Book Review: Recovery

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand (2017)

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

What Amazon says:

A guide to all kinds of addiction from a star who has struggled with heroin, alcohol, sex, fame, food and eBay, that will help addicts and their loved ones make the first steps into recovery

“This manual for self-realization comes not from a mountain but from the mud…My qualification is not that I am better than you but I am worse.” Russell Brand

With a rare mix of honesty, humor, and compassion, comedian and movie star Russell Brand mines his own wild story and shares the advice and wisdom he has gained through his fourteen years of recovery. Brand speaks to those suffering along the full spectrum of addiction―from drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar addictions to addictions to work, stress, bad relationships, digital media, and fame. Brand understands that addiction can take many shapes and sizes and how the process of staying clean, sane, and unhooked is a daily activity. He believes that the question is not “Why are you addicted?” but “What pain is your addiction masking? Why are you running―into the wrong job, the wrong life, the wrong person’s arms?”

Russell has been in all the twelve-step fellowships going, he’s started his own men’s group, he’s a therapy regular and a practiced yogi―and while he’s worked on this material as part of his comedy and previous bestsellers, he’s never before shared the tools that really took him out of it, that keep him clean and clear. Here he provides not only a recovery plan but an attempt to make sense of the ailing world.

What I say:

I’m not gonna hold any punches here.  I owe the life I have today to many things, but one of the biggest is the 12 steps.  On February 17, 2003, I found myself in a church fellowship hall in central Phoenix uttering the following phrase out loud to a group of men I had never met:

“Uh, hi.  My name is Tim, and apparently I’m a sex addict.”

Why am I telling you this?  Because people suffer from addiction to ALL SORTS of stuff besides drugs and alcohol.  I think our culture has finally awakened to this reality at this point. I know for me, back in 2003, I would have NEVER EVER EVER shared this in an email!  NO WAY!

Just shy of 16 years later, we’ve all watched enough heroes and icons fall from grace in the public eye due to uncontrollable behavior, regardless of what the behavior was.

When I was regularly attending meetings during the first 7 years of my recovery, I had a hard time with a lot of the text in the 12 step literature.  It felt like it was written by old white men 70 years ago.

Oh, wait.  Turns out it was.  Language evolves, and the language of the 12 steps really left me alienated.  Still, I persevered, but many don’t. They don’t connect with the language of old white men (shock).

Enter Russell Brand (… alright… admittedly a middle-aged white man LOL).  In “Recovery,” he paints a fresh coat of vernacular over that starch of the 1930s and relates the 12 steps to TODAY, and to ANY behavior that one might continue to pursue despite it causing negative consequences.  That’s addiction.  

Russell is, honest, vulnerable in his sharing, it’s refreshing.  He lifts the veil off of the shame our culture hurls at the topic and reveals it for what it is… behavior that is an attempt to mask pain, that inadvertently causes more. Next, he interprets the model of the 12 steps in a fresh new way that seems so relevant that anyone can apply it to any area of their life where they feel like they’re no longer in the driver seat.

Check it out HERE.

PS  I just want to finish by saying I swung way out there this month with this book and this review. Addiction in its many forms affects far too many of us and our loved ones to pretend it’s just happening ‘to them.’  Let’s all just take a look around us and see how close the thief of our full potential really is to us. That way, we can root it out, and get back to the life God gifted us with and see what we can truly become.

PPS  I love the f word, and Russell does, too.  If you are offended by the f word, you probably will want to skip this book.  He uses it willingly for effect. Reader beware, or reader enjoy! 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *