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Jillian West is the co author of “You’ve Got This Mama Too” Her chapter is called “Shadow Work”.
This beautiful collection of heartwarming and inspiring addiction recovery stories are told by the real mamas who experienced them. Much like the original, You’ve Got This, Mama, this extension in the series shares raw and real experiences sure to remind you that you are not alone. Let’s face it, motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever love, and it is not meant to be braved alone. It takes a village, right? We can be your village, and lucky for you, we fit in your diaper bag.
This book, much like motherhood, is full of emotion, joy, sadness, excitement, hardships, love, and beautiful chaos. Our authors share their most intimate journeys and reflections with you in hopes to inspire you and provide the judgment-free support we all deserve. We dive into embracing imperfection and touch on the dangers of comparison.
Jillian ended up getting in touch with Sabrina Greer who knew a little bit about her through social media and ended up inviting her to be a Co Author of “You’ve got this Mama Too”, her chapter of the book is called “Shadow Work”. The book is about mothers and their journey of motherhood not only in recovery but in life and Jill’s story of addiction and recovery was a story so unique that the book did not include the authors wanted her to submit a story for her chapter.
Jillian started working in the sex trade when she was 18 years old and got out of it in 2016, she mentions how she has spent the past decades in the sex trade and became entrenched in that lifestyle. Jillian mentions how when we came into the rooms of a 12 step recovery community she did not hear her story and no one really talked about being in the sex trade. Jillian said her first bit of recovery she was still working In the sex trade she explained it “in having one foot in and one foot out” of the program. When asked if she felt comfortable doing it Jillian said she focused on the parts of it that made her feel “Glamorous” and really believed herself when she called herself a high end escort.
When asked if Jillian talked about her work in the sex trade or if she kept it a secret she said one day in a meeting Jillian shared about it in a general way at a 12 step meeting and someone came up to her after the meeting saying “You shouldn’t share about that from the podium you need to save that for your sponsor” and Jillian felt terrible and ashamed and for a little bit Jillian stepped away from recovery for a bit and started using again. When Jillian came back to recovery she made sure to keep it to herself.
“You got this Mamma Too” is a collaboration of stories, Jillian’s chapter which is called “Shadow Work” is about her growing up, what it was like getting older until now. She talks about the guilt of being a mother who is an alcoholic and having her oldest daughter watch her get well and get sick again then get well then get sick again. Jillian also talks about how recovery effects families just as much as addiction can but in a positive way. She talks about how her daughter Babysits for other parents in AA meetings and how she talks to other kids about how it is to grow up in an alcoholic house hold.
The amazing mamas in this book fill the pages with grace, authenticity, and unconditional love.
Each Week, we talk with people with lived experience, this week’s Personal Story Kat
Kat is Jillian’s sponsee, who’s clean date is September 26th, 2017. Kat explains herself as “a Downtown eastside junkie hooker” Kat mentions how she grew up in a middle upper-class family but still ended up in over 10 treatment centers and detox numerus times. Kat talks about the grind of addiction and how she would wake up every day and have to find money for dope and would have to haul herself a long way to work. Kat says a lot of times her body couldn’t take more drugs or abuse and she ended up in the hospital, but when she got clean it wasn’t that her body couldn’t take it anymore she was just mentally and emotionally done living that life.
Kat grew up in Winnipeg and was on the streets on and off from 16 years old, doing crime to get money for drugs. Then she found out she could do sexual favors for drugs and that’s when she started trading sex for drugs. Kat’s mindset was about the quickest way of getting drugs into her body and then getting more.
When asked if Kat carried any guilt from working in the sex trade into recovery and she mentioned how she does not feel guilty and she knows that if she was not doing those sexual favors for drugs she could have been doing other terrible crime that would end her up in jail. She calls herself “independent on the streets” and she did not have to reply on other people’s money because she made her own.
Kat is in full time nursing school and says she has finally found what she wants to do in life and knows she wants to help people. She talks about how she thought she would have to wait until she is a year clean to go to school or start anything big in life but then realized that she has goals and she is going to work towards those goals to improve her life now.
Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. Last Door produces a weekly radio show having having conversations about the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Each week addiction recovery experts from around the world join us for an hour. Talk Recovery is in its 5th Season, thank you to all our weekly listeners and guests. Show ideas? email firstname.lastname@example.org