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George Michael: His Decades Addiction Fueled by Grief

“Grief can be dealt with early in one’s life and better coping mechanisms set up for the unconscious mind to reference leading to a healthier and more emotionally fulfilling life.”

Randolph Adair SFYB Staff Reporter

Super Star George Michael’s passing was such a shock to the pop culture world. His creative talent and force left indelibly sealed by MTV as his videos were at the height when video iconography reigned in the late 80’s and 90’s .

What was shared on the video screen was the projection of confidence and smoldering sex appeal. But what was underneath, inside his mind, was a battle with depression for over 2 decades.


The death of his first love, Anselmo Feleppa and later his mother, Lesley, plunged him into a deep depression. He told the Independent, “I struggled with huge depression after my mother died. Losing your mother and your lover in the space of three years is a tough one.”

Feleppa died in 1993 and Michael coped with the death by smoking as many as 23 marijuana joints in a day and throwing himself in this music, said the Mirror.

He also turned to Prozac as he was devastated when his mother died in 1997.

Recently it’s been brought to light that the pop star battled a “spiraling” heroin addiction, according to a UK media outlet.

An unnamed source has told The Telegraph newspaper that the pop legend had been battling addiction over the past year and had been treated in a hospital for an overdose.

My writing here is strictly a review of others accounts and in no way makes any judgement regarding Michael. It’s a gleaning from his own words, reports and evidences of his life.

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Grief, emotional pain, deep betrayal; when they happen to us, our mind tries to find a way to deal with it, rationalize it. To do this the mind will send emotions to a body part/organ which then develops into a somatization or possibly a dis-ease. We will also develop a coping mechanism, mostly selected from learned modeling and emotional imprinting from our family and those who raised and influenced us.

Many times, clients will say they have dealt with the grief. That they have been to therapy and understand it better. They have pushed it away, out of site out of mind, they don’t think about it. They will say, “I don’t need any help with that, I will figure it out on my own.”

OR, they will say they don’t want to forget because it’s a reminder of what happened and how they will never ever let it happen again. Only, it happens again, and again and again. Because it’s an emotional coping pattern they have reinforced in their lives that the unconscious feels will make them safe. Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, that program has been installed and they will repeat it.

But understanding it better, pushing it away, not thinking about it, figuring it out on our own, or keeping it as a reminder does nothing to change it or transform it.

With my clients I take the past, their old memories, release the troubling memory in a loving safe way, and replace it with what they do want in their lives.

Michael slid into depression as his coping skill after his lover died and into even deeper depression when his mother died later. It snowballed.

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To cover his emotional pain he dealt with it with cannabis, Prozac, work and possibly later with heroine.

People don’t know how to handle their pain is the bottom line. They are an “avoidaholic” looking for anything: food, sex, alcohol, drugs, substance abuse, work, exercise, meditation, TV, OCD, and any other hyper control mechanisms that can be used to hide behind as it’s painful to feel the emotions and deal with them.

The standard traditional methods used don’t actually transform the pain, mostly because most practitioners don’t think it can be transformed. Or the client has been told it’s not safe to be transformed; best do it in little increments.


And then there are the economic forces as it’s more financially conducive for the practitioner to keep the client in that state of mind and trapped by continually examining, revisiting and further developing the story of the trauma, never ending.

With my clients, I step into their life, figure out what they are doing to continually recreate this belief and sadness. Then I help them on a continuing basis to ferret out the emotional traumas and pain, the grief, and loss of control and replace it with self-empowerment and the life they desire.

In a hypothetical reality, if Michael or a client similar to his situation had come to me after a lover’s death, we would have released the pain of the grief and kept the love that was there. He would then been able to move forward in life fueled by that love. He would have empowering coping skills to deal with any emotions or unexpected life events that would have arisen.

Then possibly the pain of his mother’s death would have been less and we would have continued again to go inside and let go of the grief and pain of the memory and circumstances around her death from cancer. He would have honored her and kept her loe, dropping the pain, using that to propel him in his life from there on out.


According to reports Michael led an amazing and extraordinary life of humility, service and love to those around him and the issues he felt important. From my experience if I had encountered a client such as him early on in their life path, I would like to think their contribution would been even greater.

A life free from guilt and grief. A newly empowered life built on their existing capacity and with the addition of new tools learned with me, allowing them to move to even a higher plane of love and fulfillment.

Randolph is a Mind Performance and Life Coach successfully helping his clients prosper in their careers, relationships, health and wellness. He also works through emotional traumas, addictions and unwanted behaviors to help them find the life they truly desire. He can be contacted via the link in his profile below

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Professional Family Recovery Coaches Making a Difference!


Rev Kev

SFYB Contributing Author

Addiction impacts the whole family unit, not just the addicted family member. Who helps the family to heal while their loved one is in treatment?  How does the family unit learn about addiction, recovery, and how to change? How does the family learn new coping skills and not to enable addictive behaviors in the home? The family will need help just as much as the addicted member of the family when it comes to understanding and changing.

Think about the situation from this perspective for a moment. If you had a plant that was dying from a disease in the soil that it was planted in, you would change the soil and the pot that the plant was in. If the plant came back to full health within thirty days, you wouldn’t then put it back in the old pot and soil; that would be insanity!

Isn’t that what we do with a family member who goes into treatment? The addicted family member goes into a residential program for twenty-eight days and then they usually go home to the same environment. If the family unit has not changed and healed as a whole, we are putting the addicted family member back into an unhealthy environment.

Today we have professional family recovery coaches that work with the family to help them to understand the disease of addiction, the recovery process, the different modalities and styles of treatment, coping skills, enabling and defense mechanisms, sign and symptoms of addiction, and so much more. While the addicted family member is in treatment, the family recovery coach meets with the family and helps prepare them for the return of their loved one.  The coach helps the family unit to change and get well as a whole.


There are also support groups like Families Anonymous and Al-Anon to give the families their own vehicle to change, their own program and fellowship of support. Addiction is very hard for everyone in the family; it works on everyone’s emotions. It’s amazing to watch families heal as a family unit; to see the anger leave and understanding take its place.

Professional recovery coaches can also help the family to make healthy choices while their loved one is in treatment and not participate in enabling behaviors. When the family has a professional family recovery coach to help them to achieve their goals and objectives, the coach can help them to get past any blocks or perception problems they may have. The coach utilizes specialized skill sets, tools, and core competencies that can help to improve the overall situation. The coach will help the family to complete a specific action plan to help them to reach their goals and objectives in a timely manner.

In many cases, the family is hurt and fearful because of the actions of the addicted family member. This often leads to anger within the family unit that needs to be healed to move forward. The family recovery coach has activities and exercises designed to help the family to let go of some of their old ways of thinking and get rid of past triggers.

In some cases, the family may need family counseling or therapy to be able to move past serious issues from family history, or mental health issues. In these cases, the professional family recovery coach will work with the counselor or therapist to help the family unit to heal. It’s important to understand that coaching is a client and results driven industry.  The coach is there to assist the family to reach solutions and achieve their goals.


Our nation is in the middle of a drug epidemic that has already taken too many young lives. Professional family recovery coaches have already made a great impact on the success of the family with education, awareness, and prevention. These highly trained professionals have already been involved in helping to save many lives and helping to change the perspectives of many families so that they can heal. From referral through disengagement for both the addicted family member and the family, these professional coaches have made a big difference.

Imagine the fear a family faces when they find out that a family member is suffering from an addiction problem. These families no longer have to face this nightmare alone! There are also professional recovery coaches that work with the family member who suffers from addiction.

The coaching industry is booming right now; I’m not surprised! Everyone needs a little help every once in awhile; however, when it comes to addiction and families, there is no room for error. Professional Family recovery coaches help change and save lives!



How I Survived the Hunger Games of Law @StopFyringBrain


Prior to enrolling in law school, I had no idea about the “cutthroat” culture and law students using guerrilla tactics to gain an edge in obtaining better grades, accolades, and academic distinctions. During my first semester, I witnessed despicable classmates hide study guides in the library stacks during finals week, outright reject modest peer requests for copies of study outlines; and deceive absent classmates about the subject matter discussed by professors during exam study halls. These were just a few examples of atrocities of human nature I witnessed. Very quickly, it became clear that the motto “each man for himself” was ingrained in the law school culture. Essentially, I was one out of about 100 recruits enlisted to train as a “law student mercenary.” The mission: focus solely upon surviving law school, no matter the cost.

As semesters came and went, it became obvious that many of my classmates’ mental and physical health were deteriorating. On countless occasions, I witnessed students break down in tears after exams, and later observed many peers miserably hiding in between the law library stacks. For fear of stigma and shame, many classmates chose to cope with their anxiety and depression in their respective ways. Meanwhile, some sinister overachievers quietly reveled in their misery. Displays of integrity and decency were almost non-existent. Understandably, some students “mailed it in,” and dropped out altogether.

Without question, a majority of students leaned on substances to cope with academic stress and anxiety. For instance, some carried flasks of whiskey in their backpacks while others would pop loads of Adderall to fuel all night study sessions. Our weekly Friday Happy Hour slowly morphed into Happy Hours. Quite frankly, drinking, drugging, and addiction were very much a part of law student culture.

As for myself, my approach was simple: keep my head down, trust a select few, nurture genuine relationships with faculty and administration; and never distract myself with law school politics. It seemed that simple right? In spite of my mother battling a terminal neurological disorder, I remained focused on the prize. In 2010, I graduated with strong academic credentials right before my mother passed away and reveled in her being proud of her son.

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Entering The Real Life Practice Of Law

Admittedly, I was naive to think that once I entered the real world of law practice, the fierce competition would quiet down a bit. First, I began as solo practitioner, and worked concurrently as judicial clerk for a senior probate judge. Itching to gain courtroom experience, I joined a close friend at a South Florida firm representing institutional lenders in foreclosure actions. If I had a dime for every complaint I heard from staff and attorneys, I’d be a very rich man. With the exception of the sole shareholder, there wasn’t a happy employee in the office. Further, it was obvious to me that many were abusing alcohol and other substances while “on the clock,” and few took pride in their work. Management neither demonstrated a modicum of interest to boost employee morale nor even attempted to address employee wellness.

After a year, it became clearly apparent that continuing to represent banks in residential foreclosure actions would eventually lead to career suicide. More importantly, my legal mind was atrophying. So, I leveraged my local connections and joined “Big Law” where I concentrated my experience in a professional liability defense group. At the time, I felt like I had reached the pinnacle of my career. For starters, I had a beautiful office with an ocean view, a great salary, great benefits, and I was working on newsworthy cases. To quote Rod Tidwell from Jerry MacGuire, “I had reached the qualm.” Sadly, it only took a few short weeks to realize that this was merely a figment of my imagination.

Deciding Whether My “Big Law” Colleague Remained An Ally Or An Enemy

Unfortunately, starting out in “Big Law” was as terrifying as landing on the chaotic Normandy Beach in 1943, and being clueless as to where your “fellow” soldiers’ loyalties existed – with the allies or the axis. Trying to distinguish which of your colleagues was an enemy or a friend was next to impossible. Since my performance was primarily measured by the amount of monthly billable hours, I anxiously practiced in fear of my superiors and wary of the motives of fellow attorneys. As for my beautiful office with an ocean view, I rarely took my eyes off of my computer screen, so I barely had an opportunity to admire the blue horizon.

As the weeks went on, it became clear to me that I was an insignificant associate droning away at a “Big Law” firm fighting battles on multiple fronts. On one front, I was battling to meet my monthly billable hour quota. Keep in mind, the firm shareholders spared no mercy when it came to reminding me that my job security solely depended on meeting my monthly billable hour quota. On a second front, I had to aggressively jockey for access to mentorship and opportunities to professionally grow. Otherwise, my professional progression would end up permanently stunted. I also had a very difficult time establishing a solid rapport with fellow colleagues outside of my practice group based primarily upon the fact that intrafirm competition successfully suppressed trust-building conversations and camaraderie.

Overall, the office morale was exceedingly low. I commonly observed poor body language in my fellow colleagues, and often heard of them quietly thinking aloud of their “exit strategy.” The partners generally appeared miserable, and the stench of scotch emanated from their orifices at all times of the day. Granted, the firm boasted some brilliant legal minds with high IQ’s, but their emotional intelligence was well below average. It became very clear to me that this was not a place to for me, a millennial lawyer, to thrive.

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Coping With the Immense Stress and Pressure

Quite frankly, I numbed my depression and anxiety with alcohol. During the weekdays, I would come home and cook dinner while polishing a bottle of wine. Every Friday afternoon, it was routine for me to greet my wife (then fiancé) with a handle of Jack Daniels (instead of flowers) and make sure it was polished come Sunday. No exceptions. Additionally, I began smoking cigarettes while driving to work, prior to attending court, and in some cases before and after client meetings. I stopped exercising (because I had no time), and my diet primarily consisted of Chinese takeout and pizza. To make matters worse, I saw how helpless my wife felt as she witnessed me transform into a depressed attorney that medicated himself with vices of all sorts. It nearly destroyed me and broke my heart.

Without question, I was killing myself slowly, but surely. Ironically, I ignored the all-too familiar warning signs. After all, I lost several close friends in the legal industry because they failed to address their depression, anxiety, and addiction issues. All things considered, why would I neglect my mental and physical wellness? Simple, lawyers like myself, are taught never to show weakness or vulnerability, as their jobs partially depend on maintaining this impenetrable façade of resilience. I was frightened of the scenario that word would get out that I was seeking professional help, and my career would come to an abrupt end.

My Moment of Clarity and Finding Purpose

After slaving away for about seven months in “Big Law” and seeing how my mental and physical health deteriorated to concerning levels, my family and wife demanded I resign. The very next day, I tendered my resignation and decided to focus on rehabilitating myself. This was the hardest and best decision I’ve ever had to make. Looking back, it was a life-saving decision.

Candidly, I spent the next year or so saddled with confusion, self-doubt, anger, and regret. Rather than wallow in a state of depression, I chose sobriety as my vehicle to regain my clarity and confidence. During this long period of introspection, my creative juices began to flow once again and I finally discovered my purpose.

For better or for worse, I uniquely possess the crucial characteristic of spending years engaged in that daily struggles that accompany a high stress profession, such as law. Today, I draw upon my experiences to connect with my fellow attorneys and professionals who feel tortured and confused. Phrased differently, the sharpest tool I have in my toolbox of communication assets is empathy. It is an effective trust-building asset that can slice through any psychological defense mechanism.

I am now the founder of MindWell Coaching and Counseling, spawned from my own personal experience to help solve a problem where no solution exists: to coach and counsel lawyers and educated professionals battling depression, anxiety, addiction, and simply neglecting their physical health. My wife, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and assists with repairing the family unit.

We recognize there is a generational gap when it comes to the priorities of millennial professionals and our esteemed elder statesmen (and women). Together, we coach and counsel attorneys, professionals, and “ordinary” people who suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, and those who simply feel stagnant professionally.

Today, I stand proud that I had the courage to walk away and save myself.  I am here for those who need to rebuild their confidence and courage.


Meet the worlds best addiction coach… @StopFryingBrain


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Why wait?whywait

Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author

Have you ever thought about why a person struggling with an addiction would wait and not ask for help when they can reach out and get help now? When was the last time you added up the cost of your addiction? How long can you afford your addiction?
Below are three examples of real client stories and how waiting only added to their cost. The names have been removed for privacy. Notice how similar the stories unfold even though they have different choice addictions.
T-gambling-enHD-AR12016-06-18_11-35-27Client #1

Struggles with a gambling addiction that started several years ago. At this point there has been hundreds of thousands of dollars gambled away with a few wins to keep the addict believing the next win will be the jackpot. Unfortunately, Client #1 wasn’t ready until the spouse gave an ultimatum to either get help or stop gambling or the marriage would end in divorce. That is almost like having a gun put to a person’s head. So, think about this: What if your spouse told you to stop or else? Would you ask for help or get a divorce? Tell me more about your choice?
The added stress from a spouse can be helpful to motivate a person to ask for help, but most likely asking for help won’t be enough to just quit without a carefully designed plan. If a huge financial loss of money wasn’t enough to stop gambling – add the cost of getting divorced! Client #1 is looking for help to save the marriage but really doesn’t want to stop gambling. How long can Client #1 keep gambling in secret?  How much money would you choose to lose before you would get help to stop gambling and save your marriage?

marijuana-joint-620x420Client #2

Struggles with drugs and alcohol addiction that has everyone in the family worried about client’s health and safety. Sadly the spouse moved out, hired an attorney and filed for divorce. Client #2 tried everything- even quit drinking cold turkey for ten weeks while trying to save the 20 year marriage. Unfortunately, his wife decided it was too late and she didn’t want any more of his false promises. She also said that she would rather live alone than be married to a drunk. Shortly after his wife moved out things only began to get worse. Why? Because Client #2 had nobody around to monitor his daily consumption that led to not being able to get out of the house for several days. This condition escalated to the point of exhaustion combined with a feeling of being paralyzed and depressed. He just stop caring about life while grieving over his loss. How many relationships and how much money are you willing to spend for your addiction?

95129-91622Client #3

Struggles with over eating. About seven years ago client #3 notice his life changing after getting married. His lovely wife supported and loved him unconditionally as he grew larger weekly by 2-3 pounds until he slowly gained 100+ pounds of additional body weight over a seven year period. He wanted help to lose weight but felt it was impossible. Also, how would he medicate his stress if not eating those favorite foods in large quantities? It was obvious he wanted to commit to a plan that would help manage his food in a healthy manner. His wife prepared his meal at home as normal but Client #3 used food to medicate stress. He would pick up fast food on the way home to secretly eat in the car before going home to eat with his wife. As soon as he started chewing he felt immediate relief.

The food would reduce stress by activating the brain to trigger and release natural chemicals so that he would feel pleasure right away while preparing to eat again at home and repeat the pleasure. His wife never knew about his secret eating habit and the weight never really bothered her. She tried to cook him healthier meals but he continued to gain weight. When we met he shared that he was concerned that his weight was over 300 lbs. and he needed help. How much is his secret costing him? How much is your secret addiction costing you?


Most clients agree their addiction slowly turns into an automatic response without thought to feed the cravings and activate the pleasure circuitry and feel good in the moment. (temporarily) This becomes the daily routine without questioning WHY do I keep doing the same thing every day without asking for help? Having this same daily unchanged pattern results in an out of balance lifestyle.

Have you set a stop using date yet? Hopefully you are looking forward to beginning detox, rehab and recovery soon. Think about how good you would feel if you respond sooner rather than later…Why Wait? We are talking about saving you time, money and a lot of suffering all at the same time. Respond only if you are interested in reducing the cost or saving your marriage, saving your job, lowering your chance for an accident or injury etc…

When fighting any addiction we must agree and understand the meaning of the word and how the addiction is overpowering when left alone or keeping the addiction hidden from family and friends only compounds the situation. We know how controlling the daily fight can be especially for those not ready for help. For example: An addict that is honest and seeking help will openly explain how everyday it is a challenge to make better choices.


The mind and body of an addict is exhausted and powerless against the need or craving to feel completely satisfied. Unfortunately, the brain of an addict releases chemicals that cause temporary satisfaction and the addict will need help to overcome the initial stages from detox to recovery. We also know from reading and studying addictions most addictions will escalate or increase as the body builds tolerance setting the bar higher to reach a new normal.

Here’s a question to think about: What is your normal? You have the right to answer this question any way you want. This article in not meant to judge, shame or condemn anyone into doing something.
I look forward to hearing from those seriously ready to get started with a pure and committed heart for authentic lifestyle full of endless opportunities and possibilities.
Life is a Choice and Help Has Arrived!

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James White

SFYB Contributing Author James White National Intervention on Drugs and Alcohol  

Actively seeking acquisition opportunities” in addictions recovery and behavioural health facilities nationwide. Brokers and referrals are protected.

For years I’ve watched the decline of services being provided to the client who in the greatest time of need is let down either by the system or by the people who have created the system.

The client has become a commodity.
I vowed and along with my “CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM” have thrust upon making a change not only in the industry itself but the people within it.


The days of patient brokering and mis-representation leading to liability and fraud  can no longer be the norm. Is your group or your team passionate- are you ready to grow and become bigger and better then anything that currently exists in our market?

Our goal is to be number one in the field of addiction and youth- behavioural health. Lets talk, collaborate and build the vision so we can provide the best service available to “ OUR CLIENT”

Use the email ICON in my BIO to connect


Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author


The Movie – Starring You!

Have you ever thought about making a movie starring you and sharing your personal story to help others overcome addiction? What would your movie look like and how would your story display on the big screen? Would it be a box office smash or a flop?

Would people be encouraged by how you pushed through obstacles and life challenges and survived to tell your story? Do you know why your story is so important to understand? I believe there is power, strength, and personal growth in your story that will give you and others the confidence needed to stay healthy and celebrate better lifestyle changes. Yes, when an individual is ready and wants to stop making excuses – the normal next step is to find help and learn how to deal with life as life unfolds naturally. Think about the building blocks of how your story will stack up.

Then as you prepare the outline use three basic steps. Notice there will always be a beginning, middle and end to every story.

Start by rewinding the tape in your head until you can find a spot called the beginning – the event or feeling just before your addiction started.

For example: find the pain point – divorce, rejection, the first drink, the first inhalation, viewing internet porn, the first needle, shopping, gambling or eating to comfort that moment.

In order to begin your story. Do you see yourself on the big screen at this point? Were you happy? Were you scared? How an actor would be portraying your experience. It is important not to get too hung up or stuck in all of the details in order to make a point of reference. This approach will help structure and move you through the details to keep you focused on where you want to end up. You will gain strength by skimming through the details (like a movie) and discovering you came through even when you believed there was no way and completely impossible. We want to spend time reviewing the good stuff – the positive aspects and what is working in your life and why did you stop appreciating those things? Or how did you lose focus on what was really important? Tell me more about your strengths?

Get to the middle of your story – the maintenance part. The part where you still thought you had control of your addiction. The middle of denial. Then move on to the finish. Has your story finished yet? What would you want people to remember most about how you choose to live your life? Yes, the key word to remember is choose. We all have to make choices that will be part of our movie and those choices will spill out and affect those in your life. You can change your appearance, your habits, your friends, your job…but you can’t change unless you want to change and that change will require structure, new discipline and many hours of practice for results.

When you are ready get something to write out your thoughts – preferably pen and paper work the best. I recommend hand writing over using electronic devices to get the most from this exercise. As your eyes and mind begin to open let the pen in hand feel your words flow freely into your notes for later review. Write your script and take your time and keep asking yourself does my mess turn into my message? Or was my story a test that turned into my testimonial? How does my story help people that are headed to where I have been? How can the ending of my story prepare someone for a strong finish? Allow the questions to guide your direction. Be honest because the truth will set you free!


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The question of finding a good rehab can be answered by finding a good interventionist.


James White

SFYB Contributing Author James White National Intervention on Drugs and Alcohol  

One of the biggest misconceptions in the treatment industry and the public at large is the assumption that one just needs to get into a center and everything will be fine. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

There are so many levels of understanding one must have in order to find the center that is right for the one who is suffering. The difference in having an interventionist involved in making those decisions as opposed to calling a treatment center on your own is that the interventionist has knowledge of many treatment centers.
Their strengths and weaknesses. He will typically know the staff right from the director to the cook. A well informed interventionist will have more then likely have been to every center he recommends and will have a working knowledge of the center and the type of programming in place. Is the center 12 step based or is it highly clinical with many types of therapies offered. CBT/MET/DBT ETC.


 Do they have integrated care for co-occurring psychiatric disorders? Relationship/marital/ sex counseling? Nutritional/fitness counseling. Equine therapy has proven to have benefit. A big need to know is if the center in question has a medically-assisted detoxification- if so is it an extra charge. Does that cut into the program time. For example: if the client goes for 60 days but needs to detox for 10 is that part of the original 60 or is the program now a 50 day. Finally aftercare and family support.


Treatment is only a start to ones recovery. What one comes home too and the health of those relationships is vital to long term long life wellness. An interventionist and the position is much more then what is seen on television. It is a highly skilled set of unique gifts that very few truly have. To have that person in your corner can make the difference where no other can. Lets get started and speak with one another. I can help you.

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Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author

How does your net worth impact your addiction?

Truthfully your addiction doesn’t care about you or your financial status! Matter of fact your addiction will eventually consume all of your assets and still want more leaving you unsatisfied again. Losing everything to an addiction is not the best solution to choose when you are in a position to retain professional help. Remember your net worth has nothing to do with your addiction controlling your life and holding you back from living a clean and sober lifestyle. Addiction lies to you and consumes you over time. Take a real look at yourself or someone you know struggling with an addiction. Do you or do they look better or worse today than when the addiction started?

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Prince speaks onstage at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 04: Prince speaks onstage at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

However, your financial status will allow you to seek out the very best recovery service available. What would the ultimate VIP at home recovery service look like to you? What if you could privately complete a treatment program from home combined with a well trained professional addiction recovery coach to monitor your daily activity? Would this 24/7 exclusive companion service interest you? Clients truly experience the very best VIP service when retaining Mike Downing and his company to stand in the gap while learning how to live sober again.

Studies indicate the brain can be reprogrammed. This learning process takes time and must be repeated several times over days and months. This is similar to working your body muscles at the gym except the brain responds to mind exercise of thought training and choosing different option to replace the void. Learning how to exercise the brain is a lot like leaning how to exercise the body. Having a personal coach will help you stay focused and get your mind and body conditioned to where you want to go moving forward. Change is difficult and virtually impossible alone without competent help.

stop-sign-1444144-639x427 (1)How much more will you have to lose? When do you STOP your addiction? If not now, when?

Do you have a reason to STOP without a hidden agenda? Tell me more about your reason and why you are ready to make a Pure Commitment to live sober and I will help you bridge the gap to freedom. Help Has Arrived!

VIP-Clients are found online through articles like this or through word of mouth. Do you or someone you know suffer from an addiction and are ready for help? These articles have a way of finding help when help is needed. If you are looking for total privacy – you found your solution. I understand the importance of having a safe environment and respect all Clients that retain my service. Meaning you will never know the names of those I have helped transition from the darkest side of an addiction into clean and sober lifestyle unless my client shares with you personally.


VIP-Clients must complete and sign a total privacy agreement to prevent misinterpretation. Fortunately, to protect all VIP-clients we sign a legal and binding contract called the Pure Commitment agreement clearly outlining the coach / client relationship.


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Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author

Transition from rehab to living with a companion coach

This is a story from a client’s perspective on retaining a 24/7 companion service to bridge the gap from rehab to life.


I am not going to share my name because my name is not as important as my experience working with my companion coach. The truth is I was fearful to leave treatment where I received continuous staff support and monitoring 24/7.

My story begins with my addiction and condition before checking into rehab. I will spare you the details of my addiction because we all have a story. But of course, my addiction affected everything and everyone around me. So when I decided to get help and enter a treatment center, my program pulled me outside of my normal environment (home, family, work, and friends). My daily environment where I normally escaped reality and life.
I thought for sure everything was under control when I finished treatment- until it clearly wasn’t.

Ok, I needed help and deep down inside I don’t trust myself to be left alone or continue back home without support in fear of relapse. Sure, like many of you reading this story, I was fine before my addiction started controlling my next move and taking me to places of regret time after time. Now that I had agreed and committed to live a sober life and finished my treatment program, I realized I needed help with an outpatient program from home, office or both.

How could I get the most from my companion coach while ensuring I did not become codependent?
Well first of all, I looked for a companion coach who was professionally trained and certified with a plan to help me move forward building on my sobriety. I learned successful coaches have a short term process that will gradually release me and reduce the time I spend conversing with my coach.
I was willing to invest in a private companion coach to pick me up on the day my treatment facility released me to go home. My coach would support me in making the transition from 24/7 monitored to moving back home. My house needed to be prepared for my newly committed addiction free lifestyle. My coach moved in and lived with me 24/7 to monitor my sobriety and help me get in a routine.


During the first couple of days:
We purged the house of any unclean or unwanted triggers.
We picked up the mail, payed bills and set up a budget plan.
We created a weekly meal plan and went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients.
We put the groceries away and started my weekly food preparation for easy homemade ready to eat meals- Heat-N-Eat style.
We talked every day about my life in the moment right now and moving forward highlighting things I can do to fill the void.
We carefully navigated my patterns, interests and strengths to draw out my solutions.
We applied the information I learned in rehab / treatment center into my daily routines.
We visited a couple support groups in my area until I found a group that I liked.
We walked and talked every day as I learned how to filter and process and decompress from the daily stress while getting exercise.

During the second week:
I had to go back to work, yes my coach went with me to make the transition smoother.
We were together 24/7, so I introduced my coach as a friend from out of town observing my business and work ethics.
We discussed market penetration, production, sales, and managing staff everything related to my job description and stress to identify hidden triggers.
Fortunately, my position with the company allow me to have an out of town friend join me at work without any confusion or additional questions.
After work we continued to repeat a lot of what I learned during the first week and tracking my progress.

By the third week:
I was feeling more confident with my own ability to function alone. I know how all the moving pieces work together at home and work without my addiction driving me to relapse.
I am so grateful to have my coach bridge the gap during the transition. My coach helped me stay focused and repeat what I learned during treatment in my real life setting. I am ready to release my coach to another client in need.

Hopefully, my story will encourage you to retain Mike Downing, Founder and President of

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