she recovers

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

Website: www.sherecovers.co
Instagram: @she_recovers | @recoveringdawn
Facebook: @SheRecovers

Re(Pro) #51: Beverly Sartain

Beverly

Name: Beverly Sartain

Age: 39

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental health concerns): 4/13/2006

Creative niche: Life coaching and entrepreneurship

If applicable, drug of choice: Poly-substance user

nutshell

Recovery story in a nutshell:
I grew up in an alcoholic and domestic violence situation and had mismanaged mental health and trauma issues. I coped with substance use, perfectionism, co-dependency and workaholism. I tried to use external things to fill a void inside of myself. This dysfunctional coping lead to a crossroads in my life where I had to make a decision to stay in victim consciousness or learn to be the creator of my own life. I knew I had tremendous potential I wasn't living. At 26, I went on a journey to discover how to 'be' with myself. I got a Master's Degree in Spiritual Psychology which gave me 22 principles and paradigms to live by. I recovered through a holistic approach of self-awareness, self-care, recovery thinking and learning new skills and tools. Connection with myself and Higher Self are my priority and allow me to have greater connection with friends, family and my community. My life is now devoted to sharing tools and techniques with other people in recovery and supporting people in using their recovery for purpose and prosperity. I've done tremendous inner work, created a life that I love and am proud of and now express myself through my own business as I lift other folks up into the greatest version of themselves so that they can have greater impact in their families, community and world.


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Beverly and I finally had the chance to connect in person at She Recovers in LA. We’ve been in digital contact for so long I can barely remember how it all started, but suffice it to say she is just luminescent. Beverly submitted her RePro over a year ago and for some reason, I never got around to it. I had also signed up for a group coaching program of hers and kept having blocks around starting the work. I assumed she judged me (assuming makes an ass out of all of us!) for leaving her hanging.

After Beverly spoke at her WE ARE THE CHANGEMAKERS panel, I jetted off to the bathroom in time to catch Tara Mohr’s keynote, planning on connecting with Beverly post-talk.

But here’s how the universe works.

Who was sitting in the chair next to mine when I dashed back but Beverly herself? She had no idea my stuff was hanging out right next to her. So we hugged, took a selfie (see above) and then I unloaded my emotional gunk. About how I felt she might have judged me for flaking.

I’ve never judged you, Laura. Ever. You are too hard on yourself. I wish you could see what I see in you.” - Beverly Sartain

Yep. So I started bawling. Had what Taryn called a “break open” - and I then decided to take my vulnerability to the stage and ask Tara Mohr a question about the inner critic and imposter syndrome and how I sometimes felt like I didn’t belong doing this work. And so all 600 women experienced me sobbing.

Can I just tell you how powerful it was? How loved and embraced I felt? Despite my fear and anxiety. It was just magic and I have Beverly to thank for helping guide me through the process of letting go of my inner shame and judgment.


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Self-forgiveness statements
2) Observation Journal
3) Ideal Scenes
4) Paradigms that work for you not against you
5) Pulling Cards (affirmation, angel or intuitive oracle decks).


recovery ripple

Re(Pro) #26: Sasha Tozzi

Sasha is one of my CLOSEST sober tribe members whom I met via the Internet, natch.  Through our digital recovery vessels, we connected, and thank goodness for that.  We LITERALLY have a full photo gallery of time spent together and you best believe there'll be more - we're both members of the official sober blogger team for She Recovers in NYC!  T-minus 9  days!

xoxo,
Laura


Sasha Tozzi

Name: Sasha Tozzi

Age: 31

Location: Washington, DC

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 9/02/2011

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
Writer & entrepreneur

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

RecoveryStoryinaNutshell

In a nutshell, I stopped shaming and I started healing. I understood that I didn’t choose addiction, but I could choose recovery. I was suffocating in shame at the start, and still probably have some residue almost 6 years later. But in September of 2011, I half-heartedly decided to quit drinking at my therapists gentle suggestion, and from that was divinely led to so many more transformations. But I first had to get alcohol & illicit drugs out of the picture. Three months later, I quit my pack-a-day nicotine habit. That was a tough one. I had no idea how much cigarettes were helping me avoid my life. After that came facing my destructive relationship with food, my mood disorder, and then my very strong tendency to be codependent with others--essentially losing myself in their chaos. All of these things revealed themselves the longer I stayed awake on the path. I wouldn't take back a single thing. Because I have access to joy today, so much joy. And it's spectacular. And I'm pretty sure it feels as amazing as it does because I've been to hell a few times.

^ Pictorial evidence of friendship between Sasha and yours truly (along with other recovery rockstars like Cristina Ferri of Sober Unicorn, Maggie Shores of Sober Courage, and Mark Goodson of Miracle of the Mundane).

Top 5 Recovery Tools

1. My daily routine includes my "spiritual bookends," a.k.a how I start and end my day. I do my daily readers every morning along with some prayer & setting an intention for the day. At night, I take a moment to give thanks. These spiritual bookends give structure to my day.

2. Exercise or some form of movement. I take a lot of walks outside to commune with nature and I also practice yoga. It is the best way for me to keep my head on straight and move through negative energy. Yoga helps me get out of my head and into my body so I see it as a therapeutic tool, or medicine for my soul. It has been especially beneficial in helping to change my eating habits and heal my body image issues. Without it, my recovery would not be nearly as strong.

3. Having a food plan. Because disordered eating is part of my story, I do well with sticking to a regular food plan with room for leeway so I don't get all-or-nothing about it. For ex., I mostly keep gluten & dairy free but I made exceptions so as not to deprive myself, so it's more of an 80/20. I get hangry pretty quickly and then my mood is like a cranky toddler's so making sure I get 3 meals a day that are protein-filled and nutritious is absolutely essential to my recovery, and for the well-being of those around me ;)

4. Support system/care team. Connection is super duper important in recovery, because my addictions and mental health issues were incredibly isolating. I am part of many communities including 12-step and my yoga family and I stay as plugged in as possible to my friends and fellows. I also have a sponsor, a coach, and a team of medical professionals that I consult with regularly.

5. Stillness/Mindfulness/Meditation/Breathing. The 12-step meetings I attend are mostly meditation-based and I go to spirituality workshops and silent retreats to enhance my relationship to myself. My relationship to myself sets the stage for all my other relationships. I've learned how to meditate, even though I'm still not that "good" at it--I've learned that's not actually the point. Being able to sit still without ruminating or planning a to-do list, and just be, is wonderful. I've learned how to belly breathe and be present in the moment I'm in. The benefits of all these practices are numerous and essentially are the opposite of addict behavior.


Connect with Sasha

 
 

Website: www.sashaptozzi.com
Twitter: @sashaptozzi
Instagram: @sasha_tozzi
Facebook: @SashaPTozzi