Service is defined by the Webster Dictionary as “the act of helping or doing work for someone.”
Johnnie Calloway, an author and mental health news radio network podcaster has a strong philosophy on service. Whether it’s connecting with listeners to his show ‘Morph Into A New You!’ in a way that conveys conviction and compassion or taking the time to personalize a copy of one of his books including ‘“Dragons to Butterflies: The Metamorphosis of a Man’ and ‘Taming The Dragon’ while making each event a real, human experience centered around wellness and optimism.
Calloway has, seemingly, stood as a beacon of light in a world filled with shattered stories of trauma and the collateral damage that it has on the human spirit.
He was candid without pause when filling me in on the often difficult memories of abuse as a child and the experience of the loss of his mother at an early age while being raised by what he called “an angry, alcoholic, sexually abusive father.”
Listening to any number of his shows illustrates not only his tone as a survivor but as someone who willingly wants to help others.
His sincerity is readily visible both in his writing and in the way he deftly works to make each guest on his podcast become woven into his greater messages of redemption and faith.
Johnnie, it seems, goes about life with a sense of passion and drive that sets the tone for change. He’s all about action. He lives by certain tenets, among them the basic foundation of a program of recovery. This is especially apparent in his captivating scripture-like tone when referring back to the Big Book.
As someone who’s sat in countless rooms, raising my hand hesitantly in the beginning, surrounded by perfect strangers whose lives I believed couldn’t possibly be nearly as difficult as mine were at one time, he brings a sense of normalcy,
He makes recovery seem right.
The twelve steps, for example, are a major component of his life and treatment from addiction. And that simple honesty that exists in the theme of his programming is what jumps off the airwaves and into the minds of his audience. He’s been able to extricate himself from the pain and damage of those horrific times. That’s a feat in and of itself. But he’s also been able to relay what works in a manner that I find inviting.
But, it wasn’t always that way.
Calloway struggled through a childhood marked by constant trauma and fear.
Ultimately, he said “a variety of addictions and multiple mental health issues” were all that was left.
I asked him how he managed to cope and find direction when things were difficult and life so trying. I asked him- point blank- like one addict to another sometimes does how he made it through.
“My life and the people that participated in my recovery are what led me to the healing arena.”
That illustrates plainly how big a role the community- the people around you- matter when it comes to finding hope when all else seems lost.
Hosting ‘Morph Into A New You’ he said has been one of the greatest blessings in his life.
“I’ve been able to carry on incredible conversations with amazing guests, which always adds to my own tool box of healing tools. The feedback that I continue to get from my audience keeps me pushing forward and lets me know the information is beneficial to many.”
As for his perspective, his overall philosophy, he circles back to the element of service. And he said that when he participates in helping others he “feels more alive than when I do anything else.
Simply put, Johnnie said that doing the podcast keeps him focused on helping others.
When I asked him about what it’s been like being affiliated with other MHNR network podcasters and the overall experience he remained, fittingly, honest and forthright and admitted he probably isn’t as connected as he’d like to be but that’s something he’s working on.
Just like his recovery. Just like his commitment to his craft at the show.
“I am trying to become more involved with the network. Some of the things I am working on will allow that to change. My publicists for ‘Dragons to Butterflies’ contacted Kris Walker and we connected immediately (back when he began his show).”
Being connected to her was a blessing in many ways. An outlet for his continued focus in treatment and his goal to keep helping others by sharing his perspective and values on life.
He said back then that “she almost insisted on me doing a podcast.”
Like recovery sometimes goes, it’s that extra push from a knowing, caring soul who sees the best in you when you can’t always see it for yourself that make all the difference.
He and Kristin have been friends ever since.
If you tune into his show you’ll immediately hear his easy, relaxed Kentucky drawl. And the frequent recovery program sayings and messages of hope and strength aren’t just another cliche.
They’re like home.
For more information on ‘Morph Into A New You” please check out: www.morphintoanewyou.com.
‘Morph Into A New You’ is a proud member of the Mental Health News Radio network, available here: www.mentalhealthnewsradionetwork.com.