Vasavi is a savvy entrepreneur, licensed social worker, and a plant-based chef. She holds dual Masters degrees in Special Education and Social Work. She has been featured extensively on TV and in the media. She is now a personal development coach who truly believes that with impeccable character, work ethic, and unwavering values, you can do, be and have anything you want!
Vasavi is also a grateful recovering addict and alcoholic who got out of rehab 6 months ago and has just finished moving out of a sober living home. She had always been successful on the outside, but inside she was lost, empty, and addicted to cocaine. Then she found emotional and physical sobriety with faith in her higher power.
CLEAN DATE: October 21st 2017
Listen to Vasavi’s powerful story!
Here are a few highlights from our interview. To get the full story please join us on the podcast now!
Vasavi know that addicts love to complicate things, so she keeps it really simple. She goes to sleep before midnight. When she wakes up, she feeds her dog and makes coffee. She does not touch her phone or communicate with anyone until she goes outside and connects with nature and her higher power.
Vasavi says recovery is not just about meetings. Being in recovery is a holistic process. It’s in everything she does. She makes sure she stays emotionally sober as well as physically sober. She prays. She goes to gym. She also suffers from bipolar and anxiety disorder, so she makes sure she takes her medicine regularly every day. She doesn’t respond back to people right away. Everything can wait because her recovery comes first. She knows if she doesn’t do her routine consistently, it’s only a matter of time when she calls her dealer.
Being Me is a full-time job.
Vasavi’s spiritual connection is not something she can put into words. It’s a feeling she has in her chest, in her heart. She feels a stillness throughout her being wherever she goes and whatever she does.
Now that Vasavie is sober and connected to her higher power, she can breathe again. She’s no longer anxious all the time. She knows that she is okay and that she will be taken care of. She also now knows how to say ‘no’ and set boundaries. She doesn’t need anyone’s approval because God is on her side.
It’s a knowingness. I don’t need to explain sh•t to anybody.
The First Time
Vasavi knew she sold her soul when she smoked her first cigarette at age twelve. She did it because she wanted to be in. For the same reason, she smoked her first joint in 11th grade. She had her first experience with alcohol in the 10th grade when she drank three white Russians at a family event. The alcohol made her feel very calm and much more verbose. She felt free and talkative.
Vasavi was born and raised on Long Island. Her parents were Indian immigrants, and it was a chaotic household. Relatives and friends who came over from India stayed at their house. She felt like nothing was hers and she wasn’t treated very well because she was the youngest in the family. She never felt respected or heard.
Vasavi learned how to get people’s attention and approval by being entertaining. At a young age she knew exactly what she needed to say and who she had to be to make people like her. She was in an all-white town, so she was bullied. Her survival skill was to become indispensable to the people who had problems. This codependency would misshape her future life.
When she went to college, she was not ready to be on her own mentally or emotionally. She was smoking marijuana and drinking. In her search for approval and validation, she became promiscuous. Then she tried cocaine and that was it. Cocaine worked like ADHD medicine for her. It actually calmed her mind down.
I befriended people who basically cosigned on my bullsh*t.
Vasavi met her first husband who saved her by preventing her from being promiscuous. He was her hero. She was the victim, but she wanted to play a new role. She wanted to be the wife, and she forced him to marry her when he really wasn’t ready.
She was not using cocaine at the time, but she continued to drink. Her husband didn’t drink at all, but he didn’t stop her. She moved him to Kansas where he owned a gas station. They wanted to perfect family, but neither of them knew how to do it. There was no communication, and she didn’t know how to tell her husband she was unhappy.
You are responsible for making yourself happy, period.
After she filed for divorce, she went into an intensive outpatient for mental issues. There she met a younger recovering drug addict. She latched onto him right away and they ended up staying together 3 ½ years. The couple started using drugs together and her codependency was so bad back then that whenever they got into a fight, she would get cocaine so they could get high together and make up.
It all could’ve been avoided if I addressed my self-esteem and my relationship to my higher power.
She was a highly-functional addict and making 8K-10K a month in her coaching business. After cocaine binges, whe was doing interviews on podcasts and TV. The more money she made the more cocaine she started doing.
The more I had, the emptier I felt, the more I had to fill it.
Vasavi might have been highly functional, but her relationship was extremely dysfunctional. She went to jail in March of last year for beating on her boyfriend with a broom stick. She called the police, but the damsel in distress card didn’t work for her. Vasavi was arrested for domestic violence, though later the case was dismissed.
The money finally started dwindling. She was doing too much cocaine. It got to the point where it was all the time. She stopped caring and started letting her business go. Her abuse slipped beyond her control.
One morning, when she was up at 5 a.m., she called her sister and asked for help. Her sister flew out with one of their aunts to pick her up and take her to treatment.
Vasavi admits, she did not go into rehab for herself. She went in for her sister and stayed in treatment with an open mind for her. Vasavi advises other addicts to do the same if they’re not ready do it for themselves. It might save their lives.
…whatever the reason to get you through that door, just do it.
What kept Vasavi from getting clean?
Vasavi felt that if she got clean, she would have no control over all of her things. She was attached to her things, and she didn’t want to let them go.
The aha moment
Vasavi doesn’t have one light bulb moment that changed her life. She gains insight little by little.
… keep an open mind. Open every day. I have epiphanies every f*cking day.
The Road Less Travelled by Scott M. Peck
Breathe. It’s our breath that gives us life. When you’re feeling chaotic or anxious or angry, pause and breathe.
For the newcomer
Vasavi suggests that with every single person you surround yourself with, ask yourself – are they helping you grow? Or are they dragging you down? Are you not sure? Be aware of how you feel physically around them. That will tell you if they are good for you or not.
The people you surround yourself with are going to make you or break you. If they’re still using, get rid of them.
See you then!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.