From Survivor to Thriver

Dodging Asteroids While Running Too Fast with Joe Tlustos

January 30, 2024 Erik DaRosa & Marc Fernandes Episode 146
From Survivor to Thriver
Dodging Asteroids While Running Too Fast with Joe Tlustos
Show Notes

Do you or someone you know struggle with addiction? 

In this episode of From Survivor to Thriver, we sat down with Joe Tlustos to talk about how his mental health struggles turned into multiple addictions that greatly impacted his life.

Joe shares the story of how he learned to slow down, accept himself for who he is, and get the help he needed. Through his journey, he learned that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s actually connection. He now helps people struggling with addiction connect with someone who can help them slow down and kick the addiction for good. 

Joe Tlustos is a peer coach for Face It TOGETHER, an addiction wellness nonprofit. Joe has extensive personal and coaching experience with addiction and mental health conditions having suffered from multiple addictions (including opioids, alcohol and others) for more than 20 years, mainly due to undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder II, severe depression, anxiety and adult ADHD. 

He voluntarily entered inpatient treatment in November of 2008 and has been in recovery ever since. 

Today, he’s experienced as a coach and a peer in a place where highly creative talent, mental health and addiction intersect.  

In today’s episode, we cover: 

  • What it’s like struggling with mental health issues before people understood them
  • The rareness of true authenticity in the mental health space
  • Joe’s experience in the radio business and how it impacted his mental health
  • When Joe started suffering from multiple addictions
  • The moment Joe knew he couldn’t do it by himself anymore and he needed help 
  • The honesty it takes to kick an addiction
  • The importance of slowing down when you are struggling with your mental health 
  • Why the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection 
  • Why you have to change the way you think if you are ready to find your way out of addiction 
  • The power of hope 

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Joe! If you want to learn more from him or get some help, make sure to visit the Face It TOGETHER website. You can also follow them on Instagram.  

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


Visit Joe’s website: 

Follow Face It TOGETHER on Instagram: 

Visit our website:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Instagram:

Get in touch:


“The first thing I had to do when I wanted to kick the addiction was learn honesty.” -Joe 

“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” - Joe 

“Mental health journeys are marathons. They aren’t sprints.” - Erik 

“We’re not going to change our behavior and how we feel if we don’t change how we think and operate.” - Marc