How to Stay in Recovery from Addiction [The Stress Less Show - Episode 30]

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>> Carlee: Have you completed a recovery program and don't know where to go next? In this episode of The Stress Less Show, we take an alternative approach. We tackle how we can truly stay in recovery and how not to move from one addiction to another, say alcohol to sugar. Hi I'm Carlee Meyers, a stress management expert, and one thing I hear day in and day out is that we feel like we've tried everything when it comes to stress management. We may have tried the mainstream approaches to managing our stress, but have we really gotten to the root of the issue. Each episode I bring on experts and leaders to not just put a Band-Aid on your stress but to actually get to the root. This month we are focusing on physical health and specifically addiction and recovery. So I'm so excited to have my guests Mie Potter of Finding Peace on the show. Welcome Mie.

>> Mie: Hey Carlee. Thank you very much. I'm so pleased to be talking to you today because this is a subject about which I have a lot of passion.

>> Carlee: Yes. My pleasure. So Mie is known for her calming and nurturing demeanor. She coaches women who have completed a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program to stay in recovery. Some of her favorite moments are spent helping her clients to discover the joy of living sober, to navigate brand new feelings, and to talk about their relationship with God, our Creator, the universe, whatever you might call it. So Mie, I'm really curious - how did you get into this line of work?

>> Mie: So I have been... I've actually studied leadership development my whole life. And as I left my full time job as a stay at home mom, my husband and I felt that I should do leadership development, only earn money on it. So when I relocated to Greenville, South Carolina and was getting my family settled down I decided to start volunteering just to get myself in the community and learning what Greenville was like and I ended up at a women's shelter which is a rehab facility and I ended up teaching a Personal Development class for them and I actually still teach it five years later. So then I was setting myself up with a practice where I had nonprofit leaders and small business leaders in a round robin monthly leadership development seminar. But what was happening and I was telling everyone the class I really love teaching is my class at the renewal center... And then I discovered that really my passion and where I was getting the most enjoyment in actually really the best results were the ladies at the Renewal Center. And it led me to examining you know I think I need to change my whole life so that I primarily coach women who are in recovery. So the change I made is that ladies after... I coach ladies after they have finished a rehab center like I do this volunteering at and I help them to stay in recovery because once you leave a rehab center, a lot of programs don't have follow up and it's a really insecure time and it's a time when you need a lot of support. That is a different kind of support than you would get at an AA meeting or that you would in a Celebrate Recovery Meeting.

>> Carlee: Yeah I can imagine coming out of a rehab rehabilitation and just everyone... Going back to the old people in your life and maybe they're not ready to see you as the new person and that can be hard.

>> Mie: Yeah well and actually so there's many different scenarios. Sometimes as people are... They've had to they have they've had to take themselves away from everybody in their past because everyone in their past is associated with addiction. Sometimes they're struggling with family not trusting them. And so there's so so many issues but one of the main things that almost every person in recovery goes through and goes through again and again is there's a lot of shame about the path that they went down because nobody ever decides they're going to grow up and be an addict, right? But but the fact is that they are survivors because if you are using any kind of substance and you do not stop using it. The alternative is that you are going to die. So I celebrate with them and remind them that they are a survivor and that their recovery is a very joyful thing because it can sometimes be very very serious. And that's where me as an ally coming in... The ladies that I coach we have a special relationship because they recognize in me that I am an ally and there is no judgment for them. And that is actually one of the things that I often remind people who are in recovery is that there is a lot of... there can be a lot of judgment.

>> Carlee: You're probably one of the only people in their lives at that point that are not shaming them or judging them

>> Mie: Possibly. You know and every thing is what I do is very custom and very dependent on what that person's situation is at the moment. And the my five years of working with ladies who are actually living in a shelter and so many of them actually don't have a home. So it's I've heard every story I've heard all the things that they've done in their testimonials. So there is nothing that shocks me. And I think people recognize that in me because there is there's just love. I completely just love them and accept them where they are and walk alongside them. And I think they know that. Yeah often we recognize each other in a crowd even though we don't even necessarily say so. Anyway one of the things relating to health since we're talking about the stressors is that when people come out of addiction they're actually arrested in their mental development where they were when they went into addiction. So if there is a person who started using and got addicted at 10 or an 11 or 12 or 18 that's where they stop developing. So it's really important to treat it as not only there's a health component and there's a mental health component that are part of the healing and part of the journey and there's a lot of learning about feelings.

>> Carlee: Yeah it sounds almost almost equivalent to trauma when you experience trauma at a specific age.

>> Mie: Yes there is usually a lot of trauma and actually that's that is usually what leads people into addiction in the first place but...

>> Carlee: So what do you recommend for someone who's listening who maybe is in recovery who feels like the emotional learning is difficult maybe they're looking for some next steps. What would you recommend?

>> Mie: Well the main thing is to just remember that love is the answer and to stay in the present and plan for the future so that we avoid drama because those are also stressors. And to take care of our ourselves the way everybody else to take has to take care of themselves physically and emotionally and try to avoid sugar because that can be another addiction.

>> Carlee: So it sounds like there's this this piece of being very aware of what where like if we're triggered where we're actually setting ourselves up for a more difficult situation and also to say, "OK we need we are just like anybody else as survivors, we have to exercise we have to nourish our bodies we have to eat."

>> Mie: Yes. Yeah and start thinking about ourselves as being more typical.

>> Carlee: Absolutely. Well Mie thank you so much for coming on this show. It's been a pleasure to talk more deeply about this subject.

>> Mie: Oh thank you.

>> Carlee: Absolutely so this episode was sponsored by Finding Peace where women in recovery renew their lives, revive healthy interests and thrive. Find Mie Potter at Finding Peace Today dot com slash S L S where you can schedule a complimentary discovery conversation and find out how Mie can help you on your journey. Next month, we'll move on to a brand new theme - job security. Job security and job pressure is the second top stressor for women in the United States according to the American Psychological Association. We'll see you next week on the show to talk about how to improve your relationships at work so you're less likely to be cut in the downsize. Take care.