Press Release – Carlin Valenti
‘Walking with the Taniwha’ is the updated, brutally honest autobiography of Paul Bennett, his descent into drug and alcohol abuse, and his physical and mental battle to recovery.November 21, 2011
Book Details Difficult Road Back From Addiction and Drug Ravaged Life
‘Walking with the Taniwha’ is the updated, brutally honest autobiography of Paul Bennett, his descent into drug and alcohol abuse, and his physical and mental battle to recovery.
First released in 2005, and sold out nationwide, Bennett has more to say with a further seven years of rehabilitation, relapse, and the realisation it wasn’t only the side affects of substance abuse that nearly killed him, but unrecognised mental health issues that plagued his life.
After the book was released (in 2005) Bennett travelled the country speaking about his ordeal and miraculous survival. However, being able to share his life story with others has been both a blessing and a curse.
He explains, “I enjoyed my catapult into infamous stardom, but after eighteen months I burnt out and crash-dived into hopeless depression. I got caught up in it all and my recovery fell into second place.”
He tumbled back down to the dark underbelly of alcohol and prescription medication abuse.
When he relapsed Paul went into drug rehabilitation for the first time in his life. He first went into a 12 Step programme and cleaned up his act. He then went into a Community Alcohol Drugs Service (Hospital system) and then a kaupapa Maori mental health service. During this process he learned he not only suffered from anxiety and depression but also the mood disorders associated with a bipolar condition. So began his understanding and acceptance that his mental health was causative to his addiction.
Whereas the first edition of his book focused on the physical recovery, this new edition focuses on mental health awareness, addiction and options for drug rehabilitation.
“I have completed many trainings, been involved in peer support, and my research has been rigorous.”
He explains once he understood more about himself and what triggers his anxiety, he knew he had to work with it, not against it.
The revised edition of ‘Walking with the Taniwha’ will be launched on Wednesday November 23 at the Ngaiterangi Iwi offices in Tauranga at 10.15am.