Profiles in Recovery
Sara Rossio knows the healing powers of energy work such as Reiki. She knows through her work as a massage therapist that this technique helps people find real relief from pain and stress.
“I went to massage school and found my life’s passion in massage therapy. For me, it’s a great feeling when I can help someone feel better by the end of a session,” she writes on the website of her massage therapy practice. “I provide the space for healing, and a little help, support, and encouragement for your body and mind to come back into balance with itself. I also enjoy the creativity involved with doing massage.”
Rossio knows first-hand what it is like to have a life out of balance. She has put in the work to rebalance and heal her life following her journey of recovery from alcohol addiction. The non-profit Women for Sobriety (WFS) has been a vital peer support group for Rossio as she’s maintained more than a decade of sobriety and a new life. As time goes by, her life has gotten better and better and is always evolving.
I can read in my journals from the time I was a teenager that I felt that I had a drinking problem. I used alcohol to adjust my moods, avoid my feelings, cope with any stresses. At the time I decided to get sober, my tipping point came when I realized that my “Groundhog Day” existence was going to kill me – either something bad was going to happen to me or I was going to kill myself because I was living a life that brought me no joy.
Celebrating a New Year Now:
The holidays are about the holidays instead of about drinking and partying. My favorite holiday is New Year’s Eve – formerly a night long binge drinking and drugging party. Now, I have a special meal, and do introspective reviews of the past year and plan for the upcoming year. Sounds unexciting but it makes me feel good. Drinking never actually did that.
Advice to Others Seeking Sobriety:
There are options these days – it’s not all AA. Look into others and find one that resonates.
Sobriety and Seeking Perfectionism:
Perfectionism was (and is) a big thing for me. Learning self-compassion is one of my ongoing missions. I do a lot of journaling and self-talk. You really have to be aware of what’s going on deeper in your mind to get to the root of changing things like this.
A Life Better Than I Ever Imagined:
Everything has changed. This question is too big. LOL – I am an authentic person now. What I want, do, feel – Is based on what I actually want, who I actually am and what I like. I never questioned it before. My friendships were based on proximity rather than personality/interest. I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted from life, or what my interests were.
Just try it. Like, actually try it – commit to quitting your substance and doing the work of recovery. Not forever, but give it a year. You might like it – and if you don’t, you can go back to using.
What Works Now:
I’m over 11 years in at this point. I don’t do recovery program work anymore. Now, my self-work is life focused. I maintain sober touchpoints with friends I know through my recovery program and I do keep habits I made in my active recovery period like journaling and self-care. I stay aware of my internal state – we must always be mindful of that because relapse is a potential at any time in recovery. But I no longer think of everything from an addiction recovery standpoint. Yes, I am a person in long-term recovery. But that’s not my primary identifier anymore.
I’m Grateful For:
My life. All the amazing supportive people in my life. My growth and the opportunity to continue to grow. My business, my clients. My bravery. My intelligence. My physical health. And of course, my sobriety, without which none of this would be possible.
SHED THE STIGMA:
If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].