Torrance Johnson joins us today on The SHAIR Podcast, and Torrance is the founder of Recover Period, a recovery clothing line who’s slogan is Wear Something That Means Something.
Torrance came to the conclusion after evaluating where he was in his life and who he is as an individual, that today’s fashion, the bulk of it, does not express who he is or what he is passionate about.
Torrance is a man who’s life has been affected by witnessing friends, family, and communities taken over by an illness most consider a lifetime battle. Included Torrance himself. He is driven to connect with and lend support to as many people as possible who’s lives have been affected by the disease of addiction. To celebrate the small victories, the triumphs, and yes, to give meaningful support during times of struggle.
Join us now as Torrance takes though his battle with Drugs and Alcohol, the wreckage it caused in his life and his journey into recovery up until today.
Clean Date: July 1, 2014
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Omar: Let’s talk about Recover Period. When did you start that and what motivated you to get that going?
Torrance: Let’s go back to what motivated me. I had some ideas that I wanted to get done from another person that did screen printing/vinyl, and when I had the work done it wasn’t to my liking, and so when it wasn’t to my liking, I looked around to see if I could find somebody else that could do the work. Then I actually ran into somebody that actually did the work that I liked. I thought his work was pretty decent. What ends up happening is that he told me to look it up on YouTube, and so by that time, I was pretty teed off, but what it did – yeah. I tell you how life is, though. It pissed me off enough to make me want to do my own thing. I think that’s just how things work. I’m really grateful for him today. If I remember what he looks like, if I ever see him again in life I’d really like to shake his hand and say, “Thank you for pissing me off enough to make me want to do my own stuff.”
Then what ends up happening is I had a friend of mine that did business proposals and what I did was have him shop me out to a few people, and after a business plan was put together, I got the equipment, I got Photoshop CS-6, I got Corel I-Draw 7, I got the equipment, I got a vinyl cutter plotter heat press, and I bought a couple of books and just pretty much self-taught myself after that.
Omar: Number one, initially, what was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Torrance: I had an enabler. I had someone that I knew in the back of my head that I was able to go back to. I knew that if times were tough or I was in a pinch, I could go back, so that was one of my difficulties. I had an enabler and he wasn’t the glorious enabler, but I had an enabler. I had a place to lay my head down at.
Omar: All right, so number two. At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that aha moment in recovery when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed the hope that you could recover?
Torrance: The first time I had a spiritual awakening was when I got a sponsor and he told me that we were going to be able to do the steps. We were going to admit that I was powerless over drugs and that my life had become unmanageable. That’s when I believe that I had my spiritual awakening, because I finally realized that my life had become unmanageable. This is, “Oh, whoa, this is real.” We’re going to actually put pen to paper and I’m going to have to relive and deal with some of the stuff that’s inside of me. That’s when I said, “Oh my gosh. Here we go. This is real. No, it’s real. Now it’s real. Oh wow, I’m here. I’m in recovery now. It’s real. Now I get a chance to get some of the this stuff out of me. Okay. Yeah, this is real now.”
Omar: Number three, Torrance. Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to our newcomers that you read in early recovery?
Torrance: Oh, let me think. Where is it at? It’s called The Secret.
Omar: Ah. The Secret. Love that book. Actually, I saw the movie.
Torrance: Yeah. Did you? How was it? How’s the movie?
Omar: It’s good. It’s good. You should check it out, man. I’m not a big reader, but I believe in the law of attraction, man. There’s no question about it. What you conceive you can achieve, so I’m a hundred percent behind you on that one.
Torrance: Don’t get me wrong. I have the big book. I have the Living Clean, but for me, I needed more. I feel like, being in the gym, you do your chest, but you also got to do your back, too. Those rooms are only good for me for maybe three hours where you get two meetings, so you’re probably looking at three hours, but the rest of your time, by yourself, for me, I wanted more. I wanted something more. I wanted to make up for lost time, but then I thought, “Okay, I can’t make up for lost time, so what I can do is find out how life works and I can kind of give me a little insight of how life works.”
If you manifest something and don’t look for the how, don’t be caught up on the how, it can be done, don’t look at the how. I had to get out of that, don’t look at the how, because I’m so used to, “Okay, here’s $20. This is how I’m going to get high. I’ve got $20. I know I’m going to get high. This is the high.” Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. As a result of looking in that book, reading … I have a vision for it on my wall back here. As I’m looking at it right now, I’m probably missing only one, two things off the vision board. No, actually three things off the vision board. Everything else I got.
Omar: It works, man. It’s the power of intention, those vision boards. It’s a daily practice of connecting with the universe. It’s all just waiting for you, but I’m also a strong proponent of, “Faith without works is dead.” You got to put in the work. You got to do the work, but the results I can leave in the hands of my higher power and also to the universe. I’m down with that. I’m down with that. Okay, great suggestion.
Omar: What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Torrance: Guys who tell me, “Tighten up every chance you get.” A guy used to say this to me in prison every time I saw him. He just says, “Tighten it up every chance you get. If you see room in your life for improvement and somebody’s giving you a suggestion, take it.” Another one that I had that stuck out with me was, “Don’t have a poor mentality on life.” I said, “Poor mentality on life?” I felt offended when the person said that to me. He said, “No. I want to be very clear with you. Don’t have a poor mentality off life.” I said, “Okay, I get that. You said that before. Say it again.” I said, “Does poor mean something or what are you trying to get across?” He said, “Yes, poor does mean something.” He says, “To pass over opportunities repeatedly.” Boy, that stuck with me. Oh, that stuck with me. I can’t have a poor mentality.
Omar: If you could give a newcomer only one suggestion, what would it be?
Torrance: Oh, that’s really easy. Know that it gets better. Know that each day you put in, it’s going to bet better, and pretty soon it gets so better, the only time you have to look behind yourself is to see how far you went. That’s the only time you want to look behind yourself, to see how far you’ve come. That would be my suggestion to a newcomer. Just, if you want to look behind, just look to see how far you’ve come and know that you got too much in the game now to turn back anyway. For me, I feel as though … I say this … What do I always say in the meetings? Oh, I say this in the meetings quite a bit, “Either you’re going to find a way to do something or you’re going to find an excuse why not to do it.”
Omar: Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEWCOMER
“Know that it gets better. Know that each day you put in, it’s going to bet better, and pretty soon it gets so better, the only time you have to look behind yourself is to see how far you went. ”
See you then!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.