A resource-driven community to help empower you to find what works for you
Last May was pivotal in my recovery. It was the moment I gathered among 499 women in recovery at the She Recovers event in New York City. This innovative event was the first of its kind — hundreds of women like me gathered to explore a diverse range of approaches that focus on holistic recovery.
I went with the intention to meet many of the women I’d met in online recovery groups with whom I’d shared intimate moments — where we had sought emotional support, healing and empowerment — but I came away with so much more.
She Recovers helped me to see the endless possibilities for my recovery. These women showed me real-life healing and the pathways to get there. That experience empowered me to self-direct my recovery, to flourish and stand tall as a woman.
This year they are bringing their annual event to Los Angeles Sept. 14–16. It is expected to be just as powerful, insightful and empowering as last year. Except this year, there will be a new lineup of inspiring speakers and a new focus, and it will have a West Coast feel. I can’t wait to experience it.
WHO ARE SHE RECOVERS?
She Recovers was founded seven years ago as a Facebook page and passion project of Dawn Nickel and her daughter Taryn Strong.
What they offer is unique in the recovery community. I’ve never seen a group of women — a movement of over a quarter of a million women, actually — gather to provide a welcoming space to connect, support and empower one another. What’s also unique is that this community supports all types of recovery and respects all pathways.
She Recovers opened my eyes to the possibility for a dynamic recovery that could be suited to my needs. I’d always felt disempowered in the mutual aid groups that I’d been part of. I felt that they focused on my defects instead of my assets. I felt those groups sought to diminish an ego that didn’t exist in me.
As I awoke in my recovery, I realized that the groups I attended didn’t attune to my unique needs as a woman in recovery: the need to develop and nurture myself to regain self-esteem, the need to live free of guilt and shame, the need to look after myself holistically, and the need to grow and evolve emotionally. For me, sitting in rooms below ground and listening to how defective I was perceived to be did not seek to empower me or develop my self-esteem. It wasn’t the nurture I so desperately needed among other women like me — women who see me.
She Recovers saw me then, and they still do today. They speak to many of the women in recovery because they understand our needs and they know that women want a choice. What I particularly love about them is that whatever your pathway, they respect and support your journey. You won’t find them subscribing to one pathway of recovery; you’ll find a resource-driven community to help empower you to find what works for you.
Their mission: “She Recovers is an international movement of women in or seeking recovery from a wide variety of issues, including substance use and addiction, trauma, codependency, loss, and other life challenges. She Recovers creates welcoming spaces and transformative opportunities — on and offline — to connect, support and empower recovering women.”
The guiding principles of She Recovers are based on the premise that we are all recovering from something and that recovery is a journey to wholeness, taking care of our minds, bodies and spirits. They understand the importance of radical self-care in our well-being, they focus on strengths rather than defects, they believe in early intervention, and they focus on connection with other women as their sole purpose. They believe that together we’re stronger.
They spoke my language — and the language of over a quarter of a million other women in recovery.
WHAT IS SHE RECOVERS’ VISION?
As a recovery and wellness advocate, much of my time is spent writing about substance use disorders, advocating for a holistic recovery and challenging the stigma we have both within our recovering community as well as outside of it. I passionately believe in supporting all pathways to recover, which is why I wholeheartedly believe in the vision of She Recovers.
They envision a future where women from diverse backgrounds can access the resources, support and freedoms necessary to cultivate their own pathways to recovery that look after their whole selves so that they can live a healthy and sustaining recovery. They want to see women achieve their potential and also help other women achieve the same.
Imagine a world where women are no longer ashamed of their illness, and instead, they’re given the resources to not only recover but also to thrive in their lives and fulfill their dreams. That’s something that I stand behind wholeheartedly.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT SHE RECOVERS LA?
She Recovers LA is a unique opportunity bringing together 600 women from the online recovery community as well as women seeking recovery. For three days at the Beverly Hilton Hotel (as well as through Facebook Live), Sept. 14-16, 2018, you can expect to explore many pathways of recovery, resources, products and services, as well as see women (past and present) who have been, or continue to be, thought leaders in both women’s wellness and recovery be recognized for their contributions.
The focus of She Recovers LA is on celebrating strength, diversity and innovation by women for women in the world of recovery. The keynote speakers are well-known and respected thought leaders whose personalities, books and platforms have already inspired millions of women. The preliminary lineup of speakers includes Cheryl Strayed, Janet Mock, Tara Mohr, Mackenzie Phillips, Laurie Dhue, Amy Dresner, Sarah Blondin, Nicole Stuart and Biet Simkin. Through keynote speeches, spoken performances, yoga and meditation sessions, panels and breakout workshops, these powerful and inspirational teachers and thought leaders will share their stories, knowledge and experiences to help highlight the diversity of issues women face that we can and do recover from, as well as paint a picture of what modern recovery looks like today.
This is an event that celebrates recovery. You can expect to feel supported, cherished and inspired and to leave feeling empowered to go forth and fulfill your needs in recovery.
Writer and wellness advocate Olivia Pennelle (Liv) passionately believes in a fluid and holistic approach to recovery. Her popular site, Liv’s Recovery Kitchen, is a resource for the journey toward health and wellness. You will find Pennelle featured among top recovery writers and bloggers, published on websites such as recovery.org, The Fix, Intervene, Workit Health, iExhale, Sapling, Addiction Unscripted, Transformation Is Real, Sanford House, Winward Way and Casa Capri.
Written by Olivia Pennelle