As the founder of Socialize Sober it can be assumed that the recovery field is something I am passionate about. From the time I was born I have been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, from being in a baby carrier to hanging onto my mom’s leg, and up to the point when I was old enough to really take in and understand the information the people in the rooms of AA were sharing. I believe growing up in AA truly fuelled my passion for recovery, as well as witnessing many family and friends suffer from substance use issues. My mother is currently 22 years sober with three children, myself being the youngest.
From the age of 6 substance use has had a presence in my life because of my oldest sibling. Just like most family members of those suffering from substance use I have experienced a lot due to both of my siblings substance use. Growing up with the exposure to my siblings substance use and seeing my mother in recovery for many years pushed my passion for wanting to be on the helping side of substance use.
In May 2015 I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Edward’s University. During my time at St. Edward’s I was able to complete courses on Counseling & Guidance, Counseling the Chemically Dependent, and Adolescent Psychology. These courses helped me in finding my place in the recovery realm. In the Fall of 2016 I will begin my Masters in Clinical Social Work with a specialization in Health & Behavioral Health to help push my career further in the substance use field. During my graduate studies I intend to complete research on trauma and the relationship it has to substance use disorders. Additionally, I am currently a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern.
After earning my BA I began working as a direct care staff for Phoenix House Austin Academy, an adolescent substance use treatment facility. While at Phoenix House I was able to observe the adolescents in the facility: where they came from, if they had co-occurring mental health disorders, where they would be going back to once completing treatment, etc. and I began noticing trends. Many of these teenagers are not provided with ongoing recovery help once they leave the facility. Few do enroll in an intensive outpatient program, while others return to the same environment they were in when they began using and they return to the same social situations because they feel they have no where else. Then a few months later some of these teenagers return to the same facility, likely because they lacked the resources to maintain sobriety and began back on their destructive path of substance use.
This experience with Phoenix House has really pushed my desire to begin Socialize Sober and showed me how much people in recovery could benefit from a resource such as this. Continued support and use of recovery resources has been proven to strengthen the likelihood of maintaining sobriety. My only hope is to provide Socialize Sober to those in need and offer this service as an aid to those seeking or maintaining recovery.