Steve-O of the MTV shows “Jackass” and “Wildboyz” may not exactly be a role model, but he is someone that gets the attention of young people. His story is not a typical story of substance abuse and addiction recovery, but his take on what it means to break free from an addiction may be helpful to someone.

He has written a book about his life called “Professional Idiot” that does not exactly sound like an endorsement of a tranquil life. He told the Washington Post Express that he doesn’t consider the book to be an addiction memoir because besides his addiction, it also deals with the makings of his television show, a program that involves some pretty dangerous stunts–these include things like swallowing live goldfish and leaping from high places.

When asked if being famous made recovery more difficult he replied:

“I think recovery for me has been a function of establishing an identity apart from Steve-O, between finding a separation between who I am and what I do.  When I was really new in sobriety and had just left rehab, I was super-unsure about whether I could pursue this career.”

The issues that Steve-O faced is one that people in all walks of life face. A number of people, including high-functioning alcoholics, feel pressure when they merge themselves with their work to the point that they don’t know who they are. Some begin to abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with their uncertainty.

Steve-O was able to get into a rehab program and was even able to compete on “Dancing with the Stars” while he completed his rehab, although he did say that “Doing something you’re really bad at in front of 20 million people isn’t great for early sobriety.” The difficulties of appearing on the program were somewhat alleviated by the fact that he felt love and encouragement from viewers of the dance competition.

This is an important lesson to consider as you transition from an alcohol and drug rehab program to daily life: don’t overdo it.