The 12 Steps According To Russell Brand
What does Russell Brand have to teach us? Brand is something of a 21st-century Renaissance Man stand-up comedian, TV personality, radio host, actor, activist, and author, Hes come a long way from what he describes as a difficult English childhood to fortune and fame. But Brands most startling metamorphosis has been going from a debauched early life of drug and sex addiction to a healthier life of long-enduring sobrietyover 15 years and counting. And from his unique perspective, Brand wants to give back by sharing the hope and messages of recovery with others who are still where he once was. To that end, Brand has written a book entitled Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions.
An Example Of The 12 Steps In Action
In Recovery, Brand gives thanks to the 12-Step evidence-based program that helped him change his life for the better. He first applied the Steps to alcohol and drugs, and when he found that they work, he used the Steps to address his issues with sex, food, and work. And because THAT worked, he now applies the Steps to his every thought and feeling. Brand believes that the Steps help him better process the world and his place in it, saying, My professional life, my domestic life, my spiritual life, and my new life as a dad are all lived via a map that has been drawn up using these principles.
How Did You Go From Kooky Comedian To Pop
I hit rock bottom in 2003 with an addiction to heroin, which had cost me a job at MTV, a radio show, friends and girlfriends. Id been doing drugs since age 19 and was a heroin addict for four years. Luckily, my manager and friend Chip Sommers stepped in, telling me Id wind up either in a prison, lunatic asylum or graveyard. So I went to a 12-step program.
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Learning To Negotiate With Your Feelings
Brand, who has been sober for 14 years, found that meditation helped him tremendously, describing it as negotiation with your feelings. The very idea of negotiating with feelings establishes that your feelings and thoughts may be things you have, but they are not you. You are not your thoughts, and you are not your feelings, yet you may allow them to rule over you and permit you to make poor choices.
Addiction recovery has many facets, and one of them is learning what triggers cravings for addictive substances and learning how to cope with those triggers in healthier ways. Learning how to be in recovery is a long-term process, and attending 12-step meetings is a practical way to learn how to negotiate with feelings and triggers and how to make a series of choices that lead you a bit further away from substance abuse.
Heroin Withdrawal The Horrors Of Dope Sickness
It was awful hot and cold, nausea, and, worst of all, I remained horrifically awake all weekend. The best thing about heroin is it turns your life into a waking dream, but then, when I needed it most, my mistress sleep had deserted me. ~ Russell Brand, discussing an early attempt to quit heroin When undergoing heroin detox, the worst of the physical withdrawal symptoms will manifest somewhere between 12 and 30 hours of the last usage and persist approximately 5 days. However, in cases of severe heroin addiction, withdrawal may last up to two weeks. Although it is not especially dangerous to quit heroin, the discomfort of withdrawal causes up to 80% of heroin addicts to relapse within the first year.
- Acute anxiety
- Skin-crawling sensation
- Goosebumps this is where the term cold turkey comes from
Overall, people experiencing heroin withdrawal will feel profoundly ill, as if they are suffering from the worst case of flu ever. This is why heroin addicts in need of a fix will say they are sick. https://www.northpointrecovery.com/images/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/what_heroin_withdrawal_felt_like-600×399.jpg
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The Effect Of Specific Aces
The nature of the ACE matters, as well. For example, in Russell Brands case, we see:
- 14% of children start drinking/drink heavier after a divorce
- 13% experiment with or consider using drugs
- Boys living in single-parent households use tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana at higher rates. They also have a higher incidence of acting out with antisocial behaviors.
- The risk is increased further among boys who have a poor relationship with their father.
- 14% of girls and 5% of boys report Childhood Sexual Abuse. CSA is associated with heavy and hazardous drinking, marijuana use, illicit drug use, and the misuse of prescription medications.
- 50% of people with eating disorders abuse alcohol or drugs.
- This is five times the rate of the general population.
- Conversely, 35% of people who are dependent on/addicted to alcohol and drugs have an eating disorder.
- This rate is 11 times higher than that of the general population.
How Russell Brand Found Life After Sex And Substance Addictions
English comedian, actor, author and activist Russell Brand is a household name in America, the UK and beyond. From his tumultuous marriage to Katy Perry to his well-known struggles with substance abuse, Brand has led a challenging life.
However, the hurdles he has experienced have not left him hopeless. Through hard work and dedication, he has been able to embrace a healthier, happier life. This is what you can learn from Russell Brands recovery.
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Lost To Drugs And Disturbing Behaviors
There were terrible, terrible moments of loneliness in a flat where all I had were drugs. That was all I needed. I had a job at MTV. It went. I had a radio show. It went. Everything was going. My friends left me. Girlfriends left me. It was very scary. ~ Russell Brand By his 20s, Brand started to realize professional success, but he had also moved on to even harder substances like crack cocaine and heroin, the drug he has called blissful. Heroin literally took over his life. One of his writings from that period reads, All my days are empty, and the pages of my diary are all silver foil, with naught but an inky black snake carving its way through the days. He had a girlfriend, but she disapproved of his heroin use, so he got high in secret. She even gave him an ultimatumhe could have her or the smack. He gave it up for a while, but eventually his drug use and serial infidelitysexual addiction was another of Brands issuesso his girlfriend left him. His response? Well, at least now shes left me, I can just take loads of drugs again. Brand threw himself into his addictions, to the point that even more of his life was disrupted. He lost his job at MTV when he brought his drug dealer to the studio and introduced him to pop star Kylie Minogue.
Cause For Hope Amid Despair
Pain can be unremittingly cruel, and it can be a signal that something must change. The possibility of change, starting with this moment, alone is cause for hope. Addiction is far more than bad choices or a bad habit. It is a life-altering illness that can be fatal, and that is why teams of medical, mental health, and addiction specialists are involved in addiction recovery programs.
Ultimately you are the one who will have to make each sequential choice that will lead you away from addiction toward a sustained recovery. You do not have to do it alone. Admitting you need help feels almost impossible sometimes, but it is the first and most critical step in addiction recovery.
Spirituality is about how you fit into a huge and diverse world and the unique perspective that only you can bring to this world. Knowing that you are part of something bigger than yourself can often be the fuel that keeps you going in the direction of recovery. If you are struggling with substance abuse and are ready to seek help, we encourage you to learn more about our admissions. We are ready for your call at any time.
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Recovery Russell Brand Style
The comedian on narcissism, fame, his new book on the 12 steps and life after addiction.
The comedian Russell Brand, in New York this month, has a point to make about addiction.Credit…Bryan Derballa for The New York Times
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I am taking a tour of Russell Brands body. Its not the one I might once have imagined, because I am old and he is no longer a sex addict. But we are examining his tattoos. There are many. He does not seem to mind unbuttoning his shirt, covered in galloping stallions, for a stranger. The chakras traveling down his right arm represent the sexual energy, the energy of the will, the energy of the heart, the energy of communication he explained, touching each one lightly. There is the sex-energy kundalini serpent on his right index finger. Theres one on his bicep that he and the singer Katy Perry got when they married that says Go with the flow in Sanskrit. They couldnt, but it was a nice thought. My favorite, though, is a quote that Mr. Brand attributed to Oscar Wilde, in loopy script that stretches from Mr. Brands shoulder to his wrist: If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise theyll kill you.
He wants to eat life to death, in the most loving way imaginable. Which I identify with, because thats I think what I used to want to do.
An Honest Look At Your Life And Addiction
Brands progression from Heroin addiction to recovery, started with step one. Step one talks about admitting powerlessness and unmanageability of ones life, which he perceives as, Are you a bit fed?
In his book, Brand reveals that he took two full days writing out an inventory for Step Four. Additionally, he opens up about the resentments he had, that weighed on him heavily throughout his life.
When I was writing this I was just focusing on being really, really honest and really, really truthfulit really helped me understand myself.
-Russell Brand, Mashable
As a result of his willingness to do 12-step work and take inventory of his life, Brand has discovered himself in a not so self-focused light. His experience has even led him to have a personal belief in a Higher Power.
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Uniquely Qualified To Write This Book
I am not writing this book because I think Im better than you. I know Im worse My qualification is that I am more addicted, more narcissistic, more driven by lust and the need for power and recognition. ~ Russell Brand Brands childhood and adolescence stand out as a virtual how-to of trauma:
- When he was 6 months old, his parents divorced. From that point on, he had a sporadic relationship with his father.
- At 7 years old, he was sexually abused by a tutor.
- When he was 8 years old, his mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer.
- A year later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- While Brands mother was in treatment, she was unable to care for him, so he lived with relatives.
- At 14, he struggled with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by binge-eating followed by purging by vomiting or using laxatives.
- He left home at 16 because of conflicts with his mothers partner.
Russell Brand Addiction Book
British celebrity and addiction activist Russell Brand recently released his newest book about recovery from addiction and working a 12-step program. His book, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, addresses the road to recovery from any type of addiction.
My qualification for writing this book is not that I am better than you, its that I am worse. I am an addict, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, love and fame.
Brand, was born in Grays, Essex, England on June 4, 1975. Brand, 42, is now known for his career as an author, actor, comedian, radio host and activist. Starting his recovery at the age of 27, he has been free from alcohol and drug abuse for just over 14 years.
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Russell Brand: My Life Without Drugs
The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday. I had received “an inconvenient truth” from a beautiful woman. It wasn’t about climate change I’m not that ecologically switched on she told me she was pregnant and it wasn’t mine.
I had to take immediate action. I put Morrissey on in my car as an external conduit for the surging melancholy, and as I wound my way through the neurotic Hollywood hills, the narrow lanes and tight bends were a material echo of the synaptic tangle where my thoughts stalled and jammed.
Morrissey, as ever, conducted a symphony, within and without and the tidal misery burgeoned. I am becoming possessed. The part of me that experienced the negative data, the self, is becoming overwhelmed, I can no longer see where I end and the pain begins. So now I have a choice.
I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain. It transforms a tight, white fist into a gentle, brown wave. From my first inhalation 15 years ago, it fumigated my private hell and lay me down in its hazy pastures and a bathroom floor in Hackney embraced me like a womb.
This shadow is darkly cast on the retina of my soul and whenever I am dislodged from comfort my focus falls there.
It is 10 years since I used drugs or drank alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and generally a bright outlook.
He picks up.
The 12 Steps In Russell Brands Language
I believe that what the 12 Steps and their encompassing philosophy, which I will lay out for you in these pages, will provide is nothing less than a solution to the dissatisfaction of living, and dying, to anyone with the balls to do the work. ~ Russell Brand In Recovery, Brand attempts to demystify the Steps, keeping the intent while changing the language to appeal to those who have problems with the original wording:
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Freedom From Addictions Obsession
Fortunately for Russell Brand addiction had an ending. With the help of a 12-step program, he was able to pull himself out of the flames of addiction. A well-known program that uses the 12-steps is called Alcoholics Anonymous. This 12-step recovery process is what Brand claims his book represents, except that is it a bit more personal.
I dont struggle with urges because the program I live by helps me to remain serene and prevents those urges from arriving.
-Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly
In his newest book he has laid out his personal experience and program in recovery, a no B.S. program, that will bring addiction to its knees.
Its like Ive been to a college of mental illness and now Ive graduated.
Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly
When you have the disease of addiction, it is something that you must live with for the rest of your life. However, living with the experience of an addicted brain every day does not have to be a struggle or a bore.
Amending The Harm Of Drug Addiction
In his new self-help guide, brand discloses that although the 12-step program has allowed him to mend his relationships, its been a structured process.
Being in recovery and working a 12-step program, Brand is presented a chance to amend the pain he has caused for others. However, making an amends to the ones he has harmed is not just a one and done kind of deal, its a life-long commitment.
My amends consisted of a frank, quiet apology and a commitment to be a different man going forward.
-Russell Brand, People
Unlike before, he can manage his life, especially in the realm of addiction. Brand states in his new book that he would probably still be struggling with addiction if he didnt have the program.
As stated by People Magazine, for Russell Brand addiction stopped but finding the source of his discontentment and pain was a long process, but it was worth it. He understands that doing 12-step work and staying connected has brought him to his serene, happy self that he is today. Without continuous improvement and growth as a person, recovery wouldnt be as great. According to PageSix, Russell Brand is hoping to soon make amends to ex-wife Katy Perry. However this is provided he hasnt already done so.
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Russell Brand On Freedom From Addiction
Many of us were first introduced to Russell Brand as the off-color yet strangely lovable rock star Aldous Snow, in the 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This catapulted him to widespread fame, since which he has reprised his role in the spin-off Get Him to the Greek, voiced roles in family comedies such as Hop and Despicable Me, and put his own spin on a classic Dudley Moore character in the remake of Arthur. He also finds time to write, present podcasts and lend his voice to a cause he holds near and dearaddiction recovery.
While Brand speaks openly about his addiction and even appears in the 2012 BBC documentary Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery, some of his fans may not know his story. We would like to shed a bit of light on his struggles with addiction, as well as his road to recovery. We also wish to discuss his extensive work as an activist, including his plans for the future.
As the heroin epidemic continues to surge, Russell Brand continues to act as a dedicated ally to those in recovery. Those who wish to aid the fight against drug addiction may benefit from his example.