Recognizing Nadine Braithwaite as a SHE RECOVERS Gem

SHE RECOVERS® Foundation Volunteer Recognition

GEM Nadine Braithwaite

“SHE RECOVERS means the world to me. It means community, unity, and women supporting women. It also means unconditional love. SHE RECOVERS has truly saved my life. When I was at my worst, needing to be held, seen, and heard, this community was here for me day in and day out.”

— Nadine Braithwaite, SHE RECOVERS Volunteer

Nadine Braithwaite has been volunteering for the SHE RECOVERS Foundation for a year and been a community member for several years. When it comes to recovery, she is a proponent of one minute at a time and progress, not perfection. Nadine gleefully shares that SHE RECOVERS Foundation’s resources and community have saved her life. She is a SHE RECOVERS Together Online Facebook group administrator and a volunteer co-host for SHE RECOVERS Support for Mothers of High Needs Children. She has recently been recognized as a SHE RECOVERS Gem.

SHE RECOVERS Gems are volunteers who have been acknowledged by their peers for their profound and life-altering contributions and service to our community.

We had the honor of interviewing Nadine Braithwaite about her role as a SHE RECOVERS volunteer.


What does being a SHE RECOVERS Foundation volunteer mean to you?

SHE RECOVERS means the world to me. It means community, unity, and women supporting women. It also means unconditional love. SHE RECOVERS has truly saved my life. When I was at my worst, needing to be held, seen, and heard, this community was here for me day in and day out. As Mama Dawn always said to me, “we will love you until you can love yourself.” I truly felt that from her and the community. Of course I have a tattoo of SHE RECOVERS, and I can look down at my arm and remind myself that I am loved and supported — even on those really hard days.


What made you want to become a SHE RECOVERS Foundation volunteer?

I was scared to volunteer for fear of making a mistake at first…and guess what? I have made mistakes in the last year, and it’s been okay. I have always been received with love and compassion in these spaces. I wish I had volunteered sooner, but I needed to get rooted in my recovery first. Being present in my roles as a woman, mom, wife, and friend. Everything is still not perfect, but I believe in progress, not perfection anyway. That’s something I have learned in recovery.


What three words would your friends and peers use to describe you?

I asked my husband and sweet friends and they said compassionate, empathetic, and trustworthy.


How do these aspects of who you are show up in your everyday life?

I really do care so much for people, some would say too much. But, it is a part of who I am. I love making people smile. Whatever that looks like to them. As I get to know someone, I learn what brings them joy and try to amplify that to make them smile.


What is something of which you are proud?

I’m proud of my recovery. I honestly didn’t think I would ever get sober. I struggled and struggled and struggled for five years…well all my life, but there was a five-year period where I found it very difficult. I kept showing up to SHE RECOVERS meetings, and I would cry. I felt so worthless, like a failure, because I couldn’t get twenty-four hours sober.


What do you do outside of your volunteer role for work and/or play?

I looooove to loom knit. I learned to loom knit in treatment, and have since really enjoyed making hats for SR friends and family. I love to sew. I make wreaths, recovery bracelets, and earrings! I hope to send every recovery sister a bracelet. I’d say I’m halfway there!


What does radical self-care look like for you?

A day out with my son. A nail and lash day (I love my lashes)!! Resting in my quiet home. Time spent with my pets all around me.


Tell us a little bit about your recovery journey. What are you recovering from? What tools and resources do you weave into your patchwork of recovery?

I am in recovery from CPTSD, war, alcohol, prescription pills, disordered eating, body dysmorphia, grief, depression, and anxiety. I was the person who couldn’t get twenty-four hours sober for many years. I had a challenging and messy rock bottom. I was unable to see my son without the supervision of a family member. And, my husband and I separated a few times during that period. I was hospitalized for alcohol, prescription pills, and suicidal ideations. But, I built myself back up, with the help of my community, one minute at a time. Some days those minutes felt like weeks. Day after day, I was able to regain my strength. My husband and I reconciled. My kiddo and husband started to trust me again. I started to trust myself again. I leaned into the work. I got a SHE RECOVERS Coach, whom I still meet with to this day, and I got back in touch with my trauma therapist. It’s not easy, but a hard day sober is better than any day in my addiction. Connection is my favorite recovery tool. Talk it out until you can’t talk anymore…and then keep talking. Get it out of your body.


What or who is inspiring you right now?

I’m inspired by the number of sober days I have, the beautiful memories I have made with my son, hubby, and close friends, and the trust I have in myself and that others have in me. I’m inspired by the good feelings I have, I’m slowly embracing them. Doing the work even inspires me. As formidable as it is, I’m healing. I have some peace in my life. I’ve never had that. I don’t want to trade any of it for a minute of drinking.


What SHE RECOVERS Intention and Guiding Principle resonates with you the most?

We answer the call to heal our past wounds and intergenerational traumas so we can live fully in the present.


What is your favorite SHE RECOVERS resource?

SHE RECOVERS EVERY DAY, the book by SHE RECOVERS founder, Dawn Nickle, PhD. April 9 is my favorite page: Belonging. “I had a longing for belonging, and now I truly belong.” This was me all my life until I found my husband and the SHE RECOVERS community.

And as I said before, connection is my most cherished recovery tool, so the SHE RECOVERS Together Online Zoom Gatherings and SHE RECOVERS Online Facebook Group as well.


What is one piece of advice you would give to another woman/non-binary individual who is seeking a community like SHE RECOVERS?

Connection is everything. I know how scary it is to put yourself out there, believe me, I know. Join the SHE RECOVERS Together Online Facebook group page, join the SHE RECOVERS Together Online Zoom Gatherings. Just observe. You will fall in love with SHE RECOVERS like I did! 💕 And, anyone can reach out to me at any time!

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Want to recognize a SHE RECOVERS Gem (Volunteer) for their contributions in our community? Nominate them now!

Feeling Inspired by this She Recovers Gem Story?

We invite you to get involved with SHE RECOVERS and explore the many ways you can help inspire hope, redefine recovery, reduce stigma and empower women who are in or seeking recovery. You can become a SHE RECOVERS PartnerFriend of the Foundation, Volunteer, or Advocate.

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