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How Rod Butterss Found His Identity After Alcoholism

High-flying businessman and former St Kilda President Rod Butterss spiralled out of control when alcoholism and addiction took over his life.

After selling three companies for more than $200 million, Butterss told PickStar's Off-Field Podcast he was filthy rich but “emotionally bankrupt”, and did not have the skills to cope with setbacks.

His fix was to go to lunch and get hammered every day.

“You’d wake up with a shocking hangover, promise yourself that you weren’t going to drink that particular day, promise your wife or partner," Butterss said.

"I’d then get up and go to the office and start currency trading. You’re numb, you’re shattered and your solution is go and have a drink.

“The solution to everything is go and have a drink.”


The setbacks saw Butterss sink into a pit of self-hatred.

“You loathe yourself, you barely can shave because you have to look at yourself it’s that bad,” he said.

Butterss said he had to lose everything, including relationships and finances, before acknowledging he had a problem.

Rod Butterss

A chance meeting with a couple of sober addicts helped inspire him to kick start the recovery process.

“Not long into recovery, maybe a few months, I just started to smell the roses, I started to notice the clouds and the trees and the birds. And I started to have a different relationship with people,” Butterss said.

“And I was a better listener, and I was more intuitive, like the intuition that comes to you is powerful.”

Butterss now helps others through the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

“I enjoy working with people, and when I meet people who want to get well and when they're prepared to do what it takes to get well, and they invite you to hold a spotlight on the path for them, which is about all we do, there’s nothing more fulfilling,” he said.

“You can’t admire a garden until you weed it, you can’t enjoy the beauty of the garden until you weed the damn thing.”

PickStar's Off-Field podcast focuses on the world of sport outside of the arena with the people who make it happen.

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