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.
Today we are thrilled to have the one and only Kelly Fitzgerald, aka Sober Senorita on The SHAIR Podcast. She visits The SHAIR Recovery Community for an exclusive live Q&A session with our members.
The Sober Senorita talks about how her alcoholism started with the disease of always wanting more and how this prevented her from ever finding contentment or peace, until she found sobriety.
Kelly tells those struggling with alcoholism and addiction to never let go of the hope of different life. She also talks about the importance of recovering out loud to be an example that living sober is not only possible, but also amazing.
Kelly Fitzgerald, The Sober Senorita
My name is Kelly Fitzgerald Junco. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a small town called Royersford. From as far back as I can remember I’ve always had an addictive personality. I wanted to party and was given the “social butterfly” title before I even left high school. I attended college at Millersville University in central Pennsylvania and earned 2 undergraduate degrees while playing 4 seasons of NCAA Division II soccer, as well as establishing my drinking career. As binge drinking and blackouts became more normal for me, I was in deep denial about just how destructive my drinking patterns were.
After college graduation I moved to Cancun, Mexico where I continued my party lifestyle. On May 6, 2013 I took my last drink. I had enough. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I got sober in a spring breaker’s paradise. In Mexico I discovered my love of Mexican culture, the Spanish language, and writing. I started my blog in January of 2014. May of 2014, on my first year anniversary, I published my first official blog post about sobriety – the post heard round the world. The post that went viral, was picked up by the Huffington Post and republished in 5 different languages, maybe you’ve heard of it?! After having that post go viral, I knew the world wanted to hear more about a regular girl and her sobriety so I continued to write about my life and my sober adventures.
I lived in Mexico for 5 years and in June of 2014 my then-boyfriend, Fernando, and I picked up and moved to Cape Coral, Florida. In February 2017 I married Fer back in Cancun where we first met. We currently live and work in Cape Coral, enjoying beach life, CrossFit, traveling, and hanging out with our three bilingual cats Rita, Ramona, and Rodrigo.
Every good thing I have in my life today is the result of my continued sobriety. Every day I wake up and choose recovery and I want others to know that they can do this too. Sharing my story has not only changed my life, but it has impacted many others’.
My mission is to encourage everyone to live their truth, to break the stigma of addiction, to let others know help is available for substance use disorders, and that you do not have to suffer in silence. You are not alone. There are 23 million Americans living in recovery, I am only one. If I can do it, so can you.
I am a freelance writer and social media manager, and a Certified Life and Recovery Coach, and Head of Marketing for This Naked Mind. I’m currently working on a memoir and seeking representation.