I know first-hand the havoc alcohol can wreak on a woman and her family.
I also know how recovery can completely transform her and so many others around her.
I spent more than 12 years self-medicating a back injury – first with pills and then with alcohol. During those years, I became a mother, launched a business, and dedicated myself to the pursuit of the perfect looking life. By 2013, everything was spiraling out of control. My nightly glass or two of wine became a whole bottle, then two bottles, and ultimately a six pack of beer strategically rationed throughout the day in such a way that I was never too intoxicated to conduct business or drive but perpetually buzzed enough to survive until wine o’clock delivered the full on numbing I really craved. My life had become unmanageable. It wasn’t just what drinking was doing to me; I simply felt unworthy which only made me want to drink more, to numb out, to escape my life. And, even when I achieved success (whether personal or professional), I convinced myself I didn’t deserve it or I had not worked hard enough for it.
- I placed everyone else’s needs ahead of my own.
- I craved approval so deeply I was incapable of setting boundaries.
- I self-sabotaged every opportunity to feel valued.
- I celebrated alcohol like the cherry on top of a sundae when I felt good and snuggled into it like a cozy blanket when I felt deflated.
- I refused to let myself feel emotions – happy, sad, or otherwise.
- I thought drinking wine was self-care; I had never heard of self-love.
- I took great pride in hiding my pain.
When I first got stopped drinking, I didn’t know a single person who struggled with alcohol the way I did. I believed 12-step programs weren’t for me – I was terrified of sharing my secret with anyone. So, I worked with a life and health coach, white-knuckled it a bit, and refused to believe I had to give up alcohol forever. Ultimately, I picked up another glass of wine. And, a week later another. And, the week after that a six-pack of beer and two bottles of wine … every day for the next month. Why? Because my sole focus for seven months had been abstaining from alcohol. I changed my behavior. But, I never changed my thoughts and emotions. I still believed alcohol offered me a benefit at some level.
After what I once referred to as my relapse, I knew it was time to get serious about giving up alcohol for good. I started blogging about what I called my addiction and recovery (because that was the only language I knew at the time). I decided to show others like me there was someone like them. Little did I know how many of us there are.
My decision to become a certified professional life and addiction recovery coach came after a period of six weeks during which time seven women I know in real life reached out to me to share their own struggles with alcohol and ask if I could help them. Having nothing more than my personal experience, I felt grossly unqualified to be of assistance beyond simply offering camaraderie – a sympathetic ear and a hug; I also felt called to learn how to support those who might reach out in the future. It was a feeling I couldn’t shake. Six months later, I enrolled in the International Association of Professional Recovery Coaches (IAPRC) Certified Professional Recovery Coach dual program. Through that certification, I am also a SHE RECOVERS® Coach which means I am trained in and my work aligns with the SHE RECOVERS® Intentions and Guiding Principles (posted below). SHE RECOVERS® is an international movement of self-identified women in or seeking recovery from a wide variety of issues, including substance use and eating disorders, other behavioral health issues, trauma, abuse, codependency, cancer, grief, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and other life challenges. SHE RECOVERS® creates welcoming spaces and transformative opportunities – online and in real life – to connect, support, and empower recovering women.
Through coaching, I help others find themselves again – UNCOVER their fears and doubts and identify what blocks them from living their best lives, DISCOVER their authentic selves and embrace what brings them joy, peace, and purpose, and RECOVER their lives and harness power to nourish their minds, bodies, and spirits.
I’m a mother of two, a wife, and a successful business owner. I’m a daughter, a sister, and an aunt. I’ve completed two half marathons – one in 2012 and another (my first DFL!) in 2018. Will I try once more? Stay tuned! At 42, I had just begun to achieve greatness, all while subconsciously trying to sabotage myself in so many ways. Luckily, one day I woke up and gave myself permission to change … because, the truth is, we only get this one life.