This Podcast is with Kat a Graduate of Gulf Breeze Recovery.
Kat has been through the GBR program and we are excited to speak with her about her journey since leaving Gulf Breeze Recovery.
Kat entered treatment at Gulf Breeze Recovery in 2016 after a twelve-year struggle with substance abuse. She has just celebrated seven years of continuous recovery. Today, she lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys reading, hiking and spending time with family. She works as a COO of a corporation.
My addiction was all-encompassing.
“My addiction was all-encompassing. I was a person who used drugs and alcohol in a way that was unhealthy and unsustainable. The using was all-encompassing, including figuring out how to get money to use; everything involved in that lifestyle took up my entire life; it was my entire personality. And so, for me getting clean wasn’t just about putting down the drugs; it was about figuring out who I was, who I wanted to be what kind of life I wanted to live because I spent almost a dozen years in active addiction, from the time I was an adolescent. I had no concept of what a healthy life looked like. I had no concept of what I even wanted for myself. It’s been this beautiful process of starting from nothing. I got to do this paint-by-number, build a life and put all the things that were good for my spirit into it; I got to build myself into the kind of woman I wanted to be when I grew up. And I definitely got the tools to do that at Gulf Breeze Recovery.”
Gulf Breeze was not my first treatment center.
“Gulf Breeze was not my first treatment center. And it was not my first attempt at recovery. I went to my first 12 Step meeting when I was 17. And I got to Gulf Breeze when I was 28. I tried many things during that period. And the thing at Gulf Breeze that was so different, is that every other facility I had been to give me a list of action items; it was very much a doing this, you need to wake up at this time, go to these groups. When you get out, you need to do this many meetings now. It was a list of steps, which was fine, and they were all good things. They were all things that were conducive to recovery. But the problem was, I needed help figuring out how to make my own list of things that worked for me; I couldn’t make any independent choices when those things were not available to me. What Gulf Breeze did for me was teach me intimately about the nature of my thinking and wisdom. And so, I got to learn how my thoughts were creating my own experience, how to tell the difference between egoic and chaotic thinking and something that was coming from my own wisdom. What’s funny is today, I choose to do many things I was taught in early treatment centers because they’re fun and give a lot to my spirit, and I find a community that I can give back in. But I do it from a place of this is something that moves me. This is something that I feel drawn to do. Versus this is a list of steps that someone is making me take. What I got from GBR is how to be still. And listen for that voice of wisdom and trust it.”
I am comfortable being uncomfortable.
“Yes, my husband and my daughter are the best outcomes of recovery. But I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them without all the gifts of healing I’ve gotten, the best ones you can’t see. And it’s interesting, the very best thing about recovery is the thing that I was so scared of about life is this ability to feel and dive into the complete range of the human experience, you know, joy, and grief, and hope and anger and all of the things I get to experience that from the minute I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, and I was terrified of that. But really, that’s the juice of life; even though I haven’t had, I haven’t had a 100% Easy Journey. Since I got a Gulf Breeze, I have lost my grandfather, my husband, and I had a lot of trouble conceiving our daughter, and we lost three pregnancies. And I could be present and a part of that grief in a way that honored those babies. You know what I mean? Like, no, it’s not fun to be in that feeling. But that was the feeling that my experience deserved. And there’s something so beautiful that I got to show up in my life, even when it didn’t feel good. And it’s moving through life in that way. It gives me a sense of self-confidence that I could never have before. I think that’s, that’s the key for me. Recovery is just not being afraid of my own experience. I am comfortable being uncomfortable. And then I’m also here for all the joy.”
You will never be able to hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love.
This quote is not original, and I like to attribute it when I quote things, but I can’t remember where this came from. So, forgive me for that. The quote: You will never be able to hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love. The most loving thing anyone struggling with addiction can do for themselves is to sit down that burden and let someone else carry it for a minute. Just reach out for help so that you can sit still for long enough to let all the good stuff so can, and if someone is watching, that’s in that self-loathing, that’s in that self-hatred that doesn’t know what the next thing is. Just reach out. Just reach out and do something loving for yourself because you will not be able to punish yourself better. You are not going to be able to hate yourself better. It just doesn’t work.
from Amazon “In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now in Loving What Is you can discover the same freedom through The Work.”