“This manual for self-realization comes not from a mountain but from the mud...My qualification is not that I am better than you but I am worse.” —Russell Brand
With a rare mix of honesty, humor, and compassion, comedian and movie star Russell Brand mines his own wild story and shares the advice and wisdom he has gained through his fourteen years of recovery. Brand speaks to those suffering along the full spectrum of addiction—from drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar addictions to addictions to work, stress, bad relationships, digital media, and fame. Brand understands that addiction can take many shapes and sizes and how the process of staying clean, sane, and unhooked is a daily activity. He believes that the question is not “Why are you addicted?” but "What pain is your addiction masking? Why are you running—into the wrong job, the wrong life, the wrong person’s arms?"
Russell has been in all the twelve-step fellowships going, he’s started his own men’s group, he’s a therapy regular and a practiced yogi—and while he’s worked on this material as part of his comedy and previous bestsellers, he’s never before shared the tools that really took him out of it, that keep him clean and clear. Here he provides not only a recovery plan, but an attempt to make sense of the ailing world.
In 21 Years Gone Jack writes with brutal frankness about his descent into addiction and the low point he reached when Sharon was diagnosed with cancer. Scared that his mum might die, Jack retreated further into his alcoholic shell, hating who he was, hating what he did. Every night he would get into bed and pray for God to take his life. When Sharon realised what was happening she told Jack he had to go to rehab - and slowly he turned his life around. Discovering a passion for extreme sports, he went from overweight and unfit to the lean young man he is today - courtesy of such adventures as running with the bulls in Pamplona, fighting a Thai martial arts expert known only as 'The Man' and scaling El Capitan, one of the world's toughest climbs.
By turns funny, disarmingly honest and moving, 21 Years Gone is the amazing story of young man who has confronted his demons and defeated them.
Acrobaddict is a story about the close relationship between athletics and drug addiction—how the same energy, obsession, and dedication that can create an Olympic athlete can also create a homeless drug addict.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred review) After reading former Olympic gymnastics hopeful Putignano's sinister yet intoxicating memoir of addiction, recovery, and more addiction, you wind up feeling like one of his closest friends. The first-time author, who now portrays Crystal Man in Cirque du Soleil's traveling production of Totem, divulges what must be nearly every significant detail of his journey from the basement of his parents' Massachusetts home, where as an 8-year-old he taught himself flips using old couch cushions; to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where the author's insane quest for perfection exposed his insecurities and triggered his self-loathing; and finally to a seemingly never-ending series of addict escapades throughout his college and post-college years that somehow did not even climax after he was twice declared clinically dead. Putignano's homosexuality plays a crucial role in his story, and it is the one topic here he handles delicately. Elsewhere, his prose is unfiltered: graphic and intimate. Prone to hyperbole to the point of distraction, Putignano nevertheless writes so vividly about his highs that readers practically experience them with him. Similarly, his lows drop them into the private circles of hell on earth he created. A more powerful anti-drug missive would be tough to find. (Sept.)
LIBRARY JOURNAL (July 22, 2013) Dale Farris, Groves, TX–Former star acrobatic contortionist and gymnast of the Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem,” performer in Twyla Tharp’s musical The Times They Are A’changin, and guest on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN show Human Factor, Putignano, shares his heartfelt, emotionally wrenching story of addiction to heroin. Putignano’s memoir takes readers on an unsettling journey from his experience in the U.S. Olympic Training Center to homeless shelters to shooting heroin on the job, and even being declared dead. His vivid, brutally honest story begins with his realizing at an early age his innate talent for gymnastics, followed by his obsession with becoming an Olympic gymnastic champion, how he abandoned his Olympic hopes to chase his love of heroin, and ultimately how he managed to overcome his addiction and move into long-term recovery and stability. The narrative is replete with colorful descriptions of his many harrowing experiences, and deep musings that have formed the foundation for his commitment to remain free of drugs and a shining light for others who may be seeking guidance. VERDICT Putignano’s honest memoir of drug abuse is a valuable addition to substance-abuse literature. His status as a successful gymnast and performer helps connect readers, and his impressive, erudite style results in a highly credible addition to this rapidly saturating genre.
Could happiness lie in helping others and being open to accepting help yourself? Mentors – the follow up to the New York Times bestseller Recovery – describes the benefits of seeking and offering help.
"I have mentors in every area of my life, as a comic, a dad, a recovering drug addict, a spiritual being and as a man who believes that we, as individuals and the great globe itself, are works in progress and that through a chain of mentorship we can improve individually and globally, together . . . One of the unexpected advantages my drug addiction granted is that the process of recovery that I practise includes a mentorship tradition.
"I will encourage you to find mentors of your own and explain how you may better use the ones you already have. Furthermore, I will tell you about my experiences mentoring others and how invaluable that has been on my ongoing journey to self-acceptance and how it has helped me to transform from a bewildered and volatile vagabond to a (mostly) present and (usually) focussed husband and father."—Russell Brand
Mentors: How to Help and Be Helped describes the impact that a series of significant people have had on the author – from the wayward youths he tried to emulate growing up in Essex, through the first ex-junkie sage, to the people he turns to today to help him be a better father. It explores how we all – consciously and unconsciously – choose guides, mentors and heroes throughout our lives and examines the new perspectives they can bring.
What is motivation? Why do we feel totally paralyzed to do certain things, and utterly unable to quit others? Too many people conclude, falsely, that they are just lazy, or lacking in willpower. But what they lack is a correct understanding of their own minds, of motivation, and the way that it operates.
This book is a self-help manual and a rigorous analysis of the psychology of motivation. It will teach you to stop procrastinating, kick your addictions, circumvent laziness, take control of your actions, and achieve your goals, by thoroughly understanding the way your mind works. In it, you’ll learn:What is the nature of motivation, on its deepest psychological levelWhy addiction and procrastination are two sides of the same coinWhy there’s no fundamental difference between a physical and psychological addictionWhy willpower is rarely the solution to anythingWhy and how emotions motivate
You’ll also learn fifteen powerful strategies for motivating yourself, why they work, and how to apply them to your own life. By the end of this book, you’ll possess all the tools you need to take firm control of your daily existence.