In case you missed it, i am still busy reading Russell Brand, his latest book: Recovery – Freedom from our Addictions.

i shared some passages from the early part of the book over here and wanted to give you a little more of a glimpse to encourage you to get your hands on it.

Russell is busy working through the Twelve Step Plan to overcoming addiction and giving his own personal spin and journey to each of the steps.

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I found this passage both surprising and yet somehow making some serious sense in terms of challenging the way we look at people who are struggling:

‘A counsellor at the treatment section where I got clean, herself a woman in recovery, surprised me when she said, ‘How clever of you to find drugs. Well done, you found a way to keep yourself alive.’ This made me feel quite tearful. I suppose because this woman, Jackie, didn’t judge me or tell me I was stupid or tub-thumpingly declare that ‘Drugs kill!’. No, she told me I’d done well by finding something that made being me bearable. Addicts talking to one another are apt to find such means of connection. To be acknowledged as a person who was in pain and is fighting to survive in my own muddled-up and misguided way made me feel optimistic and understood. It is an example of the compassion addicts need from one another in order to change. 

Thinking about it, that time, early recovery was lit up by moments of connection such as this. Addiction is a lonely business in whatever form it’s suffered. A paralysing loop of unseen, hypnotic, negative thinking and destructive and harmful behaviour. The momentum prevents you from getting off the carousel. Crisis is almost a blessing providing cessation of a kind, and with it, the opportunity for change.’ 

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This piece from chapter 3 is particularly thinkworthy:

‘I had heard 12 Step support groups referred to as a cult and it could be argued that any group with a system of beliefs is a cult. In working a 12 Step program I don’t feel like I’ve joined a cult, but that I’ve been liberated from one. The cult told me that I’m not enough, that I need to be famous to be of value, that I need to have money to live a worthwhile life, that I should affiliate, associate and identify on the basis of colour and class, that my role in life is to consume, that I was to live in a darkness only occasionally lit up by billboards and screens, always framing the smiling face of someone trying to sell me something. Sell me phones and food and prejudice, low cost and low values, low-frequency thinking. We are in a cult by default. We just can’t see it because its boundaries lie beyond our horizons.’

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Then there is this beautiful passage on Confession:

‘There is humility in confession. A recognition of flaws. To hear myself say out loud these shameful secrets meant I acknowledged my flaws. I also for the first time was given the opportunity to contextualise anew the catalogue of beliefs and prejudices, simply by exposing them to another, for the first time hearing the words ‘Yes, but have you looked at it this way?’ This was a helpful step in gaining a new perspective on my past, and my past was a significant proportion of who I believed myself to be. It felt like I had hacked into my own past. Unravelled all the erroneous and poisonous information I had unconsciously lived with and lived by and with necessary witness, the accompaniment of another man, reset the beliefs I had formed as a child and left unamended through unnecessary fear.’ 

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i have about two chapters to go and seriously recommend that you get hold of a copy of the book and read it for yourself. Russell Brand has a lot of wisdom to offer, speaking from the vantage point of a destructive path that he has travelled and survived and been able to largely turn around.

[To continue to the final part of this series, click here]

[To read the first part of this, click here]