Continued from home page.
My addicted brain began in my early teens in the form of an eating disorder which morphed into a sex addiction. I kept building my addiction portfolio by adding nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and co-dependency. I married early, age 19, and eloped to another country with an older man. I was desperate to feel loved, accepted and seen. I set myself up to become enmeshed in not one but two marriages. At one point, I chose to move my child to be with my parents and I lived in my car for 4 months. I experienced trauma, abuse and societal stigmas. I didn’t know how to interrupt the cycle I was in. I clearly remember my bottom – I was intoxicated, isolated, full of sadness and desperation. Living in fear of my addiction, fear of sobriety and fear of change. I’m not going to lie: that first step was hard. I didn’t know how or who to talk with about my addiction. Safety was a huge concern for me and for my children. I experienced slips, faced housing insecurity and mental health challenges. But also, I felt hope, joy and some peace for the first time since I was a child. It took time to discover the recovery path for me and many more years before the feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt and fear began to subside.
I heard a comment, once, that brought me to reflection: “Men generally apologize for their weaknesses; women generally apologize for their strengths.” In that moment a million light bulbs came on. Even after years in recovery, I felt extremely challenged to acknowledge and vocalize my strengths. Five years into my recovery, I decided to leave my long-term career in Aviation and go back to school to study Addiction and Community Service. I could no longer turn away from the calling I felt deep within, to pursue my passion, and pay forward what my girlfriend gave to me. I wanted to provide what I felt was out of reach for me - safe spaces for conversation, connection and building community. The first day of school I could barely speak and, I swear, I almost peed my pants! I drew on all the tools and skills I had learned on my recovery journey to get through that first day; and then the next, and the next. However, I continued to question myself...
Am I smart enough?
Am I worthy?
How can I be a Mom, work and succeed in school?
PERFECTION = FEAR OF FAILURE (Or was it fear of success?!)
Have you ever felt that drive for perfection and been overwhelmed
How has that played out in your life?
What is holding you back in your recovery?
Elizabeth Williams - Recovery Coach
Wherever you are on your recovery path, I will meet you there. I offer a collaborative, creative, and confidential process that provides space for your self-discovery and self-determination allowing you to build confidence on your Recovery journey. Together we will create holistic, long-term recovery pathways from Living Addictions and Substance Use. We will discover your dreams, goals and desires and design action plans unique to you. Along the way, I will provide accountability, celebrate your strengths and build on your personal, social, cultural and community connections so you move from mere survival to living your best life.
Together, we will explore recovery possibilities and create recovery realities.
Tools in my Toolbox :
During my practicum, I was hired to facilitate trauma informed groups at an all women’s recovery facility. I volunteered on a sexual violence crisis line. I discovered Peer Support. I have continued to engage in a variety of educational opportunities throughout the past years.
I have held a certification of Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor (CCAC) with Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation of Canada (CACCF) since 2017.
I received my Recovery Coach certificate through Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) in 2020. Throughout 2021, I was honoured to be in community, practicing the competencies and further developing skills with established Recovery Coaches and Mentors throughout Canada.
In February 2022, I received my Certified Peer Supporter designation (CPS) from Peer Support Canada. I returned to the Women's Recovery Centre, part-time, now as a Recovery Coach.
My deepest insights and learning have come from every individual who has invited me into their life. Words do not convey how grateful I am for their courage, vulnerability and determination. They inspire me every day to face this, sometimes, dark world and remember that there is beauty and light in the swamp.