People are not their disease



This is a fabulous TEDx talk from Jacki Hillios called Transcending Addiction and Redefining Recovery.   I saw it on Soberistas and was so impressed with that I thought I’d share it here.

The message is so strong and so powerful – that people are not their disease and that we shouldn’t be defined by where we have come from, but for who we are now and who we can become now we’ve put down the drink.

I wish we had something similar to Phoenix Multisport here in the UK because I would join in a heartbeat.  If I could find a sober active community like this filled with like-minded people who understood addiction but who are busy living life in recovery, who enjoyed running, cycling, yoga – what a gift that would be.

Their success rate compared to traditional rehabilitation is better (75% vs 50%) and even if people do relapse over 90% said they would come back, and without feelings of shame or guilt or worry.  This is amazing because addiction is a chronic relapsing condition so re-engagement is key to help people move forward.  The community also reports increases of 93% in physical health, 91% in mental health and 91% in quality of life.

The key messages from their experience is that:

  1. People matter – recovery on your own is hard and community is key
  2. Fun matters – if you have no joy today you have no hope for tomorrow
  3. Tomorrow matters – because if we have hope for our future then it makes dealing with the difficulties of today easier

Such an inspiration and I hope you enjoy as much as I did 🙂

62 days to go

Edited to add: found this heroes tribute on CNN about Scott Strode, the founder of Phoenix Multisport.

14 thoughts on “People are not their disease

  1. that was brilliant, thank you for sharing! they are doing a great job. and yes it would be fantastic to have something like that here. a place where living sober is valued! how cool is that.

    1. Indeed how cool is that Prim 🙂 Valued and not boring at all 😉 xx

  2. This was so incredibly touching, so fantastic! I so wish there was a Pheonix sport around me and I’m going to look into it. ( anyone want to start one in the US, Around the Great Lakes area- so much beauty, biking and hiking trails)- a perfect idea! I wonder if we can start local chapters in our areas. I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever heard, brilliant. I love the three points, and I’m going to come back to this post often. Thank you!

  3. Love it! I’m sharing your link with my gratitude group. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  4. That’s fantastic. This is the modern day AA. Getting together with others in recovery to move forward. I think we need more of this everywhere. To move beyond church basements.

  5. Lucy, you are amazing!!!!!
    Start up a club like that in UK!!
    With love from California XOXOXO

    1. Thanks Mary – you make it sound simple!! We’ll see if Scott Strode responds to my tweet about them coming to the UK 🙂 xx

  6. Thanks for posting this, Lou, really enjoyed watching it. And totally agree! With the vid and with all the comments 🙂 For me, there is something so important about getting out into nature, particularly to watch the sea or to stand on a mountainside. And to get involved with activities that incorporate getting out into nature and being in a community of sober people seems like a fabulous idea. xx

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