“Shame can’t survive the light.”

If you have been on this podcast journey with me for awhile then you know that addiction and recovery are a recurring theme on the show–subjects very close to my heart as someone whose life has been spared by sobriety. With so much going on in the world and addiction on the rise, and so many people suffering in silence, I think it’s important to talk about mental health, addiction and shine some light on the subject. After all, shame can’t survive the light.

So today on the show I am sharing the story of Amy Dresner–a true badass and an amazing example that you can get through anything with resilience and turn tragedy into triumph.

Amy Dresner is a journalist, author, and former comedian as well as a recovering addict and alcoholic. She has been a columnist for the addiction/recovery magazine theFix.com since 2012 and has freelanced for Addiction.com, Psychology Today, Vice and many other publications. Her first book, “My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean,” was published by Hachette in 2017 to rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Elle magazine compared Dresner’s darkly comic memoir to Carrie Fisher’s “Postcards from the Edge” and Mary Karr’s “Lit,” calling Dresner’s book “one for the ages.”

Dresner has appeared on the television show The Doctors TV and on numerous radio shows and podcasts, including Dr. Drew, Dopey and Rich Roll. She does regular speaking engagements around the U.S. and Canada. Her book is currently in development for a TV series.

In this episode, Amy candidly shares her journey into and out of addiction and why it’s never too late to change your life for the better.

Growing up in Beverly Hills, Amy had it all:  a top-notch private school education, the most expensive summer camps, and even a weekly spending allowance.  But at age 24 she started dabbling in meth in San Francisco and soon became a full blown meth addict.  She managed to keep it all together until one night, high on Oxycontin, she pulled a butter knife on her husband and was promptly arrested for felony domestic violence with a deadly weapon.

She found herself in the psych ward, divorced, and penniless.  She was court-ordered 240 ours of community service and for the next two years assigned to a Hollywood Boulevard “chain gang.”  She cleaned up the streets and bounced from rehabs, struggled with sobriety, sex addiction, and starting over in her 40’s.

This conversation is raw, courageous and even shocking at times.  We talk about the dark side of addiction, fear, self hatred and shame.  The is a candid conversation about the struggles to success, the will to survive, and the conviction and strength required to achieve sobriety.

Here’s what you will learn:

  • How Amy started her journey from pain to purpose (2:50)
  • What she learned and how she grew from her arrest and jail (11:31)
  • How being on the “chain gang” shifted her perspective and changed her life (19:21)
  • How shame affects us and how the 12 Steps helps us (23:51)
  • Addiction doesn’t discriminate and how to overcome the dark side by shining light on it (29:45)
  • How to navigate feelings that come and go (36:52)
  • How Amy was able to manage her depression and mood in the pandemic (45:43)
  • How to manage making decisions about medications in sobriety  (52:18)

Screenshot your favorite part and post to your IG story and tag me @amberlylagomotivation and @amydresner so we can see and repost to our stories!


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