Recover Girl

Author Vicki Abelson has worn many hats: she's been an actress, a director, a teacher, a comic, a manager, a (yes I'm still going), fundraiser, a producer, a workshop leader, a private coach and possibly two or three (hundred) other things. The spitball of energy is perhaps best known for being the grand doyenne of Women Who Write, a renowned literary salon that has featured Jackie Collins, Garry Marshall and Marianne Williamson (not to mention previous podcast guests Marc Maron, Michael Des Barres and Mackenzie Phillips), among so many others. But her legacy may change now that she's released her first book, Don't Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll...and My Fucking Mother, a coming-of-age novel about a gal in a celeb-laden world that's got more than a dash of roman a clef to it. As you may be able to glean from the title, there's also some drug use in there and Abelson's now been sober nearly a decade-and-a-half after a lengthy love affair with pot. In this episode, we discuss going to bars on dates, being "ghosted" in Hollywood and her 14-year book writing odyssey, among many other topics.[did we determine that editors need to upload all photos for their writers now, even the writers who log into the system? I think we decided that was the case for reviews but since we’re not re doing review photos yet, it’s not relevant and the only writer I can think of who does not review inputting is Tracy and I can just put her on the email.

Direct download: Vicki_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm PDT

Actor Tony Denison is best known for his role as Detective Andrew Flynn in The Closer (now called Major Crimes) but was originally launched into the cultural stratosphere back in the 80s when Michael Mann cast him as a mob boss on Crime Story. Over the years, the former insurance agent has popped up everywhere, from Melrose Place to Walker, Texas Ranger to NYPD Blue, CSI and ER, to name just a few (he estimates that about 80% of the time, his characters are either cops or gangsters). He's also sober over 22 years after struggling with cocaine and alcohol. In this episode, we talk about going from obscurity to the mainstream, learning to be happy with who and not what you are, and following drivers to make amends after a road rage attack, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: APP_-_Tony_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm PDT

Director Mark Pellington started off directing videos for Pearl Jam, U2, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, among many other musical icons (his video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" is one of the most popular videos of all time and earned him no end of awards). He moved on to films, directing, among others, Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies and I Melt With You, the latter a nihilistic drama about four friends who do more drugs than one might imagine possible and end up...well, you need to see the movie but let's just say the ending is darker than dark. Over the years, Pellington dealt with grief and addiction through the bottle (and the chemicals) but is now three-and-a-half years sober. In this episode, we talk about lying to your therapist about your sobriety, the way great art can help people feel less alone and how a Mayo clinic's comment can change your life, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Mark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm PDT

Korn and Filter guitarist Rob Patterson isn't only an incredibly talented musician but also, it turns out, a tech wizard who managed to fix the very recorder used for this interview. His journey to rock stardom started with the metal band Otep but his big break came when he played with Korn from 2005 to 2008. After that, he played with the post industrial band Filter. If we were going to be cheesy we could say that the whole time he was also playing with fire—namely heroin—and he veered in and out of sobriety before quitting for good four years ago. This Massachusetts-reared son of a cellist has also been tabloid fodder for some time, not only because he was engaged to Carmen Electra but also because he's palled around with Charlie Sheen. In this episode, he talks about being a teenage hacker, not doing drugs till your late 20s and how the amount of time someone's sober doesn't mean anything, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Rob_Patterson.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 12:41pm PDT

Author Kristen McGuiness may claim not to be a writer anymore but the facts don't lie: the author of the LA Times bestselling book 5150: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life has also been published in The Fix, among other publications, and these days writes grant proposals for non-profits. She's also nearly a decade sober after a bout with alcoholism which took her from LA to Dallas to New York back to LA. Though she looks like the very picture of innocence, McGuiness hardly grew up in white picket fence land: her father was one of the biggest drug smugglers around (he's in Blow, the book the Johnny Depp movie was based on) and so the family was constantly up and moving whenever the law got too close. McGuiness writes openly about this not only in her memoir but also in a piece for The Fix. In this episode, she discusses the time in her life when she wore pantyhose while working for Mary Kay, how the TV show based on her book didn't sell after they took away her character's alcoholism and speaking at her dad's hearing after a bender that involved trying to hang out with some Texan drug dealers, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Kristen_new_intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am PDT

Author Sarah Hepola isn't just a writer but the author of the biggest book about addiction since A Million Little Pieces. Hepola's memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, has been written about in seemingly ever publication known to man (including ours), clearly striking a chord among the recovery community and beyond. The Texas-based Salon essay editor has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Glamour, The Guardian, Nerve and Slate, among others, and is as modest about her book's success as possibly only a Texan can be. In this episode, she and Anna David talk about the relative coolness of sobriety, crying every day, whether or not Tinder dating profiles should mention sobriety and if a best-selling book can actually make you happy, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Sarah_Hepola.new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm PDT

Writer and musician John Albert did not have a standard trajectory to literary success—in fact he says he became a writer by accident when he submitted information about his amateur baseball team, which was made up of a slew of misfit former addicts and rebel rousers, to LA Weekly. That information became a story, that story became a cover story and that cover story became Albert's widely praised book Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates. This wasn't Albert's first foray into the public eye: he co-founded the cross-dressing band Christian Death and was the drummer in Bad Religion. Now sober over three decades, the husband and father works for a record company when he's not handling the movie offers Wrecking Crew regularly receives (it's been optioned more than four times by various people, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). In this episode, he and Anna David discuss having sex with borderline schizophrenics in rehab, the essay on Sober House he wrote for David's reality TV anthology and being on methadone at the college where your dad teaches, among other topics.

Direct download: _John_Albert_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm PDT

TV host, writer and producer Steve Goldbloom has done a lot in his 31 years on the planet: the Canadian (dual citizenship, yo) created the PBS Digital Studio comedy series Everything But the News, where he documented his misadventures exploring the tech scene, and which USA Today named Best Web Series. This was after his stint as a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He currently produces a weekly segment on PBS called Brief but Spectacular which is, he says, an interview without the interviewer.

Now he's launching Intimacy with Strangers, where he speaks with various people about intimacy, for Discovery and for this episode, we did something entirely unprecedented: while I interviewed him for the podcast, he simultaneously interviewed me for Intimacy With Strangers. Did this meta double project work? We'll find out when you listen to this podcast while watching the Intimacy with Strangers episode (that's overly ambitious, I get it; also I have no idea when IWS will air). Since he is neither an addict nor a person with serious issues (my diagnosis), we focused the conversation on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. In this episode, we discuss relationships that cause you to stare at the ceiling wondering what's happened to your life, whether or not just a few sessions with a therapist can do the trick and if, when we saw Boyhood and he elbowed me every few minutes, we were on a date or not (TBD).

Direct download: APP_-_Steve_Goldbloom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm PDT

All sober addicts have their stories, some more severe than others. Well, it's safe to say that author and former attorney Joseph Naus checks all the boxes on the "most severe" scale. Born to a heroin addict mother, Naus managed to rise from poverty to become a successful attorney. As this was happening, however, his sex addiction and alcoholism were increasingly controlling his life—causing him to cheat on girlfriends, visit massage parlors and eventually get a DUI. Then came the cataclysmic event that brought him to sobriety: the night when, in a black out, he tried to break into a massage parlor but instead broke into a guy's apartment, stripped naked (thinking he was in the massage parlor) and beat the guy up. He went to rehab and got sober but ended serving time (for attempted murder), was disbarred and has to register every year as a sex offender. Now over a decade sober, Naus chronicled this journey in his memoir, Straight Pepper Diet, and is at work on a second book. In this episode, we talk about the ways people respond when you write about them, how nicotine addiction is as intense as any other and why not to call your ex the minute you get sober to ask if if they want to edit your memoir, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Joseph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am PDT

Author Jason Smith is not a writer who languished in obscurity for years as he tried to make sense of his journey through addiction to recovery. The Northern California based former teacher only started writing a mere year ago because he was on an ankle bracelet due to some legal trouble (more about that in a sec) and was trapped at home. He loaded some of his stories onto Medium (a fabulous site but one where most posts get lost and ignored) and the rest is history. People started reading them. Lots of people. A book deal followed and that book, The Bitter Taste of Dying, is now being hailed as one that leaves the reader "gasping for breath." While Smith's writing is undeniably gripping, he also had a lot of rich history to pull from: he went from trying pills in high school to losing his virginity to the hottest girl in his class that very day. And you could say he spent the next chunk of his life chasing that high, from continent to continent, job to job, high to high. In this episode (where we're joined by Danielle Stewart!), we discuss attractive sponsors, sex inventories and doing fentanyl in space, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Jason_Smith.ad.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 9:07am PDT