Video Podcast Series: Former NFL Guard, Steve Herndon
Lauren: Welcome to the Lakeview video podcast series. I’m Lauren Stobbie, the Wellness Program Supervisor at Lakeview. I’m here with Steve Herndon who is a former NFL player and the co-founder of Safety Net Recovery. Thank you for being here with us. Steve: Thanks for having me. Lauren: So, what was it like going from being a professional NFL player to owning your own business? Steve: It was quite a transition. Football has been so good to me in so many different areas. It’s taught me a lot about life in general. That’s the one takeaway from football, is the leadership qualities that you’ve got to have on the field, leading your team on the field. You’ve got to have those same qualities off the field running a business and role modeling, the behaviors that not only you want your employees to have, but also the people living at your facility. The kind of behavior that you want them to have as well. I’ve just kind of used it as a catapult to bigger and better things. Lauren: You said one of the biggest barriers that men face when going into addiction treatment is the inability to ask for help. What would you say to someone that’s struggling with that? Steve: Learn to ask for help. We, as men, particular someone who was as blessed as I was to be able to make it all the way to the National Football League, you’ve created this self-persona that you’ve done it all on your own. The quicker you can start to look back and realize, “No, I didn’t do it all on my own. I had a strength coach in middle school or I had a football coach in high school.” Those are the people that really helped me to get to where I had the opportunity to play in the National Football League. So, really learning that it wasn’t all you from the beginning and it’s not going to be all you moving forward, I think is the biggest thing for me, especially myself. Lauren: Right. Okay. So, a few things you were talking about especially thinking your recovery was saying when you were struggling with your addiction and really seeking out things that released the dopamine response and looking for acceptance. What are ways that you really encourage your clients to find that response, but in a healthy, natural way? Steve: That’s a great question. Physical activities … I know it’s right up your alley. Eating healthy. A lot of people think that just going to the gym and just being able to eat whatever you want is the answer to finding that in a very natural form. I think it’s a culmination of things. I think it’s eating healthy. I think it’s working out. I think it’s going to meetings. I think it’s been proven statistically that going to a meeting, whether it’s something spiritual being talked about. It fires those same dopamine receptors. I think all of those components incorporated on a daily basis is really how you do it. Lauren: Definitely. What would you say to someone who’s looking for help in recovery? Steve: Just ask. It doesn’t have to be neat or pretty, but the important thing is to ask. The thing that I find so troubling today is that I get calls all the time about, “I’ve got so and so and they really need help, but they don’t want help.” I think the flip side of that is just sometimes people don’t realize that just asking for help is the beginning. If you can just scratch and claw the same way that you scratched and clawed for the drugs and alcohol. So, you’ve got to scratch and claw that same way for recovery. It starts with one scratch. That one scratch may be all you need to have a way of living that you never dreamed possible. Lauren: Right. I know today you focus mainly on males in recovery, but I did see that you also have a females’ facility. Steve: We do. Lauren: Is there a big difference you’ve found in treating males and females in recovery? Steve: Males and females have different components that need to be focused on. But I think ultimately it’s learning to ask for help. It’s this sense of comradery and fellowship. Obviously, we want to keep men with men and women with women just as y’all do here at Lakeview. I think, at the end of the day, it’s the sense of purpose. I think one of the gentlemen sitting in the front row, he mentioned that there was something very silly in his book that he thought he was the only person that went through that particular experience, but then he had somebody reach out to him and say, “Wow. I did the very same thing.” Finding that common bond is really what makes us, for those of us that are in recovery, so proud to be a part of recovery. Lauren: Right. Definitely. If you are interested in learning more about Steve or Safety Net Recovery you can find them at safteynetrecovery.com or at 770-432-9774. If you’re interested in learning more about Lakeview you can find us at lakeviewhealth.com or call us at 866-887-0142. Thank you for being with us today. Steve: Thank y’all for having me.