India found me through Instagram. She had been looking for a photo of my hairdresser, a woman named Alix Maya Clymer, owner of the Unicorn Tribe Salon! When she found Alix's post about my new flamingo pink/fiery red hair and my community at The Sobriety Collective, here's what the darling India had to say:
Falling into the rabbit hole that is Instagram and found this post. Love love love and so happy to have found @wearesober.
And so our friendship began.
Name: India Dunn
Location: San Diego, CA
Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 4/23/07
Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
I am a Creative Compassionate; a hair dresser/artist/empath and I coach others who are like me on how to embrace their unique qualities through encouraging selfcare and healthy boundaries as part of their path to service.
If applicable, drug of choice (or not choice...): booze
Recovery story in a nutshell:
If I had ever been truly honest about my appetite for alcohol I would have said "I want to open my mouth and just keep pouring it in." I first found food, then I found boys and then discovered alcohol. And I abused all of them 'til none of them worked any more. I knew I had a problem with alcohol at a very young age. I can remember one of my first drunken moments at 13, ending up in a kitchen drinking someone's codeine cough syrup I had found in a cabinet. Whatever there was it was never enough. I would black out or pass out. I would "come to" full of remorse and self pity and that overwhelming feeling of "impending doom."
I figured out that I could binge and recover enough to make it through a few days of work. Then I would try to control it and end up on a bender. Later I would come to understand the "great obsession" and see that if I was controlling my drinking I wasn't enjoying it and if I wasn't controlling it I was enjoying it.
It was years and years of knowing I had a problem, years of trying to control and enjoy, years of watching my fellows drink with impunity and years of failed relationships. Still there was success and some happiness. Still I had enough people who drank like me to make it seem as if maybe I was just like them, not knowing the difference was that they didn't think like me. Still there was enough that seemed normal in my life that I could pass for just a party girl. But I knew. I knew I was a fucking pussy for not being able to handle my drink. I knew I was a fucking weakling for not just driving the car off the side of the bridge. I knew there was only so much longer that I could keep up the facade. There was a therapist who helped, but I railed against her mention of AA. It wasn't for me. Organized religion wasn't my gig.
Again I tried to quit with a New Years resolution. Three months later I thought I could take a drink... and I was driving my dearest family around town in a black out. I was so sick and tired...
I had a client who was sober and asked if he would take me to a meeting. He agreed. As they asked if there were any new comers who would like to introduce themselves my body/soul took over and stood me up and a voice came out of me "my name is India, and I am an alcoholic." And I have not had a drink since. I did all the wrong things in early sobriety: dated, made big decisions, dated, sold shit, dated. And luckily none of my mess was messy enough for me to take a drink. And I cleaned it up, did the steps and helped other alcoholics. Service and more service was my saving grace. What I wanted was not what I got and what I have is exactly what was meant to be. I am more free than I thought I could ever be. I get high on life and high on gratitude. I'm so in touch with the energy of the moment that I can feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me. I love life like I always wanted to and thought was not possible. And I still get shitty in my head, so I talk to another alki or I pray to get out of the way. Or I try just sitting in it because now I know my feelings won't kill me.
Top Five Tools for a Happy Recovery:
1) Get God, Goddess, Spirit(what ever you call it) between you and your thoughts; 2) be gentle; 3) be of service; 4) share your the message, not the mess; 5) and find the gift in it ALL.