I grew up on the mean streets of midtown Manhattan. I got into the party girl life in high school as a result of not knowing how to cope with the things going on in my life and family. I first attempted recovery when I was 21 and a junior at Johns Hopkins University. I left for spring semester thinking I could detox and then go on with my life, but recovery doesn’t work like that. Rehab followed by sober living for one month didn’t come close to fixing what had gone wrong. I wanted to be healthy, but even more, I wanted to grow up and have a happy, productive life with loving relationships. The trouble was I didn’t know what that life would look like, or how to get there. How could I possibly achieve any goals without a road map for life?
As I entered adulthood, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and what was holding me back.
Life is complicated enough but add the loss of important development and esteem-building years to drugs and dysfunction and life gets much trickier to understand and manage. Truth is I’m not alone. Today, 15 percent of high school students are already addicted to the using life while at school.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get the growing up memo. That meant my emotions, work ethic, and expectations could be unpredictable, and messy for years into recovery. I didn’t have life skills and often felt like I was on a rollercoaster I couldn’t control. Not using drugs or alcohol was only the first step, not just for me, but for everyone.
It took many tries and over a decade to create the healthy lifestyle I needed to sustain my recovery
In my tippy years, I still functioned. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University, received my MA degree from New York University, worked in publishing, and wrote screenplays and TV pilots. But, something was always off, finally forcing me in direction that would be my salvation. Recovery.
Helping myself has meant sharing my recovery journey with others. First, my mother, author Leslie Glass, and I produced the documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, that reveals life on the other side of addiction in 2012. Then we produced The Silent Majority a documentary about teen prevention that was on PBS in 2014-15. We built the Reach Out Recovery website over eight years, where I contributed dozens of articles about the challenges and rewards of recovery. Mentoring and sponsoring dozens of young people in early recovery has also been important to me. I’ve been a speaker in many forums.
During the twenty years of my recovery education, I learned from dozens of psychologists and therapists who have treated and mentored me. I followed their advice and practiced their suggestions until I became more like the person I wanted to be. I began to envision the life I wanted and found a way to achieve it. As I slowly changed, I realized that people of all ages need a very simple tool to learn the basic skills for living, the basic behaviors that repair and build healthy relationships, the basic tools for work, for dreaming and for realizing your dreams. I put the advice of two decades into 100 easy tips that can benefit anyone of any age.