Tell us about your new book, Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that all of us have one great book in us-Symptoms of Withdrawal is mine. It's a series of the snapshots of my life and explores themes of family, addiction, fatherhood, success, and marriage. Writing it was cathartic for me.
Describe sobriety from the vantage point of someone in recovery. Being sober after enduring 17 years of addiction to drugs and alcohol is like being born again. In recovery I can feel the gratitude that the man facing the guillotine feels when he is reprieved at the very last moment. It's wonderful to be able to smell the flowers and enjoy life.
By Gretchen Rubin
When our two daughters were little, they'd greet my husband and me with wild enthusiasm whenever we walked in the door, and they often cried miserably when we left. More recently, however, they had sometimes barely looked up from their games or homework or books when we walked in or out. It was a relief, in a way, but also a little sad. And too often, my husband and I didn't give warm greetings or farewells to the girls or to each other, either.
I had already made a long-standing...
What health advice do you have to offer others struggling with addiction? The only solution is sobriety. Stay connected to whatever group or healthcare organization that might help.
What is the best health advice anyone has ever given to you? "One day at a time." Whether wrestling with heroin addiction, smoking, or diet, daily vigilance and commitment are key.
If you were recovering in a hospital and could have any person, from any era, recovering next to you, who would it be? Albert Einstein or Carl Jung. Both were brilliant thinkers.
What do you do for relaxation? Yoga. And I meditate, but not nearly enough. It is hard for me to relax. I meditated every day for five years and it transformed my life and brought me peace. You would think that having had that experience I would continue, but I don't.
How has fatherhood changed you? Fatherhood is a lesson in selflessness. My children have been some of my most profound teachers.
Do you have a personal health philosophy? Everything starts from within. Health as well as happiness is contingent on a balance between mind, body, and spirit.
What quality do you most desire in a doctor, therapist, or healthcare provider? Curiosity and willingness to think outside what is normal. Also, a passion fortheir work.
What disease or condition would you most like to see eradicated in your lifetime, and why? Hunger and malnutrition. We should make a commitment to wiping them out in the same way my uncle President Kennedy made a commitment to put a man on the moon.