spirituality

Re(Pro) #47: Paula Hoss

Paula Hoss

I love Paula. She's amazing, inspirational, gorgeous, and just beacon of light. I've been using her skincare line, CLN&DRTY and ZOMG it's like my own personal spa. Share in the comments what your favorite item of hers is from her line. If you haven't tried it yet, go on an Easter Egg hunt in the post because there are a couple of links to shop with a 15% off coupon.
 So like I said, I love Paula. You will too. Read on.

xoxo, 
Laura


Name: Paula Hoss

Age: 34

Location: Massachusetts

Recovery date (turning point for substance use disorder or mental illness): 1/21/2008

My own bathroom countertop.

My own bathroom countertop.

Creative niche: Skincare Entrepreneur
[Shop CLN&DRTY for 15% off with coupon code SOBER15).

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:
Alcohol & benzos

Your story in a nutshell:


I began suffering from symptoms of bipolar disorder when I was 15 years old and around the same time started to self medicate. I got sober for the first time at 18 and was able to stay sober for 3 years. I was active in the hardcore music scene, so I saw my sobriety more as straight edge rather than recovery.

At 20 I found myself in a highly abusive relationship, 400 miles away from home and isolated from my friends and family. The relationship ended with assault, kidnapping and terroristic threat charges against him, and I was left with severe PTSD and my bipolar disorder was acting out in full force.

Soon after, I picked up drinking again. I remember taking the first drink after those 3 years of sobriety and just feeling the whole world lift off of my shoulders. I felt like all of my fear, my anxiety, all of the trauma was being lifted away.

I was 21 and quickly spiraled into regular blackout drinking and substance abuse within the year. I again isolated myself from friends and family and moved to a city where I could live alone and drink and use without anyone's intervention.

At age 24, I hit rock bottom. [Editor's note: Me too!] There wasn't an arrest or an overdose, but rather a 6 month period where I would wake up every single morning, swearing that this was the last time and then would pick up by the evening.

I woke up on January 21, 2008 and felt more empty than I had ever felt in my life. I felt worthless, numb and depressed beyond belief. I crumbled on the floor and started sobbing and praying. I knew that I would either have to get sober or I would be dead within weeks.

I'm proud to say that I've been sober since that day, for over 10 years. In the early years, I was incredibly active in AA. I did the 12 steps, had a sponsor and sponsored other women. I got active in a young person's community and those people truly saved my life.

Further into my sobriety, I became a wife and a mother. I shifted my understanding of a Higher Power to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I began attending a non-denominational church and since my problem was no longer active drinking, but rather the shame and pain that went along with my lifestyle, I started connecting with and mentoring women of all backgrounds.

Part of my platform as a business owner is telling my story of surviving mental illness and substance abuse. I'm passionate about showing women that no matter where they are, no matter how far down they've gone, they can redeem themselves. That every single awful thing that they've done (because if you're reading this, I know you have that list in your head: the terrible moments that you pass off as party stories but you know in your heart that you are so ashamed of) can totally be wiped clean.


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) The Big Book of AA
2) The Bible
3) Someone who is further along in sobriety than you
4) Someone is younger in sobriety than you
5) God


 
Click above to shop Paula's CLN&DRTY store and get 15% off your order!

Click above to shop Paula's CLN&DRTY store and get 15% off your order!

 

Connect with Paula.

Website: CLNandDRTY.com
Instagram: @CLNandDRTY
Etsy: @CLNandDRTY

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.

xoxo,
Laura


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
 

 
Nutshell
 

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.
Thriving.


Top 5 Recovery Tools:

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


recovery_bookcover.png

*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) #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