What has surprised you the most about sober living?
Finding my voice and being honest, open and vulnerable in front of others actually brings people closer together. I always thought that being vulnerable was a sign of weakness, not a strength! Being honest with each other even when it is difficult is an act of love. Since learning this, I have grown tremendously emotionally. My relationships are authentic and real.
What is your greatest joy today?
Being a sober single mom, having custody of my daughter and reuniting with my family — being “part of” again. Being a ober sister and aunt, too. The ability to be honest, accountable and responsible.
What new hobbies have you explored in Recovery?
Kirtan, yoga and watercolor painting. I never dreamed I would do these things. Being at McAuley Residence has really opened up my world and given me the courage and support to do these things.
If you could plan a perfect day for yourself, what would it involve?
Having a couple of hours of self-care to myself in the morning. Then enjoying the day with my daughter and parents and sister hanging by the pool in the sun — enjoyable family time. Ending the day with a meeting, then time alone with my daughter before her bed time.
What tool(s) do you rely on when you’re having a bad day?
Writing my daily inventory to share with my sponsor later and working through whatever is bothering me, which is a whole lot different than how I handled things in the past. My support system. I have so many people in my life today, both professional and personal, who are my cheerleaders. Gratitude and focusing on how my problems today are so much smaller than they use to be.
Name one of your goals for the future.
Graduating from McAuley and furthering my career. I’d like to go back to college. I am not sure of my career direction, but I have very recently been told that I had the highest score ever on a recent exam I took and would make a great nurse, if I choose to pursue nursing school.
What’s one piece of advice you have for someone just starting their journey in Recovery?
Do not get into a relationship because it is just a distraction. Focus on yourself. Take every suggestion given to you, even when it doesn’t make sense or scares you. That’s exactly what I have done. I have grown a lot by facing my fears. I really didn’t used to like to talk to people, but I do now. I now speak at the jail and at rehab, sharing my story. Newer people tell me they
relate to me more than to someone with a lot of sobriety. We can make a difference to someone else, even with only one day of sobriety. Doing all this has helped me to be comfortable with who I am and I am not ashamed of my past anymore.