cocaine

Jessica Jeboult

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Name: Jessica Jeboult

Age: 33

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sobriety date: 1/01/2009

Creative niche:
|Writer, blogger, coach, motivational speaker

If applicable to your story, substance of choice: Cocaine

 

[Sobriety] Story in a Nutshell:

Took me over 10 years to find the value in sobriety and recovery. Once I changed my mindset to not being allowed to drink or I'm lacking and restricting myself, to everything I was gaining, that changed the game. I came from a place of abundance and I got that. I started A Sober Girls Guide, blog, podcast and recovery community for women. I am a life coach for women in recovery and motivational speaker and soon to be author!


<<A snippet from Jessica’s dreamy Insta feed.>>


 
save your own damn life
 

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Diet

2) Exercise

3) Mindset

4) Connection

5) Productivity


 
 

Connect with Jessica + A Sober Girls Guide

website: www.asobergirlsguide.com
instagram: @asobergirlsguide
twitter: @asobergirlsguide
facebook: @asobergirlsguide

Re(Pro) #39: Amy Dresner

Amy Dresner RePro

It's this beauty's 5 year anniversary today so can we get a FUCK YEAH!? Long ago and far away (sometime last spring), Amy gave me her own "eff yes" when I asked her to be one of the next Re(Pro)s. We were going to time my clicking "publish" around her own book launch date in September 2017 for My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean. But, life happened. I got catfished (and had to report the whole debacle to the FBI - I'll be writing about it soon, now that the dust has settled). And so my life was upside down and then I admittedly forgot to post Amy's profile, especially since I hadn't had a chance to read her magnificent memoir. I'm still working on it (honesty! progress, not perfection!) but I couldn't let her 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY go down in history without this little gift.
So this is from me to you, Amy.  Happy 5 years*!

xoxo,
Laura


Name: Amy Dresner

Age: 47

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): *1/02/2013

Creative niche: 
Writing. I've been a contributing editor to addiction/recovery mag TheFix.com since 2012 and I just had my first book published by Hachette, an addiction memoir called "My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean".

If applicable, drug of choice: 
Crystal meth and IV cocaine although I was an equal opportunity abuser: pot, booze, mushrooms, Ativan, Oxycontin. At the end I really enjoyed Four Loko cuz I’m classy like that.

Nutshell

Recovery story in a nutshell: 
I was a late bloomer and a chronic relapser. I didn’t drink till I was 19. Smoked pot at 21. I tried meth at 24 and it immediately opened up some terrifying voracious vortex in me. Thus began the cycle of rehabs, psych wards, suicide attempts. Twenty years in and out of the rooms. I’d have periods of sobriety and then just eat sand again. It was awful. I tried to stay away from booze because it made me violent and naked which I enjoyed but others…not so much. Things culminated when I was arrested high as a kite on Oxy for felony domestic violence and went to jail. I lost everything: my marriage, my sanity, my financial security. After a few more relapses and yet another suicide attempt and stay in treatment, I ended up spending two and half years in a women’s sober living, doing 240 hours of court-ordered community labor. That’s what it took for me to finally take full responsibility for my life and the consequences of my addiction. I did a major attitude overhaul thanks to the steps, my newfound poverty and my humbling penal labor and finally grew up in my 40’s. Been sober ever since.


Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1. Writing (what a surprise!)
2. Humor
3. Running my idiotic ideas by my sponsor
4. Service (in and out of the rooms)
5. Sleep (When I feel totally nuts, I unplug and take a nap.)


Connect with Amy.

My Fair Junkie

Re(Pro) #36: Jamie Amos

Back in February - yes, February (my life got crazy this summer - I was elaborately catfished [more on that soon] and so my editorial calendar hasn't exactly been reliable), my girl Jamie wrote me this gem:

*~*~*

Dear Major Internet Crush: I am a writer and badass professional living in New Orleans, AKA the drunkest place on earth, where a vibrant and eccentric recovery community costumes regularly and stays sober. I grew up in generational poverty rife with addiction. Over my 20 years of drinking and drug abuse, including a pretty intense intravenous coke habit, I also managed to put myself through college, earn an MFA, and publish fiction in some national magazines before getting sober is 2014. I love your site and the supportive community I see you nurture on Twitter and Instagram. It would be a huge honor to be a re(pro). 

*~*~*

How could I say no to that? Since that time, I've been crushing on *her* and all that she does with her writing partner, Nikki, via The Neutral Ground (link after RePro). She has become a fierce warrior woman in the recovery movement. I'm just embarassed it took me the better part of a year to get this amazing woman's story to you.

Thanks for your well of patience, girl.  

xo,
Laura


Name: Jamie Amos

Age: 37

Location: New Orleans, LA
[Editor's note: Apparently people *can* get sober in NoLa!]

Recovery date: 6/6/2014

Creative niche: Writer, all the way. 

If applicable, drug of choice:
My drugs are assigned to periods of my life.
In my teenage years, I binge drank Budweiser (because Bud Light was for sissies) and smoked pot.
For my early 20s, I shot cocaine and meth and hunted down LSD anytime I could find it.
I switched back to beer in my late 20s, early 30s, because I needed to manage an increasingly unpredictable reaction to my substances. Alcohol was my final undoing, but I don't think I've yet met a drug I didn't instantly love.

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Recovery story in a nutshell:
I went hard early in life, diving full in and totally committing to a life I thought was wild and free. I hit what should have been 1,000 bottoms before I turned 25. Instead of pushing me toward recovery early in life, I tried to moderate my drinking and drug use and kept my outside life mostly intact. I put myself through college, kept steady jobs, and maintained a monogamous relationship long term. All of my consequences were internal, and over time my depression, anxiety, and self-hatred became unbearable. In 2014, a man sat next to me at a dinner party and told me about recovery. That began a 2-year long battle with my willful disbelief in my addiction. What has been, for me, more difficult than putting down drugs and alcohol has been sustaining the belief that I need to.




Top 5 Recovery Tools

1. The word no.
I am never closer to relapse than when I've overcommitted myself and said yes to please other people. Beneath those yeses that lead to my exhaustion is always a belief that I have to work for love.

2. Reaching out to my tribe.
I have always kept close girlfriends, but when I got sober and started to be real-talk vulnerable, this huge group of powerful, dangerous, warrior women showed up to walk beside me. I need them constantly to remind me I am enough.

3. Mothering myself.
I got this concept from Holly Whittaker and Laura McKowen of the HOME podcast, but I take it seriously. Soothing baths, naps, early bed times, healthy meals.

4. Daily writing.
I often don't know what I'm feeling until I work through it in my journal. This practice has sustained me through hard times.

5. Respecting quiet.
I'm often plugged into a screen or book, and I forget to carve out quiet space to listen to what's going on inside. Quiet is where the transformation happens for me, but I have to tune in to know it's happening


Connect with Jamie.

Neutral Ground

Website: www.theneutralground.net
Instagram: @jamie_amos
Twitter: @ja_amos1
 

Re(Pro) #31: Mark Goodson

Mark Goodson is one of those natural writers. He is a talented poet - whereas yours truly is a talented bad haiku-ist.  Devoted husband and father (OMG his kids are the cutest), you'll hear a lot more from recovery advocate and fellow Club 2007 member Mark as time goes on.  He's the real deal.

Happy early birthday, Mark!

xo,
Laura


Mark Goodson Repro 31

Name: Mark Goodson

Age: (almost) 34

Location: DMV, USA
[Editor's note: hey, neighbor!]

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 10/13/2007

Creative niche: 
I write for most every form out there. Poetry, non-fiction, personal essay, journalism, fiction. I co-write the comic strip for our local paper. If you see me, just know I'd rather be writing.

If applicable, drug of choice:
That which gave me the illusion of control over my emotions. Specifically, the triad of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana. As for which, I was an equal opportunity addict.

Nutshell

Recovery story in a nutshell:
All I ever really wanted was the bliss of oblivion. I settled for anything that got me close. I kept settling for less and less before waking up to the fact that oblivion is anything but blissful. Oblivion is actually filled with pain and misery. Sobriety has become more than being sober. Recovery has become more than recovering from drugs and alcohol. Recovery is a bridge to a better way of living. It involves peeling away the layers that keep us from living according to our true natures. I find that people in recovery have incredible drive, determination, focus, and ability. It helps when we don't center our living around the next drink or drug. I made my private recovery public when I started blogging in January of 2016. A lot of what I knew recovery to be was challenged. I'm a better man, and a more helpful man in recovery for it. I call the blog "the Miracle of the Mundane" because I've found, after peeling away the layers, that our true nature--our everyday existence is a brilliant piece of art.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Sponsorship

2) Prayer

3) Fellowship

4) Creativity

5) Books

I had the pleasure of hugging some of my FAVORITE recovery superheroes at the I Am Not Anonymous portrait event last summer. &nbsp;Left to right: Sasha Tozzi, Cristina Ferri, yours truly, Maggie Shores, and the illustrious Mark Goodson.

I had the pleasure of hugging some of my FAVORITE recovery superheroes at the I Am Not Anonymous portrait event last summer.  Left to right: Sasha Tozzi, Cristina Ferri, yours truly, Maggie Shores, and the illustrious Mark Goodson.


Connect with Mark.

 
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Re(Pro) #30: Megan Lawrence

I love Megan. 

Thanks to Alicia Cook, friend/writer/HuffPost contributor/Instagram poster/recovery ally, I got connected to the lovely Megan. And then I find out she's in recovery and knows my gals Lara and Sasha (and more). And I love the small crazy beautiful perfectly imperfect world we live in. This woman gets it. I'm proud of this mental health/recovery advocate/writer FRIEND of mine, and excited for all the accomplishments she's made and will make in her life.  

xoxo,
Laura


Megan Lawrence

Name: Megan Lawrence

Age: 25

Location: Tampa, FL

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 8/10/2015

Creative niche: Writing

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

Recovery story in a nutshell:
I never knew the extent of my problems until I found myself in a hospital bed trying to explain the suicide attempt I (fortunately) failed in August of 2015. Looking back now, I am able to admit that I have always battled addiction, but was never willing to say out loud that I was ever out of control.

I started doing drugs at the age of 14, and over the next 9 years, I would dabble in a handful of different ones, with Adderall, alcohol, and cocaine, becoming so much more than your occasional usage. I would have to say that college is when my bad habits took a turn for the worse, mainly because I didn't have my parents watching over my shoulder, and college meant that I was finally an adult, able to live however I saw fit. For the first two years of college, I would say that the one thing that kept me somewhat together was college soccer. My partying was considered "typical" college behavior, and I never saw what I was doing as harmful.

I actually took a break from drinking once I got my fake ID taken away from me, and I developed a love for weight training. It wasn't long before that turned into an addiction as well. Sometimes training 2-3 times a day, and still having soccer 6 days a week, I had started overtraining, and I was becoming sicker by the minute. My athletic trainer was worried about me because I had dropped down to 5% body fat, and warned me that I would not be able to play soccer until I gained my weight back. Naturally, my first instinct was to defend myself. I was okay with how my life was going, because to me, working out was a healthy thing. Oh how wrong I was. To please my trainer, coaches, and my now worried friends, I stopped working out as much. For fear of gaining the weight back that I lost, I started tracking my calories (putting my body into starvation mode), and I became addicted to amphetamines (Adderall), which allowed me to never get hungry.

The first time I was ever willing to admit that I had a problem was when I experienced a drug overdose from staying up for a consistent 96 hour period of time on nothing but drugs. My body was shutting down on me, and my drug use had caused me to stop caring about what was important. I failed to show up to soccer practices on time, and eventually I stopped showing up all together. It was then that I was forced to part ways with my collegiate career as a soccer player, and a couple months after that, I found myself in jail for a DUI. It was then that I decided something had to change, and I cut amphetamines out of my life forever.

The ugly drinking years. [editor's note: trust me, I've been there. It's not glamorous.]

The ugly drinking years. [editor's note: trust me, I've been there. It's not glamorous.]

Although strong enough to make me say goodbye to Adderall, my arrest was not the final rock bottom I had waiting for me 2 years, and 4 months down the road. Within that time is where my drinking really started to take a hold of me. My black outs were occurring every other day, and I kept finding myself in compromising positions. Becoming more and more self-destructive, I had lost grip on reality, and who I was as a person. Self-medicating was how I dealt with every day life, and this works, until it doesn't. It is not a means of healing yourself. Self medicating is only temporary, and until you face the root of the evil, you will only put off the rock bottom that will inevitably happen.
And that is what happened to me.

After my fair share of cocaine benders, and cracking my head open in the last month of my drinking, my last drink landed me in the hospital, and at the age of 23, I decided that I would live the rest of my life in recovery. Sobriety was the only option for me, and when I am asked, "So you don't think you will ever drink again?" My only answer for them is no. I found out early what I have a problem with, and I will be forever grateful for that. When I drank, I never knew if I was going to like myself by the end of the night, or where I would wake up the next morning, and now that I am sober, I never have to worry about that. I love who I am all the time, because I am finally in control of myself.

This is what recovery looks like, people!

This is what recovery looks like, people!

There are always going to be days that are hard, but there are always going to be reasons that make my sobriety worth it. It is a powerful thing to be in control of your own actions, and I enjoy being able to remember the things that happen in my life. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and I by no means regret anything that has occurred in my past. We are not who we were, we are who we become because of that. I wake up every day and make the choice to remain sober because I have finally shown up for my life, and I no longer numb the parts that are harder to deal with. I just deal with them, and put a smile on, because despite where I have been, I am excited for where I am headed.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:
 

 

1. Writing.

Without it, I would still be struggling to figure out who I am. It helps me silence that 'voice' in my head, and before writing, my thoughts were overwhelming, and loud.

2. Exercise.

I have been involved in athletics my whole life, but the need for it changed once I became sober. Natural endorphins are incredibly powerful, and I enjoy being physically strong just as much as I enjoy being mentally strong.

3. Family & Friends.

Now that I am sober, the relationships in my life have been able to grow into something of deeper value. Speaking my truth, and no longer hiding who I am from those who care about me, has helped me remain sober, and has helped rebuild the damage I have caused in the past.

4. Helping others.

Talking, and connecting with others has provided my life with such purpose. When I am able to inspire others to become the best versions of themselves, it reminds me of why I choose to remain sober, and it provides a type of happiness that alcohol and drugs tried to take away from me.

5. Reading.

 I love finding books that help me understand myself more and more. There is nothing better than finding a book that you relate to. It is proof that you are not alone, and it is small reminder that there are people out there who feel the same way. I find such peace in that.

 

Connect with Megan.

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Re(Pro) #7: Nancy Carr

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Get jeally, people!  Because here we are, in the flesh, back in February '16.  Nancy and Laura, hangin' in the sunshine.  I'm also proud to say Nancy's story was one of the first I ever featured on The Sobriety Collective.  I'm super stoked to have her join  us, once again, with her Recovery Profile aka Re(Pro).  Good luck on your move, Nancy, and I'm so #grateful and #blessed to have you as a friend!

xoxo,
Laura


Name
Nancy Carr

Age
Ugh, 49!!!

Location:
Naples, FLA, soon to be Carlsbad, CA in a month!

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 
May 11, 2004

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.): 
Writing! 

I started writing in my 20’s as an outlet for my angst – I kept journals here and there, but a year before I got sober (2003) I started a journal on my laptop and that’s when my writing really started becoming an extension of myself.  After I got sober, I kept on writing and I had so much more to write about, life was more interesting and it wasn’t about whining and complaining.  I kept on writing through my first year of sobriety (in addition to hand writing step work) and soon I realized I had put together a manuscript – which then became my Memoir.  My book sat on a bookshelf, literally, for 9 years, until I self-published it through Kindle last year.  It’s been a great experience and journey and I’ve been so fortunate that I’ve been help to other women in their quest to get sober.  I also started a blog in 2009 and would write occasionally about sober life, family and essays, and then by 2015, I started giving my blog all my attention and started writing more, mainly about recovery and sobriety.  Being connected with my blog and my memoir has and continues to be such a huge part of my recovery.  One of the greatest gifts has been joining and participating in the amazing online sober community.  It’s helped me in so many ways and I’m truly grateful for all the amazing connections and friends I’ve made.   

If applicable, drug of choice (or not choice...): 
Booze and Blow

Recovery story in a nutshell:

Started drinking at age 13, by 16 I started doing cocaine and by 19 I was drinking and doing cocaine weekly and I was off running in my disease.  I drank and did blow regularly for over 20 years.  My 2nd DUI is the one that saved me. I was 37 years old and this DUI is when I said to myself, “I have been living my life the same way since I was 19, I need to get my shit together”. 

I didn’t want to quit drinking or drugging, as I didn’t know that living sober was really an option for someone like me.  I was able to hold a job, I could pay my really important bills and I passed for your typical fun party gal that liked Happy Hours and drinking Mimosa’s all weekend.  However, I knew I had a problem and I knew deep down I was a total and complete mess.  But I was in too much fear to tell anyone, let alone ask for help.  My DUI attorney urged me to get a court card signed at an AA meeting.  I went to a meeting and ran outta there and drank for a week before making the decision that I should give the sober AA life a try.  I was all out of options and my snooze button wasn’t working anymore.

I started going to AA regularly and did what was suggested; 90 meetings in 90 days, got a sponsor, worked the steps and I kept coming back.  I didn’t know what else to do.  My life got amazingly better very quickly and my desire to drink was lifted.  Life was in session and I was able to participate for once! Twelve years later, I’m still doing the AA thing, but not every day is rainbows and butterflies, but today I know how to handle situations that used to baffle me and I can take care of myself and know that I’m in recovery from a fatal disease that wants me dead, so yeah, I’ll keep going back.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

AA Fellowship, Steps & Meetings (I guess that’s 3):
This is what my intro to sobriety was and as long as I stay connected and continue to share and work the steps in my daily life – I have a pretty good shot at staying sober.

Having a sponsor and my bitch buddies: 
Having a sponsor has saved me so many times, because I usually don’t know what’s best for me.  But if I hash it out with someone who has more time than me and who has gone through what I have gone through – I’m going to get through it – sober! I also have my bitch buddies; girlfriends that I call any time that let me vent and allow me to express how I’m feeling and what’s going on.  These women are an amazing support system and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Doing the next indicated thing and releasing the outcome. 
This action has helped me so many times during my sobriety and it’s never let me down.  It may not always turn out the way I want it to; but it turns out the way its intended to.

Prayer and Meditation: 
Prayer has been a big part of my sobriety very early on and it’s a constant in my life.  Twice a day, every day.  Some days, the prayers are short and sweet and other days they are longer – either way I need to keep my spiritual maintenance in check.  I’ve been practicing Meditation off and on for about 10 years; most recently I took a Transcendental Meditation course.  It was intense and I’ve been trying to incorporate that into my daily life.  20 minutes twice a day, some days I fall short, but I know how to do it and it’s so powerful and soothing – it takes me to a completely different realm and I get to experience another level of soul searching.

Taking Care of Myself: 
This is hugely important to me and what this looks like changes every day.  Some days it’s just eating healthy, hitting a meeting and going to work.  Other days, it’s walking Lucy (my rescue pup), working out, taking a bath and making dinner.  It could also be taking myself on a trip or going shopping and treating myself to ice cream.  This manifests itself in so many ways and as long as I have a balance of life and recovery then I know I’m doing the best I can with what I have. 


Connect with Nancy.
Blog: www.lastcallblog.me
Twitter: @NLCarrC
Facebook: Last Call
Amazon.com: Last Call
**