Russell Brand | Freedom from Our Addictions (Episode 659)

Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) is a comedian, broadcaster, actor, podcaster, columnist, political commentator, mental health and drug rehabilitation activist, and author of twelve books — most recently Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions.

“If you live constantly confined by your unwillingness to go through pain, you do not develop into who you are supposed to be.” -Russell Brand

The Cheat Sheet:

  • How the concept of the twelve-step program is applicable to all forms of attachment as a tool for transition.
  • Why does it usually take a serious crisis to spur people toward seeking help for their addictions?
  • Addiction is really the result of reaching for something external that already exists internally — but exists in a place that’s either unknown or inaccessible.
  • Do we really overcome addiction, or is it an ongoing struggle that requires constant attention and maintenance?
  • What does addiction want?
  • And so much more…

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This interview with comedian, actor, author, and activist Russell Brand has been a long time in the making and almost didn’t happen — but we’re so glad it did.

Russell joins us to talk about everything from his new book Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions to beekeeping to mindfulness to mass media to philosophy. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!

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More About This Show

The concept of twelve-step programs began in the early 20th century United States as a way to help alcoholics recover and rehabilitate, but it’s been widely applied to treatment of a number of addictions since then.

“Most people that get involved with twelve-step programs go, ‘Oh, wow. Everyone should be doing this!'” says Russell Brand, author of Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions. “Because of course once you get rid of drugs and alcohol one day at a time, you start to realize that drugs and alcohol were never the problem. The problem was your own emotional state — your own reaction to the world.”

Russell has famously coped with overcoming his own addictions — namely drugs, alcohol, porn, food, and social media — and has been free of crack and heroin for nearly fifteen years. For him, coming to terms with his addictions may have been triggered by serious looming legal consequences, but the most important result has been in finding out who he really is.

“When is it that you’re going to be who you actually are?” says Russell. “I know people that I feel, that when they are on their deathbed, are going to go, ‘This isn’t who I was!’ This is, in a way, a sort of awakening tool — an awakening system or code…most people don’t engage until crises.”

But what is an addiction? Russell says it’s “something that you do a lot, it’s not good for you, you don’t want to do it, and you can’t stop.” At its core, addiction is really the result of reaching for something external that already exists internally — but exists in a place that’s either unknown or inaccessible.

Do we really overcome addiction, or is it an ongoing struggle that requires constant attention and maintenance?

“Unless you stay — moment to moment — vigilant about your patterns, they will reassert,” says Russell.

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about how Russell handles his addiction to social media, why you have to be willing to confront pain to grow, what addiction wants, why confession is a tradition that works, patterns Russell identifies within himself and how he works to break their hold on him, what’s involved in the amends process, what the secular world can learn from religion, why Russell has been a vegetarian since age fourteen, why Russell has waited until now to write this book, how Russell has acted as a tool of reconciliation for Jordan, and much more.

And be sure to download the worksheet mentioned in the episode here!

THANKS, RUSSELL BRAND!

If you enjoyed this session with Russell Brand, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Russell Brand at Twitter!

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 931 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.

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