Hi, I’m Amy.
And I’m so glad you’re here. Seriously.
Addiction is awful and scary. It is isolating, discouraging, and sometimes debilitating. It leaves individual lives and sometimes whole families in its destructive wake. It feels heavy, too heavy, for anyone to bear. Even the word feels sticky in my mouth. And yet, not really understanding all the forces at work, we keep doing it, we keep acting out. We resort to our addiction time and time and time again, needing a refuge from the storm, needing an escape, needing something or someone to make it, whatever IT is, go away… if only for a few minutes. I know because I am a sex addict.
Sex and food have been my drugs of choice for a very long time, though I would also say I can use just about anything compulsively and addictively if I’m not being mindful. My story isn’t unusual or uncommon. I played soccer and the piano as a child. I was on a swim team and threw a paper route for extra money. I was a good student and loved learning. I had engaged parents who loved me and my siblings. I went to college and have had a successful career. I have no overt or major trauma in my life. But what I did have is an underlying current of loneliness and shame. Toxic shame. Shame that led me to lead a double life. Church going, spiritual leader by day, sex addict and binge eater by night. (Not that I only acted out at night, because that isn’t true.) Shame that led me down the dark and lonely halls of addiction. Shame that led me to believe that I was not enough, not even close to enough. Never. Ever. Enough.
What made this shame so powerful in my life is that I didn’t understand what was going on and why I was doing what I was doing. Until I had a name for it, ADDICTION, I just felt broken, fundamentally broken in the very core of me. I couldn’t make relationships of any kind work. I would do the very best that I could, but it never worked out. I felt separate, always looking in on the world, like there was glass separating me from everyone else. I carried on like this, trading physical intimacy for the emotional and cognitive intimacy I truly craved, until the addition was so all encompassing, all consuming that I knew it would kill me if I didn’t stop. And so I did.
I started recovery. Recovery from addiction, AND also recovery from life. Because Life Is Hard! And that is where I learned about shame. But not just shame…. I also learned about love, forgiveness, support, addiction, authenticity, reality, joy, pain, anger, serenity, loneliness, betrayal, friendship, cycles, drama, empathy, sympathy, compassion, acceptance, space, boundaries, trauma, healing, letting go, enmeshment, dysfunction, spirituality, depression, discouragement, motivation, sadness, and worth, mostly about worth. I learned that I have worth. I learned that worth is inherit with being born into this world. You don’t earn it or lose it. It isn’t given or taken away. I exist and so I have worth. You exist and so you have worth. And by learning my worth and my value, recovery was born.
It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. My journey hasn’t been perfect, and it still isn’t perfect. But I have been blessed, guided, and loved by the women who came before me. It wasn’t until I had been in recovery for awhile, that I realized that not every woman was as fortunate as I was. Because of the nature, stigma, and stereotypes associated with sex addiction, many women go through recovery alone. These same stigmas and stereotypes cause many women, desperately needing help, to turn away from what is traditionally thought of as a “man’s disease.” That is unacceptable to me. Had it not been for the brave and courageous women who supported and encouraged me, I would not have been able to make the significant changes that I have in my life.
And that is where Worth Recovery was born. My goal is to be sure that when a woman reaches out for help in recovery, there is another woman there to help. I hope to provide a rally point, a place where we, as women, can support and love one another. I hope you find some of the answers, help and support you are looking for in these pages. Check out the Podcast Archives to learn a bit more about my story. Hear from other women in the Women’s Stories area. Or join one of the group challenges or events. I’d also love to spend time with you one-on-one in recovery coaching. If you want something you can’t find – send me a request. I’d love to hear from you.
Above all, I hope you remember that you are Worth Recovery! 100% worth it. I know that. And if you don’t yet, just rely on me until you get there.
If you’re interested in hearing more of my story, you can find it here.
All my love!
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Recent Podcast Episodes:
- Episode 148: Compartmentalization
- Episode 147: Minding the Gap
- Episode 146: The Cycle of Relationships
- Episode 145: Family of Origin
- Episode 144: Departure
- Episode 143: Gaslighting, Part 2
- Episode 142: Gaslighting, Part 1
- Episode 141: Crab Mentality
- Episode 140: Filling in Your Foundation
- Episode 139: Getting Current
Amy Smith is a gifted educator and has spent over fifteen years teaching, training and developing curriculum materials for learners of varying ages and backgrounds. After decades of acting out and living in sex addiction, Amy choose bottom and began recovery in 2011. With a strong desire to help dispel shame and build hope in the lives of women recovering from sex addiction, Amy founded Worth Recovery, www.worthrecovery.com, home of the Worth Recovery podcast. In addition to the podcast, Amy offers recovery coaching and recovery events focused on supporting and connecting women in addiction.
With a B.S. degree in Mathematics, Amy has taught at both the high school and university levels. She is trained in Cognitive Coaching, a methodology used to help increase the capacity of individuals and organizations. She has used this training to help individuals turn from a life of addiction and increase their capacity for change, healing, and relationships.