Re(Pro) #64: Dawn Nickel

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The past seven years have been about peeling back the real layers of my life - and creating the community that both holds me up and allows me to give back.
— Dawn Nickel

Name: Dawn Nickel

Age: 58

Location, Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)

Recovery date*: 5/11/1989
*I have a number of dates - but the one above is truly what I consider to be my recovery date.

Creative niche:
Entrepreneur, recovery coach and advocate, writer

If applicable to your story, drug of choice: 
Not really applicable since the drugs were just what I used to cope but I was addicted to cocaine, pills marijuana and alcohol. That and my addiction to really unhealthy relationships made my young adult years a bit of a gong show.

Recovery story in a nutshell:
Started using all of the substances heavily at 15. Five overdoses by age 20. Pregnant at 20 and started to try to stop using. Went into treatment at aged 27 when my six-year-old daughter told me that I made her sick (I was trying to explain to her how sick I was that day - drug and alcohol hangover - she wasn't impressed). Smoked massive amounts of pot for two years then went back into treatment at 29. Recovery gave me a life - I went to university for 13 years culminating in a PhD in health care policy, a happy marriage to another person on recovery and eventually - a work addiction that brought me back to my knees at the age of 51. The past seven years have been about peeling back the real layers of my life - and creating the community that both holds me up and allows me to give back.

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Time with family and time alone (tied for top importance)

2) Connection with other people in recovery - mostly women

3) Attempting self-care on a daily basis (sometimes I nail it - most times I don't)

4) Reading everything

5) Meditation when I remember


Connect with Dawn and She Recovers

Instagram: @she_recovers | @recoveringdawn
Facebook: @SheRecovers

Re(Pro) #44: Tawny Lara

Tawny Lara

Name: Tawny Lara

Age: 32

Location: New York, NY

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 11/29/2015

Creative niche: Writing / Event Coordination

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:
Jack Daniels, but I loved anything that would help me escape reality.

Your story in a nutshell:

My sobriety began as a year-long experiment. The thought of quitting booze forever seemed overwhelming, so I committed to spending my 30th year sober and blogging about the experience. There have been many ups and downs since I quit drinking, but a sober lifestyle is definitely what works for me. I'm now able to explore my creative side with a focused, productive approach. Sobriety has helped me find my voice as writer, created the space for me to try new things, and allowed me to be more present in my existing relationships. I'm now writing a book and hosting sober socializing events in New York City. It's amazing to see what life has given me after I made the decision to stop getting drunk and high.

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1. Writing.
3. Meditation.
4. Support Group.
5. Friends/Family

Featured Creative Work - Fixed Up

Fixed up

Connect with Tawny.


Re(Pro) #29: Tommy Rosen

Tommy Rosen RePro

Tommy Rosen.

Yep, the one and only.  How do I begin to write an introduction on the man who practically wrote the book on a new, holistic recovery? 

Oh wait, he did.*

Tommy is one of the forefathers (foreparents?) of a new recovery, one that takes principles from the 12 steps and also principles from yoga, meditation, wellness, happiness, psychology, etc. and levels recovery up to an even higher plane.  I've had the pleasure of talking to him on the telephone and he's just as lovely and humble as you'd imagine.  Definitely can't believe my lucky stars (yes, I'm fangirling) that he took time out from his very busy schedule of planning a new online conference or globetrotting to India or just sleeping, because hey, the man needs rest, to participate in this gal's #indierecovery project.

I guess Tommy can see that I, too, am trying to elevate my own recovery (10 years this July 14!)- and the recovery of others.

Thank you, Tommy, and #namaste.


Name: Tommy Rosen

Age: 49

Location: Venice, CA

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 6/23/1991

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

If applicable, drug of choice (or *not* of choice):
Have experienced many addictions


Recovery story in a nutshell:

Had the right idea for a destination, but got on the wrong train.
Got off the wrong train and boarded the express train to the Divine.
Feel better now.

Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Spirituality
2) Community
3) Yoga/Meditation
4) 12 steps
5) Therapy


*Oh wait.

He totally did write the book...

Here I am posing with the book.  A) Because I'm a ham for the camera, and B) because duh.

Connect with Tommy.

Yoga Mala Tommy.

Re(Pro) #15: Cristina Ferri

Yay!  Here we are!  We look like we could be sisters!  Or cousins :)

Yay!  Here we are!  We look like we could be sisters!  Or cousins :)

Cristina Ferri is a beautiful, gorgeously fierce, fighter of a soul--who is sassy to boot.  I mean, come on--ALL THE UNICORNS!  I had the ultimate pleasure of hugging my sister in sobriety a couple months ago at the I Am Not Anonymous portrait shoot in Washington, D.C. and we wore our matching #SOBER necklaces (designed by love, lori michelle for yours truly).  Let's throw some unicorn confetti in the air and welcome none other than Ms. Sober Unicorn

Name: Cristina Ferri

Age: 39 -- EEK!

Location: Plainville, MA

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 4/24/15

Creative niche: Photography & Singing

If applicable, drug of choices (or not of choice): Alcohol

Recovery story in a nutshell:

My recovery journey started a few months before my actual sobriety date. I started working with my therapist on the difficult internal issues and mental health problems I had been self-medicating myself with and casting aside for years. Soon, I began really seeing that a lot of my issues were burning hotter by my alcohol use. But when I made the decision to stop drinking, there was really no turning back. I realized really quickly that I needed a support line, other than my therapist, and I tried to find local AA meetings. Even though I always brought something home with me from the meetings I attended, I didn't feel as welcomed as I felt with the online recovery tribe I was also starting to build. These people rapidly became friends to collaborate with, vent to, laugh with and lean on. Staying sober is really only one part of my recovery journey. I am also currently working on my co-dependency, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and CPTSD, eating habits and relationship with food, body image, spirituality and relationship with my higher power as well as learning to just be human.

Every morning, I start my day with gratitude and try to journal my thoughts, which allows me to share a positive and healthy attitude towards everyone I interact with throughout the day. I worked with a health coach who truly helped me lay a foundation for success in creating a safe, nourishing place for my recovery. I also started a blog to share my story, and I'm currently having growth and interest in it to the point where I'm in the works of creating a new outreach program, revolving around recovery and art, that I hope to be announcing by the end of the year. I began volunteering with Girls On the Run & recently joined a church where I have been invited to be a part of their praise team! My recovery has truly changed my life. But it's something that I literally have to keep choosing every day, and every minute if necessary.


Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) My Blog

2) Prayer & Meditation

3) Church & my relationship with my higher power

4) My Online Tribe

5) Booooooooooooooooooks

Connect with Cristina.