On December 13th of last year, comedian and actor Russell Brand celebrated 18 years of sobriety. At the height of his addiction, he was sneaking into friends’ bathrooms to do heroin or crack in secret. He also struggled with alcohol use. He lost girlfriends, friends, and jobs.
Brand believes that for a long time, his addictions transferred from one substance or behavior to another. This shifted as he found strategies to create inner peace, rather than relying on external sources for temporary relief.
He described addiction as “the relationship between the inner and outer world, and those most obvious things—like heroin, alcoholism, substance misuse—they are merely the most evident form of addiction. I think it’s an attachment, a belief that the material and external world can somehow resolve the problems of your inner life. Put more simply: addiction is a behavior you would like to stop and you cannot stop. Addiction begins with pain and it ends with pain.”
Brand is no stranger to pain. After his parents divorced when he was 7 years old, his mother was diagnosed with two forms of cancer—each within a year of one another. While she was receiving treatment, she left Brand in the care of relatives. As a young teenager, he developed bulimia.
Brand has attributed his recovery to many things, including therapy, support groups, and a regular meditation practice. Of meditation, he says, “It’s a cornerstone of recovery because it changes consciousness…It teaches you that you are not your thoughts, not your feelings; you can simply witness them. It gives you a quiet space, a place of relief where peace and serenity are not contingent on the behavior of others.”
Brand’s book on addiction and sobriety, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, was published in 2017. “The book is not ‘new,’ he said, “it’s just my interpretation of the 12-step method, which itself was derived from ancient self-help ideology.”
His book is meant to be a guide and source of hope for people struggling in their lives. But he believes that recovery is different for each person—that the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. “You have to design your own program,” Brand said, “what’s right for your body and your mind.”
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you find inner peace without using substances. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.