Welcome to The Recovery Playbook, Menninger’s YouTube series featuring Daryl I. Shorter, MD, medical director for the Menninger Addictions & Recovery Medicine Center, and Ryan Leaf, who is The Clinic's Ambassador in Recovery and a college and professional football analyst.
Each month, they discuss relevant recovery topics on the minds of individuals, family and friends, and treatment providers alike. They look at what’s new in substance-use recovery today, sticking points that affect relationships, coping with adversity, and breakthroughs in treatment and policy matters.
Their goal is to elevate conversation about real issues of substance use and addictions. Join us each month as Dr. Shorter and Leaf open The Recovery Playbook.
Dr. Shorter shares an experience of asking a patient what they thought about going into recovery, while Leaf admits that one big “con” is “… that everyone knows. The fear of someone knowing you have a problem is worse than the fear of getting the help you need.”
For Leaf, one fear about recovery was being made fun of or ostracized. He also had concerns about having a social life, since so much of Americans’ social lives involves drinking, whether at restaurants or bars. This made him concerned about finding a partner, as many of the places where you typically meet people would be off limits.
For Dr. Shorter, addressing an addict’s fears about recovery is an important part of treatment. Without such a discussion, there’s no opportunity to help an addict learn to manage those fears.
Dr. Shorter highlights two good things specifically related to Leaf’s recovery: the ability to be of service to others and the capacity to experience self-acceptance. According to Dr. Shorter, radical change is possible for everyone.
“There are no negatives in recovery,” says Leaf.
Meet the Hosts
Ryan Leaf is a Heisman trophy finalist and second overall pick in the 1998 National Football League draft, who became known as one of the NFL’s greatest draft “busts.” He played four seasons before depression and addiction contributed to the end of his professional football career.
Leaf said that being accepted into a treatment facility, receiving a mental health diagnosis, and focusing on service to others has helped him to turn his life around. “I’m okay with who I am,” Leaf said. “I’m this flawed human being, like everybody else, who is trying to be better every day.” He shares his recovery journey with large and small groups in addition to hosting a radio show about football.
Daryl I. Shorter, MD, board certified in addictions psychiatry and adult psychiatry, is medical director of Addictions Services and leads the Addictions Medicine & Recovery Center at Menninger. An associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, he oversees the Addictions Medicine Fellowship Training Program. He presents nationwide at conferences for mental health professionals and his research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
He earned his bachelor’s degree at Rice University in Houston and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. His postgraduate training included a general psychiatry residency at The Ohio State University and an addictions fellowship at New York University.