acrobat, addict, addiction, brother, children, cirque de soleil, cocaine, contortionist, doctors, drugs, gymnast, health, heroin, heroin addict, joe putignano, medicine, mental-health, opiates, pain killers, recovery, sober, sobriety, surgery, totem
This week’s warrior has a Totem connection all his own as he is performing in Cirque de Soleil’s extravaganza called “Totem!” Our WARRIOR is acrobat and performer Joe Putignano. Joe has twisted, and flipped, and spun, and contorted himself in almost a thousand performances and now his body is beaten and he needs surgery. That’s the life of a gymnast you might say, but what would you say to that same gymnast who turned to the sport as a last resort in an effort to save himself from multiple addictions? This is Joe. Joe is a recovering heroin addict who needs surgery but is petrified of using pain killers (and he will definitely be in a lot of pain) and is trying to come up with a plan so the much needed surgery doesn’t derail his 6 years of sobriety. Joe’s story of his challenge with sobriety hits close to home for me, as my brother was a heroin addict, right up until the moment he over-dosed. The reminder of my brother’s death will hopefully keep my children on the right path, so in a strange way I am grateful, but I am also grateful for the brave souls like Joe who have the courage to come out and talk about the struggle in an effort to stay sober and maybe help someone else do the same. There is the belief that if you tell someone you’re going on a diet you will more likely stick to it, because then you can be held accountable for that bag of Doritos you just couldn’t resist. In this instance, Joe is letting people know his fears, his plan, his hopes, and in doing so is holding himself accountable and asking for support. Well, you’ve got support from Totem Tamers, Joe Putignano, and as a tool to help you stay calm, and focused, and determined, and even sober, we are honored to call you a WARRIOR! You can read more about Joe’s journey in his upcoming book “Acrobaddict:A Contortionist’s Heroin Romance”.