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Overcoming the challenges of being an adult child of an alcoholic with Sydney Turnbull - SOUL PODCAST EPISODE #10

Name: Sydney Turnbull

Age (optional): 27

Occupation/Vocation: Personal Trainer/Coach at Orangetheory Fitness 

Hashtags/Social Media Handles: @livingwhole_syd

Favorite Quote: “You get to decide today if life is happening to you or for you.” -Rachel Hollis 

What line in the Her Soul Story manifesto speaks to you the most? Why?

The line that I identified with the most was, “Individually we are powerful, together we are a movement.” When we feel confident and strong we are able to send off that energy to others creating a much larger/stronger movement. 

How do you define a soul story?

A story of the lives of strong empowering women who come together with their struggles, their successes and their stories that create who they are and who they will become. 

What is one of the best life lessons you have learned so far?

I have learned that in order to grow and learn you have to go through the struggles and tough times to become even stronger as an individual. I believe that with every valley I have had there has always been a peak on the other side!

What inspires you?

Empowering women! I love watching strong women help other women become strong and confident in their own skin and their own story. And it’s wonderfully inspiring when I see females starting their own businesses who are strong and firmly stand up for what they believe in.

What motivates you? Getting the opportunity to coach and guide people into living a healthier lifestyle. 

Do you have a daily practice that you do not miss?

I set aside time every day to take a bath & soak . This time for myself allows me to reflect and de-stress. 

If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Live in the moment instead of the future. 

Who is the community you surround yourself with and why is that important to you?

I surround myself with empowering, strong and adventure thriving people. My mom always told me “you are who you surround yourself with” and this couldn’t be more true! I believe that the people that we keep in our small circle play a huge role in our lives.

Please share one of your Soul Stories with us.  What was the greatest gift you received from this experience?

My soul story has been a journey of plenty of peaks and valleys; however, I’ve gained more than I could’ve imagined, becoming STRONGER and more FIERCE.

I want to focus on the last five years where I failed plenty and grew more than I could ever imagine. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. As an adult child of an alcoholic you quickly start over analyzing your life and questioning if you too may be an addict. This roller-coaster of emotions from guilt of calling the first rehabilitation facility for my loved one, to sadness of the feeling of not “doing enough,” to anger, then the joy of seeing growth with myself and my loved one. As I reflect back as a young adult living in complete fear of becoming an alcoholic, I quickly lost the motivation to live my “own life.” My loved one’s recovery slowly started taking over my life and every emotion I had to the point where I was giving more to their recovery than themselves at the time.  

Two years ago I finally decided to that it was time to focus on myself rather than making sure everyone else was OK because my role in the “family system” was to be the moderator/care taker. I started going to an addiction specialist therapist 1x a week for 6 months. I was also planning my wedding during this time!! As I reflect back on those first 6 months those layers upon layers that I was uncovering was truly eye opening of how bad my ‘codependency’ had become and how far I had let myself go to take care of everyone else but ME. My true “soul story” came from the last 2 years of intensive therapy and practicing new healthy habits and boundaries. Each session with my therapist she would give me a better understanding of being raised in a household of addiction and emotional detachment. After the hour was over I would feel exhausted but rejuvenated by all the tools that I was given to react a healthy relationship again with myself and my family. 

I have chosen since September 2018 that I would commit to putting myself and my husband first before anything else and that I was going to finally let myself live again. I have committed to 1 year of trying new things and living more spontaneous. I have traveled more, started a new job that I love, surrounded myself with some of the most amazing friends, and have rebuilt a healthy/safe relationship with my family members. 

If there is any advice I could share to women who might be struggling with a loved one battling addiction is to remember their journey is theirs and you have your own. Take the steps/time you need each day to live for yourself. 

 A HUGE thank you to Sydney for sharing her Soul Story! If you are interested in sharing your SOUL STORY, please reach out to: [email protected]

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