Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!
My guest today has an inspirational story of recovery. After a difficult start in life and a decade of drug taking Nikki began her recovery journey. Her childhood was traumatic and Nikki turned to drugs at an early age.
In spite of her efforts to develop a career in dance and drama, her addiction deepened during her 20’s.
She checked into her first rehab in her late 20’s and began the long journey to recovery – a journey that would lead her to discover her purpose in life.
In this episode
- Nikki’s childhood was not an easy one – her parents drank and they also moved around the country a lot, which resulted in her changing schools 7 times.
- Unsurprisingly, she felt like an outsider and struggled to fit in – never feeling comfortable in her own skin as she put it.
- She was certainly an early starter and tasted her first beer at the age of 9 and at 13 she was drinking and smoking marijuana.
- Due to her parents drinking habits, Nikki felt more of a pull towards hard drugs – and at the age of 16 her boyfriend introduced her to Mandrax and Crack Cocaine.
- With her current knowledge of addiction, Nikki is able to trace her substance abuse back to her childhood trauma – as she puts it, “her addiction started long before she picked up a drug.”
- Many of you will be familiar with the work of Dr Gabor Mate who has done extensive research into childhood trauma and the link with addiction – he says:
Trauma is a psychic wound that hardens you psychologically that then interferes with your ability to feel, to grow and to develop. It pains you and now you’re acting out of pain.
- Nikki also understands that she was using drugs as a coping mechanism as she was unable to regulate her emotions.
- Her search for belonging began in earnest at the age of 17 when she left school – she rebelled against anything structured as her education had left her feeling like a failure.
- She studied dance and drama and got involved in the club scene where she felt a sense of belonging for the first time. She was organising trance parties, making good money and everybody loved her.
- Now and again, Nikki would try to get a regular job, but it never worked out and just confirmed her belief that she didn’t fit into the “normal” world.
- At the age of 28, she fell pregnant and knew that this would have to be her turning point. However, motherhood caused her to feel a lot of guilt and shame and, in fact, she stepped up her drug use to cope.
- When her son was 1, Nikki lost custody which reaffirmed her feelings of inadequacy.
- This proved to be her rock bottom which was a catalyst for her long road to recovery – starting with her first rehab. At this first rehab, she just felt very angry and it would take several years and 5 more rehabs until she finally came into recovery.
- We agreed that rehab was pointless if you were not ready – being “sent” to rehab does not work and too much rehab results in being institutionalised – never being able to function in the outside world.
- Six months into her final rehab, which was a one year program, Nikki had what she describes as a spiritual awakening – a feeling that the years of hell she had been through had given her a purpose.
- She already had all the tools from her various rehab stays but finally began to select the tools that she felt were right for her. We agreed that we all have to “do the work” but of course our work will vary depending on our background.
- She regained custody of her son and leaned into the role of being a mother.
- Nikki also began to developing her career as a recovery coach by working with David Collins, the founder of Ubuntu Addiction Community. I interviewed David for the podcast a couple of weeks ago so watch this space to learn more about his work.
- Nikki is a recovery coach herself and these days she is trains other coaches and is involved in the amazing Pocket Rehab initiative.
- We agreed that rehab is one thing, but coping with the outside world is a very individual journey – and it is our job as coaches to “meet you where you are at.”
- You can find out more and connect with Nikki on her Facebook page Nikki Edwards Recovery Coaching or on her website which is nikkiedwards.com
Tribe Sober’s Spring Challenge starts on 20th March
66 alcohol free days – supported by daily emails and 66 mini podcasts
It’s great fun as we put everyone on the Sober Spring Bus on Day one and they all travel through the 66 alcohol free days together – its always a great vibe on that bus as everyone encourages and supports each other – so don’t miss the bus!
Sign up today – just go to tribesober.com and click on Sober Spring 2022
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This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today
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