It’s a common reaction to equate the success of someone’s clean and sober time with the amount of years one has accumulated. We often hear tales of those successful in sobriety that involve glam celebrities. It’s wonderful to have sober starlet role models ranging from Demi Lovato to Selena Gomez and let’s not forget heartthrob Bradley Cooper. It’s essential for people to know that it’s sheik to be sober even if you’re not a high rolling celebrity with a million Instagram followers.
It’s hard to believe that 24 year old Manhattanite, Genna Gotts is shy of 900 days of sobriety. For over two years and months Miss Gottchalk has been abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Those two years have been the best of her life.
“I started drinking at a young age.” Gotts tells Soberocity. Her first alcoholic beverage was a Smirnoff Ice at 12 years old. To an outsider, a seemingly harmless malt beverage, for Gotts it was the gateway to hard liquor and drugs. “By the time I was 19 I dropped out of college and moved in with my boyfriend. My family disowned me. I was unstoppable and hell bent on doing things my way.”
By the time Gotts reached her 21st birthday, her addiction advanced to prescription medication and street drugs. The moment that saved her was a terrifying psychotic break that landed her into a psychiatric ward.
“I thought it was normal for someone to do cocaine all day, every day. I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself. It took me getting hospitalized and going to treatment.” Gotts began her journey to sobriety, but not without setbacks. “It took a few tries before I realized that I truly wanted a drug and alcohol free life. I had to gain trust back from my family, and I finally have.”
Choosing to become a sober companion and recovery coach seemed like a seamless transition for Gotts to pay it forward.
“After being in treatment myself, I wanted to take the knowledge and skills I had gained to help others get sober. It seemed like the right thing to do and very gratifying.”
While some question now how someone so young can be so skilled and secure in their recovery, Gotts is quick to share her thoughts on the subject. “It’s not always about the number of years one may have. It’s about the quality of that time and making sure you’re living your best, most authentic sober life.”
Gotts is graduating with a degree in psychology in 2020, and plans to continue her work helping others maintain their sobriety.