I discovered my gift to the world was the very thing I was hiding from…
By Luke Worsfold: Lisaa.uk
I was a 20-year-old aspiring entrepreneur looking to become a millionaire from my latest company. Sitting in a seminar run by Peter Sage called the Millionaire Business School, which seemed appropriate for my aspirations. During this three-day course, we were led through an exercise that was intended to uncover our gift to the world. As I went through this exercise the lights were turned down and some calming music was playing in the background. 200 people in a room, all with our eyes shut. We filled out 6 cards one by one with different sentences on them. All I could think was “This is way too woo-woo for me”. But I am open to new experiences so I trusted our guide and lent into the experience. Once it was completed, we were to take one of the cards and on this card, it would say the thing we felt we were deprived of as a child. My card read “didn’t get emotional support from parents”. Meaning my gift to the world should be to give emotional support. The problem was I didn’t even have enough emotional intelligence to understand this statement or believe my card. Why you ask? Because when my mum Lisa died of alcoholism I was 10 and it was hard for me to deal with the amount of pain I felt. So the only way I knew how to get rid of the pain, was to rip out anything that connected my head to my heart.
Being so young and having to go through a traumatic experience caused me to shut down all my emotions. I just buried any feelings deep in the valley of my soul never to be found again. This was assisted by my social surrounding. Growing up with two older brothers and a dad that didn’t show his emotions either didn’t set a good example. At the time I was surrounded by three men and all I saw was being angry and fighting made me a man but crying made me weak. If I cried I would get picked on more by my brothers and the cycle would repeat itself. Does my card make sense yet?
When I was sitting at the Millionaire Business school as an emotionless ‘ruthless business man’. I had so many poorly programmed limiting beliefs that made me reject the truth of the card. For example, I used to say to my business partner if you want a friend to get a dog. I didn’t see being vulnerable as an option and believe to get to the ‘top’ I needed to be strong never showing weakness. I left the millionaire business school still in this mindset, having a perfect map to get the top of success mountain. I just couldn’t see it was the wrong mountain.
“Success is cultivated in the mind while happiness is manufactured in the heart” — Philip McKernan
It wasn’t for a while after when I was watching London Real, an interview show that has amazing guests who speak about personal development and how to become your best self. On the show, I came across a guest called Philip McKernan. He spoke about the importance of living an authentic and meaningful life suggesting success is cultivated in the heart while happiness is manufactured in the mind. This gave me a level of awareness that I wasn’t quite ready for, this taught me that with awareness comes great responsibility. I suddenly felt this overwhelming need to become authentic and stop hiding from the shame around the parts of myself I had hidden from. It takes a moment to change and make a shift in your life, but it may take years for that moment to appear. This was the moment I decided to make a commitment to myself to achieve authenticity. To make everything around me an extension of myself, not just another mask to wear. One thing that helps me to commit to something is taking action while I am in the mood. So I paused the interview, hopped onto google and searched around for a local therapist and booked a session (Pull the trigger). Walking into my first therapy session I really believed that I could have died from bringing back up the pain I felt from my mum’s death. I had suppressed so much of my emotions I did not know what I would find and to be honest, that scared the shit out of me!
“It felt like I was about to start poking a sleeping lion”
I quickly developed the courage needed to embrace the uncertainty and anxiety of this journey of self-discovery. I was in this for the long run and If I wasn’t going to hide then I was going to fight. As the days turned into months every couple of weeks I would go back to therapy and untangle the mess of my emotions. Despite all my hard work I still had the critic in the back of my mind saying you’re not good enough and you will never make it. Plus the hardest label of all, you’re too broken! Still, I persisted and kept my head up with a smile on my face. As this journey continued, I started to understand the impact of mum’s actions on my traumatic development and how my broken child was living inside me as an adult. Gaining an understanding of the ripples of addiction throughout my life and how they affected every subconscious decision I made. To aid my healing I started attending Alanon, a group of relatives and friends of alcoholics who believe that changed attitudes can aid the recovery of not only ourselves but of the addicts we love so dearly. This is when I remembered the card from the Millionaire Business School. It was hidden in a cardboard completely alone, rejected, suppressed like my emotions once were. But now I was ready to understand and process what this statement meant. I had found the group of people I could give emotional support to through Alanon. I could now help people like I had helped myself, I could give them understanding and emotional support so that they don’t feel isolated on their journey.
The only problem was that in my mind I had a vision of a mountain and I felt like I was only standing at the base. At Alanon the numbers would range from two of us one week to six or seven the next. Which was nice because we all got so much value from engaging and listening to each others story. This feeling of being understood was just invaluable. But I couldn’t bare to think the number of people that needed help but didn’t even know it existed. The fact we couldn’t promote Alanon or engage in any marketing was just foreign to me. Growing up in the 21st century with Facebook marketing being second nature I just couldn’t settle. I felt like a 5-year old that just drank a can of coke, with a sugar rush just about to hit me. I decided to do interviews with people affected by addiction and then distribute it to the world on a confidential platform. Maintaining the crucial value of anonymity that Alanon provided, by creating an approval process that ensured you could only get into the community if you had a relative or friend who was an addict. Ensuring the right content didn’t get into the wrong hands. Ultimately taking this feeling of understanding we all felt in Alanon global. Lisaa was born!
My Change: By Clifton
May 11, 2017
My personal story begins just as most every other recovering alcoholic. I started my senior year of high school drinking socially at bonfires, house parties, wherever the action was. Then I went to college and kept on drinking but began to experiment with drugs, mostly marijuana. That was my gateway drug. Around junior year of college I found cocaine and that quickly began my drug of choice but alcohol stayed in my life. Between the marijuana, coke and alcohol I quickly lost myself. I never graduated I dropped out after a semester into my junior year. I had friends that didn't graduate and they were doing okay for themselves, getting drunk and doing drugs while they waited tables at a local restaurant. That seemed like the life! So I followed them down a road that I had no idea where it would lead me. I ended up in jail on a DUI charge that cost my family thousand of dollars not to mention the pain that came with it. I can still see the look on my grandmother's face when she was sitting outside of the jail waiting for me to come out. But that didn't stop me from not drinking, within a month I was back at it. Years past by and I still drank, sometimes I drove, sometimes I would drink in my truck just to get away from the house. The drugs never surfaced again so I was doing great I THOUGHT. I thought "everyone drinks, its legal, and socially acceptable so I'm fine. I got married had a child and still alcohol everyday, most of the time hiding from my wife. I thought that if I could bring home enough money to provide for my family then I was doing pretty good and I deserved that drink (every night). Little did I know my wife needed more from me and moved away, taking with her our 2 year old with her. I was mad, hurt, disappointed and scared. Mostly mad at her, how could she leave, right?! I left her no choice and I was out of chances. On November 12, 2016 I stopped drinking cold turkey and never looked back. At first it was because I was trying to prove to HER that i cared, but I began to realize this was about me and changing how i felt about myself. I started living not for her or my kids but for me. I am now back with my wife and kids and loving the life that I lead now. I have strength that I never thought I could have. I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of who I am. I am born again into a world that I never thought possible and i will never leave. Thanks for reading! God bless!
My name is Michael Favor I am a addict but I am no longer a drug addict. I took my negative addiction and turned it into a positive Addiction is a disease and we need to realize we will always be addicts. On March 26 2016 I found myself broken and scared. I was broken because I hated myself for becoming a man who was sucked into a lifestyle that would not last much longer. I was scared because I was hiding it from everyone and i did not know what was going to happen. I finally got the strength to put all my effort into getting sober as I put into getting high. On March 27 2016, I laid on my couch researching inspirational leaders who will make me feel like " I have a place in life ". I messaged Sober Evolution in hopes to find some guidance. I received a message back shortly after and my journey began. There are so many simple things in life I had forgotten but once in contact with you, it started to come back. I used drinking and cocaine as a band-aid of life. I was living a careless and selfish life I turned to drinking and cocaine any opportunity I had I am self employed so my freedom is 24/7. I was using all day while working. I was lying to my loved ones about anything and everything. I was borrowing money to finish jobs. I was living the life of a selfish addict I used for 11 years. After using for 11 years I never thought I could stop. Sober Evolution guided me from the first day and I am so thankful for you. Seeing a message come in out of no where by a complete stranger to check up on me made me realize this circle of people Is who I need to associate with. I was told this is going to be the hardest thing in my life but if I wanted it I can have it. I currently and approaching 9 months clean. I have become an inspiration to many people. I have prevented suicide with my daily posts. I started a animal rescue group called " No More Pain Rescue". I volunteered and built a huge goat sanctuary called "Goats Of Anarchy". I have repaired my relationships with my family and friends I love who I am and I would sincerely like to Thank You for everything. I still look forward to speaking with you and turning to your page for daily inspiration. Even though you are a complete stranger, I feel like your my best friend. Sobriety is amazing just like you told me.
Rose, I just want to say thank you for sharing your story with us! You are truly inspiring and you have been able to overcome huge obstacles. Your enthusiasm and strength show how amazing sobriety can be. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experience, strength and hope!
Here is Rose's story:
I remember that one of the first things that I could really relate to when I got to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous was when I heard a speaker say that they never felt comfortable in their own skin. Before I got sober I didn’t know that other people felt this way and I always just believed that I was alone in this. I also went out of my way to never be present in the moment prior to getting sober. This has been one of the amazing blessings of sobriety it has taught me how to be in the moment and present in my life.
Growing up my parents were missionaries and so I spent a majority of my youth abroad. We first lived in Costa Rica and then we moved to Peru, amidst the internal conflicts that were going in the country at the time. At night I would sometimes hear the bombs of The Shining Path going off and the sound of gunfire became a regular occurrence in my life. However, these were not the things that bothered me, I was really too young to understand the political complications of the area we lived in, and so what really got to me was how different I felt.
I had red hair and freckles, which none of my peers shared, and so I felt that I stuck out like a sore thumb, when all I wanted was to just fit in. That was the great desire of my life to just feel like other people and it seemed that no matter what I did or how I changed I just couldn’t manage it.
Towards the end of our stay in Peru a couple of significant events happened that preceded my rapid descent into an eating disorder. As if it wasn’t enough to be in an unfamiliar country, with unfamiliar people, I also experienced sexual trauma. This event was something that I used to fuel my destructive behaviors for years to come, and it all began with my eating disorder at the age of 13.
My eating disorder is really how I started on the path that would result in my addiction. I found that by controlling my food or binging and purging I felt some measure of control over my life, when it appeared that everything else was spiraling. I started out by only throwing up once every day, but by the end of the first year I found that I was throwing up 13 times a day.
When I was 17 years old I was sent to my first treatment center, specifically for my eating disorder and for a time things seemed to get better. I was attempting to do the things that I had been taught during my stay and I really wanted to live a life that was not controlled by eating disorder, but in all honesty I just wasn’t ready for this yet and I still hadn’t really addressed the fact that drugs and alcohol were more of a problem then I let on.
Over the course of my addiction I abused Adderall, which was initially prescribed to me for ADHD, opiates, and alcohol. I saw that my life wasn’t really going in the direction that I had hoped but I didn’t realize that my eating disorder and addiction were the driving force behind this detour. I believed that everyone else was at fault and that they didn’t understand what I went through or how painful life was, so how could they tell me anything.
While my addiction was really taking off I managed to get married and have two children. The marriage was abusive, and for 7 years I stayed with him, unable to get out. I did my best to raise my children, but my addiction and the abuse really began to take a toll on me.
That was until around 3 years ago when I left him and moved in with my parents. My life was completely falling apart and during this time period I tried to get sober a number of times but was incapable of going more than a couple of days. The guilt and shame that I felt during this time were indescribable and I didn’t know it then but I was coming up on my bottom at an increasingly quick pace.
Being unable to stop using on my own I finally broke down and asked for help and I was sent to Pennsylvania for treatment and from there to a long-term treatment facility in South Florida. I spent 5 months in treatment in South Florida and I am so grateful for that time because it gave me the space I needed in order to heal. It gave me an introduction to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and it allowed me to reconnect with a God of my understanding.
Coming into recovery I didn’t really want anything to do with God of my childhood. The experiences of my youth and my addiction had all but ripped him out of my life, but once I got Sober and began to work the Steps I started to trust God again and relate to him from a totally different angle.
Sobriety wasn’t necessarily easy at first as I had to deal with a lot of trauma from my past and the suppressed emotions that went along with them, but as I put one foot in front of the other and threw myself all the more into my program I truly began to heal. A lot of the hurt and anger that I had carried for so many years began to melt away and I began to experience peace for the first time in my life. It was incredible and coming in I didn’t know that I could possibly feel that way without drugs or alcohol.
I spent a total of 18 months in South Florida and this past year I moved back home to be with my kids. To be honest moving back home has been a struggle and things haven’t really panned out the way that I thought they were going to, but the fact that I even have the opportunity to show up and be a mother again is worth all of the struggle and uncomfortability.
Sobriety didn’t just give me my life back, it gave me a life that I didn’t know existed. It has allowed me to walk through my struggles with a confidence I never had and strength that is beyond my own. It has allowed me to reconnect with my family and has given me the ability to be the mother that I always wanted to be. There are some days when things get tough, but I know that no matter what, I never have to drink or use drugs again to deal with life.
"Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.
"This is my short story to sobriety....
My name is Jax and I am Sober from alcohol. I can remember the vivid moment when I turned for the worst with my addiction. I was with my family when I heard the words..." I have cancer..." said from my father. He is my world, my hero and everything to me. My heart sank....right to my feet. I just couldn't pick up the pieces.... The following seven months were bottle after bottle a night...drinking my emotions into a coma. Everyone around me seen the destruction that I was doing, but I had absolutely no care in the world. I was sad and angry. Nothing would stop it now. On June 6th, 2015 I was with my husband and best friends for a dinner date. The usual laughs and fun, but something was different about that night. Something awoke inside of me....my last drink was a Blue Caruso Margarita...I'll never forget it. I remember all of us coming home that night and me saying to my best friend "I don't wanna drink anymore". "I am gonna detox for a bit" I said. That was my last drink. I made a choice. A choice to be sober. Ever since that day I have found out more and more about who I really am. I have realized that I've had a drinking problem since I was 12 years old. Seeing it constantly growing up as a child. We always had parties and gatherings. Alcohol was the center of it all, always. I have always leaned on alcohol to "help me" and wash away all of my fears. I now know that I don't need it. I have blossomed in so many ways. I have full control of my mind and spirit. It is amazing to reflect and even to read the words on this page bring tears to my eyes...but such joy to my heart. Thank you for listening to my story. <3
Cheers to 450 days.
Love yourself now and forever,
The Sober Jax"
thank you so much for sharing your story! In the short period of time we have known each other, I have noticed your booming energy and your incredible positivity shine through your pictures and conversations. You are an inspiration and I will always wish you well. I am looking forward to seeing where you go from here:) Congrats on your sobriety <3
As I was sitting in my cubicle right after a department meeting, I was approached by a supervisor who normally doesn't have anything positive to say. I was preparing to listen to a lecture about something along the lines of having a spec of dust on my desk. But instead, I was told that my shirt that says, "On That Drug Free Diet #SoberEvolution" was offensive because of the word "Sobriety and Drug" and that I had two options, I could either turn my shirt inside out or go home and change it and have to stay late. And was told to stop wearing my sober shirts. I gladly opted to go home...and take the rest of the day off.
It may have been an attempt to show power and control (very common with that particular "leadership" team). It could have just been a rush to judgement or lack of education. Or maybe there actually is some sort of code of conduct violation that the corporation has against sobriety.
This definitely fired me up! Luckily it fired me up in a good way. It makes me even more passionate about what it is that I am doing.with Sober Evolution. It makes me want to drive harder to end the stigma. It makes me want to show those who have a problem with a person trying to promote good into this world that they, in fact are the problem...
Here is the reason as to why I create these shirts:
Before getting sober myself, I was afraid. I was terrified because I didn't know of anyone whom I could reach out to for my own problems. I didn't notice those who were enjoying life sober. I thought if I were to become sober, I would live a lonely and miserable life.
It wasn't until I saw someone on Facebook become open about their sobriety that I gained hope. I saw someone having fun and enjoying life with other sober people. Since they lived far away I tried to sober up on my own. I tried and tried but kept failing on my own. Eventually I asked for help...lo and behold I got it. I took advice and ran with it. I started realizing that the sober community was HUGE, not to mention incredible! I saw people who were enjoying their lives, I saw like minded people who had true and unconditional love for one another, people who would give you the shirt off their back. I saw huge events all over the world and people who were having more fun sober than they ever had drunk or high.
Since realizing this, it has become my passion to get my story out so others who are in the position I was once in can see how incredible sobriety can be. 90% of those who need help never ask for it. I want to help change that.
I created these shirts to spread awareness across the globe. They are an incredible way of showing people passing by, a person who is enjoying their life as a sober person. It not only helps with people in sobriety, but it also shows anyone who is battling their own obstacles, that it is OK to ask for help and it is OK to admit our weaknesses.
For whatever reason, someone had a problem with my shirt today. I just hope that they too will have the courage to fight against their own demons in life.
Regardless of what happened today, I will continue to fight for what I believe in. I will keep fighting to build Sober Evolution so that I can help more people and eventually never have to enter the doors of that corporation again. I will fight the good fight to end the stigma. I couldn't do it without those who have fought before me and who are fighting with me.
One Day at a Time,
Austin F. Cooper #SoberEvolution
This is a must read! Caroline has a very powerful story that shows some of the depths of addiction. I am glad to have been given the opportunity to share this. Thank you Caroline!
"My story starts from when I was put in an orphanage at the age of 2 weeks old. All I know about the orphanage was that it was crowded and that I didn't get adopted until I was 2 years old. I grew up in an abusive home and got called negative things daily which only brought my self esteem lower. I was very confused on why it seemed like nobody wanted me. I was hurt and I thought I was a mistake. Overtime the abuse got worse and it started to take a toll on me mentally. Around age 10 Anytime that I felt emotional pain I would steal Radom medicines out of the cabinet like Tylenol and Advil etc. My parents started to notice and eventually got rid of all medicines in the house. I then noticed that their was alcohol in the house and I then started to drink anytime I felt emotional discomfort but strangely I hated the taste I couldn't stop drinking and I didn't know why. I tried to stop drinking but I then just found other ways to "cope" with my pain. If I wasn't drinking I was cutting myself. I couldn't stop cutting at all ,my cutting got so bad that I would do it at any given time. At that point I wanted to die and I got sent away to a psych hospital.. I told myself I would never cut or drink again But I found myself drinking and cutting once more. I than discovered drugs around the age of 13. I smoked weed but I kept telling my "friends" that I wasn't high enough. I liked pills a lot better so I started popping Xanax's as much as I could and I had this obsession that overtook me constantly. I then started taking stealing triple c's and I would take them everyday. I would go to school high all the time and people tried to help me and I would try to stop and I then would just end up relapsing and being worse then ever. During this whole time I started cutting and drinking and Doing drugs all at the same time. I knew I had a problem but I couldn't figure out how to stay sober. It didn't hit me until one of my friends who had 3 years sober died of an overdose. I knew I was in pain and I knew I was going to end up dead if I didn't get help. I needed to be honest with myself. So I went to rehab September 23rd 2015 and did remarkably well in treatment. When I left treatment I ended up relapsing a couple of days after discharge. I was so ashamed and so disappointed but I did do things differently I went to a meeting and became honest about my relapse. A few weeks down the road I relapsed and that time I didn't want to care or face the fact that I messed up so I kept getting high and if it weren't for the good people around me who sat me down and asked me what I wanted my life to be I would be still using today. I sat down and realized that nothing would change if nothing changed I then discussed what a life worth living was with my therapist who is also in recovery and we then decided to build my life worth living. I changed my friends, my way of thinking and my environment. I have a job now and I surround myself with positivity. I work on AA/NA steps. I live with a purpose and I know my purpose. I continue to be kind to everyone and help others as much as possible. I am learning how to enjoy the process rather than the outcome. I would be no where without God who has shown my purpose through his works and I'm forever grateful for this program. (:
Thanks, Caroline Bernhardt"
I have had the pleasure of getting to know this amazing fellow alcoholic/addict all the way from Denmark! She is such an inspiration to me as well as to many others. I am glad to be able to share a bit of her story with you!
"My childhood was in the placement of children homes, and eventually was placed with a foster care family whom I am still very close to, they are like my real parents. I have been an addict since I was about 10 years old, weed, alcohol, amphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, morphine etc. etc. I had a life as a drug dealer so I could maintain my own abuse. In 2011, I was taken by the police and received treatment in prison. When I was released, I had two weekends after that one before I got clean after having an overdose. By then I had enough. I contacted my therapist from prison and was then using her to take meetings in NA and interviews with an abuse consultant.
Today I have been clean and sober since 9-24-2011. I have a house, a dog, a horse, and a rich, beautiful and happy life."
Annika, thank you for sharing your story with us! Your positivity shines through, and your inspiration is incredible. I am glad to know you!