Recovery is not one size fits all. It is also not a one-and-done situation. Rather, recovery is a process and a journey.
When someone gets sober and begins recovery, they are just starting to walk down the path of healing. Many of their previous feelings and temptations may continue to come up. However, they are gradually learning the tools they need to stay on their new path.
Shelby John is passionate about helping people who are in this stage of recovery. Shelby grew up in a wonderful family but she never felt good enough within herself. She never felt comfortable in her own skin. This produced some very dark feelings within her, including depression.
During her sophomore year of high school, she attempted to take her own life but didn’t tell anyone about it afterward. Instead, she turned to alcohol.
Her drinking really began to take off when she went to college. On the outside, everything looked normal. However, on the inside, she felt like she was dying. This continued on through her graduating college, getting married, buying a house, and even getting her Master’s degree in social work. She consistently drank to cover up the pain and low self-esteem she felt.
A few years later, Shelby went to a conference in DC with some of the colleagues and teens she worked with. During that weekend, she went out to drink. One of the nights, she blacked out and ended up being arrested. She was put in jail for two days without any clue as to what had even happened.
Later on, she had to watch the interrogation tape from when she was drunk. It was extremely painful to see herself in that way. Up until that moment, she hadn’t thought alcohol was her problem; she thought it was only mental health.
However, that incident was her wake-up call. She went to rehab and began attending AA.
Now, Shelby is the host of the Confident Sober Women podcast and the founder of the Facebook group by the same name. She particularly loves to work with women who struggle with substances by helping them control their minds and bodies and build confidence, using everything she has learned in her own recovery.
One of the areas in which Shelby is an expert is trauma. She helps her clients understand that trauma is relative. What is traumatic for one person may not be for another. The smallest thing in your brain can set you up to respond to life’s events differently. You may be a bit more sensitive or may need stronger attachments in your life. Your brain internalizes that as not getting what you need, no matter how amazing your parents were.
When you add all of the stressors that life throws at you on top of that, serious trauma can ensue. Many people brush these things off as being no big deal or think they don’t have a good reason for having problems. However, if you perceive it as trauma, it is and you need to seek help.
If you want to learn more about finding strength in recovery, check out Episode 124: Confident Sober Women with Shelby John.