Hope & Higher Power

As a behavioral healthcare entrepreneur who specializes in addressing addiction,  Michael Cartwright also pulled from personal experience for his book Believable Hope: 5 Essential Elements to Beat Any Addiction. In Believable Hope, Cartwright shares his personal struggles, recovery process, and 5-pronged approach—the 5 Essential Elements—that have caused dramatic, healthy transformations for thousands of people.

Michael Cartwright, CEO, of American Addiction Centers is a husband and father who battled his own lifestyle addictions with the help of Divine intervention.

“Hooked on drugs and alcohol as a teenager, I landed in a catatonic state as a patient in a psychiatric hospital for five months during my early twenties,” Cartwright wrote in his book. “Despite rehabilitation programs and counseling, my life continued in a downward spiral until my sweet, loving grandmother hit me between the eyes with the truth. The essential truths she impressed upon me form the foundation of this book.”

Cartwright said his grandmother had a “tremendous faith in God,” and her strong belief made him a believer.

“I had already discovered that I could tap into a Higher Power through prayer, but it was not one-way communication,” said Cartwright. “If I wanted and expected God’s help, I needed to pray—to talk with Him, not in super-pious religious language, but in everyday conversations—and I also needed to listen.”

Now sober more than 25 years, Cartwright serves as the Chief Executive Officer of American Addiction Centers, a family of treatment centers with 30 locations across the United States. Known as an addiction industry leader,  he is an author and speaker.

“With grandma’s encouragement, I was able to conquer my own mental and emotional illness, as well as addictions to alcohol, drugs, and food —which is why I have the audacity to tell you that you can get free from whatever mess in which you are mired.”

Five Elements that Mean Freedom from Addictions

Here’s a summary of the Elements:

“I needed to pray—to talk with Him, not in super-pious religious language, but in everyday conversations—and I also needed to listen.”

Believable Hope: Long-term recovery is possible with a change in thinking and attitude, immersion in a new mindset, and being surrounded by positive role models.

Visualize the Life You Want: Thoughts and attitudes have profound influences; individuals must learn to visualize and imagine the world they want to create for themselves.

Surround Yourself With Winners:  Choosing the right companions is a critical step in creating a new life. Maintaining positive relationships that help facilitate believable hope is key.

Put Your Plan Into Action: By setting goals, an individual accepts responsibility, creates confidence, and manifests believable hope. Actions taken to accomplish those goals are vital to personal transformation.

Maintain the Life You Love: Focusing on one’s own healing, as well as recognizing progress and potential setbacks, are key to maintaining a new life.


Lucas Lee Johnson II is a former reporter for The Associated Press where he worked for 24 years before taking a job as Director of Media Relations at Tennessee State University. Lucas is also the author of the book, Finding the Good

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