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Courageous Recovery

Author: Randy Mortensen

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My mission with the Courageous Recovery podcast is to save lives and allow the person to Reveal the Lifestyle Champion within them.There are many different types of recovery programs, they all are aimed at helping those battling substance use disorders to transition from being harmed to being clean and sober. Anyone who’s battling a compulsive or destructive behavior wants to be healthy and they desire to live a happy and productive life. Sadly, only 1 in 10 Americans with a substance use disorder receives treatment. Why?Because it’s not safe to come forward and admit your challenges. The stigma is fueling an American public health crisis and we need to “Crush the Stigma!”Substance use disorders are associated with discrimination and social disapproval – more than any medical condition. These same people are often isolated, outcast, and even imprisoned. Stigma isolates people, it discourages them from seeking help, and even leads some medical providers to resist delivering evidence-based treatment services.
62 Episodes
 The darkest day of my life was May 28, 1987 – that was the day we had to say goodbye to my son Jay. This is because an emergency room physician made an error while calculating a dosage for potassium, that was required in order to balance Jay’s electrolytes, prior to an emergency appendectomy.The goal of “Jay’s House of Restoration” is to memorialize Jay, a son that I loved deeply whose smile and vibrant personality would light up a room, by establishing a home for young men who are struggling to survive in their current settings.Jay’s 40th birthday would have been on April 15, 2022, and my plan is to dedicate this house and the program in loving memory.Jay's House & Lifestyle Champion WeekendThis group supports the annual Lifestyle Champion Weekend retreats for men. The weekend retreats start Friday evening, continue from morning to evening on Saturday, and conclude with a Sunday morning worship service.God has placed a Lifestyle Champion within each of us that's waiting to be revealed. The weekend retreats will encourage, challenge, and guide you toward seeing that champion revealed! The three-weekend retreats for the 2021-2022 season are planned as follows: the Twin Cities area gathering will be on November 5-7, the Upper Midwest weekend is planned for November 12-14, and the Central Florida weekend is scheduled for January 14-16, 2022Friday night session will start with music and some life-changing ideas to consider. Saturday is an intense day of biblical teaching, guidance for each man to consider, combined with small group accountability sessions, and in the evening a powerful talk by a locally known celebrity with a recovery journey to share.Sunday morning will be worship and a message on surrender, healing, and how to experience the lifestyle champion in your daily life.Final cost not set yet: $250 to $285 for the weekend, dinner Friday, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and a To-Go lunch on Sunday.The landing page is
Emily grew up in Cincinnati Ohio, went to the University of Alabama, graduated from the University of Cincinnati, and now lives in Los Angeles.Inspired by her own recovery and wellness journey, her mission is to annihilate the stigma around addiction. She’s passionate about providing followers with the tools, guidance, and motivation to help them navigate through their recovery and personal growth – one day at a time.At 14 years old she was expelled from 8th grade for snorting Vicodin on school property. In her early twenties she started dabbling with Opioids and Xanax, abusing them for about four years. And, she’s recently celebrated five years of being clean and sober.Her story is different than many on this podcast because she didn’t go to a traditional rehab nor did she pursue the 12-steps route. Her path to sobriety consisted of a lot of hot yoga, journaling, and really opening herself up to a new form of spiritualism. Emily’s mission today is to be a voice for the voiceless and annihilate the stigma against addiction.You can learn more about her work at her website: Or on Facebook: Or LinkedIn: 
Episode 62 – Interview with Mia HayesHer byline is: Love big. Love hard. Love you!Mia Hayes resides in Northern Virginia and when she’s not writing or drinking ridiculous amounts of green tea, she loves to travel with her family, and host parties with friends. She struggles with Bipolar 2 disorder. After her husband’s accident, she drank heavily and took too many prescription anxiety medications as a form of self-medication. And she also developed a cutting habit.She is the author of “The Waterford Novels” and her memoir “Always Yours, Bee”. Her memoir as recently selected by BookBub as one of “15 Powerful Memoirs to Read in 2021”.Years ago, her husband was involved in a tragic accident and Mia’s guilt and her husband’s PTSD, memory loss and depression from that accident, consumed their lives over the next five years as her previously laid-back husband changed into an angry man with few memories of their past.Desperate to hold her fragile family together, Mia ignored her own unraveling and plunged into bipolar depression. As she searched for answers to unanswerable questions, Mia moved her family from San Francisco to Paris, France before landing in a leafy Washington, D.C. suburb where she tried to find a fresh start only to become embroiled in a scandal of her own making.Through ups and downs, mental illness and bad decisions, Mia struggled with what it means to be a good wife and mother, whether saving her marriage was worth the pain, and understanding that healing is a personal journey.Always Yours, Bee is a heartbreaking yet triumphant and brave look at a woman, a marriage, and a family falling apart and coming out stronger. Told with clarity and introspection, it captures the terror of losing the person closest to you—yourself. Website: 
If I were to title this episode, it would be “What Are You Waiting For?”My guest this week is Kenneth Carter, a brilliant entrepreneur, who served in the U.S. Army for one term, he battled compulsive and destructive behaviors, but today has a powerful testimony about perseverance. His purpose in life “is to fill lives with optimism, while working to engender positive self-worth”. He believes every person has a purpose and wants to help them see that for themselves by sharing his personal stories of struggles. Those hardships, failures, and the reinvention of himself, offers guidance for others to move away from negativity and toxic environments.Kenneth has pursued recovery by exercising to improve his physical body, and he’s passionate about reading, which supports his desire to grow through self-help materials that allowed him to create his business. His past includes a felony and prison time, defeating the stigma associated with a criminal record. His drug abuse and prison time brought about pain that he turned into success.He has not allowed his past to thwart his success, Kenneth has faced the demons, took control of his life, and today enjoy great success in owning his own logistics business, a professional freight brokerage firm, working for businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada. His professionalism, empathy, reliability, and honesty, all combined, have helped him quickly grow his business over the past eighteen months. You can learn more about Kenneth at or email him at Logistics@ameritonfreight.comIf you’re interested in learning more about his story or desire to share your challenges with him, you can call him at 321.203.2027.
Steve is an author, speaker, original American novelist, and counselor for those who seek improved, personal performance. For more than 40+ years he has been working in the addiction/recovery space, as a therapist, healer, mentor, and pastor. With more than 25 years of experience in a range of academic and creative ventures as a senior pastor, Christian radio host, and Christian fiction writer, Steve knows what it takes to manage teams, budgets, and projects.He resides in Southern California and has not personally suffered from destructive or compulsive behaviors associated with drugs or alcohol. However, his father was a terrible alcoholic.Steve’s mission today is to rescue people who are swallowed up by the pain and suffering of drugs and alcohol and all other forms of anguish. He is the founder of “The Genius Path”, is a novelist, speaker, teacher, counselor, and futurist. And, he’s the Executive Director of Thought Pros, LLC.You can connect with him on Facebook:, Twitter: @thegeniuspath, and LinkedIn: And, his personal website is: – the best phone number for him is: (760) 707-7051 For more information on the “8 Day Genius Challenge” and to engage in his life-changing book, titled “The Genius Path” visit the website at – please note that you were referred by the Courageous Recovery podcast because $8 of every book will go towards the construction of “Jay’s House of Restoration”, a boys home being constructed in Haiti in memory of my 5-year old son who was overdosed and killed by an emergency room physician who made a math error on the dosage calculation of potassium.
If you’re looking for a great night of rhymes, prose, and harmony, join Nadia and her friends on Monday, June 7th starting at 6 pm EDT – You won’t want to miss “A Night of Prose, Poetry, and Music” at Phat Bites Deli & Bar in Nashville. RSVP here: After a successful career in Los Angeles, Nadia went from having a great job and life in LA to being a homeless crack head with two felonies and multiple misdemeanors. Today, she has 23 years sober and she remains engaged in 12-step programs.Nadia is an author who uses grains of her once-gritty life to infuse her stories with cathartic realism. She grew up traveling the world and living in various countries before settling in Los Angeles. Currently, Nadia and her husband reside in the Nashville, Tennessee area, where she writes by the lake when she can escape from their six kids and a dog.In 2017, she co-wrote a song with fellow author, Lois Berg, for a feature in “Battered But Not Broken” – a theatrical event they created and in which they also starred. As an editor, Nadia’s talent remains in-demand with several notable books now available on Amazon and other retailers. Her talent has been rewarded with numerous awards and features. Nadia loves working with women and helping them get sober and improve their lives. She wants to continue to speak out against the abuse of all kinds and promote the wonders of recovery.To purchase her books and for more information go to: and her phone number is (323) 828-9911. Her personal email is: 
After surviving several mental health challenges, he became a provider. He developed a healing workshop, based on a book he authored, and he has traveled the world promoting his programs. Craig reached out to me via LinkedIn, sometime in the last half of 2020 – we chatted for a while via WhatsApp and decided he would be a great guest for this podcast. However, at that time accessing a decent internet connection was quite challenging for him, so we agreed to wait a few months.He now describes himself as a Mexican immigrant, a refugee from the United States, who actually left Boston in 2018, touring Europe with his program. He then toured some parts of Quebec and also spent a good amount of time in the Southwestern part of the United States before moving to Central Mexico, as a full-time resident in 2019.Craig now touts that he’s happy to live a much less stressful life compared to the culture of immediacy, comfort, and convenience, of his home country. In Mexico, he feels that people are more respectful of the basics and of what matters. As an immigrant and refugee, it is a joy for him to be a contributing member of his community, using his character, energy, and presence to serve the local citizens.Here's a link to get his latest book: The Craig Lewis Guide to Surviving the Impossible.  The book serves as a workbook, as Craig outlines how he overcame some extremely difficult life circumstances. After each chapter, he offers suggestions for the reader as tools for personal follow-up and application.You can contact Craig
Just over twenty years ago Jim Shoopack battled and suffered, in silence – clinical depression. He was suicidal but through his faith in God, and assistance from friends and family, he overcame the depression. Shortly thereafter, he set a goal of completing 100 marathons. To-date he has finished 21 marathons, including four in four months and three in three months. Since overcoming his battle with depression Jim has gone on to earn his Doctorate in Education, further demonstrating how far someone can go after overcoming depression. In this episode, Jim shares how to deal with & overcome suicidal thoughts. Also. he is very vulnerable in his willingness to talk about the debilitating depression that stole his freedom for more than three months back in 2001.Jim’s goal is to be the “voice for the voiceless”, and often states a statistic that’s not well known in our society today – the stat is “approximately 1 in 4 people will suffer in silence with a mental health challenge”. The fact that 26.2% of the population in North America have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, is what has motivated him to complete the 100 marathons. He has traveled to Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico on service trips. His fluency in Spanish has been beneficial in helping to serve as a translator for the church groups he’s traveled with. As part of his journey, he and his wife, along with their three pups have traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada. Travel is part of his “self-care” journey.You can contact Jim via email at 
Angel uses the tagline “The CEO Confidant” and after listening to him for a few minutes you will know why. He is the pre-eminent advisor to CEO’s who deeply care about their legacy when it comes to their family, their business endeavors, and for humanity.He is originally from Spain, moved at 18-years old to Barcelona, and married his college sweetheart but within 6-months they were divorced. This crushed him emotionally. The next stop was London, and then he attended a sales bootcamp in Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter he visited Mexico and Cuba. A book titled, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield radically impacted Angel’s life.Angel Ribo is the founder of Divine Human Ventures Inc. and the non-profit called “Wisdom for Kids”. He helps CEO’s double their revenues in three years or less by bringing on innovative and systematic approaches to their organizations, based on strong principles, rooted in the essence of the Divine Human BeingHe has two missions in life that are both deeply connected. His #1 mission and his life purpose is to help kids in need in Latin America with his revolutionary non-profit. The #2 mission in his life is to help 7,390 CEOs within the next ten years who will impact their staff, their customers, their partners, and the world.Enjoy this episode – be encouraged and challenged!!!!!More about Angel can be found at or and 
In this episode you will hear about the 5 Common Mistakes that are made when pursuing recovery. Too often we are constrained from caring for others because of our own attitudes, but just know that a few words of encouragement may be all the other person needs to hear today.God gave us His words as encouragement and for us to share with others. He delights in seeing you use the gifts, skills, and talents he has provided to fulfill the plan He has for your life.The five mistakes most often made are too often obstacles that hold us back from the happiness, joy, and satisfaction we’re all looking for. Only YOU can make the decision to pursue help. The shift from denial to willingness is imperative to your success.When you focus on one step at a time and one day at a time, you are able to build on previous successes, learn from past mistakes, and ultimately achieve the happiness, joy, and healthier future you want!Reveal the Lifestyle Champion!!!!!
My guest on Episode 54 is my friend, Rick Indridason, who has a powerful testimony and an amazing story of redemption, faith, and hope. Today, Rick is a remarkable husband (he and Alissa will celebrate 7-years of marriage in June). He is an outstanding Dad to a young son and two teenagers, as well as a hard-working and committed professional in the construction industry.As the youngest of five children, with two older brothers and two sisters, Rick has experienced some challenging and difficult times. His alcoholic dad left their family when Rick was only five years old, then five years later, at age ten, Rick’s Mom died – and she was the matriarch of the family, the only foundation the five children had at the time.Rick’s journey includes him smoking weed at age ten, shortly after Mom died, and that grew into drinking alcohol in his early teens, progressing into doing hard drugs and entering a life of poor behaviors, coupled with stealing cars and doing whatever it took to fund his poor choices. He experienced numerous incarcerations and spent years in jails and prison.His sober/clean date is Thanksgiving Day – November 26, 2009. The desperation and despair had overcome any functionality in his life. Rick says about that day, “I felt no hope but then God spoke to me and give me hope”. There are two books in the Bible that really spoke to him. In Isaiah 43.25 – where the Lord said “put your trust in me, stop fighting, and you will be restored”. And the other is in Chapter 3 of the book of Lamentations.Rick is leading an extraordinary life today and desires to share his gratitude while offering hope and encouragement to that person who’s still struggling.
This week, the broadcast is an amazing testimony by John Farrell at the Quest180 meeting in Viera, Florida. John has been blessed to be sober for more than thirty years and shares in this testimony how he was desperate to hear guidance from God and shortly thereafter heard from God that “prayer is the answer”.John is a strong advocate for 12-step programs and is a true leader, coming alongside others who are battling to get clean and sober and then remain that way. He touts his life as a demonstration of God’s forgiveness, His redemption, and His healing powers.John recalls those moments where feelings of helplessness and a lack of self-worth dominated his thoughts as he was struggling in a college career. God touched his heart and then John re-surrendered his life to Him.If you have questions or would like to connect with John, please call my office at 321.757.HOPE.
The broadcast this week is from a powerful testimony that was shared by Dusty at the Quest180 meeting in Viera, Florida. She is one of the leaders of the recently launched faith-based recovery programs. Dusty has a demonstration of God’s love, His forgiveness, redemption, and restoration.Dusty shares her challenges, and the punishments she has endured over the past few decades. But today, she is leading an outreach program that’s intended to serve those who are struggling with substance use disorders and others who are being sexually exploited.She talks about those moments where feelings of helplessness and a lack of self-worth dominated her thoughts. However, during her darkest moments, God touched her heart and she surrendered to Him. Today, she is a powerful witness and is a huge advocate for healing. She’s a real proponent of the Life Recovery Bible.If you have questions or would like to connect with Dusty, please call my office at 321.757.HOPE.
Episode 51 - Step 9

Episode 51 - Step 9


In this episode I'm going to cover Step 9 - focusing on forgiveness, grace and amends. Step 8 and Step 9 are critical in the healing and restoration in our lives and those we love.The verse I really want to highlight is from Luke 6:31 - from the Life Recovery Bible - "Do to others as you would like them to do to you". So simple, yet so tough some days, right?Who's the most difficult person to forgive? Yourself! If you're still struggling with this step, please reach out to me by leaving a comment below.Be Extraordinary Today!!!
Episode 50 - Step 5

Episode 50 - Step 5


On this episode we’re going to be covering Step 5 – focused on confessing or admitting our sins, all the dark and secrets of our past, to another person. Step 5 is often difficult for people. I have often been asked, “why do I have to admit my wrongs to another?”Many of us have been keeping secrets almost all of our lives. Every day those secrets take a toll on us. God's forgiveness, provides us a safe, protected passage down the path of ongoing recovery. For us to disclose to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the precise nature of our wrongs will necessitate an act of proper humility on our part.After writing down our personal moral inventory in Step 4, we are prepared to mend our past wounds through confession and humility. This confession process is truly life giving. Through the process, all obstructions are set aside from our path, and we obtain complete insight, understanding, and direction from God.Personally, I was very timid and frightened of painstakingly completing this crucial Step. It took awhile to gain the nerve to initiate this Step, but when I finally admitted my wrongs, a sense of relief and pleasure filled me like never before. It was a very awe-inspiring occurrence for me, but the act itself wasn't as bad as I pictured. For me to sincerely, and entirely follow through with this Step, I had to eliminate all unenthusiastic thoughts from my mind. I told myself that completing this Step would only generate growth and improvement in my life, further allowing me to become the man God wanted me to become. I set aside the false pride that kept trying to surface. It was essential for me to quiet my mind, while praying to God for the courage to put together a thorough confession.Along the way, I started admitting my wrongs to God the Father. I read and reread my personal inventory, while recollecting all corrupt and nasty situations that I could recall. I started with my childhood, continued through high school, and then college, and then the years in my 20’s, and then admitted my wrongs all the way to the present time, while asking for God's forgiveness and mercy. After I admitted my wrongs to God, I practiced my confession with my sponsor and then I chose my pastor to admit my wrongs to. I trusted my sponsor with this information, and I also trusted our pastor with the information, and I was meticulously open and straightforward; what a relief I felt after the action was concluded. It took many pages for me to recall my history, but the feelings and events that took place after completing Step 5 are very difficult to describe.I can’t stress enough the magnitude of completing this Step. This step gives you healing, freedom, and you gain support in your recovery journey.Please reach out to me for guidance. Text CHAMPION to 66866 or email me RMortensen@extremeinfluence or call my office (321) 757-HOPEThe online assessment is available at 
It was by no accident that John Giordano chose addiction and mental health treatment as his life’s work. Growing up the son of a heroin dealer and trying to cope with the trauma of being molested as a young boy, he fell hard into drugs and alcohol. Over thirty-five years ago, at the urging of his family, John entered rehab. He emerged a changed man – committed to helping others afflicted by this terrible disease.His new path required new knowledge. He has since earned many degrees and certifications including Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Master Addiction Counselor (MAC), Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified Criminal Justice Specialist, Master in Neurolinguistics Programming, Certified Practitioner of E.M.D.R, Certified Sentence Mitigation Specialist, Certified Mindfulness and Powerful Mind-Body Awareness Therapy Skills, International Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, and in 2008 he was honored with a Doctor of Human Letters from Sinai University in Jerusalem Israel.As he began his career in addiction treatment he became increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of care he observed in treatment facilities. John decided to set out on his own and with only $300 he opened an addiction treatment facility that evolved into the highly awarded, JCAHO accredited, 62 bed G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment in North Miami Beach, Florida which eventually sold for $45 million.Giving back to his community has always been core principle of Mr. Giordano’s. His efforts to better his community have also been recognized. Florida State Congresswoman Carrie Meek presented Mr. Giordano with the distinguished “Martin Luther King Award” for his work in the community. In addition to his daily responsibilities; John has provided counseling and trauma recovery services to law enforcement officers and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. He is a state and federal expert witness and also the Chaplain of the North Miami Police Department. As a 10th-degree black belt and National Karate Champion, he also trains law enforcement officers and Green Berets in self-defense and negotiation techniques.More info at And you can purchase his latest book here: 
Raymond Campbell is a long-time friend and Christian brother. We’ve known each other for more than twenty-five years and have been in numerous business ventures together. Ray has been sober for almost forty years.He refers to himself as a “re-vert” to the Catholic faith for over 33-years. Ray and his wife, Kathy, the mother of their four beautiful daughters, have been married for more than 40-years. They reside in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, having recently relocated there from Yankton, SD. Two of their daughters are married and Kathy and Ray are the proud grandparents of a young man, an energetic toddler named Micah.Ray began drinking at age fourteen while growing up in Long Island, New York. He is the oldest of eight children in his family and moved to South Dakota to play football in college. On the broadcast Ray shares about taking his first drink at the age of fourteen as part of an initiation into a fraternity. He says, “this began my journey of stupidity while seeking approval, to be one of the cool guys”.Today, Ray is passionate about serving others, he’s a faithful attender at their local Catholic church, and he has a heart for those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.During the broadcast we mentioned the new way for businesses to accept debit or credit card payments – reducing the usual high-cost of the processing fees to zero for the merchant. You can learn more about this money saving opportunity by connecting with Ray via LinkedIn: or by calling or texting him at (605) 660-3555
Episode 47 - Step 1

Episode 47 - Step 1


Step 1 is the beginning of your recovery journey. At the very outset is the realization there are three issues to be dealt with via this step: (1) being powerless (2) denial, and (3) admitting powerlessness. The journey begins where we admit that we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong things and our lives have become unmanageable, out of control.Two questions need to be asked: (1) Am I going to let my past failures prevent me from taking this journey, and (2) Am I afraid to change? Or, what are my fears of the future?Four actions are required as you’re working through this step:  (1) Stop denying the pain (2) Stop playing God (3) Start admitting your powerlessness, and (4) Start admitting your life has become unmanageable.Let’s face it, we have all stumbled over poor choices in the past. But the race isn’t over yet. God isn’t interested in how we started, but how we finish the race. If you’re battling, let today be your day that you begin to pursue true freedom. Blessings!!!
I've had some incredible and amazing guests on the first forty-five episodes. But this episode is extra special - God blessed me with two amazing ladies in my life and they are on this broadcast. My beautiful wife Pat and my awesome mother Joanne are my guests. If you're a spouse struggling with an addicted husband - please hear what my wife of 31-years has to say about patience and support. My Mom recalls, wondering why her son was behaving the way he was. And, over the years, has even wondered or questioned what she might have done wrong during his (my) youth. You and Dad did nothing wrong Mom! Two out of your three children turned out "normal" - without bad drinking habits.Please be sure to leave comments below about what impressed you about the words shared by these two fabulous champions. Also, subscribe, and please "like" and share the Courageous Recovery broadcast with others in your life.
Author  Kellie J. Wright is a writer, speaker, and Self-Love Transformation Guide. She’s also the host of Conscious Speaks Podcast, a board member of National Harmony Water Center in Eureka Springs Arkansas, and business owner of Internal Journeys. Her first book,  Internal Journeys: A Spiritual Transformation is a book of awakening sent forward in time. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Kellie, a self-proclaimed Internal Narcissus, is on a passionate mission to help individuals discover their own truth through her self-actualized process called The 90-Day Transformation. She has walked herself into lasting light to become a modern mirror, seer, and healer. Her ability to reflect back exactly who you are being, so you can find the real truth of who you are, leads to embodying a more peaceful life. 
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