Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places

Austin Cooper didn’t want to live anymore.

Like many people suffering from addiction, he was at the too-scared-to-live, too-scared-to-die crossroads. He’d forgotten that he had people who loved him.

When those loved ones did an intervention, he knew he had a choice: to live or die.

He chose to live…and in less than five years, he’s become an outspoken recovery advocate. It all started when he discovered some inspiring quotes that changed his life. He thought maybe those quotes could help other people and so he started an Instagram account filled with them.

The account grew so rapidly that he soon found himself on 20/20 and working as a coach.

Now he and I have partnered on The Light Hustler Evolution, an accountability group that includes weekly assignments, webinars, coaching sheets, a book club and more. We talk all about it in this interview and explain that if you join before January 1st, you can get locked in at a 20% off discount. While this group will eventually be invitation and nomination only, for now it is open to anyone who wants to join. There is no obligation to stay in the group if you don’t want to so if you’ve ever struggled to meet a goal or want to interact with some cool folks (charter members include Golden Globe award winning producer Scott Steindorff, Girl Walks Out of a Bar author Lisa Smith and recovery advocate Ryan Hampton), we encourage you to join now. You can find out more about the group here and join here.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews (make sure you Like my page so you can stay up on when they happen).

Direct download: austin_cooper_done.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Austin Eubanks shouldn't be alive. And he certainly shouldn't be thriving.

An injured survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, Eubanks was shot twice as he watched his best friend get murdered in front of his eyes. Afterwards, a phalanx of doctors prescribed him everything he wanted and more, until he found himself on a drug cocktail that included not only stimulants but also benzos and opiates. Marijuana and harder drugs followed soon after.

A few trips to rehab didn't do much to slow his roll but, after coming to in jail in April of 2011 and learning that no one he knew was willing to take his call let alone bail him out, he made the choice that saved his life and entered treatment at the Stout Street Foundation for over a year. He has been sober ever since and is now a world-renowned speaker on the topic of recovery, COO of Foundry Treatment Center, on the board of directors for Stout Street Foundation and a member of the founding board of directors for 5280 High School.

In this episode, Eubanks shares the secret to working through trauma, why he never used to tell people he went to Columbine and how he can prove that addiction doesn't always have a genetic component, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews (make sure you Like my page so you can stay up on when they happen).

Direct download: austin_eubanks_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Jodi Miller is what they call bust-a-gut funny (do they call it that or did I make that up?).

She's also, as they say, blue. So if you're prone to blushing, you may want to skip this one.

If, on the other hand, you don't shock easily and also enjoy laughing, you'll love this one.

Jodi has performed on The Tonight Show and America's Got Talent. She's also written on a Cinemax series and been a recurring guest commentator on Showbiz Tonight.

In this episode, she tells a night of drunken abandon...and a wardrobe malfunction. She performed it at my storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.

For more about the workshops I lead where I teach people to take their most disturbing or interesting experiences and make them into stories, click here. For more information about my online writing classes and coaching programs, click here.

Direct download: jodi_miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Filmmaker and Facing Addiction co-founder Greg Williams puts most recovery advocates to shame. And he’s one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet.

Here’s how the story goes: Williams got sober and was doing just a basic sober job when he started meeting people in the recovery advocacy movement. He was earning a grad degree at NYU that involved studying both advocacy and filmmaking and so he did the next logical thing: make a movie about these impressive folks he was meeting. After taking out a loan and then doing the Indie Go Go thing, Williams was able to present to the world The Anonymous People—the definitive film about recovering out loud.

Because there’s no rest for the weary, he then co-founded Facing Addiction, the non-profit responsible for the 2015 march in Washington where Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow and Joe Walsh performed. Since then, he’s completed another film (Generation Found) and embarked on a handful of other equally impressive projects.

In this episode, Williams talks about where he got the faith to take out a $70,000 loan for a project he had no idea would pay off, why we need more recovery advocates than we already have and what it really means to recover out loud, among many other topics.

We also talked about how YOU can get involved. For information on that, click here. For a quiz on whether or not you’re ready to tell your story, click here.

Direct download: greg_williams_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Travis Jones is a video editor by day and a storyteller by night.  He has performed at The Moth and various other shows around LA.

In this episode, he tells arguably the funniest story I've ever heard about getting arrested (and I've heard a lot). Suffice it to say that there are some fraternity brothers who surely regretted every setting eyes on him.

He told the story at my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.

 

Direct download: travis_jones__hammered_time_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Wes Geer may have once looked like an unlikely recovery hero.

The founding member of the band Hed PE, Geer went down the path familiar to many young, wild and crazy dudes in bands...all of which culminated in a trip to rehab in 2004. After finding sobriety in 2007, Geer was asked to join the legendary band Korn and he played with them for years. But just being a rock star wasn't enough for Geer and so, in 2013, he formed Rock to Recovery.

Rock to Recovery's mission sounds almost impossible: a bunch of musicians go into treatment centers and teach the (non-musical) residents there to play. Together, they write a song. Yes, non-musicians write and play a song. Does it work? Well, Rock to Recovery currently does about 400 sessions a month—at both non-profit organizations and high-end treatment centers. They also put on shows, where people like Billy Idol, Fred Durst and Mark McGrath play.

In this episode, Wes and I talk about the manifestation meditation that led to his greatest epiphany, whether or not he's always been spiritual and the fact that aliens may have been tuning in on our conversation, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: wes_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Brian Cuban is the ideal recovery advocate.

Sober since 2007, the attorney and best-selling author of two books about his recovery is willing to talk about something very few men are: struggling with bulimia and anorexia. And not only is he willing to talk about it—he's willing to delve into how he developed his eating disorder (he writes touchingly about being teased as a kid in this compelling easy for CNN).

The brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, Brian was a practicing attorney whose addiction had caused him to lose all his clients before his brothers intervened on him. Yet it was years before he was actually ready to seek help—when his now-wife discovered his secrets and was ready to leave.

In this interview, we talk about the role family plays in addiction, lying to your psychiatrist and moving full-time into recovery advocacy, among other things.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: brian_cuban_Done_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Today's episode features a very special guest: me. Since I'm releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me. (By the by, the show, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.)

The story I tell here is about how, the first time I got drunk, I confessed my love to the big man on campus. What happened next shocked even unshockable me.

Direct download: anna_mike_z_Done_1_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am PDT

It’s one thing to be open about your addiction when you’re a writer in LA—aka a person most people assume WOULD be an addict.

It’s quite another when you’re a high-powered attorney.

But Lisa F. Smith is a trail blazer. The author of the hit book Girl Walks Out of a Bar is also probably my favorite person I’ve never met. (Side note: I’ve slept in her bed despite not having met her; it’s not as sexy as it sounds but that’s something we get into in the interview.)

What’s fascinating about Lisa’s story is that she was so high functioning that the day she got sober was just like any other day where she was headed to work—although instead of going to work, she went to detox.

In this episode, we discuss her fear around coming out, the way addiction can start with food and how she feels when men in AA are called sexual harassers, among many other topics.

(BTW, Lisa is featured in my Guide to Becoming a Light Hustler, where I profiled the people I know who have taken their darkest experiences to share their light and in some cases built careers off of it. If you want to be one of them, be sure to get the free guide here: www.annadavidcoaching.com.)

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that we did, which means that the audio isn’t as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: lisa_smith_pod_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Today's episode features an absolute doll of a human being: Greg Behrendt.

In it, Greg tells a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time, which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.

His story captures, perhaps better than anyone ever has before, exactly why being sober is so uncomfortable.

When he's not making Hammer(ed) Time audiences nearly pee their pants with laughter, Greg is performing (both as a comedian and musician) or writing (oh yeah; he's the guy who co-wrote the seminal book He's Just Not That Into You, among other bestselling books).

Direct download: Greg_Sober_is_Gross_Greg_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 7