Over the past few weeks, the story of Ted Williams has swept the nation. For 20 years, Williams lived on and off the streets around Columbus, Ohio, and struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Today, he is proudly in recovery and showcasing his natural talent for voiceover—a skill that recently went viral when a YouTube video of Williams received 13 million hits. Since then, Williams’ “Golden Radio Voice” has earned him countless fans and job offers.
How was Williams’ able to make it this far? By fighting his addictions, getting sober, and maintaining that sobriety. Unfortunately, none of the news coverage mentions the heroic steps that Williams took to get his life back on track. It’s wonderful that the media – and the nation – is applauding Williams for his newfound success, but are they doing him a disservice by not examining his road to recovery? Did he receive treatment? Is recovery still a daily struggle for him? If Williams was able to achieve so much as a result of his sobriety, the public would greatly benefit from hearing how he got from “point A” to “point B”—and Williams certainly deserves to have his full story heard.
Although the story is incomplete, the outcome is positive; it’s clear that our society is ready and willing to embrace a person with a powerful recovery journey. Redemption is always popular, and, as WNCI-FM DJ Dave Kaelin declared on CBS, “Everyone loves a second chance.”
The overwhelming support for Williams is proof that the public’s perception of addiction and recovery is changing. This attitude of acceptance is a step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done. Society needs to recognize addiction as the chronic disease that it is, and realize that individuals who struggle with substance abuse are human beings with potential to change and succeed—just like the rest of us. The possibility for greatness is present in every individual, at any point along the recovery continuum—from denial to treatment to the 20th year of recovery and beyond.
It appears that the public is ready to show support for recovery success stories—now, the next step is to show support for those who are still battling their addictions. By cheering these individuals on through their struggles, we can inspire them to make positive and lasting changes. If we believe in them, they just might find the courage necessary to believe in themselves.
Deni Carise, Ph.D
Chief Clinical Officer
Update: During today’s filming of The Dr. Phil Show, Williams admitted that he is still struggling with his addictions and will be entering treatment. We congratulate him on making the important decision to deal with his substance abuse. Recovery is an ongoing process, and Williams deserves the public’s support every step of the way.Back to Index