: 22 November 2014

Why I Had to Get Sober & How It Changed My Life

This year, I celebrated four years of sobriety. Can I just say wow!?!
On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been this long and I’m so proud I’ve made it this far. On the other, life before sobriety is a distant memory; it feels like a completely different lifetime ago.

I’d like to share my story with you – what it was like before I got sober, what happened, and how my life has completely different since the day I took my last drink.

While I’m not necessarily an advocate for getting sober, I am an advocate for making decisions that will significantly improve your life. 

For me, getting clean three years ago was the biggest turning point in my life and set me on the path of creating everything I currently have.

With that, here’s my story – why I had to get sober, and how it changed everything:

It was Thanksgiving Day and internally, I was suffering. I missed my family. I was angry at my family. The emotions were just under the surface but they had been simmering there for awhile.

At a party with friends I can remember anxiously waiting for the first beer to arrive. I wanted it NOW! I felt uncomfortable and wanted to escape the state I was in. 

And once I got that first drink there was no stopping my run!

The memories I’m left with are hazy, but the shame I woke up with told me it was anything but good.

Dread. Despair. Embarrassment. Shame. It wasn’t the first time I woke up in this state.

However, this particular morning was different. November 25, 2011. It carried a resemblance of many mornings I’d experienced in the past, but it also carried something new: Ugly truths that I could no longer ignore.

For the first time, I knew that I couldn’t control my drinking.

I knew that as long as I continued to drink, I would wake up feeling like this. And I knew that I couldn’t live with myself if it happened again.

I had to get out.

The problem was: the thought of getting sober was completely terrifying!

Who am I if I don’t drink!? How will I have fun if I don’t drink!?

My identity was so wrapped up in partying, I literally had no idea who I would be if I gave this up. I also knew I couldn’t continue doing it. I was at the biggest crossroads of my life.

Luckily, that morning I could hear a message inside of me that was faint, fearless and strong. It said, “Shelly, if you quit now you’ll be more powerful than you’ve ever been before. Life hasn’t even started for you yet.” 

This message came from deep in my soul. The moment I heard it, I knew it was true.

So grasping onto that belief, I started my journey out of addiction, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, step by step by step.

I’ve read that when people hit their bottom they experience an awakening – or a shattering of reality as they once knew it. It’s like you wake up in your bed and you look out the window but it’s not your neighborhood that you see – it’s Oz. It looks familiar, but everything has changed. This phenomenon is very difficult to explain, but it’s exactly what happened to me.

That morning, my vision of myself and my life completely changed. I broke through a new layer of consciousness. I finally chose myself in the biggest way I possibly could.

Everything looked different from that day forward. 

Today, I can proudly say (with tears in my eyes) that I’m still sober. How do I do it? One way:

I connect to the love within me (higher power, truth, soul, spirit and yes… God).

I know God can be a touchy concept, but to me it’s simply the energy of love within us all.  

In my experience, God isn’t something outside of me that’s dictating my fate. God is me – the highest version of me. When I connect to this source by practicing the principles of love, I’m aligned with God… and my life is damn good.

My spiritual practice keeps me sober because it’s the best high there is (no really… it is). What I’ve learned from this journey is that anytime I was seeking something outside of myself to feel good, what I really wanted was to feel love. That’s what we’re seeking all the time.

Anytime I drank or used drugs, I did it to “get high;” that is, to experience a heightened sense of being (or to disconnect from myself fully). This was a way I could escape my ego – feelings like boredom, lack and despair – and try to feel love again.

The problem was, the high was only temporary and came with a ton of consequences (because I was ignoring my problems, rather than dealing with them)!

A spiritual connection, on the other hand, transcends the fear altogether. It’s some good s#*t.

Today I can honestly say that my life is amazing, and it keeps getting better. My vision through sober eyes and a clear heart has opened me up to the beauty of the world. I’m humbled… and grateful… and completely blown away.

I encourage you to make decisions that will set you on your right path. Put one foot in front of the other, take it one day at a time. Trust your inner guidance – your soul knows the way.

Be the person you know you’re meant to be, and you will create everything you desire.

Please leave a comment below telling us about one time you felt an awakening, an ah-ha moment or a feeling of transcendence. We would love to hear from you.


  1. E on November 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you, Shelly, for another wonderful post.The funny thing is, every time you post something new, it is exactly the guidance I need in a particular moment.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      I’m so glad it resonates for you, E. xoxo

  2. Kirsten on November 25, 2014 at 12:15 am

    CONGRATULATIONS on 3 years. You are an inspiration.
    This line gave me intense chills, “Shelly, if you quit, you’ll be more powerful than you’ve ever been before. Life hasn’t even started for you yet.”

    Great message. And wonderful to have witnessed you living that out. Thanks for sharing your story & truth.

    Love you so much.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I love you, mama. SO SO SO SO SO grateful to have you in my life. xoxoxox

  3. T.S. on November 25, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Thank you for your honesty. I’m struggling with quitting marijuana and alcohol. I try to suppress my emotions, to be able to function. To do things like study, work, clean. Honestly, what I really want to do is stay in a safe place and cry and feel all the pain…but how can I do that with all of my responsibilities? I started a path of spiritual growth, expansion and emotional healing in 2012 after years and years of being numb and invulnerable. But then, all of these emotions came pouring out, all of the things I had been suppressing, even from childhood! Funny, that’s when all the talk of ascension and spiritual awakening was happening. I didn’t even believe in all of that. But I dated an emotionally unavailable man and was crushed and humiliated…and somehow it led me on this journey. I’m 31 and feel like so much is wrong in my life. I know it’s my ego. But it’s there. I hate the career I picked…I picked it because of family pressure. My previous circle of friends distanced themselves from me, because “I’ve changed”. I realize I have all these gifts and talents that I’m just wasting. But something happens every time I experience a major emotional release. I become more creative. I hope this is a sign of good things to come. I went 2 months without drinking or smoking, and I did feel different. But I relapsed when I moved a month ago, and had to do so much on my own. I felt so sad…how I know women who have their husbands helping them and supporting them…and here I am, moving boxes and assembling furniture ALONE. It hurts.Another crazy thing happened. A man who I dated in the past, who was emotionally unavailable, came back after two years to try again. I have done a lot of work on myself since then. I now know that the love I seek is inside of me. But I’m still in the dark place, with the dark feelings and thoughts. The drinking has subsided. But I still drink. I had a drink today, but it doesn’t mask my emotions. I still cried.
    I would love to be where you are now, Shelly. That’s my goal.
    Sorry for this long post. Thanks so much for what you’re doing. It’s a big help to me.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you for sharing, T.S. It’s clear to me what you need to do: Join a 12 Step Group. Go weekly. Create community there. You will find kinship, support, community, and help to change.

      • Sibylle Meder on November 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

        If you feel like it is for you, find a group doing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – or do it on your own if you can’t find a group. It is a 12-week program and so much more. And for even more practical help considering the career evaluation, consider Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend website and community. If nothing else, it will prove to you that you are definitely not alone. Lots of love and all the best for living the real you! It can feel daunting at the start, but it’s so worth it.

  4. Stephanie on November 25, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had a similar experience a few years ago. I woke up one morning ashamed of my actions from the night before and I kept asking myself over and over “So, I call myself a Christian?” That Sunday in church was a message about the destruction of drunkeness and it couldn’t have been more tailored to what I needed. In that whole experience it was like someone had shined a bright light on all of my weaknesses, I could finally see who I really was – and I was not very proud of that person. I started fervently seeking Christ and it is the most important and best choice I have and will ever make. He makes you strong and, through His word, shows you His will for your life – a life full of true happiness, kindness, purpose, love, faithfulness, and strength and power through Him. Through seeking Him you find a sense of peace and wholeness nothing in this world could ever provide. I wish you the best in your continued journey and pray for your continued strength and spiritual growth.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you Stephanie! xo

  5. Penny on November 25, 2014 at 12:45 am

    I so wish my sister would have an awakening… does it always have to come from within. Did anyone tell you before you realized it yourself that your drinking was hurting relationships? After reading your story.. I believe that drinking/partying is my sisters Identity also. She is 63 and still going strong with her disasterous drinking since her early 20’s and oblivious that what she does when drunk causes deep hurt in others. She is someone I love sooo much, but she is pushing family memebers away. She is hopelessly obnoxious when drinking… gets drunk, no memeory what she did while drunk but always aware the next day when she did something bad… makes jokes about the little bits and pieces that come back to her. Sshe then obnoxiously tries to overcompensate the following days to make up for whatever it was she may have done. I joined a group (co-dependency) with hope of figuring out through others stories how to help her. I guess she has not hit bottom yet. Any advice? Congrats to you and your success and I admire your reaching out to help others.Penny

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Actually, my boyfriend at the time told me that he knew I had a problem, and I’m very grateful he shined that mirror to me. While I had to choose to make the decision for myself, the fact that he didn’t sweep what was happening under the rug was a huge gesture of love. In many ways, he said to me, “I love you, but I’m not going to tolerate this.” I’m lucky he said that to me. If I were you, I’d be honest and straightforward with your sister about what you see and how it affects you (Like this: From what I can see, you’re not in control of your drinking and it’s very difficult for me to watch you hurt yourself in this way. Because of this, _______ is my boundary.) Strong but loving. Classic codependency pretends like nothing’s wrong – this is never helpful to an addict.

      • fairycake on December 30, 2014 at 3:31 am

        Thank you so much for saying how a boyfriend showed true love by not enabling, not sweeping what was happening under the rug. I recently had to shine a light on a man I love so much that I feel ill having made a stand. I stepped back from a situation which was getting worse and sucking out my soul. I pray that he will wake up – it’s the hardest thing I ever had to do. I am focusing on myself now and believing that miracles still may happen but if not – I have to live a life that brings me joy. Wonderful story Shelly.

        • Shelly Bullard on December 30, 2014 at 4:14 am

          Thank you for sharing your story. It can be very difficult to take a stand against the toxic behavior of someone you love, but it is absolutely the right and most loving thing to do. Good for you. xoxo

  6. Adriana on November 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Dear Shelly, I can feel every word you put down to us is true and consistent – I have to say, one more time, that you are so good in writing, that you have to keep on doing it!Thus, it always, always!, comes to this point, the point of supreme truth: “I connect to my
    higher power”. Shelly, please, how should we?! Give us please a hand!
    Thank you so much!

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Your higher power is within you. You have to listen to your heart. It’s really that simple. Like, when you say, “I FEEL every word you put down is true and consistent” that is YOUR higher power (your soul) resonating with my soul. That feeling is the higher power.

  7. khalil Khan on November 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

    i like your definition of God that I call Nature or Mother Nature. We belong to Nature and we will return to nature by decomposing our body in Nature. For me every day is awakening and new learning. at the age of 40 years old i feel my self more strong, enlightened, happy, healthy and learned than I was at the age of 20 or 30. So every day and night is special and we need to learn and improve daily.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing. xo

  8. Jon on November 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Congrats Shelly! As the son of an alcoholic, I know too well the place you came from. Takes a lot of courage and strength to get where you are today. Thank you for your story.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you, Jon.

  9. Kyla on November 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing Shelly! Now I connect with you even more. I Am in my 11th year or recovery, and yes it’s a miracle, so happy for you, thank you for all your amazing work you share, I really love and appreciate you❤️

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      11 years! Yes! Thank you, Kyla. xo

  10. Shannon on November 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    This is a beautiful post. It couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. Today is 11 months of sobriety for me, and even at this short amount of time so many amazing things have already happened! I cannot even begin to imagine what is in store for me at 3 years. Thank you for your share today!

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Congrats on 11 months, Shannon! Yes – there’s much more in store, for all of us. xo

  11. Sharon Daniels on November 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Beautifully written. You possess a very beautiful and perfect perspective on life and spirituality. More people need to hear this ma’am. Its very inspirational! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you! xo

  12. Dianne on November 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks Shelly I am on that path now.. I love how you explain the high as a way to escape the ego unfortunately I know it all too well… on the path to sobriety.. XO

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      It’s a beautiful path. Thank you for sharing, Dianne. xo

  13. Kristy Lin Billuni on November 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this vulnerable and empowering story, Shelly. Your words just keep getting more powerful and enlightening! I’m so proud of you and the work you do.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Kristy! Thank you so much. Deep bow. xo

  14. Sophia on November 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing in such a humble and generous way Shelly !I love your posts and your story resonates with me.
    It is inspiring to think that every decision we have to make and every situation we face – small or big- can be seen as an opportunity to choose to honor who we truly are and want to be. The challenge is : there is no end in sight, no destination where we get the reward all at once, change won’t happen overnight, but the beauty is, we get to practice with every breath and enjoy the victories along the way.

    Love to you beautiful lady !

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Love love LOVE the way you said that, Sophia. That’s exactly the way I see it, too. Thank you for sharing! xoxox

  15. Kristi Sparks on November 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Beautiful, Shelly! Shared on FB…

    • Shelly Bullard on November 26, 2014 at 4:14 am

      Thank you girlfriend! xo

  16. Terri on November 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Your story mirrors mine, as I sat eat my Thankgivibg table with my family I had already drank one bottle of wine and I realized that I still didn’t feel happy and that another bottle is not going to work , then and there I stopped drinkng, the next day I took a hit of weed, my drug of choice and sad no

    • Terri on November 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      I did not finish.. Anyways I went too ny first AA mtg the next day on 11/26 2007, in a few days I will have 8 years! Amen

      • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        Congrats on 8 years! Huge!! xo

  17. Lei on November 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    WOW! I love this. Thank you for sharing your story I never imagined you had such problems before. Around the time you were getting sober my partying had just begun. No sleep, losing my job, losing friends, living in my car, not being able to keep jobs and fighting with my on and off boyfriend all helped me lose myself. I got engaged at one point to that on and off bf then out of nowhere he called it off, just left me cold and alone. I went to stay with family for a couple weeks to clear my head which is when I discovered a book about our shadow sides and through this my journey to healing began. I thought life would only get better but it got worse! For a while until I got pregnant and had no choice but to get sober. I had an amazing pregnancy and at around 7 months moved in with family where I was able to truly ground myself. I dug deep, meditated, wrote in my journal, prayed, had my energy cleared by a healer then before I knew it I gave birth. I look at that night as my rebirth. A couple months after I got Into a huge fight with my family which shook my identity to the core and I went into depression-post partum and it was scary. I couldn’t eat, sleep, I was having panic attacks, I was all alone trying to care for a new human being and one night I just wanted out, I had flashes of suicidal thoughts and it was scary to the point I could no longer leave the house I was so afraid to drive and of dying. I had my energy cleared and was able to live life with some courage. That was in July of this year. Today I look around at the sky, at nature, at the ocean and somewhere in all that I see the silver lining. I feel peace in my heart, acceptance that death occurs not just a at the end of our life but many many times during the course of it. I lost my ego when my guy left me, when I got into it with my family and and when I gave birth and became a mom. They say to become who you’re meant to be you’ve got to let go of who you are. And that the night is darkest before dawn. Today, my ex fiancé and father of my child is sobering up himself. He can party like no other rockstar out there. He lost his job, the one thing that fueled his partying so he’s hopefully having his rock bottom moment. He contacts our daughter daily and is even being respectful and kind to me. It’s a journey, it’s incredibly hard but my heart knows love and trusts God with faith and devotion and my consciousness has reached a whole new level. I’m compassionate and humbled, more observant, less needy. I see myself as a queen and a Goddess even, exploring my womanhood and enjoying the power and glory from being connected to my higher self. I realize now that my destiny is based on every choice I make and because of my intention to live a life well lived I choose to say connected to God and love. Partying is where the shadows lurk and the only was out is through. One.step.one.day.at.a.time.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story with us! xoxo

  18. Bharat Garg on November 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Hey Shally, Thanks alot for wonderful inspiring story.Recently last week i felt something strange, maybe i can recognise it as aha moment, i went with friends, drunk limitless, full out…. did so many worst things of my life ever…
    I am looking for motivation, even i comunicated with with my best buddies(two), & i started realising how much down i had gone in the past…’
    But today i am trying to find a new me… Thanks to beautiful people like you, Mr. Robin Sharma & my Family & Friends that I am more than alive than i thought i was.

    Thanks All.
    May God Bless All.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you for sharing. xo

  19. Brittany Ritcher on November 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    So proud and happy for you Shelly! You are courageous, determined, and a true inspiration! Congrats x a million! :)-Brittany

    • Shelly Bullard on November 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Thank you darling!! Xoxo!

  20. Amanda on November 25, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    First of all, congratulations on 3 years Shelly, its a wonderful achievement. I’m coming up to 8 years in February and this time of year always brings up a lot of memories from those old days. It really is one day at a time and I haven’t been able to do it without my spirituality and my friends. xx

    • Shelly Bullard on November 26, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Awesome! Thank you, Amanda! xo

  21. J on November 26, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Another affirmation from my higher power that I am on the right path! I am in my second year of sobriety. The fact that I stumbled onto your website through a series of links & clicks in my computer, to read your posts which resonate so deeply with me, to read your story of how it was, what happened and what it’s like today; this is not coincidence. I never really believed in coincidences anyway. Thank you for sharing your story. Anyone who is still struggling there is help, there are fellowships, take advantage of medical or psychological help wherever possible. You don’t have to live like that anymore!!

    • Shelly Bullard on November 26, 2014 at 4:20 am

      Yes, definitely not a coincidence at all. 🙂 So happy you made your way here, J. Welcome. xo

  22. Joan on November 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Your story really resonated with me! I am 10 years sober this month. Becoming sober is when my life changed and I started to grow from the inside out. I love your articles they always speak to my heart!

    • Shelly Bullard on November 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Awesome Joan! Congrats on 10 years and thank you so much for your comment! xo

  23. Kimmyb on November 27, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Dear Shelly, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate as I have had this awakening as well. I have giving up alcohol because I know it is not right for me. Each day my view becomes clearer. I too found that spiritul connection and the high from that is much greater and satisfying than anyother. I have so much more energy and time to devote to my dreams and desires, which I have learned to trust are Gods will through me. For me alcohol creates a disconnect from being aligned with my inner most Self, my authentic self, the me that is the most kind, caring, compassionate and loving. I want to be present, i want my actions words and thoughts to be inalignment with my highest self so that can be of the best possible service. It is encouraging to see where you have grown to and fills with me with more hope for my future. Congratulations on your epic journey of self love and care! Thank you for always sharing your encouraging insight- Namaste

    • Shelly Bullard on November 27, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Thank you so much for sharing, Kimmy. xo

  24. Arielle on November 28, 2014 at 5:20 am

    I love everything you write :)I’m going through rough time in life but nothing to take my happiness away, something that I learned from your post. 😉
    I’m almost 4 years sober 🙂 I had that feeling of awakeness but I ignore them until my brother told me you have blessings coming and waiting for you! And I change, I do want those blessings to come… I’m a happy mother 🙂 she’s my blessing!

    • Shelly Bullard on November 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Lovely. xo

  25. Anya on November 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Congratulation on sobriety and self love Shelly,You are inspiring me – because althbough the journey is difficult – its the easiest thing to get stoned and drunk and feel ok for a while, but its hard to not have that crutch to rely on, and not face anything that comes up in life. i was myself a weed smoker, big time for 12 years, plus other drugs. and since starting to see the pscyhologist and talking over many things from childhood with a doctor, the smoking just ceased, it was a true miracle. at that same time – miraculaously – i also stopped eating meat and became a raw vegan. only eating raw fruits and vegetables. so it was a detox that i went for – im still going through it, and still attending group therapy, now stufying to become a yoga instructor, im already a certified detoxification speciallist too, health coaching people with various issues. so i know its not always easy, but i feel like dont need drugs any more, im so blessed for somehow crawling out of that hell. grateful. x bless

    • Shelly Bullard on November 30, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Beautiful. That’s awesome. Congratulations on how far you’ve come. I still am working on my relationship with food – slowly and surely learning to not use it as a drug. One step at a time. 🙂

  26. K on December 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Shelley, thank you for sharing! The timing was amazing for me. I had just listened toan interview that you were featured in and decided to check out your website. The
    first thing that I saw was your post about being sober. I double checked to see if I was on the right page. It was GOD that brought me here today. I made the decision to clear the alcohol out of my life and I have been successful. It has been 30 days. This is my life changing time. This is the crossroad in my life. I am
    working with this and finding my way every day. I do have the support of a great
    program and a coach. I love that you show how you are able to truly shine and
    radiate your best self as a woman who is free of alcohol. Oddly, that was one of my
    concerns. And I needed affirmation that being alcohol free was only going to make
    me a more attractive, better version of me! I resonated with your message of
    self-acceptance in the interview and it made me feel that I should be proud to be changing my life. Not ashamed that people will think I used to have a problem. Thank

    • Shelly Bullard on December 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Awesome! Love this, K. Congrats on 30 days – that is a huge milestone. Excited to have you as a new member of the community. xo

  27. Molly on December 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Congrats on 3 years Shelly! So happy I bumped into you the other day. Your sunshine is contagious and is still with me even a few days later 🙂 Truly a gift to the world.
    Let me as you this… do you believe the moments when we do reach for a drink, say a graduation toast to a friend, or a glass of wine by the fireplace with your man, steer us away from our life being on the right path? As innocuous or celebratory as we think a drink might be, is it always driven by a disconnection from the love around us?

    • Shelly Bullard on December 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Molly! I know – so sweet to see you, too. I love that keep running into each other. 🙂 No, I don’t believe that it’s always steering you off your path. I think as human beings it’s normal for us to want to move into different states of consciousness. This is what alcohol does for us, as well as meditation, food, TV, or anything else that we “use.” They take us to a different place – sometimes a higher-vibe place, sometimes lower. I think the questions you have to ask yourself are: Am I dependent on this other thing to influence how I feel? Is this impacting my life negatively in a significant way? Or is this just another life experience that I’m going to have, and then I’ll move on? For me, alcohol and drugs were rarely frivolous. I felt my dependency in the form cravings, grasping, wanting, and trying to get more often. The substances had much more power over me than I had over them, which is why I had to quit entirely. Each person has to be truthful about his/her own relationship to substances and how they impact his/her life. For some people, a glass of wine isn’t a big deal. This wasn’t the case for me.

  28. sandy on December 5, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Hi Shelly…I have so many experiences I can share with nearly 60 yrs of life under my belt. I wonder though…how is it possible to get sober and fix yourself…find out what it is that makes you not be able to live with yourself, etc… if you dont believe in a higher power and also suffer from depression, cronic pain, tbi, ptsd. I am currently reading a book which offers me hope in believing in a life after death. I am so empty, lonely, angry, scared and just am to afraid to want to live. I have gotten a big book, have been attending meetings but my life feels like a whirlwind that I can’t get out of long enough to get down to the nitty gritty. Its all so confusing. I just don’t know anymore.

    • Shelly Bullard on December 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I didn’t have higher power at first, but the feeling of my higher power came on pretty quickly. It sounds like your mind and fears (the ego) are running on overdrive. To feel your higher power, your going to have to drop below all that – into the quiet space of your heart. That is where peace is, love is, hope is, etc. For the first few months of my spiritual path I read book after book that would connect me to the feeling of God. Some authors are: Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, etc. You have to find the answer within you, and you also have to stop identifying so strongly with everything that’s wrong. I hope this helps. xo

  29. sandy on December 5, 2014 at 2:33 am

    sorry Shelly, I hit enter before realizing I hadn’t said congrats to you and your new lease on life 🙂 Thank-you for your words of wisdom too…have a good evening

    • sandy on December 7, 2014 at 1:39 am

      Wow, thanks for actually replying to my mess….I love it, your so direct with your approach to things. It super simplifies what feels like a complex situation. This is no doubt why I am so drawn to your story and solutions. As per your advice, I will focus on the positive and get to work. Again, thankyou and expect I will order ebooks from you as well as refer you out. Btw…the book that is starting my spiritual journey is “evidence of the afterlife” by Jeffrey Long, M.D. May your holidays be filled with peace and love, Sandy

      • Shelly Bullard on December 30, 2014 at 4:20 am

        xoxox 🙂

  30. sherri on December 8, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Thank u for sharing your inspirational insights! God willing I will celebrate 3 years of recovery from addiction to pain pills on 12/16/2014! I struggle with self love, but I find this struggle usually rears it’s ugly head 2 hen I have strayed from my routine practice of yoga, meditation & religious worship. I have just begun reading I Am That, by Nisargadatta Maharaj. I look forward to learning more from you.

    • Shelly Bullard on December 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing, Sherri. Congrats on 3 years! I’m going to check out that book – I love the title. xo

  31. Harlow on December 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Shelly – Thank you for sharing your experience. You took a bold step and not one we all have the strength to do. It inspiring to hear how much it has changed your life over the last three years. I, too share the affliction of not knowing when to stop. Not an everyday drinker but a situational drinker. I set a pattern long ago that I am now finding hard to break. I like that you said, who am I if I do not drink? Drinking enabled me to the the extrovert I always thought was exciting in others, but now it has developed into me being an obnoxious blabber-head. Very happy but with no filter and a tendency to make poor choices. The thought of stopping is scary, but the realization that I have wasted so much time and ruined so many relationships with men but more importantly my friends and family, is devastating. I have a hard road ahead, but your encouraging words helps me to be hopeful. Thank you.

    • Shelly Bullard on December 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Harlow. Take it one day at a time. xo

  32. Aie on December 31, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Hello Shelly,Reading your articles and knowing that there are people out there like you, give me hope that I can feel happy again, I can go on to my life rather than being stuck in the past.

    • Shelly Bullard on December 31, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Yes!!! You can feel happy and whole right in this moment – keep reaching for that feeling within yourself and things will change. Promise. xoxo

  33. Rachelle on January 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Your stories are inspired. It helped me in many ways and knew I am not alone in this journey. 🙂 thank you! Hugs

    • Shelly Bullard on January 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      I’m glad it resonates for you, Rachelle. Thank you for saying so. xo

  34. Rebecca on January 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Congrats on the 3 years. I will have 28 years on May 2. I can totally relate to your story. I only wish more people would realize that who you are sober is way better than anyone you can be High. Life still has it’s ups and downs but I know longer have to make apologies for under-the-influence behavior. Keep up the good work!

    • Shelly Bullard on January 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Awesome!! 28 years? That is so incredible!!! Congrats to you! x

  35. Astor on January 26, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Hi Shelly, Thank you for sharing so honestly your sobriety story. I find so much connection to it with where I am right now…I have always enjoyed a few drinks throughout the weekend, at parties with family as part of celebrating however as time goes on the after effects of alcohol being a mood suppressant hasn’t helped the next morning when I struggle to get motivated or have the right mindset being a mother this is extremely important to me to feel positive & aware of my son 100% not snappy or otherwise just loving present and balanced. I feel so guided and so grateful and thankful for the work you do in sharing your knowledge, stories, and advice.Lots of Love Astor

    • Shelly Bullard on January 26, 2015 at 12:03 am

      Thank you, Astor. x

  36. Lori on February 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Two weeks ago after yet another guy left me feeling unwanted I ran across a Facebook post where you talked about attracting guys who hurt you. A light bulb went on and last Sunday I purchased Manifest Love and now this email comes. Many tears and but many more feelings of love have followed. I can’t thank God enough for bringing you into my life.

    • Shelly Bullard on February 18, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Aw, Lori. That is beautiful. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that the message is speaking to you and helping you heal.
      With love, xo

  37. Terry on February 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I too have had a new awakening. 42 days into sobriety! Thank you for sharing your story. As more of us gain strength in our universal cry to be heard, seen and acknowledged that we are human, our stories will provide freedom from the strains of addiction to liberation.

    • Shelly Bullard on February 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Go Terry!! Congrats!! xoxox

  38. John on March 15, 2015 at 12:28 am

    First it’s really easy to float back to the dark side of yourself. If you look into themirror you’ll see the truth and your real self, before you think of taking that journey to
    A place you really know is not a very good idea. But look twice, and you will see that
    Where you are before you take that drink is the most beatifull and happyest place .
    You will see in youeself, the most amazing person you know.Why on earth would you
    want.to take that away from yourself.The temptation is there but your are better than
    That, the mirror shows you that.There is and old school saying (stop-look- and listen)
    Before you cross that street.This also applies to your innerself.Love from someone
    Who truly cares.°•○●♡ John

    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2017 at 12:29 am

      Yes. Thank you.

  39. Tessa on March 18, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hi shelley I recently subscribed to your inspirational newsletters and I have found them wonderful. Then this morning this one arrived. And it really resonated with me. I woke up this morning realizing yet again that things had to change for me. But somehow this mornings realization was different.I have flirted with the the wine bottle on and off for many years and it has never suited me. O! I love the euphoria of feeling relaxed and drunk but the morning after is always followed by intense anxiety which can last a whole day impinging on everything that I do. And of course mountains of destructive self deprecating mind talk! So on my birthday this year in January I gave myself the gift of sobriety which lasted two months and then I kind of gave myself permission to drink again! One glass of wine became three became a bottle and sometimes more. The seductive mistress held me once again.
    Then last night I drank too much again And I woke feeling dread in my stomach. Anxiety flushing over me like an unwelcome blanket.
    I went to my yoga class and somewhere during the meditation I felt a sudden moment of stillness and clarity and a feeling of release wash over me. I knew in that moment it was time for me to put my foot forward one step at a time,one day at a time, towards sobriety again. And then I found your letter and read your story. It was an auspicious moment. And though I don’t know you, I thank you for the springboard into my future . So just for today I am sober!

    • Shelly Bullard on March 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Amazing Tessa. I’m so happy this email showed up in your inbox today – the Universe is so synchronistic. Yes, just take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Life is so beautiful on the other side. With love, xo Shelly

  40. Debbie on March 20, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Every time I’ve read a post on Mind Body Green that i loved and connected with, i’d scroll down and you were the author. So i had to sign up for your emails…I felt a connection with you.
    I left an unhappy marriage 3 yrs ago and
    I will be sober 2 1/2 yrs this April with the help of a 12 step program.
    I’m 45 years old and in the best shape of my life, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I’ve lost 35 lbs over the last year and have never been happier. My next step is to find true love I believe it’s out there waiting to be found!
    Thank you Shelly, keep writing…

    • Shelly Bullard on March 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Awesome Debbie! So happy you’re here!

  41. Shelly Bullard on March 21, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Go to an AA meeting. That’s the best place to start.

  42. Tracey on April 20, 2015 at 4:57 am

    wow…. Thank you for this!! I too have struggled with drugs and alcohol for about 12 years. I got sober on September 26, 2014. I had finally hit bottom. I lost everything. Things are good now. But I still struggle with knowing my future has to be a life with absolutely no alcohol. With the way today’s society is, that is a scary thought. I love your emails that I receive and I truly look forward to every one of them. My mom tells me all the time that she believes that I am here to also help those who suffer. We all need to share our stories. The feeling that we r alone in this disease can be unbearable at times. Thank u again

    • Shelly Bullard on April 21, 2015 at 1:41 am

      You’re welcome, Tracey. I’m glad it resonated. Good luck to you on your path of sobriety. And, just to throw it in there, I believe that a life with absolutely no alcohol is much less scary than life with it. xo

  43. ellie on May 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Thankyou shelly for sharing your journey, how true your words are and resonate with me during the difficult life challenges I am going through. i can feel your vibrant energy through your words and i hope to one day find myself being able to “feel” my own vibrancy, self love and energy- just as you do! so difficult to do though.
    Thank you!

    • Shelly Bullard on May 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      You totally can do it Ellie! I have faith in you!

  44. Jo on July 19, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Hi ShellyI read your post with interest and found it to be relevant to how I was feeling right at that moment. I have worked on myself for many years (I’m 57) my ‘go to’ addiction has always been food, and it always stems from fear of abandonment and loss. As I write, I feel sadness welling up inside me. A confused child who was no longer the centre of the universe and no ones priority. At the moment, I can’t work out if I have a massive ego that I should be so important to anyone else! I am in the cycle of ‘using’ at the moment and have gained a lot of weight which makes it very easy to hate myself. I will try to love myself with kindness and grace instead of food. I have been travelling this familiar road for 50 years now, by the grace of Goodness, I will take my journey up a more loving path. Thank you x x x

    • Shelly Bullard on July 19, 2015 at 10:32 am

      I wouldn’t say it’s a massive ego – I would say it’s your wounded self who needs YOUR love and care. 🙂

  45. terrence on July 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for your story Shelly. It is like an “outing”. I do have a drinking problem and have taken steps to address it but I don’t think I could admit it in public, at least just yet. I started with an AA meeting which impressed me with the level of honestly of those present. Do you think being Sober means not having even a drink ?

    • Shelly Bullard on July 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

      To me, one drink always leads to more drinks, so one drink really isn’t one drink (you see what I mean?). AA is a phenomenal. miraculous path and community. Congrats on the steps you’ve taken so far.

  46. Cher on July 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm


    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2017 at 12:29 am

      Thank you!

  47. Abhirama on October 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Shelly,
    I enjoyed reading about your story, thank you for sharing and being who you are, very inspiring.

    • Shelly Bullard on October 14, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Thank you so much, Abhirama. xoxox

  48. Lisa on October 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing,

    • Shelly Bullard on November 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      You’re welcome!

  49. Ashley on November 19, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. It’s been over 3 months since my last drink (not nearly as far as you) but it feels so good to have come this far. I have become a stronger and more focused person since I quit. Life just keeps getting better each day and I love it.

    • Shelly Bullard on November 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Amazing, Ashley!! Good work!

  50. Corinna on December 12, 2015 at 2:23 am

    THANK YOU! I have so many blessings since getting sober. You sharing your story is yet another one. 96 days I have been sober. Tonight I had a loved one contact me whom I haven’t seen in a year. It was a blessing I’ve been praying for and God has answered. If I wasn’t sober, it wouldn’t be happening. I love my life and have God to thank for all of it. It gets better every day!!!

    • Shelly Bullard on December 12, 2015 at 4:48 am

      Congrats on 96 days, Corinna! That’s amazing!! xo

  51. shona on February 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I can not even tell you what a miracle it was that I came across your website, by accident, at a time where I reached the exact same place in my life you had three years ago. You were my awakening and with the things you have shared you have given me the courage and hope to make the changes I desperately needed in my life to become my best me.
    From the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for you Shelly, for sharing your journey so others can believe in a better tomorrow and for being you.

    Love and blessings to all

    • Shelly Bullard on February 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Shona. I feel blessed to receive your message, and to share what I know. Much love to you. xo

  52. Jacqui on March 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks Shelly,
    Sober mentors are few and far between. I know every time I broke my sobriety, there was a man involved. Hoping to evolve out of that cycle for good. So grateful you are there to show the way!

    Also wanted to make your readers aware of Women for Sobriety On Line (WFS), a sobriety support group for those who struggle with 12 steps. Was helpful to me to know there are some other options out there.

    Peace & Love,


    • Shelly Bullard on March 6, 2016 at 1:21 am

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing the resource, Rory. xo

  53. Bill on July 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Wonderful message! I agree completely with the role of God in transforming our lives into the life that fully reflects that of love, giving, peace, and wisdom to do the right things.
    My best,


    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2017 at 12:30 am

      Yes! Thank you, Bill.

  54. Warren Fortier on August 11, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Hi Shelly – thank you for caring and sharing your wonderful thoughts and insights on your experience regarding alcohol/drug addictions and life in general. I was so inspired by your caring and sharing that I wrote on my Facebook wall for all my friends to see:
    Alcohol has destroyed many good things in my life; it is high time for me to stop hurting myself in the multitudes of ways that I have. I have lost significant goodness spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Like ‘Shelly Bullard’ (http://shellybullard.com/why-i-had-to-get-sober/), it already feels like ‘a completely different lifetime ago’ since I made the important “life-saving” decision on October 03, 2015 to quit drinking alcohol. In the bracketed link above, Shelly refers to a “higher power” and she refers to it as the “energy of love within us all” and I believe she is right when she illustrates that if we can come to terms with this truth, that we can care enough for ourselves to stop the carnage now while we still can. I know…blessed are the addicted; some of the best people in the world are among this group and my prayers are with them – I pray that they will survive their condition and be a better person for it. Live that “second lifetime” and make it a good one! 🙂

    I just turned 58 years on July 09 this year; I have four wonderful children and six beautiful grandchildren and I recognize a lot to live for! Life has not been a “bed of roses” for me! I am a native Canadian from the Secwepemc Nation near Kamloops BC and life has been full of struggles. I hope it is not too much for me to share the following recent excerpt from my life:

    The words of a Legend:
    Someone told me long ago
    There’s a calm before the storm
    I know
    It’s been comin’ for some time
    When it’s over, so they say
    It’ll rain a sunny day
    I know
    Shinin’ down like water
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    Comin’ down on a sunny day
    Yesterday and days before
    Sun is cold and rain is hard
    I know
    Been that way for all my time
    Till forever on it goes
    Through the circle fast and slow
    I know
    It can’t stop, I wonder
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    Comin’ down on a sunny day
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain
    Comin’ down on a sunny day

    Thank you John Fogerty for your wisdom and beautiful healing music!
    I was having a dream this morning and I was speaking with a friend who just lost his mother. Without saying another word I woke up and this song was playing on the radio and it triggered many thoughts and emotions about losses endured within my direct family. In my heart I knew that this song has wrung true for my whole life. Throughout my life I wondered why It made me both happy and sad at the same time!

    This song left me thinking of my family that had left this mortal world far too soon: God Bless their souls…I lost my father two weeks before my first birthday (June 20, 1959) he was only age of 24 and he orphaned four of us boys (Trevor, Clyde, Craig, Warren) and my unborn sister Gloria (born June 25, 1959). As the “rain” continued, my brother Craig died when I/he was the age of 10/11 years old, my mother followed just months after in 1969, my brother Clyde when I/he was the age of 13/17 (1972), and my brother Trevor when I/he was the age of 16/23 (1975), and my brothers Bobby and Clayton (1985/2003).

    Then throughout my life I wondered why I always felt the need to get loaded. I would work hard in my employment, play hard in sports and study hard at post-secondary (four diplomas and a degree), but it seemed that I just couldn’t help myself so I would undermine all the hard efforts with alcohol abuse.

    I now have no drivers license, no job, and am facing financial hardships everywhere I turn. In my life I know that family and sports/fastball connections had a lot to do with keeping me being productive; I played hard, studied hard, and worked hard. I now realize that when I could not play ball competitively and was away from my family more, I replaced that with drinking destructively – every chance I could. Thank God I did not hurt anyone – morally yes, but not mortally!

    I know as well as anyone that I do not have anyone to blame except myself. This is why I pray to the Creator for help to be a good person each day of my life. I know it will get better…this is the “rain coming down on a sunny day”…there is always hope!

    Thank you! I feel better that I can vent a bit here.

    All my Relations!

    • Shelly Bullard on August 16, 2016 at 1:35 am

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!

  55. Kevin on November 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Today I discovered why I really was led to this blog and why I needed to sign up a couple months ago. I’m new on the road of sobriety but I’m loving the journey and this was very encouraging.

    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2017 at 12:30 am

      Awesome Kevin!! Amazing.

  56. Abi on December 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Congratulations on four years, incredible! I totally connect with your line about feeling powerful. I will celebrate one year sober on 31-12-16 and I “know” without any doubt, that next year will be the time I finally take control of my life authentically and fulfil my potential. I have allowed myself this twelve month period to just “be”.I have read so many blogs/posts that focus on the negative regarding relapse. It is refreshing to see such positive content. I am a great believer in myself and my intuition. I will never drink again whatever happens in my life. It’s a phenomenal feeling. Best wishes to you for this festive period.

    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2017 at 12:31 am

      Awesome Abi. So happy it resonated with you!

  57. Jodi on July 30, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Shelly, I too am in recovery from addiction. I am on this journey of finding truth and love within myself. God is my higher power and He leads me and guides me always. I don’t always listen and thus I’ve found myself addicted to mr unavailable. The pain and heartbreak took me out last Mothers Day weekend and landed me in the hospital in ICU for 4 days from a brain bleed caused by the drugs I had taken to escape the pain. I’ve continued to ride the emotional roller coaster of this “relationship” and I’ve suffered from it. I came across your website in hopes to find a better way. To find real love and to love myself fully. Thank you for Sharing your story and allowing God to use you in a mighty way. I love your bright spirit!

Before you dive any deeper...

Hi, I’m Shelly!

I’m a relationship coach, licensed marriage & family therapist, wife, girl mom, world traveler and… a damn good manifesting teacher.

On any random Saturday, you could find me hiking in the Redwoods with my family during the day AND relaxing to all songs on 🎶the foggy jazz🎶 station on Spotify in the evening with my man…

I’ve helped 125,000+ expansive, beautiful humans manifest their desires through my YouTube channel.

Over the last decade, I transformed my love life… I went from feeling terrified that I may never find love or have a family of my own to manifesting marriage, my baby, our dream home, and so much more. Now, I want to help you do the same.

Hey love! Let’s manifest love, relationships & wealth together.

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