Holly's Story - Sober October 2022

Recovery Stories

Holly's Story

By SMART Recovery USA on

She suddenly realized she had a big problem…

Holly is a U.S. Army combat veteran and has had experiences most of us have not. For eight years she served as a Military Police Officer. It was stressful and sometimes overwhelming. She says that in many ways, military culture feeds into abusing substances like alcohol, “One common saying is ‘Don’t think about it, drink about it,’ many people turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate stress.” Like Holly herself.

Because she didn’t have any significant external consequences, like DUIs or loss of jobs, Holly figured she had things in control. Then it changed in an instant, “I remember waking up one day and saying, I have a problem…” Just like that, she decided it was time to change.

Holly quit cold turkey without the benefit of a treatment program or professional assistance. And stayed sober for quite some time like that. Then, a friend introduced her to SMART. She fell in love with it from day one and credits the tools she learned and the people she met as helping her live a richer life.

Holly says the shared experience and sense of community with others using SMART helps her get through difficulties that are part of life even when a person is sober. She says the practical cognitive-enhancement tools, “work [for people] every day for a myriad of reasons.”

One thing that Holly is convinced of is that SMART can work for people at any stage of their recovery journey, just like it did for her.

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C.C.'s Story

By SMART Recovery USA on

People knew that he drank, but nobody knew how bad his problem was…

C.C. tried to stay sober on his own, and it failed time after time. He felt trapped in a negative cycle and didn’t see a way out. One impediment was culture. He lives in southeast Asia and addictive behaviors are very stigmatized, driving many individuals into secrecy about the extent of their misuse of substances.

Plus, there was the global COVID-19 pandemic, “I was drinking at every opportunity because work was scarce and I spent most of my time at home.” Things started getting worse and C.C.’s physical health suffered. He reached a point where he felt he had to tell someone what was happening, “I have friends in the medical profession and approached them. They said we...

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LeNita's Story

By SMART Recovery USA on

She realized that other people were being hurt as well…

LeNita seemed to have it all. A successful career in the jewellery industry and a comfortable life. Sure, everybody has stress and anxiety. But isn’t that what a few drinks are for? After all, she didn’t have a problem, she had everything under control.

Until she didn’t. Things started to spiral out of control—suddenly her successful job wasn’t so great and the comfortable family life was suffering. But still, she reasoned, she really wasn’t hurting anyone but herself. LeNita said that at the time, “I didn’t think it affected anyone but me, but it turns out if affected everyone.”

Once she came face to face with that truth she sought help at a community-based organization where she...

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