Profiles in Recovery

Jamie Lissow

Lissow co-stars with Saturday Night Live alum Rob Schneider in Real Rob, a Netflix sitcom that Lissow also co-writes. Its a high-profile gig that he might have missed, if he’d still been drinking.

Sober since 2013, Lissow benefits in recovery from greater clarity and respect for his craft as an actor, writer and stand-up comic. His career has been rising from the college comedy circuit to performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, his own special on Comedy Central and now Real Rob.

“I learned that it wasn’t over for me. And that we are never too old to start again and do it better, Lissow says. One of my favorite quotes (I’m paraphrasing) is from Joe Rogan. He says know that you have the option to live today like its that moment in a movie when the failure picks himself up after being beaten down and starts the journey towards becoming the hero.The day I quit drinking was that day.”

Day Job:
Actor/stand-up comedian/writer

What I lost to addiction:
Drinking or taking drugs masks your feelings and numbs your pain. I believe the biggest problem is these negative feelings need to be felt. They serve a purpose. The negative feelings are important messages telling us how to change and improve our lives.

If you are depressed at your job, maybe you need to be depressed to force you to find a new job. If you drink every night and dampen those feelings, you stagnate and just accept where you are. I think this is true for jealously, anger, sadness, boredom, etc. What worked for me: I read a book called The Easy Way to Quit Drinking.

Advice to my younger self:
Quit drinking (or any bad habit) for 30 days and see if your life improves. If it improves, no longer do the bad habit.Strip clubs are a poor investment.

Rules I live by:
When I meet someone I don’t ask myself what can they do for me? or how can this person help my career? Instead I ask myself what can I do for them?How can I help their career?Always try to add value. Over-deliver and go the extra mile whenever possible.

When cravings come:
Some of the best advice I ever got for cravings is to play the tape forward. Dont just imagine how good the craft beer would taste as you drink it. Think about what happens after the third one, the 10th one, and then then 20th one. Then the next morning when youve discovered youve married the 90 year old bartender and now you live in Mexico. A lot of times the cravings will pass, or it wont seem like such a great idea when you play the tape forward.

Best advice for newbies:
At first . . . you don’t necessarily have to admit you have a problem, call yourself anything or put yourself in a category. Quit whatever the bad habit is for 30 days and see what happens. If you’re your life vastly improves, you have your answer and now its your call what to do next.

On my schedule today:
Fill out at least 3 pages in my journal. Exercise in the form of pull-ups, walking or playing with my kids.

I get inspired by:
Stories where people get sober and then start crushing life and living to their true potential. On finding purpose: I truly believe that you can do what you love and the money will follow. Unless you love porn.

Follow Jamie:
http://www.jamielissow.com; on Twitter @JamieLissow

Shed the Stigma:
If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].