The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast
Summary: Welcome to The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast. We are a community of recovering people who have overcome the odds and made monumental life changes. We don't shy away from the nitty gritty - we like to laugh give inspiration and remind you there is hope. Come join us no matter where you are on your recovery journey. Together, we have the courage to change! Subscribe and join our podcast community to hear amazing stories of courage and transformation!
Ashley Morgan is an Interior Designer based in Los Angeles, California, who has had a tumultuous journey to find her recovery. Ashley moved around Europe and Asia a lot as child, following her father's career in finance, until she landed back in LA, where she spent the majority of her childhood. She found drugs and alcohol at a very young age only to discover that her illness would progress quickly. After being in and out of 13 different treatment centers and hospitals, Ashley finally came to the realization that she wanted to live, and the only way to do that was by a complete lifestyle change - and most importantly - being completely honest with herself. Ashley now has the privilege of owning a business and has worked hard to repair relationships with her family and friends over the years. As you'll hear in her story, an integral part of her getting and staying sober has been working the steps along with the incredible support system she has surrounding her.
Kim Jorgensen-Richard, first time author, of Rock-Covery, Not Your Mother’s Meditation Book, (now available on Amazon.com) is a life-long resident of Southeastern Massachusetts, a Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor, a woman in recovery from trauma & addiction, and of course, a fan of all things rock and roll! She first began her recovery journey in 1987, at a detox in Fall River, Massachusetts. In the 10 years that followed, she began her career in the field of addictions treatment, started a family, and continued to stay on the path of recovery. Eventually though, she became distracted by her good fortune and decided to celebrate with a drink, thus beginning a three-year relapse. Fortunately, she never stopped seeking treatment, and eventually began to find traction on her road to recovery. She does not apologize for her relapse, but acknowledges it as one of the most powerful life-lessons that she has ever experienced. She credits this experience as a key influence in maintaining her recovery today, and one of the motivations behind her first book, _Rock-Covery-Not Your Mother’s Meditation Book. _ Today, a woman in long-term, active recovery from alcohol and any other numbing agent or activity, Kim is a Project Director at an area Human Service Agency, providing reentry assistance for individuals diagnosed with Substance Use or Co-Occurring Disorder. Her mission is to chip away at the stigma surrounding these disorders, providing hope to people devastated by trauma, addiction & mental health issues by sharing her own experiences with these same conditions. Kim enjoys spending time with her soul sisters in recovery, hanging out with her kids, watching the Patriots & documentaries, going to the gym and the beach, and of course, listening to music and going to concerts with her guy.
It's the first "After the Episode" for Season 2!!! Ashley & Christiana review and cover topics from Episode 33 (Kimberly Russell), 34 (Michele Murphy) & 35 (Kendra Allen). Tune in to hear their usual antics along with a deep dive into some important themes and aspects covered in each of these episodes.
Kendra Allen is the woman behind the Instagram account, online course and blog, Break Up Bestie. After going through a series of unhealthy relationships in her early 20’s, including narcissism, abuse, and emotional unavailability, Kendra began gathering tools and working on herself to prevent that from happening again. Around the same time, Kendra got sober at the age of 21 after years of self-destructive alcoholism. A few years into that, she experienced the break up that brought her to her knees - the kind where you feel like you might actually be dying. Without having alcohol to take the edge off, she really dove into what it takes to go through a break up with grace, with growth, and learned how to come out the other side a better person. After seeing a huge gap in break up advice online, Kendra decided to launch Break Up Bestie the same year she got married to the love of her life. She loves empowering women to view a break up, not as an end, but as a beginning to a beautiful path to learn about yourself and to get in touch with what you really want out of a relationship. Kendra just launched The Break Up Bestie online course, which walks people through how to navigate their break up with tools, writing exercises, a workbook, and 23 video lessons.
Michele turned to drugs and alcohol at a young age to cope with the pain of her childhood, and found herself deep in the grips of codependency. Her recovery from drugs and alcohol ended up being her gateway to healing. She found sobriety at age 18, but life didn't immediately turn around the way she thought it would. As you'll hear Michele say in her interview, "just because you're sober, doesn't mean you're well." She has had so many different life experiences since then, and she shares how she's been able to stay sober through them all. She has a beautiful daughter named Scarlett, two dogs and is now engaged to the love of her life. She also owns a virtual long-term post discharge company that offers a comprehensive aftercare program called Modern Recovery. She loves to teach and practice yoga, and she owns a yoga studio in Mesa, Arizona called Exhale Yoga.
Kimberly's "rock bottom" was a serious suicide attempt that left her in a coma on life support with a collapsed lung. She got sober at the age of 27 on July 2, 2017. Since that time, Kimberly has walked through losing a job of 4 years, losing multiple relationships, her sponsor relapsing, a sexual assault and overcoming multiple addictions to self-harm, sex and love, codependency and an eating disorder. Her saving grace through every one of these experiences has been spiritual growth and dedication to working a 12-step program. Kimberly wouldn't change a single experience she's had because it has empowered her to discover her passion for helping others. It has forced her to be constantly self-reflective, pushed her to reach out for help and realize that there has always been something reaching back.
Welcome to Season 2 of The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast!! Ashley and Christiana are back in the booth, and they discuss all the exciting things coming up for Season 2, including design and music updates. Tune in to hear the exciting guests that are booked, and what you can expect to hear this season. *New music to be featured next week at the premiere of our first guest of the season!*
It's a wrap on Season 1!! Join Ashley & Christiana for a nostalgic look-back on all the guests and happenings of Season 1 on The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast. From humble beginnings with cheap microphones and a sub-par set-up to the now podcast booth and amazing guests - starting this podcast has been one wild and crazy ride. Tune in to hear the podcast stats since March 5th, 2019 when we went live, along with some fun things ahead for Season 2!
She's back!! Bahan McDermott, our good friend (and incredible human being) from Episode 2, joins us once again in the podcast booth and shares some tips and best practices on how to stay sober throughout the holidays. This time of year can be very difficult and triggering, and Bahan and Ashley have a candid discussion about how they've been able to get through the holidays (and other days as well) with the help of everything they've learned in recovery. Grab a warm cup of cocoa, wrap yourself in a blanket and join us on this very special episode with Bahan and Ashley!
#32: *EPISODE DISCLAIMER - This episode contains explicit language relating to race and racial biases specifically in the prison culture.* The California prison system is one of the only prison populations that is legally separated by race. As you will hear in Dan's story, this separation is a survival mechanism for people to identify with a particular culture in order to survive in that environment. This episode also contains explicit language and true stories of extreme violence. Dan Sanfellipo has served 90% of 25 years of his life in prison (he is now 46 years old). His incarceration journey started at age 13 and he is now 8 years sober and a positive, contributing member of society. Dan is an incredible human being, and his story of struggling through addiction, years in prison, and eventually finding sobriety is nothing short of miraculous. We were so excited to have Dan on the podcast, and we hope you enjoy hearing the entirety of Dan's story! Hang in there for one of our longest and most detailed podcast stories - enjoy!!
#31: Sean Nichols is the COO and Co-Founder of a tech company in Reno called Dragonfly Energy Corp. He grew up in the East Bay area in California, but he has been living in Reno for the past 15 years where he has worked with the homeless population in various ways, including founding the Big Reno Coat Drive. He loves helping others and makes it a point to volunteer, encourage and mentor people daily. Sean has battled addiction with drugs, alcohol, and food for the majority of his life. He was so excited to come on the podcast and share his story, so much so that he shared with Ashley parts of his story that he had never told anyone. Sean also shares about surviving shooting himself in the head in a failed suicide attempt.
Introducing our very first 'Minisode' brought to you by The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast! The 'Minisode' format will focus on one topic by one guest, and will bring helpful insights and best practices on how to tackle these topics. Our first Minisode guest is one of our very own - Debbie Hickey! Debbie is the HR & Support Groups Manager at Lionrock Recovery, and she has 29 years in long-term sobriety. Debbie is an incredible human being, and she has such amazing insight into important life topics. Today, Debbie will disclose how she deals with the "overwhelm" in all stages of her sobriety, and she also shares some helpful tips on how to move through each of these life stages.
#30: Pat W was born and raised in Pasadena, CA. He describes himself as a passionate cyclist, runner, photographer, and book nerd. Pat has been seeking and living his recovery since May 8, 2001, and has an incredible story about living through dynamic health issues as a child which largely contributed to his substance as a young teen and into adulthood.
#29: Amanda is a wife and mother of 2 girls. She’s been sober since July of 2018 and is grateful that she has been given a second chance at living. She is an avid skier, runner and gardener. In her free time, she loves walking her black labs and spending time with family. She’s the Development Manager for Girls on the Run and loves making a difference in other people’s lives. After a very short and severe battle with alcohol, she admitted herself to MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts where she underwent a medical detoxification and then entered the LionRock Recovery IOP.
#28: Nancy Spitzer has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2012 specializing in trauma, addiction, co-occurring disorders and more. She was inspired to shift her career to therapy after losing her beloved brother, David, to a drug overdose. As a therapist, Nancy’s passion is to not only help her individual clients, but to help families understand how to navigate the painful path of addiction, while providing opportunities for much-needed resources and support. Nancy has spoken numerous times as a presenter for The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) on the topic of families struggling with addiction and trauma. Nancy is very proud of her family - she loves to spend time with her husband and two adopted pups, and they are excited (as we are too!) to add a little one this winter to their family!