Every Friday for the entire 2017 calendar year, I will release a new interview + a newly created mixed media piece of art as part of my weekly Ray of Light Interview Series: Women in Recovery. This series will feature brave, kickass, beautiful women who have chosen to embrace an alcohol-free lifestyle. The light was dimmed for these women when they were struggling with alcohol (either a little or a lot). I wish to honor them for their brave choice to ditch alcohol, rediscover themselves through sobriety + shine bright in the process. You can access links to the entire series by clicking here.
Nanny + Future Recovery Coach
What is your sobriety date? 12/28/15
Do you count days, months or years connected to your sobriety?
For most of my first year I just counted everyday on my phone calendar. Then I saw a post about a sober counting app and decided to start using that.
Do you use an app or some other method to do this counting? If so, please share.
I use and like the nomo app.
What recovery modality do you use in your recovery from alcohol?
I'm not really sure! I tried for years to stop drinking and it never seemed to stick. I went to one women's AA meeting about a year before I finally quit. It just wasn't for me. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can remember the last night I drank. I woke up hungover, extremely anxious and disappointed in myself. I just remember feeling a sense of I can't do this anymore, Jesus please help me. Then the rest of that day I didn't drink. One day turned into two, then three, then four and I just kept going.
Do you identify yourself as an alcoholic?
If you do not identify with the word alcoholic, what do you identify with?
Sober or teetotaler.
What are your top three tools in your sobriety toolbox?
- In the early months of my sobriety, Annie Grace's Facebook videos and her book This Naked Mind completely changed my perspective on drinking.
- Around my one year mark Holly Whitaker of Hip Sobriety came out with The Mantra Project: 40 Days of Sobriety Email Course which you collaborated on with her. I looked forward to her daily emails that just so happened to be illustrated by you!
- From there I started meditating and felt more grounded.
Why or how did you know or decide that you had to quit drinking?
I have loved ones in my family that have struggled with drinking. I had known deep down, that I needed to quit for years. The anxiety became so overwhelming, I was having trouble functioning. I knew moderation wasn't an option anymore.
Do you feel you are more or less creative since you have stopped drinking?
I feel the same. I still enjoy creating art projects, painting and coloring.
Do you feel you are more productive since you have stopped drinking?
Yes! I wake up earlier, refreshed and ready for the day. Now I'm not anxious and find that I'm using my time more wisely.
What has delighted you most since you quit drinking alcohol?
My whole life has completely turned around. I am more positive, happy and just have a completely new outlook on where I can go! I never used to read or meditate. Now I look forward to doing that daily. I have a newfound relationship with my Holy Spirit and feel more grounded than ever before. I've also never met a more supportive tribe of women than I have in sobriety. I realize I'm not alone anymore.
Do you have any advice for those in still suffering or those in early recovery?
For those that are still struggling there is support out there. Believe me, you are not alone! There are women and men that understand what you're going through. There is a way out. Early in recovery I learned being in the present took the weight off my shoulders. All I had to do was focus on the next hour or 24 hours.
Can you recommend three books, bloggers or teachers that have helped you on this path to sobriety?
- Annie Grace's book This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness and Change your Life;
- Gabrielle Bernstein's book Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles; and
- Holly Whitaker and Laura McKowen's HOME podcast (and also their blogs!)
Are you part of a tribe or a recovery community that supports your sobriety? If so, how did you figure out how to find that tribe/community. What was your path to discovering it?
Yes! I'm apart of some Facebook groups/pages like She Recovers and Hip Sobriety that have been very helpful in my journey. My path to discovering them is a lot like my path in sobriety. They appeared when I least expected it and most needed it.
What are you most proud of now that you live an alcohol-free life?
I'd never thought I'd feel this way. I'm proud to tell people that I'm sober. I got the teetotaler tattoo that Holly created. I am happy to explain to people what it stands for. I'm also proud to share my story in the hopes that it will inspire others.