My first book, “Racing for Recovery: From Addict to Ironman,” was about my story of overcoming addiction. This new book is about other people’s stories and the Lifestyles of Recovery that helped them escape the grip of drugs and alcohol. It’s called “There’s More Than One Way to Get to Cleveland” because many clients in my addiction counseling practice have come to me asking for alternatives to AA and twelve-step. My experience helping tens of thousands of people through my Racing for Recovery support group is that there are many paths to sobriety, and each person’s path is different.
My approach in this book is to highlight the 10 Lifestyles of Recovery that I promote as the way to achieve sobriety and create a healthy, balanced, fulfilling life in which people don’t need drugs or booze to deal with tough times. As part of it, 10 Racing for Recovery members have been generous and brave enough to share their stories of addiction and recovery, pulling no punches. Their stories are harsh, brutal, and ultimately triumphant. They point the way to recovery and a better life for anyone suffering from addiction.
I hope that you’ll support this book and help us bring this important message to the world: if twelve-step isn’t for you, don’t give up. There is another way. You can get there. As I always say, “With Sobriety, Anything is Possible.”
Why Did You Write the Book?
To take the focus off of me. The real story is the thousands of people that Racing For Recovery has helped overcome addiction and create new lives. I wanted to tell their stories.
Why the Funny Title?
It’s a phrase I use often in my counseling practice. It means that there are many ways to get and stay sober, be healthy and rebuild your relationships. Many of my support group members initially came to me because they were looking for an alternative to AA. I want to show people that there IS one.
What’s the most powerful idea in the book?
There are two. The first is that addiction is not a disease, but a choice. I know that goes against what we’re taught, but I believe it’s true. People choose to start using and they choose to continue. Sobriety means getting up every day and saying, “I choose not to use drugs or alcohol today.”
What’s the Second Powerful Idea?
That addiction is a result of a painful trauma from one’s past. I’ve seen it over and over: addicts might try to quit multiple times, but they never succeed until they address the abuse, divorce or other past trauma that got them using in the first place. But nobody talks about this. I’m shocked at how many clients come to my counseling practice and say, “You’re the first person who’s ever asked me about my past!”
What’s the Message of This Book?
It’s the tagline of Racing for Recovery: “With sobriety, anything is possible.” That’s true. The people who were brave enough to share their addiction horror stories have all gone on to have lives they never thought possible when they were using or drinking. It’s amazing how things can turn around.