Recovered Life Contributor
Substance Use Peer Recovery Specialist, Mental Health Peer Support Specialist, and Co-Occurring Disorders Advocate
“Every individual’s recovery journey is different, as are their goals. Michelle models hope while promoting your self-determination.”
Michelle has coached others with co-occurring disorders since 2018. She created the Co-Occurring Disorders Club online in 2021, which now has 1.2k members. She is bringing that successful program to Recovered Life.”
I bring my personal experience in co-occurring recovery and the peer specialist tools I’ve learned into my coaching. I’ll help you identify what your recovery capital is and build upon the investment you are making.
I’m in long-term recovery from alcohol addiction, bipolar II disorder, ADHD, PTSD, and dyslexia. What this means to me is that I not only stopped drinking alcohol on February 1, 2013, but I became engaged in a life that supported my mental health recovery. I was in and out of mental health and addiction recovery for 10 years. In 2003 I accepted that I might have an alcohol problem and was abstinent for three years, but I neglected my mental health. In 2009 I went through a mental health outpatient program but went home and drank every night. I hit a hard rock bottom in 2010 when I attempted to end my life by suicide, which resulted in a coma, then intensive care, followed by substance use treatment. Having an inaccurate diagnosis of major depressive disorder, I spent two years sober but eventually relapsed. I couldn’t shake the thoughts of suicide, which plagued me all of my life. Struggling to stay alive, I went to the ER in 2013, receiving a full psychiatric assessment and being diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Within days of being on a mood stabilizer, my suicidal ideation disappeared. This gave me enough hope to start a recovery journey incorporating integrative treatment for both my mental illnesses and alcohol addiction.
I’m passionate about raising awareness and advocating for others who have co-occurring disorders. In 2018 I completed a nationally accredited Peer Recovery Specialist training through a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) to use my addiction recovery experience to coach others. I completed mental health peer specialist training through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2021. That same year I created the Co-Occurring Disorders Club online, which has 1.2k members. In addition to coaching, I work as a Co-Occurring Disorders Peer specialist in Wisconsin. I’m also on the CARE (Crisis Access Response Engagement) Team, Mental Health Coordinated Community Response Committee, and the Drug Prevention Coalition in Douglas County, Wisconsin.