Episode 440 – How to Undo Trauma


Today we have Kathy. She is 31 from Dillworth, MN and has been clean since June 13th, 2016.


Thank you to all of the Café RE chat hosts. You all do a great job!


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[02:06] Highlights from Paul:


Before we get started, how is your summer going? How is sobriety going? How is your AF clock going? How is your life going? Regardless of your answer to all those questions, Paul reminds us that we are not alone. Recovery Elevator is right here with you every step of the way.


A recent study of baboons revealed that establishing robust social connections in adulthood,  is so beneficial to the animals that it can mitigate the consequences of traumatic experiences during their early years. There’s that word again. Connection. In addition, researchers have found that once these connections are made, the baboons report living longer lives.


We have learned, are learning – that building connections helps us depart from alcohol. When we first enter an actual relationship with the molecule alcohol. It’s a wonderful courtship, but we soon realize that alcohol gave us wings, and then took away the sky. We must replace the connection we had with alcohol with something else.


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[09:39] Kris introduces Kathy:


Kathy just celebrated 7 years of recovery. She lives in Dillworth, MN, she works in care coordination with the F5 Project and has five children ranging from 5 to 18. For fun she hangs out with recovery friends while doing a variety of activities.


Kathy’s parents were both addicts and she was in the foster care system early in life. She would spend her childhood moving in and out of foster homes. When she was 12 she ended up living with her brothers and stepfather because her mother went to jail. Kathy wanted to be like her older brothers and started drinking to have a good time.


It didn’t take long for her drinking and drug abuse to get out of control. Kathy ended up getting pregnant at age 16 by a man she didn’t know well. She says she no longer had parental support. She quit all substances through her pregnancy and had a goal to be a different mom than her own. She was unable to stay quit and felt a lot of guilt and shame surrounding it.


Kathy was not able to stay clean during her second pregnancy and after having the baby she spent a lot of time stealing to support her habit and her children. She ended up trying rehab at one point but was unable to stay sober for very long.


Kathy feels she didn’t have great parenting skills and ended up losing custody of her children due to the drug abuse. Some felonies found her in jail and she tried to use this as an opportunity to get clean. After losing a close friend, Kathy asked her stepfather to bail her out. After about two months of using again she decided to get clean because that is what her friend would have wanted for her.


She was able to get into inpatient treatment and felt this time that she was truly ready. As soon as she arrived, she went to a drum ceremony where she felt her spirit being awoken. She started learning about how her trauma affected her which helped her shed her shame. After treatment Kathy lived in a halfway house for a few months and upon getting out had her third child.


Kathy started going to school for social work and was able foster her nieces who she has now adopted. She loves her current job as care coordinator and giving back to others.


Kathy’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to keep on giving back, anywhere and everywhere.


Kathy’s parting piece of guidance: You have control over your actions, and you can train your brain to be and do better.


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