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Who Are Your Recovery Heroes?

15 Dec

Recovery heroes are people who are vital for various reasons: hope that one day we may also be addiction-free and happy is the greatest reason of all. But there are other reasons why recovery heroes are so important.

Although we have to find our individual path to recovery, there is no need to totally reinvent the wheel. We can follow in the footsteps of people who have been there before, we can learn from their mistakes, see how they have faced challenges and still remained sober and happy. We can use them in times of trouble. We can ask ourselves “What would my recovery hero do or say about this situation?”

There are many people in recovery from addiction who I look up to, admire and respect, but here are some of the 5 people who deserve to be named as recovery heroes for me personally, and why I love them so much:

Noah Levine

Me and Noah Levine

Me and Noah Levine

There is no-one I respect so much as someone who completely turns their life around – it’s a big task to go from angry trouble-making criminal to sober serene author, speaker and someone trying to reach out to young people who need help.

Noah Levine’s talks, podcasts, books and videos made me see that spirituality in recovery is not something to be sneered at or afraid of – it’s a way of making your recovery, and your whole life, much better. He’s a really accessible guide for people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as ‘the spiritual sort’.

 

Wynford Ellis Owen

Wynford's book

Wynford’s book

Wynford was an alcoholic who had the same severity of problem as I did. Once sober, he wrote a book which validated so much for me about the problems I was experiencing. He really was a keystone in me reaching out for help, just by reading his book.

In person, he’s a wonderfully warm soul who holds positions at several recovery projects and steering groups. I feel I could ask him anything, literally anything, and he would reply with honesty, compassion and wisdom. In fact, I have often asked him several things about addiction and recovery – he never fails me.

 

Kuladitya

Many of my recovery heroes are not particularly famous. Kuladitya was an alcohol counsellor I had many years ago, who used a person-centred approach (a la Carl Rogers) and understood addiction in a way that most counsellors I saw at the time didn’t.

He worked with me as an individual, not just as an addict (thanks for the lend of the Bukowski book). He was the first person in recovery I met who I emulated. I wanted his peace, his individuality, his recovery.

 

Kristen Johnston

KJ rocking recovery

KJ rocking recovery

I have never met Kristen, though we’ve had a few Twitter chats. I love how open she is about her recovery and  how she shows the world that recovery doesn’t have to be dull and boring. You’re allowed to keep your cheeky sense of humour when you’re sober and you’re allowed to be who you are.

In fact, recovery gives you the ability to be who you really are without wearing a mask of intoxication. Kudos to Kristen, who shows how much recovery rocks, and is willing to devote a lot of her time to helping others who are struggling with addiction. Kristen’s got guts. And some.

 

Greg Williams

I have to give a shout-out to the director of The Anonymous People. I’ve never met him in person, but he has pushed the agenda of recovery forward massively. His film with Bill White, who also deserves special mention, made people realise that addiction is not a shameful thing – it’s a disorder. Recovery is possible and we should be loud and proud about it.

Thanks, Greg, for contributing a really important work to the world of recovery. And he deserves even more praise for rocking the recovery world at a relatively young age.

Who are your recovery heroes? And why?

What Are The Best Addiction Recovery Books?

20 Aug

Although 1:1 work and support are the ideal ways to beat addiction, books on addiction recovery have their place, too. If you are confused about where to start with recovery, need some identification, or just need a few helpful reminders about how to make your recovery even stronger, addiction books can fulfil that need.

One of my books,The Recovery Formula: An Addict’s Guide to getting Clean and Sober Forever has just been awarded five stars out of five by Reader’s Favorite, so other people obviously agree that books on addiction recovery can be very valuable.

I know that on my own journey, one particular book sparked so much hope, identification, and some real practical lessons on how to start recovering, that I really credit it for motivating me to make the decision to reach out for help when I was really struggling to stay sober on my own. That book was No Room to Live: A Journey from Addiction to Recovery by My favourite addiction recovery bookWynford Ellis Owen, which I know hardly anyone has heard of.

But that book personally inspired me so much that I actually typed out an email to thank the author for writing it when I was in the middle of alcohol withdrawal (Yes, my keyboard was covered in sweat and and the email had many typos!). And when I had recovered and decided to write my first book, The Recovery Formula, I sent my book to him to see what he thought. Luckily, he loved it, and even gave me a review for the back cover.

This shows just how powerful connecting with others’ experiences and wisdom can be in recovery, and the place of books in enabling us to give and gain hope, motivation, and sometimes even help save someone’s life.

I also love that there are books which are really specific to certain addictions. For example, if you suffer from a gambling addiction, Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) could offer you a lot of identification and motivation, while In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction is a great read for those with less ‘classic addictions’ who find themselves identifying with addicts nonetheless.

What are your top books on addiction recovery, and why?

Ex-Addict Writes 2nd Most Popular Article of All Time on Tiny Buddha!

20 Oct

I am very excited to announce that my article 6 Secrets to Moving On From Serious Struggles has been named the second most popular article OF ALL TIME on the Tiny Buddha website in the category of ‘Overcoming Negative Emotions’, and in the top 100 articles on the astoundingly popular personal development site EVER in any category.

I say this not to blow my own trumpet (well, a teeny tiny bit), but to show what is achievable no matter how far back you have to come from. I’m an ex-alkie, ex-self-harming, ex-bulimic, ex-agoraphobic, ex-social phobic, ex-depressive, ex-borderline…There wasn’t much I didn’t have to be honest.

Read the article to get the whole picture. You CAN achieve success no matter what you’ve been through. And you can help others afterwards 🙂

My aim has always been to help as many people as possible after overcoming the majority of my own struggles. I do that mainly by working 1:1 with people and writing books. But countless people have told me the free videos I make and the articles I write have changed or improved their lives.

It’s quite amazing to go from a semi-homeless alkie to someone that is now able to provide help and inspiration to millions of others around the world.

I’m very grateful that Andrew Walton of Cracking the Happiness Code notified me that I was placed in the Top 2 and Top 100 positions on Tiny Buddha; and I’m grateful to everyone who read and shared my article too.

Remember, as the article says, whatever struggles you’re going through, there is always an answer. And when you find it, there’s nothing better than using your experience to help others 🙂

How To Beat Addiction Cravings Quickly

2 Oct

I’ve just written a new blog post over on my other site which I think you’ll like.

It has a step-by-step process for beating addiction cravings, plus a video with a really powerful little tool for getting rid of pesky cravings.

The blog post focuses on alcohol cravings, but you can use these tricks and tips to beat cravings related to any addiction.

How To Get Rid of Alcohol Cravings.

Why not take a look at the post above and then share your favourite tips for beating addiction cravings in the comments below.

Video

“How to kick Depression, Addiction and Anxiety” – NEW Radio Interview

28 Sep

Hi all,

Please do listen to my latest interview with fellow addiction worker Micheal Hilton and I on the following link. It really is chocka-block full with amazing information and insight.

https://player.cinchcast.com/?assettype=single&show_id=6955049&version=2.0&version=2.0&platformId=1

Enjoy! And drop me a line at http://www.smyls.co.uk if you think I might be able to help you.

Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Micheal Hlton Show on BlogTalkRadio with OPTIMAL LIFE OPTIMAL HEALTH on BlogTalkRadio

If You Hate Being Sober Sometimes, Read This….

5 Aug

Is this you??

hatesobriety

Read this! It’s my new article which will hopefully make you feel a bit better about being sober.

Recovering from relapse: The 7 R’s | Addiction Blog

5 Apr

Relapsed into addiction? Here’s what to do to come back even stronger. My guest post on Addiction Blog 🙂

Recovering from relapse: The 7 R’s | Addiction Blog.