Retire From Team “Rest of Us” at SHE RECOVERS in CHICAGO
“Believe me, no one has been more surprised than me to discover that I too am an ordinary woman with extraordinary strength and courage as a result of my life experiences. The world needs me. The world needs you. Let She Recovers in Chicago serve as your retirement party.”
To go or not to go to SHE RECOVERS in Chicago? That is the question.
For most of my life, I believed there were two distinct groups of women in the world: the Chosen Few and the Rest of Us. The Chosen Few were those women who were destined to be successful, popular, and could make a difference in the world. Members of the Chosen Few were change-makers welcomed to attend high-level events, galas, and parties. The Rest of Us, although usually invited, thought it was out of pity and that no one would notice if we went or not. We thought we were destined to be average at best and lacked the skills or abilities to deserve any notice. In other words, we were hum-drum boring and did not have much to offer others or the world. For many years, I had the distinct (dis)honor of being the self-appointed captain of team Rest of Us.
Members of team Chosen Few were easily identifiable: they were beautiful by society’s standards and held thin privilege. They appeared to hold themselves with the confidence and poise of royalty. They seemed to know exactly what to say and do whether they were in a small group of friends or meeting a crowd of strangers for the first time. They dressed with distinct flair and style, knowing where the line was between coordinating their clothes and accessories and being too “matchy matchy.” Their minds were calm and effortlessly offered up unique ideas, solutions, interesting anecdotes, and funny stories. They could work a room with the influence and ease of a seasoned politician running for re-election.
As the captain of team Rest of Us, I could only dream about one day being on the other team. There was no way I could imagine overcoming the innumerable barriers that disqualified me from even pledging membership. Unlike the members of the other team, I spent hours inside my head trying to figure out what to say or do, where to go and how to get there. I had entire committees of critters scurrying around and living rent free in the upstairs apartment of my mind, acting as my inner critic, reminding me of my worthlessness and offering feedback that only served to confuse me. Packing for a trip or a night out with friends was an entire ordeal. My bed covered in discarded pieces of clothing, I tried to decide which outfit would make me look beautiful, hide my flaws, and ensure that I fit in. I had no idea if I should wear a matching necklace and earrings, three bracelets, or none. While members of the other team appeared to be speeding along the fast track to success and belonging, I was stuck in the roundabout of isolation and self-criticism, going in circles and getting nowhere fast.
Members of both teams were often invited to the same events.
The Chosen Few members accepted opportunities to meet in community without hesitation while the Rest of Us had to think about it and repeatedly consult with various committee members (remember the critters?) with our minds in overdrive: “I can’t go. There is no way I will fit in with anyone. I don’t know anyone. No one will talk to me. I hate meeting new people. I’ll be so uncomfortable. I have nothing nice to wear. I’m always so awkward, never knowing what to say or how to act. I don’t belong. I’m not going. Oh, I don’t know what to do. Why can’t I sleep?”
It was draining to be on my team. The chatter, self-doubt, and criticism stuck on repeat were incessant.
In December 2010, I went through a mental break-down (or perhaps you could say break-through) which landed me in a psychiatric hospital for five days. This was the darkest and most painful experience of my life. Ironically, it also began my transformation – a radical self-love revolution that continues to this day. It was the beginning of the end of my lengthy reign as captain of the Rest of Us. Since that dark season of my life, my mind has gone through a complete metamorphosis, and here’s what I have learned so far:
- There is only one team, no us and them; we are all part of the Chosen Ones
- The more I get to know other people, the more I recognize our similarities surpass our differences
- We are strengthened by our stories and connected by our courage. The world needs our stories, our strength, and our courage now more than ever
- In comparing myself to others, I do myself and others a disservice. I cannot assume to know what is going on in any one else’s body, mind, and spirit by how they present themselves on the outside
- My mind is a great passenger, but not such a good driver, if I don’t center myself (Note to self: don’t let the critters drive)
- I am unique. There is only one me. No one else can contribute the way that I can. If I don’t show up and speak up, and keep doing that for myself, a void will be left
- My heart’s beauty is my most enchanting quality, and I celebrate its magnificence
- I am worthy of unconditional love and belonging
- And, most importantly: we are all extraORDINARY women! (yes, you too)
Believe me, no one has been more surprised than me to discover that I too am an ordinary woman with extraordinary strength and courage as a result of my life experiences.
The world needs me. The world needs you.
Don’t let the back seat drivers tell you what to do. Don’t hold yourself back. Come to Chicago. Especially, if you’re hoping to depart team Rest of Us for good – let Chicago serve as your retirement party. The sense of belonging you will feel within a community on the same team as you will be reparative and healing wherever you are on your recovery journey. You can be yourself and know that you are not alone…that you are supported. That you belong. Start your transformation or continue your evolution while being held by 600 like-hearted women, the experience will feed your body, mind, and spirit.
I get it, if an extraORDINARY gal like me (from Canada’s smallest province) can step up and put herself out there, then you can too. And, what better place to do it than at SHE RECOVERS in Chicago? I’ve got your back. We all have. We are stronger together!
Patricia Doiron is a women in long-term recovery from alcohol use disorder, sexual abuse and trauma, physical and mental illness, co-dependency, disordered eating, and workaholism. Most days (except for when she’s feeling like a turtle and wants to hide in her shell), she recovers out loud in the hopes of helping even just one person. Patricia will be turning sixty later this year, and has never felt more free, curious, or brave. It has taken her a ton of work to get to where she is now, but she says it was all worthwhile.
Patricia discovered SHE RECOVERS in 2013 when she attended one of the Mexico retreats. Since then, she has become a certified SHE RECOVERS Coach, and has attended all of the signature events in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. This year, she is selflessly volunteering at the Chicago event. Patricia sees the SHE RECOVERS Foundation and the many women that she’s met through the organization as two foundational patches sewn together to create her beautiful recovery quilt.
Join Patricia, Elizabeth Gilbert, Valarie Kaur, and five hundred other women for She Recovers in Chicago – and retire from team rest of us for good.
At SHE RECOVERS in Chicago you can also:
- Explore what recovery from life challenges such as trauma, substance use, grief and loss, eating disorders, burnout and moral injury, love addiction, anxiety and depression looks like within a welcoming and supportive environment
- Join a community of like-hearted women who are rooting for you
- Expand your personal growth and self-development
SUMMER SOLSTICE SALE
Let’s celebrate the longest day of the year, the abundance of light, and the bounty of the season with a SALE! Until June 30, get $100 off your ticket to SHE RECOVERS in Chicago Our Stories. Our Strength. Proudly presented by AWARE Recovery Care & HEAL Behavioral Health.
The Palmer House Hotel is already 70% sold out…reserve and save today!