The Sober Hipster (Lisa Schmidt) is another lovely lady I met at She Recovers. She is such a great example of someone living their truth. She is a great believer in the power of story and valuing our stories. Please check out her website and what she does here.
Describe your rock bottom.
My rock bottom came in the fall of 2013. I was suicidal for a second time. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t know how to keep living with myself and the secrets, lies, shame and pain I was carrying. I didn’t love myself and I truly believed everyone would be better off without me. But morning came and I had a decision to make. I chose to get help.
What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
The first 30 days of recovery were overwhelming. I left my job and home, moved to a new town and sober living facility, and began an intensive outpatient program for trauma and addiction. I was going through individual and group therapy and detoxing from alcohol and opiates. I wasn’t sleeping and when I did it was filled with night terrors. I had emotions I didn’t have words for and I was told by therapists to sit in them. I was broken.
What are the best things that have happened to you since you got sober?
The best things that have happened in my life since getting sober include finding and marrying my wife, Lori; the birth of my grandson and being sober for every day of his life; and starting my own business to help other women in recovery.
If you go back in time to you when you were drinking, what would you tell yourself?
I would tell myself to stop running… you can’t escape yourself. And numbing the pain won’t make it go away.
What have been the most useful things you have learned about yourself since getting sober?
I am worth loving. I am good enough. I matter. My life matters.
Tell me about something wonderful that has happened to you recently that would never have happened if you had been drinking.
If I was still drinking I never would have started my own business. Becoming an entrepreneur takes believing in yourself and what you’re doing more than anyone else. I didn’t have that kind of self-worth and self-value before recovery.
What are your favorite recovery slogans?
When I first got sober, I hated recovery slogans. I cringed every time I heard them. I didn’t need empty clichés when I was going through so much pain. Then one day something changed. “This too shall pass” calms me down instead of pissing me off. “Just for today” reminds me to stay in the moment and be present. “Do the next right thing” has become a mantra to live by.
And lastly, why does recovery rock?
Recovery rocks because authenticity rocks. The most authentic people I’ve met in my life have been in recovery and I am my most authentic self. It makes for a beautiful story.