Pluck the Twitter feed of any random 20-something on a Sunday morning and what are you likely to read about in 140 characters or less? Hangovers, massive hangovers. Excessive drinking among young adults in the U.S. and in Britain has simply normalized. Partying is just a way of life. So it was, at first, “normal” partying that Joey, 26, and Persia, 28, believed they were engaging in. But the U.K. 20-somethings and best friends who say they have addictive personalities soon found themselves in over their heads. They were drinking, shopping, eating and engaging in toxic relationships—all to “fill the empty void within.” When both women found themselves dumped by a cheating boyfriend on the same day, they got together to address their lives. They acknowledged their problems with addiction, and knew it was time to begin soul-searching—to heal. Joey says that at this point, the two young women asked one another, “If we can put this much energy into destructive pursuits, what would happen if we put the same amount of energy into positive things?” Their answer to this question was Addictive Daughter, a self-help and recovery program the women established, targeted at young people like themselves who struggle with what they call “boys, booze & bonkers behavior.”
Young People Need Recovery Information, Too
When Joey and Persia went looking for information on recovery from substance abuse, much of what they found was directed at older people—people who’d been drinking or using drugs far longer than they had, or middle-aged individuals who’d arrived at a midlife crises before seeking help. The women wish to help others experiencing what they call a quarter-life crisis, a calamitous emotional event that can occur between the late teens and early 30s in folks who may be facing fears and doubts about the direction of their lives and who may not yet have a solid sense of self.
Love and Sex Addiction Often Go Hand-in-Hand With Substance Abuse
When the friends decided independently to get sober, they needed to take a good look at their lives. Both discovered that their relationships had been as obsessive and compulsive as any other addiction they experienced—booze, shopping or food, for example. Their relationships had been highly dramatic, often toxic and always unfulfilling. And yet they’d continued to seek the same things, hoping for different results (definition: insanity). The women write about sex and love addiction on their website: “As with many young ladies, the line between being complicit in and being taken advantage of was – at times – a blurry one.” Sex and love addiction can be confusing for women, and can be especially hard to come to terms with, but are likely the most serious or central addictive patterns within an array of addictive behaviors. Persia and Joey are authors, bloggers and life coaches with a mission of helping others turn their lives around and “get addicted to the good stuff.” Their message of sassy, self-confidence and healthy living is likely to inspire young women who struggle with substance use, relationship addiction and other unmanageable behavior. About Joey, Persia writes: “Booze had been such a crutch that it was a little like learning to walk again after a stroke. But walk she did.” Now, both women are walking hand-in-hand with a mission of service in mind, and they appear to be succeeding beautifully.