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Shame Can’t Survive The Light

By September 2, 2015January 19th, 202486 Comments

“Shame craves the darkness. To overcome it, bring your past into the light and own it.”

Rich Roll

I’m terrified.

I don’t want to post this episode.

But hiding in the dark never helped me. Neither repression nor denial ever helped anyone.

In order to grow, we need to honestly confront our past. Understand it. Then own it.

Because you can’t save your ass if you’re trying to save face.

Today I shine a light on an episode of my past that still causes me shame.

Because shame can’t survive the light.

I’m terrified.

I feel fragile. I feel vulnerable. And that’s why I must post this episode.

Because I need to walk my talk. Because embracing vulnerability ultimately leads to strength.

Because shame can’t survive the light.

I can’t say I look forward to your thoughts on this one. But go ahead. Post your comments anyway.

Peace + Plants,


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Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. End song Inside City written and performed by Julie Piatt (aka SriMati), accompanied by our sons Tyler & Trapper Piatt.


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  • Kevin Lee says:

    Thank you. You guys came into my life about a year ago and I’m a better man because of it. You have inspired me to push my body, clean up my diet, and to enjoy the journey. That would be enough, but your message doesn’t stop there. In fact it goes much much deeper. Your story and example of living have shown me that the internal work is where truth and joy are found.

    This episode is a raw and authentic expression of what it means to be human. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for shining a light on my path.

  • Cody WK says:

    Listening to the podcast right now, really inspiring. You haven’t lost this listener. Keep going strong. Peace+Plants.

  • Alicia says:

    I believe that low vibrations can present themselves at times when we need to take leaps in our growth. Your experience is a beautiful example of this, and thank you so much for allowing each of your listeners to play a role in this growth!

  • Angela says:

    Well my interest is super piqued! First let me say that while I love your podcasts with other guests, my absolute faves are the Ask Me Anything ones with Julie. I’m downloading it now to listen on the bike in gym tomorrow more. Whatever it is you’re sharing, kudos to you for being brave enough to do so! High five from Cape Town, SA. 🙂

  • Cody WK says:

    You haven’t lost this listener. Keep going strong. Great podcast. Peace+Plants

  • Patty says:

    Thank you Rich and Julie. Stellar podcast! This opens up such a huge and needed opportunity for all of us to be vulnerable and honest about our own shame. What would happen if everyone exposed themselves? What if we ALL, instead of pointing fingers or blaming or shaming each other, we just came clean with the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves? What if we all just fessed up, together, at the same time? I think the only thing left would be compassion for each other. THIS is what being human is all about! This begs us recognize our soul connection to one another through feeling and emotion.
    I applaud your courage and transparency as well as your continued service to shift consciousness.

  • Maruca says:

    Am listening to you now and if anything my respect and love for you have only grown Rich. I know shame. I ruined my life 11 years ago and my life fell apart totally. I’ve been rebuilding my life since 2008. I am governed by fear of failure, of all the amazing things that my life is now not to last and overcoming that is something I truly struggle with! I am very open about what I have done now and I feel better for it. My life 2015 is better than it’s ever been. I struggle, I fear, I put myself down but occasionally I go “Oh what can I lose after I’ve lost and rebuilt it all” and just DO… and whenever I make it to that place my life transforms. My goal is to get to that special place more and more often. Meditation, exercise and THIS PODCAST and other habits have truly helped. I love your Podcast Rich (& everyone involved!) and you can share whatever you want – I always will! Love from Switzerland! xxx

  • Michelle says:

    Real and honest and beautiful. Thank you.

  • Kate Solis says:

    Such an authentic, honest, and heartfelt post. I found it curious that the first question you asked after your share was to ask how many listeners you had lost. Could I offer that you may have in fact gained and strengthened listener relationships? I fall in that category. Peace and gratitude.

  • Colleen says:

    Rich, Wow. I just listened to your podcast and felt compelled to sit down and let you know how much I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your experience with us. I am a huge fan of yours (and Julie’s) and my affection is even greater after hearing you share the story about how your disease came out from hiding. I think your cautionary tale will be incredibly helpful to more people than you’ll ever know. You are, and always will be, and inspiration. xoxo

  • SK says:

    Dear Rich – I have followed you and Julie for years, mostly your nutritional lifestyle and adopting many of the elements you both have put into your books in order to fuel my own marathon/ultra training and overall well-being. This is the first podcast of yours I have listened to and I must say that you both are extremely brave. You have not lost this listener/follower. As a child of an alcoholic, I must tell you that your admission of your overall addiction and subsequent relapse is extremely brave and it is refreshing. Your children should be very proud of you, your overall journey and the love and respect you and Julie have for each other. My Mom never admitted she was an alcoholic over her nearly 15 years of being one and it ultimately killed her a few years ago, after causing rifts in nearly every relationship she had. It took years for me to reconcile that the alcoholic and the lovely, vibrant woman that I knew as my Mom, were two completely different entities. The fact that you are embracing both sides of your person and sharing both with your family and us should be commended. As Julie said, when you wondered “how many listeners have we just lost?” following your admission…..too bad. Don’t worry about those that choose to judge your journey, as they may be harboring their own personal shame. The unconditional love, trust, honesty and admiration you and Julie share together is amazing and inspiring. Please continue to share your journey with us – it helps others deal with their own failures, shame and to ultimately become more understanding and gentle with ourselves and others. Much love you you both!

  • Tommy F says:

    Rich, your humble authentic bravery in divulging your story, only increases my respect for you brother.

    We all fall short of perfection. You just had a double-bonk day. Validation of being a true member of the human league.. born to make mistakes. Imperfection serves to reveal how human we truly are. Unfortunate circumstances compress our decision making and the gravity of failure leaves us with very little breathing room to think clearly. Alcoholism “is” a beast, for sure. Beer-Goggle Maya, clouding access to our pure enlightened state.

    Great advice on not burying the isolating emotion of shame. We can’t keep compiling and suppressing all the deep, dirty emotions. We instead need to approach it like a sink full of dirty dishes. You start with the light stuff up-top, then work down to the grimy, crusty, piled-upon posts and pans. If we don’t clean that stuff down deep, we don’t have anything to cook our next meals of life with.

    You’ve been of immense help in my individual transformation and this miss-step along your journey, only gives me more awareness to the pitfalls lying ahead in the path of my personal recovery from alcoholism. I’ve been tempted quite a few times and I know these won’t be the last. Your story will help me at some point down my path, when a dark moment invites in temptation. I’ll remember your story, and it will help keep me strong. Your ultra-brief moment of failure, casts a silver-lining of awareness to the rest of us out here, sometimes struggling, in RRP land.

    Namaste Brother.. Keep inspiring us!

  • Craig says:

    Great podcast! I’m in recovery and your story was exactly what I needed to hear. Your continued honest discussion is appreciated.

  • Felicia Smith says:

    Fantastic podcast. One of the best so far. Thanks to you both for being so courageous and sharing your intimate life events. Your desire to continually improve is inspirational. Peace.

  • Cassie Young says:

    Hi Rich. How could anyone possibly respect you less after listening to that! I definitely respect you more. Thank you for being brave and vulnerable
    enough to share this with the world.

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Rich and Julie. I was deeply touched by your raw courage and honesty in today’s podcast. Thank you! It’s terrifying to reveal our dark sides in public. After the lead-up, I thought Rich was going to say he took PEDs to help him finish his 3rd ultraman. Glad it wasn’t that! Rich, compared to your former self, you’ve made an incredible transformation. A relapse is just a reminder that your demon is still there (doing push-ups while it waits). A warning to not become complacent. Look, this time you learned that lesson after just a few hours and without becoming totally self-destructive. That is so much better than the way you handled it 20 years ago. A testament to how much progress you’ve made.

  • fas6 says:

    Thank you both for this superb podcast. One of the best yet. Thank you for sharing your intimate experiences and for your continued commitment to personal growth. It’s truly inspirational. Peace.

  • Gail Allen says:

    Rich and Julie I’m sitting here at work with tears in my eyes amazed at your level of vulnerability. Your “Ask me anything” podcasts are like going to church for me. Thanks for showing us that you are real people with real life challenges. I always say I like people that have been through something because we are deep and strong and open. Keep up the great work and I will keep following 🙂

  • Diane Lindsay says:

    Thank you for today’s podcast. I’ve come to listen to your podcasts with trust in you both-not because I believe you to be perfect people (whatever that would look like!) or because I agree with you all the time, but because you are honest and are giving your best to serve others and yourselves. This podcast today was so brave and moving; it has confirmed the trust I feel in your both at an even deeper level. Thank you for that precious connection.

  • klamberti says:

    Cuddos to you for opening up and being true to what you are all about!! I carried shame about something I did when I was 17 (40 years ago!) and it wasn’t until I shared what I did with those closest to me that I could release it, which happened instantly. They still loved me, and that’s all that mattered to me. And I have a feeling everyone who loved you before this podcast has a deeper love and respect for you now. I know I do. Rock on Rich Roll!!

  • Michele says:

    I just listened to this podcast this morning. This really touched my heart. I am a recovering addict and I toy everyday with the idea of whether I am or am not ‘ok’ or ‘Would one glass of vino really send me over the edge?’ Partially because I never went ‘over the edge’ when I was drinking but I forget, wine leads to drug use which leads to more isolation than I already deal with. Even today in recovery isolation is a comfortable velvety black blanket to block everything out and that leads no where good. It has taken me over a year and a half so far to get where I am and this podcast was a great reminder. Its ok to be curious, its ok to be human and not be perfect in my sober journey. It’s ok to face my challenges and mistakes and to move forward.

    You are such an inspiration on so many levels. it can be challenging at times to find inspiring people that live in recovery and go through what I do. Not the past, not the substance issues but the day to day brain game. People that are actually living a spiritually, physically and emotionally whole life. Your degree of honesty, compassion and knowledge is wonderful and very hard to find in people. The integrity in which you approach your sobriety is what I strive for. Its not just about the substances or the shopping or the whatever, its a lifestyle. Its the way we communicate, eat, breath, speak…its all encompassing and I find such a huge lack of understanding within and around the recovery community about what it really means to live in sobriety. Its not just about alcohol or drugs or gambling etc. Its the knowledge that the disease of addiction encompasses everything we do, everyday, all day long.
    Thank you for being you. (and thank you to Julie too. That cookbook you guys have created is fantastic. I have been using it literally everyday since I received it earlier in August).

  • Erin says:

    Rich and Julie I have nothing but respect for you both, more now than ever your are still even more so a huge inspiration to me and are helping me become more authentic and in turn helping me have a better relationship with my family – to you both I am so very grateful, much love

  • GadflyRadio says:

    Love, love, love your podcast. This episode builds on the love, respect and gratitude I have for you, Julie, and everyone in your community who supports your commitment to inspire listeners to live free, full, with love, joy, and happiness.

    Your courage to be raw, transparent, vulnerable is moving beyond words. Bless you! Bless Julie and all your family and community. You bless my life, and everyone in my life and my community with the treasure you share with your dedication and devotion.

    Thank you.

  • Tina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing and being HUMAN! Your podcast speaks to me in so many ways but this one in a special way. I was married for 10 years to an alcoholic who is the father of my 3 amazing children and for that I will ever be thankful. He has not to this date found strength or peace in sobriety. In and out of AA for years, either the most sober or the most drunk person in the room and both were equally as unbalanced. My children have seen him fall many times, only to make excuses and continue to live in the disease. The gift that you have given your family (and yourself) is wonderful beyond words. Thank you for being vulnerable and thank you for showing that people can and do fall down. It is the getting up that makes us who we are. Much LOVE!

  • Jami Foltz says:

    Thank you. This was such a moving podcast. I listened walking on the beach and was truly touched and brought to tears by what you and Julie shared today. We can help ourselves and serve others with our honest expressions of our humanness. There truly is strength and power in vulnerability. Julie, your song at the end is just gorgeous. Thanks again.

  • bereniceweber says:

    Thank you infinite for sharing your vulnerability and life, Rich Roll. You, Julie, and your family are an inspiration. Your story, from my point of view, is not about shame but about hope, humility, and being able to follow a path no matter the obstacles! How many people live their lives drinking “those 5 beers” every day? Disappointing their families and friends without even daring to acknowledge it to themselves. This podcast with you both is brave, positive, and wise. “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson

  • Love says:

    I only listen to this podcast because I can relate to you guys as a human, so for sharing your humanly experiences I could never unsubscribe to you. I believe this is your strength.

  • Andrew Edwards says:

    Julie and Rich … We love you … What wonderful teamwork! You guys WENT there AGAIN!! This podcast and your sharing of your combined life experiences are a gift. You’ve shown again that neither of you are ‘pedestal pushers’ but rather true ‘talk walkers’ I’ve listened to and read just about everything that you have put out into the universe. This episode rocked … balls+brains+teamwork+spirituality+plants

    This is how you Roll the Julie and Rich way

    Julie can’t wait for the book!!

  • Emily says:

    Hugs! Hugs fellow humans. Thank you for sharing all of the feelings and emotions. More impressed than ever. Truly touching my life and then in turn my family. Love you both and your wonderful family and will continue to be a loyal listener. I cook great meals listening to these- good energy!

  • Doug Burghart says:

    Long time listener ans I have to say that this one was the best one to date. Everyone has ghost’s in the closet and we are all human and we do make mistakes in life. But the good person learn from the mistakes and become better person. And family and true friends will always their. Bottom line is that, you can help one person in your journey. You have done something and I believe you have done that. Don’t be to hard on yourself. We will always be here for you.

  • Victoria Lewis says:

    Bravo. The shame of addiction can only be eradicated by shining a light into its dark and lonely corners. That was one colossal flame you through at it this morning and I admire Julie for taking you there and you for having the humility (that keeps us all sober) to bring it to the podcast. That was brave,honest and in complete alignment with the superior content you so fervently continue to deliver. Blessings Julie and Rich- please never stop.

  • rove faerie says:

    Rich and Julie,
    Thank you for your transparency and your honesty. It is by digging all of the crap out of our inner selves that we grow and vibrate at a higher level. I am here and have been going through all of the podcasts because of your willingness and the willingness of your guests to be honest, to share and to be real.
    Huge hug,

  • Sandie Orlando says:

    Not lost…but won respect. My son is about to come out of a two year recovery program next month. This podcast helps me to understand so much more about what his life will be about – day by day. Julie’s example of forgiveness, understanding and gratitude gives me strength. I hope you feel that you’ve shone the light brilliantly.

  • Steve Ashbaugh says:

    Rich – nothing but increased respect for you after today’s podcast. It takes real guts to step up and own your past. Nobody is perfect. We’re all human beings, and we all make mistakes. There’s no shame in that.

    While not an alcoholic myself, I’ve also struggled with “the beast” in my own way. Hearing your story today has strengthened my resolve to continue choosing a sober lifestyle. It’s a reminder that we all need to remain diligent in our lives, to continue living in a mindful way. I like to call it living “deliberately.”

    I’ve been a fan since the beginning and your podcast is a constant source of wisdom in my life. Keep up the excellent work, and I will continue to follow your journey!

  • Mike says:

    Thank you for sharing the amazing podcast. I usually listen to part of the podcast on my way to work and the rest on the way home, but I couldn’t stop listening to this story. When I got to work I closed my office door and listened to the whole podcast. When I got home tonight I told my wife, you have to listen to this now. Thank you for keeping it real and raw, you will gain more listeners for being so authentic. Your story is truly inspiring, and today’s podcast only adds to the inspiration. Thank you.

  • Maryann says:

    Sharing your relapse story was very brave and powerful. It is also helpful, too, and not just for people dealing with alcohol/substance abuse. I see many parallels between alochoholism and eating disorders, and similarities with depression as well. Relapses happen. High stress makes them more likely to happen. We are all human, we are not perfect. The best we can do is focus on what’s really important, be mindful, learn from mistakes, forgive ourselves, and move forward. Julie’s concept of being reborn each moment is very helpful.

  • Sue Miller says:

    Rich & Julie, I just finished your podcast….it made me cry at one point, the emotions are so visceral, the exposure so vast. It is not through length or time of ‘being perfect’ that you inspire us….it is in how you navigate through the torrents of life. I remain a dedicated listener and this podcast only strengthened my vast respect for both of you. Great reminder to those of us who also walk this path (I am nearly 25 years sober). I will remember not to ‘coast’. Thank you, Rich.

  • Jennifer Galindo says:

    Thanks so much this is exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • Jennifer Charpentier says:

    Dear Rich and Julie: I sat and listened to this podcast with tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart. I’ve heard similar stories in the rooms and the same thing always happens to me. Tears, gratitude and respect. Tears of empathy (which I didn’t have in active addiction). Gratitude for my sobriety and the gift of today. Respect for the disease and respect for the willingness, humility and courage of the individuals who come back and report to me the truth of their experiences. Julie, I also related to your feelings of devastation at Rich’s relapse and listening to you validate your feelings has freed me up to accept my own grief. Wow! Another gift of sobriety I was not looking to find! I was in a 17-year marriage to a man in active addiction and every time he went back out I felt those feelings to the point where in the end, I no longer felt anything but numb despair and hope deferred. Today I get to feel. Thanks. Keep coming back.

  • Wendy says:

    One of my favorite podcasts – thank you for sharing!

  • Marie says:

    One of the best episodes you have put out there. I am humbled by your willingness to elaborate on such tender memories to the greater public. In a world with so much disingenuous chatter, your heartfelt words are a breath of fresh air. This episode sent me into deep reflection — what it means to be vulnerable, what impact I have on those around me, how fallible we can be with ourselves while we fight our own demons and how much weight shame can carry. By openly talking about it and feeling it, one can actually heal in ways that repression and secrecy will never allow.

    Thanks to you both for allowing us to listen in on such an extraordinary conversation. Any fan who feels that this is a milestone of betrayal was not a fan worth having in the first place.

  • Rick says:

    Thank you, Rich and Julie. The podcast is a staple for me. I am drawing huge inspiration from this one. You guys are so articulate and through your conversations and the quality of questions to your guests, you are striking your audience in ways that no one else seems to be accomplishing on a consistent basis. Thank you for your honesty, and keep the plant power vibe flowing. All the best.

  • Luke Brady says:

    This is one of the many reasons we love you guys.

  • Richard says:

    I have been following your podcast for the last two months. They are nothing short of inspirational. This podcast in particular truly shows your true character and integrity.
    Choice blessings to you both and your family.

  • Brian R. Sheridan says:

    What a emotional podcast! Your thoughts that “I might lose listeners over this” was especially heartbreaking to hear. That you give thought to us and what we might think so puts you in a class above. Shit Happens, right? As we say in martial arts, “it is not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up. Or maybe that’s from “Rocky.” Anyways…you leaned on your inner circle for support back then. Now you are leaning on us. I, for one, have your back Rich!

    Though I never have had drug or alcohol problems, your example is inspiring. And how you handled that stumble again shows your honor and integrity. And here I was worried you were going to say that you went to the resort and pigged out on burgers and steaks. The “Vegan Police” would NOT be happy with that. Keep moving forward- it is the only thing we can ever do.

  • richard parker says:

    Rich…I hope that the shame has been replaced with pride (in all of the most positive senses). The relapse was human and to keep it private was understandable; your decision to shine on a light on it is simply lovely…for you and for your followers. As a one in a virtual relationship with you through the book and all of the podcasts, I respected you before hearing of the relapse; I respected you while hearing of the relapse, and I respect you more for you having shared it with us. Bravo….braviissimo…with love, Richard

  • Krista says:

    This was one of the most beautiful podcasts to date. Thank you, thank you.

  • Patricia says:

    Thanks so much for this podcast. As an addict myself, I could really relate. One of my most unforgettable lessons in the power of the disease and immanency of relapse came when a close family friend–a practicing addictions counselor, twenty years sober–died instantly when he crashed into a tree while driving drunk. I went to the tree the next day and picked out shards of glass from its bark, putting them in a little bag which I still keep in my desk. It reminds me that is the only place this road leads. That you ended your five-beer relapse at an AA meeting is so inspiring to me, that you so quickly chose the better path. Thanks to both you and Julie for your honesty and vulnerability–for your experience, strength and hope. Much love.

  • I’ve always wondered about my friends in recovery about “just have a beer already, you’ve been dry for a few years, you’re good….” Fascinating how the body remembers, isn’t it? The fact that you just picked up where you left off is amazing. Reflection for me was simply, “what am I not tending to that I think is all-good?” The visual of moving towards or away is key for me – stay mindful in the moment. Glad to know you both. Peace!

  • Ingrid says:

    This podcast made me tear up. There is no way relaying this event could turn me away from you. You are a precious, precious man. I look forward to each of your podcasts like no other and you being authentically human (making mistakes) is why we love you. I wish you could get to know the listeners since we know so much about you; I feel like you are a person in my life. Since Julie’s been on more recently I’m getting to know her as well; she’s a wonderful addition. Keep doing what you’re doing they way you’re doing it. We love you Rich.

  • Vince says:

    Wow! What a podcast! This took an incredible amount of courage and I thank you for it. It is very difficult for anybody to expose something they are not proud of. But how many people willingly expose themselves for the benefit of their audience? I would be terrified too and I think anyone would be. But you did it anyway and I can’t thank you enough for your courage and dedication to your authentic self. Thank you Rich and Julie!! Both of you are totally amazing and you deserve the best of what life has to offer!!

  • Kirsten Poile says:

    I respect your strength and honesty. I hope you can find a way to move beyond the shame.

  • Deanna says:

    I am not an alcoholic but I have a past that I think is worse as I have mental illness. I had a psychotic break 4 years ago and have been not just fine, but great ever sense – due to the low does meds that I take. I resonated with your story in that like the alcoholic, it is easy for a person with mental illness to think that after a time all is well and I don’t need to take this medication anymore. That is where I am now. It has been 4 years and I feel great – I want to say I don’t need these meds anymore and can cut back but your story made me wonder if I need to rethink that and come to accept that I am never healed and I will always need to be vigilant and take my meds. Thanks for being so brave and willing to share your story. I still have to keep mine silent, not because I have shame but because if I reveal my past, door will close and I won’t be able to do the things I want to do because people are afraid of a person with mental illness. Sometimes I want to share my story in order to show people that there is recovery and one can do great things after a psychotic break, but right now the risk seems greater than the gain, but that is what your did. You showed that relapses happen but they don’t have to be the end in that one can recover from a relapse. That is a story many people need to hear – thanks for sharing.

  • Charlie Adams says:

    Thank you for sharing this. You are a hero to many and shining light on the struggles along your path gives us a more realistic view of our own paths.

  • Alastair Baldwin says:

    Beautiful podcast, Rich! You showed incredible strength and courage to share this episode. I’m certainly not giving up on you. If anything, this has reinforced my admiration for your transformation. Big love from NZ.

  • Ty Charouhas says:

    Best podcast yet!!!!

  • Carrie says:

    Amazing. The most helpful, inspiring podcast yet. I truly believe this type of discussion is just as powerful and helpful as any other of the amazing accomplishments and topics of your other episodes. I think this talk may have FINALLY inspired my beloved to get help. Thank you, thank you, thank you <3

  • matt says:

    Thank you Rich and Julie for bearing your souls. Your story has affected me all week and will for a long time to come.

  • Jory Howell says:

    I listened to this podcast on a run the morning after you posted it and I have been dying to comment since. I have listened to every single episode and the talks revolving around alcoholism always captivate me. I am so glad that Julie put this chapter in her book and brought it to light for you again. Especially because you all were unable to really work through it when it happened because you were struck with another absolute tragedy. I am so sorry that you all had to experience so much pain and disappointment in such and short amount of time. I am absolutely inspired to hear that you were able to work together and rebuild.

    Rich, I can completely understand not wanted to relive such a shameful episode in your life, but I am so glad you confronted it. Both of my parents were/ are addicts growing up. I have found that it’s more common to ignore innapporopriate actions and pretend they didn’t happen rather than confront them. As the person on the other end of those situations I would love nothing more than to be able to talk about MY side of the story and expose how the situations have impacted ME, but that opportunity never comes. While this situation has got to be extremely painful for you I can relate more to Julie and the kids. Listening to Julie talk about her feelings when she found out that day in the hot tub, I knew her pain. The feeling of disappointment and betrayal and frustration and sadness. It is so important that she and the kids be able to talk about it too. You are so brave Rich and that is why we love you. That you are willing to do the inside work. That you are willing to revisit a shameful time, that you maybe thought you could put to bed, in order to let Julie tell her story.

    Thank you both for being honest, for sharing the real you, and showing the rest of us that we truly are just like you. We all feel shame at some point and this is a fantastic reminder that bringing it to light might help us heal and help those around us heal.

    This is the best podcast to date. Thank you for sharing, thank you for being human, and thank you for being authentic!

  • Tesla says:

    Rich and Julie, thank you for sharing this, and for adding another drop of growth to our collective human consciousness. Your concentric rings will go far.
    I also wanted to share with you a book that has changed my life more than any other in terms of cultivating true emotional intelligence. It’s called “The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness”, by Richard Moss, M.D. It has been by far one of the most transformational forces in my life. If you do end up reading and reflecting on this book, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences from it!

  • Ann says:

    Stories of mental need to be heard, too. There are many public dialogues now about how damaging the stigma of mental illness is. The problem may be different from addiction, but it can share the “I’m defective and/or unworthy” shame. In both addiction and mental illness, shame can be a key part of the disease, because it keeps us in hiding and prevents us from asking for help. But for all of us, no matter what, we are children of God and worthy of love. Peace!

  • Ann says:

    Your association between the inflated ego and the vulnerability to relapse is spot on. In the book “The Willpower Instinct” (recommended by previous guest Tim Van Orden) the author relates how addicts are *more* likely to relapse if they have minimal heart rate reactivity to the thought or opportunity to use, e.g., when they don’t perceive relapse as a threat. Relapse stories show too how our deepest addict-behavior coping mechanisms and their neural structures still exist even after a ton of recovery work and years of abstinence, why after a long period of apparent disuse we can open up that door and still find a pathway so familiar that we can easily run it in the dark.

  • Christina Turner says:

    Rich Roll you are my hero!!! Thank you for your honesty!!!! You are human! Yay!

  • wendy c says:

    Thank you, Rich and Julie for your honesty and for your vulnerability. At 15 years sober I started having a love affair with the wine aisle at whole foods. Fortunately, I didn’t drink, I talked about it and I started getting back in the book. All we have is a daily reprieve. To hear that raw, emotional conversation reminded me how grateful I am for every sober breath I draw. Thank you for sharing this story. I am pretty sure you will not lose any listeners and if you do, they are probably people who shouldn’t be listening to your show anyhow. Keep carrying the message and making the world a better place.

  • Rich and Julie,

    This episode was an incredible reminder that every day is a new one and that the struggle of addiction never truly ends. My family has been deeply impacted by addiction and your willingness to be open and transparent about your experience. You wondered if this episode would result in losing members of your audience. Rather than erode your credibility, this conversation adds to your credibility and ultimately, people who will be inspired by your story and continuing journey. Thanks for everything!

  • Kate H says:

    Thank you, Julie and Rich, for your honesty and vulnerability. My respect for you guys was already pretty high up there, but your story just made it grow even more. My dad was an alcoholic and one of my best friends struggles with recovery every single day, so this really hit close to home.

    Also very much looking forward to the interview with Aaron Piersol!

  • Eggplant & Olive says:

    This was EASILY my favorite episode yet. Thanks for sharing, and for being honest and real- I didn’t begin listening to the podcast with any particular interest in alcoholism, but having struggled with an eating disorder, found there is MUCH that resonates with continually working on and not side-lining the recovery process, and with owning and sharing the truth!

  • Zimm says:

    ^This. I’ve been shamed in the past, publicly, for all to see and laugh at, and it was terrible. I’ve taken away from that experience a determination not to judge others. We all have our dark secrets. This was very well said Patty.

  • Melissa Clark says:

    Thank you both for sharing. I appreciate your bravery to let us all in, even when you did not want to post this podcast…we are all flawed human beings. There is a freedom in not judging but by lifting each other up in times of darkness. I listen to your podcasts and have read your books because of your organic sincerity. And I will look forward to many more of your podcasts, books and all things artistic!
    Continue being a beacon of light to the world.

  • Allie Eastwood says:

    Thanks to you both for such an honest, open, and emotionally brave podcast episode. As someone coming up on one year of sobriety, self growth, and spiritual connection – this story of a stumble was touching. Shoving down one’s connection to their inner self with alcohol and drugs is so damaging – you chose the right word, shame. It’s important to discuss these issues openly with respect and honesty. We too often go with the flow, just get over it, push down our feelings, and wear a mask. To live authentically is brave and the only way to really connect spiritually with the gift of life.

    Appreciation to you both because during this time in my life, what you choose to share with the world has been impactful – to me and to others.

    Thanks again and positive vibes your way.

  • Penny says:

    Amazing podcast. Shame is an ugly thing. It paralyzes, and can destroy. You’ve made me look at it differently. Thank you.

  • Gisèle Loiselle says:

    Oh Rich Roll, I love and respect you even more after listening to this podcast; it really touched my heart and I wish I could’ve reached out and given you a huge hug.Who are we to judge you? I think most of us have some kind of shameful secret, and I hope that your releasing of it, and once again being completely transparent with us, has helped subside the same. Adore your podcasts, so happy to hear more of Julie.xoxoxox

  • Marc Liburd says:

    Possibly the most authentic,courageous and vulnerable episode of the Rich Roll podcast I’ve listen too from day 1. Thank you both for sharing your story on shame with the world it’s truly a beautiful gift to open up your inner most flawes.

    Being an addict myself and navigating my way through depression the last 8 years my shame has lead me to relapse countless times with devastating consequences,I sacrificed my kids career,family and the family home all for my next drink or drug fix.

    I’ve battled with this shame for years not being able to share it with anyone but my own twisted thoughts constantly punishing myself every passing day if not minute reminding me how much of a worthless piece of “shit!” Id become… This only manifested into horrendous self loathing which created a dirty dark hole of shame within me to fester and grow.

    Even after many recovery meeting and therapy sessions, there are still parts deep within me that I’m to afraid to talk about but I know, when I do own my story and realise that the addiction,depression are not actually me,then I can stand in the light of my true power..

    We are all scared of being judged by others and outcast by society, when really it’s our courage to become vulnerable that allows deep human connection to occur..

    Being your pure radiant being which lies deep within you gives you permission to shine the light on shame,our consciousness is longing to connect with others that are like minded-let us all be brave and share our shame together.

    Thank you both for being vulnerable it’s so refreshing.



  • AJ says:

    cunning, baffling, powerful! Thank you for sharing. It is the honesty of both you and your guests that make the podcast so great. It was your podcast with David Clark that gave me the courage to finally step into an AA meeting. Just picked up my 9 month chip. Thank you!

  • Dennis says:

    Thank you Rich. I wish I had your courage. You are even more of an inspiration than before.

  • Ben Fenton says:

    Thank you for sharing this story Rich and Julie, such a deeply personal and private story, I was incredibly moved by your openess (sp?) to discuss this. I am forever grateful for having had the opportunity to have met you both and continue to be incredibly inspired and motivated by everything you do!

  • Sarah says:

    Real. Honest. Vulnerable. Compassionate. Thank you for being all this and more. It cannot be understated the motivation, healing, and strength you are providing for so many who are struggling with addiction issues. You always made sobriety look easy, but now I wholeheartedly understand that it is not and never will be. This was a beautiful, poignant episode that had me in tears. I respect you, Rich, more than ever. And I have a newfound admiration for Julie as well. You both are amazing “spiritual beings,” and I so appreciate you sharing your “human experiences” and those of your myriad guests. Keep on keeping it real. xoxoxo

  • Mary-Ellen Landry says:

    As I listened to this podcast, I got goose bumps. You’re vulnerability, insecurity, and humanness to share this story that was so hard for you to tell simply…courage, Rich. I was not surprised to hear you say after this podcast the outpouring of love that was given and your received. Just blessings to you and much gratitude for all of it.

  • danaaramos says:

    Just finished listening to the podcast and I am so impressed with your honesty and your vulnerability. Sharing your story took so much courage and I applaud you. I can’t imagine you losing a listener, but gaining many. I love how both you and Julie speak with such honesty and compassion. You guys are wonderful!

  • Jenya says:

    Wow you guys are so brave. I feel honored to learn about your story. Thank you for being vulnerable and open! Such a reflection for all of us, human beings. So much gratitude.

  • Karen Lichtman says:

    Rich, Julie, Thank you so much for THIS podcast. You are both truly brave. Namaste and shalom, Karen in Brooklyn (widowed by an alcoholic in 2009)

  • Floyd Kay says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your openness, vulnerability, and honesty.

    Love beams from Atlanta.

  • Sara Noble Potts says:

    Thanks for sharing this, and keeping it real……Love you and Julie more than ever

  • Claudia says:

    I was away traveling this summer for 3 weeks and got majorly behind with the podcasts, so I only listened to this episode last week. Thumbs up Rich to be open about this but I seriously thought you did something way way awful. Not, that this event did not impact your family and your live as it did, but you slipped, and we’re all only human.
    What about shame though, if what happened to you involves others. What about females that have been sexually molested (or males for that matter as well). It is so difficult to live with this and sweep it under the rug, act like it never happened, chose to live in the moment. … Yes, it’s the past, but just like Casey said on his vlog about the 9/11, “education and experiences make you who you are” and awful experiences are a shadow of you, just like the good ones make you shine. How do you overcome shame like that?

  • Angela Murphy says:

    Thank you for your honesty and having the strength to bare your heart and soul. We all have struggles and battles that we face, and there’s not a single one of us on this great big planet that can judge or criticize you for what happened. Your love for each other is apparent, and the open communication & forgiveness is key to your success.

  • Stephen says:

    Thank you both so much for such a life-changing podcast. I had been struggling with my own addictions…feeling the shame of not being the person I want to be, the person I was born to be. Hearing this podcast was my therapy. I’m touched by the courage it took to share this. Though we’ve never met, I feel kinship to you both. Thank you for all you do, and who you are. You may never know how many lives you’ve helped to improve with this brave sharing. Thank you.

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