Meet Recovery Carrier Herby Bell


Today’s post is the fourth in a series of interviews with folks across the nation (and the Universe!) who embody a life of recovery, from the physical to the psychic.  Please enjoy this conversation with Dr. Herby Bell, an addiction recovery coach and licensed healthcare provider in chiropractic care. His practice is called Recovery Health Care. Herby also enlivens the airwaves with podcast series, Sober Conversations.

William White defines recovery carriers as “people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion they exhibit for those still suffering.” (, 2012)

When you hear the term recovery carrier,as it relates to addiction, what does that mean to you? Do you think youre a recovery carrier?

In the tradition of the recovery carrier concept, Beth, I do believe I’ve caught the bug…I mean the buzz. Recovery IS contagious because it is all good things when it comes to beholding the ecstasy and the angst of Existence. Giving up chasing the buzz to literally entering into the Buzz of Life is what it feels like to me.HerbyBell

I remember the run-up to understanding just what in heaven was happening to me as I decided to give up what in hell had become of me. I’d go to the rooms of AA–and other places of healing–and listen. Stories…raw, world class, extraordinarily ordinary stories of, “What it was like, what happened and what it’s like now.”Dude, I wanted what they were having…Inspiration after inspiration until I began to realize, say and write my own story. The power of, “I can do this!”…WOW.

It seems to me I’ve “arrived”, (albeit just a parenthesis in my eternity) in a place now where it feels like my healthy compulsion to carry the message of recovery is really “none of my business.”As if reclaiming the unadulterated truth that I care deeply about my life, about others and the world through the lens and metaphor of recovery–is the reason I was born. And you know…I always did care. I just didn’t know how to get out of the self-imposed hell and prison I was in until I started listening to, and hearing other carriers. My turn. That kinna unapologetic, big picture, dignified, purpose and meaning and what I believe to be the transformational miracle of addiction recovery. My God, you’re evoking tears with this beautiful question.

You’re a recovery coach, a chiropractor and a believer in “optimizing metabolic machinery of the mind, body and spirit,” to quote your interview with Bill White.  You’re also a person in long-term recovery.  It sounds like you show up every day for work and bring all of yourself to the job at hand.  Can you describe your work–especially the idea of recovery wellness–and tell me why you do it?

I love looking back and realizing that necessity truly is the mother of all invention. I learned to get and stay well because it was a matter of wellness or insanity, a matter of life or death.

(To read more of Herby’s interview, click Herby Bell 5-14)

Photo courtesy of deegolden

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  1. Hey Beth and Herby,

    “Addiction is the poster child of what the integrated mind, body and spirit look like: Disintegrated.” This line says it all. It is so inspiring to know about Herby’s work. It makes so much sense to me that we need to heal the whole person, mind, body and spirit. Unfortunately in some of the treatment centers, this is not the case and it becomes a revolving door of relapse and attempted recovery. There are so many aspects to long-term recovery. Thank you Herby for all the amazing work that you are doing. I look forward to seeing your dream of Recovery Health Centers grow and expand, so more can experience your philosophy.

    • Beth says:

      Isn’t it exciting, Cathy, to be in the middle of all this liked-mindedness and yet have different brains–like Herby’s–go off in directions that you and I may not have contemplated? You’re right, Herby’s passion and his overall “Herbyness” makes him such a gift to our community and our cause.

      I’m so thrilled to hang with y’all!

      Thanks for writing in!

  2. Herby Bell says:

    Thank you, Cathy and with a critical mass of recovery carriers like you and Beth, I can feel the shift happening. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • Beth says:

      Shift happens, doesn’t it, Herby, when enough people align themselves in the same direction? I am so jazzed and know you are too!

  3. Wow – I’m practically breathless – there is so much passion and wisdom in your piece, Herby!! You’ve long been in the forefront of “Health advocacy, and in this case, recovery advocacy [which] boils down to long-term addiction recovery equaling long-term wellness practices–in all of its manifestations, period.” (Wellness practices aka “‘thrival’ through life.”)
    Thank you Beth for your wonderful series and for profiling Herby – he truly is a Recovery Carrier extraordinairell!

  4. Beth says:

    Amen to that, Lisa! You set the bar pretty high and all my profiles have been as stunningly amazing as the individuals themselves.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. As Lisa said, this is a wonderful series, Beth. Such a creative idea bringing the recovery carrier notion to life on your blog. It’s been my great pleasure to be associated with Herby for some time now. He’s a gentle warrior. He’s been there, done that – and now does what he can to be there and do that for others in a jam. And he’s never afraid to think – be – outside the box. I remember he commented on one of my articles in which I was expressing a good bit of frustration re the “system.” And Herby suggested “How ’bout we save some lives?!” Just perfect. Beautiful and important “work” here, Beth. Thank you…

    • Beth says:

      I can’t wait to have a long-time association with both you and Herby, Bill. You both strike me as no-nonsense, yet compassionate, firm, but with a light touch. Great insight about Herby’s comment to you about the system; yeah, how ’bout we save some lives! Classic.

      I appreciate you both so much and feel more connected with you each and every day!

    • Herby Bell says:


      You and Beth know how to make a guy feel welcome. Thank you and here’s to that long lived collaboration to do just what you made me say…save some lives.

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