Mine is not a typical story of recovery and my approach will not be for everyone. If you are ready for dramatic change and to see results beyond your wildest dreams here are the 3 key lessons I have learned over the past 3 years.
Choose Proactive Holistic Transformation
Typically, people wait for a much more horrific rock bottom than missing a public speaking event to stop drinking and most never to go to rehab unless forced because of the stigma attached to addiction. Even in the middle of an epidemic only 1 in 10 people seek help and only 8% of companies offering coverage for addiction have anyone utilizing them.
This approach is outdated and ineffective which is why I did the exact opposite. My approach isn’t conventional or comfortable but it’s far more effective than waiting for the situation to inevitably get worse. Instead of hiding it or lying about the problem I used my insurance benefits to take three months away from my technology sales career and focused on healing the underlying issues that were driving my drinking at holistic non-twelve step treatment in Malibu.
Admitting to having a drinking problem and seeking professional help openly, honestly and publicly before losing everything and is generally never provided as an option for people struggling with alcohol. It is too private, too sensitive and too hard for most people to follow the path of proactive transformation, but I knew it was the most effective and fastest way for me to access help and change my life. I faced my fears and embraced change and it has made all the difference.
Commit to a Best Practices Approach
Instead of arriving at rehab angry and unprepared like most people I arrived full of gratitude and ready to transform. I didn’t want my recovery to be painful or hard, so I re-framed the experience to a wellness retreat with a focus on addiction and healing. Before arriving, I had heard Rob Lowe discuss his sobriety in an interview with Oprah and he said he loved rehab which is the first time I had heard anyone say this.
He went on to explain that he could never have gotten sober without rehab and he credits all his success over the years and his youthful appearance to his sobriety. I decided to take a similar approach and whenever I felt like it was too hard or challenging I thought about Rob Lowe and remembered I wanted what he had and to be grateful for this opportunity. Instead of giving up when it was hard or turning to sugar, shopping or sex when I wanted to escape I returned to my vision of being healthy and wealthy like Rob Lowe in my fifties. I knew that would only happen if I committed to a best practices approach during this critical time in my life.
I sought out expert advice in all areas including nutrition, sleep, spirituality, addiction, neuroplasticity, inner child healing, trauma, financial wellness, functional training and sound healing to ensure I left nothing unexamined and had all the tools I needed to create a new life beyond my wildest dreams. I applied consistency in my wellness practices, reduced my stress levels in all areas of life, stopped dating and focused every day on my transformation. My effort paid off. I am sober, debt-free and sleep soundly every night in my dream house without regrets from the past or anxiety about the future. I am forever grateful to Rob Lowe and all the other sober celebrities for sharing their stories openly and honestly and for being such incredible inspirations.
Embrace new tools
Most people think getting sober is painful, terrifying and lots of hard work, but my experience was quite different, and I had fun along the journey of transformation by embracing new tools. In the past I turned to alcohol and food to deal with stress, pain and loneliness but in treatment I learned so many different and far more effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety. I realized how useless my old methods were once I learned about the gut-brain connection and that my go-to solutions of alcohol and sugar were increasing my anxiety and depression and incredibly addictive.
Some of the most important new tools to my sobriety are breath-work, foam rolling, sound healing, hot yoga, kundalini yoga, and Pilates. Previously I thought getting sober meant I had to attend recovery meetings all the time but when I got home I found them to be ineffective compared to the holistic methods I learned in treatment. I think many people could benefit from incorporating more holistic healing into their recovery
Often when I tell people about the power of foam rolling and sound baths for sobriety they laugh and insist people in recovery need tough love and meetings despite their record of failure. Three of my four grandparents died before I was born when tough love and meetings failed them and they continue to fail the vast majority of people struggling with addiction. The time is now to let the old ways die and embrace holistic tools to manage all addictive cravings and END THE STIGMA FOREVER. Imagine if my grandparents had access to the type of treatment I did, maybe I would have gotten to meet them.