Recognizing Robyn Witherell as a SHE RECOVERS Gem

SHE RECOVERS® Foundation Volunteer Recognition

Nikole Kelzenberg volunteer

“One of the many gifts of being in recovery is volunteering for the SHE RECOVERS Foundation. I believe we are redefining what recovery looks like for future generations of women/non-binary individuals. Being invested in building a community of connection and being of service is an integral part of my recovery journey, something I want to leave as a legacy for my grandchildren.” — Robyn Witherell, SHE RECOVERS Volunteer 

Robyn Witherell has been stewarding the SHE RECOVERS community as a SHE RECOVERS Together Online Gatherings volunteer guardian for the last two and a half years and a volunteer guardian coordinator for just over one of those years.

She has found that connection and volunteerism have taken her recovery to the next level. Robyn is always one to offer support, give advice, and/or bestow praise on her fellow guardians as she juggles an often changing schedule with grace. And, she regularly takes time to check in with them to ensure their well-being. Recently, Robyn has 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 Robyn Witherell about her role as a SHE RECOVERS volunteer.

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

One of the many gifts of being in recovery is volunteering for the SHE RECOVERS Foundation. I believe we are redefining what recovery looks like for future generations of women/non-binary individuals. Being invested in building a community of connection and being of service is an integral part of my recovery journey, something I want to leave as a legacy for my grandchildren.

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

After I incorporated the daily Zoom gatherings into my self-care tool kit, I felt a strong pull to volunteer. I am capable and was able to step into the guardian role because I had the time. Connection and volunteerism have taken my recovery to the next level.

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

Compassionate, reliable, resourceful

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

My daughter-in-law shared a meme that said, “it takes a community to support a mother,” a little play on the expression, “it takes a community to raise a child.” I thought it was brilliant. I am naturally a compassionate and empathetic person, that IS me. I show up, especially for my family. I’m fortunate in that my grandchildren live next door and being hands-on to support them in all the ways is a blessing. I am a seeker in that if I don’t have the answer I will find it. In recovery, I have the desire to understand who I am and how I got on this path of discovery to being the human that “God” wanted me to be.

What is something of which you are proud?

I am most proud of my sobriety and the recovery path(s) I’ve chosen to get me where I want to be. For me, being in and cultivating my recovery journey surpasses all of life’s achievements.

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

I work hard to carve out time to be present in my grandchildren’s lives. I attend the extracurriculars, but more importantly, I spend one-on-one time with each of the three of them. I am a competitive curler, and you can often find me training on the ice or at the gym. I love to run and hike with my dog, Annie Grace. Watching a really good detective/crime series with my husband is our cozy time, and the rule is that we can’t watch an episode alone. I’ve recently taken up traveling and have many places to visit on my bucket list. 

What does radical self-care look like for you?

My radical self-care practice includes many things, but most importantly my alone time. When I tell my family that I’m going to the “Island of Robyn,” they know not to ask anything of me. I am currently seeking a more spiritual path on my recovery journey, and am curious as to what I will discover. 

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 alcohol use disorder stemming from childhood trauma, abandonment, intergenerational trauma, and grief. One tool I have acquired in recovery is how to be brutally honest — something that I’ve learned how to do through therapy. Other tools and resources I like are podcasts, books, journaling, cranial sacral and acupuncture therapy, exercise and nutrition, outdoor grounding time, hiking, and the SR Zoom gatherings. I also gather with a small group of sisters in recovery most Sunday evenings, called the Golden Buffalos, via Zoom. They have been my chosen family for the past two years. I adore them.

What or who is inspiring you right now? 

I have to say that my adult children and grandchildren inspire me. I am on a path of recovery and self-discovery and feel that I am breaking the cycle of family trauma and dysfunction while changing the roots and trajectory of our family tree. 

What SHE RECOVERS Intention & 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?

The twice-daily SR Zoom gatherings

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

Being in community is the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones. SHE RECOVERS has been the lighthouse in my recovery journey. 

intimate partner violence

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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