The Project: Kuwait

Psyched With Dr. D : A Story of Drug Addictions and Overcoming The Odds With Yousef

March 31, 2021 Mahdi Al Oun, Meg Guthmiller, Dr.Juliet Dinkha, Haya AlQassar Season 1 Episode 229
The Project: Kuwait
Psyched With Dr. D : A Story of Drug Addictions and Overcoming The Odds With Yousef
The Project: Kuwait
Psyched With Dr. D : A Story of Drug Addictions and Overcoming The Odds With Yousef
Mar 31, 2021 Season 1 Episode 229
Mahdi Al Oun, Meg Guthmiller, Dr.Juliet Dinkha, Haya AlQassar

In this episode we continue our quest to raising awareness to drug addiction in our community. This story shows us how even the most fortunate can get sucked into the world of addition.

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we continue our quest to raising awareness to drug addiction in our community. This story shows us how even the most fortunate can get sucked into the world of addition.

Support the show (


Episode - Yusef Abdulwaseer

Wed, 3/31 8:01AM • 51:47


people, rehab, drugs, addiction, life, friends, feel, recover, addict, bipolar, understand, point, doctor, recovery, purpose, pr, lost, dude, talk, day



You're now listening to the project to the project to the project,



where we stop at nothing to bring you the right backs on health, fitness and psychology, featuring some of the world's most experienced professionals. So you can learn, live and play with your hosts make dr. D. And I know a guy, he's been in six rehabs, and he's fallen off the wagon more than seven times. He's been to rehab in the States. He's been to rehab in South Africa, he's been to rehab in Europe, he's been to rehab all over the world, this guy has been to every rehab, it's about the person, it's about the person. There are a lot of people



that go in and out of rehab. I agree with you. But I don't think that they've reached the bottom where Youssef might have reached by them, that sense of desperation, that call for help. So there are a lot of people that think they're ready, they go in, they come back, they don't want to change their lifestyle, they don't want to get rid of numbers that they shouldn't be hanging out with. They still want to hang out with the same people the same places. And we all know that when you go to rehab, you got to clean house, you got to change your lifestyle,



you have nothing to prove to anyone. You're doing this for yourself and strictly for yourself. someone asking you that if you're high or drunk at that time, because you're tired, as you mentioned, like some people think of it as some kind of malicious attack against them. It's like, Hey, we know you have weak willpower. And we know that you could go back at any point, then yeah, rightfully so because addiction is not something to take lightly at all. But as I said, You have nothing to prove to anyone but to yourself, you want to change, you have to prove that to yourself. And if you want to live a good life, you're going to do it for yourself only for yourself, not for anyone else.



All this and more in today's episode. Hey, everybody, welcome to this episode of site with Dr. Dean as usually we are teetering with the taboo subjects and we're bringing it back again to the addiction topic, something that is not really talked about in our society in the Middle East. And you know, it is an issue I think that is affecting everybody globally, whether you're in the west or the Middle East or anywhere, and that is drug addiction. More specifically, I think opioids have been the biggest killer in the last 10 years. And joining us today is someone who I've had the pleasure of meeting on Instagram the guy's absolutely wrecked in jacked, you know, he makes me look like a little pipsqueak if I stood next to him. Use rapid wasa thanks for coming on the show, man really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story with our listeners. And hopefully, you know giving people a way out and tell people how you overcame such a such a difficult disease man,



welcome your stuff. And, you know, he will just tell us a little bit about yourself. And you know, we'll take it from there. Welcome.



Thank you, Dr. d. Thank you, Matthew, for having me over. And my name is Yousef, as you guys heard from money, he's one of the awesome people that I've met online since I've been very active on there trying to spread my my fitness kind of thing going on in there. So yeah, that's working on for me. And as I said, I was an addict, back in the day and clean for four years. And I'm here to talk about my experience now, hopefully, to help anyone out there that's struggling with what I was struggling with back in the day. So yeah,



congratulations, four years, how does it feel? Yeah, how does it feel to be clean for four years?



I cannot describe how proud I am of myself. Just saying it on its own. This just makes me feel amazing. Yep.



So dude, just to backtrack. And please stop us if there are any triggers, or anything that we say that might trigger any thoughts or you know, anything at all. But I mean, can you talk about how it started? I mean, you know, we're in the Middle East. So you know, typically people think that we don't have drugs over here. We don't have alcohol, we don't have parties. And you know, it's a big facade, because we have some of the best parties in Kuwait. And you know, there, we have one of the biggest drug problems in Kuwait that no one talks about. So how did it start for you? I mean, was it in the Middle East? Was it when you went to college? And we did it just start with a little bit of weed and then kind of leading into other things? Or what was the gateway? Really? And were there any issues that led up to it? Were you trying to bury any emotional thoughts? Sorry, Dr. dm jumping into your realm. They're not trained.



So basically, the main trigger is as I began, at the age of, let's say, roughly speaking, 1617 that's when I started watching all the in the 2000s, where all the stoner movies started coming out if you guys remember that,



the movie how high? I remember



that. And all of that. And you know, weed was looked upon



dazed and confused.



Exactly. Yes. Yeah, that's right. So yeah, you have this thing, this thing inside of you just wants to try stuff. That's where it started. I got to know crowds that had the same interests as me. And yeah, we just started out and found it and started smoking from there and it just escalated. I'll try to you know, spare the details here. escalated to using much more intense Drugs, I would say, down the line, alcohol and party drugs, if you guys know them down to all the, you know, substances that the harder it is, the better it is. And of course me, if you were asking about an emotional thing, yes, I was lost at that time, I didn't know what I wanted with life, I don't know where I wanted to go, what my purpose was. And, of course, that was eating, eating with me. So to numb that feeling inside of me, I kind of use substances to quiet it down to make me feel like I was okay. That's where it started. And that's where I developed my addictive personality. just tried to take my mind away from stuff, you know, not thinking.



So you're saying that it started as curiosity. And then from curiosity, you kind of liked the way it made you feel? And then you continued,



yes, it made me feel happy when I found the other



way. You felt like you were happy when you're high versus when you weren't high? Yep.



You have this sense of euphoria when I couldn't find it. Otherwise, when I was sober, I couldn't find any meaning or purpose for my life. So I was pretty much lost and aware I was doing what I was looking for in life. So I just numb the pain out constantly out of it, if you know what I mean. Like just looking for any fix and hire that would distract me from my responsibilities phone, call it for lack of a better term. Yeah.



Now, did your family realize that something? When did they realize that something was wrong? Like you were high all the time? Were you in school, then at 1617, it means that you were junior senior high senior in high school,



I was a senior Senior High School, and then escalated, I moved to Egypt at that time, and escalated from there, instructed Egypt, I'm not here to advertise it, of course. But drugs, any tips are really easy to come by easier than anywhere here in the middle east about soon. And that actually kind of aided in my addiction. And alcohol was pretty prevailing over there, too. So drinking was something that I really got addicted to, I am an alcoholic also. So I drank from the age of 17. Until I think 30 and my 30s. That's when it stopped 28. That's when I stopped drinking alcohol when I started attending a meetings, but I still use drugs at that time. And then I decided to stop everything altogether.



So now, did your family have any involvement when you decided stop? But I'm sorry, before we go to that question, I wanted to talk about more of the gateway stuff. Yeah, and this is more specific, because we do have listeners on the show that have younger brothers or children that are going off to college and whatnot. And I mean, yes, I think a lot of teenagers will experiment with smoking marijuana, or you know, some form of smoking. And then that leads into especially if they're a party animal, and they're into the club scene. I mean, I'm assuming that's when you get into drinking, ecstasy, Molly's, and I don't know what else is out there, to be honest with you, like, I've been hearing about all these new drugs from, you know, people that I know that are younger, and I'm like, dude, where did all this stuff come from? Am I just this blind to the world around me that I don't know about these drugs that are out there that, you know, that are seen to be as the party drugs right now. So when you started the party drugs at the clubs and whatnot, because I'm assuming you use them at clubs, right? If I'm not mistaken, clubs or otherwise, did that give you more of a social bond? And like relaxing socially?



Yes, of course, see, drugs have a very social aspect to them, you have to do them with people, and sometimes with the right people, as you heard of bad thrips as they call them with ecstasy, and acid, MDMA. And I think that's a very hard to lose genic. And as you said, Yes, the crowds do play a very big part in your drug addiction since like, as you said, you haven't been hearing about how easy it is to get by some certain drugs and that they were available, let's say in wherever country that you're talking about. Whenever you put yourself in that circle, everything's easy to come by and nothing is difficult. Since everyone has it. Everyone has a way to get it. So it becomes a part of your life. So to say, Milliman,



what were the after effects of a party weekend? You know, I mean, and this is a question that I have always had for an ex addict, or someone that did it in the party scene at the beginning, because I knew a girl that did ecstasy, and she went into a severe depression. Yeah, afterwards



afterwards. Yeah. The next day, actually, nothing depends on how big of a deal especially coming to speak of ecstasy. It could last for two days. I the high kids lasts till the next day. And then after that, you go into a crash, they call it where you're become extremely depleted of all serotonin in your brain. So you'd become extremely depressed because you actually used up all of it. So yeah, you feel pretty dry. That's what they call it. It's pretty self explanatory. You just feel how bad is it? Like,



how bad is that after effect? I mean, we all know what a hangover most people know what a bad hangover feels like. So what would you compare this to as a bad hangover? like would you say a bad hangover times 10



or 20? was severe depressive disorder, call it you got some people got suicidal thoughts and people get extreme anxiety. See, hangover is just you feel exhausted. You feel sick. The other one yes, you do feel sorry, ecstasy, you feel a little bit depressed, this more of a like a kind of an emotional kind of effect to it where you feel like you don't feel good altogether, you know, it's not a physical kind of thing. It's more of a mental exhaustion. Yeah.



So I'm really interested in understanding what are the what were your emotional states that made you very vulnerable to wanting to numb yourself? So, I mean, I know you said that you were lost, but there's a lot of 16 and 17 year olds are lost. I mean, that's what we do at 1617. We're trying to figure out ourselves. So what made your situation so difficult that you felt like you were so lost that you needed this? You know, numbness?



It was emotional instability? I didn't know what, of course, I don't want to come here and talk about my sob story. That's not what I'm here for No.






Yeah, I mean, that leads that leads into it, that helps the most, that that's how I



roll with that childhood difficulties built up without me understanding why they happened. Or, instead of me confronting all my problems, head on, which, when you grow up, you should do that and learn how to, you know, move on with life, which is what I learned. And that was a big part of my recovery from drugs. But at the time, when I was going through eviction was more of a battle between myself and I really was self critical. That's how I was raised. I wouldn't I don't want to call my parents or anyone involved in my upbringing out here. That's not what I'm here for. But since Of course, if they're going to listen to this, it's not something that I want him to come coming to talk about it. Yes, it does develop, where to the extent where you try to escape, I would call it escape escapism, that's where Yes, it is. So you just want escape from your emotional problems, which is, I hated myself, that was it. I really did not like myself and me as me as useless as the silver centium. Being that should actually experienced life as is no, I didn't like that I wanted something inside of me want to tell myself, I was actually happy. And I put myself through that kind of beating because they put myself in experiencing so many drugs, even though at the back of my head, I knew that that these things were not good for me, like the drugs and the addiction, whatever it was myself, I was beating myself up. But I liked it just because I did not like myself.



And so what you're saying is that you hated yourself so much that even though you knew that this stuff was harmful, and the intention was that you wanted to harm yourself that you want it kind of punish yourself, but whatever emotion and feelings you had, now, what kind of personality Did you have at 1617? Is it true that we always hear that individuals that fall vulnerable to drugs or alcohol? Usually, they tend to be introverts. They don't like talking about their feelings. Is that true? Or



not at all? I've been always, I have always been and as I am now, I came back to my roots. I'll get back to this in a second. Yes, I am an extrovert. I express myself very well. Since I was a kid. I've been very expressive. I'm an extrovert. I'm very social. I get to know people. Yeah, doesn't know I cannot correlate introversion or extroversion with drug addiction at all, I would more related to emotional problems or stuff that you would rather not share with people yet.



Right. So you had emotional problems? Did you not feel safe to be able to share, for example, with someone? Or did you have someone that you could have talked to? No, of course,



I had no one to talk to. Or I thought that he didn't have anyone to talk to I didn't trust the people around me. You know what I mean? Coming to think about it now the people around me which how you would thanks so much for my recovery. Of course, right now. They were there all the time. But I convinced myself that I didn't want to hear they didn't care. They didn't want to help me. They just didn't care about me. And I convinced myself You can convince yourself about so many things, and you make them your your reality. And you just live that way, when in reality, it's not the way you think it is. It's actually contrary to what you believe.



So it's true. So you convinced yourself that you didn't have anyone to trust, you convinced yourself that where you were worn safe, but then the drugs were more safe, and they no way kind of use. You use these like narratives in your hair to kind of convince yourself and justify why you need to take the drugs that you were taking. Exactly.



Okay. You come up with any reason



you come up with any reason that's right. Now, if you if you thought about it now and when you were 16 or 17, when you started do and if there's any 16 or 17 year old that is hearing it or or someone that maybe is on it, what do you think that the some of the steps you could have taken for example, instead of like, I mean, trials, I think are normal, I think people experience I think, you know, all of us at that age, we want to try something and peer pressure, don't forget persuasion, conformity, all of these factors play. If you think about it, what do you think that should have, you know, you could have done differently or what two people can do different



things in the top of my head, I would say communication with people I care about you communication with the people that you think that are not going to actually take you seriously, I know, everyone has their own problem. And every problem is different. I can't just say everything is the same, but you have to put it out there. If you're feeling any emotional disturbance, you feel like you actually want to harm yourself, just talk to someone seek out help. And that's on its own is the key to recovery. Or the key to stop yourself from addiction is to actually know that you have to stop yourself, no one out there no external influence is ever going to stop you unless you want to do it yourself. Unless you see the problem. That's all what snapped



for you. I mean, what was your biggest change that really kind of led you into the field of recovering from addiction? I mean, I talked to believe it or not a lot of my high school buddies, right now, a decent amount of them actually have either died or gone to jail or are still battling with recovery. I mean, drugs were predominant here and Kuwait in early 2000, in late 90s. And unfortunately, a lot of people fell into that trap. And the ones who have recovered out of it, every single one of them had a very different reason, or a very different purpose to recover from it. And they all said the same thing. You said that unless you want it yourself, you're not going to do it. Yeah, you know, your parents can't force you to do it. No one can force you to do it. And a couple guys were like, Look, it was, you know, my cousin who sat me down and said, Look, I'm really worried about you. I care about you. I love you. Can you please, you know, try and think about this a little bit more other people. It was like, I woke up on a bench. And I was panhandling outside of 711. And this was Mark, Mark Costello. He came on our show a while back. It was a Cinderella story. Honestly, he woke up on a park bench literally said I, you know, I had no shoes on, I was pain handling outside of a 711. And I was either going to kill myself or you know, I didn't know you're like I was at the bottom. I remember him saying this gave me goosebumps. He was like, I walked into the emergency room. And I said, Please help. I'm gonna kill myself. If you guys don't help me. And they gave him the help to go to rehab. And he's been clean for four or five years also. And he's doing really well started his own business. But again, his purpose was different. And it was something he wanted to do. So what was your purpose? What kind of like snapped and I was like, Alright, yeah, this is what I need to do.



Um, and your death experience was a similar Sawyer, you're saying so tempting suicide is what sparked it for me, was like, This is getting out of control. And I still feel like doing it, but I want to change something. And that's when I sought help. That's when I actually went out and asked for help.



So you felt like this was a sense of desperation?



And as was that, like your turning point that was just like, Okay, I need to change something here. Yep. And did you do it on your own? Or did you go to a rehab?



When I asked for help, of course, I went to doctors and stuff, they recommended that I went to rehab, but I refused to go I wanted to do this with even though it was extremely difficult, but I couldn't do it without the help of my family, of course, are fused to go to rehab and I decided to just do it on my own. Go through the entire recovery and entire withdrawal on my own at home. It was extremely difficult, but I did it. I went through it



power to you dude. Like seriously power to you because that's one of the most difficult parts and every addict I've talked to they're like, the first seven days is absolute hell yes. Like it is absolute hell and I know a guy he said, Look, I two buckets next to my bed one was for throwing up and one was for diarrhea. He was like it was that bad. And, you know, power to you for not going to rehab. Because sometimes, like let's face a rehab doesn't always work. It really doesn't.



But I but I disagree with that. I mean, it works for you. But you can't, because actually there are a lot of people that really need to go to rehab. So use of what was your What was your hesitation?



Yeah, but dr. D, statistically how how many people have failed with rehab. I know a guy he's been in six rehabs, and he's he's fallen off the wagon, more than seven times. But he didn't go



to the right. He's



been to rehab in the States. He's been to rehab in South Africa. He's been to rehab in Europe. He's been to rehab all over the world. This guy has been to every rehab. It's about the person. It's about the person.



Exactly. It's about the person. But a lot of people need that support that professional support the idea of a doctor, like you can do that. If you're looking at alcoholism, you can do it on yourself, you can die of going through withdrawal from alcoholism, so we have to be careful not to think that people can just do their which it worked out for use of but it's not going to work out for a lot of people.



I agree. I'm not saying that. I'm not I'm not saying that. It's not



the rehab, that doesn't work. It's the individual that's not ready. Yousif could have gone to a rehab and still being able to recover because he was determined. This is what he wants. So I think people need to understand, are there a lot of people that go in and out of rehab, I agree with you but i don't think that they've gotten that they're not reached up bottom where elusive might have reached by them that sense of desperation that call for help so there are a lot of people that think they're ready they go in they come back they don't want to change their lifestyle they don't want to get rid of numbers that they shouldn't be hanging out with they still want to hang out with the same people the same places and we all know that when you go to rehab you got to you got to clean house you got to change your lifestyle so you said what was hesitation of you going to a rehab what was for you



there are two things i want to talk about here so scripting rehab when i went to the doctor he told me he was going to prescribe me some hard drugs like valium and whatnot of course that on its own just spooked me because of my addictive personality i don't want to take any hard drugs or rely on anything to begin with of course i was at that time it was on ssris i was on lithium because i was diagnosed with bipolar of course i should still be taking it but it's now it's a little bit under control if i would say but yeah that was the first thing the second thing was as he said doctor was the crowd you're going to be associated with if i go into rehab i'm going to get more connections from people that were previously addicts i'm not here to judge anyone but i'd really did not want to associate with anyone that had to do anything with that kind of seen drugs partying and whatnot the only people i felt safe around at that time were my family and my family only i didn't want to see anyone i cut contacts with everyone all my friends and i had to re establish friendships and everything from



scratch and i and i think that's the point the point is is that when people want i mean i've seen people that are there are addicts and they want to recover and they want to go ahead and change them but they're not changing their lifestyle i had a guy the other day say oh it's okay i'm going to the chalet my friends you know they smoke up but i'm not going to because i'm in recovering well it doesn't work that way because i think people don't understand the triggers they don't understand the memory of the brain which tend to be stronger than the physical universe and i think people don't understand that so when we say that we're going to rehab people that really need that support they don't have the support of their family like you had for example people that are recovering and need to recover with that because their family are refusing to have anything to do with them because by the time they get to that level they burned a lot of bridges and they've hurt a lot of people in the way that don't want to forgive them so maybe their only means of support would be a rehab i think we need to understand that it's not the rehab it's the idea of the person's mind forced to make this decision like you did for example



that's what i want to say also is families throwing their children into rehab just for them to recover when the thing isn't within them where they want to change it's never going to work it's going to be a waste of time as you just mentioned and yes i am blessed to have my family i know since i went to na meetings and i heard very tragic stories from people where they have lost it all and they still recovered it's amazes me actually makes me it makes me feel extremely blessed and privileged if i would say that i still have the connections that i have my family and everyone around me it's something that i cannot take for granted anymore which i did back in the day so i know what you're talking about doctor but yes rehab has its place but as a as an individual i would say rehab as for me it's not something that would would have worked it was intimidating at that point i was very vulnerable that i was extremely fragile to anything any influence i was basically a sponge all fall from the beginning i felt like a child any ideas anything that would come to my brain would just stick there so i really wanted to put myself in a safe space so yeah



i think that's a great point though to bring up i mean from both of you get out of your own backyard and that's what you know we've had two people on the show that have said that like one of them said i went to rehab outside of kuwait kuwait in my opinion i've known eight people to go and rehab in kuwait and they've come out worse like that i've known eight people legit eight people that have gone to rehab in kuwait they've come out worse and it's because of what you said you make connections in there and it just you know it drives you to far worse things at times also in doing the worst part is doing more crimes i mean you know and one of my friends who's gone to rehab all over the world i mean this guy like i told him last week i said hey man look you're 38 years old not only is your body going to break down sooner or later but you've gotten lucky thus far and he's been to rehab everywhere he just doesn't want it there's something deep rooted inside of them but another friend who is friends with him we tried having an intervention so to speak with him two or three weeks ago when we were suspicious of his activities and the first thing we said to him is you got to ditch your phone you got to ditch all of your friends all of your connections but it's so hard to do especially here in the middle east because you know everyone's always around you and you know it's a small community so to speak. So what kind of advice could you give to people to make that shift away from old friends and stuff like what worked for you with that,



you got to cut cut out all emotions. When it comes to that and thinking about yourself as selfish as that sounds, that's what works. It's because you have to prioritize yourself. When it comes to your safety and your own health, you got to look at your self identity. Because your your body and your own health is what's going to carry you and not your friends, if your friends are harming you, and no matter what good they add to your life or bring to the table. If not, it's not worth it. You just have to and if it takes you secluding yourself at home, and staying with your families. So well being until then, until you recover and know that you're good enough to go out in the world again and make new connections, new healthy connections to know people with the same mentality. I'm not saying people that take drugs are bad people don't get me wrong, everyone has their thing going on. Right. But all I'm saying is you have to re establish connections with people on the same wavelength. I would say, you know what I mean? Yeah, with different interests, and partying and drugs and all that's all that does all that scene, you know, there are different things in the world, which I came to discover after recovery. All my interests in life, were hitting the gym, of course, and doing drugs. That's it, nothing else. Party. Yeah.



So what you're saying is that people have to develop new hobbies and new interest. So that way they don't, their interest won't be because, you know, I'm you know, as an, as an axe addict, the idea is, is that drugs become an activity for you, and it becomes an activity every day. So there are a lot of people that will go to work, but they can't wait till they come back home. So that way, they can get harder, they can drink their, their drinks, or they can take whatever substance they are this is it. And so I think you're making a perfect point. I think you made two perfect point. I mean, you've made a lot of them. But one of them is that how really support system really matters. And I think, you know, again, I don't like attacking different rehab centers, because we think they don't work, I think the idea is, is that, you know, you or someone else is very determined and has the right social support, no matter where you're going to put them, they're going to come out determined to be selfish, like you said, it's a good selfishness and to decide that they're going to make a change in their life. But you know, we cannot just go around saying, well, these rehab centers don't work or these, you know, these addiction centers that we have here doesn't work, because I can tell you, there are people that have gone here, and came out and have made a change in their life. So I feel like it's important that people understand, we need to stop saying that there are not a lot of, you know, services that are appropriate for our population. What we don't have is people that are deciding to cut the ties from these old influences, be able to be ready to start new circles of friends, and you habits and to reconnect with family members that want to help them out. But a lot of them, they're not as lucky as you they don't have the social support their family don't want to have anything to do with them, because they're ashamed of them. They feel a sense of shame, they feel a sense of guilt, that they put their family through a lot that they've abandoned everyone that could really help them for you know, I want to go back to the other point, which is something you really said, Now, you're bipolar. Does that mean you were diagnosed as bipolar with your addiction? Or were you bipolar before you started your addiction?



bipolar, as a doctor described to me was he can't determine its type two, from what I know you're attached to. Okay. So he said it's he can't determine what was it at birth, like congenital? Or is it something that developed through life, because as I can say, all these things just manifested themselves after my addiction, so I can't really know whether it was something even though I don't recall it being bipolar back in the day, maybe because I was too young to actually know. But now, since I know, I can tell you,



right, and I think bipolar to a lot of people think that it's not as serious, but really, it is more serious than bipolar one, because you have a lot more of depression, then you have the manic stage. So there's a possibility you were very depressed even at 16 or 17, didn't have a lot of the, you know, hypomania in a way, a 16 or 17. And it wasn't diagnosed, because a lot of times people see it as just depressed. Also, because you were growing, and at that time, we didn't diagnose, which could have contributed to your need for that stimulation for that drugs. Because people that are have addiction, you know, they have substance abuse, they also have another disorder, their dual diagnosed, and sometimes maybe it's the bipolar that was not discovered or wasn't diagnosed, that kind of made you interested in drugs, or half of the Battle of



knowing that it exists. You know, just knowing your bipolar and so on. So, back in the day, when I was depressed, I would try to numb it because I did I thought, of course, I mentioned to you guys that I hated myself, so I thought I deserved that kind of feeling of deserve to be miserable. But now when I'm in my depressive state, or depressive episode, I know it's actually Not me, it's my brain doing what it's doing, you know. So as I know, it's an uphill battle. But as you said, Doctor depressive states are not something to look over at you when you're 17. It's something you have to express and expressing yourself. There's something really important. That's what I have to read, iterate and say that communication is key about all of this thing. You have to talk to anyone, whether it be family, whether it be someone close someone that cares about you, and you know, they that they have your best interests in mind. That's what whether it be rehab rehab works. I'm not saying it might have gotten me wrong. When I said rehab rehab didn't work for me, because I was afraid of that, like the two things that I've mentioned. But for some people, it works works fine



for us if you've never been to a rehab, right? Nope. So after the seven days, tell us the process. After seven days, when you went through the withdrawal, what do you do next?



I was pretty empty at that time. So I came to of course, post visiting a psychotherapist and psychiatrist, psychiatrist, I would see once a week to psychotherapy, twice a week psychotherapist actually gave me exercises to how to restructure my life in some way. And that worked to some extent. And I kind of developed this habit of seeking what I like, since I've been so lost for so many years, I didn't know who I was, I was lost in limbo, like, I don't know who use of web sites to rediscover what my hobbies are what I like what, you know, just rediscovering the human being who I am, man. And yeah, I'm still doing that to this day. And it's pretty interesting.



Yeah, I think it makes sense. Because for a long time at 16, or 17, you're numbing yourself, you don't know how you feel. You haven't allowed yourself to really experience the feelings that you were experienced at that time. So imagine 16 until I mean, I don't know how old you are. But let's say about 20 years later, or even 15 years later, here you are trying to get to know yourself. And that could be a very, very scary time. That is,



I would call it a transitional phase, I went through so many negative experiences and positive and they all had a very, very big impression on me right now of who I am right now. You can call it a rebirth. And that's what I've been calling it I celebrate my sobriety, which is a 20th of February every year, and I just celebrated it as my Dino's on the 20th. That's four years sober. Yeah. And it feels amazing. It feels like I'm absolutely a reborn person. I'm rediscovering everything about myself, all of the things that I like and all the things I just like, it's straight, interesting. It's crazy.



That's amazing man. And I want to bring up like a really important point. And this is what I've seen from most of the people that I know in my circle that have been very successful with battling addiction. And this is not an advertisement for CrossFit. But I've seen a lot of guys either really lean heavily in the CrossFit side of things because there's that self gratification at the end of a workout. And there's that sensation seeking behavior that is involved in the CrossFit wads. And then there is you know, your typical going to the gym and being, you know, a gym junkie, basically, and being very specific and smart with what you're putting into your body and seeking ultimate health. And I've seen the people that I know, personally, my personal experience. And you know, I say that my personal experience, they've gone that way. And they've been very successful. And one of the guys that I've trained, told me, he said, I had a dream that you were giving me my fix by going to the gym, and that was my euphoric moments. That's what keeps me going nowadays. And I was like, What do you mean, he's like, you're my high. And I was like, Dude, that kind of sounds weird. But okay, if that's working for you, and I'm helping you with your daily struggles, then you know, I don't mind it. So does that help? Do you think that has really been part of your rebirth is that you take care of your body. Now you're very in tune to how everything works. Like how's that been for you?



Tell me to start with what you just said. You and I are very big inspiration for you. They actually follow you guys and watch you guys kind of religiously, because it's kind of a push for it. As you said, I do find my high end to following good role models in my life. And they're all weightlifters, whether it be strong men, bodybuilders, boxers, whatever, when they're successful, and just makes me feel like I want to achieve that kind of high. As he said, the height of achieving something and that's what I do. That's, that's why I actually work out and me having this addictive personality, I kind of transitioned the addiction from bad substance can use to other more, you know, productive kind of things. Whether it be I do read a lot, I work out Yeah, like doing something productive. And that actually brings happiness to me, since I've been so depleted out of genuine happiness in my life. All these little things that happen during the day as they taught me and a as you guys might know, is one day at a time, right? And that's how I live my life from there on forward, one day at a time and I'm very, you know, thankful and I feel blessed every day just for being live.



that's amazing man and dr d i'm sorry i'm gonna geek out with the bodybuilding stuff in the powerlifting stuff right now but i mean do you pr quite often your benchpress is phenomenal in my opinion you know and you're a big dude you know and you say you look at me and you look at my instagram you're inspired by that i appreciate that i do know that i have the best celebrations on instagram in terms of when i hit a pr but dude i mean you put up some serious weights and it's amazing to see and to know that you have that background what's it like when you do get that pr and when you do hit that personal pr dr de by the way his personal best or personal record so what is it like when you do hit a personal best i mean just so you can describe it to people so that they can get more in tune with that feeling that you're talking about



well before you answer that were you even were you a sporty guy even before right






you always exercise even when you were on drugs you exercise



yeah it was for different reasons but yeah okay



yeah so when did exercising become like a sense of accomplishment or became a purpose for you because it was nice what you said i think our listeners need to understand that what you're saying is when you start to recover you need to find a purpose and your purse pr is that what you guys calling it to



record yeah personal bests



so your passion is a certain personal record right



is that right so what



is your personal pr



you usually refers to a different word like like a deadlift or bench press



i'm not questioning that pr i'm saying that it is amazing what how does one become like someone that wants to recover and they're listening how do they use exercising as a passion like you did it's a sense of purpose



okay let me explain something so when you're taking drugs as you guys might know is that you get to a level of happiness where you can't you can't reach when you're sober and while i'm sober right now i'm always chasing that higher so to say that feeling of happiness of like being fulfilled which as you guys might know also is taking drugs just as an instant hit of happiness doesn't take any work you just pop that pill put that in jackson snort you know the powder and you're good right you're up there but now to get to that point you need more work and more dedication to something to actually feel like you have achieved something that's the general field for happiness and as matthew was asking when i hit a pr how happy how happy do i get well i brag to everyone i know for the next three four days that i broke it sorry for the language



no you're good there you go you can use whatever language you want because you you were going for what 10 reps of 310 pound benchpress or something crazy like that



yeah huh



wow amazing



he definitely was more than me like he definitely benchpress is way more than me like that's amazing dude



wow that's amazing but you know that it's to be it's like it's the goal but you know what i also enjoyed what you're saying is that the excitement or euphoria or that mental excitement that you used to get from substance now what you are doing is trying to find things that can give you that same excitement but in a healthy way and i think that's the point where most of the time i see people that says no but i really enjoy this i do this whatever negative thing if it's overeating if it's drugs if it's alcohol if it's porn addiction whatever some sort of an addiction and they are refusing to understand that that sense of euphoria you can actually train yourself to get it in something else if you put your mind into it



yes but the thing is you have to get it and i would call it legit way right which is one you have to you have to work harder you have to put more time into it more effort and actually the gratification you get after it is much better than the drunk you're going to take the drugs just for one night but as let's see the pos that are break until this day whenever i meet a gym buddy or something hey look at my benchpress and i'm pretty impressed about myself makes me happy yeah



yes of course because it's a sense of accomplishment so it gets longer it's like also like getting you know earlier you're saying that you know you're you a degree that you can get also so there are many things that once you get to know yourself you've decided that now i these are the path you found a mentor or you you know you use macd and hey for example a sense of inspiration so i think one of the things people that want to recover from their addiction is to find another sense of inspiration



version or a purpose of life in general most most people that use drugs of course they use it for a different for other reasons to numb a certain problem or some kind of pain that they're experiencing that i don't want to confront but i found that finding a purpose in your life and following that journey on its own is just enough reason for you to keep going that's all and to confront on that on the Someone will help you little by little confront their problems and a healthy way. That's how I did it. Whatever problems I had in the past that was confronting, I was all of this self deprecating myself, like using internal dialogue that was very harmful to myself that I would say. And little by little, I learned how to have a healthy connection with myself and tried to talk to myself in a different way, rather than putting myself down and ridiculing myself and talking to myself, like, you know, the main reason why I use drugs to begin with, I had to target that problem on its own, and try to, you know, fix it.



How about your relationships now, like romantic relationships? Or I mean, I don't know if you're married or whatever. But do you feel Do you get worried when you start to get into these relationships that are like more intimately involved, or you feel like you're so so happy and have a purpose that these relationships are more meaningful,



or more meaningful? Since I don't depend on anything anymore? I would get into a relationship to supplement my life rather than to attach to something that will make me happy if you know what I mean.



Yeah, no longer you're codependent. That's amazing. Yeah,



codependency that's the word



was when you're in a relationship, you're really in a relationship, because it's equalized. It's not that you need this person to fulfill a purpose for, like, the relationship you had with the drugs is that they fulfill the purpose for you.



Yes, I was dependent on them. And I learned little by little not to depend on NSE for it for for happiness or through feeling good. I have to find that thing on my own to work for it.



And every day is a different day. But if you don't one day at a time, you use an egg you use a still



not not any longer because I was against what I have my reasons, there are kind of cultists, some kind of sense. I like to the way that we're operating but I got a good out of it and just left right there. I just got the you know, so to say it's a structure to get on to actually recover from my addiction. I will take any help out there. Whether it be a whether it be clinics, whether it be psychiatrists, psychotherapists, life coaches, which I never tried, but yeah, you know what I mean, you just know life. Coach,



if I was a life coach, dr. D would have trust me



now i'd be



right, because I look around. And I'd be



like, Look, look, on Thursday, I had a conversation with this thing, you know, nothing against life coaches, because we've had a life coach and I have an ex student that wasn't alumni was amazing. We had a media buy, come on, like some of these Life Coach, you really got to know what their training is. Because they're not trained in diagnoseable things. They're not trained in treatment. I have a doctorate in psychology, I always say the first thing I say addiction is not my, my specialty or expertise. Everyone should know their expertise. And these life coaches, they think that they can cure everything. There are good social support. They're good support, if you can get one if they're not charging you 100 Katie, which I don't even understand why are you charging 100k? You're



just mad because they're making more than you, you just,



I don't know, I would never charge 100k D because I'm ethical. And I would never, you know, take advantage of people this has taken advantage for 15 minutes or an hour or even an hour and a half. Because a lot of them argue with me and say, well, we see people for an hour and a half. Well, that's not the hour or the 15 minutes is not the purpose is what are you there to give. But anyways, I won't go on tangent with coaching. We'll talk about that later. But you know, what really, really I admired in you is that you use the support. So yes, you didn't go to rehab, which you don't have to, but you knew to go to your psychiatrist once a week you went to psycho therapist twice a week you use these resources. And this is what people need to understand. If you decide not to go to rehab, please make sure that you have the team, your family, your doctor, your psychotherapist, right, and your social support that is positive. See people don't do that. I've had so many people that don't want to go through these avenues. They just want to sit at home. And they think this is this is rehabbing. It's not rehabbing without the support. You can never battle such a strong force as addiction



on your own. You can never do that no matter how have you think of a strong willpower you have no matter. You need to support around you. You need whatever help you can get out there. Whether it be from a doctor from rehab from your friend from anything.



That's a really good point. And I'm glad you said that to wrap up with that. Question is and this is what I think is wrong with a couple of my friends. One of them that is you know, recently fallen off the wagon again, is the family support or the family involvement, and we had a man What was his name? Who was on a couple weeks ago, dr. D? Yeah, who's on two weeks ago and he talked about that the rehab actually started with the family because they can be the triggers, post recovery that lead addicts back to the behavior whether it be By accusing them or, you know, always putting them under the spotlight or you know, just, you know,



not trusting them or having a bully or not



trusting. Yeah, yes. How important was that for you post recovery with family and the close people around you to not be suspicious and, you know, sort of not be like, Hey, are you using again are, you know, you're acting a little funny today or you know, and we all have bad days, and you could have been, you could be tired and someone thinks you're high. And that's happened to one of my other friends. I actually accused them I was like, Dude, are you high? He's like, dude, I only slept three hours last night, give me a break, man. He was like, I've been sober for 14 years. I'm not stupid. You know, but you know, you constantly check on you know, I love this guy. I want to make that clear. I love him like a brother. So I always check in on him and make sure everything's going good. So how important is that?



See how I go about things recently, and since my day of addiction, and there's this rule, where I got from one of my role models was that you have nothing to prove to anyone, you're doing this for yourself is strictly for yourself. So understand if your support group, whoever they are without you and think that you are maybe using, you should always understand that the questions you get from these people is not out of doubt of you, they just are concerned for your well being. And everything that someone asking you that if you're high or drunk at that time, because you're tired, as you mentioned with your friend was never think of it as like some people think of it as some kind of malicious attack against them. It's like, Hey, we know you have weak willpower. And we know that you, you could go back at any point. And yeah, rightfully so because addiction is not something to take lightly at all. But as I said, You have nothing to prove to anyone but to yourself, you want to change, you have to prove that to yourself. And if you want to live a good life, you're going to do it for yourself only for yourself, not for anyone else.



I mean, you made an excellent point. And this could be our closing session is that I mean, you nailed it, you got to do it for yourself, you have to be able to believe in yourself and believe that this is and people need to understand this is not an easy road. You know, here you are, you're celebrating that you your sobriety for four years. And you're not saying that I'm I'm done that I'm not, you know, an addict. And this is what people need to understand it's a process and you're never not an addict, you're always a recovering addict. And people don't want to accept that a maybe because it brings shame to them, or they feel they're Miss informed. And this is why I actually think a good rehab would be good because they can educate you on the process. But you will have been well read, you seem to have like really taught yourself a lot of things that has made your recovery, you know, much more successful because you know, your triggers, you've learned a lot about yourself. You've learned what you need to do to be able to function every day. And some of these other people are very prematurely trying to claim that Oh, no, no, you know, I'm done with it. I've been, you know, done for a month and no, you're not done for a month. You're just starting for a month. And I think people need to be honest with yourself. And I really appreciate that Youssef. Seriously, I appreciate that.



Yes. One more thing. As you mentioned, this is a very important point. You see, addiction is not something that you can heal yourself from it's a sickness, and you're gonna live with it for the rest of your life. Yes, right. So the that's one good point, you made doctors that you have to be honest with yourself, you have to know that you have this disease and never put yourself in the midst of trigger points. You see, if I get invited to a dinner somewhere with friends, I would go because I'm going with my friends, I'm not going to set a bar to be in the middle of alcohol if I'm an alcoholic, right? Some people that I know, my good friends are alcoholics. And they purposefully put themselves in the midst of that kind of crowd to tell themselves, I'm like, why are you doing that? And they end up they realize,



Oh, that's right. That's right. It's very true. And I think you know, I mean, just the other day, I was seen an interview with the, you know, Demi Moore, and apparently she was recovering addict. And she was like, in sobriety for 20 years and had gone, you know, at that time, she had this other relationship. And she was like, God, I mean, what I don't know. I mean, briefly, I remember that she had gone to a party, where she thought that, you know, this, her partner at that time wanting to just hang out, and she wanted to be that girlfriend for him. And I mean, it's Demi Moore has been recovering for 20 years. She says, I just wanted to just please him, I just want to have fun with him. I didn't think it was a big deal. I mean, it's been 20 years. And she relapsed, and then all started over again. And then that's when she was saying that this interview was was very interesting, as she's saying, look, this is something I should have realized. Because, you know, I've known about this for 20 years. I know I shouldn't have been there. I know I should not pretend it to be somebody I'm not. People need to be honest with themselves. No, you're not supposed to go to a bar or go to a party. And if you're going to go and you have to go and you go with a friend that you know will support you and will take you out when it becomes a trigger for you. For you, for example, you have good insights. So you will know Okay, this place As a triggering, I'm going to go for a half an hour, do my dues, whatever it is that I would do, leave, or stay at one part of it and not the other. I think you just need to negotiate and understand yourself, be honest. So I think it's amazing use of congratulations again. I'm very proud of you. I don't know you as well as Maddie does, but I'm very, very proud of what you've done to be



you for the kind words doctor means a lot.



And I wish you greatest success, to be honest. He'll do amazing. You're



the ultimate badass man. You know, like, I mean, look, there could be a lot of gym goers. I know with your with your PR. I love dr. D. Try to get it there. You're awesome. Doctor. They are awesome. I give you kudos. But no, seriously, like, you're the ultimate badass like a lot of people they revere over athletes that accomplish things and they revere over guys that are all juiced up on juice and you know, going to the gym and doing crazy shit. But it's guys like you that are the important ones that should act as role models to society that come out from something so difficult, turn your life around and still be a badass too, because I mean, let's face it most 33 year olds, they're not putting up the weight that you're putting up and they can't do half the shit you're doing. And you know, it's amazing dude, and get all the power to you. And I'm sure that you're gonna continue to crush things in the gym and in life, man.



Yeah, I really appreciate that man. Thank you.



Thanks for coming on,



dude. You're welcome



for coming on. It says good luck to you.



Social media, doctor. Have a nice day.



Bye Bye.



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