12 Steps and Beyond – The Power of Asking for Help

Rise & Grind
Rise & Grind
12 Steps and Beyond - The Power of Asking for Help

Rise & Grind Recovery Radio E19
12 Steps & Beyond with Author Johnnie Calloway   

Episode Snapshot: This week we sit down with Johnnie Calloway who shares his raw story of life-long abuse to long-term recovery. As an author, he has made it his life’s work to chronicle his metamorphosis from pain to forgiveness. He passionately shares his story with 1,000’s in hopes it encourages them to never give up!

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“We feature stories of recovery, advocacy, and invite anyone who is passionate about making a difference in their community. People are even using this as a resource for those who are struggling and for those who want to learn how to actively get involved”



Main Topics of Discussion:

  1. Can you tell our audience a little background of who you are & whether or not you are in recovery?
  2. How did you dedicate your time in the addiction recovery community? How does that relate to you becoming an author?
  3. Can you share some resources that you have discovered?
  4. Can you share with us some important lessons you have learned in your life that you think our audience may want to hear? (tips, pointers, practices, helpful habits, important aspects of your life today)today)


About the Author:

Johnnie Calloway grew up in a small town in Kentucky. His mother passed away when he was 5, leaving him to grow up with his father who he describes as a sexually-confused, angry alcoholic. Calloway fell into drug addiction, alcoholism and battles with mental illness before finding healing through forgiveness. In “Dragons to Butterflies: The Metamorphosis of a Man” (published by Balboa Press), the author chronicles his abusive relationship with his father and the steps that led him to recovery.

“An astrologist told me that I was supposed to write in 1991 and I then wrote ‘Taming the Dragon,’” Calloway says, adding, “The object is not to conquer the dragon but to tame him and make him an ally.”

Calloway hopes to expose the darkness of child abuse and give “a voice to those kept silent by fear, guilt and shame.”

Johnnie Calloway is a seeker of truth who has devoted himself to sharing what his seeking has taught him with others. He has written two books: “Taming the Dragon” and “Dragons to Butterflies.” He is currently working on “Within the Chrysalis, It’s an Inside Job.”

More information is available at Today I Laugh.


Do you know somebody that may need help from addiction or mental illness?

We want to help those who are suffering from addiction and mental health disorders by providing you some of the best know resources mentioned in this week’s episode and listed below.

If this is an emergency or if you are worried that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, please call your local authorities (911).


Episode Notes:

  • How are you recovering from depression?
  • Why is positive self-talk so important?
  • What important is your higher power?
  • How are you helping to bring hope to the hopeless?
  • What is your belief around assistive medication?
  • Why can finding employment, housing, and counseling be so important to someone in recovery?
  • How have you learned to smile again? Laugh?


Books from the Author:

An excerpt from “Dragons to Butterflies”:

“I was angry with everyone that said they loved me, or anyone who said they were my friend. I did not trust anyone! The more someone said they cared, the closer they were watched. My revenge was theft. Once someone told me they were my friend or that they cared for me, soon thereafter they lost something that meant something to them. Usually, it was something they really cared about. My dad had always said, ‘Do unto others before they do unto you, and they will always do unto you.’ What he didn’t say was, ‘And I’m the one who will do unto you the most.’






Taming the Dragon, a book written by Johnnie Calloway is a metaphor of Johnnie’s life and the spiritual lessons he has learned along the way. The book is based on Johnnie has learned from A Course in Miracles and The Twelve Steps. These lessons have become the tools that Johnnie uses to overcome his fears, they can help you too.



Contact the author at dragonstobutterflies@gmail.com


  • Understanding Addiction as a Disease: Fact: 90% of the 40+ million people with an addiction today, started before the age of 18 (source: casacolumbia.org). Addiction is one of the largest and most mis-understood diseases in the world. New research has shed light on this disease and we now have a better understanding of how it works and how to reduce our risk. If we can understand addiction, it will unlock our understanding of how habits are formed and the secrets to achieving anything in life.
  • We All Crave Dopamine: Dopamine is a chemical naturally produced by the brain that causes us to feel pleasure. Dopamine is released in two stages; when we 1) anticipate and then 2) when we actually experience the pleasurable activity.
  • Understanding Habit’s: Watch this video to better understand the habit loop.
  • What are Triggers? Triggers can be categorized into four buckets. It could be a certain time of day (like getting tired at 3pm), a location (arriving at school or back home), an emotion (like stress), or an event (like just finishing dinner… craving that dessert yet?). Identifying your triggers is the first step in the process of changing your habits and implementing your “Replacement Crave”
  • What’s Your Replacement Crave? Studies show that it’s easier to change a habit if you satisfy and replace it with another habit that’s better. Same reward… just different routine. Like swapping candy for an apple, or swapping t.v. for playing basketball. The trick is that you need to find a replacement crave (different habit or routine) that SATISFIES your old crave (old habit or old routine)… Although water might be your ultimate goal for replacing soda… if it’s not satisfying your crave, you might want to try water infused with fruit as a half-step in that direction. Or maybe you need to replace that soda crave with something physical, like exercise or socializing with friends?


Learn more at Crave21.org and join us in the challenge!


Also, check out all the resources mentioned by visiting Rise Together’s “FIND HELP” section at www.weallrisetogether.org


This week we encourage you to get involved in your community or by supporting us online. In order to make long lasting change, people need to start dedicating their time and resources to the cause’s they most care about.


Episode Call to Action:

SHARE YOUR STORY with us and speak about the issues you most care about. When #WeAllRiseTogether we make a huge difference throughout the world!

Join the Rise Together Nation When You


Rise & Grind episodes now available on iTunesStitcherYouTube, via our blog/feedNews Talk 97.5 FM & 1360 am on Sunday’s 11:30 am. You can also catch shows via our social media channels like InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.  Also available on Sober Nation Podcasts & soon to be on Spotify*

About Anthony Alvarado

Rise & Grind Recovery Radio is brought to you by Anthony Alvarado; who is a person in long-term recovery and recognized as a national speaker, writer, and one of the leading voices in the recovery movement.

Since 2013, he has traveled over 100,000 miles with the Rise Together team; where they have spoken to over 120,000 young people on mental health and addiction. Today they are continuing to encourage thousands of students to talk about the issues they care most about.

Now, he looks to invite conversation from all over the nation to help show the world that recovery is amazing and so is life when you discover your talents, passion, and purpose. This radio podcast is for the entire community because we need YOU to help change the world.

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