Recovery From an Addicted and Traumatic Past: A True Story— Podcast Episode 41!

Zach Rhoads By: Zach Rhoads
Reviewed By: Dr Stanton Peele

Posted on November 18th, 2020 - Last updated: September 18th, 2023
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.

Welcome to the LPP Podcast Episode 41!

We have a truly remarkable LPP “Sundays With Stories” — Aaron’s story. Put simply, Aaron’s life has been . . . well, it might be rejected by Netflix as unbelievable. And it has left him firmly in the LPP camp. Just up front, Aaron is an outreach manager for a national opioid treatment provider. He combines his position on MAT with his non-disease, non-trauma-fixated LPP coaching.

The podcast covers Aaron and his 11 siblings singing in churches, restaurants and streets around the world with his cult-member parents, escaping from the cult in California and being homeless for years in his teens as a member of a Santa Cruz drug-using street family, narrowly missing being an accessory to a murder for which his would-be partners will never be released from prison, joining the military and training to become a Navy Seal but ultimately failing his medical clearance due to Hepatitis C infection. Returning to homelessness, despair and addiction in SF in his twenties, Aaron had to find a better way. . . Jumping forward. He’s okay! A valuable worker and family person (father of two children).

Aaron was in 12-step groups and a treatment center (TC) — but those only made matters worse (he says 1% of his fellow TCers cleaned up). Aaron kindly attributes his life progress to thinking and living and reading Stanton’s anti-disease work.

Aaron approaches bupe and methadone as tools that allow people to organize and to stabilize their lives, not as “proof” that they have a brain disease or inescapable lifetime trauma. Note his answer when Stanton asks him if he considers himself traumatized. But he is currently being “traumatized” by his participation in brain-disease trainings and trauma groups (as I say, if he lifted the cover off one corner of his life at one of these, other group members would run crying to the bathroom).

He is now a serious, helpful, “normal” human being. (A bit of an intellectual, for which I hope none of you will stigmatize him. Stanton says that Aaron, Zach and Stanton believe the same things despite coming from widely divergent backgrounds, so maybe there’s something there, Aaron identifies this as “independent corroboration.”)

The question may be whether Aaron, after leaving behind a street junkie identity, can escape the trauma of becoming an “influencer.”

The audio version of the podcast is here


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