We caught up with Persia & Joey, founders of online life coaching website, Addictive Daughter, and authors of ‘The Inner Fix’, to find out why they decided to #GetAddictedToTheGoodStuff.
Can you tell us a bit about your own personal journeys to health and wellness?
Persia: We’re from very different backgrounds in lots of ways. I am the daughter of two addicts and had quite a chaotic childhood until my parents got sober when I was in my teens, whereas Joey’s upbringing was much more stable and conventional. Despite our differences, we were both reckless teenagers – involved in drinking and boys from an early age. Fast-forward a good few years… we both found ourselves partying a lot, jumping from one toxic relationship to another, feeling lost in our careers and wondering what the point of it all was, really.
Joey: Our lowest point was also our biggest blessing. We both got cheated on and dumped on the same day by our addict boyfriends. We’d let our friendship drift apart in the months preceding this and, both feeling like we’d lost our sense of selves in a relationship yet again, decided that it was time to take a serious look at ourselves. In other words, the pain of change now felt more hopeful than the pain of staying the same… and thus we started searching for a healthier, more positive way to approach life.
What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?
Persia: When we started to pay attention to our own health and wellbeing, we started to find that our experiences had been communicating with us for quite some time, making it very clear what we needed to be moving towards and away from, in order to become the happiest version of ourselves.
Joey: As we share in our book ‘The Inner Fix’, we believe wellness is about getting honest with yourself about where you currently are, and what is right for you. For some, that may mean abstinence from a particular substance, food-type or behaviour, whilst for others, it may be far less black and white.
Persia: From our own experience, having a punishing and rigid approach to self-improvement doesn’t work long-term: self-love and acceptance needs to come first which, in turn, positively affects the choices you go on to make. The trick isn’t to aim to be perfect, but, instead, to commit to speaking to and treating yourself as you would a friend you love. This insight has transformed our relationship with ourselves immeasurably.
“From our own experience, having a punishing and rigid approach to self-improvement doesn’t work long-term: self-love and acceptance needs to come first”
You are the founders of the online life coaching website, Addictive Daughter. Can you tell us a bit about the ethos behind it?
Joey: When we were in our lowest place, we began to see we had spent such a lot of energy pursuing short-term highs (substance, fixing on relationships to make us feel better, shopping, chasing the idea of outer “success”…). All of these things were external and no matter how much we had, it never seemed to be enough.
We asked ourselves: what would happen if we put the same amount of energy into pursuing all things positive as we have chasing the crazy destructive stuff? (…cue our hashtag GetAddictedToTheGoodStuff.)
Persia: We got stuck into all things self-help and spirituality-related and remarkably quickly, our lives began to change. Our insides; our sense of self-worth, confidence and the choices we were making shifted dramatically. Additionally (and rather unexpectedly), we saw massive shifts in the outer stuff too – in our relationships, friendships, physical bodies and clarity on what we were meant to be doing with our lives.
We are now firm believers that if you look after your insides, the outsides take care of themselves. It really does all begin within – and that’s the underlying message behind Addictive Daughter.
What inspired you to set up Addictive Daughter?
Joey: After experiencing the many benefits of the new way of life we’d recently discovered, we felt inspired to share what we’d learned with the friends around us that also tended to gravitate towards drama and chaos. One thing led to another, and three months after our respective break-ups from the guys who’d cheated on and dumped us, Addictive Daughter was born, with the intention of making the basic spiritual concepts and tools that had helped us, accessible, engaging and relevant to those peers that might not come into contact with them otherwise.
“We are now firm believers that if you look after your insides, the outsides take care of themselves. It really does all begin within.”
What advice would you give someone struggling to find balance and wellbeing?
Persia: The Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters – one signifying ‘danger’, and the other ‘opportunity’. Our twenties and thirties are the launch pad to the rest of our lives; the decisions we make in them will dramatically impact where we are in ten years time. Working through them now provides you with the opportunity to make some much needed changes that your future self will thank you for.
Joey: And the only way you’ll be able to successfully work through your struggles and issues is to remember that you aren’t alone; there are many, many like-minded people on a similar path who’ll be more than happy to help and support you – trust us. We are the people we hang around with, so surround yourself by those who encourage and inspire you. Get involved with communities who share your passions, and events or support groups that speak to you.
“The Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters – one signifying ‘danger’, and the other ‘opportunity’.”
Why do you think so many people in ‘generation Y’ struggle to be happy?
Joey: The current economy has brought challenging times in career and finance for our generation, and in the face of a society that’s never been more focused on consumerism and materialistic value, that can be quite depressing! We’re a generation blessed (but also perhaps cursed) with an extraordinary amount of choice in all areas of our lives. Most 20-something females spend years diving in and out of failed relationships and heartbreak – many of us aren’t settling down until mid 30s now – and that undoubtedly brings emotional baggage with it. To top it off, we’re constantly presented with everyone else’s ‘perfect’ lives on social media.
Persia: Nowadays, we all spend an alarming amount of time meticulously curating every aspect of our lives – both online and offline – to try to keep up and fit in. As a result, our inner lives get seriously neglected. We then tend to numb our increasing anxiety and depression via temporary ‘quick’ fixes – drink, drugs, shopping, sex – but soon, the things we’re using to perk ourselves up end up being the very things that bring us down. The more self-destructive we become, the worse we feel about ourselves, and the worse we feel about ourselves, the more self-destructive we become. It’s a vicious cycle.
Joey: The problem is, the majority of us are just about holding our lives together, however unmanageable they might be starting to become. Although we’re probably consuming relatively high levels of intoxicating substances on a regular basis, we’re not actually physically addicted – and on the outside, our lives might actually look quite good. In other words, because we’re not at the extreme end of addiction or dysfunction, most of us are unlikely to warrant any kind of intervention to force us to take action and change, so we just stay stuck in our self-destructive cycles.
How much of an impact does social media have on this struggle?
Persia: A massive one. Social media is undoubtedly Gen Y’s new socially acceptable addiction. Most of us look to it for validation via ‘likes’ and feel insecure when we don’t get as many as we hoped for. We’re constantly looking at the best bits from other people’s days, leading us towards feelings of inadequacy and compare and despair.
Joey: Plus, more of us than we’d like to admit worry about what we’re posting and how we’re perceived online, and are consequently encountering ‘Fear Of Getting It Wrong’ (‘FOGIW’ is a brilliant acronym invented by author and columnist Polly Vernon, and we think it’s bang on point.) When such a major part of our social construct is built around our online identities, it’s really not all that surprising that a lot of us are finding ourselves anxious and exhausted by the relentless focus on ‘keeping up appearances’ across our social feeds.
“Social media is undoubtedly Gen Y’s new socially acceptable addiction.”
You recently published your first book, ‘The Inner Fix’. What was the inspiration behind that?
Persia: We wanted to write a brutally honest memoir/ guide that would meet people where they are. Mainstream media tells us that to be happier we need to start making better choices – do more exercise, cut out the junk food, get eight hours’ sleep and end relationships that are bad for us. Which is, of course, exactly right. But it’s very difficult to make better choices when you’re a mess on the inside…
Joey: The Inner Fix shares our own relatable (and intensely personal) stories from darker periods of our lives, followed by practical, solution-based guidance to help readers move towards the life they most want to create.
What is the core message of the book?
Joey: The message at the heart of our book is ‘if you focus on the insides, the outsides will take care of themselves’. We live in a society that promotes the idea that striving for external stuff (the latest iPhone, expensive yoga pants, the ideal partner, your dream career, a lavish home), brings you happiness.
Persia: Although those things are nice, our personal experience has been that even when things look good from the outside, they don’t necessarily feel good within. No amount of worldly possessions can enrich someone who feels inwardly bankrupt. The Inner Fix focuses on creating a full and healthy inner life, so that the external stuff can naturally fall into place.
How can readers expect to feel after reading your book?
Joey: Expect to relate to our stories and our crazy thinking/ behaviour in parts! We are two young women who exhibited destructive behaviour in different ways, so there will likely be parts that each reader resonates with. We hope readers will feel reassured, calm, clear, hopeful and inspired by the end of the book.
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra you live by?
Persia: ‘Keep it in the day.’ With so many choices and options available to us nowadays, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to decision-making. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to remember that whilst it’s good to have dreams, desires and goals for the future, life is most manageable when I focus mainly on the day I’m living in. Change is inevitable, so if you become too focused on how you want the future to look you can become disappointed and frustrated. The key for me is to remain open and flexible.
Joey: ‘In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.’ This is attributed to Buddha on Google but I’m not so sure it was! Either way, it’s my favourite quote. I can be quite a direct person with a tendency towards wanting to control things, so I find the gentleness of this quote really helpful.
What does the future hold for you?
We also offer an online 21-day heartbreak course called Heart Rehab.
How can readers get in touch with you and get your book?
Joey: You can buy the book is most major bookstores in the UK and of course on Amazon!
Persia: You can visit our website, www.addictivedaughter.com to sign-up for your complimentary 5-minute meditation and 21-day happiness challenge.
You can also join our community on social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook), which we use to spread love, positivity and honest reflection (as opposed to a relentless stream of shiny, perfect selfies!)