A lot of coaches and mentors teach from books, training, and what they've learned through other people.
Those things are nice to have, but my teachings come from a decade of my journey in recovery. I know addiction intimately.
I've carried it on my body and soul for decades - and have learned to co-exist with it in peace. I understand its voice, its craving, its stories, the lies it fed me for a long time. I understand the shame, guilt and blame it brought me - and how it used them to keep me bound.
Most importantly, I understand the joy and freedom of releasing addiction - and the shift needed to get there.
My job is to share this journey with you, and help you do the same.
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For three decades I drank too much. The more I drank, the more I lost who I was. The more lost I was, the more in pain I felt. The more in pain, the more I drank. I thought I was a bad human being on every count.
I didn't understand I suffered from an addiction to alcohol, not from moral failure. I was not a bad person (I'm actually pretty freaking cool), I was simply a person who was mentally, physically and spiritually addicted to a substance.
The next day, I showed up to my first 12-step meeting. There, I found out that I was not just dealing with a "bad habit. I had to get 100% clear on what this monkey was. For me, it was pretty clear, it was addiction.
Once I understood that addiction was my problem, I could start working on the solution - recovery. Not everyone is an addict, by the way. But because I was, my solution was different than just "trying to quit." I found that when I stopped lying to myself, I was able to get clarity and understand what action I needed to take next.
My recovery has been a non-linear, messy, beautiful 10-year journey. It included a long relapse back into drinking, a lot of pain and a lot of learning. I am grateful for all of it.
I’ve gotta be honest: The first 5 years of my sobriety were not years where I felt empowered, happy or truly proud of my sobriety. I felt like a robot, going through the motions to get through the day and do what “I need to do” to stay sober – but inside, I felt exhausted, depleted and like a total victim.
No wonder I ended up chugging warm chardonnay in a parking lot one day. Not every recovery path includes relapse, but mine did. I got disconnected from the source that kept me sober, and I dove back into addiction for 2 full years. I had a really hard time getting out.
I had to accept my addiction with total ownership in order to surrender into recovery - then create a plan of action.
But once I got 100% clear on my truth, I could follow it with action.
Here's my magic action checklist:
I'm grateful and proud to call myself an addict / alcoholic in recovery. While a lot of people don't live with the terms (I honor each person's choice). I needed to be crystal clear on my truth. When I wasn't, I ended up at a bar. Now I wear the term like a badge of honor.
Recovery brings me peace, serenity and an anchor for my soul. I know ME today. I turned out to be a pretty cool human being, mom, teacher, sister, daughter, friend. Who knew?
But mostly, I am grateful because my journey helps others. Recovery is a "hey, me too" business like none other.
Today, I get the honor of holding the hand of those who want to start their journey. Is this you?
My job is not to convince you. Recovery is a deeply personal choice. But baby, you have the power to be your own hero.
I see you and I know you're capable of changing your life - for good and all.
We can do this together.
Come here me speak at the SHERECOVERS Miami 2020 event, sharing the stage with Abby Wambach, Lauren McKowen and other badasses.
Connect with women in recovery from #allthethings and become part of an incredible, thriving sisterhood.