Recovery is not all about work, it’s also about having fun. It’s a balancing act, and that’s been one of my biggest challenges over the course of my four-and-a-half-year sobriety. And making the decision to become sober was a complete lifestyle change; besides quitting drugs and alcohol, I had to make a commitment to change who I spent my time with. Our friends and social circles have a tremendous influence on how we live our lives, especially when it comes down to our entertainment choice. Since I made the conscious choice to leave behind many people whom I felt were having a negative influence on my health (including my modeling career), it was not an easy transition, but it was a worthwhile one. For a long time I was extremely lonely; all of the people and activities I once filled my schedule with were no longer there and adjusting to the new way of life was painful. How was I going to spend my time sans drugs and alcohol?
Fast forward to four-and-a-half-years later. Although my life is not and will never be perfect, I am extremely thankful and blessed with people who understand and respect how my life needs to be. Having a healthy life starts with being honest with myself and others. Over time I began to make new friends, and got honest with old ones; the ones who were meant to stay in my life did, and the ones who weren’t, simply left. Now instead of drinking and doing drugs, I fill my time with positive activities such as meditating with my friends, going on hikes, riding bikes, going for walks, and going out to eat. I relish our conversations and when it comes time to order drinks, I opt for a non-alcoholic beverage and silently thank God that He has delivered me from drugs and alcohol.
Sometimes the most precious moments are the ones when we can unplug, sit quietly and talk about nothing in particular. Being present, in the moment and enjoying the conversation makes me so happy that I don’t miss my former days when all I wanted to do was drown my mind in alcohol or drugs. I also participate in a lot of different volunteer activities such as mentoring the homeless, helping those in eating disorder and child sexual abuse recovery and advocating for causes I’m passionate about.
My life now revolves around big dreams, big ideas, and that ties into my fun; to put it this way – anything I do in my free time is something I’m proud of doing. I can’t say that about my past and frankly, I can’t even remember many days from my past when I was intoxicated. What matters is the here and now; right now I can do positive things with positive people, and spread that hope and love out into the world.
Nikki DuBose is a former model, host, and commercial actress who has appeared on the covers of and in editorials for magazines such as Maxim, Glamour, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She recently turned her career focus towards writing, public speaking, and mental health advocacy and draws firsthand experience from a long-standing battle with childhood abuse, sexual victimization, self-harm, addictions, eating disorders and various mental health issues. Her articles appear regularly online for The Huffington Post, the National Eating Disorders Association, Eating Disorder Hope, Recovery Warriors and Clinical Addiction Recovery Institute (C.A.R.I.). Her memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, is set to be released Summer 2016. Her recovery story and advocacy work has been profiled on CBS Los Angeles, People, The Inquisitr, L.A. Weekly and Esquire, among many others. In addition to writing, speaking and advocacy, Nikki is pursuing her degree in Psychology, with the goal of one day obtaining her Ph.D. For more information, please visit her website at thenikkidubose.com.
About C.A.R.I.: C.A.R.I. provides guidance on intervention, detox, drug and alcohol rehab options in North County of San Diego, including the cities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, San Marcos and Rancho Santa Fe. We help not only the people who struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, but also their families and loved ones. Our program accepts PPO insurance from insurance providers such as Cigna, Aetna, UBH, Optum, Magellan and Value.