In this episode, I am joined by Dr.Robb Kelly. He shares with us his challenging journey with addiction and how he came out the other side. Dr.Robb believes anyone can change their circumstance and that you can have the amazing life you dream of. Shifting your mindset to believing you can do it and that anything is possible is the first step. Taking one day at a time, change can be possible. Listen in to Dr. Robbs’s words of wisdom and the knowledge that you are worth it and can get out of the hole you’re in.
About our guest:
Robb has overcome homelessness, alcohol dependency, trauma, PTSD, MDD, and a whirlwind of events to be the “Gordon Ramsay” of the addiction treatment world. Before Robb succumbed to addiction and mental health issues, he played bass guitar at Abbey Studio with Queen, David Bowie, and Elton John. He is an accomplished musician, and the money he made helped him attend Oxford University to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology. Robb experienced a spiritual awakening on the cold streets of Manchester while homeless and in dire straights.
Robb’s work ethic is defined by helping the addict step out of their disease and into a solution. He works with everyday people, professionals, and celebrities who want to reach sobriety and live in sustained recovery through evidence-based modalities and a genuine therapeutic alliance. Robb believes in helping marginalized communities because he understands that everyone has different worldviews when addiction is rearing its ugly head.
Learn more about Dr. Kelly, including his incredible book “Daddy, Daddy Please Stop Drinking” here:
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I know you, you are afraid to speak up. You are scared of what other people think of you. And you blame yourself for what happened to you. I know how it feels. Because I’ve been there. If you found me, I’m so grateful you’re here. This podcast will give you hope. And now I’m your host, Anna ditchburn. I’m going to hold your hand and provide the guidance that I needed the most. It’s time for you to find your why. And turn your experience into your superpower. So lock your door, put your headphones in, and enjoy. Dr. Rob Kelly, welcome to the world’s best Trauma Recovery podcast.Dr. Robb Kelly:
Thank you, Anna, it’s good to be with you today.Anna Maydonova:
First question, what was harder, quitting alcohol, or learning how to play a bass guitar?Dr. Robb Kelly:
Oh, I can play any instrument, literally any instrument and I paid for my child, I think creative files now. parents bought my first guitar. So definitely alcohol because it took me a long time to get over that. But yeah, I’ve just been gifted with this. You know, somebody gave me bagpipes once and we were all laughing and within 10 minutes, I could play a tune. I’m amazed how people can do. That. Sounds crazy. So. So definitely the drinking.Anna Maydonova:
How long have you been sober for?Dr. Robb Kelly:past, I’ve had sponsors been:Anna Maydonova:
Awesome. Congratulations. Thank you. I haven’t been drinking for two years now. And this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I wasn’t a big drinker before but I decided to quit completely. Because we were trying to become a parents. Rob, what was your most shameful moment? During your drinking daysDr. Robb Kelly:
while I was in the maxima drinking before I came home was i i came down from upstairs about 3am in the morning. And there was there was two of them that run into each other. Again at two o’clock in the morning three o’clock, died for drinking vodka. Assess the kitchen for PUBKEY I finally found my vodka. Put the bottle on the side of the Council for a second to turn around to get crystal glass. As the non alcoholic drinking out the bottle. That was my mentality. And when I came down, my wife would follow me down. And when I turned around to get the glass she turned around and she snatched a bottle of vodka off the side of the council. And when a turn round one, I saw her a bottle. And she said to me, Rob, I think you’ve had enough. So based on that I’ve been drugged for like a week. She was probably right. I should have said thank you Mrs. Kelly, come back upstairs and slept the rest of the night. Why did was took a kitchen knife apart and stabbed the three talents, grab my bottle finish the bottle called the ambulance police and a taxi. The taxi got there first round the corner, waiting for the sirens in the background. And that jumped into effects and floods in Spain until the attempted charges were dropped. Then I returned when I returned my wife and my children and suitcases packed and she said I love you to the day. I don’t mean not going to kill our children. So she left with them. I got them back the next day. I have a powerful attorney. And then I went on a drinking binge with the children in the next room. So I blacked out two days three days when I came around and police will kick up the children about being fed for two days not been changed diapers for two days. They took him off me right there. And then there was a crowded outside by mother in law police a child protective services and my dogs are holding hands with bunnies just walking down the path says Daddy Daddy, please don’t go. And then she says Daddy, Daddy, please get better. And then as she went to the end of the path she turned around she says Daddy Daddy, please not drink and I couldn’t do it. So that that’s probably to our most shameful things.Anna Maydonova:
And you wrote the book about your story called day to day this don’tDr. Robb Kelly:
tricky So the last thing my daughter said to me is Daddy, Daddy, please stop drinking. So we decided to write a book. And we stopped for a title. And then the book has been going for two years. My wife wrote it. I just sort of dictated that she wrote, and then probably a valid, I don’t know, a couple of months before we were due to finish it. My daughter got back in touch with the eldest one, the oldest one is never and my wife, I told my wife story, and she said, why don’t we call the book Daddy, Daddy, please stop drinking. And that’s what we do on Amazon and Walmart, and you could make late Sunday night dollars to great story.Anna Maydonova:
It’s an amazing story. And it’s really fun to read. I was like, literally in tears than I was fishing crying when you when you try to get your girlfriend to watch the movie. deadly weapon.Anna Maydonova:
Good you. Could you tell us this story. It’s like it’s fun.Dr. Robb Kelly:lm, because we were only like:Anna Maydonova:
Oh, my God knows. That was so fun. Rob, you also shared some of your childhood experience. For the very first time in this book that you’ve been molested at 11 years old. What helped you to overcome this trauma?Dr. Robb Kelly:
I think it was like eight or nine started and the lever that again, with choirmaster. What happens with trauma like that sexual abuse. And there’s all sorts of different types of trauma and sexual abuse is we don’t define it now. Because we don’t define it, we don’t treat it. And because we don’t treat it 13 years later, we find out we can never keep a relationship. We can never keep friends, we also track the same person that ends up being alcoholic, and we might be wherever it is. And it all goes back to the trauma recovery. For instance, with me, amongst other things, it was sexual trauma. I obviously professional bass, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago, so many years. There were certain sexual ideas that I had would know, you know, some of it would be, you know, abnormal, not to the extent anything crazy, just normal, pornographic stuff for wives, and girlfriends. So I knew I had to address that because sets 60 Column A forced or the idea of force was was enticing to me no physical hygiene. But you know, just, it was just crazy. So when I got back and relate that to what happened to me, then it was learned behavior. So why would I act any differently when a girl only 10 years ago did I call them that maybe I went to the Medical Treatment Center for PTSD and trauma. So I thought I’d dealt with it for many, many years. And maybe it partially, but it needs cleared up 100%. So I happen to me, six, seven years ago can’t remember is it all came down to the alarm once and I had a brain overload so many breakdown, PTSD and trauma, I was diagnosed. And they shipped me off to a treatment center for six weeks. And I spent six weeks working on my job. And I came out of trauma free and still trauma free to this date. So I went back to the place I went to learn that techniques. One of the techniques for somatic experience, which I’ve learned and brain spotting, which are two techniques, one would want you to make sure that I can pass this on to other people because I really enjoyed myself by number treat myself, because that’s what it’s about. Free. Doesn’t have to be about alcohol, drugs, food, sex porn, none of that. This is about living life to the fullest. This is about being proud of who you are. And this is about knowing quite well that any human being listening to this can do anything they want to do. Quantum physics tells us that all’s we have to do is decide what we want, visualize what we want and then go and take that position about what you want. And many times the only thing that’s stopping me is me because the little internal data that will tell me I’m not good enough, I’m not clever enough. I can’t do this. That guy over there. He’s doing it. He’s better than me. It’s a lie that my brain tells me and my internal dialogue tells me and then you secret in the world is the higher you go in business, the more stupid the people are. And everyone thinks these are these are amazing guys, three amazing guys. Difference a union here is no different teachers, they believe they can do it. And I can still beAnna Maydonova:
I love it. If you believe you can do it, you can do it.Dr. Robb Kelly:
And what I used to tell people, I got the same thing when it came to America. At telcos, you can be wherever you want, well, I can’t be President of the United States. That’s what they always would say to me. And yet, we had a businessman running the country with no political experience, despite the political news, we are the best consumer in the country, don’t sit down and tell me that you can’t do anything in the world that you want. Because everyone can say, well, that’s impossible. And I say, I apostrophe in between the I and the n is not say, I’m possible. Because everybody’s can do this. Everybody can get the mental health back on track, everybody can get fit, work, whatever you want to achieve in your life, you just have to remember that no matter what it is you want to achieve, that will not make you happy. So anybody listening that has had money, you know what money just met, you have a great relationship. Now. It’s not, it’s not my job to make my wife happy. It’s my job to make me happy, and then share that experience with that. But most people in life, they chase the money, and they miss the dream. The dream is the in between bet from start to what you think is finished the dream. And hence by saying, I’m not dreaming and living and living the dream today. It’s like every single day. So people might have heard of one day at a time, it’s a drinking thing, or ah, it’s not one one day a sudden is it. You know, whatever time it is where you are now going to join joining this podcast, and you live in life to the fool. You need to pause for 10 seconds or realize that every thinks of dating, I don’t care whether you’re the lowest the lower highs, everything today in your life you’ve prayed for before, you’ve asked for before. And then we get to that point and we get complacent. If you want to carry on a couple of things you have to do and you have to be grateful for who you are, and grateful for where you are. And always be giving back to other people. I compliment three people every single day. Because when I compliment somebody Belkin means released into my brain, so I feel good as well. I also monetary bless somebody, every time I read the house, you know, my higher power supreme being guided whatever you want to call it has blessed me with enough money to bless other people. And that today is what it’s allAnna Maydonova:
about. And I agree with you money is just a tool to help others. Yes. And, and, and help you to help others.Dr. Robb Kelly:
And I’m really I asked everything I have today, everything I have. Because when I was a kid, when I was homeless, I didn’t have any money at all. And I saw you ever got enough money to survive on ad start giving away. And we’ve done that ever since I got to America. I’ve always been given back. You want to see the child’s face when you walk into Walmart or any store and the mom was looking at the bank and looking at the prices. I had one say well maybe next year, and I stopped them ago. I want to buy that buy for your son, Nicole white. I want to buy it and I get so excited and that will give it to the son that locked from Mom and Dad and son is priceless. absolutely priceless.Anna Maydonova:
100%. Raw, you’ve mentioned in your book, some of the stories when you’re homeless. I’m just wondering, how did it feel to be homeless?Dr. Robb Kelly:
Great question. Nobody’s ever asked me. Y’all asked me what do you do? How do you get up the streets but nobody’s asked me how I fell. Here’s how I felt. I felt desperation. I felt the loneliness. And the biggest one I felt which which really affects the brain and central nervous system like no other is abandoned. I was abandoned on the streets, every channel call parents they will put the phone down. Nobody would answer my calls. If I met somebody in town that I knew very well and woke up to a custom row and it was just pure abandon. I felt lost. I felt useless. And I just wanted to die. And as you know reading a book, I think it was five occasions I tried to commit suicide on a couple of occasions. It worked. I actually killed myself. I mean, brought me back to life. I hated that for a long time because I just didn’t want to live so that loneliness was just chilling. I was trapped and was Single Day, the only way I could cope with that is to get to 24 hours a day and fall asleep and wake up and still see my alcohol and make sure I still enough alcohol for the night time to get into the night. And it was just constant, absolute constant, abandonment, shame, guilt, every Christmas and every birthday that my child had never been on that occasion was going quite well. I don’t have a dad.Anna Maydonova:
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned during this time?Dr. Robb Kelly:asked me that I’ve done about:Anna Maydonova:
Thank you so much for sharing and for sharing the story. Robb I was literally crying through throughout the whole story. It’s it’s a heartbreaking group now. From from your own experience in and knowledge what would be your best advice to a family members or have someone who is battling with An alcohol or drug, I don’t know how to say disease, or D or addictionDr. Robb Kelly:and:Anna Maydonova:
How people get into this disease in the first place, alcoholics areDr. Robb Kelly:
born this way. So the gene is hereditary. So it’s passed down from generation to generation, it may skip a generation and we don’t know why. But it will always be passed down. So if your father or grandfather was an alcoholic, or mom or sister, that is a good chance for dealing with alcoholism, so that we know church, you know that disease as already planned since since day one. Now 95% of heroin addicts that come to me for help started in the doctor’s office. So you can see the learned behavior, and the boring behavior where the brain acts. So people say there’s obviously alcohol and drugs. And as I say, they’re not the same. The alcoholic has the compulsion, that the mind the obsession, you know, drug addicts growing, and use it as a habit and then become addicted to addiction personality. So we both present themselves, the same when they when they come to me, but there is a fine difference. So if you have an addictive personality, and you go to the doctors, which gives you pain medication, then what stimulates cut you off, or maybe you have to go to the streets are everyone’s blameless fear. It’s just a matter of getting somebody before.Anna Maydonova:
Thanks so much for for clarifying this. Robb. I’m just wondering how music helped you in your healing journey.Dr. Robb Kelly:
Wow, absolutely just saved my life. And then I hosted a new session. I was actually on stage playing professionally. That means getting paid for the bouncer and alcohol at night, and then turn around about eight. So I’ve always gone back to music at the end of the day, I’ve wrote recovery music, a friend of mines mother passed away, probably about eight years ago now came to me and was chatting about what we could do about a funeral. And he said to me, would it be great if you can write songs for him? So I did. It’s called a letter from heaven. It talks about her sending a letter down back to the steel survivors and saying, hey, you know, don’t worry, everything’s gonna be okay. Don’t worry about me. Still looking out for you. So it all comes back to music for me. I always had a guitar in the background where I could just pick up and play for two seconds. Is more up to date, so I can’t really play. So the next time I want to play you, guys, so yeah, and I love to listen. And other thing people ask me is what’s your style of music? My genre is everything because I’m a musician. I like rock music. I like country music, pop music, rock music, hillbilly music, you know, it’s just amazing because I just, I just love it is that I always have music playing in the background. You know, I have electric You got 12 guitars around the house, but I graduated, walk around the house and they were female I plan on playing the drums over here. I had a violin in the corner. I mean, it’s just, it’s all about so 100% say that, you know, it made a difference to my life.Anna Maydonova:
Amazing. Amazing. And I also know that that your wife, Janet, Janet, yes, she’s also your soulmate, how important is it to have someone, a woman who is so supportive and so loving? Behind your back?Dr. Robb Kelly:
I think this is my personal opinion, it’s absolutely vital that we have somebody. So you are gathering relationship, you trust each other, and you have each other’s back at various times, either onstage or during the TV shows that it will hit me. What the hell’s he doing? Why are you speaking to him? What do you know, you don’t know anything? You know, everyone’s gonna find out. Find out what’s going on reading English, everyone’s gonna find it. And the main job is a terrible with the SANS accent, because I love that higher platform. And that that higher level of polish publicity. But I remember I remember one conference. And it was over wings ready to go on. And I was so nervous. And I just didn’t know what to do. I’ve never been this nervous. And he rested. And she said, you’re sharing a building, that you need to push me towards the stage. And that’s what I’m talking about when I come home and do some pitches like yes, you are the best in the world. You are absolutely amazing. She’s always telling me that. And yeah, without her. And I know we shouldn’t really rely on other people. But without her, there would be no, there was really no me. Because she’s just phenomenal. And I think we need that I really think we’re social animals. We just got lucky on death row for some statistics. Most people aren’t that thrown and finally make it to the chair, or the cast chain or whatever it is the needle notifier that you’re trying to set aside. Because of the isolation for so many years. It’s like we need people in our lives. Show me your friends are showing your future. Show me a good partner, I’ll show you. One of us is more successful in the ultimate competitive out there in the world. But she wants on the back often. So we’re trying to like this without anybody knowing I’m the front of company backends for me, not just been asked. She’s not wired for my girlfriend. Assistant she’s not brought by me. God bless Janet, thank you so much,Anna Maydonova:
Jen, and big shout out to you. Yes. It’s so close to my heart because honestly, I found my soulmate, my my now husband we got married five weeks ago. And if it wouldn’t be for him, I wouldn’t start my healing journey. And if it wouldn’t be for his support, and his love, unconditional love. I don’t know what would happen to me honestly. And you know, the words that your wife is telling you, to support you and to encourage you are very important. And speaking about words. Just my last question, Rob, you know, in these alcoholic anonymous groups, where people stay and say Hi, I’m John, and I’m an alcoholic. And I really want to ask your professional opinion, when they say I’m an alcoholic. Do they reassured this? Because you know, when when you say Oh, I’m so stupid, I’m so worthless. Um, so this and this and this. Your subconscious and your body literally start believing it when they say I’m an alcoholic isn’t helpful really? Or what are your thoughts on this?Dr. Robb Kelly:
Another brilliant question I’ve never been asked. I’m full of Thank you. We I call myself a recovering alcoholic as an adult. Alcoholism. I think I think 12 Step rooms at the moment are quite broken. I think a lot of people call themselves just alcoholics that for no good and the legend now, you know disease of shame, guilt remorse, because that’s what it is. You have to remember that alcohol is 1% to do with alcohol is the same drugs. It’s only 1%. So you’re right maybe when we say that I also think we should recover from the disease which means that again, my state of mind and my body because that’s what I’ll call it and it’s about it’s about the obsessive mind I can do it this time and once a drink it I become allergic to the ethanol in outperform its male relative to a biochemical reaction in the brain. So I would say, Wow, I would say, Yeah, I will say that has a huge effect of sitting in that disease, sticking it out, you know, oh my god, country, that that’s not what it’s all about. You know, it’s about psychic challenge, changing your Pathways, change the mindset around alcohol, to make sure that that can proceed and just not work anymore. So that you can literally no problem. I go in bars my cycle track now and again, probably four times a year, I will call her waiting for him to do with anything I’ve taken away. So am I an alcoholic? Well, almost an alcoholic, now recovered. So saying you’re recovered alcoholic is very powerful. The book that they read in a book, and he talks about being empowered talks about alcohol not being a problem anymore. I think once you get into that mindset, then everything starts to free up. I’m almost speechless with that question. It’s so good. It’s like, Yeah, I mean, if you if you suffer from liver disease, and you and you recover, and it was going down, you keep telling everybody other liver disease is like why you keep saying that? Why do you keep saying that? I mean, you treat Jeanette, you’re either going to treat it or you’re not. So yeah, I’m gonna ponder on that question, Dave. Now, brilliant question.Anna Maydonova:
Because I’m all about positive thinking and positive saying. So if we can change it to some positive affirmation, like, I’m healthy. Yes, I’m happy I live my dream life, you know, something that that your mind will believe and alcohol wouldn’t even an issue?Dr. Robb Kelly:
Yes, yes. Yeah, that’s what it’s about it puts in physics tells us that once we visualize something, we can walk over and take that position of whatever it may be. So if you’re always, you know, drop accounting for my brain likes that, because he will keep that. And that will come into my prefrontal cortex, the decision maker, 10 minutes before I’m gonna go for that job Callaghan’s pool, whatever it may be. So yeah, I try and stick net negative things out. And it’s recovered alcoholics, which is what the book said anyway, which is pretty cool. 70 times. So yeah, a bit mindset. If you go to meetings, and you keep calling yourself just an alcoholic, then that’s going to play in the mind and you’re going to be stuck next to the problem.Anna Maydonova:
Exactly. Exactly. Bro. I’m just conscious of time where peopleDr. Robb Kelly:
can find you or Dr. Rob shenanigans, any search engine, or BB spelling emojis, can you ll y.com, is the website. So what kelly.com is the website, any search engine, Dr. Kelly, Sabine, email, some of the attacks, whatever you want to do, it’s all on the website, if you want to contact me, if you want to call me, there’s a button they can call it direct to me, try to buy what you want to wherever you want to do, you don’t have a website are already kly.com. And send me a message and the attachment just let me know, how we how we got to know each otherAnna Maydonova:
perfect group. Just before we go. Do you have any concluding thoughts?Dr. Robb Kelly:did a thing once when he put:
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