Tag Archives: She Recovers

She Recovers Day 3 – and when I ugly-cried in front of 500 women

Marianne Williamson and me at She Recovers

Marianne Williamson and me at She Recovers

We have all been to a meeting, an event, to see an acclaimed speaker, and felt that they spoke only to you. That their words were already written on our souls, they just had to call them forth.
That’s what happened to me when I heard Marianne Williamson speak at She Recovers.

This wasn’t why I came. I came because I had the incredible honor of being invited onto the sober blogger team. I came to serve. I had no idea there was so much here that I needed. But my soul knew.

Marianne is the spiritual teacher I had been waiting for, for a long time. A Course in Miracles is my spiritual truth. This is the second time I had heard her and she delivers such a powerful and important message. I love how politically engaged she is. The personal is political, Marianne made that very clear. What we are doing to our planet, how women and children’s voices are silenced. She spoke to me today.

As I wrote yesterday, the theme of this whole event has been about ‘pain.’ Her quote ‘Let me not squander the hour of my pain’ pierced my soul.
I am in pain, but the enormity of it frightened me so much I have been holding it at bay. She Recovers showed me I could no longer do that.
I am a warrior. I have felt deep dark emotional pain before and I can get through anything. Anything. You can throw anything at me and I will get through it. I have done before. But just don’t throw it at my child, ok? Because that is a level of pain I am not prepared for. But it is here and it is mine. And. I. Will. Not. Squander. It.

Because Marianne spoke so passionately about the planet and the political situation we are currently in I wanted to ask her if she was going to run for Congress again. Like many of us, I have felt despair at our current political situation and I want a leader I can believe in.
I wasn’t expecting to full on ugly cry in front of y’all. I wasn’t expecting 500 women to surround me with unconditional love. I wasn’t expecting Marianne Williamson to lead the room in prayer for Luke’s healing from lead poisoning*.
I just wasn’t expecting that.
But my soul thanks you, for grace you extended to me.

This weekend has given me so much to think about. It has deepened my connections with you all. Every time I see you, I love you more. We are all in these incredible process’s, but what matters is we are all in it together.

I am still digesting what was said and how I feel. I know there is so much growth that will come from this. But for right now, I’m treasuring that Marianne Williamson came and said exactly what I needed to hear.

My son Luke. He likes mud.

My son Luke. He likes mud.

*If you are interested in learning more about lead poisoning in young children then please check out my friend Tamara Rubin’s website. Tamara is a mom whose children were lead poisoned by the house they were living in. She has since become an ‘unexpected lead expert’ and activist. She has worked tirelessly to help families and raise awareness of the situation and has been a great support to me. Her movie ‘Mislead’ is coming out soon and you can watch the trailer below.

She also has a ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign where she is raising money to buy an XRF machine (the best way to test any object for lead) so she can help more families. If you are able to support her in any way I would be very grateful.

#SheRecoversNYC – Day 2

When amazing women get together amazing things happen. Day 2 of She Recovers was just as amazing the first. Elena Brower did an amazing spoken word piece on her recovery and it was word perfect.
Then Nikki Myers spoke the truth on codependency. She called it the ‘disease of the lost self’. And how our need for outside approval keeps us in the darkness. There seems to be a theme emerging to the She Recovers event and it’s ‘welcome the pain.’ Which sounds crazy, but it started with Glennon last night. When she discussed not wanting to ‘waste the pain’ from the breakdown of her marriage, that instead, she wanted mine it. Because within the pain the riches lie.
‘Ain’t that the truth sister.

Elizabeth Vargas reading from her book

Elizabeth Vargas reading from her book

Elizabeth Vargas talked about anxiety and panic attacks which is something I identify with very closely. I think a lot of women suffer with anxiety and panic disorders and we mostly suffer alone. Isolated and terrified of feelings we have no control over and that can cripple us in seconds. It’s just always inspiring to see someone who you perceive to be successful and beautiful to admit that they suffered from crippling fear too. Because if they can say it, you can say it too.

I also attend Jennifer Matesa’s excellent workshop called ‘Desire un-numbed, or, as everyone else called it ‘sex and recovery.’ Jennifer gave an excellent presentation based on the findings from her book, where she identified a lot of common themes for women in recovery when they think about sex. They are scared they can’t get past their inhibitions, of unrealistic expectations, they have body hatred, sexual anorexia. Women around the room identified with each other and the most amazing and frank discussion on sex occurred. Cleary there is a need here for women to get together and talk openly and frankly about these issues and I look forward to see where Jennifer is going to go with this.

After dinner (shout out to Jean from Unpickled who won the first She Recovers ‘Hope’ award), we were treated to the wisdom of Gabby Bernstien. I will be honest and tell you I’m not a Gabby fan. I love ‘A Course in Miracles’ but Gabby has never resonated with me. I was keen to see her in person to see if that changed. I loved what she had to say and I think I got a couple of breakthroughs on areas I need to work on. There’s too much going on in my head right now to process it, but she also talked about not running from the pain but surrendering to it and letting God in.
I think I heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Gabby Bernstein

Gabby Bernstein

Lastly. Whilst I was filming one of the sober blogger live stream events, the gentleman (I didn’t get his name) who was taking care of the sound and recordings was asked how it was for him being at an all women event. He replied, ‘that he felt honored and humbled to be let into such an honest and revealing space, that he had learnt so much he never knew or understood about women and he was so glad he got to be here’.

Yes. Me too.

#SheRecoversNYC – Day 1

I have no words.

Sober blogger meet and great

Sober blogger meet and great

She Recovers was so much more than I expected. The minute I walked through the door I connected with amazing sober women. Sober Julie and I had a magical moment, then Kelly Fitzgerald the Sober Señorita arrived and I adore her. And was sat next to Jean from Unpickled and The Bubble Hour and she is the loveliest women you could ever meet. And so it went on. This coming together of amazing women in recovery.
The desire to be better, to be connected, as Dawn from She Recovers says ‘We are stronger together.’

Yes we are.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better Glennon Doyle Melton just blew us all out of the water with her stories and her sass. She made us laugh and she made us cry but most of all she was real. Real stories of what it’s like to be a warrior in recovery. She rocked it.

My arm involuntarily shot up to ask a question at the end. That wasn’t my intention. But I wanted to ask another mother in recovery what it was like to face fear around your child. And the love and support just poured out.

The weekend has only just begun…….

Thank you everyone.

Me and The Sober Señorita

Me and The Sober Señorita

Me (left) Jean from Unpickled (far right)

Me (left) Jean from Unpickled (far right)

She Recovers NYC – lets meet up

We are just days away from the She Recovers event in NYC. I will be taking part in the ‘meet the bloggers’ event on Friday night at 5pm. The sober blogging team will be around all weekend and we love to hang out, so please be sure to come and say hi.
I will be giving 5 copies of my best-selling book ‘Why you drink and How to stop’ away to the first 5 readers who come up and introduce themselves.
I will also be celebrating 17 years of recovery with the very lovely Julie Maida from ‘Sober Mommies’. We are sober twins, sharing the exact same sober birthday. I will be blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and Instagraming live all weekend.
If you can’t come then check out social media and become part of the She Recovers global group.

Your Ultimate Recovery Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you heard of the amazing She Recovers conference that is happening in NYC on May 5-9th?!
This one of kind experience will feature keynote speeches from the top women in the industry, like Gabrielle Bernstein and Marianne Williamson! Plus, a special guest yoga class with Elena Brower!

Tickets are SOLD OUT but my blog readers have a chance to WIN a front row ticket to the Live Stream event! (That means you can watch in your PJs!)


You’ll also be entered to win a one of kind box filled with awesome gifts from the top bloggers that will be attending the show (so that you’ll feel just like you are in NYC with us)

Here are some of the amazing things you can win!

Here are some of the amazing things you can win!

AND one Ekka Recovery box!

Click HERE to be entered to WIN!

Everyone needs a sister like Glennon

There are a ton of mommy-bloggers out there. Motherhood with all its joys and challenges is being documented by an army of fabulous, smart, kick ass women. And one of the most searingly honest, funniest and sassiest is Glennon Doyle Melton, a sober mommy-blogger. She coined the term ‘Momastry’ and set about building a community of imperfect and fabulous mothers who were all facing their own struggles.
She wrote a book ‘Carry on, warrior’ that detailed her own struggles and triumphs. I like Glennon for many reasons, she is very open about her recovery from addiction and eating disorders but the reason I love her is her attitude towards sisterhood. She believes it’s essential for women to be part of a sisterhood. And I agree with her.

Sisterhood is everything. It was a huge part of what was missing in my life when I was drinking. Sobriety has given me an amazing sisterhood.

In her new book ‘Love Warrior’ she details how just when she thought she had her life figured out her marriage was rocked by her husband’s infidelity. Glennon presents life as it is, imperfect, messy and real. And we need all of that. It’s exhausting pretending everything is perfect, because none of us are.
Glennon will be giving one of the keynotes as *SheRecovers next month. I am so excited to hear her. If you haven’t got tickets there are still digital tickets available here.

If you are going, be sure to let me know so we can say hi.

*In addition to the above you will also have access to:
– TWO yoga sessions with Taryn Strong and Elena Brower
– listen to a talk by She Recovers founder Dawn Nickel
– go behind the scenes with the Sober blogging team
– Spoken word performance by Elena Brower
– Musical performance by Elizabeth Edwards
– Speakers including Nikki Myers from Y12SR

And there’s more! You will have access to the content for 60 days after the event, the keynote speakers (Excluding Glennon Doyle Melton and Gabby Bernstein) will ONLY be available via the LIVESTREAM.

and finally…..you can take part in the She Recovers community online, chat with other She Recovers attendees and ask questions of the panelists and speakers.

All this for just $79 (if purchased by April 15th, $89 after). You can buy tickets for this exclusive event here: BUY MY TICKETS NOW!!!!

Do you want to go to She Recovers in NYC?

Well now you can!
Tickets are sold out and there is a huge waiting list for cancellations, HOWEVER the event is going to be live streamed.
So you can attend She Recovers from anywhere in the world!
You will be able to see and hear keynote speakers Marianne Williamson, Glennon Doyle Melton, Gabrielle Bernstein and Elizabeth Vargas.

In addition to the above you will also have access to:
– TWO yoga sessions with Taryn Strong and Elena Brower
– listen to a talk by She Recovers founder Dawn Nickel
– go behind the scenes with the Sober blogging team
– Spoken word performance by Elena Brower
– Musical performance by Elizabeth Edwards
– Speakers including Nikki Myers from Y12SR

And there’s more! You will have access to the content for 60 days after the event, the keynote speakers (Excluding Glennon Doyle Melton and Gabby Bernstein) will ONLY be available via the LIVESTREAM.

and finally…..you can take part in the She Recovers community online, chat with other She Recovers attendees and ask questions of the panelists and speakers.

All this for just $79 (if purchased by the end of March, $89 after). You can buy tickets for this exclusive event here: BUY MY TICKETS NOW!!!!


I’m really excited to tell you about the She Recovers conference taking place in NYC on May 5-7.
I’m really honored to be taking part in this event as one of the official sober blogger team members. There will be a reception and meet on greet on the Friday night so if you are able to attend I will get to meet you in person.
The line up is killer:
Gabrielle Bernstein
Elizabeth Vargas
Glennon Doyle Melton
Marianne Williamson

I know!!!!!!!!! Awesome, right!!!!!!

Tickets are selling out fast there are less than 80 left if you are interested you can purchase them here.

She Recovers is a community women who believe we are all in recovery for something and that we are stronger, together.

Dawn, me and Taryn

Dawn, me and Taryn

I met the co-founders Dawn Nickel and her daughter Taryn Strong for dinner last year, when they were out in New York planning the event. They are an awesome kick ass team and I love what they are doing for the recovering community. Dawn started She Recovers because she knew how important self care is to recovery.
She’s right. Self care is vital to recovery.
If you are free and you are able, we would love to see you at the event and meet you in person.

Recovery Rocks – Dawn Nickel

After surviving colon cancer in 2005, a breakdown from workaholism and a subsequent layoff from a job that she loved in 2011, it didn’t take much soul-searching for Dawn Nickel to decide that what she really wanted to do for a living was help other women to recover.
Dawn has been in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol since 1989 and is well-qualified to work with women who want to recover their lives and pursue their passions. Building on her degrees in women’s studies, women’s history and a PhD in health care policy (all earned in recovery), Dawn completed life coach training with Crossroads Recovery Coaching in 2013. Dawn’s true passion is for her work as a researcher (mental health and addiction, families with complex needs). With this in mind she created a community of nearly 50,000 people on her Facebook page, She Recovers. What started out as a daily meditation practice using social media coupled with a heartfelt belief in her own life’s purpose has since turned into a business called She Recovers that, at the present time, offers international yoga retreats and workshops for women in recovery.

Dawn Nickel

Dawn Nickel

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’

The most dangerous and most active period of my addiction was during my teenage years starting at 15 and ending at 20 when I became pregnant with my first daughter. I had hit many bottoms during those five teenage years of reckless drug and alcohol use, but never contemplated changing how I lived until my pregnancy.

I started to “quit using” from the time of that first pregnancy – my beautiful daughter, born in 1981, was my soul’s incentive, and another daughter followed in 1985. Although I managed several periods of extended abstinence from alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs during parts of the 1980s (being pregnant helped) I still battled with periodic binging and struggled with regular marijuana use. After trying to quit “everything” on my own and failing I finally went into treatment in 1987 and gave up my primary drugs of choice (alcohol, cocaine and pills). Unfortunately – I decided that marijuana was still okay for me, something that was proven to be untrue after two years of nearly-daily pot smoking.

By April 1989, I felt completely defeated and desperate for my life to change. By that time I was a single mom of two beautiful daughters, my marriage to their father had ended when I went into treatment two years earlier. Ironically, given the heavier drugs that I had abused so long and hard as a younger woman, it was the pot that finally brought me to my knees. One day I just collapsed into an absolutely hot mess over not being able to stop smoking pot, and I couldn’t stop crying for several days. I was finally hospitalized and diagnosed with acute melancholic depression. In retrospect, it was my Step One. I surrendered and came into recovery.

2) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?

I wish I could remember, but I don’t remember too much. I was in treatment. There was a lot of crying, and not the pretty Julia Roberts’ type of crying, either. I started to attend a 12 step fellowship and what I do recall is that I felt different – I had somehow found the hope that I needed to believe I could succeed at recovering. It wasn’t easy – I was still insane in many areas of my life (I find many of us women who come into recovery have boy issues – go figure). I made some friends in those early months in recovery who are still precious and active in my life today.

3) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?

Raising my two beautiful daughters in recovery, marrying a recovering man and building a life with him (we celebrated 22 years of marriage in December 2013). I went back to school and earned three degrees, including a PhD in health care policy. I was present for my mom when she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 1998. Unfortunately, she died in April 2000, and I relapsed on pills for two days. It was a quiet relapse, and nobody knew about it but me, but I did eventually recognize it for what it was and changed my recovery date to May 11, 2000. I celebrated 14 years of complete abstinence in May 2014. The best thing overall that has happened to me is that I have recovered my potential, identified my dreams and continue to realize them. I like myself, I love my life, and things just keep getting better. I’m involved in recovery advocacy in my community – and love the work.

4) If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?

I would tell myself that I was worthy of living a better life, that the drugs and alcohol were killing me and that I needed to learn how to live without them. I would tell myself that I needed to take better care of myself, and that I needed to forgive myself for the mistakes that I was making, but that I needed to stop making them.

5) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?

I am smart! I have a lot of compassion for people, but still have to work hard to have it for myself, sometimes. I have learned that I am a control freak, but I work on that too. I have learned that I can do anything – if I set my heart, mind and my actions to it. I have learned that I love recovery, and doing something with that passion is part of my life’s purpose. Not ‘zactly sure what, yet. What I know for certain is that:

Firstly, I think that as women in our addiction, we are the same. Regardless of where we are at along the spectrum of addiction, we are very likely to share the same feelings of insecurity, low-self worth, guilt, sadness and despair.

Secondly, I feel strongly that being alike in our addiction does not mean that we need to follow identical pathways to and through recovery.

6) Tell me about something wonderful that happened to you recently that never would have happened if you had been drinking.

In just the past two years, I have organized and ran three women’s yoga and recovery retreats in Mexico and one closer to home on beautiful Salt Spring Island, British Columbia – with another one coming up in November 2014 in Mexico. I run the retreats with my youngest daughter Taryn (she’s a yoga teacher specializing in teaching trauma-informed yoga for recovery) and a dear friend who lives in Mexico. The energy at our retreats is mind-blowing – we focus on getting in touch with our “selves”, on extreme self-care, and connection with one another. Working with my daughter and sweet friend is amazing. The other wonderful piece related to the retreats is that my husband and I have started to spend a few months in Mexico after the fall retreat ends. I have built myself a research consulting business that allows me to work from anywhere! I wouldn’t have gone back to school if I hadn’t come into recovery – and my life options would have been minimal in terms of a professional career. (Not that I wasn’t a good bartender but…)

7) What are your favorite recovery slogans?

Stop the behavior.
Let go.
We do recover.

8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
That’s easy –the people who I get to meet and learn to love in recovery are the reasons that recovery rocks. It is those people who have taught me this way of life – who have inspired me to live a life that matters.

You can follow Dawn on Twitter here.