“When I was drinking, I was drinking to the point of blacking out. I was drinking to the point of throwing up. I was drinking because I didn’t want to feel like me.”


I was born and raised in Southern California as the middle child of two brothers. My dad had moved to the U.S. in the late 1960s—he’s Persian and my mom is British. He worked really hard to build up his business, and was on call 24 hours a day. If his beeper would go off, he would have to go to work. I had a pretty great childhood and upbringing, but when I was eleven, my parents got divorced. It was really one of those jolting moments as a kid.

Two weeks later my seven-year-old brother Devin was hit by a truck on our street. We were out on a bike ride, and the driver was our neighbor. He was drunk. Devin survived the accident, but it had a profound impact on me and the way I viewed life and my childhood. I feel like I view my life as before his accident and after his accident. Everything changed.


I found alcohol for the first time when I was around thirteen years old. I remember having my first drink — it was a wine cooler — and this feeling of relief coming over me. I turned to alcohol as a way of coping with the things going on in my life.

In eighth grade I was drinking to the point of blacking out and throwing up. I was drinking because I didn’t want to feel like me. I didn’t like who I was, and I didn’t like how I felt. When I would have alcohol, I would feel confident, and my nerves would go away.


By the time I was a junior in high school, I had started smoking pot, and after that, getting high was pretty much all I cared about doing. I was smoking pot every day and going to school high and I was still getting pretty good grades.

Drinking and smoking pot progressed to more intense, harder drugs. Every single drug that I said I would never do, from mushrooms to ecstasy to cocaine, I did. In my adulthood, it turned into using drugs like speed and heroin. See, when you have alcoholism and drug addiction, it’s possible to function for a long time until you hit a wall. For me, it was just a progressive thing and after a while, around the time I graduated from college, I developed a really, really big coke addiction.


I moved to San Diego for a year to intern at a radio station. I remember one night, standing up and feeling as though I was going to fall over and pass out. I was scared, so I called my mom and told her: “Hey, I think I need help.” That was actually my first experience with recovery. I got sober for about sixty days. It was just a little short glimpse into what was going to come later.

I had a career at a radio station in San Francisco for about four years. However, I ruined that opportunity because of my addiction to drugs and the choices I was making at the time. I was fired from the radio job and pretty much lost everything, including my apartment. Even that wasn’t enough for me to get sober. I had messed up every single relationship in my life. My family no longer wanted anything to do with me; they cut me off. I couldn’t be trusted. I would lie, cheat, and steal to get my fix. I wasn’t myself. I was just so consumed with getting high and it took a really long time for me to hit bottom.

I went to rehab in the Southern California area, soon got released and went to sober living, but eventually I relapsed. During that time, when I was getting loaded again, a really good friend of mine overdosed and passed away. I felt like I had contributed to this person’s life in a negative, toxic way. I thought, “I wasn’t raised like this. This is not me. This is not what I want. I need help because I don’t know how to stop this on my own. I don’t want to die.”


I started hanging out with someone who was sober, and I could just tell that he was getting to a place where he was going to have to tell me, “I can’t hang out with you anymore.” He had offered to try to help me, urging me to do the right thing. And so one day I just called and said, “I’m going to drive myself to the psychiatric hospital. I’m going to check myself in.” Then when I got out, he was actually the one who took me and arranged for me to go into a sober living. That was three years ago and I’ve been sober ever since.

When I was sixty days sober, I actually got the opportunity to work at a radio station in Los Angeles. It blew my mind because it was my dream station to work at. I also was able to make amends with my old employers and was rehired at the radio station in San Francisco I was fired from. So I actually do two radio shows out of Los Angeles, sending all my stuff up to San Francisco. Now I am an on air personality for LA and San Francisco-based radio shows. It was such a crazy, full-circle moment for me to return to this job and do it the right way this time.



I didn’t know how to process the tragedies of my childhood, the divorce, and my brother’s accident. I went into it with the mentality of, “I have to be strong. I have to be strong for my family,” and I just stuffed all of the emotions down. Now that I’m in recovery and I’ve learned about the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction, I realize that many people experience the same feelings and have similar beginnings to their stories: not feeling comfortable, not fitting in, feeling alone.

I am actually just coming out of a little bit of a slump over the last few months. Many changes have recently occurred in my life as I have been taking on new responsibilities. It’s been very uncomfortable for me because I was living a very simple life, but now everything has just gotten busier and busier. The good thing is that now I’m able to identify the depression. I have really supportive people in my life today who I can talk to about these feelings

I know that the slope is slippery, so as an alcoholic, I have to make sure I’m keeping my recovery as the number one priority in my life. I have to make sure I’m going to meetings, that I’m working with my sponsor. Helping people and feeling good about myself helps me stay on track with recovery. It’s all about allowing yourself to go through those tough times, saying to yourself, “Hey, dude, even though this feels like it will last forever, it won’t. It’s going to pass. You just have to go through this right now.”

I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression and addiction in my life, and I just think it’s important to talk about it all. It’s just so important for people to know that they’re not alone, recovery is possible, and that if you need help, it’s okay. Don’t be ashamed to reach out and ask for help. Don’t carry around the shame of it—your life is too valuable and you have too much to offer the world.