I’m Shelby John, a mother, a wife, an athlete, a therapist, and a person in recovery.
Alcohol addiction was a devastating experience for me. It took over my life and left me feeling powerless. With the right support, I was able to break free from addiction and live a healthy life in recovery. Now, I support others on their recovery journey.
I went through a difficult time before finding recovery. My addiction began with emotional pain and trauma stemming from my biological father abandoning our family. Despite appearing to lead a normal life, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy. I was an avid athlete and a self-disciplined woman, but I found myself dependent on alcohol, suffering from depression, eating disorders, and even contemplated ending my life. I struggled to cope with my emotions, and it was tough for me to have healthy relationships with other people. When it came to talking to my spouse, I found it challenging, often keeping my thoughts to myself.
On top of all that, I was a perfectionist, always wanting everything to be exactly right, which made me feel even more overwhelmed and like I didn't belong anywhere. Alcohol became my coping mechanism, leading to chaos, and self-destructive behavior. My turning point came when I faced a potentially career-ending legal situation as a direct result of my addiction, prompting my family to intervene and send me to treatment.
My family was supportive throughout my recovery, and my husband stopped drinking in solidarity with me. Inpatient treatment and twelve-step programs were instrumental in my healing, providing structure and a supportive community. I combined these programs with therapy and alternative medicine to help address my past trauma.
Today, my life is radically different. I've lived a fulfilling life in recovery for decades, am happily married, and have three kids. Recovery has given me the tools to handle life's challenges and make healthier choices. While recovery may not always follow a straight path, I remain committed to maintaining my health and peace.
My approach to mental health involves staying emotionally aware and seeking help when needed. My life now involves being a mental health therapist, coaching women in recovery, and focusing on family.
For those new to recovery, I want to highlight that recovery is an ongoing process, and there is hope for a brighter future. Don’t be afraid to seek support, therapy, and coaching to heal past wounds and build the foundation for your desired future. I stress the importance of reflecting on why you want to be sober and using that as a tool to ward off cravings and triggers.
I'm grateful for my life, and I encourage others to believe in a brighter future. My worst days in recovery are better than my best days in active addiction–, and I believe it'll keep getting better.
When you support Shatterproof, you’re helping stories like mine become the norm. Everyone deserves to live a life in recovery. And with your help, we can change the trajectory of this epidemic and ensure no more lives are lost to addiction.