shatterproof

11 Lessons Learned in 11 Years of Recovery

Originally published on  Workit Health ; republished with permission on  Shatterproof .

Originally published on Workit Health; republished with permission on Shatterproof.

The year was 2007. Phones were clunky and the opposite of “smart.” iPods were relatively new, MapQuest directions were printed, Amazon.com was a bookseller, Senator Barack Obama prepared to hit the campaign trail, the new ABC show Grey’s Anatomy was taking the country by storm, and Laura Silverman (aka yours truly) checked herself into an intensive outpatient program for alcohol abuse after six years of heavy binge drinking.

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The year is now 2018. Phones are pocket-sized computers. Amazon runs the world (and you can access it from your phone, natch). Former Senator Obama is now former two-term U.S. President (miss you, Barry!). Grey’s Anatomy is still around. And Laura, our protagonist, celebrated 11 years of continuous sobriety on July 14th.

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Switching over to first person now that I’ve set the stage for you. Without further ado, here are some nuggets of wisdom, lessons, and tools I use in over a decade of recovery - in meme and GIF form. It is 2018, after all ;)

1. I’m sober, not boring.

I go to concerts and sing loudly on karaoke nights. I date. I bowl. I play with my nephews. I go out on girls' nights to fancy dinners. I ice skate and rock climb and dance (like Elaine from Seinfeld).

And I wake up the next morning blissfully hangover-free. It feels fan-freakin-tastic.

2. Personal growth is necessary - and (sometimes) painful.

 

One of the things I have to work on daily is my need to people-please. Being bullied for years as a kid tore down any self-confidence I had; all I wanted was to be liked by you. To be your friend. To not be at the bottom of the social barrel.

But now? I still fall prey to wanting to be liked (even at 35 years old! I see it happen the most via social media). And I have to actively take a part in my daily recovery by knowing I’m whole and enough and beautifully radiant, inside and out, just as I am. With or without your approval. That’s personal growth. It sure ain’t easy.

3. Move that body!

Walking in nature, practicing yoga, hiking, weight lifting, busting a sweat. Releasing those endorphinsand feeling accomplished.

Honestly, the best way to get out of my head is to turn on some tunes and go for a walk outside. I always feel on top of the world and more peaceful in and post-workout...

I go to concerts and sing loudly on karaoke nights. I date. I bowl. I play with my nephews. I go out on girls' nights to fancy dinners. I ice skate and rock climb and dance (like Elaine from Seinfeld).

And I wake up the next morning blissfully hangover-free. It feels fan-freakin-tastic.

4. Exercise that brain!

Mental health is just as important as physical health. They are very much intertwined.

Exercise makes me feel more positive and happy and empowered. Feeling those feelings boosts my mental health, and makes me more inclined to want to continue taking care of my physical body.

This is why I love yoga so much. I get to amplify my physical, mental, and spiritual health. #NamasteSober

5. #MocktailLife

Gone are the days of just water or soda. (Those are still viable options.) Just the other night I had a delicious ginger/coconut/passion fruit NoJito . And it was glorious. I like to feel glamorous and holding a drink (especially in early recovery but even well into now) can give me more confidence on a date or at a work event. Booze-free, full of flavor, no consequences.

6. Take things one moment at a time.

To get anywhere with my sobriety, mental health, spiritual health, and just, well, life, I have to take things, as they say, one day at a time. Thinking in terms of “forever” will inevitably stress me out.

That doesn’t mean I can’t have goals or ambitions. But there’s no sense in agonizing over the future or regretting the past. Staying present is what it’s all about.

7. Stay grateful.

A daily gratitude practice—whether it’s just a mental acknowledgment of what I’m thankful for or writing a list—is crucial.

They say the sign of true gratitude is not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.

8. Smile.

I love smiling. Have you seen my smile? It’s radiant if I do say so myself.

That doesn’t mean I’m always happy. If you’re always happy, how can you be grateful for true happiness? (see #7.) But I find that even a fake smile can turn into a real one; and a real smile is infectious.

If you can use your smile and aim it at a stranger, and they do that to another, and another, and another... imagine the impact a small, simple act of kindness can have on the world.

9. Surround yourself with love and support.

 

No matter if you choose a program (12 step, SMART, Refuge, LifeRing) or trail blaze your own path, find a support system of friends, loved ones, and professionals that works for you.

If you want or need it, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reaching out is a sign of strength, not weakness.

10. Be proud of how far you’ve come, no matter where you are in the process of recovery.

In the wake of Demi Lovato’s relapse, I thought it was only right to pay homage to someone who fights on the front lines of mental health and addiction recovery daily. We have lessons to learn from her - and that’s that this is a process and we must always support each other.

Maybe you’ve slipped, maybe you’ve stayed sober or drug-free without one lapse; maybe you keep trying. This is a process and you should be proud of where you are, forging your own path.

11. My sobriety goes to 11 (years).

*Raises mocktail* Cheers!

 

#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.

shatterproof-logo-transparent-bkgd.png


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.


#IAMSHATTERPROOF (pt. 1)

Wow, you guys.

I was *the* #2 fundraiser in all of Washington, D.C.  With YOUR help, I raised $2,001!  Kind of a perfect number, actually--HS graduating class of 2001, baby! I had the most donors out of all participants (36) and helped shatter the stigma of addiction on Friday, September 25 in Washington, D.C. as I rappelled off Lafayette Tower.  This is something I hope to continue doing every day (um, shattering the stigma, not rapelling off 12 story buildings.  Just sayin ;)

Recovery is possible.  It's amazing!  And it's real.

None of this would have happened had it not been for the bravery of Gary Mendell, founder of Shatterproof.  Gary's son Brian lost his battle with addiction on October 20, 2011.  Something that would truly shatter most parents, friends, siblings, spouses instead took on a transformation--tragedy turned into hope.  I am so honored to now be a part of the Shatterproof family and to have met the man himself.  

That's us.  Just hanging out pre-rappel;)

That's us.  Just hanging out pre-rappel;)

And yep, that's a nifty GoPro camera mounted on my helmet.  There's video!  In my adrenaline fear/excitement and just general OMG-ness, I totally forgot to thank someone who's been a wonderful and amazing presence in my life the past 1.5 years: my BF, Whitney.  Thank you for all your support and love, W <3.  

In no particular order, I'm going to thank my donors.  Cuz, you know, I do what I want ;)

IRL donors:

Mama and Papa
Whitney
Whitney's mom
Dana, top donor and new friend!
Gwen, breast cancer crusader and friend of my late Aunt Jane
Sarah, BFF
My cousins Melanie and Lisa
Aunt Linda
Stacy and Tim, gym buddies
The Dr. Cocolis Fam
2nd Cousin Jeff
Jill, my 9th grade science teacher
Jen and Jenny, HS friends
Jackie, Avon 39 BFF
Krystal, Karen, Jenn, and Scott--former colleagues

And now, from the #RecoveryFriendlyWeb:

@KLENandSOBR
@djfmdotcom
@danthestoryman
@annabdavid
@nlcarr
Karen from @narconon
@peterg323
@ivanagrahovac1
@28daysmore
@virtuallynadine
Matt from @therealedition
Mike Smith from @surrenderfriday
MOI aka @wearesober (of course I donated to such a great cause!)

Stay tuned for pt. 2...photos of me and my Mama, video of the descent, and more.

Love,
Laura

 

It's been a long time (since I blogged 'n rolled ♫)

The blog still exists!  I still exist!  Actually, most of you know that already.  I'm pretty damn active on the Twitterverse.  But due to some changes in my work, I have a lot less time to devote to blogging/site updates/etc.  

Who am I, by the way, for you noobs?  I'm Laura, founder of this magnificent lil' nook on the web.  But, oh, there's more.  And you can find out here!

So, my goal this weekend is to get at least one story up (hopefully two!) and share some potentially exciting news.  Not to mention get out the second edition of The Sobriety Scoop!

Poll: who's going to DC next month for UNITE to Face Addiction?  Comment below.  

And stay tuned for more Sobriety Collective goodies.  You know you wanna.