“When I finally became willing to change my life, I decided I didn’t want to just quit drinking…I also wanted to become really awesome.”
AS A TEENAGER, Blaze Bell describes herself as a “goody-goody.” A teenager who didn’t dabble in drugs or alcohol, but also a teenager who didn’t have an arsenal of healthy coping skills to get her through a darkness. A darkness that she was thrown into by abuse. In the midst of this darkness, she was prescribed medications by well-intentioned doctors and psychiatrists. “I’m assuming they thought I would be very messed up, in every way, from the abuse I endured.”
“In one year of being attacked, my step-dad left my mom and then my biological father died. I was in extreme pain. I never felt suicidal, but I definitely wanted a short break from reality. I turned twenty-one and then started drinking…a lot. I couldn’t just drink and stop, so I found myself in lots of risky behaviors. I was a high functioning addict for many years, but as time went on, I was losing friends and all of my pride. I was stuck in the story that my addiction was someone else’s fault and I was a victim…”
“When we are in a state of being a victim, there is no room for empowerment and nothing will change.”
Today, Blaze Bell is a far cry from the teenager and young adult who relied on drugs and alcohol to escape from the pain that she couldn’t relieve on her own. She is a Mother, a Wife, a Professional Singer, Holistic Health Coach, Speaker on Overcoming, Course Creator, and Performance Coach.
She is simply…an Amazement.
How does your music/art/creativity help with your sobriety?
Performing on stage was helpful in my sobriety. I used that time [on stage] to release a lot of emotion. It took quite some time to get comfortable singing in bars. A lot of artists and creatives actually have a big drop in their creativity when they first get sober/clean. Many of us were in the habit of doing creative things in an altered state. Before I could really feel confident performing, I had to dive deep into healing work and find my way back to myself. I had to remember who I came here to be.
How do you deal with temptations?
“Just like anything, your success is dictated by the actions you take.”
I’ve been sober for over five years and I rarely feel a strong craving or temptation. When I finally became willing to change my life, I decided that I didn’t want to just quit drinking, I also wanted to become really awesome. I joined a Women Only Twelve Step Program and worked the shit out of it. I got honest with myself and with a mentor I trusted. I became the Queen of Workbooks! I observed the people in recovery and the happier ones were always the ones who had put in more work and done more of what was suggested. The people that did the bare minimum for themselves were the ones who were complaining about the exact same shit day after day. Just like anything, your success is dictated by the actions you take. After soaking up all that the Twelve Step Programs had to offer, I decided to also branch out into other healing modalities. I saw a Life Coach a few times and loved it! I enrolled in nutrition school and became a certified health coach. I began to shift my mindset. I used to live in a reality based on fear, being a victim and a life based on lack. I now see the world as loving and abundant. I have trouble even saying the word, “victim” because I am so far out of alignment with that energy today. I am an empowered woman who takes responsibility for the highs and lows of my life today. It’s all creation and perspective.
Are you okay to be around others who drink?
I am usually fine being around “normies” AKA people who can drink socially and party and know when to stop and hand over the car keys. I have a brain that can not make sense of moderation. I see my addictive “more must be better” brain in many areas of my life. I’ve taken the really dangerous addictions out of the picture but the same thought processes arise with certain types of sugars, certain types of hot dudes, and my lover, Caffeine. But, I also see a big difference in people that don’t think like me. I’m married to a man who is a social butterfly. He loves to tie one on and have a good time. He behaves nothing like I do when drinking and I see no reason to try and make him change on my account. We made compromises in the beginning of my recovery that we wouldn’t have alcohol in the house but even that doesn’t bother me today. I know this is very different for each person and I have a lot of friends in recovery that would never choose to be in a relationship with someone who drinks and I totally get that too. We needed to heal before we start testing our limits.
“Anxiety comes from worrying about the past or the future. Things stay pretty groovy when we know how to be in the present moment!”
What (if any) are your triggers?
Anniversaries of deaths in the family. Fear around past traumas are triggers. But, I’ve healed so dramatically in the last two years. I had PTSD for many years and I’ve used Tapping aka Emotional Freedom Technique as a great cure for PTSD and anxiety! I teach that to my clients too and it’s really incredible. Triggers often start as weird daydreams that go dark side but today I know that I don’t need to believe everything that pops into my head. I have a ton of mindfulness tools to snap me back into the present moment. Anxiety comes from worrying about the past or the future. Things stay pretty groovy when we know how to be in the present moment!
How do you find the right balance between work and relaxation in your daily life to remain sober?
Balance? What’s that? I think that everyone, addict or not, has the challenge of figuring out how to balance work, family, and play. That’s an ongoing process. I’m an entrepreneur that works (mostly from home) as a Holistic Health Coach, Speaker on Overcoming, Course Creator, Singer, and Performance Coach. I get out of the house for a few singing gigs per week and a day or two of one-one-one coaching with my amazing clients but my sacred daytimes are spent at home with my two kids. Finding the balance of being the best mom ever and the best coach ever and the best wife ever and the best singer ever, is exhausting and unattainable. I invest in myself a lot by taking courses, reading books, and attending lectures on topics that will help me thrive efficiently. I made a pact with myself that I would spend as much on healing myself as I did on making myself sick. Ten years as an alcoholic, addict, overeater, and party animal really adds up financially. It feels great to re-invest in my body and soul in a completely different way!
What advice can you give someone struggling with addictions? Any advice for those who have loved ones who are having problems with addictions?
If you’re struggling with addiction (which can be to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, shopping, eating, gossiping, negativity, etc) there is so much help available. Twelve-step programs are amazingly supportive and really helped me realize I wasn’t alone. If you think they’re too religious (some pray, some don’t) then you can find groups specifically for atheists, agnostics, and free thinkers. There’s online support these days too! Therapy is good for some people to talk out their old stories. Life coaching and health coaching are great for getting clarity around your present goals and having some amazing support and accountability. There are blogs, podcasts, youtube pages, etc with so much great info. A few of my favorites are Gabrielle Bernstein, Ester Nicholson, and Tommy Rosen with Recovery 2.0. And you can always contact me! I’m a wellness coach who completely understands the unique challenges and advantages of the addictive brain so I love working with people in recovery who are willing and ready to shift into love.
If you’re the worried loved one of an addict, I recommend ALANON meetings. They’re specifically for family, friends, and spouses of alcoholics and they have their own confidential support system and tools. If it was as simple as loving someone to make them quit using, then there would be no addicts. It’s not that simple and only they have the power to become willing to step out of the comfort zone and see the magic that’s waiting for them on the other side. Have clear boundaries and your own self care practice.
“I made a pact with myself that I would spend as much on healing myself as I did on making myself sick.”
For more information on Blaze Bell, visit her website at BlazeBell.com