SHE RECOVERS Podcast Interview: Trauma and my addiction

It was such an honor to appear on the SHE RECOVERS Podcast! I love any chance to connect with Taryn or Dawn, and their podcast honors and works through the idea that everyone is recovering from something.

In this interview, I talked about the ways that my past trauma detonated my use of alcohol, and set off a pattern of using substances and distractions to avoid my pain.

Listen to our conversation here or, read (a slightly condensed) transcript here:

 

SR:
Welcome to the SHE RECOVERS podcast. I'm Taryn Strong, cofounder with my mother, Dawn Nickel of SHE RECOVERS. We believe that we are all recovering from something and here on this podcast, we examine the healing power of connection and intentional living as well as what happens in our lives when we put down our past stories and pick up our soul's true purpose.

In this episode, I interviewed Pamela Rueda Devenport of My Badass Recovery. Pamela has been in the journey of recovery from substance use disorder for 10 years. Her mission is to create clarity and empowerment around addiction and recovery. She believes identifying addiction is the first step to healing, that recovery is the key to a life of freedom, and that a thriving life after addiction is our right and honor.

Pamela proudly calls herself an alcoholic in recovery for it, as in sharing her truth shamelessly that she drops the stigma of addiction and inspires hope in those who are still suffering. She is a Certified Recovery Coach and SHE RECOVERS coach. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook and her website. Her motto is simple: "First we recover, then we thrive." Her deepest belief is that not only can we find freedom and recovery, but a thriving bad-ass life after addiction is purposely created and available to all.

All right. Welcome everybody. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this episode. As you heard in the Intro, I have Ms beautiful Pamela with me. Mom, and I, we talk to Pamela whenever we can because we love saying your name! It is so beautiful. We just love you.

 

Pamela
That makes me feel wonderful! Look, you've already started with making my heart flutter.

 

SR
Yay. Well let me keep going with that for another moment. I'll never forget when we met, it was two years ago now at our conference, SHE RECOVERS, in New York City and you so bravely and so boldly stood up in front of 500 other women and you were so open and you were so vulnerable and you asked question and I can't remember who you asked the question to. Who did you ask? 

 

Pamela
Gabby Bernstein.

 

SR
Yeah, you talked to her and that weekend is such a blur for me. I know there's a lot going on, but that will forever stand out is something, it was a very powerful moment for everybody. So I just want to thank you because I don't think I've ever had an opportunity to thank you for that moment of vulnerability and bravery.

 

Pamela
Oh my God. I, I just, I am thrilled that you remember because that was one of those moments where I just was shaking and I was shaking because I was standing in the middle of so many powerful women that were just like so loudly speaking their truth. And what you may or may not know is that I only had three months of sobriety at that point—I mean I've been in it for a decade and I had five years of sobriety—I started in 2009 and then I relapsed for two very long ass years. And so coming to she recovers was just so incredible because I had three months and I was still shaking inside, you know, that, that shakiness. 

I remember you, you welcomed me with the one of the warmest hugs that I had felt in a long time. And I, I just have to say, it just made me feel very brave and connected all that weekend. You and everybody that I met there, so, so, yeah. Thank you.

 

SR
Well, let's rewind a bit then. What, what brought you into the recovery space in the first place? 

 

Pamela
In the big pictures it was alcohol. And so just kinda big picture: I come from a lovely family that my mom is French, my dad is Mexican. And so for me, drinking really was just a part of everyday type of, you know, cultural thing. And so so when I moved to the US I couldn't recognize that I drank abnormally, cause I always considered myself to be different. And drinking was just "part of my personality" and you know, so it took me a really long time to realize that. And, and the beautiful journey began from there I suppose is the best way to tell.

 

SR
You have such a unique story— maybe it's not so unique, maybe you're just the only person I know who has experienced that, but I'm wondering if you would mind touching for a moment about that experience that you had when you were 18 and how that related to your journey with alcohol.

 

Pamela
Oh, for sure. I feel like, you know, we all believe that we have a reason for drinking. I don't know if we have a reason or we are just built like that. I think everybody is different. But I did actually have a particular event that detonated it for me. And so it was actually when I was 20 I had just come back to live in Mexico after a year abroad and I was kidnapped.

And I know it sounds really like, well, what do you mean? Well, really, I was kidnapped. There were about 10 men that came into my house and literally just plucked me away for ransom. At the time it was a very well known technique in Mexico to just have the bad guys, you know, just get rich and the bad guys happened to be part of the government. So it's a little bit of a frustrating feeling. For me, I'm fortunate cause there was only 30 hours that I spent in that moment—where you just, you come down to your knees mentally and emotionally and just realize, you know, for me it was a, a moment of understanding that there was a higher power and that he sat beside me during that experience and that he took care of me.

In my home we never really talked about the real issues. We didn't really believe in therapy and it was very much like, you know, I grew up in a, in a very masculine I guess environment of you just don't cry, you move on,  you get shit done. And so we very quickly realized we needed to leave Mexico because everything felt threatening. And so the four of us, my dad put us on a plane and we moved to the US and we just kinda hid for a while and we licked our wounds. But for me, licking the wounds came in the shape of shopping and watching a lot of movies and drinking wine with my mom at the end of the day.

And then I didn't want to worry my parents about the fact that I was having these tremendous nightmares. Of course there was so much unhealed that really needed to have been, you know, addressed in whatever way it needed to be addressed. But the way that I did it was I connected that if I drank enough wine and Bacardi—You're probably too young, but there was this like 1990s type of drink. It was like Cuba. Like rum and coke, but it was made with Bacardi Lehman, which disgusting.

It was gross. And if I had enough of those, I would not have nightmares. And that brilliant connection was all of a sudden like, oh my God, check this out. And then it just kinda snowballed from there, taking over really a lot of what the tools to just do life, everything became, I was always like mildly to wildly intoxicated, but incredibly "functional". I don't know how the hell I manage to do it inside my spirit and my body were just a mess.

So yeah. So that's that that was the event that you're talking about. I'm so grateful for it, it's such a blessing because it will number one, it got me to move to the US—cause my family eventually moved back to Mexico and I stayed here, and I love where I live and I love my story. It started the journey of freedom, because coming to my knees because of alcohol was the beginning of the journey to entering recovery, which is for me a privilege. It's just such a gift to live in a daily learning and unlearning, which is what I feel recovery is for me.

 

SR
Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. Thank you so much for sharing that and thank you so much as well for really beautifully illustrating how for some, but not all, we do use substances as a coping tool. They become mechanisms. We use them to survive, right? We use them so we can fall asleep at night, so that we can function throughout the day...

And not everybody ends up using substances to cope. Other people find other ways. You mentioned you know, watching lots of movies and shopping and for others. I know actually I'm pretty sure you're in recovery from codependency as well, so it manifests so differently for everybody.

 

Pamela
Yeah, yeah. I
t's kind of like the big mushroom, right? And it covers the little ones, but the little ones are blooming... because if you are tapping out from developing into the human being that you're supposed to be at a certain point in your adult life, it's like all the other things just don't grow.

So there's the codependence and the trauma that never healed. And then of course I had emotional immaturity. And then of course I had abandonment issues because I couldn't have a solid adult relationship and I couldn't discern even the patterns within my own home that then I replicated in not my one, but my two marriages, you know?

So it's just like this, this tapestry. But that's the beautiful thing about recovery, that once you start working certain spiritual premises and certain, healing pathways, all of a sudden it's like, you get the sunlight to shine on the mushroom field and you're like, oh look, there's that one. Yeah. And there's that one. Oh, look, there's another one right here. Yeah.

 

SR
Oh, I love the imagery of the mushroom. That's perfect. I haven't heard that. Do you recall a specific moment of awakening where you began to face that hard truth, where you became aware that there needed to be a shift in your life?

 

Pamela
I had two! I grew up in Mexico, you know, I have, this—I guess "socially accepted" framework to drink early on because of my family and my culture. And then, you know, I moved to Paris where you're 18 and you're an adult and you're holding the glass of red wine. And then, the kidnapping happening... Then in the US and like I said, I was highly functional, had great jobs, did life beautifully, and just carried this duality. So flash forward, I have a child, I try to do the marriage thing, like life is kind of happening—but my addiction continued growing and taking over every part of my life and more and more and more.

But I feel like a badass. I've always felt like a badass. Like whatever it is, I can do. Maybe it's like the survival thing after the kidnapping, I don't know. And so in my head, this was something for me to control. 

And so the first awakening moment came after many nights where things weren't in my control. And it was 2009 and I that night I just, I had to come to my knees. My son is 9 years old, it was just he and I living in this country, he's all I have. And I'm driving home from the movies, it was a mom and son date. And I just drank too much. Didn't mean to, not at all. This is a child that I adore more than life itself. I mean, he's, you know, my everything. And, and when I get home, he literally looks at me and, and he just says, "Mommy, are you okay? I'm so scared."

And I remember in that moment I felt like my heart was breaking and I felt this horrible wave of repulsion just towards myself. And that was the deepest, most heartbreaking moment of my life. Cause here's this child who looked at me. And of course, after that question, he said, you know, "Mommy, it's my fault because I knew that you were not okay and I let you drive, I should have called your friend."

And so here's this nine-year-old blaming himself. When I knew that my only job was to take care of him. And so I literally came to my knees and I realized I needed help.

Like this was a monster that I just couldn't control. I just, I took myself to a 12 step meeting the next day cause that was all I knew to do. I didn't know what other resource was out there. And so my recovery began the very next day. And so that was like the first part of my story. And as God would have it, I did actually get plugged in. It was a very black and white structure for me at the time. It worked because I had very fixed ideas and I had to like break to relearn how to do life in so many ways.

And so for five years, I did what I considered to be like a textbook type of recovery, and eventually that thing broke.

At some point, I got so disconnected from everything that kept me sober that I found myself in a parking lot on the way to meet my then husband and then, you know, adopted family. And I drank again just like that after five years of sobriety.

So for two years, two very long years, I submerge myself in the depths of a really long relapse. And this one came with a vengeance. Like it was not pretty. And I lost my marriage and I lost my sense of self. I mean, I think I lost things that I hadn't lost before, which is beautiful. I love that I went that route because that's when the magic happened. I reconnected yes, again, to a framework of a very specific set of guidelines which I needed desperately, but I also recognized the need for more.

So I'm in that relapse, my husband had packed a bag and left a few days before, and my son was in Mexico over the summer. And I found myself literally, pardon me for the visual, but I found myself vomiting bile and I realized I was going to die.

There was no me playing around with what was my problem. Like I had a huge ass problem and I had to choose life or death. It was very simple. And so the beauty of that is that I needed more things. And so aside from my 12 step, there was like all of a sudden these online amazing, incredible women. I found spiritual teachers and there were podcasts and there were so many people, all of a sudden that just came, it was like a door opened and all of a sudden out came all of these like new tools and new teachers and new mentors. And I was like, yes, I'm doing this. And three months later I met you guys. And then, you know, five months later I started becoming a coach as well. Cause I, I knew that passing on what I desperately needed was the best way to stay grounded in my path. And it's been a wonderful ride.

 

SR
Wow. I didn't realize that part of your story regarding your son with the first moment. And it's so similar to mom's, I don't know if you know Mama Dawn's moment, but her first awakening was—I guess I was two, and my sister was six and she [Mama Dawn] was lying on the couch because she was recovering from a bender, right? Like she was that, that was her style. She would binge. So she was, it was the end of a bender and she's laying on the couch and I'm crying somewhere... I'm being a two year old and she's saying to my sister, "Ashley, I'm really sick. Can you get Taryn a bottle?"

And Ashley was being a six year old and she was like, "No." And then mom was like, brashly like, "I'm really, really sick. Can you please get her bottle?" And my sister went right up to my mom and looked her right in the eyes and said, "Mommy, you make me sick."

And then in that moment, that moment she was like, oh shit, okay. And she went to treatment right after that.

 

Pamela
Yes! Like, you know, Holy Shit, when that is happening, I mean there's, there's nothing that is more important to a mother than their child.

You know, and for me in that second time, my son was was 16. He had just started driving before he left to Mexico. I had gone to a work trip.  And I drank coming back from a, an executive thing, a management thing. And I drank so hard when I got home to Dallas or mark in the city, my son actually located my phone and went and drove and picked me up at a bar. Yeah. For me it's, this is not a game. Like I don't fuck around with whether I am someone who has a problem with addiction and alcohol addiction or not. Like this is not a gray zone for me. No.

So I embrace my truth fully, because I fucked around with, you know, contemplating whether I was or I wasn't. And, and at this point, it just sets me so much more in a place of freedom to step into that truth because I already experimented everything that I could in my life was at risk, you know? So my son has kind of saved my ass both times, you know, in representation of my higher power. He's my little sender from the universe and God, so, yeah.

 

SR
Yeah. You mentioned podcasts and coaching and 12 step programs. And I'm curious, what does your patchwork of recovery look like these days? What are you doing? What are your tools?

 

Pamela
Oh, it's lovely. It's awesome. My Patchwork of recovery has so many colors and scents and flavors and well for starters connecting with the tribe of sisters who truly are on the same path, honoring that my story and their story may not look the same, including who and how they define themselves to be today. But knowing that we both fight at the end of the day, the same fight, you know? And so that means really connecting with a tribe. You know, the SHE RECOVERS people that I'm mentoring online, people that are just randomly, you know, online seeking help... So it's a lot of mentorship and a lot of, of online exchanges for me. I have a recovery coach. Elizabeth Coker, who you guys introduced to me. I met her at SHE RECOVERS. And when I met her I was so far removed from my soul and I was so broken and disempowered, really. I mean, I was sober, but I was disempowered. I had just gone through a second marriage and, and everything. And when I met her, she actually looked at me and she said something that shook me. And today I think it's one of the most beautiful phrases anyone has ever said to me. She said, "
let's get you home."

She's, she's like this wolf, you know, like she just has this crazy intuition. It's this beautiful thing where you, you connect with people that have more experience than you, and you get a chance to just exchange and grow and, and learn. And then she challenges me. I love seeking mentors who challenge me. Like I'm not asking for someone to give me guidance. I'm asking for someone who questions what I'm doing so I can find my own truth, you know? So again, you know, coaching personally and then being coached and seeking mentorship. I still do have a sponsor that I absolutely adore. I have my old sponsor who was like my sister, her name is Lisa and she's a badass.

So that's the joy. That's, that's my patchwork really beautiful. Yeah.

Being by myself, that was such a scary place for me first for decades. I, there was not a scarier place, a world that in my head. And I think that that's why I drank so much. I was always so overwhelmed and so terrified of the dialogue that I had inside that to go back to myself is one of the biggest gifts that I have found through recovery, to be peaceful with myself, to ground myself in my head and my soul.

So that's the joy. That's, that's my patchwork and it's really beautiful. Yeah.

 

SR
And how are your stories about yourself and your life different now? What did you use to believe about yourself and what do you believe or what do you know is true about yourself now?

 

Pamela
I love that question. 
So there are two things that are very important and what I believe today is the first one is that we do recover. The second one is that once we recover, we thrive.

And by that I mean once we have a life that has been recovered from addiction, we get this magnificent opportunity to revise all of the stories that we had about life itself, about ourselves.  I realized that most of my life, I told myself the same story starting at age 20, that I was the victim of kidnapping, that I was evicted from my country, that I was a foreigner that I was divorced, that I couldn't do marriage, that I failed a relationships and that I was a single mom.

Oh. And to top it off, I'm an addict, and an alcoholic, like that was my story. And one day I woke up and I was like, you know, recovery is learning and learning and asking the big questions and stepping into scary territory where you have to redefine what is really true. I've gotten a chance to the shrivel and tear apart every single one of those versions of myself and get to the point where I am so incredibly gratefully empowered by every single thing. So there's not a lack but an abundance perspective.

I absolutely love, you know, defining myself as someone who is in recovery, for example. So I don't, I see it as such an incredible thing versus a weakening thing. Um, and I just, I dunno, I just love my life. You know, I love being Latina. I love living in the U S I love having a different perspective. I love being the only woman in a team of men at work. Um, I just, you know, I mean, it sounds a little arrogant, but I'm so fucking proud of the life that I have because I choose to live in that version of myself now and it empowers others to do the same. So it's not really just selfish. It's like, Hey, life after addiction is a fucking amazing patchwork of, you know, magnificence. So what are you doing with yours?

 

Taryn
You know, and what I love about your openness is you are so open about your relapse, and I know that there are so many women in our community who have a slip or have a relapse and then they identify with that and feel like all everything they've done prior is lost or forgotten.

You are a perfect example of no, we do get back and we do thrive the other years or months or days of recovery that we had, they aren't lost. Right?

 

Pamela
Yeah. It's so disempowering when people ask me "When is your sober date?" 
And to me, like I just, I say that I have been in the journey of recovery for 10 years because my relapse was actually part of the process for me. 

So I, I find myself so many times just mentioning it, you know, like if I'm in a, in a happy hour or whatever, people are like, "do you want a drink?" I'm like, Nah. And so a couple of times, you know, if people are insistent, I just say, no man, thanks. I'm actually, I'm sober, I'm in recovery. It just rolls off my tongue, you know? I have changed that story and I live in a position of empowerment intentionally so when I present it like that, it's so much easier for people to say, oh, that's cool.

 

SR
Recovering out loud. Yeah. Yeah. I've always been super proud. I was that annoying person. You know how you see those memes? If someone's a Vegan, they'll make sure to let you know! I was that person. Like oh yeah, no I don't drink. I'm so like just wanting everybody to know I'm an addict,I don't do that, or I'm in recovery.

 

Pamela
Wow. Well and that's why it was so incredible to meet you and your mom and to all of a sudden being like New York. I mean that event alone, just the luminaries that you had in the stage. But every single woman that I met there just felt like we were just participating in a magic environment. You know, I grew up in a—and I'm very grateful by the way,—12 step, very structured scenario which was ideal for what I needed. Cause I was such a smart ass I felt like I knew I knew everything. I was a "very special snowflake." So I think I needed that as the foundation. But it was so refreshing to find you guys and to all of a sudden be like,  everything I thought I knew was being challenged and grown and people were just like, so just so empowered and I realized this, this is my tribe. This is my message.

Like this is what I came to this life to be, you know? So I'm, I'm really grateful. Yeah. Yeah. You guys are and all the other guys are rocking. You guys are empowering so many people to get their voice back, to get to life. We're all doing it.

 

SR
Would you give your former self or advice to somebody seeking recovery from anything? Not just substance use disorder, but just someone fresh on this journey? What, what's a little bit of advice you'd have for them?

 


Pamela
Forgiveness and self-compassion. My relapse was so long because I felt such a tremendous amount of shame. I had this dialogue of You're an idiot. How's this possible? You know, better... I think that very, very few people, at least the people that I knew at the time,  in my world,were speaking about self-compassion. So forgiveness and, and that... it changed my world.

Speaking to teachers, mentors like Elizabeth, the reading books, getting in contact with people like Elena Brower, her a ritual of recovery, the spoken word, just so many I guess influences that would talk about that self-forgiveness and self-compassion.

So that really is where I begin when somebody is either coming back from a relapse or beginning their journey. And I actually have a meditation on insight timer. And that is a whole journey that it takes you on a trip of self-forgiveness. Because I think it begins there on insight timer. It was released at the very beginning of this year and a saw.

I would love to share it with you and I'll share it in the show notes also that everybody can access it. And that one is actually about stepping into your truth. And then, you know, partying from there and it talks about self-compassion and self-forgiveness.

I got this comment on there "Hey, do you have something for early recovery?" And so I just recorded one for early recovery. And again, it, it speaks a lot about, you know, forgiving yourself. And part of the clarity that really helps me is understanding the difference between my illness and my essence as a person.

Like I always said I was a bad person that needed to be good. And the understanding that I was a person with an illness that needed help shifted the paradigm completely for me. Which is why I don't feel like calling myself an alcoholic or you know, person in recovery or an alcohol addict is something that labels me in a negative way - on the contrary.

For me, it actually really empowers me as my truth. And I realize that a lot of people don't want to use certain terminology and I hold that in the highest respect and honor each person has, you know, ownership of their own life and words. But for me, that actually had to be very clear in order for me to recognize the difference between that and me as a human being and my behavioral or failure moral failure or not. It has nothing to do with that. That separation has been very freeing for me.

 

SR
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I have some fast, fast questions for you. We call them the "fast four" and then I'm going to have one more question I'm going to ask to wrap it up. Okay. So I know that you read lots of books at once, but one book that you are currently reading.

 

Pamela
So I, I do, I have several. The one that I'm very passionate about the stage in my life is Danny Shapiro still writing. I yeah, I am in, I am in the process of starting to tell my story. And so this book is just really insightful about how to step into it boldly and the creative life and how to stay connected to your own story. So I love it.

I'm also reading Ted Talks because I will be speaking and I as you notice, have to structure because I go down rabbit holes. So I am getting a higher perspective on how, how to actually present my story. And so that's another one. And then I always am reading, they are one of my magic realism, Latin American writers because it keeps me connected to the magic of the stories of my soul. Yeah.

 

SR
Oh I love that.

 


Pamela
Yeah, I love that Mama d and You are so in love with, with the land where I was born, which is funny cause I grew up going in summers to Canada and I absolutely love your land and the fact that you go to Mexico and take all of these women to that magic land to retreat their souls is so incredible. And I can't wait to go in one of those retreats with you guys!

 

SR
I can't wait for you to, it's, it truly is magical. The villa where we have our Mexico treats, we call and I'm pretty sure it is, it has to be just a vortex of healing energy. The magic that has happened there is the only way we can describe it is not an exaggeration.

 

Pamela
I don't doubt it! And that is in my bucket list for next next opportunities. Hopefully next year. Yes.

 

SR
So what is your favorite song to uplift you when you're feeling down or song that you go to, that you consider your recovery anthem?

 

Pamela
Well, I love 30 seconds to Mars and there are many of their songs who have really changed my life. And my anthem is one called Do or Die and it literally is like about being in that moment of truth and you'd just recognize time to do or die, you know? And, and it's about the story and, and just what do you decide to do? And so for me, every time I listened to it, you know, those songs that just like open your pores and you feel like you go back to a place where you just can close your eyes and feel and smell and you're just like suspended in this, this like wave of empowerment.

And I don't know how to describe it. It's almost sexual. And so to me that just granted grounds me in that moment of daily decision. You know, what, what is the version do I do, do I die? And you know, it has to do with everything on how I choose to involve, vary every day. Powerful.

 

SR
Yeah. I'll have to check it out. I'm not familiar with that one.

 

Pamela
And the beauty of the singer is not to be dismissed. Jared Leto, he is quite the creature. 

 

SR
Two questions rolled into one: What does self care mean to you and do you have any non-negotiable daily recovery rituals?

 

Pamela
Self care I think is, again back to that word intentional. I have to intentionally like listen to what I'm telling myself. 
A self care may come in the, you know, in the shape of a bath or a meditation or you know, go to a yoga class. But, but I think it really, really starts with creating that moment where I'm asking myself what, what, what, what story am I telling myself and to shift because my, I guess I'm just wired my, my gps is always, you know, fear, lack anxiety or diminishing.

Like I have, like I said, three jobs and I'm always creating content on the side. But the little storyline is like, you are not doing enough. And so self care starts with wait a minute. And so I have to kind of go back and give myself a little pat in the back, which I've allowed myself to do. Like I always felt like giving yourself a pat on the back was just, you know, like you just, you just don't do that.

Now I take the moment to acknowledge my successes and so, so then I can create the space for self care. Then I can give myself permission to read or to take, you know, the ritual for me.

You asked me what is the non-negotiable? I wish I could tell you that it's exercise. I'm not there yet. It's a bath. I bathe. That's where I go and I, I get away from the noise and the everything. I just, I'm suspended in water and I listen to music and I just chill and I love it.

 

SR
Have you tried the float tanks? Do you have those Dallas?

 

Pamela
I haven't. My biggest question was is it claustrophobic? I have a, a deep feeling of claustrophobia when I enter elevators. In fact, you will see me go up and down the stairs if we're ever in a building together. But I think I'm going to give it a shot because I think you're right.  

 

SR
Last question and I know that I'm so excited. I'm, I'm projecting a dream onto you, but a dream of Mama Dawn's and I has always been to have you speak at one of our events. So you will be speaking at, she recovers in Miami, but I want to ask, what dreams have come true to you since entering recovery?

 

Pamela
Speaking at she recovers. You know, again, back to the storyline of, you know, always in fear and, and lack and my son just completed a year of living in Paris by himself. And that was, that was such a triumph for me, not just because I was able to design a life that allowed me to send him there. You know, the hustle, the dream that organizing, the breaking the, the pattern of, of kids graduating high school and immediately going into college because that's what people do.

Like breaking the mold and doing that as a single parent was, but also being alone. You know, cause I've gone through like the insanity and the marriages and the broken family and the addiction and the, all of the insanity. But at the end of the day, I always came back to having him and he and I under the same roof and to have him on the other side of the world, what's really a growth thing for me. And so I just want it to Paris and I, and I brought him back.

Now he's back after that year abroad. And I have taken intentionally the time to look back and just kind of, you know, bask in the gratitude of the opportunity to do that and, and understand what a huge triumph that was on so many levels for him and for me. And that would never have happened without me being in a path of, of recovery and of daily dispelling the fears of what if and what could, I mean, having been kidnapped, you know, as a parent, I always feel like the worst is gonna happen to my child because it happened to me.

And so I don't have that vaccine of no, nothing will happen. And so I, again, it is just an intentional daily questioning of do I want to be plugged into lack and fear or love and abundance. And, and again, it's, it's, it's the beauty of recovery. You know, I mean, I never would say ever in my life that I love being an alcoholic except that I do, because without being an alcoholic and having had this thing bring me to my knees, I never would have had the chance to to learn and to be connected and to have God really take over a part of my life that I never imagined would be blown up to where it has been. And it's a daily deal. Right. so, so that's, that's the dream, you know, and and to see other people get inspired and start to live big and openly and drop their shame and drunk, drop their stigma and just all of a sudden realize that, you know, this, this is not a curse. It's a blessing. Those are the gifts. Amen, sister.

 

SR
T
hank you for everything that you're doing to help the women in your community and through the online ways that you help as well. You're, you're really are a gift. So thank you.

 

Pamela
Thank you. And really like really let me take just like the last two seconds to thank you because you even putting this podcast together, I heard in one of the episodes you were questioning whether you had anything to say, anything to bring to I cannot tell you, you have such a tremendous amount of strength. What you and your mom are doing is incredible, but you as a human being bring something so special to the table with your story, with your experience and just with the way that you are, Taryn. And so thank you for creating that space for us to connect. I Love You my little mermaid.

 

SR
It's an honor and I love that you call me their little mermaid. 

 

 

 

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