A couple of weeks ago, comedian Russell Brand hit a milestone. Taking to his Twitter account, he wrote: “10 years clean today. Thanks for all your messages of love… Anyone can get clean, one day at a time.”
Firstly, I’d like to say well done to Russell – a decade drug-free is an incredible achievement, especially for folks of our type! He’s someone that I crossed paths with briefly whilst using, and he’s gone on to do great things with himself since his recovery began. It just goes to show that no matter how dark your days were, there’s always a chance to turn your life around, if you’re prepared to do what’s necessary.
Last summer, in his documentary, “Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery”, he spoke candidly about his time as a drug addict. While, from the comfort of his London Savoy Hotel suite, viewing disturbing old footage of himself using heroin, he told his friend the shocking truth that he still wants to be a junkie. “This is when you know it’s a disease,” said Brand. “It doesn’t matter that I was sat in that flat in Hackney and now I’m in the Savoy. I’m jealous of me then.”
He then goes on to give his own account of how heroin ravages the user: “Heroin is a greedy drug, it’ll take everything. First it’ll take your money. Then it’ll take your friends, your family, your car, your house.”
“Then it’s going to take bits of your body. In the end I used to be scoring with people that had eyes missing, limbs missing. You’ll take it until it takes your life. It’ll take everything until the last thing and you’ll gladly give it that, rather than give up the drugs.”
Many recovering addicts would agree with him.
While you can get past it and build a new life without dependency on drugs, for many, there may always be that yearning for a dabble. In my own case I know I can still daydream and remember the good times of old, obviously conveniently forgetting about the horrific times I endured.
But let’s get one thing straight here though, I am not about to make a sudden decision to go and get loaded. The problem has been completed removed. These days I dream more about the rush I get from a handful of pick n mix at the cinema, than I do the euphoria of injecting cocaine.
What this means is that to those of us in recovery we have to employ other ways to find fulfilment. For me, that meant finding my calling in helping others who were going through what I had gone through. Indeed, I seem to have dedicated my life to helping others with addictions and continually finding new ways where my experience can help others.
Through Sober Services, I’ve been able to dedicate my life to the well being of families seeking resolution for the addict / alcoholic in their life, in the form of our interventions, sober coaching and residential rehab placements.
“It’s Not About Me!” ~ Confessions of a Recovered Outlaw Addict, from Living Hell to Living Big” is not only an in-depth account of the utter lows and major turning points in my drug-addled past, but also a clear path I took to find my own recovery. I share details of how drugs ravaged my life and turned it upside down, seeing me at my lowest ebb, homeless and seemingly with no way out. And then I tell you about my beautiful experiences learning how to stop and stay stopped – how I recovered. I share some of the wonderful ways my life has been elevated whilst on my journey of recovery and personal development.
The book has been a labour of love and has been a fantastic way to not only help me understand what I went through, but more importantly how I can pass on my knowledge to those who may still need it most – those still in their addiction, family members concerned with their loved ones, and people who fancy a really good read.
Like Russell, I’m grateful for being gifted a second chance and having the strength to turn my life around. I intend to continue to take it with both hands.