I started using alcohol at age 15 and it felt like the perfect solution to my childhood trauma and dysfunctional home life. My values changed almost immediately, and I went from having LDS background to the other end of the spectrum. I got a DUI when I was 16 and many underage alcohol misdemeanors. I was kicked out of high school and was ashamed that I had a GED and not a high school diploma. I was pregnant at age 18 and was able to stop drinking but started again shortly after my daughter was born. I didn’t have any more legal consequences after that first DUI, mostly because of luck. My biggest consequence from drinking was that it stunted my growth as a human being.
My recovery from alcohol has really been about recovering from the reasons why I drank, which I can address now that I am not drinking. My threshold for being unhappy was fairly low, in comparison to others’ stories. This is not to undermine or deny what I went through. I had withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, shitty relationships, and no sense of self. When people in AA say, “If I drink, I will die,” I don’t entirely relate. If I drink, I may die eventually and my disease will continue to progress, but more likely, I will be miserable in my existence. I won’t achieve my purpose, be connected to a higher power, or have fulfilling relationships. I have learned that my addiction to alcohol is a symptom of trauma, and drinking was merely a coping skill. Alcohol worked very well to numb my pain and it helped me disassociate. I didn’t even know I was disassociating until I started my recovery journey. It becomes more and more apparent that I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings or know how to be comfortable in my skin.
My personal work and successes have been on self-forgiveness and love, forgiving others, learning healthy boundaries, and being the best mother possible. I am in recovery from alcohol and co-dependency. I am learning how to feel my feelings, cope with life, and stand up for myself and my worth. I live in Idaho, and I am a single mom to 3 amazing, beautiful daughters. I am so proud of myself for breaking the intergenerational patterns in my family.
My curiosity about sobriety started about 3 years ago. I started listening to podcasts in the beginning of my recovery and found The SHAIR Podcast with Omar Pinto. I loved his voice and his energy. I have found his interviews to have a profound impact on my ability to see my addiction as an opportunity and not a dirty secret. I eventually became a member of his FB group and then joined the SRC where I have connected with so many amazing people in recovery. I feel the SRC group has kept me sober.
I can access meetings via Zoom which has been crucial to me since I am at home with my kids and haven’t found an AA group in my community where I feel connected. The connection with others in the group has saved me from loneliness and isolation. I have found a sponsor in one of these groups who was willing to complete the 12 steps with me which has been transformational! I am almost 5 months in my recovery from alcohol and 95% of the time, I don’t even think about drinking. I am so grateful for the SRC, the SHAIR podcast, my sponsor, the step work, and online recovery.
Angela Pugh is an Addiction Interventionist, Recovering Alcoholic, Life and Recovery Coach. She hosts the Addiction Unlimited Podcast and is the founder of Kansas City Recovery. She has been sober since 2006 and knows from experience that the key to lasting sobriety is having a recovery toolbox.
Recovery takes just as much work as addiction. It’s daily, consistent effort. Angela shows you how to design your life to make sobriety easier and gives a simple, proven recovery toolbox that will take you from anxious and overwhelmed to carefree and confident, knowing you have a plan to face anything.
Get ready to master your sobriety!
Angela Pugh is a leading expert in the field of addiction. After her recovery from alcoholism, Pugh attended courses of study including a specialized collegiate program in Addiction Counseling, training as a Board Registered Interventionist, Social Work program at the University of Kansas, and Life Coach Certification, Psychology studies and Recovery Coach Certification.
Pugh has also amassed years of extensive personal study in NLP, motivational interviewing, neurobiology of addiction, trauma healing, intervention, coaching, and much more.
She founded Kansas City Recovery (KCR), a full-service addiction and recovery resource that draws upon Pugh’s years of personal and professional experience in the application of tried-and-true recovery principles. Kansas City Recovery offers a full range of services, including intervention services, recovery coaching, and continuing education and workshops.
KCR also operates the innovative Sober Living House, where adult male members live as a recovering family to build the foundation for a strong and long-lasting sober life.
Pugh and Kansas City Recovery were honored with the 2017 Overland Park Small Business Excellence Award.
Pugh is also a noted freelance writer on coaching, relationships, and addiction education, and a sought-after speaker and educator on the same topics. She is a regular source on addiction and recovery for news media outlets nationwide. She resides in the Kansas City area with her dog, Henry, aka “The Boss”.
“I got sober when I was 33, and being an alcoholic is the best thing that ever happened to me. In my journey of recovery, I learned that I could be dedicated to something (other than drinking), and I learned that I was strong. I got to rebuild my life, go to college, and reclaim my self-worth and confidence. The truth is, this is what I was put on this earth for: to help others navigate this awful illness and help create a plan to nurture recovery through the long and winding road of addiction. Some people are uncomfortable talking about addiction and some are embarrassed to be addicted. For me, through my addiction, I found my purpose. And I couldn’t be more grateful to say, Hi everybody, I’m Angela. I’m an alcoholic.”