A recovery book by actor and comedian Russell Brand may not be what you might be expecting in the way of a book review from an addiction therapist, but we should all have an open mind, right?
I started keeping a peripheral eye on Mr. Brand when I began focusing my clinical work on sexual addiction. Mr. Brand made it very public (writing about it in several books) that he attended the Keystone Extended Care Unit in Chester, Pennsylvania for his in patient sexual addiction treatment. This is what put him on my radar. I have friends and colleagues who work there and have referred many clients to treatment at Keystone ECU. When his new book about recovery came out, I thought, “why not?”
Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions has been a pleasant surprise from the get go. This book is a 12-step book. The book takes the reader through the entire 12 step process, step by step. Russell shares his own story of recovery, the good and the bad, in a very relatable way. He also, very openly, shares his own struggles with the steps. He has struggled with the concept of God or higher power which is a huge road block for many people who attend or think to attend 12 step meetings. He addresses his own self-centeredness, inability to ask for help and isolation, which is very relatable to anyone who has dealt with addiction of any kind.
In addition to the book, on his website, www.russellbrand.com, he provides a supplement to the book. He provides the reader with his own questions and worksheets to work the steps. I have read many 12 step books and I honestly feel as though these are some of the easiest to follow and real guides I have ever seen. They are absent the preachy vibe that can come with some 12 step worksheets. They are also rather blunt, which is a style I prefer. Honestly, I have printed these out and given them to clients who I know struggle with the higher power concept of the 12 steps or have some other issues with their experiences of the people in the 12 step rooms.
Of course, this is a book by Russell Brand, so it is full of obscenity. It is not for the reader who objects to a multitude of f-bombs in every chapter. This is part of why I really like this book. It is real. It is raw. It is what actually happens when a person goes through the 12-step program, not a sanitized version of the process that makes many people feel that recovery is unattainable.
The 12th step of AA states that “After having a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in our own affairs.” This book is Russell’s 12th step. It is a great 12th step and one of the most enjoyable recovery books I have read in a really long time.
For more information on Dr. Weeks clinical work please see our website at www.sexualaddictiontreatmentservices.com