The She Recovers NYC weekend came and went like a loud storm and a soft whisper. It danced through me, sometimes slamming messages of “elevated consciousness” that were loud and boisterous; and sometimes delivering whispered jewels of truth which felt were made just for me.
I am struggling with what to say; I am overwhelmed in a way that makes me want to turn on a mind-numbing Netflix series rather than write. My technique of escaping what’s hard is a li’l demon – ready to jump from shoulder to hand and shut down the laptop screen. Like a good alcoholic, I am a freaking master at escaping what is hard and painful. And this weekend was hard. Beautiful, but a little hard and a little painful. Hard to meet your “heroes” in the flesh – to hear them speak, be in their same space, and wrestle with feeling adequate enough to talk to them and share their elevated rendition of “life’s truths”. To match their words with your reality. To challenge your ego with new concepts and to un-learn old ideas and embrace new ones. These women are such shiny, shiny stars. Mind you, I don’t normally do star-struck – there is a reason why I have had two high-profile celebrity lovers – but these women rendered me starry-eyed for a second or two. Or three.
Glennon Doyle-Melton, Elena Brower, Gabby Bernstein, Elizabeth Vargas and Marianne Williamson – those names, for me, are the Hollywood line-up that I would kill for. And this weekend they were all in my same space, half an inch away – some of them literally cheek to cheek with mine. Glorious, bold, beautiful, authentic women – raw and real & recovering out loud. With us, for us, through us. The main thread they all touched on? Pain. How to sit through the pain rather than wash it away with an “easy button”. How to use that pain to explore deeper into ourselves, and get really intimate with it. Because only when we can sit through these uncomfortable feelings do we understand how we die into life in recovery, and how to rebuild a new life from there. And how with our addiction, like with some lovers, we have to go through “fuck you” before we can get to “bless you”. And the bless you part is totally worth the fuck you part. So hang in there, sister.
As I wrap up the first She Recovers weekend, I am bursting with new questions and new possibilities. I have a spiritual “to do” list inside my heart, and an action “to do” list inside my brain. Because let’s get honest: Something freakin’ epic has begun; the starlight carpet was laid out for 500 women to walk – led by Dawn Nickel and Taryn Strong. Because in the end, it is these 500 women who are the true “stars and heroes” – sometimes bigger than the ones up on stage. A powerful tribe that has been given a space to hold hands, walk tall and grow stronger together.
And it is this tribe alone who can turn these 3 days into 365 days of action. Because in between the yoga, the celebrities, the malas and the hugs, there is a thirst that is palpable – and a need that is real. We need more. The WORLD needs more. More stories of recovery; more testimonies of strength; more voices carrying the message. More information, more courage, more honesty, more deliverance, more recovered faces. More. Louder, stronger, bolder. More of us willing to stop the stigma and the toss shame to the side, so we can go and make a difference in the world. Because for some of us, this recovery stuff is life or death stuff – no joke.
So today, as we travel home with our phones full of photos and our hearts full of liquid gold, I challenge every one of the 500 attendees to ponder on one simple question:
What are you going to do now?
How will you be a She Recovers light-worker until the next time we all gather in the same room? How will you carry the message of recovery to other women who are still suffering? To our husbands? To our wives? To our children?
I asked Gabby Bernstein last night, now I ask you: What do we do and how will you take the message of our illness and recovery to the younger generations?
Like Marianne Williamson said in her ending talk today: “our diluted spirituality has convinced us that it’s ok to ask God what He will do for us, instead of asking Him what He expects from us.”
So let’s continue the conversation about what is expected from us know, as recovered women. Let’s continue having a She Recovers voice – and let’s make it a loud one. I am making it my mission today, to continue recovering out loud, so we can help others.
The seeds were planted, the earth was sown. Now what?
What will you do next, my sister in Recovery?
With mucho love, Sober Mami
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