Doing The Impossible: Breaking Away From The Chains Of Addiction With Dennis Berry

Episode 395: Doing The Impossible: Breaking Away From The Chains Of Addiction With Dennis Berry

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REIS 395 | Overcoming Addiction

Facing the problems of alcoholism and addiction is never as easy as it seems. But as you break away from the chains that bind you to addiction, you will be able to see that you are capable of getting further in life than you ever did before. Dennis Berry joins Mitch Stephen to talk about gaining back control in more aspects of your life. Dennis is a life coach and the author of the book, Funky Wisdom: A Practical Guide To Life. The book describes achieving inner peace and success, which can become a way for you to overcome challenges such as addiction. Are you struggling with addictions of your own? You might find this conversation between Mitch and Dennis helpful.

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I am happy to have Dennis Berry here. This episode is brought to you by TaxFreeFuture.com. If you do not have a self-directed tax-deferred or tax-free retirement account to which you can grow your finances, you have no idea the size of the tool you are missing in your tool belt. Please go to their website. Learn about IRAs, 401(k)s, health accounts, educational accounts, all of which can grow tax-free or tax-deferred. Check it out and learn what you can do. You have no idea what your financial advisors are not telling you. We’re going to tell you what they’re not telling you, we’re going to tell you why they don’t tell you, and then you can do with what you want.

For the audience’s sake, this is not going to be about real estate per se. It has everything to do with how I’m still able to function and how I function at a higher level than I have before but it has to do with addiction and alcoholism. I’ve seen there are a lot of triple-A personalities in this industry I’m personally aware of. There’s triple-A personality in every industry, but I’m very aware of how many triple-A personalities are in this buy and flip game that we do. They’re all entrepreneurs, they’re all pegged over in the red, they’re all running and burning the candle at both ends. They play hard and they work hard.

There’s a lot of alcohol and other substances out there that are familiar. The last time I went to a real estate meeting, there are drinks, the bars over there, beer, and wines over here. I’ve never been to a meeting that didn’t have that. For those of you who looking to resolve that, I wanted to have a few episodes. I have one with David Essel, now I want to talk with Dennis Berry who learned from David. If you’re thinking that you need to get some more control over certain aspects of your life, this is a great meeting to walk.

Dennis, how are you doing?

I’m doing great. How are you? Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

You’re in Colorado and you struggled with alcohol addiction or other addictions?

I’ve been sober since April 8th of 2003. My 30-second story is I’m an old ski racer guy so I used to live in the mountains and ski. I became a chef to pay the bills so I can ski all the time, party, and do all that stuff. It got out of control. In 2003, I was 70 pounds overweight, unhappy, and unhealthy. I didn’t know how to go about changing all that. I couldn’t drink anymore but I couldn’t stop drinking. I was doing a lot of cocaine, smoking two packs a day. I was unhealthy.

You couldn’t drink anymore but you couldn’t stop drinking. What is I couldn’t drink anymore? Do you mean physically you couldn’t drink anymore or it was the fun had worn off of it and you didn’t want a drink anymore but that’s always what you’ve done?

The truth is I couldn’t drink anymore because I was killing myself and I would drink to pass out for a few hours. I would wake up and throw up.

REIS 395 | Overcoming Addiction

Funky Wisdom: A Practical Guide To Life

Physically, you’re consuming as much as you could possibly consume and you couldn’t put another teaspoon down your throat. When you say I couldn’t drink anymore, you mean you were saturated.

I reached the end and unfortunately, that’s what it takes for a lot of people of what we call rock bottom. Reaching that point in your life where you can’t take any more. That’s when you become willing to make the changes that are necessary to stop that behavior. When people talk about getting sober, clean, free from addiction, or recovered, whatever you want to call it, it’s not about not drinking, snorting cocaine, smoking weed, or whatever. It’s about facing your problems and facing life as it comes at you. It comes out of you every day. Life doesn’t stop coming at you. It’s not, “I’m going to stop drinking. I’m going to make $1 million, have perfect relationships, and my health is great.” You have to work on those things and you need to first stop doing those harmful behaviors so you can get to those points.

For the record, it’s still a thing to me when I’m referred to an alcoholic or ex-alcoholic because I never ever considered myself that although I drank almost every day. Technically, by the definition I am and for right or wrong, I know that I was. I probably met every symptom or everything that’s in the definition of an alcoholic except for my life, my finances, my relationship hadn’t fallen apart. My relationship with my kids was still good. I was highly functional. What I want to point out to people is nothing fell apart in my life. I didn’t have a DUI. I didn’t get in a wreck. I didn’t kill anybody. I didn’t make myself. There was no fight.

There was no argument. There was no falling down. I realized I could not go any further under the demands of this demon. This demon was taking so much of my time, occupying so much of my mind, making useless many hours of the day. When I say useless, I wasn’t falling down but I wasn’t going to finish that last half of my book in that last three hours of the day. I wasn’t in any mental state to do it because I had too much alcohol on me. I didn’t feel like doing it. I wanted to sit and vegetate or smoke the rest of those cigarettes which was my big deal. I would get 2 or 3 bourbons in and you couldn’t stop me from smoking a whole pack of cigarettes. I realized those two combinations with the acid reflux was going to kill me.

I have met thousands and thousands of people in my world of recovery over the years. What I told you was my story of pitiful despair, getting to the end where I was unhealthy, and I was killing myself. In the beginning, I did a lot of twelve-step recovery stuff. I was at a speaker meeting once where this woman who said she was the speaker, the star of the show. Her story was she drank two little shooters of vodka every day. I was like, “That’s not even enough to make a drink.” That didn’t make sense to me because I drank two shooters of vodka as soon as I opened my eyes every morning.

To her, it was a problem. To you, it was a problem even though you hadn’t hit that bottom. Let’s say everybody is different. You can’t define what that line is for people. The important thing is to realize that, “I want to get here and my behavior, what I’m doing now, whether it’s drinking a handle of vodka every day or drinking two shooters about every day. It’s keeping me from getting here.” If that’s a problem for you and you decide to stop but you can’t. If you say I’m not going to drink this week and you can’t make it for two days, maybe there’s a problem. I can’t define that for you. You have to make that decision for yourself.

It could be porn, video games, or a lot of things. As you say, “If I stopped doing this, I could accomplish so much more on this other area that would be so much more rewarding. Why am I stuck doing this thing?” It doesn’t even have to be an illegal drug.

I do know what you mean. That’s a great point because what it comes down to is your behavior. It comes down to your state of mind. We all have problems and it’s called the human condition. It’s not confined to Mitch or Dennis or anybody else. We all have some fears or some things in our lives that are keeping us from getting where we want to be. What are we doing? Are we trying to get through those things? Are we eating some chocolate cake to get through those? Are we drinking something? Are we watching porn? Are we smoking cigarettes instead of handling the situation that’s in front of us? When it becomes a problem, I have solutions to those problems and help get people through those.

We’ve said it 1,000 times but in a different venue. If you want to get to some place that you’ve never been before, you need to saddle up with someone who’s already been there, knows the trail, and who’s been through what you are going to have to go through. Try to find someone that’s the most likely. Anyways, this is one good thing about this venue is you can be a coach for someone clear across an ocean. In this setting, you can coach this thing with Zoom easily, I would think.

When you reach rock bottom, that’s when you become willing to make the changes that are necessary to stop that behavior. Click To Tweet

I have a client in Australia and India and then all throughout the United States. Alcoholism addiction of any kind, it’s not confined to any certain place or location. It’s all over the planet and people are numbing out instead of facing their problems. I have a client in Canada and he’s struggling with smoking. We’re working on getting him through that. He’s been through cancer, surgery, and he’s advanced in years but he still smokes. We have to get to the root cause of why he’s smoking, not because there’s this physical craving there but why is he doing that behavior instead of facing life? That’s what it comes down to. Not everybody is willing to do the work.

In my book, I talk about this how approach and people often ask, “How do I become successful? How do I become free of my addictions? How do I become sober? How do I become healthy? How do I have great relationships? How to stand for honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness? I need to be honest and first say, “I have a problem. Something is not right.” I need to be open to listening to a different point of view that may be the way I’m living isn’t working and then W stands for I need to be willing to make those changes. That’s why in a position in your life where you’re willing to do things differently, to get different results. I’m talking about addiction recovery but whatever you do in life, bring that how approach in. Be honest, open, and willing and everything you do in life, you’re going to be more successful.

Let this conversation as self-improvement. It doesn’t have anything to do with the addiction. Self-improvement is breaking old habits and forming new habits. It falls on the addiction side of if that’s where you are, you might be or you think you might be but maybe you want to achieve something that’s been out of your reach so you’re going to have to do something different to get there. I want you to address these two things. I’m drawing from my personal experience. One is the biggest thing that stopped me from committing was the fear that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I prayed to my God, Jesus Christ, my God and savior, for 1.5 to 3 years to take this away from me, show me how I’m going to get rid of this.

Help me recognize, put the person in front of me, and help me find my path through this. I’m not asking you to do it for me, but show me who. That’s why I interviewed David Essel. He had a holistic approach. One of the reasons why I gravitated towards him was I never wanted to go to AA and I’m not bashing it because it’s helped a lot of people, but it’s about 80 years old or 90 years old, I don’t know how old it is and it hasn’t seemed to change much, except for they’re trying to take God out of it, which is the only change they’re trying to do. I don’t like that change at all. I never understood why a person who had been sober for ten years would walk in and go, “Hi, I’m so-and-so and I’m an alcoholic.” To me, that’s bullshit.

Why would you claim that? Why would you walk in after ten years of success and claim that you’re broken? You’re not broken anymore. If you’re a paraplegic, you stand up and walk, and you’ve been walking for ten years since you’ve been a paraplegic, you don’t walk into a room and go, “Hi, I’m a paraplegic.” “You’re standing on two feet. What are you talking about?” We know how the mind works now much more than we did 90 years ago or at least we brought it to the forefront. Why would I go in there and claim that brokenness when I have squarely beat it? I understand the first six months of the first year. You need to own up to your crap but after a while it was like, “That’s not me. That used to be me, but that’s not me anymore.” What’s your opinion on that?

That’s a great point of view. With a lot of things, it becomes a crutch. I fell into that trap early on in sobriety too and I’ve been sober for a long time. For the first 6 or 7 years, I went to AA almost every day. I did all the service possessions and I was around there all the time. When I realized one day is that all the old-timers and the people that were hanging around there, that’s all they get. You become dependent on the meetings to be sober. In my opinion, I had this awakening that being sober isn’t about hanging out in meetings all the time. It’s about going out and living life successfully, stubbing your toe, getting through it, and learning how to live.

It’s the same thing with the Law of Attraction. The Secret book and movie, and everything, that’s a great theory. One thing that she left out of that whole movie and book thing is the workpiece. For those that don’t know what Law of Attraction, it’s the energy you put out into the world is the energy that comes back to you. You can’t say, “I want $1 million, sit on the couch, get stoned, and play Xbox all day.” You have to go out and take action and bring that positive thinking out into the action that you’re taking but don’t say, “This is my thinking. Bring it on.” That’s not the way that it works.

The reason why it works is because you’re planting that subliminal message in the back of your head that you want this but you’ve got to get out in the world and be moving forward. What happens is you start to recognize the opportunities to get there. That doesn’t happen while you’re playing Xbox.

It’s the same thing with AA. It’s like, “Do you know what the Law of Attraction is?” I say this all the time, “It’s a supplement of living well, not as a substitute for living well.” It’s the same thing with AA. It’s a supplement to living your life, not a substitute for going out and living life. I was hiding in meetings and hiding in my apartment when I was drunk and stoned all the time. Now I want to go out and live. I need to take these principles. There are healthy principles in there. Don’t get me wrong. The real value with AA and twelve-step programs is the fellowship. You get friends there.

REIS 395 | Overcoming Addiction

Overcoming Addiction: Life doesn’t stop coming at you. You have to work on things and stop doing harmful behavior so you can reach higher points.


You’ve got some people you can call that have been there before and I get the whole thing. I don’t even know how it happened, Dennis. I quit so easily. When I said I’m putting it down, I don’t know. First of all, I never wanted a cigarette unless I was drinking. When I quit drinking, I didn’t want a damn cigarette at all. Even when I was smoking and drinking, the thought of having a cigarette before I had 2 or 3 drinks would hurt me, but 2 or 3 drinks, I had to have the cigarette. I don’t know why. I still think sometimes it’s unreal. I put it down. I put a bottle with a cracked seal that had about two jiggers out of it, a full big handle on my nightstand with a pack of cigarettes that was open that had fifteen cigarettes left. Every morning I’d wake up and look at them and then I go about my day.

I wasn’t going to run for them or empty my house. I wasn’t not going to go to a bar because there was alcohol there. I was not going to stay away from people that had alcohol because I’m a social person and I need it like I need air. If I’m going to socialize with people, they’re going to be people smoking and drinking all around me all the time, no matter what I do, if I’m going to socialize in the fashion that I’ve been known to socialize. To me, if I was going to beat it, I had to look at it square in the face, sit right next to it, and not want it. I’ve been drinking for 40 years. I didn’t want it anymore. First, I wanted to get your point on it and I’m not bashing AA but what’s your point on if it’s working for you, you do it. If it begins at meetings, there’s no one way. I’m trying to tell you. I saw this other way that appealed to me and that’s why I started, I met David Essel and he said that, “You don’t have to walk in and claim this stuff but I teach a different way. Let’s not claim it and give it down the road somewhere.” How do you feel about that one move? You did both.

It’s great. What happens is if you stay around there, it’s a good place to start. It gives you some clarity so you’re not sitting in your own apartment trying to figure things out. You’re surrounded by like-minded people. You’re getting those crazy thoughts out of your head. You’re dealing with some of the physical cravings that come up by being in a safe environment so that’s cool. It’s like learn what you need to learn. You have to go out and you can’t be babied all the time and carry this as your substitute for living life. Along those lines, once again, being sober, free from addiction, stop eating, or porn, whatever it is, it’s not about stopping that.

It’s about stopping that and learning how to live successfully. It’s important to have somebody in your life to help you guide you through that process. I was taught to have an expert in every area of your life. I’m not a lawyer. If I need to go to court, I need a lawyer. I hate doing taxes. It’s the worst thing in the world for me, I need an accountant every year. If I get sick, I need to go to the doctor. If I need to be free from addiction and learn how to live life successfully, I need to have a mentor, coach, or somebody in my life to help get me there because my thinking got me drunk or using bad behavior to cope with my problems.

Go to AA, if that’s what helps you get sober. It’s a great tool to start and then start learning how to live. Give me a call, give David a call, find a mentor. Mitch is a great mentor, he’s a successful person who’s overcome a lot of problems to become who you are now. Call Mitch. Find a mentor or an accountability partner, somebody in your life that you respect, trust, would to be like, and ask them for help. That’s an important piece of the puzzle is to be humble and ask somebody for help and then you can get there.

On that note, if anyone out there wants to talk to me about my personal experience, I’m not equipped to help you quit. I’ll tell you my story or you can ask me questions about it, but then we’ll help you find somebody if you want to, or you find someone on your own, it doesn’t matter. If you want to talk to me, my number is (210) 669-4020 if you’re on the fence and you want to talk about it. I was on the fence for a long time. Talking to people about helping me make my decision. That puts some good introspection of, I started calculating how many hours I was under the influence. I was under the influence 30 to 40 hours a week.

That’s like your full-time job.

I wasn’t able to get things that I wanted to do done. I started looking at myself in the mirror, I was like, “It’s the reason why you can’t get it done because you’re choosing something else over what you say you want but you don’t want it bad enough because you’re not going to give up this to go and do that. This is a waste of time, it is killing you, and it’s not good at all.” I started rationalizing with myself with all the pros and all the cons. The pros started outweighing the cons. I had to look at myself and go, “Are you going to let this stuff push you around? Are you going to stand up and be a man, face and get square up with this demon? Are you going to fight this demon or are you going to let him push you around?”

I vote up, I said, “No.” Now, had I not been able to stop? I was resolved to quit. I would have been right in one of those meetings, right with you, or I was going to get somebody. I said, “You owe it to yourself to try first.” My pride was I don’t want to have someone’s help. I want to be able to do it myself. I was scared to death I wasn’t going to be able to do it. The second thing I want to point out is you were talking about getting out there, handling life, and life keeps coming at you. About 2.5 weeks into my sobriety where I hadn’t been drinking a drop and not smoking a drop, I started crying every day. Anything would make me cry. I’m a grown man. My dad is an ex-Marine. I was raised in football. We don’t cry about jack shit. I was welling up. I don’t even think it was the subject, whatever I was thinking at the time that it was time for me to cry that day. I don’t know what it was.

We all have problems and things in our lives that are keeping us from getting where we want to be; it's called the human condition. Click To Tweet

I called David, I said, “David, I’m sure it’s related to withdrawal or my stopping this thing. I’m crying every day. I can cry at the drop of a hat over things.” David consoled me, he said, “Brother, you’ve been living life with a cushion between you and real life for so long that now your body is having to deal with real-life with no cushion. It’s hitting you a little harder than you’re used to. It’s going to take you a little while to get acclimated to it, but it’s perfectly natural. Go ahead and cry your tears. Try to run in the other room. Don’t let people see you’re crying all the time but get it out of your system. That’s what’s happening. You’ve been living a life where everything that came at you hit this cushion that you had around yourself. It was called alcohol and it softened the blow of everything. Now, you don’t have it. Everything is hitting you a little bit harder.” “That’s what I thought. I figured I knew it was something. I was glad that you put it into words for me.” I went on and then about 7 or 8 days of that, it went away.

Do you know who you described? Me. Once again, we’re not confined to Dennis and Mitch. This is a human condition. The feeling is hard. When I was a kid, I was full of fear, insecurity, anger, all the human conditions that we suffer from. When I was fifteen, I started drinking and I didn’t have to feel that way anymore. I didn’t have to feel anything anymore. What happened was I stopped growing at that point. I got to 31 years old and I never learned how to feel like an adult. I never learned how to feel like a human being. The reason most people fail in sobriety is because it’s hard. You have to learn everything over again. You have to learn how to live, feel, get through heartache, and disappointment.

This is amazing that you told that story. I was sober for about 1.5 years and I was 33 years old. One day, I started crying and I could not stop crying. It went on for seven days. It was exactly like you were describing. I was sitting in my house, on my phone talking to my sister, and crying every day uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop. She was like, “Why are you crying?” I was like, “I don’t know.” About 7 or 8 days later, I stopped crying and then I wanted to cry more so I started putting on sad movies like Forrest Gump.

I was trying to make myself cry more because it was the most cleansing experience I ever had in my life. What happened was it was 33 years of emotion that was pent up that I never let out. I never learned how to feel. Sobriety, being clean, recovery, or whatever it is you want to talk about, not eating to numb out your feelings, not smoking to numb out your feelings. It’s about being able to feel again and facing life on life’s terms. There are tools that we have to help you do that. You don’t have to figure it out on your own. I’ll give you those tools or a qualified professional. We’ll help you get through that so you know how to do that.

This is something that happens to me regularly. When I talk about this subject, I start to well up again. I can very easily let myself go and have a good cry. That only happens to me on two subjects. It happens to me when I’m in church, I get close to God, and I feel that presence. I get overwhelmed like that. I get overwhelmed like that when I talk to people about this subject of what it was to have alcohol in my life since 8th grade until I’m 59 years old and then what it’s like not to have that anymore. I’m glad I had my drinking phase. I had a lot of fun. I did a lot of things. God only knows where I would be if I hadn’t ever had a drop because the tons of years, of hours that I wasted somewhere. I enjoyed my life very much. I don’t regret it. I do know that I would be in a different place if I didn’t do that but I had fun. This is only two times I get welled up in my whole life. Those are the two subjects that get me. In both cases, I’m grateful that I’m where I’m at now. I get happy and grateful about it that it worked out the way that it did for whatever reason.

That’s called gratitude. Gratitude is a huge part of the program. It’s about shifting your focus to the things that are going wrong in your life. It’s shifting your focus to how wonderful life is and that life needs to be lived. You need to wake up each day and shift your attitude. If your attitude is, “I don’t know how to get through this so I’m going to do this to numb out.” That’s what you’re going to do. Part of my therapy, David, and other people are writing a lot because what happens is the average person has between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts every single day. That’s almost one thought per second. If those were all awesome, productive, intuitive, and great thoughts that helped me be successful, happy, and healthy then that would be awesome.

Most of our thoughts are not productive. They’re not healthy. What I need to do is slow that process down that comes through prayer, meditation, connecting with God, spirituality, whatever works for you and calming yourself down because if I’m worked up and then the world comes at me, I don’t know how to respond properly so I need to calm down. Once I calmed down, I can act instead of react and learn how to live life successfully. When I’m writing things down like things I’m grateful for or what am I upset about now, if I’m writing that down, the answers to those problems come in the calmness and silence.

I was doing this from instinct because one, I’m a very big believer in Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics or you have to control the person we talked to the most in our entire life, hands down, not even close, it’s us. We talk to ourselves more than we talk to anybody in the world. You need to start taking note of what you’re saying to yourself because what you’re telling yourself is how you’re going to be. It was life-altering. If you want to change your life, change how you talk to yourself, what you’re saying to yourself, what you’re telling yourself as possible, and what you’re telling yourself as not possible. Instead of saying, “I’m an idiot. I knew not to speed there.”

You don’t say you’re an idiot. You never say you’re an idiot. I’m guilty of it all the time but we shouldn’t. We should say, “I’m much better than that. I will do better next time. In fact, I’m already better. It won’t ever happen again.” Talk to yourself like you’re supposed to talk to yourself. I was telling David I need to start learning to recognize when this is coming on. When this is coming on, I’m at this place, these people have usually showed up, or someone’s asked me. These are the things that we’re saying, “You’re getting ready to get into decision time.” You’re going to make a different decision than you made before instead of saying, “Give me that drink.”

REIS 395 | Overcoming Addiction

Overcoming Addiction: The important thing is to realize that you want to get better and that addiction is keeping you from getting there.


You’re going to say no but then what am I going to do to replace that? I need to have something to do. Give me an iced tea, give me a soda water with lime. I’ve got to get something because what I’m missing, at least I can solve half the problem which was this. I needed this motion. That was half of my problem. I could solve half the problem if I could get this going even if I didn’t have anything in my hand. I was training myself to recognize when is the event about to happen. I need to start recognizing that. It seems simple but it’s not because if you don’t be careful and you say yes to the drink before you even realize, “Damn, I missed my chance to say no.”

To go back again to the behavior thing that I was talking about, another reason most people fail is because they say, “I’m not going to drink.” They sit there in their house or wherever they are and sit there holding onto their chair saying, “I’m not drinking.” It’s not about not drinking. It’s about replacing harmful behaviors with healthy behaviors. Instead of drinking, smoking, eating, or whatever, go for a walk, pray and meditate, call somebody else, have your mentor, or surround yourself with people that are successful, happy and healthy. When you’re in a tough spot where you’re like, “I want to take that drink,” call them and talk through it. A lot of times, a three-minute conversation can shift your whole mind.

That’s how my approach is like, “Are you willing to make those changes? Are you willing to say, ‘I want to drink now but instead, I’m willing to call somebody else so I don’t have to feel that way ever?’” It’s about changing behaviors but being willing to do so. That willingness is a tough one for a lot of people. Some of my clients are like, “I’m not willing to do that work that I tell them to do.” I’m like, “Here, why don’t we do this? Write these exercises down.” One of them, he was like, “I’m not willing to do that. I’m not going to do that.” I was like, “You’re going to continue to stay sick.” It’s a catch-22. The situation you were talking about where you’re like, “I didn’t want to do it anymore. I don’t know how I did it. That was a God thing. It sounds to me it was a God thing.” That’s great. It hits everybody at different times in different ways and there’s not one solution. The only thing I can say is it’s nearly impossible to do on your own.

I wanted to say that I’ve had more than a handful of people say, “That’s almost impossible what you did.” The chances of a person who had drunk and smoked that long, put it down on one day and never go back without medical help or a coach, it was almost one in a million but I don’t know why. I’m not even worried about why because I don’t care why. I’m glad I’m here.

The good it did to you afterwards was that you reached out to somebody like David, me, coach, or something like that because you can’t stay stagnant. There has to be growth. I was taught that you have to always be pushing uphill. If you’re not pushing uphill, you’re sliding back downhill. There was no planning out.

There is no neutral. It doesn’t matter if it’s finances or whatever, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. Do either putting more money in the bank or you’re putting less money but if there is no neutral in this world, there is no such thing as neutral. You’re breathing, you’re going to have to kill something and eat it sooner or later, there is no neutral.

Part of the common misconception though is like when I say you have to always be pushing uphill, it doesn’t necessarily mean struggling. It means striving to be better and doing something different. If you want to get these results, you have to be willing to do something different to get those results because what you’re doing now isn’t going to get you there. Most of the time, we need help. I needed to say I have to go back, my drinking and my drugs wasn’t my problem, it was my thinking. What I recognize that now, at my point in life, when I want to do something, I need to run that idea by somebody first and say these are the bigger ideas. It’s not about like, “What am I having for lunch?” If I say, “I’m going to do this for my business, I should call somebody.” My thinking isn’t always right the first time. If I could have somebody in my life where I can say, “I was thinking about making this business decision.” They’re looking at it from a non-emotional, non-attached point of view and say, “I don’t know if that looks such a good idea. Why don’t you try this instead?” That’s how we get through life.

We don’t know what we don’t know. Instead of guessing, “Let me try this and see if it works.” You’re like, “Let me go call someone who’s already been here.” He’ll go, “I love it.” Half the time I call people, they go, “You’re on the right track but don’t do it like this, you need to do it like that.” A little simple tweak. If I’d have done it my way, it wouldn’t have worked so I don’t have wasted some money. The little tweak made all the sense in the world. It’s like, “Why didn’t I see that?” He says, “Because you haven’t had it gone wrong yet. As soon as you went wrong, you would have recognized you’re doing it wrong and you might have figured it out but now you’ve saved yourself the time.”

Not only that but do you know what that is that we’re talking about? It’s called humility. That’s a precious little gift that not everybody has. You get back to that to get your ego out of the way and call somebody else and ask for help. When you’re willing to do that, you’re going to get those different results.

An important piece of the puzzle is to be humble and ask somebody for help, and then you can get there. Click To Tweet

The mind is a complicated thing but at the same time, it’s not complicated. You may not like the rules of the mind and it’s stubborn as hell. To change what you’ve been doing for years, don’t expect it to change in a day or two. The rule is at least 30 days.

What I say is that it’s 100 miles into the woods and it’s 100 miles back out. The 100 miles into the woods was painful like I didn’t do things the right way. I made mistakes. I stubbed my toe. I bumped into walls. I hurt people. I wasn’t the person I wanted to be but I’ve got to take that 100-mile trek back out of the woods. The good news is that trek out, it doesn’t have to take as long or be as painful as the trek end. I needed to do it with somebody who’s been there who understands and who knows the tools to get me out of the woods a little faster and a little less painful.

Dennis is offering two free full sessions. They’re 40 minutes. This guy has a servant’s heart. He needs to make a living. If you connect and he’s doing a good job for you, but he’s willing to give you two free sessions to see if you guys are supposed to hook up together, go into the woods, and try to get back out. That’s a great offer. I want to appreciate that because that’s an hour and twenty minutes out of your life that you’re giving away but it shows your servant’s heart. You’re there to try to help someone. I’m sure it will be apparent if you’re the right person if you all are meant for each other to go through this process together. It’s usually $190. Your $80 an hour, is that what it is normally?

It’s $95 an hour.

A real estate mogul who doesn’t even need to be good at math. You can hire people.

It’s $95 for 45 minutes.

Check it out. Go to 1000Houses.com/recover. Even if you just want life improvement skills, you don’t have to go there. It’s not for addiction. If you have a goal and you want to go there, have some sessions and see if he might be instrumental in helping you get there. It always helps to have someone. Whether you get him, me, or whatever for whatever, make sure you get somebody. You also wrote a book called Funky Wisdom: A Practical Guide to Life. If you want to hear more about Dennis’ story, go to 1000Houses.com/recover. If you have things to add to it, if you’re ever speaking somewhere, or you want to put something in there new, you have your people call my people and we’ll fix it because it stays everything. These things stay archived forever. I get about 24,000 downloads a month. The average show gets about 900 downloads quickly into it. There will be certain people. I will put a title on this that reflects what you can do for people. Hopefully, a lot of those people that’s reading will be looking for a little help. It’s all about recognizing that you need help, deciding that you want help, and then taking some action on it. Anything you want to add?

No, this has been great. You said something great which is I have a servant’s heart, and I do. I almost died hundreds of times. I’m the real deal. I shouldn’t be here. I drove my car into a house. I overdosed. When I stopped drinking, I had dark circles under my eyes. I was 70 pounds heavier than I am, unhappy, unfulfilled, and unhealthy. If I’m able to do it, anybody can. I used to struggle all the time with, “Why am I here?” You hear about some family who’s doing well and gets wiped out, walking across the street, or something like that. What I come to realize is that the reason I’m here is to help other people. That’s the reason that we’re all here. It’s when do you get to that realization? I do have a servant’s heart. It’s the reason I’m alive and the reason I’m on your show. Thank you for letting me be here.

Thank you. My mom once told me when I was getting confused. I wasn’t going to church at that time but I would spend the night with my friends on Saturday night. Before we could play basketball or do anything, I had to go to my friend’s church with my friends. While I was spending the night at different people’s houses all the time, I sent them to the Baptist. I went to the Baptist church one week, Catholic Church, Episcopalian, Methodist, and they were all doing it differently. If you went to the Baptist, if you drank a beer or danced, they would excommunicate you. If you went over to the Catholic Church, you had to sell beer at the fair because you had to pay for Sister Mary’s new house that they were building to have a place to live.

REIS 395 | Overcoming Addiction

Overcoming Addiction: Alcoholism and addiction are not confined to any certain place. People are numbing out instead of facing their problems all over the planet.


I go to this other church and the rules are halfway different. I thought, “They’re all making it up.” I’ve got to make up my own religion because wherever I go, they’re making it up for me. What is my religion? My mom said, “What do you think?” I said, “It has to be the golden rule like I have to treat people how I want to be treated. Is that good enough?” She says, “Let’s add one couple of things to that.” I said, “I’m going to treat people how I would want to be treated. What’s the other thing, mom?” She said, “Love and forgiveness is the only thing God cares about. Can you add those two things to your religion?” I said, “It fits right there because I want to be forgiven and I want to be loved.”

Later on, I found a place to go that would talk to me about those things in the Bible and not be screaming at me, yelling at me, and telling me that they know exactly how it was. I started going to church more at 49 and I’m glad I did. I don’t know how I want to get through this without believing in something other than myself. I’ll give credit to God every day of the week. That’s how I got there. You couldn’t make me cut Him out anything but that’s one of the biggest decisions of my life. I don’t know how you get through things like that without God. I don’t know how that works. You have to believe in something because I don’t believe that you or anybody is enough for themselves.

Part of what I teach is a spiritual approach to all of this, it has to be. The one thing that the twelve steps, that AA program is right that power greater than yourself. Here’s the deal which I explained. I used to wake up every morning, throw up blood, look in the mirror, cry and say, “I’m never doing that again.” I would walk to the freezer, grab my last shot at Jack Daniels and start drinking again. That went on for a long time and I couldn’t stop on my power but now I don’t do that anymore. That means that a power greater than me helped me to stop doing that. I call that power of God and you connect with Jesus. Whatever it is that you connect with, there has to be something greater than you that you believe in, in order to have this spiritual life. When you live that way, life unfolds in amazing ways.

Go to 1000Houses.com/recover and check it out. Get that two free 40-minute sessions with Dennis Berry. You’re maybe ready now or you’re not ready but if you’ve got an inclination, it can’t hurt anything. He’s not going to be screaming or yelling at you. I can tell by the way this man is. He’s going to help you decide if it’s your time and if you’re ready or not. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. No one can talk you into this crap. This is way too big to get talked into. You’ve got to want it.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My name is my website, DennisBerry.com. Get that there or go to 1000Houses.com/recover.

We’re out of here, I appreciate you being on. This episode is brought to you by TaxFreeFuture.com. Please go there and watch the 37 little video vignettes to show you there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about self-directed IRAs and 401(k) and what you can do and what you can’t do. You won’t believe I’m having this conversation with this attorney who spent over two decades only doing retirement planning law with these tax-deferred and tax-free retirement plans. He knows more about it. He’s forgotten more about these plans and we’ll never know. I’m having these conversations as a real estate investor and I have case studies. I’ve taken mine from a little bit of a tiny bit of money to decent money in anybody’s book, big money in most people’s books in a relatively short period of time using strategies. I learned from people like Tim and this guy that I’m talking to. TaxFreeFuture.com, go there and check it out.


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About Dennis Berry

REIS 395 | Overcoming AddictionDennis is the author of Funky Wisdom: A Practical Guide To Life. In it, he describes what it takes to achieve inner peace and success and become the person you wish to become; to overcome the obstacles and challenges in your life, to make peace with your past and put it behind you, and to make positive choices to give you the best opportunities.




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