EP 81: Beyond the Bars with Rob Lohman

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Rob Lohman is the founder of The Addiction Recovery Hub and Host of the Beyond the Bars Radio Podcast. Rob shares with Annie about his story of immense addiction and his amazing journey through recovery in such an honest and raw way. Rob’s journey has brought him to a place where he has such a heart for helping others and he is currently developing a transformational house for men who are on their own recovery journey.

Welcome Rob Lohman

Today’s guest is a new friend of mine, Rob Lohman. Rob Lohman and I met because as you might have heard, I’ve been moving. We had a third baby and we didn’t have enough bedrooms. So, we’d been looking for a different house and Rob was interested in renting my house for a really cool mission actually. So, we’ll start with his story, and his vision for why we met in the first place.

How We Met

Well, I’ve been clean for 17 years from drinking and drugging. I just have a heart for guys that are between 40 and 65 that are coming out of addiction or life transformation that’s just really, really challenging. So, I feel like God kind of put on my heart to open up a men’s transformational house. One day we decided to go from buying a house to renting a place. I literally looked on zillow.com and Annie’s house was right in this perfect spot. So, I clicked on it and she called me right away. Then we were just dreaming together about how to help people. That’s taken a little different course of action now, but it was really cool how we did get to meet through that.

Rob Lohman’s Story

Falling into addiction and being ripped out of addiction. That’s kind of my thing, but no. I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Most of my family lived back home in Indiana. I was that kid that was just wired differently than most kids is kind of the way I always look at it. The minute I found alcohol, it was just like game on. The light bulbs went off and the funny thing about it was that I was your kid that knocked on your door and sold you magazines. After a while, they just said, “What are you selling now, Rob?” So, I was a confident little kid, but I was really insecure.

New Friends

We went to church and all that kind of fun stuff. We moved from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Fort Worth, Texas when I was nine. Then at age 14, I was hanging out at this little youth event. One of the guys said, “Hey Lohman. You wanna go drink some beer out in the alleyway here?” I was like, “Sure let’s go.” So, it was myself, this guy, can’t remember his name at all and two very pretty girls. Instantly I thought – this is kind of fun. I slammed three beers like it was nothing. They were nursing their little beers. From that point, it should have been the clarity of maybe I have a problem because I come from a long line of alcoholics.

Drinking Career

Then it was just kind of from 14 to 29, that was my drinking career. It seemed like everything I did had a hint of alcohol with it and a hint of manipulating situations to benefit myself. My business card could have said – Rob Lohman – drinker.

Confidence Booster

With alcohol, I felt like just the insecurities kind of went away. Because I was always shy around girls and I was also the class clown. So, I hid my insecurities by being that guy. Alcohol made Rob Lohman the cool guy. I was the popular kid but really empty inside if that kind of makes sense. I was covering up a lot of my own insecurities. I’m not really sure from where those came, but I just know that when I drank, I felt more confident in who I was.


I kind of had principals and teachers in my back pocket because as an addict, you’re really good at playing the field and playing everybody.

So, that just kind of became what I felt like was an art and I was a chameleon and I felt like that was a gift that God had given me, but it was a huge, huge detriment to me, but I just felt good.

Never Be That Guy

The hangovers and all those kind of things, it just kind of was part of the game. From the beginning, just alcohol was my thing. I always said I would never ever do drugs. That was my one promise to myself that I would never do drugs. I held on to that until the first semester of college. One of my buddies was like, “Hey Lohman, you want to get high?” I thought, “No, I’m not touching that stuff. I like drinking too much.” Just a little bit, right? Just that little bit. I remember smoking pot. It felt really cool and I felt good. Then that just led into acid and mushrooms and kind of whatever you put before me, but alcohol and gambling has always been there as well.

So, gambling and alcohol have been two things that have kind of been driving forces in my own lack of emotional maturity.

Growing Up

In 1995 I moved back to Texas. 24 years old at the time. Got a job in banking and then real estate and in the middle of that, I went back and got my MBA because I thought that if I had a higher degree that that would get me a better job, but I was still drinking eight nights a week. Drinking and driving eight nights a week I would say because it was every night it was a party. I don’t know. I just wasn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired yet.

Love and Marriage

I was really empty in side. Completely, but then I met a girl and she drank worse than I did, but all my friends drank. So, we met in and ended up getting married. It was a very short lived marriage. Let’s put it that way. I graduated with my MBA and my uncle hired me to work for his real estate company back in Indiana. So, we moved to Indiana thinking life would change if we got away from all of our drinking friends. The problem was there go the both of us in our own dysfunction. It was not a healthy marriage. It was very short lived for a lot of reasons along the way. We ended up getting divorced and then about six months later, I ended up getting clean.

Keep Listening

Tune in to the complete podcast to hear how it took arson and prison for Rob to really secure who he was and get back to the roots of who is Rob Lohman.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License