Dr. Robb Kelly is one of the leading voices in the addiction recovery movement. In this episode, he tells his miraculous story of recovery from homelessness to a Ph.D. He explains the significance of neuroplasticity combined with spiritual awakening is the key to recovering from alcoholism.
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Dr. Robb Kelly is one of the leading voices in the addiction recovery movement. In this episode, he shares his miraculous story of recovery: from homelessness to a Ph.D. He also explains why he believes the significance of neuroplasticity combined with spiritual awakening is the key to recovering from alcoholism.
About Dr. Robb Kelly
Robb Kelly, PhD is a renowned addiction consultant who believes in treating the problem of addiction, not the symptoms. He has worked for many years helping addicts and alcoholics to recover their lives from the disease of addiction. Based on his own experiences working with addicts and alcoholics over the last 20 years, a PhD in Psychology from Oxford University and as a recovered alcoholic himself – he is a triple threat against the disease of addiction. Dr. Kelly was the CEO of a thriving telecommunications company when the walls came crashing down on him due to alcoholism. He ended up homeless and broken on the streets of Manchester, England until he found the courage to save himself.
He has lectured on the subject of addiction at many high-profile universities, national conferences, public schools, churches, business organizations and hospitals, and is recognized as a leading authority on addiction recovery methods that are changing lives all around the world. Dr. Kelly is currently the CEO of the Robb Kelly Recovery Group, an addiction recovery coaching company he created based on extensive research and behaviour studies that he conducted over the last 20 years. Dr. Kelly’s methods may seem unconventional leading some people to refer to him as “The Gordon Ramsay of the Addiction World” because of his direct, no-nonsense, and candid approach to treating addiction. Dr. Kelly works to “make the road of recovery less of a mystery tour.”
Alcohol at home
Coming from a family with a history of alcoholism, addiction was always nearby. Dr. Robb describes his childhood growing up in a lower-income family, with a bar in his parent’s house and in a community where everybody drank.
He began drinking and using drugs at an early age in high school. Still, he managed to stay on a path of success, moving on to the prestigious University of Oxford to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology. While studying, he continued to drink heavily, but still completed his Doctoral studies and graduated in 1984.
“I couldn’t do it”
Dr. Robb soon fell into a pattern of wanting to stop, thinking he could do it, and rapidly proving he could not.
After school and following the encouragement of his peers, Dr. Robb became a police officer. Six months into the job, he was fired for being drunk on duty. From there, he moved on to a telecommunications company and, after a short stint, went out on his own. Through this all, he held on to the belief that he didn’t have a problem.
He soon married and was sure that that would be the thing that would get him to stop.
Then came his first child. Dr. Robb was certain that this would be the event that would change everything. He was so sure that he carried a Bible to the hospital, and after holding his newborn daughter for the first time, he swore to her, his wife, and himself that he would never drink alcohol again.
Four hours later, he was drunk.
In his words, “That was a problem that I didn’t see that just multiplied like crazy.”
From the outside, Dr. Robb was a well-respected man, living in a big house on the hill, driving luxury cars, with a wife and children who loved him.
In reality, his drinking was out of control, and he ignored it until it cost him everything he held dear: his cars, his house, his business, and eventually, his family.
Stabbing his wife, neglecting his kids, his eldest child begging him to stop drinking. None of it got through.
“I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it for them. I couldn’t do it for me.” – Dr. Robb Kelly
Within months he went from bouncing from couch to couch to homeless. And still, as he sat down the first night in the rain in Piccadilly Gardens he wondered to himself about what went wrong because he knew he didn’t have a drinking problem.
A spiritual awakening
Dr. Robb was a man who didn’t believe in God. One day, fourteen months into homelessness, he couldn’t take it anymore. He suddenly gave up and dropped his hands and knees, started crying in the rain, and prayed, “If there’s a God up there, I can’t do this on my own anymore.”
“The reason I was crying was not because I had lost my children or my money or my wife or my cars. The reason I was crying was I realized I can’t stop drinking. That’s when it hit me.” – Dr. Robb Kelly
Three seconds later, from around the corner, came a man with a Bible in his hand, asking him if he needed help. The man took Dr. Kelly to his house to help him, and that’s where it all started to change.
Derek, the man who helped Dr. Robb from the streets, was instrumental in his recovery.
He encouraged Dr. Robb to attend AA meetings and stuck with him to make sure he stayed on track. What started as a grudging agreement in exchange for a dry bed turned out to be a pivotal part of turning his life around.
At one of those meetings, Dr. Robb met John, who shared his story and talked about how AA had changed his life and helped him get clean again. John also told him about a book he had, the Twelve Steps, which turned out to be just what Dr. Robb needed to get back on track and start living with purpose and meaning.
As he was getting his life back one day at a time, he wanted to thank John for saving his life and introducing him to God. He then went to where John said he lived, but people said no John was living in the apartment, and either the people in the AA meeting said there was no John, but it was Dr. Kelly all along speaking to himself near the coffee machine.
John was not a person, but an angel. Dr. Kelly’s inability to share what happened to him is because of the fear people might think that he has gone crazy.
Getting back on track
Today, Dr. Robb is a world-renowned addiction expert who believes in treating the problem, not the symptoms. He has worked for many years helping addicts and alcoholics to recover their lives from the disease of addiction.
He has worked with thousands of people, including celebrities in film, music, and sports. And is recognized as a leading authority on addiction recovery methods that are changing lives worldwide.
Dr. Robb’s groundbreaking approach to recovery from addiction is based on his work with people who were once considered hopeless cases, yet were able to completely turn their lives around by applying Dr. Kelly’s proven methods for overcoming addiction.
Connect with Dr. Robb Kelly
- Website: RobbKelly.com
- Facebook: DrRobbK
- Twitter: @RobbKellyGroup
- Instagram: @RobbKellyRecoveryGroup
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