(Disclaimer: This transcript was made using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Hola Atheists in Recovery land, and welcome to Episode 86 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And we have Eli Nash on the show today. And some of the things that Eli and I talked about are his finally reaching rock bottom, at his therapists office. But the initial reason for him reaching out is not what you think. He talks about walking into his therapist's office for the sole purpose of discussing why he lent a friend money. And deep down, he knew it wasn't the right thing to do. And what he wasn't planning on talking about however, it was his sexual abuse story, and he did it pretty early on, I think it was the first session. And once he did, there were so many connections that he was able to make, you know, for one going back to that why he lent the friend money was that in congruency between his actions, and his thoughts, you know, knowing that it wasn't the right thing to do, but doing it anyway. And, you know, then he also talks about, it would be many, many more years between talking about being a survivor of sexual abuse and then openly talking about his porn addiction. And so, we talked about how we got there. We definitely talk about feelings. The experience of Eli's sadness, he says, is the one thing he knows he has to access and in order to strengthen his recovery, we talked about owning one story, support groups and much more. Let's get into Eli's story Eli Nash. Eli is the founder and CEO of Jeg & Sons Inc, and the co founder of Mic drop. Eli founded Jeg in 2006. To bring no contract and unlocked phones the US he tailors and retailers. Under his guidance, the company grew from a fledgling startup to over 200 million in revenue servicing giant retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, target and many others. In addition to his business accomplishments, Eli has taken an active role in the nonprofit world only held secret the details of his own abuse for many years, and now he empowers others to speak up to use their own voice becoming agents of change in their respective communities. In order to channel his passion for empowering others, Eli founded Mic drop a public speaking training program that puts special emphasis on those who can't even imagine speaking publicly. Eli lives in Miami, Florida with his wife, Freda and their three children. All right, guys. On to the show, Eli Nash, welcome to the show.
Eli Nash 2:57
Thank you for having me.
Adina Silvestri 2:58
I am excited for you to be here. I feel like this conversation does not happen quite nearly enough. But before we get to your story, I thought maybe you could give the audience just a little background about you. And maybe just start by talking a little bit about your deepest roots from childhood
Eli Nash 3:08
Sure. So I'll start with today. I'm a father of three business owner living in Miami, Florida, who also does a fair amount of work in the recovery space, not only on myself, but also speaking about it. I grew up in a very orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, a little community called Crown Heights, became somewhat famous in a movie raising the heights, which spoke about Crown Heights riots and race riots in the early 1990s. And I always feel like those that tension, that discomfort, that lack of safety, physical safety in some way during that period, had a very strong impression on me as a child, it was one of the many factors that led to me feeling unsafe. Well, looking back at my childhood, there were things about it, that maybe we're abnormal, I don't know, a large family, not very, very, very lower middle income that wasn't felt at all growing up. Because I grew up in a community where there were all large families, I'm one of nine, nine is hardly considered a large family. Without them, someone will start turning heads if they say 14 or 15. But anywhere from seven to 10 is completely normal. If you say for for something wrong, four or five, like what, what what happened there and also lower very lower middle income, right. So it wasn't uncommon for there to be a lot of community support. It was almost the way things things got by you may not have babysitters, but you'll have next door neighbors, right that you can drop the kid off at and vice versa, right. They're just a very communal, feel a lot of nice aspects to it. And a lot of confusing aspects to it, as well. In my case, as I was getting a little bit older, seven, eight years old and started identifying there were the safe people and the unsafe people, quote unquote, right there were the ones who look like me Orthodox Jewish and who are safe, quote, unquote, and the ones who didn't, who were unsafe, some one of the older boys in the neighborhood took advantage of that feeling of safety that I had with him and over a three year period sexually abused me on a regular basis, that to added a layer to that already feeling unsafe. And I felt unsafe before that. And ironically, that relationship gave me a sense of safety in some ways. And there was a certain parts of it that were very uncomfortable, which was the sexual abuse, but other than that, I enjoyed having the protection of an older male. And it's like that this set me up and so many unhealthy ways. One of the primary ones were just not to talk to anyone not to say anything. And every time I get on here, or get on stage and share my story, I'm rejecting that programming from my youth, right? Don't say anything, don't ruffle any feathers. Don't talk, don't bring anything up. There was no wait. I felt like there was no way for me to talk. So I thank you for this opportunity, both you and your audience to give me this opportunity to heal those childhood wounds by being able to speak by being able to express myself.
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, we're just so happy that, that you're willing to come on and share this the story and be and be vulnerable, because and I know you're going to talk a little bit about this today. But it's such a hard thing to do. And it's especially hard I feel like for males, so thank you for that.
Eli Nash 6:44
Yeah, there are definitely is definitely a lot of programming around around males. Part of my story also was the fact that I was sexually abused. You know, as a male, one of the the two very deep seated beliefs that I got, that I received from it. One was that I was disgusting. It just disgust that I felt like I couldn't shake off for years. And another was that I was weak. The fact that he wrestled me and was able to lock me in the room and I couldn't overpower him, that programming for men is very deep, right? If we physically can't do something, or someone else can physically overpower us, and we feel weak. And it didn't, I didn't register that, hey, he was 15. At the time I was eight or nine. Those things didn't matter. Yeah, it was just someone overpowered me. It meant I was I was weak. And yours in the gym? wouldn't leave me of that feeling. There was nothing that could except for the deep internal work. Yeah.
Thank you for that. So I wonder now if we could talk a little bit more about your recovery journey? And what that looked like, you know, where do we go from here? Yeah,
Eli Nash 7:51
yeah, absolutely. So I left my childhood, feeling that that money would solve all my problems. And I think a lot of us believe that i don't think i was i was unique. there happened to be a lot of tension in my house around money, my parents fought often and the topic was often money. And there were so many situations I was in where I said, if only, like, if only I had 200 offers that I can go into my pocket, just throw it on the table, the fight would stop with my parents. And I have a brother who went into business and had some success, fairly young. And that put this seed in me that I really want to be financially successful. And that was going to solve all my problems. Ironically, I had pretty good success at a young age. And that was in some ways, some of the best things that happened for my healing, you know, the they say the day you get everything you wanted, right? Sometimes the worst day of your life. The the worst day of your life, then often can become the best day of your life if you take the lessons from the worst day alive. So for me, I had certain financial goals and really a 20 to 23 years old, I hit some incredible financial goals. And instead of it doing what I thought it would do, it did the opposite. Right? Instead of quieting all the noise and solving all of my problems, it made it very clear for me that it won't highlight all my problems. So I remember very clearly at 23 years old walking into a therapists office, and I knew something was off. The problem I described when I walked in was that I couldn't express myself, I couldn't assert myself. I couldn't stand up for myself. And it was manifesting itself in a bunch of different ways. And that took a detour into child sex abuse and porn addiction over time. But really what was going on there was that I had hit these goals that I had set for myself, and that I told myself, I believe that when I achieved this, all of my problems would go away. And they didn't. Yeah, and once that lie was burst, that it's a form of bottom. I mean, recovery. When we talk about someone hitting bottom, I think that's what we're talking about. We're talking about the shattering of a denial or the shattering of a lie that we've held on to and that was a lie that I Hold on to that. If I made enough money, I would not have any of these feelings is discomfort feeling weak, feeling disgusting, feeling different than feeling less than that all of those problems would be solved. And when it didn't. That shattered, it was the worst day. Yeah, and a lot of ways. I pushed myself into therapy. The therapist very quickly within minutes asked me if I was sexually abused. He was the first person who ever asked me the question. And the first person I ever told that I was sexually abused. I never even allowed myself to think about it. And once he was able to connect for me, it took about five or six sessions, but once quick, and I don't know, once he was able to connect for me that what I was experiencing was connected to the sexual abuse. I felt like I had no other choice but to throw myself into the work.
I guess. I mean, it's quick that you were able to trust the stranger with this deep secret.
Eli Nash 11:00
You know, it was within 50. I actually shared the secret with him within 15 minutes, because he he just asked me the question. He asked, were you sexually abused? And it was, it was so disarming, I've never heard it. I've never heard anyone talk about it in that way. And I hit just I'd walked in and I described problems. And what I had said, I remember clearly, discussion, what prompted me to go into it was I had loan someone money that I knew wasn't going to pay me back. And then I found out he wasn't gonna, he wasn't paying me back. And for me, I said, I knew I knew that he wasn't going to I had a bad feeling. I wanted to say no. But my brain wanted to say no, my mouth said, Yes, my hands, went to the keyboard. I sent the wire transfer. What What happened there? And when I walked in, I told him, I feel like there's a disconnect between my brain and my mouth. Because I said, I know it's not my thinking, because I thought to say no, like my brain. My brain was working. It was my mouth. That didn't work. It was my hands that didn't work. So what's the disconnect? And he listened to me for 10 or 15 minutes? And he said, Can I ask you a question? Sure. To ask a personal question. I said, of course. He said, Were you sexually abused? And it was just it was so it was so disarming, and I said, Yeah, yeah, it was. Tell me about that. And he was the first person I, I told the story to, but after the session, I said, Oh, he probably asked that everyone. It's a boxing. It's just a box, he checks. And that was the four or five next sessions was me debating that with him and say, Did you really ask me because you saw something? Or was it just a checklist that you asked everyone? And when we finally got to the point that he was able to explain to me the link he saw between someone who is abused and not speaking up then with what was going on? And really that it's not something that he can put into words? It's just you sit across from people for 2030 years? Yeah, it's a Tony Robbins says, you know, he's like, I've, I've worked with so many people I've sat across from people for years, 1000s of people, I'd have to be an absolute idiot if my brain didn't make certain connections between things. And the same thing. And it wasn't a an actual, oh, this is what you said. And this is what you did was a certain feeling that was coming from me. That's like, hey, I've seen this before with people who were sexually abused as children.
Adina Silvestri 13:16
Yeah. What was that like to finally let that out,
Eli Nash 13:21
was a ton of emotions. At first, a lot, a lot, a lot of emotions that I didn't, I didn't know I had everything from it started off as anger, a lot of anger at everyone, when the emotions when I finally accessed it, and beneath that, after I allowed that to peel away for a while there was a real sadness. I think the sadness when I was able to separate myself almost as adult and child the sadness was for the eight year old boy who felt safer in the home of a child of a of a neighbor, who was sexually abusing me then in the home of my parents. Yeah, the one who felt more love. I did. I don't I don't know why parents would say if they, they heard this, but it's the truth. I felt more love from him than I felt from my own dad. Yeah. So that when I was able to finally access that sadness, without the stories attached, without the anger, I've heard that anger is not a primary emotion, right? Anger is not we don't see something and get angry, we see something, get sad and then get angry, we see something, go into fear and then get angry. So all of that anger was piled on top of the sadness. But that point of sadness, I think, is very hard for I don't know if it's for everyone to feel certainly from for for a guy just to feel that sadness for a child, not the anger, not the judgment, not the shame that any of the layers, just pure sadness for the eight year old child who had who felt that way, who made that decision, who took that deal. And once I was able to really feel that it felt like something shifted inside me.
I'm wondering if we don't and we don't certainly don't have to go here if you don't want to. But I'm wondering if you could even say what that felt like that sadness. people that come to see me struggle with coming to see me one and then also talking about their feelings. And they say, you know, no, it's just too painful. I can't, I can't access it. Yeah,
Eli Nash 15:25
it is very painful. But in the pure form, it felt that there was a release to it, that felt really good. If that makes sense. That wasn't a I was certainly afraid to step in the water in that way, it's a little easier to go into anger. Yes, it's a little bit easier to go into fear, or some variation of fear. But it's not that just pure sadness. In that way. It's, it's almost, it's very, it's almost naked. I don't know if that's the right word. But there's, there's nothing attached to it. I felt like there was no, no other judgment or stories, there was just that was the feeling of pure sadness grieving almost. Yeah. And the way I the way I look at it, in my mind is a picture of is very, very Blackwater. And when what are super black like that, it looks like it's never ending, right? If I step in there, I'm never gonna get out, just you know, miles deep. And once I step in, it's several inches deep. It's really it's, it wasn't, it wasn't a feeling that lasted incredibly long. It was a short feeling. But it was where the anger can go on forever, almost. I was able to access it multiple times a day. This one was something that I felt like lasted a few minutes, but was very, very, very real. And I remember telling myself that this is it right? This is, this is where I'm looking to when I need to heal to truly feel that original emotion almost. And that it's not nearly as scary. It's Blackwater that's two inches deep. It's not nearly as scary. as it seems. Yeah, I tell people all the time that every emotion. Good and bad comes with a lie. Like it's carrying a little lie as it as we feel it and the lie is going to last forever. Both both the good feelings and the bad feelings. And this one certainly did not. did not last forever. And afterwards, it felt really, something was released.
Adina Silvestri 17:26
Yeah, I love that. I love that little lie that you tell people I'm gonna use that I'm gonna steal it.
Yeah. And so you went to this therapist, you started doing all this amazing work you felt felt heard you felt empathy? What happened next.
Eli Nash 17:49
So there was one important event that happened with that happened in therapy, it happened several years into therapy. And actually right after I got into recovery, even though there was a four or five year gap between getting into therapy, and recognizing the addiction to sex addiction that I had, I didn't notice it before. And it took many years in therapy for it to even come up. But about five years into therapy, I met with my abuser, and I was able to persuade him to fly down to Miami where I live and have a session with me and my therapists. Wow. And that was an on believably healing day. It was that changed my life that day, for sure. For sure. It changed my life. It's switched, switched everything, very early on in my therapy, as the therapist understood that for me, it was very important to do that to express, like I said, at the beginning of this to speak up to stand up to fight back. And he said, your healing. He said he sees for me that my healing will come through confronting my abuser, that I don't recommend this to everyone. For some Yes, it could be dangerous, but if you know confront your abuser, and I got his phone number, I hadn't seen him in years. Probably, I don't know, 15 years at this point. I got his phone number. I called them up. He was very taken aback. But because it was, you know, not prepared, not planned. He acknowledged something on the phone and said that he would do anything to make it right. But right after that, I guess he freaked out, went to an attorney. Attorneys aren't known for giving moral advice and over giving cover your ass advice. And he went underground, went underground. I couldn't I couldn't get to him again. And this time, I felt like the double whammy of Hey, you abused me as a child. But now again, you did it to me as an adult, right? I called you you agreed to do something. You said you would do something and you went underground. And took me four years of persistently fighting and giving up going back. I have the story online. somewhere. I'm not going to go into all of it here. But for those who for this part of my story intrigues them if someone puts my name into YouTube Nash secrets, I have a talk called secrets on YouTube. And I go into the story, the multi year story of confronting my abuser. But eventually when he came down to Miami and I sat with him and in therapy at a three hour session, and I had certain requests and questions and things that I had written out, I wanted to hear the most powerful part of it was seeing him shrink to his normal size, you know, his children, he was much bigger than I was. But as an adult, I had grown much larger than him. But I didn't see that, when I first walked in, it was, was very physical. When I when I first met him again, with the first time I met him again, if you would have asked me, I would have told you who's physically bigger than me. And I'm probably seven inches taller than him 60 pounds on him. I mean, it's significant. But in my mind, he was still this very, very large figure. And as we sat and spoke, I saw a different side of him, I saw a humanity embedded inside him, as a human being who is struggling. And you frankly, I'd rather my memories and his memories, my memories are being abused his memories of abusing someone else that is much harder to come to terms with. And when I was when the therapist and I were eventually able to crack him because he had a tough outer shell. But eventually when he cracked, he began crying. And he turned to the therapist at one point and he said, am I a monster? Can I go back home to my kids? And it was ironically, in that question, am I a monster that I saw his humanity? Yeah. Because monsters would never ask, am I a monster?
Adina Silvestri 21:34
No, no, no, no, no empathy.
Eli Nash 21:39
Right. And I saw that and something shifted, he shrink back to size. And I found myself to be tell that I was the unlucky or weaker one, he was one who dominated in one. And in that moment, I said, Now I got, like I said, I'd much rather my memories and his memories, and I don't envy the work he's going to have to do to heal from this. Or if he's ever going to be able to do it, if he's ever going to face it. Or I'll have to numb and escape it for the rest of his life. I have no idea. But I'd much rather sitting in my shoes. I'd much rather be sitting in my shoes and sitting in his. And he shrunk down to size. I felt like I came back to size. And I forgiven him. I don't carry the the anger, the judgment. None of it the fear, I forgiven him completely for what he's done.
It's amazing. It's an amazing story. And I'll find the secrets that you talk about. And I'll put it in the show notes.
Eli Nash 22:35
Cool. Thanks. So after that, I got into a relationship. And a little before that, I had gotten into a relationship with the woman who eventually became my wife. But there were five years of hell in between us meeting and eventually settling down together. And during that time, I discovered that I have a sex addiction. It was the first time that I had tried stopping any of the behaviors that I engaged in things like pornography, strip clubs, occasionally prostitutes, stuff like that. And I'd never had a reason to stop when I started, so I just kept doing it. And then I got into a relationship. I tried stopping, and I realized I'm fully in capable, yeah, by myself. And that's when I got into 12 step recovery and things like that.
Yeah. And so he recognized you're incapable of stopping. How did you make that leap from recognizing that this is an issue to 12 step recovery? Because that's a scary proposition.
Eli Nash 23:40
Yeah, it's a really scary proposition. I'm grateful for the therapist that I had.
Adina Silvestri 23:45
How did you find this therapist, Eli,
Eli Nash 23:48
a friend of mine, a friend of mine in business, he didn't tell me until later. But he was physically abused really horribly by his dad, a friend of mine, and he and I were doing business together. And he had come across a trauma therapist in Miami, and he just picked up that I was going through something. I don't know what it was, but that there was some similarities and our stories. And he said, I think he should talk to the therapist. He gave me a guy's number I remember. So it's so funny. Because the first times I went there, I was hiding. I was parking a few blocks away. I didn't want anyone to notice. I was walking into a therapists office, I was so desperate to hold on to this image of myself as a normal person. And now, I'm proud that I'm not
Yeah, you're proud that you're not for you. So you found the therapists, through a friend in this therapist had a huge impact on your life. How did was it his idea to do the 12 steps or how did you get there?
Eli Nash 24:50
Yeah, so very early on in therapy, he sent me to another therapist to a series of tests like Wireshark mmpi to like a whole evaluation and He said that'll help guide his therapy. But he's, he doesn't show me the report necessarily. And about five years later, after some healing, said, Danny, he said, you know, why don't I show you the report that I had? We had started talking about at that point, my porn use and my inability to stop certain behaviors after I'd gotten to relationship. And so why don't I show you the early report that I been working off of for the last few years. And in the report, amongst other things, that a few things, but one of the things that said was that the therapist should look out for sexual addiction or, you know, acting out sexually or something like that. And he never told me that. But he was operating, like with that very real possibility that that could exist for me. So, again, I mean, he just he used a lot of reason and logic and making things make making sense of things. And once I, once something clicked for me, I was able to let go and go into it. So I would debate for a while, I would argue I would want to make sure that there was sound reasons what he was saying. And once I felt that there was I was like, Okay, I can jump in when he showed me that. And he gave me a couple of different books. On addiction, I remember, the one that really impacted me strongly was a book called Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes. It's an unbelievable book on sex addiction. And when I read that, it really resonated. And I did. And he said, I have a another patient of mine who I spoken to who agreed to speak to you. And this guy was in, he was 20 or 30 years older than I was, and he was dealing with, you know, what happens when a sex addiction continues into marriage, and the betrayal and all of the other things that that happened in the context of marriage when a sex addiction is still alive and active. And the chairman agreed to sit down with me, and he spoke to me about the healing he had done in 12 steps. And he agreed to take me to a meeting. And the rest is history.
Wow. That's amazing. That's amazing that you were able to connect that you allowed yourself to connect with this, this guy that you didn't know, were you able to talk about your story with him? Or was he just so open? and honest that? Yeah, how did that go?
Eli Nash 27:15
I he shared a lot of his story. I don't think I've encountered that before. You know, we're here was a gentleman, 50 years old, had a business, hundreds of employees, like on the outside, there was a lot of things that were like going right. And then he sharing with me this other thing that he could not stop, you know what his addiction was, I think online chatting with people and meeting them, meeting up with them, whatever else he was engaged in, and what happened when his wife found out and how devastating it's been for the relationship and how it affected his kids, when they found out and just all of that, and just hearing his story and saying that, hey, that could be me. And both aspects could be me and 20 years, say if I don't address it, I could be dealing with the falling out that he's dealing with. And also at this point in time, he was several years sober and feeling pretty good about life. And that could be me, too. So it was those couple of interactions with him, kind of mapped out both possibilities for me, right, I can choose to heal, I can just do it. Now. I can choose to heal and avoid some of the pain or I can choose not to and I'll have a similar story to him, you know, I'll try to get into a relationship and hurt all the people in my life. And so they want that. And was persuaded to go to a meeting and it takes time. meetings and seeing people who seem so different than finding all the reasons why they're much crazier than I am and I don't belong. But eventually over time realizing this is like one of the best places in the world.
Yeah, yeah, I would. I agree with you. I, over my years. And in practice, I've seen several, not that many, but several individuals for porn addiction. And I think that that's one of the hardest hurdles is is going to a 12 step meeting. But I feel like you really do recover in community. And I think it's so important and, and I'm wondering if you could talk just a little bit about shame, and how you had to kind of move through that in order to in order to be seen because you really went from a place of, of not wanting to talk about your story and not being vulnerable and parking, you know, a couple blocks away from the therapist office to I see you everywhere. Le dogs and you're on Yeah, so. Yeah.
Eli Nash 29:39
Right. It's interesting because it was it was naturally moving all the way in the other direction. And the pendulum kind of swung this way where there's the opposite of, of shame at this point. I speak a lot about shame when people would say Oh, your TED talk is about porn addiction. I always say you know, I'm not actually isn't about porn addiction. I was titled escaping addiction. But really, it was a TED talk about shame. And most of what I talk about is his shame. And a lot of the reasons why I speak is just so that we don't feel shame to be human. I mean, these are the most human emotions are talking about. And for whatever reason, a lot of us grew up in areas where it's not okay to be human. Yeah, and just all of these struggles. I mean, let's take porn addiction as an example, where there's so much shame for some people to say they struggle with porn. But by the numbers, I mean, someone's got to be watching this stuff. By the numbers, it's some of the most visited sites on the internet, something like 25% of all downloaded content on the internet is pornography. So when we say there's shame attached to watching, to watching or being dependent on it? Well, who are the people watching it? Right? How are we getting to the millions of views? How are we getting? Even if we don't talk about the millions of views, you go on some of these websites? I saw, one website has something like 5 million new videos added a year I mean, something astronomical. So how many people are making the point? I mean, this these numbers are huge. And yet we feel shame. Attached to saying I struggle with porn addiction, we can throw a dart and hit someone who's struggling with porn addiction. I mean, this is, this is a huge problem, especially when it comes to teenagers who are raised with smartphones, I got addicted to pornography, with a dial up Internet, and desktop computers. We're not talking about smartphones on 5g, right? with VR. I mean, this is a different world kids are growing up in and it's a lot of people are addicted to pornography. And yet so many of us feel shame, I felt a lot of shame. I felt so much shame around pornography addiction, that it took me years to tell my own therapist that I was struggling with pornography addiction. So that's what that's why I speak I speak in the hope when people hear me they say, Okay, if I'm struggling with something, I don't have to feel shame around that. Because most likely, many other people are too. And that's why support groups are so effective. Because the feeling of shame is this feeling of Bernie Brown says it's a fear of not being worthy of connection, a feeling of shame is a feeling I don't belong. In normal society. If someone knew who I was, they would think I'm not deserving, right? I'm bad. And when we meet someone else who has the same problem, and then a third person and a fourth person and fifth person, right there, the connection forms right there. It's the perfect antidote to shame to be able to speak to someone else about what we're going through. And that's one of one of my main sources of pride is when I sign online, and I see a message from someone telling me I've never told this to anyone else. But I'm really struggling with pornography. Do you have any any suggestions for me and always say the same thing that's that the first suggestion is exactly what you just did. Because until we can talk about it, we're in the prison of it. And as soon as we can talk I'm 99% certain once someone takes the step of sending a message reaching out that a good portion of the strength that the prison that someone is in without addiction has just been weakened, the door has been opened the lock has been broken there's something now the shift is not over. It's not I've been in I've been dealing with this for years and I can end up in pornography tonight. I'm still you know, it's it's been four and a half years and I can still get there very quickly. I know that however the door opened or lock was broken as soon as I was comfortable talking to someone about it and that's that's the first step because shame is really the you know, the nail in the coffin of addiction. So we got to remove that and then healing consultant Yeah, work.
Yeah, I love that and shame is definitely highly correlated with addiction. And it's hard to move through shame but but I like what you said about you know, going to these support groups and listening to other people and being open minded and listening for commonalities and really sharing your story and having someone else say yep, you know, there's you're not bad it's me too. I'm also struggling with this there is really there's something very healing about that.
Eli Nash 34:22
The rooms the room I've been going to for the last bunch of years is a sign right when you walk in says you are not alone. And I think that I mean that's that's the antidote to shame is someone knowing that they are not alone? What's their struggle and what they're going through? There's so much commonality and usually the more shame there is around something, the more human that experiences which means the more common it is right? The more people have that exact have that exactly whatever that shame is around. Right? If we talk about the shame of feeling weak, the same of feeling fear as a guy there's a lot of shame around feeling any sense of fear, right? Pure fear I'm afraid of right will act Fear but will distort it in some ways, but I'm afraid of x is tough for a guy to say, but we're all dealing with fear. I mean, it's like one of the most common emotions. We're just all afraid to say it. And then when someone says that it's like, Oh, thanks. Me too.
Yeah, well, you're kind of breaking the man code, right? If you show your emotion. So that's like another layer of work through. Yeah. So Ellie, I wanted to ask you one more question. You know if, and this is going to be kind of a strange question. But you know, if there was a billboard, you know, if you could write a phrase on a billboard for everyone to see a word, a sentence, you know, what, what would it be
Eli Nash 35:42
something along the lines of share your story, or Own your story, something like that. But when I say that, you know, when I say story, story doesn't mean to just share your your darkness, right, just share the pain, like share the resolution, there's always there's always something there to learn something to grab good out of it. I say that if I was writing the book of my life, if I was given that authority, that I can be the author of my story, I would put the the chapters in there of abuse, I would put all that in there. Yeah, because I think there's a certain once it's happened, once we've gone through a certain amount of pain, we only have two choices, I think, which is really only one choice. And that's the two choices are to be a victim to it, or to turn it into a beautiful gift. And they have gifts, I mean, doesn't matter what we've experienced, there is a gift. In that whether it's through it, we've become more compassionate, more understanding, we can help others can, you know, hear people's story, I have a good friend in recovery, who was exposed very publicly for sex addiction. And sex addiction is really weird, because sometimes someone can be celebrated, oh, this is the guy that gets all the girls. And then another guy can be completely for something very, very similar. It can be completely very shamed, or women are often very shamed for sex addiction. So there's this weird thing going on with with sex. But in his case, there was a lot of shame, attached to what he did. There was public exposure front page, New York, pay the front page of a major newspaper, he was a doctor. And it just it snowballed and affected his family. And he lost his career. And he spent time in prison, it was as bad a story as you can imagine. And now it's 20 something years after that. And he's a shining light to so many people in recovery, and so many people with sex addiction, because when they hear his story, when I heard his story, I said, Wow, this guy healed from that. He was the pariah for a while he was on the sex offender registry. He was like, it could not be worse, this guy's story, and losing his career and the public humiliation and losing his family. And slowly over time, heal that he said, he's a better relationship with his wife and kids and he's ever had, he feels better about his life and he ever had, he's useful. He's helpful. He guides so many people through recovery and healing. And I think he was faced he was he was faced with that one choice, he can live the rest of his life, feeling like a victim to a story and a victim to his past and everything else. Or say I'm going to unpack the gifts that exists in it. And he has, and I'm grateful to him because part of my recovery story is him sitting in the rooms, almost every meeting, I go to Wow. And the light he has to so many people. So when I when I hear his story, and others, it tells me that it's possible for anyone no matter what we've gone through, there's a path to redemption. And there are gifts that exists there. And that's why I say to people, right, that's why my billboard would say share your story.
Well, that sounds like a great place to end. Eli, you are. I'm so grateful for you and everything that you're doing in this in this recovery space. How can people best find you and in find out more about the great work that you're doing with your company and all that?
Eli Nash 39:11
Yeah. So to find me, I'm on Instagram, my full name Eliyahu_Nash. That's probably where most people find me. I put some of I don't have a podcast podcast in this format. But I sometimes do like these online webinars, and I'll throw them onto a podcast afterwards. called, In Search of More, I'll put different different topics cover different subjects. It's not like a weekly podcast where I'm always putting things out there, but some people may find some of those conversations. impactful. I go into much more detail on certain aspects of my story, whether it's healing from porn, healing from religious shame, religious guilt, or a variety of other subjects. So
Adina Silvestri 39:52
yeah, those are places great. Anything else that you want to share before we end today?
Eli Nash 39:58
I'm grateful. Like I said, For this opportunity to speak and share and I'm, I've no doubt we did get to talk about your story, but I'll be listening. Your podcast I have no doubt you didn't get here, the easy way.
Adina Silvestri 40:10
Right, right, right. All right, Eli. Well, thank you again so much for being on.
Eli Nash 40:16
Thank you. Adina, thank you for what you're bringing to
Thank you for listening to the Atheists in Recovery podcast. For more great info and to stay up to date, head over to atheistsinrecovery.com
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
Welcome to today’s show!
WHAT WE’LL LEARN:
For more info, head over to atheistsinrecovery.com and subscribe to our email list. And thank you for listening!