A good friend of mine, Doug Bopst, wrote a book recently; “The Heart of Recovery” which is this amazing compilation of interviews that he conducted over the past couple of years with people in recovery. There are so many great interviews with all kinds of people, from bloggers, authors, fitness guru’s, influencers and even some Hollywood folk. If you haven’t picked up a copy of his book, I’d highly suggest you do! Below is the interview that we did and I am honored that he chose to include me. There is something for everyone in this book and reading how others stay fit mentally, spiritually and emotionally has been a pleasure to read. Another reason to buy the book is that the amazing Amy Dresner wrote the forward with her loving and witty style – so another reason to go get it!
DB: What do you do daily to stay sober and what is the most challenging part about it?
NC: I have a routine; I get up about 6.30 am and do about 10 minutes of yoga stretches, and do some prayer during that time. I then take out my dog, Bailey, and focus on her during our walk. Then I talk to one of my girls, the same girlfriend (in recovery) every morning and we have a mini-meeting. Then I start my corporate day job and get on with my day – I try not to live in my will and turn it over to God; which is easier said than done most days. About 4 days, sometimes 5, I go to meetings to hear the message and to also help spread the message to others. I have a sponsor and we do step work together, and I also sponsor a couple woman and work with them. This is what has been working for me for a while now. At night, I journal and say some prayers and sometimes do a guided meditation – that always calms and centers me. The most challenging part for me now is the emotional sobriety piece. Which for me is to try to get along better with my fellows; usually my husband, my friends and my family. My husband’s been in and out of recovery, and that has been a big challenge – because he has a God and its not me.
DB: How have you reconnected with your body since being in sobriety and what do you do daily to increase your health and vitality?
NC: So, I’ve done so much since I got sober. I never worked out before or did yoga before I got sober. I started doing hot yoga soon after I got sober, and it was a life changer. Then I moved around a bunch and started some different routines. I was doing CrossFit for a while, and different kinds of yoga, and started running for a bit. I also really like to hike; we do that frequently with the dog, as well as now just walking along the beach with friends. Some days I don’t do anything except walk Bailey and do my yoga stretches. Its all about balance for me.
DB: How have your relationships changed since being in recovery? Who would you say are the top three to five people you surround yourself with and why are they influential in your recovery?
NC: Before I got sober, I lied all the time, and I mean a lot! When I finally surrendered and got sober was the day that I really stopped lying. I mean, sometimes I’m too truthful; which can get me in trouble. People can trust me now, and they want to be around me more. I got sober in this community with a bunch of other sober women and they became my sober family. In asking about who I look up to – I’d have to say it’s the women that I got sober with who are my tribe, my touchstones, my girls. And the sponsors I’ve had. Since I moved around a lot, I have had a few sponsors who helped me get through so many of my life’s ups and downs, and I still talk to most of them today. Most of my friends have been through a lot of loss, sadness, and tragedy in recovery and when I see that they can go through anything, that is what inspires me and makes me want to be a better version of myself.
NC: Because they show me how to live a better life. Basically, it’s me getting out of myself and not listening to my head. I have that negative voice that keeps telling me; “You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, nobody wants you, etc.” I still have that voice after almost 15 years in recovery. Sometimes it’s louder than others. When I’m in that space I call somebody and share what’s going on with me or I journal about it. I just talk to people who I value for their recovery and sobriety.
DB: What’s your spirituality life like and why do you think spirituality’s important for growth and sustainability in recovery?
NC: When I first got sober and I heard you had to find a God, I was like, okay, cool, I can do that. I was raised Catholic, but it was important for me to find a Higher Power that I could do business with. I lived right by the ocean in my early sobriety and using the ocean and nature as my Higher Power worked for me. Going through life, I’ve had to learn how to enlarge my God throughout my sobriety as life throws us curve balls. It’s very important for me to have that connection where I’m feeling like I can trust God. That’s been my biggest challenge, especially in the last year or so. I am really trusting the universe and trusting whatever else is out there, as they can manage my life better than I can.
DB: What was the one tell-tale moment in your life that confirmed in your mind that you needed to seek treatment and recovery and why?
NC: It was my second DUI, I was 37-years-old and I was living my life the same way as I was at 19. I was drinking, using cocaine 3-4 days a week, and realized that I can’t keep doing this. I was living this life of rinse and repeat. The same crazy cycle of addiction. However, I had no desire to get sober though. I just had to get a court card signed – so I walked into a meeting and as soon as I walked into that meeting, I knew I needed to be there, but I didn’t want to face myself into thinking that I had a problem that I needed to take care of. I went out and drank for a week and had my moment of clarity – nothing good has ever happened to me when I’m drinking and using. I went back to that meeting because I figured I had nothing to lose. That was my mentality going into recovery – let’s give this sobriety thing a shot. And here I am.