Q&A on the Communichology™ of Pop Culture
What is CONVERSATIONS WITH TOM? Read THIS for an overview…
Ricky Midway: Despite all you’ve written and produced over the years, there was still something missing right?
Tom Leu: Yes there was.
It’s what this new endeavor of yours is about right?
Yes… though it’s not really new, it’s just something I had been avoiding for some time.
Lots of reasons: too personal, too taboo, too defining, too confining, too controversial… take your pick.
OK, so spill it, it must be time.
I finally decided to go public with my writings and story about recovery and recovery-related topics. I’m now sharing my experiences and insights about my own recovery journey within my writings, radio show, podcast, and webcasts, etc. My primary purpose is to inspire and help others where possible.
Why have you been reluctant to do this for so long?
Like I said above… it’s always just seemed too personal to broadcast. I was concerned about any professional implications, And plus, I really didn’t think people would care that much, so why go into it you know?
So why now?
I think it’s that little voice in my head that has never gone away. It’s just gotten louder and louder as the years have gone by. According to the cool book, The Flinch by Julien Smith, a person is supposed to listen to those things, and act on them when they don’t seem to disappear.
So what exactly is this new endeavor?
It’s called Recovery Collective, and this is where I bring together and connect a ‘collective’ of creatives, experts, advocates, movers and shiFters who DARE to get up, stand up, and get down to the business at hand… which is to lend a helping hand to those still struggling (with self-defeating behaviors of many varieties). It’s part investigative journalism, part motivational speaking, part inspirational writing, and part entertainment.
How can “recovery” be entertaining?
Ever been to an AA or 12 Step meeting of any kind?
Nope. Can’t say that I have.
It can be very entertaining at times, trust me.
Who is the target audience for this information?
Generally speaking… for anyone involved in, or interested in recovery-related topics. More specifically however, this site will be slanted and geared for people who are pretty skeptical about the whole recovery thing. This is for those who may not be completely convinced they need any help (yet). This is for the person who wants help, but may be afraid to reach out for it. This is an anonymous way to get some good information that may help someone begin the journey toward recovery, if in fact, they’re starting to think they need it. Basically, this is for someone like me, back when I first started thinking… I was in trouble… with the drinking, but didn’t know where to go or what to do.
A web presence, radio show and podcast to start that includes:
Interviews with people in recovery… some who are succeeding; some who may be struggling.
Articles and posts on recovery.
Eventually… events and get togethers.
Is this an endorsement for Alcoholics Anonymous or 12 Step groups in general?
Not necessarily. This is not an endorsement of any one specific type of recovery movement or ideology, but rather a resource for anyone to potentially find what they’re looking for… whatever that is.
Are you from the “God as you understand Him” school as they they say in AA?
Sure. If “god” is something that is important to a person (with respect to recovery or just life in general), then I say, whatever works for you to improve your life.
So how do YOU interpret… “God as you understand him?”
For me, “god” = some kind of Higher Power.
THE higher power is the realizaition that there are many conceptions of a “higher power.”
THE higher power is one’s CHOICE to have a higher power… or not.
THE higher power is the REJECTION of a higher power all together… or not.
THE higher power is the release of guilt over which higher power, if any, is the right one, once-and-for-all.
THE higher power is being OK with any or all of the above.
So are you an AA alumni?
Yes and no. I attended AA for a solid decade. But haven’t now for many years. It worked for me then. Things are still working for me without it. But I know it’s not for everyone and that’s OK. But I am not an alumni. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that you graduate or are “cured.”
But to be clear… you endorse AA, yes?
I do because as I’ve said, it’s worked for me. Again, I understand it’s not for everyone. But recovery can be, regardless of the path one takes to get there. A person has to first seek it for themselves in order to eventually find a way that works for them. The basic premise of AA… one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic is where the magic often happens, and is effective for many.
I have to ask… Who are you to be leading an effort like this? Why are YOU qualified to do this?
Why not me? Why not you, or anyone who desires to give something back? But, since you asked: Currently I have over 15 years of continuous sobriety, one day at a time. I have a Masters degree in Psychology. And I am an avid writer, professional speaker, and photographer. The combination of these areas, I believe, qualify me to undertake an endeavor such as this.
Well, I applaud the endeavor.
Thanks, but it’s those who willingly and diligently undertake active and ongoing recovery from that which ails them that deserve the applause. It’s the most courageous thing one can do IMO…
We’ll stay tuned-in…
**More Conversations with Tom archives.