Getting sober isn’t one-size-fits-all. In this episode, Michelle and I share what worked for us.
Listen in to Michelle’s episode
In this episode my guest is Michelle Smith of Recovery Is the New Black. She is a mother of 2, a boy and a girl. She is five years clean and sober. She works in the field of addiction by helping others to beat addiction.
We know that we must seek expert help when fighting against addiction and trying to find recovery from alcoholism. She will explain to us the new programs that help people overcome drug addiction and also alcohol addiction.
You’re one of the first sober Instagrammers – it’s really been incredible for me to watch you and the online space grow in recovery. How has that been for you?
“It took my sobriety to the next level. You know, I really kept it under wraps and quiet for the first solid year just to get my footing and to confirm to myself and to the people in my life but this was the longest time being sober, so I was so fearful of failing.
However, it’s important to understand there’s no failure here. There is failing forward there is picking up lessons but I only fail if I quit or if I just don’t try. So after the first year, I was saying, this is becoming a thing for me and this is a lifelong journey and I know I can’t be the only one struggling. I am staying sober and I want to be in recovery.y the time I started putting out little bits and pieces of my story of sobriety. Messages started rolling in and the comments were like where did you start? How do I do this? You’re an inspiration and it just kind of snowballed from there but, you know, I really wanted to be a voice for women who hadn’t found theirs yet or weren’t ready to use theirs yet, I wanted to let them know that they are not alone.”
That’s really powerful because so many more ladies, so many more mothers, so many more people are struggling quietly in their houses alone. I love that you bring up this concept of picking up after you stop and often so many people just give up and they get frustrated.
I say ‘keep going!’ I didn’t know when I got sober, I didn’t know that you could relapse. I didn’t know that that was an option nobody ever said or showed me that that could happen and so when I stopped, I just stopped and then about six months into my journey. The girl that I was running with, you know, she drank again and I was shocked because I had no concept of it and then she never came back and I remember a woman saying to me, ‘We’re not in control of this disease.’ Those words hit me like a ton of bricks – I love when I meet people that have these stories. Especially right now in this pandemic, we’re living through a time that we just have never lived through. Have you seen an increase in the work that you do with alcohol and drug abuse and use?
“Absolutely the highest levels I’ve ever seen in my area and I know it’s true nationally for detox treatment programs, residential programs, hospitals and our crisis lines, everything is so inundated.
So it has been really hard and there are so many barriers to trying to get support. There’s insurance denials and people don’t have the financial freedom or the means to be able to get the treatment that they need and that has already been a huge thing, for a really long time.
So it has just been a beautiful thing to see a lot of new programs and resources and treatment options, open up for people. Especially, in lieu of how hard it is to get into some of the traditional programs and it’s just been great to see so many newcomers coming through and coming back.
More people are feeling comfortable to say. I think I might have a problem with alcohol. There are sober, curious people who don’t have to wait to hit this spectrum of rock bottom, blackout alcoholism like me. It’s like I kept myself so hidden and in secrecy that it kept me sick where I didn’t think that there was anything or know of anything available to me.
Until I got bad enough and eventually I tried to moderate the drinking but that didn’t work and so I really feel that this new movement is allowing people the opportunity to stop and really take an honest look at wherever they’re at with their problematic drinking or recreational use and say, ‘is this adding value to my life? Or is it just making me feel better? Is it costing me more than it’s providing me?’
So for me, it’s like meeting them where they’re at and if they’re open to the idea of a program or 12 step program. Great! Here are some options; I’m going to give you some podcasts. I’m going to give you a book to read. I’m going to give you some groups to be a fly on the wall and you get to see for yourself that you’re not alone and that we are normal human beings that are professionals that look just like the average person in our community and they can make their decision.
So I’m very much client-centered, very sober sister-centered. You let me know what you’re like, what you’re not wanting, what your rejections and barriers are. If you’re completely open, I’m going to give you a smorgasbord of ideas and you decide patchwork to recovery. You know, if you want to do something traditional, great. If you want to try a different route. Great.”
It’s refreshing to hear this. I’m very traditional and I got sober a long time ago and so when I hear this kind of new conversation come about, it warms my heart because for so long, I struggled with staying in the closet so to speak, not talking about my alcoholic use disorder, or being an alcoholic. It’s also true for so many people and that’s one of the reasons why I kind of came out of the closet, so to speak and I do the work that I do now on a larger scale and to have so many people sharing about this life of recovery, just fills my heart like nothing else and it brings me so much joy.
What is your message around recovery?
“That it is a lifelong dream where a lot of people think that they can quickly get sober and that they’re magically going to be better but you need to do the work and you might be sober but you’re not in recovery.
It’s going to be different but just try it. It’s been five years and I love that I get to sprinkle in these little messages of hope that someday they will realize the impact that this had and I get to share more of my story.
I’m living the life on a daily basis and I am showing them sobriety and I am showing them the perfect example of how I hope that they continue to live that life and I am going to keep this conversation open about all types of mental health, substance abuse because they’re important conversations to have. So I’m so grateful that I’m sober to be able to help them and guide them and truly be honest with my integrity, knowing that I’m not just saying and then doing the opposite.”
Michelle has given us a lot of information on how to overcome addiction in 2022 and beyond. She also spoken on current 12 step programs and how there are new programs that help people to fight addiction, especially during the COVID crisis, stay close and ask for help, you are not alone.
Lane: Welcome back. Hi, friend. In today’s episode, I have a cohost. My co-host tonight is Michelle Smith of recovery. Is the new black, really happy to have her as my co-host today to get into a juicy conversation about recovery. Glad you’re here. If you’re. Welcome. My name is Lane Kennedy. I’m calm coach meditation, mindfulness practitioner here to bring you practices and conversations about recovery and beyond how do we stay calm and connected in today’s time.
Yeah, how do we do that? You’re in the right place. So happy that you found me today’s episode is being brought to you by the connected, calm life. My coaching course, make sure to check that out. You can find out more information over at lanekennedy.com forward slash okay. This is going to be a really good conversation.
All right. We’re going to go deep a little bit. I think there are some similarities and I know you have a lot to share, right? Oh yeah. Okay, welcome back Mala. So glad that you’re with us and enjoying the show today. I am here with a beautiful woman coming in from Washington. She is the. Founder of, yeah, recovery is the new black.
She is a mother of two, a boy and a girl. She is five years clean and sober. So she’s got some, a good amount of time and experience. She works in the field of addiction. Yes. It’s just hanging on tight for this conversation. I think we’re going to go deep, Michelle. Welcome to the.
Michelle: Thank you so much for having
Lane: me, I found you about maybe three years ago, three years ago.
Yeah. And I’ve just watched you blossom and build yourself through your experience. You’re I think one of the sober Instagrammers, but it’s really been incredible for me to watch. This section of sobriety comes alive. And you’re one of the first people that I saw exploring this online element.
How has that been for you?
Michelle: It took my sobriety to the next level. You know, I really kept it under wraps and quiet for the first solid year just to get my footing and to confirm to myself and to the people in my life. But this was for the longest. And I was so fearful of failing. Right. And, and really had to shift my mindset into that.
There’s nothing, there’s no failure here. You know, there is a failing forward. There is picking up lessons, but I only fail if I quit or if I just don’t try. And so after the first year, I was like, okay, so this is becoming a thing for me. And this is a lifelong journey. And I know I can’t be the only one struggling.
So by the time I like started putting out little bits and pieces. The message has started rolling in and the comments are like where did you start? And how do I do this? And you’re an inspiration and it just kind of snowballed from there, but, you know, I really want it to be that voice for women who hadn’t found theirs yet or weren’t ready to use theirs yet to let them know that they are so far
Lane: from all that that’s one of the things I love so much about this online sobriety is that we are able to read it.
So many more ladies, so many more mothers, so many more people who are struggling quietly in their houses alone. When let’s go back, let’s go back for a minute because I want to hear this, but what kind of drinker are you or what kind of, what’s your drug of choice or what are you,
Michelle: you know, it’s, it’s funny that you say that because, towards the end, I would have said.
You know, what do you have? You know, I’ll take whatever, but before it would have been top shelf, top shelf, you know, really good wine, really good, you know, top shelf, alcohol, the whole cosmos sex in the city, kind of glitz and glamor. I like to say of socialized drinking. That’s where I started. And that was my hope to remain in that place, which ended up being.
Grocery stores, gas station stops, chugging hiding all the things your kids are nine and 12. So your kids saw you drinking and using, they did.
Michelle: They did, especially my older one, my younger one only remembers a few things, clearly the bad things. So yes, they did get to experience some of that, they are a part of you or that decision-making process of putting down? Absolutely. Absolutely.
Michelle: It was one of those things that it was always coming back to them and it’s like, I love them the most. And you think that I’d want to put it down for them. And I still loved my alcohol and drugs. You know, and clearly, it was like, I loved, I loved it more and that would tear at my heartstrings, because I’m like, I waited so long for this day, these human beings, I brought into this earth and I love them unconditionally.
And there’s this other thing that I love just as much or a little bit more, and it broke my heart. And so it kept bringing me back to why I’m doing this and my sobriety journey. And, you know, at the end of the day, I, it couldn’t keep me sober, but it was my motivation to show up. And I think the thing that really stuck out for me is that I lost my parents.
And so I know what it’s like to not have a model. Or dad, and I was doing that same thing to my children and I felt the pain. I knew what that was like. And so every time that I would find myself relaxing, I would bring myself back and find the strength within my own story to know that I can change the outcome and the trajectory of what their childhood looks like.
Lane: I think about that all the time. Like stopping addiction. And the family dynamic and the change that it makes, and it not only changes, you know, my son or your son and your daughter, but then it also affects the people that they touch their relationships in school with their teachers, how they interact in the world.
And it’s so powerful to think about when we stopped drinking. The domino effect. Yes. You don’t realize it.
Michelle: People think, you know, this is not a spectator sport. Everyone involved has to play whether or not they’re educated. They want to, where they liked.
Lane: Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s amazing to me. It’s amazing that you had that.
Like, I love them, but I’m still drinking right at that fight. And then you just, did you just put it down? Did you have an inter-intervention?
Michelle: There are so many conversations with my husband. It was not 1, 2, 3, but four hospital stays for fatal alcohol poisoning.
You know, you think that that would be the moment I’d surrender, went to inpatient treatment that was supposed to work. If that doesn’t work, what happens then I relapsed 30 days after. And you know, honestly, it did come back to, I can’t do this to my kids. And it was that last hospital stay that I had. And second child protective services investigation.
And I just said, you know, it’s like, you just keep going until. That moment or that miracle. And it was just that moment in the hospital. I just surrendered. I just, I, I, I had this mindset shift that I am a person who can’t drink normally, and that left endless possibilities of things that I could do. And I got off the hamster wheel.
It was too exhausting. And I just had to say to myself, I am a person who can’t drink and I am going to learn to be okay with that. And my whole world just changed. You know, I saw all these relapses because I keep a record of my sobriety dates and I always just saw a failure. And when I started looking at that is I’m a person who doesn’t give up.
That’s what this is about. And if I keep going, I know I’m going to be successful. And so the length of sobriety that I would maintain, I would see successes because I was putting distance between me and my thing. And it was showing me I can help. I can still keep friendships. I’m starting to build confidence.
My face is starting to look clear. I’m not missing work anymore. And so all the beautiful gifts of sobriety started to unfold, which really kept me motivated to keep moving forward.
Lane: I love that you bring up this, this concept of picking up after you stop. And often so many people just give up so many women they give up and they get.
Keep going. I didn’t know when I got sober, I didn’t know that you could relapse. I didn’t know that that was an option nobody ever said or showed me that that could happen. And so when I stopped, I just stopped. And then about, I think it was like six months into my journey. The girl that I was kind of running with, you know, she drank again.
And I was like, oh my God, which is how. Like, I didn’t even, I had no concept of it and then she never came back, you know? And I, and I remember a woman saying, you know, we’re not in control of this disease. You need to stay. And that hit me like a ton of bricks. But I love when I meet people that have these stories of stents.
Regardless that it’s like a muscle like I’m gonna come back. I’m gonna, I’m going to try it again. I’m going to be a part of the solution. I’m going to change my family. I’m going to be a different mother. I just, I love and thank you for sharing your story. And I’m sure that a lot of mothers can relate.
Especially right now in this pandemic. Holy but Jesus it’s, I mean, we’re living through a time that we just have never lived through. Have you seen an increase in the work that you do with alcohol and drug abuse and use?
Michelle: Absolutely the highest levels I’ve ever seen in my area. And I know it’s true.
Nationally is detox treatment programs, residential programs, hospitals. And our crisis lines, everything is so inundated, the behavioral health system it’s, you know, and a lot of it is alcohol use disorder. A lot of it, you know, and I know that that’s an, it’s an accessible thing and it’s convenient and no one’s gonna bat an eye.
And so. It has been really hard. You know, it’s already really hard. There are so many barriers to trying to get support. You know, it’s like, you know, insurance denials and people don’t have the financial freedom or the means to be able to get the treatment that they need. And that has already been a huge thing, for a really long time.
And then to add on this and the shortage. When people are ready, you want to capture them right when they’re right where they’re at and just say, okay, let’s go. Let’s do this. You know, that’s how usually inpatient treatment works. It’s like, you don’t have time to pack bags. Let’s just go, if you say yes, that means we’re going.
And so it’s, it has just been, it’s been a beautiful thing to see a lot of new programs and resources and treatment options, open up for people. In lieu of how hard it is to get into some of the traditional programs and even my home group and some of the 12 steps. It’s just, it’s been beautiful to see so many newcomers coming through and coming back, which has been,
Lane: you just brought up this really fascinating, interesting idea of all these new programs, all these new pathways, all these new ways that we can find recovery.
I’m like blown away because when, again, I just, my experience is it, it was one way or you’re not surviving. And so to see what is it, sober, SIS curious, AAF, the sober girl, all of these, the luckiest cl like all of these groups coming together. To really promote the sober lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that is worth living and can be done.
Absolutely. So. When are you encouraging people to find these other resources?
Michelle: Honestly, it depends on the woman and where she’s at. You know, I, I speak a lot about there’s the whole, now that it’s becoming more, I don’t even want to say trendy or popular. It’s becoming more safe.
More people are feeling comfortable to say. I think I might have a problem with alcohol. So you have these sober, curious people who don’t have to wait to hit this spectrum of rock bottom, blackout alcoholism like me. Right? It’s like I kept myself so hidden and in secrecy that it kept me sick where I didn’t think that there was anything or know of anything available to me.
Until I got bad enough. And eventually with a progressive disease, you, I got bad enough where at first, when I walked into the rooms, I didn’t find the similarities cause I was too focused on the differences because I’m not going to become bad. Right. I’m so much better. I’m going to beat the system and I’m going to find a way to moderate and I’m going to be able to regulate my drinking as I did before.
Well, That didn’t work. And so, you know, I really feel that this new movement is allowing people the opportunity to stop and really take an honest look at where ever they’re at with their problematic drinking or recreational use. And to say, is this adding value? It’s just making me feel better. Is it costing me more than it’s providing me and getting curious about that before you have to get to this place of complete dependence?
And, you know, you need to stop, but you can’t. Right. Like you’re so far in that you feel like you’re almost drowning, like as this quicksand of, I know that this is not adding value, but I am so chemically dependent and I lost so much that I feel like I might as well just keep going at this point. So for me, it’s like meeting them where they’re at and if they’re open to the idea of a program or 12 step program.
Great. Here are some options if you’re not there and you’re this, I don’t know what I want to do yet. I’m going to give you some podcasts. I’m going to give you a book to read. I’m going to give you some groups to be a fly on the wall. And you get to see for yourself that you’re not alone and that we are normal human beings that are professionals that look just like the average person in our community and they can make their decision.
So I’m very much client-centered. You know, sober sister-centered. You let me know what you’re like, what you’re not wanting, what your rejections and barriers are. If you’re completely open, I’m going to give you a smorgasbord of ideas and you decide patchwork to recovery. You know, if you want to do something traditional, great.
If you want to try a different route. Great. You know,
Lane: it’s refreshing to hear this. I’m very traditional and I got sober a long time ago. And so when I hear this kind of new conversation come about, it just, it warms my heart because for so long, I struggled with staying in the closet, so to speak about recovery, because recovery is so magical and as a part of a 12 step community, sometimes I struggle with it being a disservice.
To so many people. And that’s one of the reasons why I kind of came out of the closet, so to speak. And I do the work that I do now on a larger scale. And to have so many people sharing about this life of recovery is it just fills my heart. Like nothing else. It brings me so much joy and there’s no, what’s the word I want to use.
There’s no, like. Or the way that they’re doing it as great, there’s a sense of community within all of us. I have found except for one person, which I will not name, they kind of bash others, but for the most part, I feel like we are all really about what’s going to work for you. Yeah. Like what you just said and it’s, it just makes me so happy.
And then, again, I keep going back to the community and the friendliness, because it’s not, it’s not that we’re up against each other. We’re up against big alcohol we’re up against the messaging that is killing people. Do you know to chase the base, Brock? He’s retired. Yeah, he just did an episode on fennel.
Oh, oh. It just like, it sent chills through me, you know, because fentanyl is this note. Like people don’t even know about it, but the media says, you know, get your Narcan, get your strips to check fentanyl. But it’s like, why don’t we say. Why don’t you check out recovery, you know, like why don’t we go towards recovery?
So with you, what is your message around recovery?
Michelle: That it is a lifelong dream that, you know, a lot of people think that they can. Quickly get sober and that they’re magically going to be better. Like, it’s this magical unicorn thing. And it’s like, you can take away the bottle, but you need to do the work and you might be sober, but you’re not in recovery.
Do you know? And I think that it’s a great example of like the pandemic of, you know, it was high, highly desirable to start drinking or to drink excessively. And it was a great time for some people to say, I want to try out sobriety because I’m not going to be peer pressured or I’m not going to have to make up an excuse for why I’m not drinking.
Well, people like you and I who have, are in recovery and working some type of program, it was, it was hard. It was hard to, and it was hard in a different way because my homegroup wasn’t open, my therapist wasn’t open, my gym wasn’t open. I couldn’t see my friends in my recovery circle and network. So things were really shaken up for me.
And I didn’t even think about that. You know, it’s like, well, you’ve been in recovery. You’re solid. No, I have 24, just like everybody else does every single morning. And I have to work hard to maintain that too. And so it’s, it’s very. It’s very desirable that my addiction is just like, things are different.
It’s going to be different. Just try it. It’s been five years. No, I have the choice to say no. Other than that, I give over my choice and my power to alcohol and to other things I’ve been down that road too many times. And so it’s, you know, I have to remember that this is, it’s not a death sentence. I get to wake up every morning and see the sunrise and enjoy a cup of coffee.
But that is a beauty. And I think that some people just get so baffled when I say that because they didn’t hit an all-time low. They don’t understand when they’re the earliest sobriety. I don’t get these gifts. I don’t get why you think it’s that exciting to wake up and enjoy coffee. We’ll try, try living the life that I had and you don’t wake up till noon.
And your husband’s upset with you. Your kids are not talking to you. You are barfing laying in your own barf. It’s pretty cool to wake up with no regret and no shame and have your husband be proud of you and love you and fall in love with you. Again, that’s pretty incredible. So, you know, that would be my, my way of really defining that is that, you know, you, it, and you can’t look at early sobriety and it’s, it’s not even a comparison.
With what long-term recovery is going to look like. And that’s what kept me relapsing was I’m like, I don’t want any part of this. This is hard work. My friends won’t talk to me. You know, I feel sick and I don’t want to have to identify myself as anything. And I just kept on the hamster wheel and was so grateful to be off of it.
Lane: Yeah, you mentioned, I just want to jump into your relationship because I think relationships, the longer that we’re sober, the more challenging they become because we’ve begun to find who we find out who we are truly, and a lot of times, relationships crumble as a result of that. And I just heard you say, your honey fell in love with you again, that’s so magical.
Amazing. And it’s such as hard as well or not. Now yes, now. Yes. Yup.
Michelle: The first three years were my thing and he was going to support me. And so we had boundaries and rules and all of that and never a big drinker at all. So may of two years ago. So he is geez, almost two and a half years and just decided that he didn’t need it either.
Not adding value to his life and he wanted to continue to level up and support me. And it’s, that’s great.
Lane: That’s really nice to hear. That’s really it’s hopeful. Yeah. ’cause, that’s not always how it is. It’s not. Yeah. In my early recovery, I thought I was with somebody and I was going to be with them for the rest of my life, five years into it, we crashed and burned.
Right. And then I was single for many, many, many years. And then I found another one, oh, this is it. You know, and crash and burn. And I think the relationships that we have in sobriety are so. Rich and vulnerable and real. How are your relationships changed with you’re kidding?
Michelle: Well, relationships, in general, have so much more substance it’s.
We actually have meaningful conversations even with. You know, it’s not, I’m, I’m goofy and I’m, you know, intoxicated and let’s just do random things that I would never do sober. It’s like we have real authentic conversations and they’re my biggest cheerleaders. They are just proud of their sober mama. And they tell everybody that I am a sober mom.
And so it’s super cute. And so we’re kind of like I had to reel them in a little bit lately because if their parents not sober, they’re like, well, that’s not good. And I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Michelle: So they had to do a little bit more education about, you know, It is okay for a lot of people and not everybody has a problematic relationship with it.
And so we just need to be respectful, but these are the things to look out for in order to make sure that you are safe, but yeah. Conversations, you know, like my 12-year-old, just middle the pandemic. If I wouldn’t have been, if I’m not sober, I wouldn’t be present and a safe place for them to land to have really honest, authentic conversations.
This is don’t re this is like the most vulnerable time I need to be here to just listen and I don’t have to fix it, but I can validate them and I can empathize with them. They just want me to be present and they deserve that. And our relationships have grown tremendously. Honesty and vulnerability.
And I get to sprinkle in these little messages of hope that someday they will realize the impact that this had. And I get to share more of my story when they start to explore with 80 types of recreational drugs or alcohol, that they’re going to make their own story and their own journey. But I want them to know where I’ve been.
And that I am going to, I’m living a life that I’m not going to say don’t drink and drive and then go do it. You know, I am showing them sobriety and I am showing them the perfect example of how I hope that they continue to live that life. And if they explore, that’s fine, but I, I am going to keep this conversation open about all types of mental health, substance abuse, you know?
Because they’re important conversations to have. So I’m so grateful that I’m sober to be able to have them and guide them. And truly be honest with my integrity, knowing that I’m not just saying, and then doing the opposite and they see
Lane: that. And during this pandemic, you know, with that amount of time that you have, you mentioned that it’s become more challenging.
Yes. And so through this time, what have you had to do to find that piece that you would typically find with your girlfriends or when you would jump into your homegroup?
Michelle: Yes. Great question. A lot of different things. One big piece that was helpful in regards to establishing, you know, that kind of homegroup feel was virtually getting onto the media.
That was really helpful of, you know, not having that in-person connection, which is not replaceable, but. Finding other ways to still connect with my sober community. So doing my hung groups virtually starting up the sober mom squad of finding these moms who were struggling with work sobriety, homeschool, pandemic children, all of the things, and really diving into service.
I did a lot of outreach. I did a lot of crisis hotline work. That was that piece of it, and really working on the perfectionism and the people-pleasing that really provided me some buffer to not have to have my house. Ready cause no one was coming over. So that gave me more time to declutter. It gave me more time to be authentic with my kids and to just build forts, make root beer, floats, build Legos and not have to put them away.
You know, it gave me so much more me back and really establishing. I kind of felt like I was getting time back with them that I had lost by not being. Physically or emotionally present for those years I was drinking and nothing will ever replace that, but it did allow me to slow down and get back. Some of those really important family traditions outside, you know, I, with nature, we have seven acres and it was just, I didn’t do that.
So that was very healing for me to sit out with a book. On my hammock and just sit there and just be still with myself instead of trying to drink away the noise and the chatter and just sit with it. It’s not going to hurt me. Right. It just, it comes and it goes, it feels awful. And it feels like it’s going to last forever.
And then it’s like, oh, distraction, there goes a bird or a plane or that thought. And I just kept going, you know, it’s just, you fill your mind with other things. That instead of just saying, I don’t have access to this, and this is the worst thing ever. Okay. This is a place and a life. And if a season of life right now that is very unfamiliar during this whole pandemic.
So where can I find familiarity? If I feel uneasy, where can I find ease and the stability of my family and my sobriety and my partner, my higher power? Am I sober sister community? I can’t play the martyr and I can’t play the victim. It’s served me and it doesn’t support my sobriety and my long-term recovery. So I really have to challenge those negative thoughts.
I have to challenge that martyr what it strikes because it does have to be ready to attack it’s there waiting,
Lane: always, always there waiting. What is your spiritual practice? Like?
Michelle: I, I do a lot of different things actually. I am I go to church, I’m a Catholic. So I do that piece. And you know, I’m working actually with a spiritual coach right now, trying to find just more high vibes and frequency of being true to me and showing up as truly me and who the world tells me that I’m supposed to be.
Or my mom’s voice telling me who I’m supposed to be. I’ve gotten back into yoga. So many little kinds of like my recovery, it’s like little bits and pieces of what makes me, me, and really just reinventing who that supposed to be. Like, if I was told, you know, growing up, this is what you’re supposed to do, and these are your core beliefs.
And I get to kind of challenge some of that, but is that really where I want to be? Is that really where I’m at in my life right now? And just exploring different, different ways, seeing what works and if it doesn’t work. Keep going,
Lane: going, keep trying new things. That’s really great. And that’s the beauty of recovery is that you get to just try and taste and test and move about as long as you don’t pick up.
Right. You just, you can continue the search and seek what’s on your nightstand, right?
Michelle: Atomic habits. For the second time. I love that book. And then what else is, I don’t think I have anything else on my nightstand. I’m rearranging my office. So my big books up there, I do need to reread that again. But yeah, the atomic habits it’s what’s on there right now.
Lane: And what do you do for fun?
Michelle: Ooh, good question. Service, work, service work. I do find it fun.
Lane: What is fun about it? Like what’s the element of fun that you find? Because see, for me for fun, I’m like thinking about riding bicycles and letting balloons go in both of those. I just lost a whole bunch of balloons that I’d gotten at party city and I was running on my son’s birthday.
So I called crying, asking if they’d redo them. Cause they’re so expensive, but service work is fun. What’s fun about that is just seeing somebody light their eyes light up, just like you care. Yeah. You struggle. Like I can get better. Like, thank you for this meal. Thank you for this Narcan. Thank you for just listening to my story without judgment like that.
Powerful, but it can’t be what only fills me up. And so my kids started go-karting, which was awesome to watch it. That’s awesome. Terrifying. At the same time, I’m a gardener. I love to cook sobriety has given me back that ability to. Keep my hands busy, make something. We harvest it from our garden, watch it from scratch all the way to our dinner table, which is amazing.
I got a sober companion as a buddy. I got my first puppy. I’ve never had an animal in my entire life. And I’m telling you, I don’t know why I waited so long. The best thing for sobriety depression can hang and chip. Wow. Amazing. So, you know, I’m a sports mom. I’m always there, but I’m just always learning.
I’ll always be a student and I’m guided by the wisdom of my elders. And I don’t have to be a lot older, but it’s just like, it’s such a humbling thing to know that they’ve been through life and just to really listen and absorb digest, and try to implement some of these practices that people, women that have gone before me.
It’s incredible. You know, you think, you know, everything just like our kids are like, you don’t know anything, like, you know, you haven’t been 12 at a pandemic and it’s just like, okay, you’re right. I haven’t, I haven’t, but I’ve experienced what it’s like to lose friendships and to feel bullied, and to not feel worthy.
And you know, these filters and all those things that there are these days that we have to talk about, but anything and everything I can find joy in. I just swam with the dolphins, which was a huge thing for me. I’m going to be. Jumping out of a plane, crazy. Just things that I’ve always wanted to do, but could never do because I wasn’t sober.
It was unsafe. So just wild, fun, exciting things, outdoors
Lane: being outdoors. So yeah, really great for the spirit. Great. For the mind, recalculates the brain amazing. Michelle, where can our guests. Find you and the amazing work that you are doing, your sobriety is so rich. And I just, I could talk all day because you have so much going on, but we are at that time.
So where can they find you?
Michelle: My website is recovery is the new black. You can find me on Facebook, recovery is the new black, which I have a private Facebook group for women only, too. So if you’re curious and active recovery contemplating, it’s a safe, amazing group of women. I absolutely love it.
Lane: Michelle, thank you so much for being a woman in recovery and being a mother in recovery.
Michelle: Thank you and thank you as well for all that you do.
Lane: Thanks, mama. May you find something light, something juicy, and something so delicious. It fills you up so you can be the best mother. I know you can be until next time. Take good. And thanks for listening to that episode with my co-host Michelle, every week, I have a different co-host hope you’ll come back again next week.
Make sure to rate, review the show over on iTunes. Oh, I know it’s a big ask, but please, it always helps. Helps people find the show who need it. Right. Also, drop a line and say, hi, let me know what’s going on in your world. All right, I’ll catch you next time. Thanks again for listening.
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