The Unbreakable Boundaries Podcast

#41: Nicole talks recovery for the families; we all have our journey

April 13, 2021 Jennifer Maneely
The Unbreakable Boundaries Podcast
#41: Nicole talks recovery for the families; we all have our journey
Chapters
The Unbreakable Boundaries Podcast
#41: Nicole talks recovery for the families; we all have our journey
Apr 13, 2021
Jennifer Maneely

In this conversation we talk a lot about the family dynamic of what it means to grow up with an alcoholic parent. Family has a big influence over our lives, it can be both positive and negative as in Nicole's case. Having grown up in a home with an alcoholic, she spent many years comparing herself to her family member and deciding she couldn't have a problem because "she wasn't that bad." Only, as it goes with Substance Use Disorder, it progressively gets worse. She found her way into a fellowship and got the help she needed, largely due to the family member she watched for all these years.

Now, Nicole is in recovery for 2 years and is very active in the recovery community and working with the McShin foundation and glorious recovery as well. She is passionate about showing people what happens when you put down the drink or drug


McShin Foundation: https://mcshin.org/
Glorious Recovery: Website: https://gloriousrecovery.org/
Glorious Recovery Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gloriousrecovery

Show Notes Transcript

In this conversation we talk a lot about the family dynamic of what it means to grow up with an alcoholic parent. Family has a big influence over our lives, it can be both positive and negative as in Nicole's case. Having grown up in a home with an alcoholic, she spent many years comparing herself to her family member and deciding she couldn't have a problem because "she wasn't that bad." Only, as it goes with Substance Use Disorder, it progressively gets worse. She found her way into a fellowship and got the help she needed, largely due to the family member she watched for all these years.

Now, Nicole is in recovery for 2 years and is very active in the recovery community and working with the McShin foundation and glorious recovery as well. She is passionate about showing people what happens when you put down the drink or drug


McShin Foundation: https://mcshin.org/
Glorious Recovery: Website: https://gloriousrecovery.org/
Glorious Recovery Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gloriousrecovery

Jen:

Welcome back to The unbreakable boundaries podcast with your host myself, Jennifer Maneely. Today I have a really amazing guest actually just met her she happened upon in one of my groups. And and she was really interested in wanting to share her story into the group and help people along with kind of understanding some more about this role in terms of recovery and some of the family stuff that we navigate through. And so I was really interested in hearing more from her. So I reached out to her, and she agreed to come on to the podcast, her name is Nicole Lombardo, and I'm very excited. She has some amazing things that we're going to talk about, and, most importantly, a lot of the mindset of what it means to be in recovery, what's going on with us mentally? And what do we need to do to solve some of the challenges for ourselves? And how can the families support themselves? So Nicole, thank you so much for coming on, and being willing to share yourself with us? Of course, thanks

Nicole:

for having me. I mean, why would I was always taught from day one is you can't keep it if you don't give it away. You know what I mean? So yeah, so service.

Jen:

Yeah. And that's, it's so true in in a lot of people, sometimes they're like, what does that mean? You can't keep what you have been into, unless you get whatever until you give it away? Or what is I say? What did I just say? You can't eat unless you give it away? Right? Yeah. So but it's such an important part of the recovery process in terms of sharing wisdom. And this is where community is so important is because we share wisdom of how it is that we are able to succeed in the recovery journey, and you have been succeeding for the last two years. And so I really want to hear more of that and and really kind of, or I thought would be cool. A cool place to start would be to kind of just start at the beginning of your recovery journey. And how did you navigate yourself through those first uncomfortable stages of of what I call like early recovery? Yeah. Well, I

Nicole:

mean, like you said, two years. sober. so fortunate for you guys. My early recovery wasn't wasn't too long ago. I mean, I'm still a little bit like, in early recovery. But um, yeah, I mean, the first, the first, the first 12 step meeting that I went to, um, I was so uncomfortable, because basically, I grew up with a father who was an addiction, I watched it my whole life. He just so happened to get sober the year before me, after many, many failed attempts. And so you know, I had, I got to watch that. So I think that also played part into like, my big denial about my problem was because I don't care. Like, I'm not like him, like, I'm not doing X, Y, and Z, you know, I'm only doing a, b, and c, but I was just as bad. So he took me to my first 1212 step meeting, and I sat in the back of the room, refused to raise my hand, did not participate, did not want to talk to anybody. It was just very, I was like, Who are these group

Jen:

of people

Nicole:

around, like, making these jokes about this? Like, what is where am I? I'm like, is this a cult? But it's not? That that was my initial impression. Um, first, I sorry, if you see me, I'm drooling a little bit from my tooth. So just, um, well, yeah, that was like, my first initial impression was like, this. It's weird. You know, it's like a very, you know, I was out of my comfort zone. Yeah. So you know, I kept going with my dad, to more and more these 12 step things. And then, you know, I took maybe three or four times, and then we had this 12 step on a Saturday. And I just got like this, I was more comfortable with that point. Um, we went out to meet like, the little group before, before to get coffee. So it was like, right, five in the morning, like, as soon as Starbucks opened, there was a group of us just sitting there having coffee. And so I really got to, like, talk to everyone more like I made my first friend, who was, you know, in recovery as well, which was very cool. And we went to that meeting. And up until that point, I had never really participated at anything. We went to the meeting. And yeah, that was the first time like, I admit it out loud to not only a group of strangers, but to my dad to myself, to everyone that I love. I raised my hand. I was like, I'm Nicole. I'm an alcoholic. You know, like

Jen:

And I want to ask you, because I want to hone in on this, it's so interesting, because sometimes we talk a lot about like stigma and people don't always except for like, if you're in recovery or like, dude, we're totally okay with this language. And I just want to, like kind of bring up of when you are able to raise your hand and say that out loud to a group of people. What did what did you feel in that moment? I just stopped by saying that out

Nicole:

loud sense of relief, you know, like, I had a long career being active, you know, I had about 10 years under my belt. I may look young, but like, I started young, you know, um, and that, that ultimate, like, wave of relief, just kind of like rushed over me because it was like, you know, everyone has been telling me for like, the last year or two that I had a problem. But yeah, I couldn't see it until that day. And when I saw it, I was like, oh, man, like, I'm a person in it, like, in recovery now. But like, I was an active addiction. And then, you know, kind of from that point on, and like, getting out of the denial, basically, is what happened right there. Getting out of that denial, I was finally able to, like start my recovery journey.

Jen:

Yeah, and it's something that for people like us, when we finally come to a place of acceptance in, we can raise our hands and say, you know, I am an addict, or I am an alcoholic. It's not that we are stigmatizing our ourselves, it's actually that we have fully embraced and feel a sense, at least for me, it was like a sense of freedom. It was, it was the opposite of what sometimes some people will say around language like that. But there's a sense of peace and a sense of freedom that come along with finally being able to admit that out loud to ourselves. Yeah, and so I just kind of wanted to bring that up. Because I think like sometimes in our culture in our society, as it's going, we are, like, stigmatizing that terminology. And, and it's like, wait, no, I fully embrace that.

Nicole:

Yeah,

Jen:

because of what it meant for me. So like you said, Go in and admit that, it's like, it took the it's like it took the power away.

Nicole:

Did and it, you know, it made me have to, and one of the main components is putting that pride in that ego aside. Yeah. And that's, that's what I had to do in order to say that, you know, and like, I feel like the more stigma we put around that kind of area, yeah, the less willing people are going to want to admit to these things, you know, the harder it is, for people who are struggling to actually admit to themselves and other people, hey, I need help. Like, I, you know, I have, you know, a substance abuse disorder, like, you know, I can't stop, please, there's a stigma around it, you know, everyone like things like, either alcoholic and immediate, like a picture of like a bomb, or a homeless person pops up in their head. And it's just like, it's not beneficial to anyone.

Jen:

Yeah. And, and so, you. So you kind of come in, and you finally had that acceptance, but now it's like, well, now what? So? Well, so what happened next?

Nicole:

Um, now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty

Jen:

do the work, do you know,

Nicole:

you know, to stay sober. And that, you know, that took a few tries, I'm gonna be honest, because they use this other terminology, the pink cloud, I was on the cloud for a while, like, you know, like, I was flying high, naturally, I wasn't on drugs don't write. That's not what the quad means. I wasn't really. Like, you know, I was going through the, you know, the 12 step program. And I was doing the work, but because I was so miserable for so long, leading up to that point, that I just wanted to get everything that I had, because I was like, the thing that I like, when I when I share my story at these 12 step meetings, is if you think of me, you know, up to that point, I was a soda bottle, you know, and you can only shake a bottle so many times before that soda bottle finally explodes. You know what I mean? Now, I'm a water bottle, like you can shake me there'll be a little bit of bubbles, but I'm not gonna explode. But I just I needed to get everything out because I was a big bottle upper right. And I rushed through everything too quickly. So I've had to do the 12 step, or the 12 step programs, many times and then it actually wasn't until you know, this year, on my sobriety date. We're like I just had like, um, they call it a Godsmack. Where I was basically just like, I was literally sitting at my other job. And I was just like, sitting there like this just thinking I was like, and then this thought popped into my head. It's like, What the f are you doing? Like, you have this all this potential, like, you're doing nothing, you're going nowhere. Like, you have all these tools, you have all these resources, like, get your get your butt up, and do what you're supposed to be doing. And since that moment, like, it's kind of almost like I restarted, I haven't relapse, but I restarted like, my, my journey mentally, right. And since then, like, it has been nothing. But you know, I have my setbacks here and there, I'm not perfect. But I have these little baby steps and these accomplishments, like if you're gonna look at me a few months ago, you probably wouldn't be because I wouldn't be willing to do this. You sober, but what they would call a dry drunk, you know, I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Jen:

Yeah, I, you know, I've been in this recovery game. Well, I have 14 years next month. And

Nicole:

wow, yeah,

Jen:

yeah. But I've been in it for like the last 17. So that goes to show you sometimes how things happened. But one thing that I learned is, is like, there's there's a constant like recommitment to the uncomfortable the uncomfortability of what recovery can sometimes bring. Because one of the things that we're doing is, is we're healing. We're healing a lot of things. And that's the journey. And so what you're saying is, is kind of in the beginning, it's like, we want to sprint and we want to get to the finish line. And then it's a

Nicole:

marathon. Yeah, like, this is a lifelong thing. You can't start a marathon sprinting and try to sprint, the whole marathon. Yeah. Because eventually you're gonna collapse from exhaustion. You know,

Jen:

and I think I think and that goes to show like, so the first time that I tried the recovery process, I sprinted the thing in and I sprinted for, you know, a couple of years. And then I burned myself out, and I had nowhere else to go, because I didn't leave myself anywhere to go, I was too tired, too exhausted, I was, like, burnt out, I didn't look at it, like a journey. And, and so eventually, I did do, like I did have like a return to use or what they call like, you know, a relapse. And when I came back in, that was my, okay, this is, this is a journey. This is not something to rush through. Um,

Nicole:

that was my issue, right there was that I was rushing through, I wasn't doing everything thorough as thoroughly as I needed to. Yeah, and that's why, you know, I may have been, you know, physically sober, but mentally, like, I was not, yeah, and mental sobriety is just as important, as you know, not picking up that drink or the drug.

Jen:

Yeah, and a lot, I think a lot of what you're bringing up is so good is because this has far less to do with the substances and far more to do with mindsets, behaviors and patterns. And this is one of the things that I tried to, like, explain to the parents because, or the families, because they'll come to me and they're like, well, they got out of rehab, but they seem to still, like, there was not, they're still acting the same. Or they're still, you know, they they're still looking at the world in the same way. And they still have these behaviors, and what does all of that mean? And I'm like, it needs time. Recovery.

Nicole:

people all the time is like, you know, when you start to go through this process, you're not just gonna wake up the first day that you know, you're sober, and all of a sudden become this brand new human being Yeah, like, it's gonna take it took me like, almost it took me a year, you know, yeah. And it like everyone has their own recovery process. Yeah, and how long it takes them to get to that point where they can live their like happy, joyous and free as they say, yeah, you know, some are slower, some are quicker, but like, not one size fits all extent. It all depends to like how deep those demons go, because I know for me, the whole reason I picked up was because I was dealing with a lot of inner demons, you know?

Jen:

Yeah. And one of the things that you had mentioned as because you said you know, not one one size does not fit all and you're absolutely correct. You know, my journeys, my journey and what worked works and worked for me. Sometimes I actually what worked for me, I recommend other people not doing that, right. So, so one of the things that we had mentioned before is is before the recording Is that you didn't actually go to rehab, I went to rehab a couple of times, because that was my choice. Actually, I needed to do that to kickstart my recovery, because I just couldn't find enough, I guess willpower on my own without having that safe place.

Nicole:

But you did a little safety bubble, you know, right. But you did more in the rehab.

Jen:

Yeah, but you didn't do that. So

Nicole:

what did you have the option to wondering is like, my parents, they walk into my room, like, the following day after like this giant, you know, binge, whatever you want to call it, and they're like, you got three options right now. Um, you can either get out of this house, keep doing what you're doing, I had nowhere to go. So I was like, that's not an option. They're like, you can go to a rehab. Or you can go to a and I was like, well, I'll go with a cuz it sounds the easiest. I don't got to go anywhere. I can give it a few weeks until they kind of calm down and then go right, go right back out. And do what I've been doing, you know, just to kind of shut them up. And then look what happened two years later, here, I am sober. So,

Jen:

yeah. So um, what was it like doing this 12 steps? Without rehab? What did you do in order to not return? Like, what were some of the things that kept you from returning to drinking?

Nicole:

Um, well, I followed the instructions of the 12 steps, you know, I, I found a sponsor, someone who has more time and experience than me, and I listened to theirs, their suggestions. And, you know, I tried my best every day, to be the better person, not only like, when I was at these 12 steps, but just in every aspect of my life. And, you know, it takes some time. But you know, once that initial like, craving and urge was, you know, lifted, and I didn't have, you know, when I was having a bad day, my first instinct was no longer, I'm gonna go out on like, you know, go do X, Y, and Z, it was like, let me pick up the phone and give this person a call, or like, I'm gonna go for a walk. You know, like, once I had that shift in mindset, it was a lot easier to stay to stay sober, because the drink or the drug was no longer the first thing on my mind, right? It was no longer my go to coping mechanism. Right. I had my own little toolkit, you know?

Jen:

Yeah, yeah. And so you, you said that your dad kind of was the one that brought you into this world of recovery and the 12 steps and

Nicole:

addiction and addiction, both pretty much Right,

Jen:

right. Um, and I kind of want to go back a little bit, because I thought it was really, you know, interesting in terms of talking about that comparison of what it's like to grow up with someone like that. And then we're comparing ourselves constantly to that person of going well, at least I'm not that. And that's our definition of what it means. So, you know, kind of going back there. What were some of the things that you were looking at in him as markers of why you were not that person? Does that make sense?

Nicole:

Yeah, so he was he was into a lot of the harder things than I was way harder, actually. So you know, I've also seen him sees, you know, the ambulance has been calling many times, like when I say like, he was active in his addiction, he was near the end of his addiction and by Anu is either treatment, you know, mental institution or death. Yeah. So, you know, seeing that, you know, I had a pretty, like, pretty big leeway when it came to like, how I do the addiction, because I saw the worst of the worst, right? And I was like, Well, you know, I'm not over here, not. And now in the bathroom. We're like, nodding out at Thanksgiving, like, you know, I'm not having seizures and like, having the ambulance called, like, I'm not doing these things. So like, that's, that's how I knew what that's what an addict would like for me, because that's what I grew up seeing.

Jen:

Right?

Nicole:

You know, and like, I never unfortunately, never had my parents sit down and talk to me about how addiction runs on both sides. You know, what to do, like the whole addiction talk, which I think is very important to have, if you have it on both sides, or like if you have a family member who is active is to kind of talk to the younger kids and kind of give them a heads up. Because if I had had that heads up, I might have not have necessarily even picked up that first drink. Right? That led me down that path. But I had no idea. Yeah, but yeah, definitely shaped my definition. And my addiction. My my definition was more of like a hardcore addict, you know? Yeah. So

Jen:

and and it's interesting because you know we have these these markers that we look for in why we cannot be that person and in terms of the behaviors, it's like well at least I'm not doing that. But if hindsight being 2020 do you think that maybe y'all had a lot of the same? Like, I guess, emotional turmoil going on? That? Oh, yeah, yeah. So like

Nicole:

to talk a little bit about 100%. Me, me and my father, ever, me and my father are the same person, you know, I'm just, I'm just the female version of him. Right? He had a pretty rough childhood. But you know, once I went through the recovery process, and I understood, like the mental turmoil that you're just talking about, because, you know, I went through it, I had a better understanding of what he was going through, and like, how you go to sleep every every night, and you're disappointed when you wake up the next morning, because you woke up the next morning? Yeah, like, there was a period in time where I couldn't even look myself in the mirror, I did not look at any mirrors at all for a whole entire year. Because the second I looked into that mirror, all I saw, were those dead eyes. I don't even know who I was looking at anymore. And just like, the anxiety, the depression, you know, that's what led to the heavier and heavier use. Yeah. And, you know, it's just like, you think that, you know, the substance is going to help deal with those things and help calm those things down. What I learned in actuality, through experience is that it just magnifies it like 100%. Yeah,

Jen:

it's, it's kind of one of those things, it's there. And we're using the substances is kind of like our cure for that, right? But it's like, Look, even without the substances, once we take that away, now, it's time that we're actually dealing with that part of things, being able to look in the mirror, you know, being able to be with yourself.

Nicole:

Yeah, like, yeah, I couldn't be alone with myself, because I hated myself. It's about building that self confidence up and like, rebuilding all those things. Because like, I lost myself to the drinks and the drugs. Yeah, I wasn't the same person, you know, I don't even know who I was back then. I just know, I wasn't who I am today. And that's the cool thing about recovery, too, is like, now that I'm in the second year, like, it was like, first year focus on not not picking up, stay sober. Do this, do that. And now this year, it's like, Who am I as a person? What do I want to add to life? Like, what are my goals? What are my dreams, like, you know, and like now, it's like the focus I sell, I still do my 12 steps. But I've kind of turned the focus less on picking up and more on who I am like, as a person now.

Jen:

And that's so um, and I've seen this a lot, in my journey, that even for myself, you know, the first year and a half, was really just just trying to figure out the basics of life. It had nothing to do with like, who I am as much as it's like, well, how am I going to get through the day? You know, and then at some point around two to three years, it was more of, alright, who am I? And who, what are what are like, my goals for who I want to be? What are some of the things that I need to work through the Recovery? And then even now, I mean, even now, I you know, there's always more, right? There's always the journey of it can progress, you know, yeah, but then it was, I finally got to start, you know, once I started figuring out who I was, then it was like, Oh, now I got to figure out what's getting in my way. And now we got to go into some deeper shit.

Nicole:

Right? Right. You gotta it's like peeling the onion, like the layers of an onion. You know, you peel the first layer and, like, you're starting to get to the core, and you're like, I don't want to do this anymore. Which one did you gotta do? Because if you don't get rid of that onion, yeah, you know, it's just gonna keep stinking, and it's not gonna turn out too well. And so that's,

Jen:

and that's part of being human. A whole lot less has to do with whether you have substance abuse, and this is what I remind families of is is is you have an onion to you know, there's a journey through this and in a great one, given the right opportunities to really, you know, build your own confidence to to learn how to deal with you know, The challenge is what's coming up for you? Do you have guilt and shame around your loved one that has substance abuse? What is that? Let's work on that, let's uncover it because you don't need it you don't need, right, the shame and the guilt before the recording came on. You were talking about, like how families were going through their own journeys, and that you wanted to really remind them that none of this was really exactly, you know, and that that is a lot of aspects that they can't help with, it doesn't mean that they can't help themselves. But there are a lot of things that they can't help with. So share, share with my audience a little bit more about, you know, that piece of things as what you've seen for yourself as well.

Nicole:

Yeah, well, I mean, I think, you know, having that unique perspective is coming from a family with an active, you know, person in addiction, and then having the perspective of someone in recovery, you know, it's hard, it's hard to sit back and watch your loved one, you know, go out there and do do the things that you know, that, you know, aren't good for them. And that, you know, could potentially harm them. And that feeling of helplessness, and like that you should be doing more, and that, you know, what can you do like to help them but like, ultimately, like, at the end of the day, like, you can't, you know, as much as it kind of sucks to say is like, there's nothing that you can really do, except cut ties and kind of help. Not, don't push them to it. But like cutting ties, hopefully they'll reach that rock bottom, because the only time an addict or alcoholic is going to change is when they want to, you can send them to a million rehabs. If they're not willing and ready, fully to be sober, then you're just gonna go right back out and do the same thing. And that's not a reflection on on that person or that family member. Like, it's not a reflection on you guys, if you have a family member who can't seem to get sober, because I can tell you from both ends, no matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter how hard you try, it is ultimately up to the person who is struggling with addiction to make the decision for themselves. Yeah, you know, and in that,

Jen:

so what your says, That's such an important thing. And you're saying like, you know, we're cutting ties and, and that doesn't mean that we're cutting love off, it means that we now are to the point where we have to step back and allow the natural consequences to take hold. Like we can't keep them from everything. Yeah, we can't keep saving them from their consequences, because the consequences are the things that are going to get them the motivation. You know,

Nicole:

yeah, you gotta shut the door. But keep it unlocked. You know, like, yeah, you know, ties, but like, also, like, if they come back to you, and they're ready for help, and be there for them be like, Listen, if you're gonna be active, and you're gonna go out there, and you're gonna do these things out of your life right now, you know, for my own my own sanity, own mental health. But whenever you're ready to get sobering to get that help, I will be here for you, you know, you just offer that that support and you you have that handout there, that they can grab when they're ready, you know, because they're gonna have to hit some sort of rock bottom and rock bottom is different for everyone. You know, there's your you got your High Rock bottoms, were like, mine was a high rock bottom, like, I still had a job, you know, I sold a house, then you have your lower, like your low rock bottoms, or like you're living on the streets, like, again, one size doesn't fit all. But they have to come to that realization on their own. And the more you're kind of there to, like, support them and save them, like you were just saying, the longer it's gonna take for them to hit those those consequences and get to that bottom, because they're not going to have a reason to you because they're always gonna have you there to get them out of these situations.

Jen:

Yeah, my, my mom, I'm very much prevented a lot of consequences for happening for me. And it saved me in a lot of ways and in even in my mentality. So my mindset was, was like, well, no matter how bad things get, mom's gonna always be there to bail me out. And then all of a sudden, she wasn't always there to bail me out. And that's when things changed. And it is she never once turned her back on me. I never felt unloved by her, but it certainly was like, you know, oh, oh, crap. Like, she's not she's not there anymore. And, and then when I was making, you know, some good decisions, she supported me and she helped me again. You know, she got me she did help me. Get out of some bad situations. Because I was in recovery, I was doing all the right things. And now it was time to make some some further steps into a different direction. And she supported the and acted as a bridge for me even still. Exactly. So it's like, you know, we can help jog was bound

Nicole:

those healthy boundary Yeah,

Jen:

yeah like they'll help but but

Nicole:

you gotta be aligned you can't you can't eat her on the line because you're not showing the addict or the alcoholic, you know the true consequence every action has a consequence. And if you're like their body garden, you're you're standing right there on that line preventing the consequences, they're gonna think that their actions are okay, and that they can keep doing that shit for the rest of their lives. Because they don't got to worry about anything, because you're going to be right there to catch on. Yeah, and sometimes you got to as much as it sucks. Sometimes you got to let your kids fall, right. And seed

Jen:

it does. And and it's so interesting, because I remind, you know, the families out there where I'm like, boundaries are action oriented, that's the only thing that people can hear from your boundaries is the action that you put behind it. So there'll be like, Oh, I set boundaries all the time. They just never listened to them. So you're yelling at them. And your form of being a good boundary is is that you just get louder with your words, but then you don't actually do any follow through, right? Yeah,

Nicole:

yeah, you're gonna do but you don't back any of it up. Because when the time comes, you do the exact opposite of what you said, you know what I like? Yeah, you gotta be like, here's the boundary, I'm not doing this. And you got to stick with that, you know,

Jen:

and, and you can't play chicken with someone that has substance abuse issues. There's no such thing as playing chicken, because you will lose every time. You You know, and so there's no such thing as like ultimatums or, you know,

Nicole:

ultimately, they're gonna they're gonna pick the substance, you know, like, Yeah, and it's nothing personal. It's just, once they reach that point in becoming an addict, you know, that the drug and the substance, it is their master, you know, it has total control over them. It controls every aspect of their lives. And trust me, when I was nine, I was using, I was fully aware of the people that I was hurting and the damage that I was causing, and what did I do to kind of forget about all that? I would go right back out and do the same thing that was causing all this because I had to.

Jen:

Yeah, exactly. And, and it's this, that's kind of where a lot of people really struggle with not going in into a rehab and trying to do it on the outside world, because they're left to their own devices. They don't have like a safe place. And it's so automatic, we have such an automatic response. When it comes to substances, it's hard to break that automatic response. Unless you have a safe environment. Now it sounds like you had your your parents that provided that safe environment for you. That kind of

Nicole:

things got rocky Yeah, I lost and I moved out on my own and like, you know, once once you get sober, it's kind of like, your minds clear, you're not all wishy washy, you don't have like a much brain. So you're able to like, know what you want. And like once you have like, a few like a year, you know, have some time and the clear mind because, you know, when you're using in your active your brain is like a giant fog, you know what I mean? Like, yeah, so like, once you get rid of that fog, like, then you're kind of able to, like, see what, what's healthy for you, you and what boundaries I had to put in place. And if those boundaries weren't, you know, being broken all the time, that I had to do what's best for me, you know, yeah, and my day couldn't recover and, you know, fully heal with me still in the house. And vice versa. Right.

Jen:

Yeah, there's a lot of there is a lot of like, complicated family dynamics that

Nicole:

you know, recovery on both sides. Exactly. Like not easy for anyone.

Jen:

It's really not and, and, you know, again, those complicated family dynamics and some, some of those patterns, especially in the earlier stages, when you don't have like the coping skills to really deal with. Like, we're just trying to, like figure out how to get up in the morning and like, brush our hair, much less. Right? Yeah. So then we have like the family stuff all like coming at us tonight. It's like, I don't have the emotional resources. Navigate like this. So no, like,

Nicole:

I have nothing in that. Whoa. So I couldn't really deal with much emotionally until like, I filled my cup back up, you know? Yeah, that took a while because, you know, you come into a 12 step program, you are utterly and completely defeated. Yeah, you know, you are mentally physically drained, exhausted, like, You're hopeless. And it takes a while to feel like a normal person again.

Jen:

And this is where the the community is so vital is because I don't care who you are. And I don't care if your parents are part of, you know, a 12 step program, and have been for some time, they cannot teach you how to recover. And we don't come in knowing how to do life. Without substances, we have to have other people teaching us that. And it can't be

Nicole:

more like a guidance guy

Jen:

guiding us. It's like, dude, I'm happy

Nicole:

for me, like, maybe it'll work for you. But like, sometimes, you know, what works for one person won't work for another, you know,

Jen:

oh, yeah, I would never recommend my recovery for anybody else.

Nicole:

Ever kind of thing, you know, like, any error is just not not necessarily an automatic relapse. You know, it's just like, your mental sobriety may suffer a little bit. It's just you got to find the right 12 step program. thing that kind of works for you, you know what I mean?

Jen:

Yeah, and that's, and that's just it is, is it goes back to, you know, not everything fits for everyone. It's really just finding what resonates with you. But it is important to allow yourself the opportunity to embrace something like we can't just poopoo everything, right, and just stay sat down, you

Nicole:

gotta get you gotta get out of your comfort level, you know, like,

Jen:

yeah, you're gonna, well,

Nicole:

I don't want to do that, because you feel uncomfortable doing it, the whole point. And the whole process of getting sober is doing things that make us uncomfortable, and get us out of our comfort zone. And really just kind of like, you know, shell us out, you know, like, you would like a lobster tail, you know, your gut in the me like,

Jen:

Yeah, well, and I, I do think that we sometimes like we make an assumption, or we have this feeling like, Oh, this feels bad, something must be wrong. And no, it's like, well, well, you're also human, like, we have right human things. And, and we also don't come into recovery, always knowing how to be in relationship with other people. And that can be that can be a real challenge. And I think like when it comes to recovery, a lot of people find it really challenging to navigate the relationships that they're not used to, because we're not used to like talking about our feelings and being vulnerable. I

Nicole:

never wanted it. I would rather be thrown into the middle of the freeway and talk about my feelings while I was active. Now my partner literally is like, you talk to your tool. Like, my dad was the same way like you make fun of my dad all the time, because you would never talk about his feelings. And now like, literally, like every accomplishment I make, he's like, I'm getting weepy. I'm getting weepy, you know. And I

Jen:

was, like, yeah, it's so great. It's like, you know,

Nicole:

we go from like, one extreme to another. It's like, so now I'm in the process of like, learning how to handle the emotions properly.

Jen:

Yeah, exactly. And sometimes that when we're navigating some of those, learning how to have relationships with other people, it's kind of messy, we don't always navigate in the best of ways and people, other people are doing the same thing. So it's like, we don't always get to see the best versions of everyone. And we have to learn how to kind of cope with like, when our feelings get hurt, someone said something mean to something hurt our feelings, something hit on, you know, a trigger for us. And, you know, our instant reaction is to just push everything and everyone No, I hate everything about this. Because, you know, we're

Nicole:

very, you know, and like, oh, what my favorite was, Oh, I'm okay. And just like shove it deep down. Oh, yeah. But like, learn in you know, in recovery that you can't do that. Because ultimately, that's what's gonna lead you back out there again. Yeah. When someone does something like, as tough as a conversation as it may be like, you have to have those conversations when someone does something that you don't like, because, you know, for your own recovery.

Jen:

Yeah,

Nicole:

you know that that's what that's the first thing I'm My life is my recovery. Yeah, and it always has to be number one.

Jen:

Yeah, it can never be number two. That's exactly right. And it's, it's, that's, so you're like, this is about my recovery. This isn't about what anyone else is doing. Right? So right. You know, even for me, when I, when I look at, like my recovery, I'm not friends with everyone, because I don't have to be I don't like, I lost a

Nicole:

lot of friends. Yeah, we're, who weren't, who are able to drink normally, and stuff like that, because like, you know, they were able to go out to the wood, like the bars and do these things and like, but I found a group of sober friends, you know, it's just like, you, you have to change your people, places and things. And like, it took me a while to come to that realization. But like, once I did it, like it was so much easier for me.

Jen:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And and, you know, speaking of kind of community and showing up for your recovery and stuff, you have some pretty cool things and like places you work with, as part of that. So can you like, tell us a little bit about I did a little bit of research into this, the mission foundation and foundation? Yeah, your glorious recovery?

Nicole:

They're both they're both amazing. Yes, recovery, for me was, was vital. They're the ones who actually like, because even though I raised my hand, and like, in, in the 12 step program, I didn't tell any friends or family members that, you know, I was in recovery. And glorious recovery helped me because I wouldn't be here like talking to you, and open about my journey if it wasn't for them. And basically, you know, what we do as a nonprofit foundation is like, we like to show people that even though you're sober, it doesn't mean that your life is boring, and that life is over. And that you know, so we host a bunch of fun events. I don't know if you've heard of cloud gang, like the sober artists. Well, we are there's a group of sober artists, it's like being rain ram wine. kelechi there's a bunch of them. And you know, I'm, we're holding a big concert on May 15. Oh, that's going Amaz on the eighth, which was my idea, my event, I'm super stoked for it. Like, you've literally got to hold the leash of the llama and walk your own llama. Like, that's exciting. On the fun side, you know, like, we do fun events to show people that recovery can be fun, and we encourage it's not just for the people in recovery. Yeah, encourage families to come along to like, glorious recoveries of families, family, you know, because addiction is a family disease recovered family as well.

Jen:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's amazing. And, and you're hitting on something so important. And so vital for the success of people who are entering into recovery is remembering that like, there's a lot of fun, like true fun, deep meaning fun that I never had when I was using, you know, like when I was using? Yeah, I mean, I had a lot of, quote unquote, fun. But it also led to a lot of consequences. Like I did not wake up the next day going. Oh, man. Yeah, it was fun at the time. But I usually woke up going, Oh, my God, what the hell just happened? You know, and I don't I don't have that, like I have true, fun way.

Nicole:

You your stomach hurts. So

Jen:

yeah, it's a true joy. So I think it's important to find things that bring you joy, and having a lot of fun. And look, you know, I've been in recovery, you know, for a long time. So I wouldn't still be here. If I didn't have any.

Nicole:

We're not a lot, you know what I mean? And like,

Jen:

we are not we are definitely rambunctious and we want to go have fun and, and hang out with people. And I think that's amazing.

Nicole:

About glorious recovery is that like, we don't care, your financial status, because, you know, like, if you're new in recovery, like we we totally understand how hard it is, and how much you you mess up your finances while you were active. You know, like, so if you want to come to an event and you're in like the CTE area, like we will help pay for it or we will pay for it for you to come because like we get it like we're all in recovery.

Jen:

So, so that sounds and I do invite people to check out glorious recovery.org and I'll have that

Nicole:

we have a Facebook. I'll definitely check that one out of funner than the website to be honest.

Jen:

Well, we'll also put the Facebook page in the link to that in the show. notes as well. And what about the mission mission foundation.

Nicole:

Alright, so I have one of the reasons I picked up drinking is I never knew my purpose in life. Once I figured out what kind of what I wanted to do with my life, I still had no sense of real purpose. The founder and one of the cofounders, and president of the mission Foundation, john Shin holster, aka mission, um, he actually reached out to me and they brought me down, it's like, I'm a treatment facility, sober living kind of thing. And I, within 24 hours of being there, I had found my purpose in life automatically felt like home. And what they do there is they offer peer to peer resources. It's not your typical kind of rehab, you know, they give they, they have 12 houses, you know, let you live off of the main like campus area and like, so you're in a bubble, but you're not in a bubble, and you still have to deal with some real life stuff, right. But it's just overall, like, it was probably the best few days of my life that I've ever had. Because, like, they do so many groups and like, the staff there is all in recovery themselves. And it's just like, the things that they do, they're upfront, and they're honest with you, like, if you're messing up or you're slacking in an area, they will not hesitate to be like, you're doing this like this wrong, like you need to go and you need to go do this. And they give you that toolkit, and they slowly transition you back into real life. They're just not like, you know, oh, 30 days, that Time's up. See you later, you know, a lot of volunteers and a lot of the staff who I was talking to, at my time there actually went through their program. So they're great, like resource if like, you know, you do have a loved one who doesn't need help, and they're in Richmond, Virginia.

Jen:

Okay, I'm going to have a link to make sure it's mentioned. And I know a lot of people are just looking for really great resources that are out there. And I'm always looking to get to know, you know, you know, what's out there. I just I and who's doing good? Like, who's doing the right action? for the right reasons? Yeah. So, so many, and glorious recovery. And I think that those are really important to share about and talk about, and, you know, send people in the right direction. Because I think, I think, you know, we can acknowledge that not every place is doing all the right things for all the Right, exactly.

Nicole:

So we have a different model than like, I feel like for me, when I think rehab, I think of like, a giant white building, like locked inside no freedom. You know, that's what I think of like the, you know, I think of them focusing more on getting me off of whatever, you know, detoxing me medical, I think of like, the medical side of it, right. Yeah, they do have resources for that. They focus more on like, the mental aspect of it. You know, Oh, my goodness.

Jen:

so important.

Nicole:

Well, it's, yeah,

Jen:

and, you know, I went, I went to a rehab that was run by addicts for Yes. Right. And I found there was so much value. And because all the staff was also in recovery, and like, it just created a very different environment, then some of the other like, rehabs not not to say that, you know, it was a lot of the

Nicole:

different size for everyone.

Jen:

It is, exactly, it's just different. And, and it created a, an environment because you just really had people that really understood exactly, yeah. Cuz,

Nicole:

as addicts and alcoholics, like, what people don't want, what they don't want to see, or what they don't know, is that like, our brains are wired completely differently. You know, like, it's been proven that our brains are different and like to be able to kind of go to a, you know, a recovery center where everyone's brain works like your brain makes it makes it easier, you know, because they understand. Yeah, bedwetting, your shoes, you know, they've walked a mile in your shoes, and then some so you know, yeah. I always I always like, you know, recommend like, the one of the best resources just having like your loved one sit down with someone in recovery. Oh, yeah. You know, like, Don't Try to talk to unless you've been in their shoes, like, you know what I'm, it's harder to get the message across to them. Like, you know, the only reason I did it and I went to a it was because like one, I had no option but like if my dad was active or if he'd never used I probably would have worked been right back out there. But, you know, I value the opinion more of what he had to say. Because I know that he was once where I was at, you know, if that makes sense? Oh, yeah, absolutely. I

Jen:

mean, that's a lot of the reason why I got into doing what I, you know, got into doing was because, you know, I just had so many family members, picking my brain trying to figure out what the hell is going on. And, and, and then they wouldn't use me as much as I really felt like they needed to, as as a resource. So I just started providing, you know, myself kind of as a resource and an understanding and in creating content around, you know, what is it like for us? What do you need to do for the family members? How do you need to, you know, how do we how are we supporting each other through all of this crazy world of addiction, and we love it's hard, it's hard to navigate, you know, there's

Nicole:

no, there's no map that leads from point A, from point A to recovery, you know, like, yeah, there's many different paths to take. And it's just a matter of, you know, again, like, I hate saying it, but it's more it's trial and error. You know, it's Yeah, it's finding what works for that person. And it may take a few times, it took my dad, God knows how many times with so many different types of programs and things like that, for him to finally get it, you know, yeah, it's, it's, uh, and I think we since comes into play here, too.

Jen:

Yeah. And it is, it's, it's, it is very much a trial and error. And we don't like that, because we're looking for the silver bullet, the fix that's going to fix it, you know, and if we want it now, now, we have to have this solved. Now, this is a problem, we're gonna solve it now. You know, and right. And that's not the case. And it can't be it's just because it's, you know,

Nicole:

it shouldn't be right, you don't want to put pressure on that person to get sober ASAP. You know, like, because, like I said earlier, what the, what the only thing that's gonna do is get them sober for however long you send them away for, and then they're gonna come home and go back to doing the right thing. Or maybe, you know, it will work. But do you want to take that risk at the end of the day? Yeah. And, you know, you really want them to be willing

Jen:

to go and people will, when they're ready, they're ready. And sometimes, yeah, there are ready. And maybe, throughout the recovery process, like what happened with myself is, you know, I wasn't very clear about what to do about some of my mindset, and my my behaviors or my patterns. And so I kept falling back into the same, you know, thinking because I wasn't being very clear with that of like, how to how to navigate that. So

Nicole:

it I was working in it. Yeah.

Jen:

And then like, you know, I relapsed and then when I came back in, I had a better understanding of what it was going to take and what I needed to do. You know, I hate that I had to go through it. And I don't recommend that for anybody. But if it's

Nicole:

your summary, you know, it's the only

Jen:

way that I could have figured out what it was that how committed I really needed to be, you know,

Nicole:

exactly. You need to be heartedly 100%. committed, you know,

Jen:

yeah, yeah. Well, there

Nicole:

is you have to have the willingness. Absolutely. Well,

Jen:

Nicole, I just wanted to thank you so much for coming on and sharing your journey. I'm going to have those links up in my show notes. And I invite people to go check out your Facebook page and their webs. Yeah.

Nicole:

I'm always open to talking to new people. Yeah. Me Up Guys. Like I joined this group to kind of be a resource. Yeah. And try to answer as many questions as I could, you know, like, I I'm here to be of service.

Jen:

Yeah. And I think that's so fantastic. I want to I want to join that Facebook so I can see when you have events, maybe you'll have an event somewhere near me one day and I can come and actually meet you in person. I don't know. We'll see. You maybe you'd be surprised at how these things happen. Um,

Nicole:

but yeah, university never know. It's out there now. So

Jen:

Exactly. So well. Thanks again. And Colin. And Cory. Yeah, and thank you for listening to this podcast. If you want to listen to more or find more information out about this podcast, and more of what I do to help families you can go check out my page at unbreakable boundaries, podcast calm, it's full of other great podcasts just like this one and other great resources to look through. And please remember to share this podcast with others. You never know who may need to hear this people are often hiding their battles in this arena. And sharing is a great way to provide this valuable resource to a person, you may not even know who needs it. And don't forget, there is always hope, even when things seem the most hopeless. Thanks again, for listening to the unbreakable boundaries podcast, I wanted to share a little bit about the new program that was actually born from my early recovery series that I did as a part of this podcast. So as you can hear in many of the episodes that I dive into people with that early recovery is really messy. It's confusing, people have a hard time navigating themselves through the various situations that they face, such as the different triggers that they're, they face the overwhelming emotions, how to navigate through some of those complicated family dynamics and how to find the right support system for themselves, and so many more things. So I did create the early recovery program that helps people who are entering into recovery, know how to navigate themselves through those very, very confusing and overwhelming first months. It also helps the families who want to support them and knowing what to do. So even if you are listening to this as the family member and your loved one isn't quite into recovery, yet, they may be soon and you can be better prepared on how to deal with them as they enter into that early recovery process. Because a lot of times the red flags that we think are red flags are actually a really, really normal part of the early recovery process. And we can unintentionally put too many unrealistic expectations on them. So this is a great thing for families to go through as well. And you can learn more about this program by going to the early recovery program comm I really, really hope that everyone checks that out is a great resource. I made it so that it could be very inexpensive. And it's just it's it's a lot of my own journey and what people experience so hope you go check that out the early recovery program.com