Kelly Zelenka, BS

she / her


I am recovering from:
Childhood trauma, depression, cancer.

The identity-based group(s) I am a part of:
LGBTQ+, cancer survivor.

My personal definition of recovery:
Right now, I would define recovery as making decisions based on what’s best for me (physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually) not what someone else thinks I should do or how my decision looks to anyone else or how much fun they think it is or isn’t.
The practice of making choices based on my needs and from a place of strength and abundance.

What led me to SHE RECOVERS:
I’ve been in a period of change for five years which has really disrupted my professional path. I believe I found SHE RECOVERS because it’s given me the freedom I need to better manage that change. It’s also given me new insights into the recovery path of my loved ones and more self-compassion.

Why I love being a part of this team:
SHE RECOVERS occupies a space within the nonprofit ecosystem that is unique. I love working for an organization that serves exclusively women and offers them the opportunity to expand their individualized patchworks of recovery inclusive and / or beyond the traditional 12-step, religion-based recovery formats while still being welcoming and accepting of all pathways. SHE RECOVERS recognizes the variety and wonderful weirdness of human beings – so of course we cannot possibly all need exactly the same thing!

Those that know me best might describe me as:
Grounded. Intuitive. Introverted.

How these qualities show up in my everyday life:
I get great satisfaction from creating spaces and systems (physical and psychological) that are welcoming and supportive of individual personal and professional needs (my own and others), where chaos isn’t accepted as a means to achieve resolution or growth, where other introverted, intuitives can feel comfortable and valued.

Something unique you may not already know about me:
I love photography, especially taking close ups. Zooming in on something can completely change the perspective.

Something I am most proud of:
Claiming my introverted nature and no longer trying to be what society expects in this regard.

Radical self-care look for me looks like:
Nature. Saying no to large group gatherings. Nature on repeat.

What I wanted to be when I grew up:
A forest ranger. A naturopath. A physical therapist. Then someone who could change the way the world treats those that society historically likes to throw away.

Something that is inspiring me right now:
A new city with new opportunities and the fact that we can remake ourselves at any point in our life.

The SHE RECOVERS Intention & Guiding Principle resonating the most with me right now is…
We are all recovering from something.

My favorite SHE RECOVERS resource is…
The Chapter Network quarterly meetings. I am so inspired by the volunteers in local communities and how they are changing the narrative and redefining recovery for women in or seeking recovery all over the world.

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