The environments that we grow up in tend to have some of the biggest impacts on our futures. Sometimes, these environments and the people in them can lead us down a path for the good or the bad. An individual who is openly able to discuss this is Amanda Marino. Though raised in a loving environment, she can recall of a lot of childhood trauma that she experienced, some of which she suppressed through her addiction. However, her environment is what also inspired her to get her life back on track.
Soberocity got the chance to connect with Amanda and hear her journey with addiction turned into sobriety:
Soberocity [S]: Would you change anything about your past?
Amanda [A]: I would change the amount of additional pain, that was not necessary. Otherwise I am grateful for my path and journey, it has made me who I am today.
[S]: Do you think you would’ve been as committed to sobriety had you not had a child?
[A]: My son saved me. It took me over a year to get that moment of clarity. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for him.
[S]: How significant was your aunt in your battle with addiction?
[A]: My aunt struggles to maintain long term sobriety. She didn’t believe in it for herself, but she did for me. When she passed away—I found her dead in her bed—I relapsed and got much worse before I got better. I used the money she left me to go to rehab. The best thing I could do to honor her.
[S]: Did you face any hardships while breaking from your addiction? Do you mind sharing any?
[A]: I was in and out of recovery for 10 years and struggled to admit I had an addiction problem. Once I accepted that life has become more and more beautiful. I did experience divorce in early recovery, lost my father, lost my best friend, lost a job. I’ve had “stuff” for sure
[S]: Is there any piece of advice that you know now that you wish you knew t the beginning of your recovery?
[A]: Don’t rush it! I couldn’t wait to get to 10 years in the beginning. It’s such a beautiful process I wish I didn’t rush it. Now I have over 12 years and want time to slow down
[S]: What made you comfortable enough to share your story? Did it scare you at first?
[A]: In the beginning I was scared to share my story. After the first year or so I have found healing and inspiration when I speak and share my story. It’s powerful stuff and brings connection.
[S]: What’s so important about making sure people know that they aren’t along in their addiction and recovery process?
[A]: Knowing you aren’t alone is the one thing that can save your life. Connection, shared experiences and a common bond are the recovery process.
[S]: Did you find it difficult to admit you had an addiction and, then, that you needed help to break from it?
[A]: Yes. I was willing to admit I had any other issue besides addiction, accept any mental health diagnosis as long as I didn’t have to get clean and sober. Once I did, I found so much freedom!
[S]: Do you have any healthy coping mechanisms that have or continue to help you?
[A]: My personal recovery includes, prayer and meditation, a sponsor, meetings, exercise, healthy eating, journaling, connecting with others in recovery, service in recovery and in my community, committing to continue to grow on a spiritual journey and help others
[S]: What are you doing to connect with others and tell your story with the world?
[A]: I am very open in my personal life, professional life, on social media, I do public speaking, create safe ways for people to connect with me and educate.
With a heart that wants to help people know that they are not alone; to ensure they feel empowered; to know they are supported; to encourage them to keep going, Amanda Marino has become an inspiration herself. She shows us that we are not what we go through, but that we are how we respond to it.