Veronica has worked as a therapist and life coach specializing in addiction for over twelve years. As a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, she has personal experience of what it takes to recover from an addiction. Her book, Why You Drink and How to Stop: Journey to Freedom is currently available at Amazon and other on line retailers. She also runs the successful blog, Veronica Valli Recovery Rocks, where she writes about addiction and alcoholism issues.
What are you grateful for today?
It’s always my sobriety. I’m 15 years sober and without it I have nothing else. After that, it’s my beautiful family.
Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
My friend Beth, has taught me so much about motherhood. She adopted her little boy and is in the process of adopting another. Her bond with her son is as strong as mine is with my son. I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be a mother as much as her and who loves every single exhausting and messy part of motherhood. She is grateful everyday and her children are so lucky to have her as a mother. She has demonstrated how powerful adoption can be and how lives can be changed through it.
Describe one of the best days of your life.
Apart from the obvious ones of marrying my husband and giving birth to my children. I’d say it was when my book Why You Drink and How to Stop started selling well. Helping people get sober is my life’s work and for someone who almost failed college and was diagnosed with dyslexia, it’s really extraordinary to me that people are buying my book and enjoying it. I get emails from all over the world from people it has helped. I’m incredibly proud of how well it’s done.
What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
Never waste food. My mother and Grandmother were products of second world war rationing in the UK and because food was very, very scarce they always had the mentality of wasting food as a sin. When I do throw food away because it’s gone off before we had a chance to eat it, I feel very, very guilty.
We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
Reading people’s feelings. I’m a trained therapist so I guess that’s what I’m trained to do. If you say ‘I’m fine,’ and you’re not, then I’ll know and I’ll want to help.
What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Being more honest about their experiences. I’m completely open in all areas of my life that I’m a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. I’m not ashamed of my past, it’s what made me who I am. Alcoholism is a disease that so many people suffer from in shame and secrecy. They don’t get help until things get really bad. We all have stories, we all have challenges that we have had to overcome. Our struggles define us, they also empower other women who are still going through them. We don’t need to pretend that everything is ‘perfect.’ I would like to encourage other women to be more honest about what they are going through so we can create a sisterhood of support in our community.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Hmm, that’s an interesting question as I don’t feel defined by fear anymore. Maybe a parachute jump. I would have done that 20 years ago but the thought of that terrifies me now!