Marnie Rae

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Name: Marnie Rae

Age: 50

Location: Seattle, WA

Sobriety date: 4/15/2003

Creative niche: Entrepreneurship, mocktails, writing

If applicable to your story, substance of choice:
Alcohol - Grey Goose Martinis (with 3 olives) and Black Russians to be more specific. Although a bottle of wine would do in a pinch.


Recovery/sobriety story in a nutshell:

I started drinking as a teenager.

It progressively became the focus of my life, all of my friends drank (although most weren't addicted), every event was an excuse to drink. I thought I was having fun, we even laughed about the time I drank too much and ended up in the hospital. Somehow missed that burning bush :(

Finally, after 20 years of drinking, I had my 'rock bottom' moment. I attended an elementary school fundraising auction that I had been a big part of creating, got drunk with our friends before the event, snuck in alcohol at the event, made a fool of myself trying to converse with my children's teachers, and embarrassed someone I love very much - my husband (makes me cry to write this). I knew when I went to bed that night it was going to be the last time I drank (it was).

I had a friend that didn't drink, although I didn't know why. I walked right up to her the next day in the parking lot at school after dropping our kids off and asked her point blank why she didn't drink. I look back now and I have so much love for that scared young woman that was rude and awkward and desperate.

Thank God my friend had been in recovery for a long time and could see through the awkwardness. She told me she was in recovery, I told her I needed help. She took me to my first AA meeting - I am forever grateful for her and the people in those rooms. I did NOT finish all 12 steps and I'm okay with that. I'm sober, I'm happy, I am a work in progress, I do my best to be a good human, I'm okay with it.

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) Grace

2) Gratitude

3) Writing

4) Time by myself

5) Fear
Fear isn't really a 'wellness' tool but honestly, the fear of going back to that life is one of the things that keeps me sober.

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Connect with Marnie Rae


Re(Pro) #62: Jesse Hawkins

Jesse Hawkins
My goal is to ensure that one day, all social environments provides access to high-quality, non-alcoholic options on their beverage menus.
— Jesse Hawkins

Name: Jesse Hawkins

Age: 30

Location: Louisville, KY

Recovery date (turning point for substance use and/or mental health challenges): 4/16/2014

Creative niche: Entrepreneurship

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:  Alcohol

Recovery story in a nutshell:

After years of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, I made the personal choice to become a non-drinker at the age of 25.

I can remember having my first drink as a young child, a warm beer at a Fourth of a July party. By the time I was a teenager, I became a weekend blackout [drinker]. As a child, there were certain events that drastically changed my outlook on life.  I found myself escaping, deflecting, lying. By the time I left for college I was already a full-blown alcoholic.

After years of being lost, chaos, giving up on the life I wanted to live, legal issues, loss of friends, I woke up on a cold jail cell on 4.16.14, it was my third DUI.  I was broken, tired, had no other choice but to ask for help.

Three years to the date of my last drink, after regaining back so much that I had lost, I walked away from the life I had recreated to start the Sober Voyager & The Mocktail Project. On my sobriety anniversary of 4-16-17, I sold my home, cashed out my retirement, purchased a van and started traveling all over the seeking out adventures I never thought was possible prior to my last drink. I wanted to show myself and others that you can go out and do anything and everything you want in life without a drink in your hand if you're in active recovery.

Almost two years into my adventure, and nearing five years since my last drink, I am still growing The Mocktail Project full time. A grassroots movement started to create a safer, more inclusive drinking culture. My goal is to ensure that one day, all social environments provides access to high-quality, non-alcoholic options on their beverage menus. To help normalize where a recovering, sober individual can socialize, and not feel uncomfortable with the drink they prefer in their hand. Through The Mocktail Project, I am able to provide and give back to the community that helped me regain back the life I want to live. As a non-profit, at each event we host, the money raised through our foundation goes directly back towards providing recovery tools & resources in local communities.

L: Cocktail mixologist Eron Plevan; R: Mocktail mixologist Jesse Hawkins

L: Cocktail mixologist Eron Plevan; R: Mocktail mixologist Jesse Hawkins

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) Try and accomplish one task per day

2) Set achievable goals and reward yourself once achieved.

3) Find a like-minded mentor/friend with LONG term sobriety.

4) Seek out new places that serves mocktails & great coffee!

5) Do your best to focus on today in all aspects of life.

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Re(Pro) #22: Julie Elsdon-Height

Julie is the QUEEN of the sober lifestyle blog.  She's a beautiful soul and OMG the mocktail recipes she posts!  Amazing.  I'm a lucky gal because not only do I get to meet her and hug her this May at She Recovers in NYC, but I get the privilege and honor of sharing space with her and nine other magical women on the official sober blogger team for the event.  Laura McKowen, Holly Whitaker, Kelly Junco, Sasha Tozzi, Annie Grace, Jean McCarthy, Jen McNeely, Veronica Valli, and yours truly <3.  We get to be with Glennon! Gabby! Marianne! Elizabeth! Elena! Dawn! Taryn!  ALL THE YAYS. 


Name: Julie Elsdon-Height

Age : 43

Location: Right where I'm meant to be

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 2/6/2010

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.)
Writing, owning, growing ...a craft I had no idea I was passionate about until I was immersed in it. I am also an entrepreneur, owning a Marketing agency. 

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


Recovery story in a nutshell: 

I was someone who at a glance had it all together. Had social media existed as it does now, no doubt I would have "outed" myself during my weekend black-outs as the drunk I was. I was a wife, mother of 2 young girls who defined myself by my career, my "successes" and other inconsequential things who lived for the "next big thing". My ride with alcohol began in my 20's when I began binge drinking on the weekend to "reward" myself for working so hard all week. Such a joke. Congrats on doing what everyone else in the world go get hammered, cause mayhem and awaken hating yourself. This was my life pattern for far too long; wearing different masks and playing roles rather than looking into myself to fill the black hole where my self-worth should have been. For years I chased happiness and didn't actually live it in the moments. Finally at age 36 the shame took over and I realized that the fear of trying to live without alcohol was less frightening than the path ahead of me where I was about to lose my family and quite possibly my life. One fine Saturday afternoon I called out to God for help and then found a 12 Step meeting where I began my recovery journey. Each day has been doesn't suddenly become easier because I'm sober, in fact it's often more challenging. The big difference is I feel grateful to be IN life and I know that I have a purpose now beyond anything "worldly". In recovery I've found my spiritual side which is the foundation for the peace in each day I live...that's the polar opposite of how I'd lived in the past. 

Top 5 Recovery Tools: 

1. My spiritual faith and staying connected with it

2. My recovery program - being active

3. My people - constantly nurturing those relationships

4. Being of service - thinking of others and feeling my purpose

5. Staying real with myself. Knowing where I'm "at" in each day

Connect with Julie.


Twitter: @soberjulie
Instagram: @soberjulie
Pinterest: @soberjulie
YouTube: Sober Julie