Sasha T.

It is never too late to find your career; your past does not define you but is a stepping stone to catapult you to achieve your goals; never give up 5 minutes before the miracle; recovery is possible; WE DO RECOVER; WE DO BECOME EMPLOYABLE; WE DO GO FROM PRISON TO PRESTIGE

My name is Sasha and I am an addict in recovery and my clean date is 10/11/2007; I am a person in long term recovery and have not found it necessary to use any mind or mood altering substances since 10/11/2007.

My experience is what brought me to where I am at today so in my personal recovery I use language that reflects the program that keeps clean on a daily basis and in professional settings I use the language that attracts all pathways to recovery and continues to reduce the stigma.

I am originally from several cities within the Bay Area California (Redwood City, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Mateo, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco) and got clean in Roseville, CA. I was born to parents who I know now did the best they could with what they had; though early on didn’t see that. I saw that it was my job to protect my brother (who was 5 years younger than me) from sights I had already seen, I saw family that took me in out of pity because if my parents couldn’t accept me than how could anyone else. In those early years I sought acceptance in codependency, food, control through good grades, stealing, lying, being a chameleon (let me tell you being a chameleon when you are 350lbs is harder than it sounds). I was motivated by insecurities and then alcohol and drugs hit the scenes I was in and the bricks I carried to build the walls and to mold my masks were lighter than they had ever been. I became everything I attempted to protect my brother from, everything my family attempted to protect me from, and everything I said I wasn’t going to be. I followed my fathers footsteps and in true fashion I quickly became a legend in my own mind, gave up everything that had any meaning to me, my family. I continued to live a life of great intentions with no follow through. One day a moment of clarity hit me and had one lifeline that was always there no matter how many times I cried wolf; since the day after that moment of clarity I have not found it necessary to use.

I have gained faith, gratitude, self-love, and self-worth, let go of false realities and found the true definition of love, friendship, and integrity. Today I know my parents did the best they could with what they had, my family did the best they could and loved me but I was the one who couldn’t see or feel the love. I have made living, verbal, written, financial amends to the point where when I lay my head down at night I have no lingering shoudla woulda coulda’s. I became the daughter I always wanted to be instead of trying to see the parents I always thought I should have. I have become the sister I always I wanted to be instead of the savior riddled with guilt I thought I had to. I have become the granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt, I missed out on being. I have become a friend that doesn’t just accept but gives friendship. I have become an employee that adds value to an organization instead of a leech that steals from one. Most importantly I have grown a relationship with a power greater than me, this relationship gives me the courage to reach out when I’m struggling whether through prayer or a text; the vigilance to walk through any feeling or insecurity without creating wreckage, the steadfastness to recognize a defect and turn it to an asset or just let it go, the surrender to know if I am trying I will bump my head in insanity, obsession, self loathing, and ego but if WE are putting one foot in front of the other there is hope, solution, reprieve, and love.

Daily I surrender, daily there is a struggle with insecurities, confidence, body images, motivation, lack of motivation, worth, wanting everyone to like me, not caring if everyone likes me, questioning how I deserve the position I am in within my life and my career, am I a good enough employee, am I a good enough supervisor, will my colleagues like me; but because I surrender I know today I don’t have allow insecurities to run my actions the daily surrender affords me a filter so I don’t have to pick up and accept where I am on this path called life and look at the people I’m surrounded with daily who wake up and do the same thing.

None of this did I learn on my own I have watched others who have achieved the life, career, education, faith, family, relationships, I want to achieve and I ask how they did it and I follow their suggestions. I followed suggestions to get high with no argument so why not do the same for my recovery and my career.

My experience is what makes me relatable, my compassion is what makes me approachable, and my faith in a daily reprieve is what makes me a peer.

My first job clean was a dancing pickle on the busiest street corners in Citrus Heights California, then I followed my father’s footsteps again and today I have some certifications, in my last year of a BSW, and a career that I was divinely guided to where I get to watch others build themselves up and achieve dreams and crush goals they never thought they could.

The best part is I get work alongside and with some the most courageous, honorable, prestigious, selfless, humble, people I have ever met and excited to see what the future holds for our peer community, behavioral health community, and Our People.