This month we have had the pleasure of welcoming Emily M to the Herren Wellness team as a Wellness Associate. It is hard to tell Emily is new to the role because she fits into our community seamlessly and has the unique opportunity to work with her older brother Kevin McEnroe (Recovery Coach).
This week we catch up with Emily and get a deeper look into her story and how her path has led to Herren Wellness.
What has brought you to Herren Wellness?
I am so grateful to say I have 623 days of sobriety which is one year 8 months and fourteen days after a long road getting here. I grew up around a lot of substance abuse, and it was all I ever knew until not too long ago. Functioning became only doable with substances pumping through my bloodstream, and towards the end became an all-day everyday experience. Drinking was my main foe, as were other pills and powders. Anything that got me outside of me. Growing up, I’ve always compared myself to my family and their use which ended up getting me into a lot of trouble. I thought because I wasn’t as bad of an addict, that I was remiss from any repercussions. Denial played a big part in my story for some time, as did alcohol and drugs robbed me from of much of my life from so many experiences, family members, and friends. It took me outside of myself, who I am, and became the only coping mechanism I knew. After seeing what my addiction did to those around me I cared about, I started to realize on a different level how bad off I was. The inner monologue in my head went from whispering, to speaking, to screaming to stop drinking, until no amount of anything could quiet this. I came into the rooms crawling on my hands and knees after a night of drinking and driving, which was not uncommon for me especially towards the end. I woke up in a daze, feeling sick, not knowing where I had parked the night before. I FaceTimed my mom and told her I felt I was battling myself. This was the first time I voiced this out loud and though it was scary, a lot of relief came with this. I went to therapy that next day and also voiced to her for the first time that day. With the support and lack of judgment I felt from her and my mom I was able to vocalize that I felt I had a problem and needed help. That night I went to my first meeting and my mind was completely blown. My problems were miniscule compared to what I heard. Even amidst the haze I was in, the love and magic in this room that night was big and real. The hugs and laughter palpable, and helped me to feel safe embarking on this journey slowly, one small step at a time. I threw myself into my recovery going to three meetings a day, speaking when I didn’t want to, listening, staying curious, and slowly starting to open up and chip away at the walls and layers I had created to protect myself. With time I realized that though these defenses had served me at times, that I no longer needed them to survive. I learned about myself, who I really was, who I had lost, and started to change. To feel different. Better. I have had hard days, but haven’t looked back since, and don’t plan too. I try not to overthink it too much. AA saved my life and for that I will be forever grateful at the beautiful life I lead today clear and present experiencing life on life’s terms.