#Shatterproof5KDC!

These shoes are made for walking (a 5K)
...and that's just what we'll do
(onSaturday morning)!

For the third year in a row, I'm proud to join forces with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to fighting addiction and the stigma that surrounds it through grassroots fundraising efforts. In 2015, I was the 2nd top donor in Washington DC for the Shatterproof Rappelling Challenge and I had the most individual donors out of all participants. In 2016, I saw the other side of the event via volunteering. And now, in 2017, I'm excited to walk with my close friend Amy and her mother as well as thousands of other recovery advocates - people in long term recovery, people who have sadly lost loved ones, people who are changing the world through sharing their stories through a unified voice that recovery is possible.

Here I am with Amy Waldrup, team captain and one of my best friends in the world. She is an amazing recovery advocate and I'm proud to partner up with her! On Friday AM, we'll be making our morning show debut on ABC7's Good Morning, Washington. Hell yes. #recoveroutloud #soberAF.

Here I am with Amy Waldrup, team captain and one of my best friends in the world. She is an amazing recovery advocate and I'm proud to partner up with her! On Friday AM, we'll be making our morning show debut on ABC7's Good Morning, Washington. Hell yes. #recoveroutloud #soberAF.


Our live TV debut where Amy and I talk all things Shatterproof, addiction, and of course, #recovery. 

 

via

WJLA
 

Q: Where do donations go?

A: Toward stigma reduction, ambassador training, community outreach, advocating for change, evidence-based resources, and lifesaving legislation.


What: Shatterproof's Rise up Against Addiction 5K Run/Walk

Where: The Catholic University of America

 
 
 

*ParkingClick here
**5K Route MapClick here

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017.

Event Schedule
8 AM—Site opens
9 AM—Program begins
9:30 AM—5K begins
Note: 5K Runners will start the race, followed by 5K walkers.

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Why: Because 1 in 10 Americans with addiction actually receive treatment. Because 1 in 3 families in the USA are touched by addiction. Because shame and stigma can kill - and we can stop that cycle by sharing our stories loudly! Because we can't keep losing our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children. Because I celebrated 10 years of long term recovery and continuous sobriety on July 14, 2017.

Because We Are Shatterproof:
Stronger Than Addiction! 


Event day details - from volunteer/participant/supporter logistics to info on memorial gallery, celebration of recovery, community village - and all the FAQs you could possibly need can be found HERE.


If you made it this far, thank you so much!
Once again, you can donate to our team efforts by clicking the button below. 

Click to tweet

Click below to tweet.


10 Years - and my sincere #gratitude!

Something pretty magnificent took place on July 14, 2017.

Thank you to Ryan Hampton's #VOICESPROJECT for featuring me on my 10 year anniversary.

Thank you to Ryan Hampton's #VOICESPROJECT for featuring me on my 10 year anniversary.

I celebrated 10 years aka ONE DECADE (!) of continuous sobriety/long-term recovery.  

Truly hard to believe. My life has gone in many directions since that fateful New York City hospitalization late the night of July 13, 2007. In some ways, I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone else - because I was in pain and hiding behind shame and not to mention the fact that I was destroying my insides and outsides with binge drinking. Even though it was over the moon fun at times - a wild roller-coaster of parties and life whooshing like a metaphorical convertible with the top down on a wide open highway - it was getting dark and fast. They say it's a progressive disease - alcoholism and all its relatives: at risk drinking, binge drinking, etc. If I hadn't chosen the path of sobriety when I did, who knows how bad it could have gotten.

I, for one, am glad I didn't have to find out. 

Sometimes I wish the whole world had a program of recovery - whatever that program may be - because it gives them a moral code for living and improving their own and others' lives. It allows for service to others; it makes us grow as individuals. Besides the fact that it's HEALTHY to not poison our bodies and minds and souls and spirits with toxins. 

Every year I go to a candlelight 12-step meeting to celebrate my anniversary - the men and women in the room never judge me for only showing up once a year (editor's note: I'm the one who judges myself most harshly. Wait. I don't need an editor's note. I'm the writer *and* the editor. Giggle)  Because remember - the only requirement for membership to Alcoholics Anonymous is a desire to stop drinking. You can be a member of however many or few programs as you want - you are the boss of your own recovery and there's power in owning your own path. Please believe me - and know that it's taken me years (ten, to be exact) to get to where I am today.

^ Here I am with one my closest friends in recovery, Amy. She and I met one year ago at Tom Coderre's [this guy is kind of a big deal in the recovery policy/advocacy world] summer recovery BBQ and she's become my SOUL SISTER since. In May, we traveled to New York together for She Recovers in NYC and met up with two of our other sober sisters, Nona and Robin.  (See below images: left image L to R: Robin, Nona, Amy, me; right image L to R: Amy, me, Robin, Nona).

If not for being in recovery and wanting to give back to others and improve my own journey and connect with other creative spirits - I wouldn't have started The Sobriety Collective in April of 2015. This collective? It's for you. And for me. But it's about YOU, about US. I want your suggestions and feedback -- what would you like to see this coming year? There are plenty of exciting updates coming your way soon but for now, my greatest joy is to share others' journeys with you in the sporadicly updated RePro section. Writers, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, advocates, filmmakers and photographers - these are the people whose recovery (from addiction and mental illness) I'll be sharing with you. 

Thank you all <3. 

Thank you all <3. 

Lastly, I want to give my thanks to all of you who contributed to my GoFundMe campaign when I was at a recent financial low. Money sobriety is something I'm still struggling with - and I didn't realize the cost of this undertaking until it bit me squarely in the rear. With your help, I was able to sock a bit away and pay for a full year of web-hosting. If you still want to donate, I'm not going to say no. But I just wanted to extend my most sincere gratitude to all of you. 

Thank you so, so much.

Love,
Laura

Guest Blogger: Katie DePaola of Inner Glow Circle & Bo's Effort

Katie is an inner and outer beauty with a spirit that sparkles. 

 
Meet Katie.  Isn't she lovely?

Meet Katie.  Isn't she lovely?

 

She's believes strongly in empowering other women in her work as founder of Inner Glow Circle, a life coaching collective and program -- and is a steadfast advocate for mental health. Working to end the stigma of mental illness is one of her family's goals in their non profit foundation, Bo's Effort, which celebrates the life of Katie's brother, Bo.  According to the family, Bo "was a one-in-a-million" kind of guy and he was living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder most of his life.  Bo died of an accidental overdose at only 20 years old.  As advocates for recovery (from mental illness, addiction, or both for those of us with co-occurring), we know that turning to substances can often come with the territory of having a mental illness.  Self-medication. 

But it doesn't have to.

It's by recovering out loud, being allies and advocates for awareness and change -- these are ways we can have a truly lasting and positive impact on future generations to come.

I've had the pleasure of spending time with Katie on multiple occasions and I think she's just magic.

xoxo,
Laura


WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE DIES...


You're different. For a moment. For a year. For many years.

A loss like that is the most disorienting experience in the world. The world crumbles around you, as you stand frozen asking, "How?" "Why our family?" "Why me?"

And then again, but in a different sense, "Why me?" "Why was I left behind?" This new reality feels like a responsibility you weren't ready to take on.

"You were here, just yesterday." You say to him or her, to the trees, to the sky. "Where did you go?" "Are you coming back?"

You walk into the house. And right before you ask if he or she is out with friends, still at work or school, you swallow your words. And you remember.

"You're not here anymore. Please come back. I miss you."

People say it never goes away. The pain. The grief. The heartache. I say it's ever changing. There is collateral beauty. It can even shape you into a better person, if you let it.

And yet, there's a part of you that wishes you could die of a broken heart, just so you could be together again. But you stay. And you make promises to your loved one, to the trees, to the sky.

"Next time...when we get to do this thing over again, I promise I'll be better. I'll hold you more. I'll never call you names. I'll kiss you every night. I'll be better. We'll be better. And then maybe you'll stay a little longer. Next time..."

May 23 marks the two year anniversary of my brother's passing. He was 20 years, 2 months and 1 day. Thanks to our amazing friends, family and community, we're hosting our 2nd golf tournament and dinner (May 22) to celebrate his life and raise money for mental health. Bo died of an accidental overdose, peacefully at home. He simply went to sleep and never woke up.

Said golf tournament - I wish I could go but someone has to work...

Said golf tournament - I wish I could go but someone has to work...

I spent a lot of time with his girlfriend after he passed. It was my way of keeping him alive a bit longer. I asked to know everything. What was their love like? Why did she fall for him? Was he a good kisser?

She said the night before he died, he was so happy. He took her all over the backyard to look at the stars from different views. He was a child of the universe, and when I heard that story, I thought, "Wow, he must have known he was going home." I felt an unexpected sense of peace. It's a peace I believe we can all receive if we allow ourselves to be okay with what is.

Bo and his family.

Bo and his family.

Bo continues to do work here every day through his foundation, Bo's Effort. Last year alone, we raised nearly $100K to help provide better programs for kids and adults like Bo who struggle with mental health and often, substance as a result. Bo was an amazing kid, a bright spirit who made people laugh every day. Perhaps he knew his time would be shorter than most, so he chose a family who would tell his story and carry on his message to help others. We consistently get messages from people who say Bo helped them, their sister, their child. Connect with the right doctor. Find the right help. Get on the right medications. Stay clean. Get their life back.

My brother is a miracle worker, and that part is not sad to me. That is an honor. If you feel moved to donate, Bo's foundation gives to NAMI and AAMC every year. AAMC has begun planning for a phenomenal mental health facility and needs our support now more than ever.

I will continue to give, support and show up, because it eases the pain of missing him. Somehow it makes the pain worth something.

Don't sit back. From the depths of my heart, I urge you to do what you can to turn your pain into purpose. Of course, it's not everything, but it's something.

#SheRecoversNYC: The Speakers


We made history. 

Last weekend (May 5-7), over 500 women in recovery from all over the world joined together to celebrate our individual and collective recovery journeys. Dawn Nickel and Taryn Strong, mother and daughter brains behind She Recovers and their gorgeous powerhouse of a team (Annie McCollough, Dara Meyer, Payton Kennedy) planned and executed a truly phenomenal event. I'm still processing so there's really no way I can condense EVERYTHING into one post. Which is why I'm starting with my favorite nuggets from each of the keynotes (aka The Speakers). Stay tuned for the rest of the series: The Experience; The Connections; The Takeaways; What's Next?).

xo,
Laura


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Glennon Doyle Melton

Sobriety is my faith.

On doing the next right thing: It's like a frickin' yellow brick road lighting up all the way home.

Sobriety is sanity. Sanity is stillness.

Within the pain, the riches lie.

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Gabby Bernstein

Do whatever it takes to get closer to consciousness.

Accept the invitation to be a light worker.

We can let God in in many unique ways.

I am magnificent, I am brave, I am a light worker.

You don't have to run by serving.

God works through the Internet!

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Elizabeth Vargas

It's tremendously empowering to share our deepest, darkest secrets.

If you're beating yourself up every day, you're never going to build yourself up.

I drank to feel how other people looked.

Self care! Doesn't mean you're eating bon bons and getting manicures all day long but self care isn't indulgent - it's necessary.

Ego isn't necessarily our amigo.

Tell the whole story.

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Marianne Williamson

The body has an immune system and so does the psyche.

Get back down in order to get back up.

What do we learn from our recovery to help the world recover?

If enough of us learn from our own Armageddons to get to the wisdom on the other side, we won't need a collective Armageddon.

If it's a public issue, it *will* get to your private door.

Once you know, you can't unknow.

#SheRecoversNYC!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that this weekend is She Recovers in NYC!

Something that I've been talking about for, you know, only like a year.

Mother and daughter She Recovers co-founding team Dawn Nickel and Taryn Strong are bringing recovery luminaries Glennon Doyle Melton, Gabby Bernstein, Marianne Williamson, yogis Elena Brower and She Recovers' own Taryn--as well as 500 other women in recovery from ANYTHING together this weekend, Friday May 5 - Sunday May 7 for the first event of its kind. Think program agnostic and more spiritual enlightenment/wellness/personal development. 

The Illustrious Keynotes

The illustrious keynotes.

Sober Yogis Taryn Strong and Elena Brower

 
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Having spent six years growing our online space for women in recovery and witnessing the incredible evolution of the cyber-sober movement, there are two things we know will always be true: We recover in different ways, and we are stronger together. We are proof that women can live a life of hope, health, and happiness in recovery.
— Dawn Nickel, Co-Founder of She Recovers

My fellow cyber-sober blogger, Laura Ward of Quit Wining and her own PR firm, WardComm exquisitely lays out the event in her press release and press kit.  Take a peek: She Recovers Brings Cyber-Sober Movement to Real Life in Manhattan.

If that magic wasn't enough, there are workshops galore led by powerful women addressing everything from money sobriety and sober sex to sugar addiction and recovery coaching.  And more.

Workshop Leaders

Let's not forget the cyber-sober blogger team that yours truly is proud to be a member of -- and part of what makes She Recovers so special, because this event is really an outpouring of a vibrant digital community. 

Official Sober Blogger Team

What I'm most excited about is being reunited with the many women I've had the distinct honor to meet and cultivate friendships with -- and then the many more I've formed a digital sisterhood with.  I can't even name names because there are JUST. SO. MANY of them/you.  

I love you all.


PS!

There's still an opportunity to join the excitement. With exclusive content for our livestream participants, the fun/love/light will continue over the Internet airwaves.