Here it is! My first “Voices of Recovery” feature for National Recovery Month 2017. Before I post the Q&A, just a little note about Jackie. She is an incredible woman who has been commenting on my blog posts, offering her own experience, encouraging me, cheering me on, and supporting me practically since day one. I am grateful for her voice in the recovery community — she has already written three books! — and, though we have yet to meet in real life, I consider Jackie a dear friend. Jackie and I will be doing a Facebook Live on the Quit Wining Facebook page on Thursday, September 7th at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Hope to see you there!
Name: Jackie Elliott
Location: Vancouver Island, BC Canada
Website: I Am Running On Sober
Facebook: I Am Running On Sober
Recovery Date: May 8, 2015
Recovering From: Alcohol
About Jackie: Married, middle-aged, freelance writer/entrepreneur. Loves food, cooking, gardening, reading and the great outdoors.
Q. Before you entered recovery, what did you think the “thing” you were addicted to gave you, did for you, etc.?
A. Alcohol relieved my stress, I believed it made me more confident and outgoing, helped my creativity flow, made me “fun”, and helped me “belong.”
Q. Now that you are in recovery, what have you learned about that “thing?”
A. That it was all a big “con” – alcohol merely numbed/delayed/suppressed.
Q. How are you recovering (e.g., 12-step program, rehab, counseling, on your own, etc.)?
A. On my own, and with help from online sober community, bloggers.
Q. In recovery, how do you give yourself what you thought that “thing” provided?
A. Meditation for stress, plus facing problems head on before they snowball, accepting that I do not have to be “life of every party” and that it is not necessary to “belong” – I can be me. I don’t have to be anyone else.
Q. What was your “rock bottom” or “breaking point” when you realized you needed to change?
A. Physically, I was having black outs which was scary, plus my husband was losing patience and I was afraid for my marriage. Also, I had alienated many friends because of my erratic behaviour.
Q. What has been the hardest part of recovery so far?
A. Getting used to “feeling” uncomfortable – sitting with emotions, rather than blotting them out.
Q. What about recovery has been easier than you had anticipated?
A. Cravings – I didn’t have them half as much as I thought I would.
Q. What has helped you the most in recovery?
Q. Who has helped you the most in recovery?
A. Every sober blogger out there!
Q. What has been the biggest surprise about recovery?
A .That I am not such a horrible person as I thought I was. I am not a total jerk.
Q. What role has family played in your recovery?
A. My husband has been amazing, and patient. My family in England has not really had much to do with it – they know I have quit drinking, but they didn’t really see how bad the situation was, so they were confused at first. However, I have a history with booze, so I think they are not really surprised. We are all very British about it!
Q. Knowing what you do now, what would you tell your pre-recovery self about recovery?
A. Quitting booze is not “deprivation,” it’s a gift. Also, DO IT NOW!
Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking about recovery?
A. Don’t wait, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, it doesn’t matter how much/little you think you are drinking, if there is a little voice in the back of your mind telling you that it’s a problem, quit now. You don’t have to do it alone, and you only have to deal with today. Just don’t drink today.