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Finding Hope -Addiction, Alcoholism, and Life Mastery w/ Dennis Berry

by Faster Than Normal

Dennis Berry is a Certified Life Coach and has been working with people worldwide for over 15 years. With modern technology, he can work with anybody anywhere via Zoom. His expertise is in Addiction Recovery, Alcoholism, and Life Mastery. He has firsthand experience, having been sober since April 8, 2003. With his journey in sobriety and recovery from drug abuse, it helped him find his mission in life, which is to help others on their journey through sobriety and achieve inner peace and success in every area of their lives. Dennis knows what it is like to be helpless and hopeless with no positive direction. He was able to climb out of the gutter and transform his life and he spends his life helping others do the same. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and you are ready to make changes in your life, book your first FREE consultation today. You will see some light at the end of the tunnel.  Today we’re talking about how Dennis began his path to sobriety, which led him to coaching and how helping other’s remains his life’s calling. Enjoy!


In this episode Peter & Dennis Berry discuss:

1:10-  Intro and welcome Dennis!

1:40-  A first-timer’s trip to AA; highs and lows

2:40-  What started you on your path to sobriety; what was the beginning?

4:50-  What led you to giving back, then to become a coach?  Ref: Peter’s interview will soon air on Dennis Berry’s “The Funky Brain” podcast 

6:30-  Things will get better. Everything is always changing.

8:30-  What is the top thing people do to self-sabotage, and what can they do to break the cycle? No pressure 😉

10:00-  Rituals versus Resolutions + the healthy, subconscious mind

10:14-  How can people find you?  

Via his website at and on the socials:





10:39-  Thank you Dennis! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.


12:04-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:


Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. It is great to have you as always. I got to change up what I say. I say the same thing every time I start a podcast again. Anyway, let’s talk addiction today. Let’s talk addiction. Let’s talk some real hard grit, some real hard facts. You know, ADHD is a hair’s breath from addiction. All neurodiversity really isn’t. It’s just these little tiny. Can’t even see them. They’re so small changes in the brain that take us down many, many paths, and we’re going to talk to someone who’s not only been down that path, but has come back and it helps other people get past that and back from that path. Dennis Berry certified life coach, he’s worked with people over 15 years. He works in addiction, recovery, alcoholism, and life mastery. He’s been sober since April 8th, 2003, which is freaking amazing. His journey for sobriety and recovery from drug abuse, helping find his mission in life, which is to help others journey through sobriety and achieve inner peace and success in every area of their lives. Dennis. Welcome. 

Thank you, Peter. It’s so nice to talk with you again, as lot of talking with you, you’re a wealth of knowledge and I liked the pace at which you move. 

Thank you. Yeah. You know, so one of the things I noticed when I decided to sort of get a handle on my ADHD and why I was drinking so much and things like that. I went to a AA a few times, right. In the very beginning. And, um, you know, we’re all introducing ourselves just saying, hi, my name is whatever. And I remember a guy next to me, told a story and it was very brief, but it ended with, and I quote, um, fifth time getting arrested for sucking dick in Tompkins Square Park for crack. And then it was my turn to tell my story and it went something like I kind of had a hangover the other day, you know, and I didn’t feel like I belonged and it wasn’t that way for a while. And then someone one day introduced me to the concept of high bottoms versus low bottoms. Right. Which is the premise that you don’t have to be in Tompkins Square Park doing exactly that, to decide that you’ve had enough. So why did you, when did you decide you had enough? Obviously, I believe 2003; what started it for you? What was the end result? 

Well, you know, my mind was leading up, mine was a bunch of horror stories. I did not end up sucking deck in the park. I did, uh, I do have some horror stories. Mine were like car accidents and being stupid and saying stupid things and getting in trouble. But that wasn’t one of them. However, you know, it’s interesting point that you bring up high bottom, low bottom. I was in a meeting. I used to go to a lot of AA myself early on, not as much anymore, but there was a woman there who was the speaker and she was there because, and I can tell you all my horror stories that went on for 15 years and they were crazy and bad and wild and like insane. Like you see in a movie, hers was, she was sober like 15 years because she drank two shooters of vodka every day. And to me, that was silly because I was like, that’s like breakfast. That didn’t make sense to me, but to her, it was a problem. So she had to make changes. I don’t remember the circumstance. Maybe she likes me back their kid, after she had tutors or something that hurt her, it made her think I have a problem and I need to make changes for me. Mine went a lot deeper. I was bankrupt financially, spiritually my body, my mind, my relationships all broken. So I finally became willing to listen to somebody else and change the way that I was living. And, uh it’s and it’s been a long road. You know, one of the things I, that I talk about all the time and that I instill in my clients is like, you know, the drinking, the drugs, the food, the porn, the shopping, whatever your problem is, it’s not always the problem. It’s what I’m using to cope with the real problem, which is my thinking. And so when I can work on that and, you know, clear up the past, see where all these. These issues originated from and work on those, then I can become more focused and, uh, you know, turn my life around for good. And, you know, it’s when you get to that moment that you realized what it was all for, and while you’re doing it.

Tell me about what prompted you from going from where you were to not only recovery, but then becoming a coach too, to teach other people, why the give back? 

Well, and that’s, I love that question. I, I was helping people anyway. And I love it. It feeds my soul. And I think a lot of people, like, I know you’re passionate about everything you do. Um, you were on my show and we talked about that and there’s a lot of people and by a lot, I mean, most people, whatever the percentages are, do not do things that feed their soul. And they’re the ones that they lay in bed in the morning with the sheets over their head, scared to get out of bed because they don’t want to go do that job or whatever it is that they’re doing, pay the bills, you know, pay for the kids or whatever it is. And I was helping people anyway. And I w I get fulfilled that way. Now along the way, in the last 17 years I’ve started businesses. Most of them failed, but some of them worked out really quite well. And I was able to change my health and I, and I’ve been able to live a life that most people dream about. And a lot of it was because I was pursuing my goal, my, my dreams. And, uh, every morning when I get up, I have clients that look to me for help, which at first I was like, they must be really screwed up if they’re asking me for help, you know? But, um, at the end of the day, I’m just truly blessed, lucky, fortunate, whatever you want to call it to realize years ago that my path was to help other people that are struggling from anything to not have to struggle at the depth that I did, you know? 

I heard a great quote. Once it said that that people were broken or people have been down that road and struggled before, want to help people because they know what it’s like to have been that hurt. And they never want to see anyone go through that again. 

Yeah, that’s right. I know how painful it was. And I think that that’s one of the reasons that I go and love talking to kids in schools and universities and things like that and you know, it’s that.. ‘yeah, I’ve been there and it sucks ass, but it’s, it’s going to get better. 

It is. 

Yeah. And you know, when you’re in that hopeless state of mind, when you’re sitting isolating and your house or apartment or wherever you’re living, and you think that the world, like the current state that you’re in, it’s always going to be that way. And it’s not. 

And the tough times, never last, neither do the good times. Everything changes all the time. And it’s, if you can figure that out on your own, that’s great. But a lot of people, you know, need help, they need somebody to say it, you know what…I love that there was a cartoon where it shows a guy on standing on top of this big hole and there’s a guy down in the hole and he’s raising his hand out. And this guy on the bottom of the hole, he says, I don’t know how I got in this hole. I’m going to be stuck here forever. I can’t get out of this hole. And the guy up top, he’s like here, give me your hand. I was in that hole last week. I’m going to help you get out. 

I heard it on the West Wing. It’s a, the guys in the hall and, and the, and a priest walks by and he says, father, can you help me? And he throws down a couple of prayers. And then, uh, you know, a businessman walked by and said, can you help me get out of this hole? And he throws down some money. And then his best friend walks by. He says, Mike, can you, can you help me? And Mike jumps down in, he says, ‘nNow you idiot, we’re both stuck in this hole!” Yeah, but I’ve been here before. I know the way out.’  I love that. It’s so true. You know what I’ve found so many times that I can find inspiration from people who I watch a TV or movies, whatever, and the sure enough, lo and behold, I do my research and yeah. And they’re in recovery. It’s it’s hysterical.

So let’s talk, um, give me some, some, some, some help here that I could pass along. Um, top three things that. People do to self-sabotage and, or just give me a top, top one thing that people do to self sabotage and how they can break the cycle. Wow. That’s like being on the, you know, not, not that I’m putting you on the spot or anything. 

No shit. Yeah. Well, One of the things that I tend to notice a lot is being unfocused or not feeling like they’re worthy, that not feeling that they’re worthy is one big thing. Um, but the unfocused thing I would say is trying to do too many things at once. And I say, uh, you know, I just did a webinar on this about a half an hour ago actually. But, um, you know, we all try to focus on too many, doing so many things and we really need to focus on just doing one thing. It’s called the one thing. And when I’m focusing on the one thing, which for you, I think. I don’t know how it works. I think you might be one of those people that I could focus on 20 different things. 

Yeah. That’s not easy. 

Right. But I think it’s so important. Some people are like, you know, they’ll try to work on five things and then they get overwhelmed and then they quit and they end up drinking or eating or doing something to distract themselves from working on the one thing and getting to achieve their goals and their dreams. That’s a, that’s like the biggest thing that I noticed with all my clients and we spend a lot of time getting focused on that. 

One thing. I heard a quote once that said, and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve stolen at music, uh, liberally over the past years. Um, Resolutions fail rituals succeed. But if you can get yourself to do something over and over again, for a certain amount of time, it becomes a ritual and rituals tend to have a much higher success rate than, uh, than, uh, resolutions.

So that’s how we reprogram our subconscious mind. Our subconscious minds were programmed. Over a period of time by doing the same thing over and over and over whether it was healthy or unhealthy. That’s how our stuff conscious mind. There. Some things that are so conscious minds do that are healthy, like brushing our teeth. So we had to learn mechanically and mentally how to do that from a very young age. And we did it over and over and over again. You don’t even think about it. We just pick up our toothbrush before we go to sleep. The moment we wake up and we brush our teeth, but we also get programmed to live in fear and we don’t even realize that. And it happened by- it could have started at four years old when we got scared of something and we carry that into our lives every single day, over and over and over again for an extended period of time. So to change that we need to go back in and find the root cause of that, and then shatter that behavior over and over and over and over again, day after day for an extended period of time.

Awesome. Uh, great answer. Um, how can people find you? How can they get more info about you? 

Uh, well, everything my book, the podcasts, uh, uh, and schedule appointments and stuff that you can pretty much the best place is to go through the website, which is And you can schedule appointments right on the site, or you can reach out and contact me and we’ll have a schedule, a free consultation for a little while and talk and see if you don’t feel better.

Dennis. Thank you so much for taking the time today. I really, really appreciate it. Um, you know, good stuff and I’m definitely gonna have you back at some point next few months. Thank you, 

Peter. I appreciate it, man. Have a great day. 

Thanks for listening. Definitely guys, as always you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. If you liked what you heard, leave us a review. We’ll be back next week with a new guest, keeping it brief this week, but brief is good when you have ADHD or any form of neurodiversity. Stay happy, stay healthy, wear the mask, stay safe. We’ll talk to you soon.

Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week


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