Conversation in Recovery: Kelly

Name: Kelly Fitzgerald Junco
Age: 33
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Recovery Date: May 7, 2013
Recovering From: a substance use disorder & trauma
About Kelly: Kelly Fitzgerald Junco is a writer and certified Recovery Coach based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.
Instagram: @thesobersenorita
Twitter: @kellyfitz11
Facebook: The Sober Senorita
Website: The Adventures of a Sober Senorita

Q. Before you entered recovery, what did you think the “thing” you were addicted to gave you, did for you, etc.?

A. I thought it made me cool, funny, witty, relaxed, spontaneous and more fun.

Q. Now that you are in recovery, what have you learned about that “thing?”

A. I’ve learned I don’t need alcohol or drugs to be any of those things. I learned I can be and have fun without substances.

Q. How are you recovering (e.g., 12-step program, rehab, counseling, on your own, etc.)?

A. My recovery path has included many different things. It started with writing, reading books, blogs, and memoirs, then I went to 12-step meetings, got a sponsor and did the steps, then I left the fellowship. Now my main recovery staples are meditation, CrossFit, Kundalini yoga, writing, and being a recovery coach/helping others get sober.

Q. In recovery, how do you give yourself what you thought that “thing” provided?

A. Self-care, therapy, connecting to the universe and myself, and building confidence and coping mechanisms that allow me to lead a life without substances.

Q. What was your “rock bottom” or “breaking point” when you realized you needed to change?

A. For the last year of my drinking I attempted to moderate. I would go a few weeks not blacking out and think I had a handle on things, but then there would always come a time when it would go too far, I would black out, have a nasty hangover and feel like crap again. My breaking point was a long weekend trip I took with my best girl friends from home to Punta Cana to celebrate one of them being a bachelorette. My boyfriend didn’t want me to go on the trip because he knew I would get out of control, black out, and put myself in danger. I tried so hard that weekend to control my drinking and by the 2nd day, I did what I promised I wouldn’t do. I lost control, blacked out, embarrassed myself and my friends. My boyfriend broke up with me over it and in the airport on the way back home I made a phone call to my mom asking for help. It was there that I decided I wanted to try and stop drinking.

Q. What has been the hardest part of recovery so far?

A. The best and worst part of recovery is feeling everything without being numb.

Q. What about recovery has been easier than you had anticipated? 

A. Socializing without alcohol

Q. What has helped you the most in recovery?

A. Writing, connecting with other women in recovery, helping others get sober.

Q. Who has helped you the most in recovery?

A. My husband, my family, my online sober friends.

Q. What has been the biggest surprise about recovery?

A. Actually living a life without alcohol and drugs that is fucking amazing. I truly never believed it was possible until I tried it.

Q. What role has family played in your recovery?

A. My family stepped up in a big way to support me in early recovery. Without the suggestion of my husband, sobriety would have never occurred to me. My parents and sister have unconditionally loved me through this whole process and I could not be more grateful.

Q. Knowing what you do now, what would you tell your pre-recovery self about recovery?

A. The ideas and stereotypes you have about recovery are all wrong. Recovery is for you and it will be the best decision of your life.

Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking about recovery?

A. Recovery will give you your life back and then some. It’s worth trying.

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