012 - Marsha Stafford of New You Recovery
“The best work I do, I do for free. God pays my bills, but the best work I do, I do for free.” Marsha Stafford from New You Recovery and the Been There Done That Radio Show joins us to tell us her story. As a toddler she was given alcohol for family entertainment. She and her siblings are breaking the chains of hereditary alcoholism and creating familial sobriety. She is a consultant for new treatment centers and helps them open across the country. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates. They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
Transcript (no grammar): the best work i do i do for free god pays my bills but the best work i do i do for free marcia stafford from new you recovery and the been there done that radio show joins us to tell her story as a toddler she was given alcohol for family entertainment she and her siblings are breaking the chains of hereditary alcoholism and creating familial sobriety she is a consultant for new treatment centers and helps them open across the country enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps today we are so privileged and excited to have marsha stafford with us she has been in the recovery industry a long time she offers an awful lot of consulting and helping facilities that are doing substance abuse treatment get off the ground and really make a change um and so marcia thanks for being with us today oh thank you for having me it is uh it's my joy to be able to to talk with you guys today and just thank you for the invitation oh awesome um so let me just start out by i don't know that i've ever heard your recovery story and and i'm sure that you've got an amazing one to tell so maybe just start off by giving us a little bit of background about kind of where you come from and and help us move into some you know some understanding of of your background and and what kind of led you to where you're at today right right well that's an awful big question for uh a gal that's 62 uh because my story started you know at a very early age and so i'll uh keep it uh brief and and uh to the point yeah and the uh we'll see what story comes out of me today you know what i mean because depending on where i'm at um and the knowledge that i have then you know sometimes the story gets edited as you pick up new information but um i was uh my story is that i was born an alcoholic i was raised by alcoholics and on march 11 2000 i made a commitment to myself that i did not want to die an alcoholic and in our family at the time that i got sober that was the storyline that happened for most individuals in my immediate family and i say science hasn't caught up with me yet that you can be born an alcoholic but i think someday it will there's definitely a bio a biological name to it and i had alcoholism on both sides of my family and my mom and my dad i am a irish german uh cherokee and uh those three um populations have a tendency to have increased rates of alcoholism based on cultural and biological evidence so uh i like to think i was uh the pitch the baseball had been pissed at me uh long before i got to the place you didn't feel like you you didn't have much of a chance no no i i had a i hit a home run you know uh and uh being raised uh by individuals who are alcoholics is an interesting lifestyle because uh my parents didn't know that they had alcoholism so you know my parents were born my mom was 1931 my dad was probably 33. and so by the time they were growing up and they were raising the family there was we're talking about alcoholism as a a thing in the family there were people who were still heavy drinkers uh you know moderate drinkers people that didn't drink water but in my family we drink a lot and uh i used to uh joke about you know when my dad would lose his job which he would do frequently because of his alcoholism um then he would uh he would come home and he would say hey hey sis and he would be talking to my mom i lost my job today here's my paycheck and my mom would say well let's go to the liquor store and we'll figure this out so uh alcohol or the use of alcohol in my family at a very young age i got to see um that my parents used alcohol in order to help problem solve in their life it was the elixir it was what made everything okay they didn't believe that alcohol was part of their problem and so uh as kids my brother and my sister and i uh there were four brothers and one sister and we would be given alcohol as kids um to have a drink my dad would leave a beer can on the ground and i'd run over and i'd pick it up and i can remember being three or four and just guzzling it and um so i remember that nice tingly feeling that came over me as a kid and uh i would dance around the room uh and people would laugh at me oh look at her look at her isn't she funny and and i would fall over but you know it doesn't take much for a toddler to get drunk right and so you know uh drinking for me people would laugh uh and and joke and when i was a toddler of course when you're uh 35 40 years old uh in a bar dancing on a table uh because you're drunk people aren't laughing so much anymore um so you know alcohol took it alive um and uh so i was i was raised alcoholic you know it was it was i didn't know how not to drink and um so that was kind of how i was raised and alcohol was my friend [Music] i remember being in high school and after a softball game i would uh say hey do you guys want to go get drunk and i've always been a leader in my group uh and they say well what do you mean we don't have any alcohol and i'd say oh i'll show you i'll show you how to get some alcohol and then i'd uh tell them let's pull our money together and then i would go to a liquor store here and i'm in albuquerque today um and i would say all we got to do is ask somebody going in to buy us some uh some alcohol and it always worked uh you know i was i was not surprised because i had done it before on my own with my little brother that people at the liquor store would buy alcohol for us and we would ask them to buy bottles of annie green screen easy days or country nights or they had a bunch of different flavors and uh i come back successful with a couple of bottles and of course it was i was validated as a teenager oh look she can get alcohol for us so um and then i can remember sitting on the softball field in a circle with seven or eight gals that you know i played softball with and we'd have these bottles of annie green screen flying and we'd open them and pass one around and people take a little drink and laugh and pass it on but when the bottle came to me uh i can remember wanting to hold on to it i would take two or three tweaks and i didn't want to pass it on and or i was watching other people drink little dips and i'm like oh good they're saving more for me so it was always about it was always about i i i me me me more more more and you know i was just a teenager um so the biological part of alcoholism kicked in for me really young my little brother i had to take a breath for a minute because you know my little brother is the one that we were um my mirror and alcohol and i'm here in albuquerque for because he passed away on the 23rd and he was an alcoholic by the time he was probably about 11 years old and so it's difficult to see people as young as that i developed alcoholism very very young and some people would say oh that can't happen but it does it does it does and you know he struggled with alcohol and all of his life except uh he did dice over he was over uh three years before he passed away and you know that's a miracle in my family that's huge yeah it was a big deal and uh in my family that's just how you lived uh alcohol was something we always did uh when somebody died you drank more uh you gotta celebrate uh that they're they're not here anymore so we always celebrate when somebody has passed on uh because we think that this is our hill uh and that's somebody that is passed on and uh so we celebrate their life with drinking and um so my sobriety date you know is march 11 2000 so i'm 21 years sober and in the last 21 years you know i've learned to celebrate uh life for somebody when they've passed without using alcohol or drugs in order to do that and what a difference that has made in my life oh my god particularly with the passing of my brother you know i told you in the beginning that my life and my siblings i have four brothers one sister and this disease you know didn't skip a beat in our family and i think a large part of it had to do with our set and setting our environment uh was that alcohol was accepted we were given alcohol as kids so you know when when you're in high school or college or whatever uh and people say hey let's go drink it's a normal and natural thing we don't say no we say yes and so i think that had um a really big part to play in uh everyone in my family developing alcoholism uh and it you know it played out different for each one of the members of my family uh i have an older brother he's 71 today and uh he his alcoholism and drug addiction would take a turn with the criminal life uh he liked drugs and alcohol but he also liked uh criminality and so he would spend from the time he was 13 until he was 65 in custody in one way shape or form uh throughout his lifetime and um you know he he taught me a lesson that we can be addicted to other things like criminal behavior addiction is a it's a it's a wild wild beast and um so my my oldest brother spent most of his life in prison and um he got sober in prison my brother raised my brother's day is uh 25 years older and i never thought i'd see that and that's the call in our family my sister debbie she's the second to the oldest she's only been sober for 19 months and she's uh 66 years old my brother bruce is 64 years old and he got sober probably eight years ago uh my brother berlin uh he's a year older than me he he would have been 63 but on his 48th birthday he celebrated he got left the bar drunk driving and he ran a stoplight and headed on into another vehicle and he was killed instantly and luckily you know nobody else was harmed in that accident um and then of course uh i got sober and then my little brother got sober three years ago he was diagnosed with girl cancer and my mom she's 90 today she got sober along with my little brother three years ago so the miracle in our family is everybody is clean and sober uh and that is a that is a miracle wow marcia that's that's incredible because i mean i mean i'm listening to you talk about a family culture that that alcohol was just part of that family culture and you guys i mean probably for years never recognized that there was a different way of being that was just what you were introduced to and that was your life and so i am curious i mean in it and it took the life of two of your brothers i think we could safely say would you agree with that um because drinking because drinking and smoking goes along hand and yet and of course my dad was alcoholics he died of emphysema and my little brother had emphysema and of course he got the lung cancer so drinking and other diseases in our family you know my dad died emphysema and my little brother died of lung cancer but he had emphysema as well so drinking and smoking went hand in hand so uh we're kind of like a salty pirate family well martial so yes so talk about how you come from that culture and decide that sobriety is something that you want to pursue what made that difference for you well um i would marry an alcoholic i was made award of the court when i was 13 here in albuquerque and my parents became neglectful the alcohol was more important to them than their kids and unfortunately uh my mom abandons me here in alcohol in albuquerque well the truth is i told her i wasn't going with her anymore we were a gypsy family my dad was a surveyor he put in highways close to group 66 and uh so we traveled a lot and um my mom was packing up the car one more time and i said i am not going with you and she said okay and she left me here and so i went over to my um my boyfriend's house that i knew from school and i told him and his parents i said my mom left me here in albuquerque and she they said well you'll be staying with us and they were uh they were a wonderful wonderful family um they were military uh people and i thought these these people really know they used they drank both of them drank uh but they were what i considered military drugs and military drugs are different than uh the gypsy people that we were um they had a house they had cars they put their kids in school they bought them school clothes these are things that we didn't have and so i thought these people know how to drink and so i was so glad that they brought me into their family and of course i had my boyfriend right there i thought this is convenient and so they filed charges against my parents and my parents never showed up to their um to their court dates and so uh i was made award of the court and my boyfriend's parents uh were made they decided to be my foster parent so they raised me um uh when after i'd become a lord of the court and uh i thought man this is wonderful now they allow their kids to drink as well you know he was a colonel in the army they had lived in europe and uh so their upbringing with their kids even though they were from salt lake city utah and were raised in that culture um because his dad was a colonel in the army and they raised their kids up in europe uh they learned that well you know you can have a wine and give it to your kids as um when they're kids so that's what their path was so uh they would still give us alcohol in their home and uh it just continued to validate that alcohol is what makes things move uh part of their family so i didn't have anything different to kind of balance it with so my i would be raised up in that family my uh boyfriend denton would become my husband and we would move to salt lake city to take care of his dad at the time that i met his family his dad was paralyzed from the neck down um he had been injured in a swabitchburg germany in a car accident and so he was paralyzed so we moved to salt lake city uh to take care of him and when we got to salt lake city his dad said uh if you're gonna live in my house you have to be married so my husband and i went to elko nevada with his grandmother to get married and so my husband's father and family is my best and we would uh my husband denton at the time would be what you considered we were functional we were in our early twenties when we moved to salt lake and uh we got jobs we had good jobs and you know we drank recreationally um whereas later on you know that would progress i learned that this disease is progressive uh because of my own experience you know i wanted more over a period of time and we started switching from uh alcohol beer that kind of thing to heart alcohol and boy when i found hard alcohol i was like the cherokee indian and me went crazy and talk about uh i would i would like the book in alcoholics anonymous talks about dr jekyll mr hyde and my experience was when i drank whiskey i became a wild idiot literally i uh lost my uh i lost my uh i was not uh i was more like a uh a wild woman uh and i have a tendency to i tell people i was born with a megaphone in my mouth and i have a loud voice anyhow and when i drink whiskey or captain morgan's spectrum or tequila or anything like that it has a chemical reaction inside of me that causes me to become a whole nother wild person and um i would dance on tables or was that person that people would ask to leave parties because i was really too loud and obnoxious and i could drink a lot so i would do competitive drinking with my husband or with other people and so my alcoholism was progressing um my husband was drinking with me and because his parents also have alcoholism it just looks different from our military perspective in the military it's okay to drink too much um and so culturally there um it's okay to uh to do that except for the women the women are not uh were not at that point in time to look more like the men while they were drinking so they would go to the country club and drink and uh it was interesting to see you know in hindsight when i got sober and looked back at all that how culturally things were driven and caused me to behave in certain ways based on the set and setting i was in um fast forward my husband and i would you know drink throughout our life and the alcoholism progressed uh we were functional and then at 37 i remember crossing a line we were using uh marijuana we were using we started using cocaine and with cocaine i could drink more oh my gosh that was wonderful and um so we were becoming you know involved in drugs and i worked in the field worked in the hospitality industry i worked for holiday inn and i was their food and beverage director and as a result of that i could drink with customers in the bar it was required in the hospitality field alcohol clothes fight freely so i only i only worked at places where alcohol was part of my job and so it really did help to progress my alcoholism and um so i was working in the field i was living in an environment where it was rich to drink i was adding cocaine with it so i could drink more and the nail in my cough and i didn't get sober until i was 41. and of course my husband is drinking and using along with me we were uh quite successful at our drinking and you know what i learned is until you have for me until i had consequences that caused me to look at my drinking i would have kept going i'm sure of it shelly i would have kept going until um until i died which is what a lot of alcoholics in our family do uh that somehow fly under the radar low enough uh that you're not getting caught criminally uh you know we for whatever reason never got duis yet we drank and we drove all the time uh we never got caught with our drugs even though we had drugs on us you know of cocaine or marijuana uh and so we by the grace of god uh that for whatever reason we didn't get caught um i was never a bar fly so i didn't go drink in bars other than when i was working with holiday inn so when i was off of work i just drank at home so that kept us isolated from problems that way but the alcoholism progressed and we had several guests and my dad died my foster dad died my foster mom died all of them died of alcoholism or problems as related to alcohol my dad is emphysema my mother-in-law uh her esophagus exploded uh because she had throats of the liver and she bled to death her heart finally gave out and um getting dad my my foster dad would die of pneumonia uh and so you know those are hard kinds of ways to die it's just horrible um and uh so upon those deaths of course it gave me uh you would drink if you had that kind of sorrow in your life as well and again alcohol was part of the getting over somebody dr dying was you know you just drank about it and so uh alcohol enough grief and not enough recovery or understanding how to grieve and deal with death uh you know i'm in my my late 30s and i found methamphetamine and when i was about 38 years old my husband and i started using methamphetamines and of course um i could not drink alcohol and use methamphetamines it's like an oxymoron feed and alcohol don't work well with me so i stopped drinking all together and i just used methamphetamine and my husband did the same and as a result of switching drugs we lost everything in our lives we became methods we lost the home that we had we lost our jobs my husband had had his job for well over 20 years i had worked at holiday inn for at least 15 16 years and we lost everything and we became homeless we were living in a tent in a field and um uh we didn't uh again think that the alcohol or that the drugs were the problem they were our solution and um we started acting out criminally uh you know we couldn't pay for our insurance on our car i'd get seating tickets and we were living in a tent in the field but i was working i got a job at microsoft and like we always you get a job to keep the bartender paid or keep the dope don't uh dealer paid so we did we got jobs again and uh but we could we were living in a tent in the field um the deal was to not let anybody know that your your butt's fallen off and uh so i would go to my nice job at microsoft my husband would go to his uh a job at the airport panel prince i think it was called and we would come every we would come home every night and go to the dope dealer and then we would go to our tent and we'd get high and then we'd get up and do that all over again and um our one day my husband we had one little car it was called the whisper 2000 and we had two dogs and we you know we never had yes uh i was unable to and it was probably good because i know that i would take them through this whole event of drinking and using with us and so i'm thankful that that never happened that my dog suffered as a result of my using and drinking and i would keep them in my car all day uh while i worked and then to take them out to the tent and we looked in that tent without by the petroleum tanks in north salt lake where those uh the petroleum tanks are there's a nice field out there and we live there from october until um let's see probably december so for two months we lived out there my husband was driving to work one day i was already at work and he was driving to work he had the dogs in the car and he dropped me off he dropped me off at work gets done or he was going to his work and he got pulled over for not having a headlight on and um our car wasn't registered we had warrants for our arrest and he was arrested that day and taken to jail and uh his boss out of panel prince called my work and said you know your husband's been arrested and the dogs have been put into the dog town and um as it would play out i got the car back and that he left it at the place that he worked well i got the car but as it would be i decided i was done that they were and he was in jail the dogs were in the town and i was free and i was going to leave everybody behind i was depressed uh i didn't know it um uh drugs were my only solution and i decided i was gonna drive to california the story doesn't need to make sense it's just what happens you know what i mean this is fascinating marcia i would interrupt with questions but i want to hear the rest of the story so keep going so i picked up my stuff that i had i threw in the car and i said you know i'm going to california i'm going to start a new life i was driving i was out by tooele and i look in the rearview mirror and here's the cop lights and i go oh crap so i get pulled over and uh cop said uh uh didn't i have your driver's license in registration and i said i don't have either one of those why are you pulling me over and he said you were going 55 miles an hour when you should have been going 75. oh that's a problem and then he ran my name and he found i had a warrant in davis county so he uh he picked me up he took me to toyla and um so now both my husband and i are in jail the dogs are in the dog town and uh i got transferred out to davis county i spent a couple nights in toilet and uh i got taken to davis county and i'm sitting in the waiting room in davis county and who walked in the front door but my husband they had transferred him out there and uh and i'm like what are you doing here and he's like what are you doing here i'm like well i guess god's got another plan for us [Laughter] and we would be you know that would be uh part of our saving grace is we did an inpatient program uh which is in the jail and uh my husband got put out to a serenity house in ogden which was an inpatient program and um i went to uh i went to jail and my charges were such that they were felony and i was given a prison sentence of um two uh five year set up women's utah state senate entry and i told that judge she said bayless take her to jail and i looked at him and i said you can't send me to jail don't you know who i am and uh he said bayless bring her back up here and i thought well he does know who i am you know the ego is a quite interesting place uh for an alcoholic addict um and uh so he brought me back up and he said uh miss stafford you do protest and i said of course i protest i had a perfectly good job before i got in here and you give me these fines and all this time in prison how am i supposed to pay my fine and he said well i'll tell you what if you can find a job from jail i won't send you out to the prison and i said perfect perfect and so i go back to the the gear and i tell the women of course bolstering my story uh he does know who i am i don't have to go to prison and i gotta find a jail i gotta find a job from jail and this gal said well what are you gonna do and i said well i had a perfectly good job before i got here i'm going to ask for mine back so i wrote a letter to microsoft and i told him what had happened and i asked him for my job back and one day i spent about six months in uh davis county and finally the human resource uh director um responded and one day the bailiff said stafford roll them up and i said where am i going and he said you got out and so i went next door to the library and i used the phone and i called uh the court and i said why did you let me out of jail he said the clerk said uh you wrote a letter to your human resource manager out at microsoft and it just so happened that the human resource manager used to be the bailiff for judge dawson oh no who was my judge and he gave you a stunning review as an employee and said that he would take you back and that he would send a monthly report to the court and that if you didn't follow through that he would uh he would i have the judge send me back still so you know little miracles happened along the way that i didn't know were miracles because i just felt so entitled uh but if that was my path to finally you know getting stopped um i would go jail with my inpatient uh intervention program and my husband went to an outpatient program in uh in august uh and of course uh the starting ever ends where it ends my husband got out of impatient and he was able to stay sober for two years but when i got out of jail i had to test the waters again and i would i would use one more time i just wasn't done yet and as a result my probation officer was notified um and uh he told me you better get to treatment or you are going to prison and so i went to treasure and uh i went to days break and as a result of having a job having insurance i could afford to go to treatment and you know that was my path to my start of recovery and um that was i remember when i went into the treatment center and that was march 11 to 2000 yeah my life um because i'm sure i would have kept doing what i was doing and um my husband would you know get and stay sober and uh so that was that's how i got to the place where um i was told that i would go to treatment and the alternative was go to treatment or go to prison and and you were smart smart enough to know which one you wanted well my mom always said marsha's the smart one um and they still tell me that day marsha's the smart one i'm like you know i'm too smart for my own good uh and um so yeah that was my task to getting to getting sober and thank goodness oh yeah well i'm curious marsha because someone because i'm an interrupt permit because nobody in my family at that time was sober and so as a result of my getting sober over 21 years um i've been able to watch you know my family get sober and i i truly believe it was because they saw that that was possible i didn't do anything for them or to them but you know alcoholism runs its course sooner or later it's it's kind of rough and i i listen to your story and listen to you talk about this just deep culture of drinking and alcohol and and then i'm thinking about you going to treatment and i'm imagining that you have a lot of coping skills to try on and try and figure out what works for you and and how you are going to live a different lifestyle entirely can you talk about that journey a little bit because i imagine that was not a simple thing i was uh you know i was raised up in holiday inn and so i had corporate skills and that's different than having social skills um and i could not go back to work in the field so when i got out and in recovery i could not go back to the field that i had worked in for 25 years and so i had to completely um i had to go into another field and treatment helps me to learn about what a wild animal i was most of my life uh i was corporate trained so i knew how to behave in corporate america um but socially i was awkward and i used to only hang out with people who drank and used like i did and i was fortunate i went to alcoholics anonymous and in alcohol synonymous uh well the treatment told me i had to go i was not such a volunteer um my grandpa was sober in alcoholics my mother's father for 30 years and when i was a little girl my mom used to drop me off their house every now and then and he would talk about aaa all the time and so when i got to aaa i thought oh my god i've been sentenced to and uh but i walked into the alamo club and saw the city utah and i saw the serenity prayer on the wall and my grandpa used to have that hanging up over his dining room table and i knew that i was someplace that i was supposed to be and my next thought was how did my grandpa know that i would need to be here because i still had no understanding of alcoholism and of course it was real important in my recovery to learn about what alcoholism was and to um you know working with a sponsor i got a sponsor and that sponsor took me through the steps she was teaching me how to be a lady because i didn't know how to be a lady i knew how to be a woman that was a drunk that was competitive drinker with men i talked like a pirate except when i was in corporate america you know i had lived a double life for a long long time and so working the steps and working with women in recovery uh it was painful my first four years of my recovery i cried i cried i cried i cried because i was grieving the loss of the woman that i was and i didn't know about the woman that i was becoming and the woman that i was becoming scares me to death and of course my husband is going through the same thing as i was except he had a different kind of a childhood being raised up so uh it was painful for me to let go of this wild child girl that i was and uh at about four years sober i was working at a treatment center and uh i had was still working at microsoft but i was working part-time at a treatment center i had a drug dealer that got out of prison and he was going to treatment at this facility and he needed a ride to group so he would ask me for rides and i was giving him rides to groups and rather than leave and come back and get him i would wait there and the lady her name was bonnie she was doing the group she says hey you you leave him here every week how about you know we give you a part-time job here and i said okay uh that's good there are people in recovery that's um safe so i started working for this little treatment center called abc alternative behavioral consultants and uh as a result of working there the owner started seeing that there was something in me that i didn't see in myself and he was doing an anger management class one day and i was checking people in and at lunch the people came in and they were sitting in the lobby and i just started processing them for anger management and he was sitting there and afterwards he says i want you to teach and your anger management for me where did you learn that and i said oh holiday inn teaches you a lot of anger management people in the uh in the hospitality business and so he says i think you should go to school to become a counselor do you want to do that and i said well i never even thought about that and he goes how about i pay you to go to school it was another god shot jelly that was anything that i wanted to do and i said you know what that sounds like a great idea he paid me to go to the university of utah to become a substance use disorder counselor and i'll be forever ever grateful because he did see in me you know something i could have seen myself and i just i went with it you know i i just i didn't know what i was doing in sobriety enough that i wasn't you know i didn't have any intelligence there oh i just went with what other people uh told me to do and it worked for me and um you know today i'm so grateful that i did that um because i would be given the gift of of being able to turn around and take this life that was such a hard thing for me at the time but through recovery i learned that you know god was present through all of that i can't you know i can't get through this without things god was doing for me what i could not do for myself and uh two people teaching me in the program about recovery going to school to learn to be a counselor uh people having faith in me i mean this guy at abc gave me the keys to his location and let me handle money and you know i had done some real criminal behavior when i was using and um and you know restoration redemption was happening for me and um you know i started working with other women in recovery and my life just started growing exponentially uh you know it's a ride it's a journey that i wouldn't miss for anything for anything wow that's incredible and and i i mean i'm listening to you talk about these pivotal moments in your life of here you're heading to california and you get pulled over and you go to jail and you have an opportunity there to turn things around and and then and then he offers to send you to school like who does that right that doesn't happen very often yeah yeah yeah it's a god shot uh and you know uh i would go to school and i would come back and i would work at his facility and uh one day uh his facility wasn't doing so well and i was i was also working in the course as a probation officer and i started working at another facility it was called nefa no excuse for abuse and um i would do my internship there from the university of utah and she took me on uh as a counselor once i became a counselor took me uh four years five years of four years to get my license because i did not have a bachelor's degree so i had to work 2 000 out four thousand hours in the field um and so uh when i was sober about six years i got my license uh to be a substance use disorder counselor and and i was a probation officer and it was at that time that i started she asked me uh kathy was the nefa i want to open a facility in tooele will you help me do that and i said of course i will and so i went out and i had gone through licensing with the abc company so i knew about licensing and i said i'm just going to go open that for you and i started documenting and putting together what today is part of my company which is new you recovery business consulting with a product called treatment center in a box and she allowed me to open that treatment center and i opened another one and often for her you know i've opened shelley god gave me a treatment center in a box so i could put put things together it i couldn't have told you if i somebody just told you that i do today what i do today when i first got sober i'd run for the eels because i just didn't have self-esteem or self-confidence or self-worth but through god i have all of those things and um you know watching women that are brave go before me do what they do um i started trusting and having confidence in god and and you know god will give you uh your assignments i call this you've given me my assignments and as a result of following his lead and being obedient to that's the best of my ability um you know i've opened um i'm on my 39th facility uh ranging from uh social detox to residential to outpatient um to sober living houses um i'm in uh uh i'm the president of the alano club and i'm in the process of organizing and refining their system so i can also open talent clubs wherever the need may be and uh you know the fear of what's gonna come next has left me uh because when when i serve god you know he's a great employer and um the next gig comes and it's just been an amazing amazing ride and you know today i'm uh i just opened uh my first i'm in the process of opening my first out-of-state facility in minnesota and i i couldn't have told you that that was going to happen but somebody else did that for me um a treatment center that i had opened down in saint george said i want to replicate what you did for me and i want to make it a franchise and um he said when i franchised my model i franchised you and he's now selling the franchise i didn't do anything he tells the franchises and i get to business and i'm like man thank you so much thank you god for doing that for me uh and so he calls and says i've sold a franchise in san diego go out there and get it set up and you know i could not uh i wouldn't take a drink today if it was if it was to save my mother and she's 90 years old uh you know i would not do that because my mom's you know life is in goddamn um and so is mine uh today i cannot think of one good reason to drink uh because i've got a thousand billion reasons days off and uh it's just an amazing amazing journey yeah wow marcia that's an incredible story and i love the way you bring it full circle to now now you're able to give back and and um engage in this very community that gave to you and make a difference and and i will say that i have worked with you enough to know that you are incredibly detail-oriented and that you know the documentation backwards and forwards which in my line of work makes my job so much easier when you set up a facility the right way and they can do it the right way the revenue works better the authorizations work better everything is better when marsha's hands have been on it and you know god gave me the gift of organization you know i got to learn what are some of my gifts and what are some of my abilities and people depend on me to organize things today and you know i'm fortunate i i organized the women's dickbook retreat i've been doing that for 19 years and i organize treatment centers and and help them to keep their their functionality going so that they can do what they need to do which is work with and treat the clients and you know that's where you do what you do shelly with uh with the billing company that you take that burden from them and we teach them how to do the things that we do what they don't need to be doing they know of them but it keeps them focused on what they really open treatment centers for which is to be present with the clients and um and that's been one thing i think my clients appreciate most about it is they can trust me uh they know it it's set up and it's done right and um and that's just you know i learned that that's one of my abilities in organizing and and people depend on me for that and that's a good deal because you know i was a kid that grew up in chaos and unorganization and uh to be able to have that come full circle and be able to use it as a gift is amazing wow the story's not story's not over yet you know i don't know what the future will bring for me but you know i did start a non-profit company i can't i can't leave you without talking about my non-profit new recovery incorporated and i was able to go and travel to nepal and climb uh the uh island peak it's one of the third it's next to nepal as being the largest uh so 2006.95 and uh you know i was able to climb island peak and we find three of the highest peaks in the fall and uh i i was never a climber i didn't know how to do that but as a result of going to nepal i started my non-profit and i said i want to be able to do what i do in the united states in the fall and so i helped to organize and set up present facilities in a third world country that um has had no idea about what treasure was and uh it's just been amazing to be able to go to default and be part of we've opened a christian treatment center a women's treatment center a men's hall treatment center and i get to carry uh the gospel over there um and you know it's just it's just amazing yeah i stay sober because i don't know what what miracles god's got for me next yeah that's quite when the gig's going really good it sounds like it's going fantastic and i i really think we've got to credit you know a lot of your tenacity and and willingness to just put put in the effort and and figure it out right and that trust i can hear you um really have that trusting god that he's got a plan for you and if if you stick with it it'll show up yeah yeah and you know uh bigger than anything i could ever dream people say what are your dreams well my dream and my hope is just to keep doing what i do and and it'll unfold as as god needs it to and uh and i don't know what that is i try to stay out of his way uh just like it in the way it changes the course of action and you know i have a radio show it's called the been there done that show um and i started that in december of 2012 and uh i don't do it so frequently anymore i do it when a show comes you know to me um and uh but i've been able to you know have a voice in recovery and that's been one of my motivating you know find your motivation and recovery find what uh your gifts are and then you know shout them from the mountaintop and get busy sharing them with others because you know the world was waiting on me shelly i had somebody tell me that one why are you wasting your time why are you wasting your gifts the world is waiting for you and i say that to newcomers you know the world is waiting for you we're waiting for your gifts to have you share them with us in the world because um you know god don't make no crap and you don't make no job uh he he you know had there's purpose for everybody and a lot of times you know sobriety is about finding your purpose and when you can find your purpose and connect with it man all doors the world is your oyster there's nothing i can't do there's nothing yeah and that's certainly been the case and you know for you marcia is that the doors seem to be wide open and you're getting to do the things that you're passionate about and that you love um and that just really fill your life with happiness and joy and you know the best work i do is the work i do for free shelley um uh god keeps my bills paid with what i do but the best work that i do is the work that i do for free and being able to give it you know in order for me to keep what i have i have to give it away and i'm just so thankful for the opportunity that you have given me today i'm humbled you know to be able to share my story because i do i never know what how it's going gonna come out you know what i mean uh and what i've learned is that it comes out exactly the way god needs it for whoever's gonna listen to your podcast and i'm just so thankful that you gave me the opportunity to be able to share that and then i can help somebody out there today if they're struggling you know you can call me my phone number zero code 801 574-8765 you can find me on been there donenetshow.com website you can reach out there there's stories of recovery and healing on that site and you know if you just need somebody to go to talk to and say hey how do you think i can get what you got you know we'll sit down and talk about what's you know going on for you uh because this is a gift that's given for free so thank you so much oh marcia thank you the pleasure and honor is really uh mine and and the listeners to hear your story and to hear your enthusiasm and and to hear how you've turned your life you know to a completely different direction that is just full of service and love and and you really get what it's all about so thank you for being willing to share that with us and sharing um how people can get a hold of you and i would really really love for you to come and be on the show again so we can hear the rest of the story and um and one and one other thing is thank you for joining us during a time that you're grieving with your family you know you're back in albuquerque with your family you've just lost your brother and you're really willing to be vulnerable and come on and share your story anyway and i want to thank you for that because that wasn't expected oh thank you you know we are celebrating my brother today uh we don't mourn the way we used to uh we celebrate a life given and now we know that he is peaceful and uh it's us who are here and so we support each other and i couldn't think of a better more wonderful thing that i would want to be doing today so thank you so much thanks marsha thanks for being with us and uh definitely going to have you on the show again oh thank you shelley have a great day i'd like to say be a great day because you're responsible how your day turns out [Laughter] is absolutely true thanks for leaving us with those words of wisdom