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!
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.):
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.