What has surprised you the most about sober living?
Sober life isn’t just about staying clear of alcohol and drugs, but learning how to manage who you are with a clear mind and a second chance. I’m most surprised about how easy it has become for me with each new day. Life isn’t always easy. It’s meant to challenge us. Leading a sober life has given me a fighting chance of making a difference in the lives I’ve affected and those in need of support.
What is your greatest joy today?
The greatest joy I experience every single day is by far working in the field of mental health for Kennebec Behavioral Health. It’s a blessing to help others, if even making small strides – every little bit counts. Joy is a smiling face, a successful day and working through the hard times to see how green the grass can be on the other side.
What new hobbies have you explored in Recovery?
When I started my journey of recovery in 2013, I was sitting at rock bottom with little to my name and unsure of where life would take me. I began focusing on my mind and working on puzzles with my father, who I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to, as well as my mother. This kept me busy and gave me a second chance to build a bond with the man who’d seen me at my worst and now sees me at my best. I then got back into running for a year. Running helped in more ways than one as the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement or trails was tranquil and peaceful. After running came scrapbooking, which helped keep a smile on my face even during the bad days. Then my favorite – collecting sea glass from the beautiful beaches and rocky shores of our great state. Hearing the waves crash against the rocks, seeing wildlife in their natural habitat and feeling sun shining down on me is my version of yoga. These hobbies helped me find my inner peace and long-lost self again.
If you could plan a perfect day for yourself, what would it involve?
My perfect day involves my husband John. I don’t know where I’d be without him. The day would start with great conversation over our favorite coffee. Then we’d travel to either Boothbay Harbor or Bar Harbor to take in the ocean air, friendly people and amazing food and enjoy each other’s company. I hope others can find what we’ve found in each other.
What tool(s) do you rely on when you’re having a bad day?
I try to do my absolute best to keep a positive state of mind. Always discuss your feelings, as speaking with others is rewarding, comforting and above all provides strength to continue fighting for your life. Keeping steady and focused on my personal goals as well as lending a hand to help others always brightens my worst days.
Name one of your goals for the future.
I want to become a counselor for alcohol and drug addiction. Giving back to a community that gave me so much when I had nothing will be beyond rewarding. Once this goal is achieved, I’d love to open a recovery center for all ages. My goals are attainable, and all I must do is keep my eyes on the prize.
What’s one piece of advice you have for someone just starting their Recovery?
Never give up, and enter recovery for yourself. When pushed into recovery, one may not want it as badly as they may if it were their choice. Keep your head held high, and when others pass judgment simply, educate and rise above. Focus on yourself in the first year, and take a timeout whenever needed. Pushing yourself too hard can be damaging, so take your time, enjoy the ride and be true to yourself.