Carrie Potter

Carrie Potter

DESIGN + COMMUNITY SUPPORT
she / her

LinkedIn

I am recovering from:
Grief, in all of its iterations, and adverse childhood experiences. Substance use, codependency, workaholism, burnout, and moral injury.

The Identity-based group I belong to:
There are reasons that I didn’t want to identify as Métis, embodied fear, it’s still there. Weird how my fear makes me not want to share, but in this community, I feel like I can share it. When I hold something of my grandmother’s, there are just feelings that I can’t put words to, there’s a deep connection to that side of me. I also identify as pansexual.

My personal definition of recovery:
My personal definition of recovery changes on a day to day basis. It is a daily, constant practice. It’s a process of unraveling and unlearning to get me to a place where I can decide how I want to live my life. I can’t unsee some things. It’s practice.

What led me to SHE RECOVERS:
I was in early recovery from burnout when I found SHE RECOVERS, I was seeking community. I had a conversation with Mama Dawn fairly early on and it seemed as if my late mom had sent her to me. There was that underlying connection, it pulled me towards the community, and I was like…how is this happening outside my family? I didn’t know that was possible. It was a deep spiritual connection that I felt.

Why I love being a part of this team:
And speaking of burnout, I didn’t want to design any more because it had been the “scene of the crime” so to speak. I had witnessed others in their roles in leadership, and I thought I could reclaim my workspace if I worked there.
My job entwines all the ways that I want to show up in this world. I contribute to the visual sovereignty of SHE RECOVERS in that I am committed to bridging design justice with the visual language of recovery, redefining recovery, and ending stigma. I’m deeply listening to perspectives and engaging in conversations around decolonizing design, and using it to support and empower. I feel like the SHE RECOVERS intentions & guiding principles are in alignment with the design justice principles, and that I can actively take part in building an inclusive trauma informed community that honors Indigenous knowledge systems and healing wisdom.

Those that know me best might describe me as:
Fluid, clairsentient, and introverted.

How these qualities show up in my everyday life:
These are all strengths of mine. I am more responsive when I honor these aspects of myself. They are shortcuts to alignment for me, which of course means they all have their shadow elements. It was stigma that forced me to keep them secret when I was younger, but now I recognize these qualities as strengths – especially in supportive environments, I feel like I have permission to be the way I am.
When I first volunteered to co-host a gathering, I vacillated between do I want to do this or do I not want to do this? I was an introvert being extroverted, and it was the best decision ever. Same with when I started sharing in circle, my first shares were so difficult but it was worth it. Having my highly sensitive nature honored in such a way made it feel like a super power. That’s what SHE RECOVERS does, the greatest essence of what we do and the reason why we are attracting the people we are attracting is that we are embracing the sensitivities that we all have.
My clairsentience often manifests in clairalience – or the sense of smell. I remember decorating the Christmas tree with my family around – my aunt, uncle, grandmother – people were agitated and I started to become stressed. Then I got a waft of my mother’s borscht, I felt her presence, and everything felt like it was going to be okay. I journaled about it. My dad comes to me via the smell of cigarettes, whenever I need support, that is the connection. Scent connects me with my guides and ancestors, and I know that I am supported.
As for being fluid, I am consistently humbled by the opportunity or permission to embrace change. As a child, my family moved cross-country several times and I had no choice but to follow, but as a young adult I was able to pivot – and the shadow side of that is that it allowed me to fit in wherever I needed.

Something unique you may not already know about me:
I have a thing for ears. I touch mine a lot in a self-soothing way. My maternal side has experienced kidney issues, and I recently discovered that there are ways to access pathways of the body in the ears – it’s an acupressure thing. Also, my grandmother used to touch my ears to comfort me.

Something I am most proud of is…
I’m most proud of my recovery and for recovering out loud. I can’t believe how long it took me to recover out loud. The origin of what is considered “professional” has its roots in white supremacy. Since witnessing folks breaking the rules of what I previously considered being professional, I look at it differently now. My eyes see things through a new lens – I look on my period of burnout, moral injury, and codependency with compassion. I see how it had an effect on me, but since then I have reclaimed my design prowess and yield that power for good. I share my power by contributing to mission driven projects and community led initiatives. With SHE RECOVERS I am designing with not designing for a company.

Radical self-care look for me looks like:
Touching my ears – as I said before, this is one of my self-soothing techniques. I use auriculotherapy or acupoints on the ear to increase ease. I also choose things to do in my live that are in alignment with my values – and I have good boundaries.

What I wanted to be when I grew up:
I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. My grade 4 teacher had the coolest handouts, and I though…when I’m older, I’m going to be a teacher and make the coolest handouts. When I was thirteen, I met a graphic designer for the first time, and realized that that might be what I wanted to be. I switched school to go into a vocational program for design, being with artists half of the day every day inspired me to explore art in my life.

Something that is inspiring me right now:
Going back and connecting with my lineage is inspiring me right now. A large part of my daily practices connect me with my ancestors. I especially like devotional cooking. Being more in touch with the foods of my ancestral lineage, eating with the seasons, exploring the spiritual side of nourishment – I have always had the intention of doing that, but I wasn’t connected to it because of my conditioning. Now I’m inspired by Indigenous plants and that family connection to them.

The SHE RECOVERS Intention & Guiding Principle resonating the most with me right now is…
Recovery is the journey to wholeness. We learn to take care of our body, mind, emotions, & spirit. Moving my body has never been an intentional thing for me, and I didn’t know why that was even a thing. As a kid, I didn’t get it, I played sports for fun, never considered it moving my body intentionally. All physical activity that I had done was not for the sake of moving my body for health benefits – it was unintentional. In recovery, I have seen how intentional movement benefits my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Going into yoga, it is so different from how I come out of it. It totally shifts my energy and emotions, and I can feel whatever I don’t want to address physically leaving me.

My favorite SHE RECOVERS resource is…
SHE RECOVERS Yoga – for the aforementioned benefits. I would never have believed that I would be a fan of yoga, but that comes down to my conditioning again – the whole yoga thing, I refuse the yogappropriation and practice it as part of my patchwork of recovery.

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