recovery buddha on the SHAIR podcastListen Now – Click Play Below!

Folks, today we have Penelope Moussa joining us on The SHAIR Podcast, but everybody calls her Penni. Not only is Penni a prominent member in the SHAIR private group, but she has her own recovery Facebook group called Recovery Buddha.

Clean Date: October 19, 2015

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Omar: So tell us a little bit about how your life is today, your recovery routine, and tell us all about how you got Recovery Buddha started.

Penni: Life today is so much different being sober, and I am loving every minute of it. I’m so much more present and mindful and the friends, just the people I’ve been able to connect with, my new recovery family, has just been awesome and just so filled a space in me and a gap that was there in the past. I’m just so incredibly grateful for that. I suppose Recovery Buddha started I just had this idea. I’ve always wanted to do something to be of service or to help people, and I kind of do that in my job and my work anyway, but I’ve wanted to focus more on the addiction side of things. I decided as part of my own personal accountability as well as providing another safe space for people to be able to share and get support and give support, so I’ve just decided to start up Recovery Buddha, which is really exciting.

Omar: Tell me a little bit about the meetings you go to, your regular meeting attendance.

Penni: Okay. My daily routine or weekly routine, sometimes it’s hard to have daily with our chaotic family life, is to get up and pray and practice a lot of mindfulness, do my readings, and head off to work. I currently work as a psychologist in a school with adolescents, and I’m attending, at the moment, two meetings or nearly three meetings a week with a home group. They are fantastic. I am reading lots of amazing books on recovery and I suppose personal development. It’s just like I’ve got this urge for more knowledge, but not just the knowledge but also wanting to apply that to my life. I find that gives me strength and hope to just keep doing through each day.

My life at the moment is very hectic, and there are times when I still feel very overwhelmed and emotionally, spiritually, physically just exhausted. I suppose over that last couple of weeks I have been in that space, but I’m cycling out of that and coming out of that. For me, when I’m feeling that way, I really focus a lot on prayer and self-care and just taking the time out that I need and to put recovery first, because that’s the most important thing in those situations.

Omar: Absolutely. The name of the group is Recovery Buddha, and you also do a lot of reading. How do you combine all that when it comes to that spiritual condition in connecting with your higher power? What do you use as a conduit to connect?

Penni: I think to connect for me it’s about meditation and mindfulness and prayer. Just grounding and anchoring. Yes, grounding myself I suppose. I have very strong spiritual beliefs. Not so much religious, but definitely spiritual beliefs that I’ve grown up with with my mom. She was a clairvoyant and a healer and into lots of different kinds of healing work, so that has been my upbringing. I’ve always been very interested and involved and practiced the more spiritual side of things. I think that’s where a lot of my focus is with Recovery Buddha, and just wanting to share the love pretty much, because I think that that’s the basis of everything.

Omar: The heart of a mystic.

Penni: Yes, indeed.

Omar: Penni, tell us how much clean time you have, and when is your anniversary date?

Penni: I will be eight months tomorrow. I’ll be eight months.

Omar: Oh my goodness. Perfect.

Penni: I know. Yeah, it’s great. My sobriety date is October 19, 2015, and I have had two and half years up and four years up previously, so this is my third time around. This is actually the best time around really, because I have the emotional sobriety that I really didn’t have before.

Omar: Question number one for the newcomer. What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?

Penni: Fear and anxiety, I reckon, and doing it for other people not for myself. That was a big one. Doing it for others because that’s what they wanted me to. I felt controlled into doing it, so that’s what I did.

Omar: Perfect. Number two, at what point did you have a spiritual awakening? That ah-ha moment in recovery when you accepted you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed that hope that you could recover?

Penni: Definitely that Sunday morning when I was crying into my coffee and just praying and praying and praying, and saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” It was like the Penni dropped. It was like something, and I don’t know what it was, it was definitely an awakening or an ah-ha kind of moment where I thought, “No. This has got to change,” and I felt totally supported through my HP to move in the direction that I had to. It was quite amazing.

Omar: You said, what is it? “You heard the Penni drop?” What is that?

Penni: No. Well, it was like the Penni dropped. It was like it was this da-ding. It was like a bell went off. That light bulb moment. Well, it finally all came together. I mean, it took long enough, but I was sitting. I was like, “Oh yeah, I do have an addiction to alcohol. I can’t drink anymore.” Not that I was unaware, but I was just not focusing on what the hell I was doing all the time. It was like, just in that split second, in that moment, it was like a divine message, and it might sound silly, but it just came straight in and said, “Right. That’s it. You’re stopping, and you’re stopping now.”

Omar: Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to our newcomers that you read in early recovery?

Penni: Very first time I ever got sober, I found the book “Living Sober” really helpful, and this is going back years and years and years ago. It’s an AA book, but definitely the big book, I think, that is absolutely essential and so, so good. At the moment, I’m actually reading Debbie Ford’s book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers”, and that’s probably not a book for early recovery, but it is an excellent book when you’re a little bit further down the track. I love that. Plus, “The Four Agreements.” Just anything like that, for me, of a spiritual nature I really enjoy reading, and I think can be really, really helpful for newcomers too.

Omar: Number four, what is the best suggestion you have ever received?

Penni: Keep it simple and do the next right thing. I love those slogans. They honestly got me through at least the first six months just staying aware and taking it easy or easy does it. When things get too complicated, stepping back and definitely keep it simple.

Omar: Beautiful. I love it. I love it. If you could give our newcomers only one suggestion, what would it be?

Penni: It would be expect a miracle.


“…expect a miracle…”


Thanks again for your SHAIR, Penni!

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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.