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Allison B – Alumni Spotlight

What was your life like before coming into Sovereign Health?

Before coming to Sovereign Health I was in an abusive relationship, struggling with severe depression, drug and alcohol abuse but, especially, drinking myself to death. It was hard for me to breathe a sober breath and, when I wasn’t drinking, I’d have severe panic attacks, chest pains and would struggle to catch my breath. I didn’t have any peace in my life at all, only despair. I didn’t think my life could or would get any better. I ended up getting arrested after my boyfriend and I got into a fight. I couldn’t go back to where we were living, so I was jumping around from motel to motel, terrified of not knowing where I was going to stay next or how I was going to be able to drink. The insanity and instability, as well as the spiritual and emotional bottoms, were like nothing I’d ever been through in my life, even after numerous detoxes, incarcerations and failed attempts at sobriety. I had never felt so physically, financially and spiritually defeated and desperate.

What are the most difficult parts struggling with addiction/mental health?

The most difficult part of dealing with addictions and mental health issues for me has been the feeling of not belonging and of being different from everyone else. It’s good to be reassured that we are all just human and we are all in this together.

What did you learn during treatment that is most helpful in your life today?

I am grateful for the opportunity to be humble and helpful to others in my life today. Some of the most helpful things I learned in treatment were breathing exercises and learning to simply focus on my breath during moments when I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Yoga was also very helpful.

Describe how your life is different now. What is the best part of your life today?

My life is stable now and I am happy. I have stability, structure, friends, people who I’m accountable for, a certain sense of peace and growing confidence. The best part of my life today is the ability to form true friendships and laugh.

What are some of your goals for the future?

I would like to get certified to teach yoga and then would like to teach yoga around the world! I’d also like to be the owner and creative director of a yoga studio, art space and salad and juice bar here in southern California. I’d also like to be in a healthy relationship and maybe start my own family.

What would you want to tell other people that are struggling with the same issues right now that you were?

There is so much hope and help available to you, but the only person who can decide that they truly want to stop suffering and start enjoying and living life is yourself. Please don’t sell yourself short. Be patient and be nice to yourself.

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