Meyer 14:38
Jane Clayson Johnson, yeah.
Keith Meyer 14:41
And . . . excuse me, she came home and said, "You know, I wonder if you're a little depressed?" and I was like, "I don't know. Well, I'll go see a therapist and see if I am," you know. So here we go again, back to the therapist, go to my doctor, tell him what's up. He said, "Here's some antidepressants." I go back, "These aren't working," he's like, "Okay, we'll double it," Go back again, "These still aren't working," "Okay, we'll give you a different one." So I'm getting frustrated. I'm like, I'm trying all these things, and nothing seems to help. But I remember something that makes me feel better. So . . . excuse me. I don't know, Brooke came home from work one night, and I just had enough, like, I just, I said, "I gotta go out." And she's like, "Okay," and I went out and I went to the liquor store, bought a little box of wine and went to the pizza shop and got a pizza and sat in a parking lot, and I drank . . . and it felt so good . . . to finally find something that took the pain away that I was experiencing.
So, I drank for 30 days, and I was the Elders Quorum president at the time and I felt very guilty, because we're starting to do the sacrament at home and I didn't feel worthy. So I went and talked to my bishop, I'm like, "Hey, here's what's happening,” like, “But I feel like I need–I feel like, you know . . . I feel like I need this, you take away my priesthood like that, I think will be more hurtful."
So he said, "Keep doing what you're doing, but you got to stop drinking, like right now." So I did. And I stopped drinking for about 20 days or so. And then something else happened, or, I don't know. And when I say I'm drinking, like I'm drinking in front of my family, they have no idea. I'm hiding all this. I'm pouring vodka into seltzer cans, and drinking throughout the day, starting at 11 o'clock in the morning, and drinking all the way throughout the day, pacing myself, running downstairs and hiding alcohol and, and the whole time I'm having to like, pay cash, because I can't put it on a credit card, you know, my wife will see, Brooke will see it. And I just–it became too much. It was too much work. It was very stressful. And I didn't feel as . . . I don't know, as addicts, I think you get that first, like, feel good, oh, this is great. But over time, it starts to shift the other way. And you really, you wake up in the morning, I start shaking and sweating. So I have to start drinking again. And it's just, it's a very uncomfortable situation, so.
Morgan Jones 17:28
So one thing, as I was prepping for this interview and I listened to a couple of different things with the two of you, there was a statement, Keith, that you made, where you said, "In all the years of our marriage, I had never lied to my wife." And then there's this period of time where you are having to, like cover this up all the time. And I just wondered, what, what do you think in that, in this particular situation, what allowed you to be able to do that to, you know, hide these things? And how do you think that addiction affects people in a way where they are able to do things that they maybe would never otherwise do?
Keith Meyer 18:17
Addiction is stronger than anything else. I can–and that's, it's true. And I think for those who don't have Christ in their life, they're in an even bigger disadvantage. Cause this is Satan just, you know, coming at you strong, and he knew all the tools and, and addiction is just like, it's so easy to lie. And it's so easy to just kind of justify what you're doing. Because you just have . . . you just–I feel like I just lost control. And the only way I can feel better and I've justified it I'm like, oh, it's not bad, like it's legal to drink, you know, it's not, I'm not hurting anyone. But that's just the, you know, kind of the, some of the stuff that goes through your head when you're in those situations.
Morgan Jones 19:03
For sure. So then talk to me about when you did end up telling Brooke and then Brooke, I want to hear about your reaction.
Keith Meyer 19:12
Yeah, the first time it was . . . it was a definitely a shock. I've never, I've never seen her that way. But the second time was . . . that was a game changer . . . I had realized I really hurt my wife and jeopardized our family the way that I wanted to see it and the way she, you know, kind of pictures like what did you sign up for, when you married this non-member? This isn't what she signed up for and it's not fair to her. So yeah, I'll let her explain but I think I definitely heard her and I'm still working on rebuilding that
Brooke Meyer 19:59
Yeah, it's heartbreaking, right? Like, I knew he was struggling, I knew that he was having a really hard time and you know, was praying, and I knew that it would be easy to go back to this place of addiction, like that was a . . . just something that he struggled with. And so I really . . . I felt like maybe we were beating it. We were getting through and, and one Saturday morning, yeah, like I'll never forget where we were in our kitchen. He told me that he had started drinking again. And I think I wrote in my, in my journal, like, "I'm just heartbroken." Like, what–just feelings of, of sadness and pain and betrayal, but sadness for him and the fight that I knew he was battling, and just fear, like, what's going to happen to our family? Like, this could be the end of our family. We have three little kids, you know, and your dreams for the future and what you, what you think that will look like, like, it could all just be done.
Morgan Jones 21:10
Right. I thought it was interesting in one of the things that I listened to or read, you talked about how you immediately, you know, you hugged him. And it was like you were thinking of him, even in your own pain. And I think that that is so . . . that is love, to me, is like thinking of another person, even more so than yourself. Brooke, you said that you wrote in your journal, "I wonder if I'm strong enough for this fight." And I wonder what you found as you went through this struggle about your own strength, and also about the strength that comes from making and keeping covenants?
Brooke Meyer 21:59
Absolutely. I think what I found, as I tried to really be mindful of the, the holy habits that had sort of built my faith over the years, it kind of–seeing how those had helped me get to a position where I could handle this, but I tried to really keep doing those things. And I was looking through my journal again preparing for this, and just was, was overwhelmed at how, you know, it wasn't the first day that I went and prayed and poured out my heart to God and He solved all the problems. Like it, it was, it was a journey.
And you know, I think it's a journey that we're still on and in some, in some respects, but day after day after day, just showing up and reading the scriptures, praying, meditating, like, just seeing the little nuggets that came along with that every day, you know, it just makes you think about that manna in the wilderness, right? Like they could, they could only gather what they needed for that day. And I think that's what, what God did for me, as we went through this was I had what I needed for that day. And if I ever tried to look at the, at the big picture, like what, you know, what is this going to look like two years from now? It was just fear. It was just complete fear, because I had no idea, no control.
But every day, it was, you know, there was one morning I wrote, like, "I'm so angry. I'm so irritated, like Keith's sleeping in, he isn't doing what he normally does around the house," and he's super helpful, a great like modern dad doing all the things but he wasn't doing it. And I was so mad. I was working a really demanding full time job, we have three little kids, like just so much going on. And I just felt the burden. And so I took that to my study, right? Like, I took that to my scriptures and to my prayers that morning and, and the message that I got was, "You're not fighting him," like, "He's not the battle. You need to battle with him together to fight this addiction." And so that really helped frame it for me, like I'm not fighting him, it made us a team, like we're fighting this together, and really changed my perspective.
Morgan Jones 24:19
So well said. I–so funny that you mentioned the daily bread. I just listened to that talk by Elder Christofferson this morning. And I do think there are times in our lives where instead of you know, sometimes an eternal perspective really helps. And sometimes we have to like look at the big picture. But there are other times where it's just–take it one day at a time, make it through that day, the next day you'll get more manna and then you can move forward. So I love that.
I wondered, Keith, you talked about the guilt and shame that's associated with addiction. And so for you, as you're going through this experience, how did you feel–and I think guilt and shame are such a tool of the adversary, and so how did you feel that working against you?
Keith Meyer 25:06
Yeah, I mean, the big one was, you know, I have this huge calling in my, in my ward as Elders Quorum president and I . . am not fulfilling that. So, of course, what I did to Brooke and my family and what I, you know, putting them in jeopardy, I think there's a lot of guilt and shame within that, too. And I think it's different for everybody. You know, some people are shameful, for whatever reason, and I still, I still struggle a little bit with just what other people think of me as a, with this label of an addict, which is one of the things I didn't love about the AA program was I just kept going in and being like, "Hi, I'm Keith, I'm an alcoholic." It's like, no, you're not, you're Keith, you're, you're an Elders Quorum president, you know? And just didn't have that reinforcement, so that's one of the main things that they talk about in any treatment program is like, getting rid–how to get rid of guilt and shame because it's with everybody and it's one of the hardest things to get–to kind of get past. You know, you're guilty, because you–some people, you know, passed out and they did something bad. You know, there's, there's so many scenarios there. But yeah.
Brooke Meyer 26:14
I think like you said, Morgan, guilt and shame are a tool, not only of Satan, but also that keep people from getting help that they need, like the stigma. I mean, it was even this way when we told . . . like when I needed to tell some friends, right? Because we were actually moving during this whole thing. And so I needed help. I needed, I needed some support. And you just don't know when you tell someone like what you're going through, you have no idea, especially in the Church sometimes, like what's the reaction going to be? Like, what are people going to think of us? Are they going to judge us? Or are they going to love us? And I think that the way that we were received from so many people with open arms and love and support, "What do you need? We'll be there," like helping us move in all of these things like that can make such a difference of just, it's not something to be ashamed of. We all have weaknesses. And you don't get help if you're ashamed in hiding.
Keith Meyer 27:13
Yeah, I didn't tell you that I left Brooke with the three kids in Connecticut to move out here by herself and close on the house and sell it and move it because after I told her the second time, I realized that I needed to get help, because I wanted–I chose my family over alcohol at that point. So I checked myself, you know, she's like–we had been talking about well, we were moving out here to Utah, and we had been talking about me going to a recovery center here that Brooke was actually doing some side work for.
And I don't know if I came up with some excuses, but they weren't open yet. They're brand new, so you know, and it just didn't feel right for me to go out there and just leave everything in February, you know, and leave her to fend. So when I told her the second time, she's like, "We got to go to–you've got to go right now." And I'm like, "You don't understand, like, I can't go in a week. I just can't go, like I need–I can't get on a plane right now or I could die from you know, alcohol withdrawal." And it was a real issue, I'm like you don't understand.
So I checked myself in–well, the reason that that all started is I had my annual physical and my doctor told me I had alcohol hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, like the alcohol hepatitis leads to like cirrhosis, you're right there, like, "You keep this up, you're, you're gonna kill yourself." You know, I was on that–I was drinking that much. So that was the wakeup call for me. I checked myself into detox. And that's just like a five-day in-house program. And it happened very quick. They're like, yep, if you can get here in an hour, we'll, we'll bring you in. I'm sitting in the lobby. And it was just like, that was not where I was supposed to be. I felt like I was in jail. And I sat in the lobby for like, two hours and then they called me up and I you know, "Keith? Yeah, come on up," fill out some paperwork, sit back down for another half an hour, and then a nurse comes through the door and she says, "Keith Meyer? Come follow me." I was like, "Woh, what did you just say?" like, Christ was just with me, you know?
Morgan Jones 29:18
And at this time, right, if I'm remembering correctly, Brooke, you have no idea where he is.
Brooke Meyer 29:25
Right. So he–it was that fast, like his relapse, he was on the call with his doctor that morning, he comes downstairs, realizes like something has to happen and he needs to go to detox and he needs to go right then. And I've got like three kids that I'm trying to homeschool with not probably great results. And I'm just like "Okay, go" so he's packing, I, you know, you're trying to manage, our kids are little they don't understand what's going on and we wanted to insulate them from some of this. And he packs up and I didn't really ask. Like I didn't get the contact information so I had no idea where he was for four days. I hoped that he had made it to detox, but I wasn't even sure. And so when he called when he was getting released, "Hey! I'm ready to come home." I'm just like, I didn't know whether to kiss him or strangle him, you know? Like, "Oh, I'm so glad you're alive."
Morgan Jones 30:19
Yeah. So that's understandable. I would also be a little bit, you know, mixed feelings. But Keith, at that point, you, you come home, and you realize, right, that you still need more help?
Keith Meyer 30:32
Yeah so actually, when I called Brooke to say, "Hey, I'm getting out tomorrow, you know, isn't this exciting?" She said, "The recovery center out here that, you know, wasn't planning on opening wants to open just for you. And we're going to–I already got plane tickets, we're flying, we're going." And that's what I needed. And I think as an addict, you come up with every excuse, why not to go. I'm like, "Well, no, I can't leave you here, you've got to move the whole family." So anyway, Brooke flew me out. And I went through a 30-day treatment program here. And the last thing she said to me is, "You, you take care of you. You know, I'll take care of everything else." But yeah, I left her to move the house and the kids and everything. And one of the greatest things–and I'll stop talking for a second–but one of the greatest things was just the whole moving in and it's so funny as like an Elders Quorum president, you're like, "Oh, we got another move, we got another move." And here, I needed the help. Like, we needed the help. And there was over 50 people at our house, and they emptied the largest U haul truck, you could in like–
Brooke Meyer 31:36
Less than an hour.
Keith Meyer 31:37
Yeah. That was, that was just, you know, along the journey, just having that hand in my life has just been amazing. So it's really helped me for sure.
Morgan Jones 31:49
Well, I want you to know, I'm so impressed by both of you. And Brooke, I feel like I'm listening to this and I'm like, how do you do that? Like, how do you, how are you able to just take all of that on and to be able to say to Keith, like, "You take care of you, I'll take care of the rest." How do you do that?
Brooke Meyer 32:12
I think you do that knowing that it wasn't really me that was going to take care of the rest, right? I'm pretty tough. I've done a lot of hard things. I . . . Keith and I have both done Ironman races so I can endure a lot of pain and keep going under not ideal circumstances. And so I was willing to do what I needed to do. But our Bishop came over to help after Keith had gone to Utah, to the program. And I was back and needed his help. And he came over and asked me if I wanted a blessing. And I said, "Yeah, but we need to do it in the garage because the kids can't know what's going on." And so he gave me a blessing in the garage of our house in Connecticut, and said that God would bless me with strength and with peace. So I don't think you do these things without God, without the strength and the peace that He gave me. I'm sure I would have been a mess. But looking back, I just see His hand. And I know that I didn't do it of my own accord.
Morgan Jones 33:18
Beautiful. I wanted to know, so a couple of things, when you have had struggles with addiction do you feel like, Keith, leading up to this, do you think either one of you anticipated ever having a relapse? Or how does that work?
Keith Meyer 33:37
I don't think I imagined it happening. But now I look back–like I was just living day to day. But I look back now and I wonder how in the world I stayed sober for 11 years. Like I really have no idea because after going through treatment, I really dealt with a lot of the core issues that were causing the addiction that I had no idea. So it's just stuff from childhood and relationship with, you know, family and others and reinforcing positive psychology and really looking at some of the fundamentals and also looking at what my triggers for the addiction are and how to deal with them at that time. Like I didn't know how to deal with it. I didn't know I was depressed. I didn't know I was sad. I didn't know if I was happy, like, I had no idea of all those emotions. So I think the treatment definitely helped me get in touch with all the emotions so we can deal with them when there's a trigger, when there's something coming on now, so.
Morgan Jones 34:31
And so then, shifting to the future, I guess one thing as I was prepping for this interview that I kept thinking about is how do you–rather than worry that this could happen again in the future–how do you face the future with faith when you've dealt with addiction?
Brooke Meyer 34:54
I have this necklace on that I wear, it says "Faith over fear." So we, we have faith. I mean, we've seen how God has blessed us through the hard things that we've had to do. And not even just addiction, we have a son with special needs, we've, you know, had a hard time having our children, like we've had hard things that we've had to deal with and I think when you look back you see how God has been with us every step of the way. And so you, you look forward, Morgan, just that way. You say, okay, I've seen what He's done for us and I know that regardless of what the challenges of the future are, because if it's not addiction, or relapse, or something like that, there will certainly be some other challenge. And so you just have to, have to know based on previous experience, that He's not going anywhere, and that He'll be with us and, and help us do whatever we need to do.
Morgan Jones 35:48
Thank you for that. Keith, any thoughts on that?
Keith Meyer 35:49
I just, you know, it's not quite answering your question. But I just think this happened for a reason. Late last year, I rode my bike across Utah to raise awareness to kind of kill the stigma of mental health awareness, right? And addiction and how bad it is, or whatever. But every day someone from high school, or someone I used to work with, or, you know, a good friend reaches out like, "Hey, thanks for sharing your story. I'm struggling with addiction," or "I've been doing cocaine for two years, like, how do I get out?" you know, and I was writing people's names on my handlebars every day, like, as a gesture. So I think I had to, had to go through this again, also, to just almost like a reassurance of faith. Keith, don't, don't stray, like Heavenly Father is with you. This is the plan, we're sorry, you have to go through this kind of stuff. But for me, I just I don't know if I needed a reminder, "You can't do this on your own, you need you need help," but it was such a, such a blessing. I–it's so weird to say that, but I think I've been able to help others. And I hope that putting our story out there, once again, you know, with you, is going to help somebody that's listening.
Brooke Meyer 37:04
And I just–really quick to add something my dad drove the U haul and I drove our car behind him across the country from Connecticut to Utah, it's very long way. And there was nothing interesting to do because it was COVID, everything was shut down. So lots of time to think. And over and over, I just, it was just this, this inspiration, like, "This is a story you need to share." So it's not necessarily easy for us to share this story, there's a lot of pain, and it's definitely very vulnerable, but I think like Keith said, there is a reason, there's a reason that we're here, and we have a story to share, and I hope that it can bring hope to people who maybe are worried about the stigma or what they're going through.
Morgan Jones 37:51
Well, I so appreciate both of you sharing your story. I think you're right. I think–I'm a big believer that stories are powerful. And I think, you know, Keith, hearing you say, "It happened for a reason," I think the Lord works in such mysterious ways that often it's hard for us to recognize in the moment, why would this be happening? But in retrospect, looking back, we can often see–and I think the fact that you can see already that the Lord is blessing other people through your story and hopefully giving other people courage to get help, I think that that is powerful. And I appreciate both of you and your willingness to share. My last question for you, is what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Keith Meyer 38:39
For me, I remember making a decision that I'm just going to turn my life over to Christ. I just, I'm going to stop drinking coffee and alcohol and I'm going to go to Church every Sunday, you know, and follow all that I need to follow. So it was . . . I had different friends after I stopped drinking and after I joined the Church, so it was a big, big shift for me, that required a ton of faith. But for me, it's turning 100% of my life over to Christ.
Morgan Jones 39:10
Thank you, Brooke?
Brooke Meyer 39:11
So when I was younger, this was before I met Keith, I was in a really difficult time in my life. And I remember going to a testimony meeting and a really sweet young girl who was getting ready to go on a mission said, "I don't know why people say living the Gospel is hard. It's so easy." And I looked at her and I just thought, "No, like, it's really hard for me right now." And so Morgan, when I think about being all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I think that it, it is being all in and it's turning and returning and turning back and just continuously going back to God, never giving up. It's sort of that Ironman mentality, right? Like, this life is a long journey and it's step by step. And so you have to make a decision every day, like that I'm, I'm going to live this way. And if I made a mistake tomorrow, I'm going to try again. And so that's what it means for me to be all in, is just to give him my heart every day and to do my best. And when I mess up, I try again.
Morgan Jones 40:19
Thank you so much. I appreciate you both very, very much. Thank you.
Keith Meyer 40:23
Brooke Meyer 40:25
Morgan Jones 40:25
We are so grateful to Brooke and Keith Meyer for joining us on this week's episode. We are also grateful, as always, to Derek Campbell of Mix at Six studios for his help.
If you have never left a review or rating on this podcast, could I ask you to do me a huge favor in the next week and leave a rating or review on Apple podcast? It really goes a long way and we read every one and are so appreciative of your time. In the meantime, we will be preparing another great episode for you to listen to next week and we'll look forward to being with you again then.