What has surprised you the most about sober living?
Coming into Recovery is just the beginning, the life that recovery gives is something I could never have thought up myself (even in my wildest dreams).
What is your greatest joy today? My 9-month-old daughter, Trinity, has never and will never have to see me under the influence of illegal drugs, and that is a beautiful thing. Also, I get to be an advocate and help those who have lost their voice or been silenced begin to speak out again.
What new hobbies have you explored in Recovery?
I have become Reiki certified and have been offering healing session to folks in Recovery. I also took up aerial yoga, something you could never have convinced me would happen while I was using. I have become a certified doula (birthing assistant) and offer free services to mothers in Recovery. I work in the UMA-Bangor community garden to help to solve the problem of food insecurity in the Bangor area.
If you could plan a perfect day for yourself, what would it involve?
A perfect day would include getting up early, having a cup of coffee and then doing my regular daily yoga practice followed by my workout routine. I would then head to the beach with my entire family and enjoy the day in the sun. The one thing that sticks out to me about this question is that a perfect day (and every day for me) includes staying abstinent.
What tool(s) do you rely on when you’re having a bad day?
If I am having a hard day I reach out to my support system. Being honest about where I am at has proven to be the most important part of having a hard time. I have found that a problem shared out loud is a problem cut in half. Also, if I need some alone time away from day-to-day responsibilities, I will do something simple for myself, such as go for a walk, do yoga or meditate, get my nails done or go tanning. I also remind myself that nothing is permanent and I shouldn’t worry about negative emotions because, like anything, they come and go.
Name one of your goals for the future.
Help people who are attempting to come into recovery the same way that people helped me when I first entered this beautiful journey.
What’s one piece of advice you have for someone just starting their journey in Recovery?
You are not alone. There are thousands of us who have felt as desperate, suicidal, angry, shameful and regretful as you do. I remember thinking that people could never understand what I was going through, I thought I was different. There are millions of Americans in recovery from substance use disorder in this very moment. They are (like me) living lives they never thought possible. There is an entire recovery community that is waiting to compassionately help you on your journey to recovery without any judgement.
Also, when I first came into recovery, I truly did not think that I deserved the wonders and beauty that recovery gave. Know there is absolutely nothing you could have done that would ever make you not worthy of the beautiful life that comes with recovery. If you are incapable of self love right now, that’s OK. Just keep coming back and let people in recovery love you until you are capable of loving yourself.