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Jane, Unchained

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by Kelly Burch

It would be impossible to put Jane Velez-Mitchell in a box.

She’s a television host (her CNN show was recently cancelled due to budget cuts), a reporter, and author of three books, including two (iWant, and Addiction Nation) that deal with recovery. She’s a recovery alcoholic, a lesbian, and a vegan, and is committed to speaking up for people, animals and causes that can’t speak for themselves.

So, how do you sum up Jane Velez-Mitchell?

Well, it’s probably easiest to let her speak for herself:

Renew: You’ve said that you grew up around alcohol, and thought that heavy partying was normal as long as you didn’t break the golden rule: never miss a day of work.

Velez-Mitchell: I would argue with myself and on some level I knew I had a problem. One day I went to a party and everyone was there – my ex-husband, work colleagues, my boyfriend… tequila was definitely not something I needed to be drinking in public. I was teaching everyone to do snakebites….and I thought I was very clever and entertaining. I went into a blackout and my boyfriend carried me out of the party. The next day I woke up alone in my bed and I though ‘oh my god. The comprehensible demoralization of addiction. What had I done? I was mortified.’

Renew: So that was your a-ha moment?

Velez-Mitchell: I went back into my office and called my friend who had recently gotten sober. I said ‘ I’m turning myself in. You are right. I have a problem and I need help.’ It was the perfect storm of feeling like I really messed up. He helped me enter a sober program, and I met other sober people. I got sober and never had another drink again.

Renew: Were you afraid of what you were giving up?

Velez-Mitchell: I was really lucky. I came in contact with really incredible people. One person who was very instrumental was my rollerblading teacher.

How did Jane's rollerblading teacher inspire her recovery? Find out in the latest issue of Renew!

Related:

Breaking depression's icy grip 

Roadmap to recovery

Are you in the right recovery meeting?

 
 

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