Google+ A.I.R. Athletes in Recovery from addiction | Post treatment; long term aftercare strategy

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recovering from addiction - a few insights and thoughts.

A very important fact about Alcoholics Anonymous - AA Big Book pg 164 says " Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little." - To me what  this says is "AA does not claim or pretend to have all the answers."  Again, to me, this also means that we need to do hourly and daily due diligence to figure out how to manage our own life and live on lifes terms. I.E. Work towards gaining a higher level wisdom and a higher state of enlightenment.

Although I kind of feel that I have out grown AA in some ways, I still do attended AA meeting on a semi regular basis. Although AA is not my cup of tea, I am blessed to have gained tremendously valuable insights on personal development, addiction, recovery and emotional heath &  wellbeing. I do attend several AA meeting a year to primarily keep in check with the wisdom that I acquired and help another brother or sister that may be suffering from addiction. 

To me AA is: A) one step in the life LONG recovery journey. B) is a support group, not the addicts entire recovery program. C) one of many components of a long term recovery strategy.  
D) there to jump start the individuals recovery program - not become a crutch activity. Recovery happens during life's activities beyond the 12 Steps.

A few years into my recovery (while I was managing a 25 bed sober living) it became very obvious that the success rate in AA, NA and CA was marginal at best. I figured that if I was truly serious about beating the odds I would need to adopt a much higher level of commitment towards my recovery and personal development. I stumbled across the work of Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000 hour principals. I would soon proclaim my self as a "Student of Recovery" and " Student of The Game of Life."  This my friends was a game changer. 

To beat these overwhelming  odds I would need to learn to look at long term recovery strategy from a 50,000 ft view. The 50,000 ft perspective yields incredible value. I have surpassed the 10,000 hours several times. Today I have found all the answers that I needed to recover and develop a long term recovery strategy. 

One last thought - my parents were both alcoholics/addicts. The overall well being of our family life started destructing around my 4th grade elementary. 4th grade is where my academic growth stopped - hence my low level writing skills. The reality of my academic aptitude does not deter me because.... I am rich in valuable  life experiences. These valuable life lesson provide me with a high level of emotional health, gratitude, wisdom and overall ability to not fall part when I become emotionally overwhelmed.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why AA doesn't work for most - Video by Genita Petralli

Greetings to all in this recovery Journey. This video is a valuable catalyst form me to expand on my Recovery Journals of "when recovery happens" and when it doesn't. 

My big picture thoughts in ruff cut form on The video below -  "Why AA doesn't work for most" - Video by Genita Petralli 

Most people who need the treatment that she is describing can not afford it. There for AA is the next go to step to get help. With out thousands of dollars or insurance the person struggling with drinking or drugs is out of luck.

This topic is so very important. The success rate in AA is not very good. Its impossible to calculate the success rate of people committed to AA 12 Step Program. I don't agree with the ladies assessment that a high percentage of recovered Alcoholics are on Psych Med's. 

Here is where Alcoholics Anonymous fails: far to many members of AA treat 12 Step program as the final phase of the long term recovery process. Too many long term members of AA place far to much emphasis on using meetings as a primary component of recovery. 

Sobriety is NOT Recovery. Recovery happens when  AA 12 Steps and Meeting are just one component of the the Alcoholics long term after care strategy. Life and recovery happen after the 12 Step meeting and working with newcomers. 

In page 164 of the AA Big Book the founders acknowledge Quote "Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little.' Let's make this very clear, the founders of AA do not claim to have all the answers. Whats happened over time is some long time members of AA have Hijacked the AA 12 Step program by over emphasizing AA roll in long term recovery. 

Overall I feel that Genita Petralli provides valuable insights into the many steps in the recovery process.  My 14 years in recovery have shown that their is no "one size fits all" program that's going to lead to lead to long term sobriety and recovery. 

Genita Petralli may have some useful and effective strategies and methods however... she does not have all the answers. No single treatment program or addiction specialist have all the answers.

Only the alcoholic or addict can master their own addiction and can find the answers they need as individuals to prevent their own relapse from happening. 

Only the alcoholic or addict that commits to long term addiction education and consistently works towards long term sobriety and recovery will find the answer they need to master their addiction. 

Even then it take a minimum of 10 to 15 years for the person in recovery to know "the truth about human behavior and how addiction manifests it self. 

Until the alcoholic or addict learns the insides and outs of what "cunning, baffling and powerful" really mean long term serenity and high quality recovery will elude them. 

The human who masters "cunning, baffling and powerful" will have the wisdom needed to live a relapse free life.

She makes some valuable observations. However her objectivity and polarizing tone bode well  with her conflict of interest. What conflict of interest? She is marketing a product and service  in this video. She's using blanket statements discrediting the entire AA 12 Step support groups methods and also exaggerated the realities of AA as aw whole. Again, she makes some good points. 

Most people in recovery don't get the professional help they need because they either don't have insurance of the cash needed, this is why so many people rely and use AA, NA and CA as their primary "GO TO" addiction recovery resource.

Long term sobriety is usually achieved though the adoption of many contributing personal development practices over days, weeks, months, years and decades I.E. Slow incremental growth and improvement made on a consistent basis over extended periods of time. 

The holistic approach to recovery which includes Mind, Body and Soul I.E. 12 Step meeting in moderation, Mentoring, Spirituality, Exercise, emphasis on high quality Diet, eliminating all addictions: food, nicotine, caffeine, internet, etc has been proven to to be the most effective strategy used in recovery today.

This book author claims to have the definitive answer to solve the addiction - yes she has some effective methods and process's. However, the notion that she has all the answer needed to help curse every single alcoholic or addict is bogus. 

Sobriety, long term recovery and relapse prevention is a inside job. Relapse will cease to take place only when the addict or alcoholic makes a commitment to daily self reflection/self analysis - this self reflection is used as a tool to identify whats the roots cause of the relapse. I.E. Whats going wrong.

 Recovery programs, treatment programs, sober coaching, counseling, 12 programs and support groups are all used to help support the individual suffering from addiction seek out (figure out) what makes each individual tick and what we need to know and do every day to not pick up, get loaded I.E. Relapse. Sobriety will elude the addict or alcoholic until he or she makes the commitment to figuring out the exact cause of the relapse  Relapse is a direct consequence  to a bad decision and only the individual can stop it. Its a inside job! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

001 Life Beyond the 12 Steps - When Recovery Happens - Father Issue's

In this first audio journal Coach Byron Friday talks about how he has learned to overcome long standing grudges and issues that have come between him and his father. Coach Friday has learned some very simple and power techniques that he used to finally end his long standing negative emotional feelings towards his father and mother.

Coach Byron Friday  started A.I.R. Athletes in Recovery to chronicle and share his journey in recovery.  In 2002 Byron donating the 95% of his personal belongings to charity and starting his life over from scratch.  Coach Byron Friday is a recovery activist and emotional abuse survivor.

Coach Byron Friday has used the last 12 years to study the  recovery process and personal development method's The results of his study have yielded some simple strategies and powerful principals that he uses daily to manage and process the powerful negative emotions that we often face in our daily lives. Coach Byron Friday has made a full recovery from his Spiritual Malady. 

A.I.R. | ATHLETES IN RECOVERY's on going development of this program titled "Life Beyond The 12 Steps" has a single purpose of  providing no cost Coaching and Mentoring that are delivered via online Life Lesson Audio Journal.

----------------Special thank you go out to----------------------------

Cliff Ravenscraft  The Podcast Answerman and Founder and Speech Writer and Podcaster  Mr. Peter Billinghan - the two gentlemen inspired me to take my life to the next level.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Habit Poem - narration by Coach Byron Friday

Mobile users click the link to listen to the  Habit Poem

The Habit Poem I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made them great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of man. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; It makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will put the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I ? I am Habit! Anonymous

Friday, April 26, 2013

PIECING my life story together bit by bit

I was on Facebook and a photo that was posted jogged my memory big time.

This photo is at a stormy time of life growing up in Van Nuys - 1) I got fired from Redline for messing up (great life lesson growing up) 2) Drugs Dealers in the neighborhood (Pot, Coke, meth, speed, acid, LSD, mushrooms, PCP aka Angle Dust) 3) and the coke filled syringe needle - I was seconds away from being a part of this story (Neil Young - Needle and the Damage Done) - to my luck - my DG Ride changed everything by giving me a new start and getting me out of my neighborhood. BMX opportunities saved my life. 

At that time I was lost, living day by day figuring out life moment by moment. I love my mom and dad but unfortunately they were lost too- they both struggled emotionally, Ten High Whiskey, Valium and Cigarettes didn't help them cope with life's challenges. To give you an example - in 12 grade mid-yearI stopped going to school and no one even noticed - not my parents not the school...... effffing NOBODY!! This situation really bothered me in my 30's and 40's - gratefully today I am at peace with anything and everything that's happened in life for growing up to today's daily challenges. 

I have a blog that I'm starting to script out my story - I'm using this as a tool to develop my skills to become a Youth mentor and public speaker and Coaching Services – it’s still in the very early stages and not all that well organized at the moment. It’s really just a brain dump to help move me forward with the work that I need to do. The site name is A.I.R. - Athletes In Recovery - - There ya have a few pieces of the TGIF puzzle wink, wink!

Photo: NBA National - Shawnee, Ok. That's me #66 on the far left side of the gate.

Looking at this photo, I vividly remember not being in the "eye of the tiger mindset" that a racer should be.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Writing about being lost and finding hope.

These words are kind of like putty that I'm massging into somethings of meaning. A work in progress.


 Sorry to hear about your situation. I was homeless and freezing my ass of in the winter of 2002. I felt alone and VERY LOW on hope for the future - I did however search for help and found it. I got help and now those stormy days of life are my life story and thankfully my strengths. 

I'm gonna ask you to look at life in a different angle to help give you a different perspective - each day life is kinda like training for bmx, we go through the physical and mental training to make use more experienced and stronger both physically and mentally- when life is overwhelming the emotional pain that we feel seems to be 10,000 more powerful than any physical pain we experienced training for bmx. 

Today I look at emotional pain in a different light, I don't give emotional pain the power it used to - yes emotional pain is indeed VERY uncomfortable however I don not let the emotional pain take its toll like it used to. 

Your a bike rider, a bmxer and know how to take on pain head on - give it a try. I GUARANTEE that if you seek help (I used a 90 day treatment program and 1 1/2 in transitional living) you will be reborn and this time will end up being your time of biggest learning/growth about "how to understand and play the game of life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Who is Coach Friday? in the beginning I was a youth athletic coach.

Developing my recovery timeline and story part #54.6

Who is Coach Byron Friday ? 

My Podcast mission and purpose are being developed along the way - however;
prior to entering recovery I was a competitive cyclist (bmx and mtn bike) during my racing career I hosted train classes, camps and schools for cyclist development.

After completing treatment and continuing to work on my recovery I was employed as a mentor/lifestyle coach in a transitional living facility (half way hours). I have received many emails, phone calls and Facebook messages from the people i have worked with in the transitional living facility (half way hours) and student of my cycling development classes telling me the difference I have made in their lives.

A.I.R. - Athletes in Recovery Podcast I will share my important life lessons of how saved myself from myself - how I overcame self sabotaging way of thinking (thought process) and self destructive behavior. I will also feature guest interviews too.

My entire bike racing and working career have been based on leadership - I have a calling to give back to this world as much as I can while I'm alive on this planet and since my Mother passed away a few months ago I have a real sense of urgency to get this Podcast off the ground.

I very much understand your recovery story and have a deep appreciation for your work and leadership in recovery though your Podcast - both you and Cliff have inspired me very much.
Byron @akaTGIF on Twitter

Sunday, January 20, 2013

About A.I.R - Athletes in Recovery - Why am I starting this? Part 1

Having been given the life changing gift of recovery -  a second chance at fulfilling life. I could easily be one of the homeless people you see on the street. That said, I have the calling in my heart to share both my life story and valuable life lessons that I feels could benefit others.

I received this letter from Kern State Prison in Delano Calif - this letter was written by a young man that I was mentoring while managing a 25 bed co-ed sober living - aka half way house. I would estimate that approximately

I'm sharing this with you because its on of the contributing factors that lead me to develop the sense urgency to develop this website. Also, I'm delivering my message and story in bit size chunks other wise it wouldn't be practical fro me to actually for me to do.

The letter was hand writen, here is the transcription;

Please note important point #2 - I received the following letter from a young man that I previously worked.

Dear Byron, 
thank you for embracing me when I came to the house. You are truly a man of respect and integrity who has found strength and satisfaction in recovery, I will not give up until I acquired those qualities and it is mine earnest pleased that you would help me. 

Byron, this battle for sobriety is the most important fight of my life. I have to battle against my own human nature. Some people crave excitement and adventure and will make reckless decisions based on their adventures desires.
We do not see the danger until we are in it and the price we must pay is often times more than we imagined. 

For the next 14 months I will be incarcerated for a foolish decision I made while under the influence. Was it worth it? Of course not! However, much of our growth comes from our trials If we are not careful, we find it easy to blame others for our shortcomings. 

Byron, I don't blame anyone but Autry. Autry chose to compromise is sobriety, and therefore Autry must pay the price for his actions.I have observed many people like myself who have a solid foundation of talents and natural ability. However those who succeed are the ones who discipline them self to build upon that foundation.

Byron, I am determined to have the discipline as you. Please forgive me for disrespecting the house by coming in the loaded. I hope that I may be given the opportunity to regain my place as a member of the family when I m released. Please tell everyone I said hello and and if they’d care to write me feel free. 
Respectfully yours,Autry


More about Coach Friday

I started my recovery journey in 2002. After completing a short 60 day treatment program, form there, I transitioned  to a sober living. I committed my self to living in a sober living environment for a undetermined period of time. Based on my adaptation to the sober living lifestyle I was offered a position managing a 23 bed sober living here in the Los Angeles area - this was a incredible learning experience - the life lessons that I learned enabled me to gain a 30,000 Foot View perspective on the game of life. 

The above is only about 1% of my travels on the road of "Ruin to Redemption

Today,  I pursue a daily commitment to personal development and consider my self a "Student of Recovery," I also working consistently on creating future recovery related career opportunities. 

I believe that establishing a long term recovery strategy is a must.

I also know from experience that that their is no substitute for a professional post treatment aftercare program that involves community and a ongoing.....  NEVER ENDING  commitment.  

I just started a website/blog (its very early in the development) that I hope will grow and become a source of help and inspiration for people in recovery. 

Here's to our emotion, mental and physical well being.


Byron Friday
aka TGI-Friday
Twitter @sobercoaching 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was in no mans land - Learning the game of life.

Please bear with me while I try to find my grove and sweet spot with these audio recording - I'm kind of in rehearsal mode.

Why am I sharing this story?

I was once homeless and I want to share my experience with you how I overcame these obstetrical - most of the process was changing my thought process and gaining a very new perspective to my out look on daily life.

I reference the three photos in this audio recording.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

When we  don't live the life of a  victim we empower our selves to overcome mountain size obstetrical.