Escape from Addiction, Embracing the Good Life

Danny Shannon blog graphic

While there’s no such thing as a routine recovery story, Danny Shannon’s might be a bit more remarkable than most. Addicted to heroin since his teens, Shannon lived a life fraught with risky behavior leading to a near-fatal motorcycle accident, multiple arrests, jail time, a widely publicized escape from prison and estrangement from a son who only knew his dad as an inmate for his first eight years.

It took sheer exhaustion from the lifestyle to simply stop the madness. And in 2009, he ended 17 years of dependence on heroin and other substances. He cleared his head and began living a life devoted to better health and commitment to helping other addicts.

“I’m incredibly blessed to be where I am today,” he says. “I am blessedly here talking to you.”

And where is Danny Shannon today? At age 48, he is a college graduate, an expert on helping addicts get and stay sober and the developer of an online program and mobile app designed to allow addicts to create video journals to help chart their progress. And thus was born Encapsulator, an easy way to record a video journal, born of his early use of video during sessions with other recovering addicts.

“The first question was, what was my name? And what was today’s date? And as I said that, I thought this is quite unique. This is me talking to my future. It’s a beautiful therapeutic process. Some of the questions I asked myself, what was my dream? I asked about my family and immediately when talking about my family, I noticed I got quite emotional. I’m talking to myself. In my journey of recovering–by that time I’d lost about 90 people dead from you know heroin overdose, suicide–I thought I hope I’m alive and then I thought about my son, my dad, my sister. So, instead of talking about something I’ve never spoken about myself in this private confidential space, I thought this would be a wonderful tool for other individuals during the early days of recovery.”

Today, Shannon reports good relationships with his 22-year old son and 7-year old daughter. He has enjoyed a whirlwind of social media fame in Australia as a result of his remarkable recovery and his positive energy. And the Encapsulator app has evolved over its six-year lifespan and keeps getting better.

Here’s my conversation with Danny Shannon. Whether or not you are in recovery, this is 34 minutes that will be worth your time!

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