Society often judges those who are addicted to one substance or another and if that person happens to be a powerful business woman or mother; then judgment is amplified tenfold. Women who are caught in this pickle of a problem cannot simply go into rehab, but they know they have a problem, and that’s where sobriety coaches come into play.
Tamara Mellon, 47, a founder of Jimmy Choo shoes, hired a sobriety coach in order to stay on the straight and narrow and avoid relapse. Sobriety coaches are also known as sober companions and recovery therapists. Mellon went from hard-partying cocaine addict to fashion goddess. She stated, “You get over one thing and you get slammed with something else.” She recounted some of her ordeals: her father’s death, two hostile takeover attempts and taking her mother to court. “It’s a miracle I’m still here,” she said. How did she remain sober through it all? Ms Mellon enlisted the help of a recovery coach, Martin Freeman, a London-based psychotherapist. “He’s the most enduring relationship I’ve had,” said Mellon, who has Freeman on a retainer to ensure he will be available for morning chat sessions and late-night calls and to accompany her to potentially stressful events. “I’m his one and only.”
Once part of Hollywood entourages to keep celebrities sober, sobriety coaches are now being hired by people from New York to Florida. Mary Karr, 59, a best-selling writer lives in Greenwich Village, she published a book about her recovery in 2009 titled ‘Lit: A Memoir’. “The new supermoms have to be thin and rich and successful, so there’s all this extra stress,” she said, “it’s loathsome.” Karr has a 28 year old son (and starts Lit with an open letter to him.) “Addiction is a disease of isolation, I would have loved to have someone come over and help me not get drunk.”
It’s not just the extra glasses of wine, cosmopolitan mothers are reaching for Adderall, the multi-taskers best friend, Percocet and Ambien, not to mention a mix of other drugs that highly strung mothers also have at their disposal. By the time they realize help is needed, they don’t exactly have the time or wherewithal to check into rehab or attend 12-step meetings. They want more privacy to avoid the judgment and stigma that others face.
“Can you think of a greater taboo?” said Nanette Zumwalt, the president of Hired Power, a recovery agency in Huntington Beach, CA that works with many mothers. “Addiction is still viewed as a character defect,” she said. “There’s far greater stigma among women, particularly mothers. What are the qualifications required to be a sobriety coach? Therapist Patty Powers says a lot of clients are those who are reluctant to repeat treatment programs, others need additional support following treatment.
Some in the entertainment field who are intermittently tested for substance abuse do not want to lose their livelihood and use a sobriety coach to make sure they don’t relapse. Sobriety coaches do not come cheap and many people are not able to afford such a luxury. A substitute could be a family member or reliable friend to whom one can turn when temptation arises. Ultimately a person can rely only upon themselves to maintain sobriety. Strength of character is the best weapon against falling prey to temptation. It only takes one drink or one use of a drug to start again down that slippery slope. Choosing a sobriety coach should be done with care, there are websites such as hiredpower.com and soberchampion.com but the best way to find the right person is by referral from a competent therapist. Interview several coaches and don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials from prior clients.
The coach and client must be compatible as the relationship is very personal. If the sobriety coach is hired by someone other than the patient, such as a concerned family member, the outcome may not be successful. The patient must be committed to recovery in order for the sobriety coach to be successful.
Taking actions to keep one accountable on their road toward recovery is something that Sovereign Health Group understands. When patients leave our treatment facilities, they are enrolled in our alumni outreach program that strives to keep our former patients sober. By having a support structure in place, we know you can succeed out there in the big world. For more information about our alumni program, please call 866-629-0442.
Written by Sovereign Health Group writer Veronica McNamara