Re(Pro) #33: Griff Courtney

I met Griff almost a year ago at my current workplace - he was on his way out and I was on my way in, and he gave me a crash course in the basics of my job. Yet we connected as friends and stayed in touch - and now he's my personal trainer*.  Griff is The Ginger Hulk and he is living, breathing recovery.  

Because it's you vs. the person in the mirror.  


Repro 33 Griff Courtney

Name: Griff Courtney

Age: 28

Location: MoCo, MD

Recovery date: 5/1/2014

Creative niche: Bodybuilding, fitness, music

If applicable, drug of choice:
All in mass quantities at the same time


Recovery story in a nutshell: 
From age 16 to 23 I struggled with drug addiction. Growing up I was always very competitive, very smart/crafty and chased adrenaline. I took a hit of weed in high school, fell in love, and had $15,000 six months later. I was the best in sports earning a D-1 football scholarship and I was the best at drugs too, my life was awesome. My life was something like that out of Wolf of Wall Street, all while balancing school and football.

Eventually the fun times ended and I got kicked off the football team for an "antics and attitude problem". I struggled finding my identity as before it had been the athlete that partied. With no sports to keep me semi-busy and semi-focused I started using more and more and revolving my life around it. I was a dumbass and quit school with 112 out of 120 credits and moved to the beach in NC so I could get high, record music all night with my rapping buddy and sound engineer, and be in the sun all day. Again, this was awesome for a little while however the good times ended. I saw a whole lot of overdoses and arrests towards the end of my using career. I ignored every sign of drug addiction until I got arrested again, and then decided rehab MIGHT be worth it. All I wanted to do was stop getting arrested - I wanted to keep doing drugs and keep drinking.

On the way home from rehab I had a beer in the airport cuz drinking wasn't my problem, ya dig? I mean I never got any DUI's and drove my car blind drunk over 1,000 times so that's evidence. What alcohol did lead to was more drugs and after my second drug overdose and the removal of my left thyroid for medical reasons I decided it was a good time to get clean. I got clean for 1.5 years, put all my energy into work, family and fitness and it was a solid 1.5 years. Eventually I got cocky in my recovery and relapsed. I used for 3 days and spent almost $5k.

On the last night I was so fucked up that my bigazz passed out on my arm and luckily got woken up by my mom after only falling asleep for an hour or two. I had destroyed all the nerves in my arm and shoulder and lost function of my right arm. I only had range of motion at the elbow joint, my shoulder was dead. I cried everyday for 3 months, not knowing if I'd ever be able to return to the gym again. The doctors didn't know if I would ever recover or restore functionality of my arm. It was a scary 3 months.

I started physical therapy after 3 months and eventually fully healed and was able to lift again! I almost lost the one thing that brought me the most joy, training. This was God's way of smacking me in the face and saying " Yo GRIFF, COME ON MAN!" I completed my undergrad during my first stint in recovery and since my last relapsed I finished my Masters (MBA), launched my own personal training and online coaching company (Peak or Freak Fitness) and competed in multiple bodybuilding shows (physique and classic physique divisions).

Life is so much better without drugs and alcohol.

*See?  Told you so.

*See?  Told you so.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Jesus

2) Lifting

3) Making Music

4) Laughing

5) Driving Fast

Connect with Griff.

Instagram: @peakorfreak


Re(Pro) #31: Mark Goodson

Mark Goodson is one of those natural writers. He is a talented poet - whereas yours truly is a talented bad haiku-ist.  Devoted husband and father (OMG his kids are the cutest), you'll hear a lot more from recovery advocate and fellow Club 2007 member Mark as time goes on.  He's the real deal.

Happy early birthday, Mark!


Mark Goodson Repro 31

Name: Mark Goodson

Age: (almost) 34

Location: DMV, USA
[Editor's note: hey, neighbor!]

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 10/13/2007

Creative niche: 
I write for most every form out there. Poetry, non-fiction, personal essay, journalism, fiction. I co-write the comic strip for our local paper. If you see me, just know I'd rather be writing.

If applicable, drug of choice:
That which gave me the illusion of control over my emotions. Specifically, the triad of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana. As for which, I was an equal opportunity addict.


Recovery story in a nutshell:
All I ever really wanted was the bliss of oblivion. I settled for anything that got me close. I kept settling for less and less before waking up to the fact that oblivion is anything but blissful. Oblivion is actually filled with pain and misery. Sobriety has become more than being sober. Recovery has become more than recovering from drugs and alcohol. Recovery is a bridge to a better way of living. It involves peeling away the layers that keep us from living according to our true natures. I find that people in recovery have incredible drive, determination, focus, and ability. It helps when we don't center our living around the next drink or drug. I made my private recovery public when I started blogging in January of 2016. A lot of what I knew recovery to be was challenged. I'm a better man, and a more helpful man in recovery for it. I call the blog "the Miracle of the Mundane" because I've found, after peeling away the layers, that our true nature--our everyday existence is a brilliant piece of art.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Sponsorship

2) Prayer

3) Fellowship

4) Creativity

5) Books

I had the pleasure of hugging some of my FAVORITE recovery superheroes at the I Am Not Anonymous portrait event last summer.  Left to right: Sasha Tozzi, Cristina Ferri, yours truly, Maggie Shores, and the illustrious Mark Goodson.

I had the pleasure of hugging some of my FAVORITE recovery superheroes at the I Am Not Anonymous portrait event last summer.  Left to right: Sasha Tozzi, Cristina Ferri, yours truly, Maggie Shores, and the illustrious Mark Goodson.

Connect with Mark.