- Friends & Family
Heroes in Recovery initially met Kelly online in 2014 through her personal blog. We had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the Heroes 6K South FL on 4/25/15.
What brought you to the Heroes 6K South FL?
What brought me to this race is the Heroes in Recovery website which I found online. That and also because I have been clean and sober since May 7, 2013. I wanted to celebrate living in recovery and I talk about it all the time on my blog. This race is perfect for me.
Life before recovery was crazy. I was a party girl. I always wanted to be hanging out with people, doing stuff…being the life of the party. I wanted to be popular and drugs and alcohol helped me do that and made me feel comfortable. I drank a lot in college and the party continued after college. That’s when I realized my habits weren’t normal.
I moved to Cancun Mexico after college to work and party. It was the perfect place for it…a beautiful place. My alcohol and drug habit escalated there. It’s the perfect place for partiers. I actually ended up getting sober there too. That happened because I went on a bachelorette trip with my friends from high school to Punta Cana. I promised myself I would be under control on that trip and that I wouldn’t get crazy and black out or doing anything stupid while drinking. I convinced myself I could do it. Of course I failed and I ended up blacking out on the trip and being very disappointed in myself. My boyfriend was very disappointed in me as well. I was embarrassed and ashamed and I was tired of these feelings. I was hurting physically, mentally and emotionally. I was just sick and tired, so I decided in the airport on the way back to Cancun that I wasn’t going to drink or do anymore drugs and I’ve stuck to it! That’s how I began living my life in recovery.
I searched online for a lot of information about sobriety and recovery. I found the Heroes in Recovery website as well as some others and different blogs. That eventually led me to write my own blog “The Sober Senorita.”
How do you manage your recovery when things get tough or stressful?
I didn’t start going to any type of 12 Step program until recently after being sober for a year and 5 months. I felt something was missing and decided to try it. I thought “Why not?” I am now in a 12 Step recovery program and I have a sponsor…so that helps.
But before that I found that writing was very therapeutic, connecting with people online and reading other people’s stories and knowing I’m not the only one really helped me. Focusing on self-care, which is the foundation of recovery for me.
What is your self-care?
My self-care includes exercise, meditation, yoga and just alone time. I just recently wrote about being alone, which I hated to do before I got sober. It made my skin crawl. Being by myself was boring and stupid. Why would anyone want to be alone? And now I really cherish that time. Time with myself to think, relax, to relax the mind and body and be ok with myself.
What is one truth you’ve learned through your recovery process?
There is no ONE way. That’s the beauty of recovery. Everyone can take the path that they choose and can take pieces from each to make their own type of recovery. Anyone out there who is still suffering is not alone. That’s the message I like to get across on my blog, because I felt really alone when I first got sober. I thought “Man, I feel horrible! Is there anyone else out there feeling like this?” Writing my blog, I realized that I’m not the only one. There are a million other people who feel just like I feel and I am so glad I can write and reach out to those people.
What part of your life do you find most satisfying being in recovery?
Oh, wow! Everything! I can’t pick just one thing. I just love waking up in the morning and thinking “Wow today is just a beautiful day.” I have this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for just being alive and not having to wake up feeling ashamed and guilty and emotionally unstable every day like I used to.
What are your relationships like today? Family Friends
Much better, much better. My boyfriend is still my boyfriend two years later, and since I got sober he has been so amazingly supportive and understanding. We have an amazing, open and honest relationship. He has seen me at my worst and at my best. Quitting drinking helped our relationship 100%.
My sister and brother-in-law are here with me today. My sister and I have always been really close but she was always worried about me and acted like my second mom. She worried whether I was dead or alive. She expressed to me the other day that she is so happy that we can just be good friends now and that I can be there to support her for once. We have a reciprocal relationship now. I am there for her after I couldn’t be for so long. My parents are wonderful and supportive as well. All my relationships have definitely improved.
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who is still struggling and/or hasn’t found recovery yet?
It is possible. It may seem like a future that is not obtainable, but it is. We can and we do recover! There’s a beautiful life that is waiting out there for you and you CAN have it and I encourage you to go out there and get it.