Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning journalist, best-selling author, hosts her own news show on CNN/HLN and is a huge proponent of recovery. She’s famous for her no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is attitude and outspoken beliefs about addiction and consumerism in America. In her 2009 memoir entitled iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life, Jane admitted for years she hid her own battle with alcoholism. 2012 marks Jane’s 17th year of sobriety as she’s still “working her recovery program.”
Jane lives her life according to the 12 Steps, and is such an inspiring example of Believable Hope; once she realized she was powerless against alcohol (the first process in the 12 steps) she a newfound sense of freedom that motivated her sobriety.
In my book, I talk about how I also believe in the 12-Step program and apply its philosophy when treating my own patients. Once Jane hit bottom, she decided to get sober, regardless her “high-functioning alcoholism” (she was an alcoholic who’d binge drink and black out, but was still highly successful in her job and personal life). With the help of her good friends (Essential Element #3: Surround yourself with winners!) and the 12 steps, she learned “the mind is completely a low defense against a real addictive craving.”
Many 12-Step programs use the acronym HALT: feeling hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Those feelings, if improperly managed, can easily lead to relapse. Jane, who had a predisposition to alcohol by watching her parents drink throughout her childhood, also kept her sexuality hidden for years, which led to improper management of those emotions and fueled her alcoholism.
Today, Jane uses a healthy combination of humor…
“I think laughter is the ultimate intoxication. And that’s why I enjoy recovery, is that I’m always laughing with my sober buddies. And when you’re laughing, you’re naturally high. So I think that really that is part of the solution.”
“You have to reorder your life. Instead of being about ego and fear, you have to be of service. I get down on my knees every day and pray, help me to be of service, to do something positive, to make life better for somebody else, or some other creature on this planet… This is a spiritual disease, and it requires a spiritual solution. “
…to maintain the life she loves.
If you follow the 5 Essential Elements, you will succeed at beating addiction. This is the solution. Let Jane be just one example of Believable Hope.