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WHY I BECAME A SOBER COACH

Posted by PattyPowers
PattyPowers
Patty Powers is a sober coach and writer. She was featured on the A&E mini serie
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 31 May 2012
in Alcoholism 2 Comments

If I’m to be honest answering this question, there will be no quick way through it. I could say I became a sober coach because I was tired of going to bed at 6am and sick of having to shout over loud music to be heard  - but that’s only part of it.

When I got clean in 1988, I placed all bets on my writing. This meant that instead of taking a job that would have career advancement, I stuck with freelance work, doing anything that could finance large chunks of uninterrupted writing time. I came up during the late 70s and 80s among a scene of underground artists, musicians, and filmmakers, many of whom went on to mainstream success. After I got clean, I became the go-to girl for anyone from my previous life wanting to get off drugs. This lead to my first coaching jobs inside the entertainment industry. The calls were so random that I never considered it a real employment source. In between coaching gigs, I continued to take on whatever work paid the bills. Coaching and sober companion work felt like the right fit but I never gave it much thought as a career. At the time it was controversial and renegade.


As the years passed, I continued to write and perform. Although my work was being published and optioned, I still hadn’t made it through the “big doors". It killed me to watch my friends’ lives successfully moving forward while mine seemed, at least outwardly, frozen in time. What was i doing wrong?  My moment of clarity came at fifteen years clean. It occurred to me that I had never stopped directing my romantic and financial affairs and those two areas were not changing. I needed to let go (as they say in 12 step programs) but I didn’t know how. I definitely couldn’t think my way into a new life. I suppose I needed a spiritual experience but being an atheist this was difficult to imagine.

Right as my screenplay was gaining momentum and I was being flown back and forth across the country, the writers’ strike happened. Out of money, I went back to working in bars. The loud music and crazy hours were killing me. Like my final days with drugs, I was absolutely miserable and hopeless. At seventeen years clean, I was back at square one. Then the most amazing thing happened - I ran out of ideas on how to run my life. I was having tea with an old friend from the music industry when I asked him “You know me really well – what do you think I should do for a living?” It didn’t take a minute before he said, “You’d be perfect as a sober companion.”  I had no idea that sober coaching had come into its own as a profession. The renegade rock and roll days had paved the way and now treatment facilities, therapists, and psychiatrists were seeing positive results from setting up clients with sober companions. My friend suggested I contact a couple LA friends to see if anyone had leads.

The stars aligned and within 24 hours I had my first client outside of the entertainment industry. What was interesting to me was how everything I’d ever learnt in my life came into play - not just my personal experience in recovery but the information I’d amassed on nutrition, exercise, meditation, dealing with anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Every aspect of my life had prepared me to do this work.

The real test came on day three when my client’s prominent psychotherapist called for an update. Until then I had been working intuitively and unlike managers, agents, and the people I was used to dealing with, the person on the other end of the phone was skilled in mental health work. If I was a fraud she was going to call me out. Nervous, I took a deep breath and told her honestly what I saw and what I was working on with the client. The phone went silent and my stomach flipped. “I have been working with ___ for three years and you nailed every single item on my list”. His words confirmed that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

For me, falling into coaching was a spiritual experience. When I finally “let go” sober coaching came into my life. I loved it and had great results with clients. From that point on, doors kept opening. One day I got a call from the producers of Intervention about a new mini-series they were casting. Over night, this semi-secret career of mine became very public.

The television series shifted the direction of my life yet again. I received many heartbreaking emails from addict viewers who were without financial resources for treatment. I decided to set up a website and share freely what I do with clients. Currently I’m in the process of writing several books on recovery. What started as a part-time job to finance my writing has become the subject of my writing. No one could be more surprised by this than me.


To read what I do with clients as a sober coach, visit http://pattypowersnyc.com/sobercoac/

 

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SHIFTS IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 16 November 2010
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

I know I am juggling too many plates at once when I develop an uncontrollable twitch in my eye. Besides working a full time pharmaceutical job, I sponsor multiple girls in recovery, care for a 4 year old child, manage Addictionland and finalize my query letter.

While each activity is rewarding, the load of responsibility is more than I can handle at once. At this juncture of my recovery, balancing all aspects of my life is a challange. Increase I still do everything in extremes. Like my physician father who put his whole heart into the treatment and care of his patients, I put my whole heart into my career/recovery/childrearing and have little energy or enthusiasm for romance or relaxation.

I sense I am going through a big shift in my recovery because I can feel it within.  I am exhausted and stressed because I won't let go and let G-d. While I am excellent at pharmaceutical sales/promotions, I no longer want to be selling medications to doctors. Instead, I want to use my passion and skill set to educate people on the miracle of personal transformation with 12 step recovery. To achieve that, I must surrender my current income stream and trust that my needs will be met when I put my full attention on my heart's desire..

The universe keeps sending me signs to go with the flow and follow my dream. Unbelievable people and opportunities keep knocking on Addictionland's door.  My good awaits me and I can only accept it if I open both hands, drop the weight and allow myself to be happy.

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ADDICTION AND INADEQUACY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Monday, 11 October 2010
in Food Addiction 0 Comments

In grade school, I suffered from a feeling of inadequacy. I thought I should feel more girly or more popular or more confident.  Instead, I walked around wishing I was as smart as my brother, as skinny as my best friend or as beautiful as Brooke Shields. I suffered the constant belief I would feel complete when I achieved "X".

As the years passed, my idea of "X' changed.  I focused on the next boyfriend or the next job or my pant size to fulfill me. I got many of the things I wanted and still, I felt empty.  As friends married, I wondered what was wrong with me.  As cousins had children, I stewed in envy. In silent desperation I cried, "Where's my man? Where's my baby? Where's my great life?"

I made no connection between esteemable acts and my self-esteem. If I wanted to achieve success in life, I had to be willing to work for  it. If I want to be thin or educated or well off, I needed to apply effort and be honest with myself. IncreaseBecause I cut corners (like binging and purging instead of eating right and exercising), I never felt whole.

Today, I know anything is possible when I am tenacious and I apply the right action.

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