We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeffrey Vickers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeffrey, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Ending the stigma. Being a Recovery Advocate–especially in Atlanta–is amazing! Being brave enough to say, “I Recover Out Loud because I Used Out Loud,” shows others there’s no shame in addiction recovery. That’s my “tagline.”
That message tells people it’s okay to talk about the struggles we’ve conquered. It’s okay because we are human and others have been through the same thing. By humanizing our struggle, we close the gap and between people and foster conversations that empower us.
The Sober Slogans brand is about ending the stigma.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am considered a Sober Creative. The book, the speaking engagements, reporting about Recovery from the GA Capitol, the Public Access show in-the-making–are all ways I advocate for the recovery community.
I struggled with a substance use disorder for 32 years. My empowerment came from realizing I am worthy enough to live an abundant life.
Using the positive affirmations, (“Sober Slogans”), in our Recovery community, I drilled down the spiritual principles behind them, as I see it. I “used” them in practical situations, and found they kept me sober. (Of course I also followed the 12-Steps.)
While the book is doing well and I have speaking opportunities, the major challenge I faced was proving I am genuine (on social media.) I’m in a very interesting space. I have to “prove” empowerment is possible, while still showing I’m human. This includes the great days, and the days I suffer from suicidal ideations.
At first, I hesitated to be “that” real on social media. Then I realized that I NEED to do just that. I NEED to show I am a recovering addict who faces and surmounts challenges without running to a substance. If that means crying on camera, while in the moment, then I’ll show my emotions, because my journey entails all that. My journey is my brand. I am my brand.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A few places I always show my friends when they visit Atlanta:
1. High Museum
2. Slutty Vegan
3. Ponce City Market
4. The Ferris Wheel
Now I’ll show my friends the new statute of Ambassador Andrew Young. I covered the “Peace and Reconciliation” Walk recently. I was Ambassador Young’s 90th birthday.
5. Andrew Young statute
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Georgia Council on Substance Abuse (@recovery_gcsa on Instagram).
Jeff Breedlove, Chief of Communications and Policy
Meeting Jeff has definitely influenced me to educate myself on prevailing issues that affect our communities, here in Georgia. Everything I do is about advocacy, so it makes sense to learn how to properly advocate.