RCNC Recovery Podcast J3(11): Dan Griffin, “Advocacy gave me a place to heal and breathe.”

August 6, 2017

Chris interviews Dan Griffin. You will remember him from The Anonymous People, speaking on issues of anonymity confusion versus shame. He is currently the principle at Griffin Recovery Enterprises, “an international training, consulting, and speaking organization dedicated to transforming the conversation about what it means to be a man in the 21st century. …changing how our world sees men and masculinity to help us see the limitless possibilities of who a man can be…”

Chris and Dan met up at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles during the 2017 Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference. Dan talks about being a young advocate at the 2001 summit in St. Paul, how men like Jeff Blodgett, William Moyers, and Bill White inspired him to become an advocate. Dan speaks of his father’s senseless death resulting from alcohol use disorder – how the system failed to address a treatable illness. Dan says, “My grief was anger and advocacy gave me a place to heal and to breathe and to put that anger toward good.” He says it’s our responsibility to take raw, new, rough around the edges advocates under our wings to help them as many have helped us.

Dan would love to see recovery advocacy take on trauma. He is a board member with White Bison, and he mentions the Don Coyhis metaphor about returning the transplanted and recovered tree to its original unhealthy soil, an indictment of the acute care model of addiction treatment. Dan says, “Trauma is driving so much of our society’s inability to deal with this issue. Trauma is one of the biggest toxins in our soil.” As we “treat the soil” in our communities of recovery, would it not make sense to be mindful of the prevalence of trauma?

Finally, as we end all J3 episodes, Chris asks Dan what his superpower would be if he could have one. To which Dan replies, “The ability to give anybody in any moment instant empathy.”