How I Overcame Addiction
Kris J Simpson shares his story of how he overcame his struggle with addiction and being overweight, and how he helps others achieve balance.
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There was a time that my life was an absolute mess as a result of addiction!
It led to three breakdowns over a three year period:
#1 – Health Breakdown: I was 50 pounds overweight and dealing with a severe medical problem, all caused by an underlying addiction to drugs and alcohol.
#2 – Career Breakdown: My business went into a state of bankruptcy.
#3 – Relationship Breakdown: My marriage broke down and I went through a divorce.
But I am grateful for my most significant challenges in life.
That’s because I learned three invaluable lessons that I would like to share with you:
- Sometimes you need a breakdown so you can have a breakthrough.
- Sometimes when you think you have health, career or relationship problem – you just have a Power Problem.
- I found the solution to these issues in what I now call the 5-Facet Lifestyle Formula.
Not only where these lessons life-changers for me, but they also helped me coach and train hundreds of clients to re-create their lifestyles and find higher levels of success and happiness in their lives.
They also inspired me to write my new book, the #1 bestseller, All Inclusive Diet.
I share my story of the struggle for anyone else who is struggling or feels stuck. It’s a story about how I needed to fall to rise and how success indeed is measured by the comeback. I am now happily creating my legacy as a proud father, partner, coach, and author.
For this episode; I’m going to share an excerpt from my book the All Inclusive Diet.
The chapter is called My Struggle –How I Overcame Addiction and Solved My Weight-Problem
If you would like a free copy of this book, while supplies last, just go to www.krisjsimpson.com/books
This is what you will learn from the All Inclusive Diet:
-The 5-Facet Lifestyle Formula
-How to manage your stress, weight, health & fitness
-How to cultivate Energy and Restore Balance
-A tested and proven method for making long-lasting lifestyle changes
Thank-you for those that have read and rated this book on Amazon and helped it hit the #1 bestseller on Amazon.
While supplies last you can get it for free. I bought the book for you all you have to do is pay $4.97 for shipping and handling, and I will have it delivered to you within 7-10 days.
Go to www.krisjsimpson.com/books to pick up your free copy.
So let’s get started, an excerpt from the All Inclusive Diet – hope you love it – if you do, please like, comment and share it.
I thank-you, I’m cheering for you, change is possible, keep your head out of the sand, dream, believe and inspire to aspire.
Author & Life Coach
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“Sometimes we need a breakdown to have a breakthrough.”
We all have wake-up calls that lead us to important life changes and transformations. If you have had any major changes in the way you live, you can probably think back to one moment when you had an epiphany whereby something happened that changed your life forever.
Some of us might have had to descend to a personal bottom before we could make the needed changes in our way of living and some of us had to hit a wall before we woke up.
My wake-up call was when I hit a wall and fell to the bottom of my front porch. It was the morning after three days of self-debauchery, which included ample amounts of what was then the substance of my former life, drugs, and alcohol.
Apparently, I had agreed to check myself into a detox center for drug and alcohol abuse. I was busily preparing myself for detox by intoxicating myself to yet another level. I regained consciousness on my front porch, and I was covered in blood. Although I was dazed and confused, I could see that I had tripped and went head first into the brick wall of my house and fallen to the bottom of the stairs.
This was what my final appearance looked like living my old life. It was the end of a 10-year progressive and painful slide into oblivion, which was written, directed and all acted out by me. The plot was a little confusing because it appeared that the main character had it all yet he was suffering.
He had so many things going for him; married with a five-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, a successful business owner, recently moved into the posh area of town where all the big shots lived. Life on the surface didn’t seem to be that bad at all.
Then why was he constantly hitting the self-destruct button?
This was the first time I honestly asked why and wanted to know what the answer was, no matter how painful the truth. It was the most important day of my life when I decided the show was over. There would be no more encores.
When the curtain rose again, I was locked in a detox center that I was desperately trying to escape from. I was surrounded by people who made me feel uncomfortable, but there wasn’t any difference between them and me. Yes, I might have had more money and more things than most of them, but we were all under lock and key for our personal safety. We couldn’t be trusted to take care of ourselves.
The week that I spent in detox was the most humiliating yet most humbling week of my life. I was at the point where my knees had hit the floor, and the only way I was going to get back on my feet again was to ask for and accept a hand.
The detox center set the stage for a one-month drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. I was open and receptive to just about any help at this point.
If I ever doubted that there wasn’t a solution for the problem of addiction, all I needed to do was look around while I was in rehab and hear the stories of people who had lost it all, had risen again and had become completely transformed. Their stories inspired me and reminded me that I wasn’t alone.
For a decade I had used and abused substances to create what I justified as a balance in my life. I was living life in the fast lane, across lanes, and off course completely at times.
A decade of living a life of addiction and a trail of disaster behind me, it was difficult to hide because it showed up in all areas of my life: in my relationships, my career, and it would show up later in my finances. It was also impacting my health as I was slowly deteriorating. My liver was showing the first signs of cirrhosis, and my insides were an awful mess.
What I also couldn’t hide from was the fact I was 50 pounds overweight.
Fortunately, being an ex-bodybuilder I was able to justify my increase in size as muscle, but I knew otherwise. I also was able to wear athletic clothes that allowed me to hide my weight as well, but the real problem was that I wasn’t real at all.
In rehab, I went through a lot of self-discovery, and I began to realize that my life was completely out of balance. I was abusing substances as a form of escape. I felt as if I needed to escape the life that I had created and which I now felt I was trapped in.
This intense state of suffering is what I call my personal bottom. I needed to go to the bottom and become completely defeated for me to hang out the white flag. My stubbornness to let go of whom I thought I was, who I thought I had to be, and what I thought I had to do showed up everywhere in my former life.
I was suffering because I felt powerless. My addiction to drugs and alcohol had taken over my life. I wasn’t in control anymore. I felt like a slave, and it ate away at my soul as I lost all self-dignity and self-respect.
In rehab and more importantly in the after-care program that ensued, I got my life back to a state of equilibrium. In fact, I recreated my life to one that now serves the people I coach and me.
I share my story of struggle for anyone else who is struggling with a weight problem. It’s a story about how I needed to fall to rise and live out my life legacy of inspiring others to keep the weight off and find freedom.
How I Overcame Addiction and Solved My Weight-Problem
“Everything happens for a reason, or things always happen then we give them a meaning. It can mean we will become a victim or a survivor. We have the ability to choose our destiny.”
Photo Credit: Michael Fusco
Although this was very difficult for me to disclose initially, my story has become the first conversation with all of my health participants from the Freedom 13 Weight-loss & Wellness program, as there is a definite connection with my story and my clients’ stories of struggling to keep the weight off. Through the lessons of my struggle, I can now help my clients overcome their problem of keeping the weight off.
During my recovery, I finally understood that to avoid reverting to drinking and drugging; I needed balance in my life. It wasn’t so much a need as it was something that I couldn’t live without. It was mandatory and non-negotiable. If I got out of balance, I knew what would happen. I would go back to drinking and drugging. It was inevitable.
I now can see the same thing happening to my clients who also have periods where their life is imbalanced, and they too are at risk of relapsing into the patterns and habits that cause them to gain weight.
I relapsed three times in the first six months out of rehab. I noticed the same pattern would occur during these episodes. Either a crisis would appear in my life that I was having difficulty managing or other things in my life would get out of whack such as working countless hours and not getting enough time to sleep and relax.
In the past when these types of things would happen in my life, I would get out of balance and turn to substances. I later learned that substances were my escape from the sense of suffering that being out of balance provoked.
My emotional imbalance had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster most days. Extreme highs followed by the bottomless lows. My exercise regimen had on and off cycles. I had no hobbies or interests to help me unwind after a long day of work. I always remember my mother asking me when I was going to find a hobby or pick up a book or start writing again. I took no time for myself, as I was dedicated to growing my business. When I did manage to find a spare moment, I was using substances to create a sense of false balance in my life. My sleep cycles were upside down because many times I didn’t even know what time of day it was. This is how I now define the epitome of an imbalanced lifestyle, which was my former way of living. Although most of my clients’ lifestyles are not so severely backward, they still need help with aligning their 5-Facets.
My recovery program consisted of putting my entire life back in balance one facet at a time. Little did I know that this would become the building blocks for the Freedom 13 Weight-loss & Wellness program.
When I started to restructure my life, I had an additional 50 pounds on my frame that I was self-conscious about. I needed to do everything in my power to bolster my self-esteem. Hence, I decided it was time to shed the baggage from my past. That baggage had to be left behind for me to move forward.
I had to look at food in a different light. I needed to take a balanced and all-inclusive approach to eating. I couldn’t risk being radical, rigid and restrictive with my diet. My goal was to balance my food intake with what my body needed versus what I thought my body wanted.
Emotionally, I needed to remain balanced. I couldn’t harbor grudges and hold resentments any longer. In rehab, I was taught that resentments are the number one offender when it comes to contravening sobriety. My days of arguing and complaining had to be put behind me as I needed to focus on becoming aware and managing my emotions to abstain from substances.
I had to get active again. My spirits and energy had to be sustained at the highest caliber to achieve happiness and create a new way of living. I needed to look at activity in a new and all-inclusive way. Weight training and traditional exercise were only one part of the equation, and I needed to diversify my activity so I would be more motivated to consistently engage in it.
I also needed to schedule time for relaxation. I needed to find a life outside work and find opportunities to relax, rest and recover. I never gave myself permission in the past to leave work early, but eventually, I learned how to do this without feeling tremendously guilty. I didn’t find my hobbies and things to do for fun right away, but I did begin to spend more time with my children and with those I met in recovery. This allowed me to relax and reset.
Sleeping was also something that I had to take very seriously. I found that when I didn’t get enough sleep, I was emotionally off balance. I felt more agitated and nervous and unable to deal with people in a calm manner. I also found that my eating got off track when I didn’t get enough sleep.
Something I was taught in rehab was a concept known as H.A.L.T., which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. If we let ourselves get hungry, angry, lonely and tired, we run the risk of being out of balance. Hence, the term H.A.L.T. should encourage one to stop immediately and take a different direction or approach whenever these symptoms are experienced.
In the next chapter, I will introduce you to the 5-Facets so you can learn how to manage and balance them yourself.
Kris J Simpson