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#65: Annie Grace

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Name: Annie Grace

Age: 40

Location: Evergreen, Colorado

Sobriety Date: 12/15/14

Creative niche: Writing

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:  Alcohol

Story in a nutshell:

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I was sitting at the train station deep under Heathrow airport in London. I'd been drinking vodka and O.J. before the taxi to the airport to take the edge off my awful hangover which was the result of a week of super late night drinks with colleagues. Returning to my husband and two young boys I realized that while they deserved the best of me I was, by drinking so heavily and staying out so late every work trip, giving them the worst of me. I wanted better and it hit me - that I had to find a way out of the alcohol maze.

I had tried to set rules (no wine until 5pm, or no drinking during the week) just to feel deprived and unhappy. Rules resulted in my obsessing about the next time I could drink, and instead of making alcohol less of an influencer in my life the rules made it more important, more powerful.

I knew I needed a way without rules. And in the tunnel that day I had a realization. That although I currently believed that alcohol was vital for enjoyment, relaxation and everything in between I didn't used to need alcohol to have fun or relax.

I formed this simple theory. That I consciously wanted to drink less (or nothing) the far more powerful subconscious part of my mind, the part subject to a lifetime of conditioning around the benefits of drinking, simply hadn't got the memo.

This launched me into a year's worth of research on how to undo a lifetime of subconscious conditioning around alcohol. I stopped trying to stop drinking and instead focused on learning. I created a list of every reason I drank, what all the 'benefits' were in my mind. I methodically went through every reason, looking for science-based external evidence into the validity of each. Once I'd gone through everything it was as if a fog had lifted. The beliefs that I needed alcohol to have a good time or relax just disappeared. I simply no longer wanted to drink! Talk about freedom.

I like to say that I drink as much as I want whenever I want; the truth is that I just haven’t wanted a drink in more than three years. I don't miss it, I don't think about it and I feel truly joyous and free!


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Journaling

2) Eating lots of protein (to create essential amino acids!)

3) Exercise

4) Mindfulness

5) Online Communities - especially www.thisnakedmindcommunity.com


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Connect with Annie and This Naked Mind

website: www.thisnakedmind.com
website: www.thisnakedmindcommunity.com
website: www.alcoholexperiment.com
instagram: @thisnakedmind
twitter: @thisnakedmind
facebook: @thisnakedmind

Re(Pro) #32: Dana Bowman

I love me some Dana. This woman is hilarious, talented, and a true friend. I feel guilty that it only took me roughly ONE YEAR to post her Re(Pro).  Not sure what happened but suffice it to say, I first heard her on Since Right Now - I believe - and ever since (right then...hehe), I was hooked.  On Dana.  I love you, girl.

xoxo,
Laura


Dana Bowman RePro 32

Name: Dana Bowman

Age: 47

Location: Lindsborg, KS

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 1/1/2013

Creative niche: 
Writing. I also have mad fire baton skills.

If applicable, drug of choice:
Wine. The cocktail of mommies. That's kind of sarcastic, but it seems to be the case in my experiences.

Recovery story in a nutshell

Recovery story in a nutshell:
I got married "later in life" at 36 (I know, OLD) and when I had my boys, at 39 and 41 I experienced severe post-partum depression. All of this, paired with some problematic drinking turned into an addiction. I didn't really have a dramatic down turn...just a very slow, sad, aching decline into addiction. My "bottom" was not an arrest or even daily blackouts or sex w/ strangers - I just felt awful and sick and wanted to die. I have a chapter in my book called "I Never Danced on Tables" - which kinda explains how I think a lot of times alcoholics tell themselves, "I am not getting ARRESTED - I am NOT an alcoholic." But, I knew. I could not stop, and I could not keep drinking. So, I finally came clean to my husband and found a meeting and started attending. This was back in 2011. I did relapse, for four days, in 2012, and then got sober on Jan 1, 2013. It's an easy date to remember.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Meetings

2) Big Book/God/prayer/my HP/daily serenity prayer

3) Honesty - when I don't tell the truth I just wither

4) Humor & Humility (that's two, I know, but how they go together!)

5) Writing


Connect with Dana.

Re(Pro) #25: Veronica Valli


I had the unique pleasure and privilege of meeting (nay, HUGGING!) our latest RePro feature, Ms. Veronica Valli, in October of 2015 at the historic UNITE to Face Addiction rally on the Washington, D.C. downtown mall.  I was so proud of this lady for traveling on her own with her little baby boy, Luke, for this monumental event.  Not only that, but it was such a dream to meet so many amazing women and men in recovery, and especially in the recovering blogging niche.  It was a first time reunion for many of us.  And now?  We'll be reunited again in just a couple of weeks as official members of the She Recovers in NYC blogger team!  Huzzah! 

xoxo,
Laura


Name: Veronica Valli

Age: 44

Location: Long Island, NY

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 5/8/2000

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
Blogging, writing, helping

If applicable, drug of choice (or *not* of choice):

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Recovery story in a nutshell:

Born different, found alcohol at 15, that worked for about 2 years before I hit my rock bottom. Drug induced psychosis. 10 years of looking for help, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal. Found help, got sober, emotional rock bottom because of relationships. Gift of desperation, worked harder on myself then I've ever worked. RECOVERED. My life is real, amazing, challenging and it totally rocks.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1. Inventory
2. Telling on myself
3. Connection with other people in recovery
4. Honesty
5. Working with newcomers


Connect with Veronica.

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