Recover Girl

Aussie entrepreneur James Swanwick has been an ESPN anchor on SportsCenter, is the author of ‘Insider Journalism Secrets’ and is the co-founder of international agency, Crocmedia. He has been a print or TV journalist for 20 years, writing for newspapers and magazines in the US, UK and Australia. These include Associated Press, Sky Sports, ESPN, WPLJ radio, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Sky Movie Channel, Q104FM, Loaded magazine, Woman’s Day, The Courier-Mail and much more. He also sells the coolest blue-blocking glasses around, hosts an eponymously titled hit podcast and runs any number of other successful online ventures.

But the reason I had him on the pod was to discuss his 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge, a program he developed after he decided to quit drinking because he was tired of “just existing in the world.” His program isn’t for alcoholics but for people like him—those who feel that drinking is preventing them from living the best lives they can. (Swanwick’s experience, by the by, is that he followed those 30 days of not drinking with continued abstinence; it’s now been years.)

Direct download: Swanwick_Pod_new_version.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm PDT

Psychiatrist Dr. Josh Lichtman answers the question: what the hell is a co-occurring disorder?

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

Brandon Novak shouldn’t be alive.

The professional skateboarder, New York Times bestseller author and member of the Jackass crew has hit all the pit stops on the way to the bottom: homelessness, multiple trips to rehab, incarceration and the like. But somehow, some way, the 38-year-old from Baltimore had a moment of clarity on May 25, 2015 and nothing’s been the same since. The guy who once passed a UA in jail by using his cellmate’s urine has transitioned into a recovery evangelist, flying all over the country to help those struggling with addiction and get them into treatment. Just how serious is he about it? Well, he gives out his personal cell phone number (610-635-9092) and encourages anyone who thinks they need help to call it.

When I interviewed Novak, the Baltimore native was visiting LA where he was making a series of appearances advocating for recovery. And how’s this for irony? The hotel room where we did the interview ended up a little bit thrashed but I was the one who thrashed it. To understand how that happened, you’ve got to listen to the whole episode.

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

In this episode of Recover Girl, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Sirah, joins me for a brutally honest conversation about her disturbing, crazy, wonderful life of dysfunction, addiction, crime, and music.

Direct download: sirah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Ian Harvie is the groundbreaking transgender stand-up comedian whom you may have seen in the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning TV series TRANSPARENT. In this episode of Recover Girl, Ian Harvie joined me on my couch to talk about his childhood in rural Maine, his journey to discovering his true gender identity, his recovery from alcoholism, and his new life in sobriety as a trans comic.

Direct download: Transitioning_From_Addicted_Woman_to_Sober_Man_with_Ian_Harvie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Actress and artist Jemima Kirke came on the podcast. Yes, those are thrilling words to write. This is not only exciting because she’s luminous, talented and plays Jessa on freaking Girls but also because she has a history with substances that you don’t hear many people share about. After a wild youth, which included multi-day benders and bouts of depression, Kirke showed up at her mom’s in early 20s, saying she was ready for rehab. She went from one treatment center to the next, finding enough fault with the program there for her to be kicked out (but not before meeting the man she eventually married, who happens to now own a sober living). After years of staying sober and doing the 12-step thing, Kirke began to question whether the one-size-fits-all philosophy about addiction applied to her. And so she had a drink. Contrary to what she’d been told, nothing bad happened. That was a few years ago and in that time, she’s watched her career rise to superstardom and embraced motherhood (in addition to the two kids she has with her husband, she is also the step-mother to his kids from a previous marriage). In this episode, we talk about self-hatred, rehabs just out to take your money and if meeting your future spouse in treatment is “trauma bonding,” among other topics.

Direct download: Jemma_Pod_new_version.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Writer and comedian Mara Shapshay has had a life of inarguable highs and lows: Growing up outside Boston as the daughter of a sex therapist, Shapshay felt alienated as the only Jewish girl at her school (not to mention the only girl whose mother talked extensively about oral sex). After a traumatic incident in Israel, Shapshay turned to opiates and alcohol; they helped her through film school at NYU, after which she landed in LA and promptly married a gay man. Stints at rehab followed but they didn't take and Shapshay ended up homeless and living in her car. Then she randomly met Carrie Fisher and asked her for help. Next thing she knew, Shapshay was living with Fisher and helping the late actress through shock treatments. Now over a decade sober, Shapshay is a practicing Orthodox Jew married to a sober (not gay) Orthodox Jew. And she's determined to carry on Fisher's mission to spread awareness about mental health. In this episode, we discuss why mental illness carries more of a stigma than addiction, the lure of celebrity and the difference between trust and faith, among many other topics.

Direct download: Mara_AP_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Author Heather King puts the rest of us to shame. She's written so many books she literally has no idea how many. She went through law school pretty much in a black out and managed to ace the bar. And she manages to embody the sort of joy that many seek and cannot find. At least part of this surely has to do with the fact that she very much walks the walk. Now sober over 30 years, King converted to Catholicism after having a crisis of faith and now writes a weekly column on arts, culture, faith and life for Angelus. It's been a long journey from the bar stools of Boston to the churches of LA and luckily King is a charming narrator. In this episode, we discuss knocking on a neighbor's door to buy beers off of him during brutal hangovers, being too cheap to become a gambling addict and weaning oneself off of romantic obsessions, among many other topics.

Direct download: Heather_King_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Interventionist, sober companion, Fix co-founder and former proprietor of Brooklyn's Loft 107 Sober Living, Joe Schrank is a somewhat controversial figure in recovery circles. While he's never been afraid to speak his mind, Schrank has just launched his most chatter-worthy business of all: High Sobriety, an LA-based "cannabis included" treatment center that offers, in its own words, "harm reduction through an innovative medication assisted program." The first of its kind in the United States, High Sobriety is aimed at those people who Schrank feels would be dead if they had to abstain from all chemicals—that is, those who try sobriety and end up with a needle in their arm. In this episode, Schrank discusses his own sobriety, how the US is conservative in its approach to recovery and why the issue of harm reduction isn't as simple as it first seems, among many other topics.

Direct download: Joe_Schrank_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Marketing guru Joe Polish can't simply be described as a marketing guru. The founder of ILoveMarketing and the Genius Network, Polish is one of the world's leading business coaches (this can happen when Richard Branson is one of your clients) and runs several exclusive mastermind groups. But now Polish has found his true passion: enlightening the world about recovery—in particular the way making art can help addicts. Hence his project, Artists for Addicts. In this episode, we discuss getting down to 105 pounds when freebasing cocaine, the insidious nature of sex addiction and how Artists for Addicts is helping to change the global conversation about how people view addicts, among other topics.

Direct download: joe_polish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT