Laura McKowen is an inspiration to recovering female alcoholics around the globe. This Coloradoan got past her own addictions, and has become a well known author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, “We are the Luckiest, The Magic of a Sober Life,” offers addicts a new kind of hope.
Apart from her Instagram account and Facebook page, that has thousands of followers, Laura offers sobriety support through her website and is heavily invested in sending words of inspiration and support to those looking to recover from addiction.
Recovering Alcoholic with a Message
“We are the Luckiest.” It’s about addiction and recovery with a Laura twist. Her way of helping people through addiction recovery is quite different from the usual message. It takes people away from shame as well as changing the narrative of living a sober life. As part of her book tour, Laura is coming through her home state of Colorado. Laura was born and bred in Colorado, growing up in Castle Rock and graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in marketing.
Laura now lives in Boston but hasn’t forgotten her roots. When asked about what fed her alcoholism, she said going to college was where things really came “undone.” She was going to CSU and everyone was drinking. She went on to say that this is fairly typical with any big college. It’s not specific to Colorado but more just the culture of college.
There are positive things that deeply nourish the soul here as well Laura has said. When she looks back on Colorado, she sees openness, mountains, and natural beauty. Growing up in Castle Rock was a calm, serene experience with friendly people. She said in equal measure that the mountains as a backdrop are deeply healing.
We Are the Luckiest, The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life
Laura’s book about addiction and the benefits of being sober has been highly successful. It is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon, Apple Books, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA TODAY. This was just one of the reviews celebrating it,
A masterpiece. The truest, most generous, honest, and helpful sobriety memoir I’ve read. It’s going to save lives.
— Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior
So what is she saying that’s different to what has always been said about recovery? Laura was able to tell her story with all the heartbreaking details attached to it. The book is candid and tugs on the reader’s emotions. They can deeply relate, whether going through addiction recovery or not. Many people who reviewed the book said they believed her words and candid story would save people’s lives.
Laura talks a lot about being lucky to have chosen a life of sobriety after addiction. Through Instagram, her phrase “we are the luckiest” became popular within the addiction recovery culture. People had shirts and mugs made with the message “WATL” on them.
Laura’s book is all about straight talking and letting people in on her own personal journey. She talks about issues like facing facts that many don’t want to confront, people’s drinking habits, and AA. She doesn’t sugarcoat any of it. She admits to struggles throughout her own recovery. She also talks about an honest life and how valuable that is. A life that doesn’t involve secrets or guilt.
Instead of asking questions to female recovering alcoholics like, “Is this bad enough that I have to change,” she instead asks, “Is this good enough to stay the same?”
Being Candid About Alcoholism
In her book about getting sober and living a magnificent life afterwards, Laura writes about how she used to look up to people that could drink “normally” and thought they were lucky. Becoming sober felt like the end of life for her. The end of her social life, love life, and life at work. In the early stages of her sobriety, she wrote about how she cried while her daughter slept. She said it was then that she felt a shift. That she was okay and safe and so was her daughter. She wasn’t drinking and everything was back in order. She wasn’t hung over in the mornings anymore. She recognized that she’d achieved the feeling she had been chasing. The direct experience of life.
She was able to feel everything. She wasn’t unplugged. She could truly feel how much she loved her daughter and felt like she could hold her head up high. Then she felt lucky. The advice she’s giving goes against some of the rules for recovery but it’s working for people. Laura says you shouldn’t label yourself as an addict. Also, don’t look at forever as your success.
She believes the label of calling yourself an addict or alcoholic is very negative. It creates a sense of shame and judgment. In her book, she suggests that you see yourself as someone who once experienced addiction. It doesn’t belong to people that succumb to it. Instead, it’s more like a built in condition that anyone could fall victim to. She also mentions that although not everyone is addicted to alcohol, everyone has a tendency to have some form of addiction.
As for “forever,” Laura found that this word would personally fill her with despair. She found it hard to imagine spending her life without alcohol. Her solution to this was just promising herself she wouldn’t drink “that” day. This alleviated the pressure and kept her in the present moment. It was just a small shift but Laura mentions in her book how that small change in thinking was a major turning point in her addiction recovery.
Laura McKowen on AA
When asked about AA for recovering alcoholics in an interview, she said she recommends it and said that in the beginning stages of recovery, it saved her life. She goes on to say that she thinks the steps are an incredibly powerful process of healing and discovering yourself. Laura did also mention that she had a complicated relationship with AA.
She doesn’t spend time attending meetings as her recovery maintenance is heavily connected to her work. Laura has dedicated herself to helping other female alcoholics in Colorado and all over the US with their recovery. This is deeply rewarding and allows her to keep her hand on the pulse of living a life of sobriety. She shares her message of recovery and maintains a spiritual life. Her way of living correlates with AA cornerstones.
Laura’s relationship with alcohol started at the age of 16. It was an anesthetic for her feelings, and a way to be social. It allowed her to be more comfortable in all types of situations. Laura describes this as anything from romantic to work to family gatherings. She turned to alcohol because it was easy to get, effective, and acceptable.
Laura talks about the pain she ran from. It varied of course. In the beginning, it allowed her to disconnect from the painful feeling of living in her own body. Her awkwardness and her issues with her own sexuality. She ran away from her lack of self-confidence and social anxiety. This became a vicious cycle. She ran from the shame of things she did when she drank, which kept her drinking. Essentially, Laura drank to disconnect from herself. This is just one of the signs of alcoholism.
Laura McKowen on Recovery
So what made her say, “Enough?” Putting her daughter in real danger. This made her realize she had totally lost control. She slowly pieced her life back together. It started with how she socialized and organized her time. She surrounded herself with different people. She changed what she turned to for emotional support. She looked to other sober women to show her how to live a life without alcohol.
When asked what the most surprising part of recovery was Laura said she didn’t expect life to be so big. She said that even when things were really hard, it was still big and beautiful. When it comes to her book, she learned a lot about other people and their journeys. That the pain is universal. We are often dealing with the same fundamental feeling of “not good enough” or “falling short.”
Laura has talked to a lot of people who are sober or attempting to get sober. They have deeply resonated with Laura’s book. In fact, she said that even people without an alcohol problem deeply connected to her message. She came to realize that we’re all looking for the same thing. We want connection with others. We want to be loved, and we want to have some sense of meaning to our lives.
Support for Addiction in Colorado
At Women’s Recovery, we salute Laura for helping recovering female alcoholics in Colorado as well as on a worldwide scale. Laura’s message is unique and has reached some that perhaps couldn’t be reached through other words. We know the importance of meeting women where they’re at.
We have outpatient clinics in both Dillon and Denver, Colorado. This allows women to get the help they need while still allowing them to manage daily responsibilities. Our program offers high quality treatment that is gender specific in our all-women’s recovery facility. You’re getting many of the benefits of an inpatient program without the high cost and time commitment.
There are people that care very much about your recovery. You have help every step of the way. We highly recommend you check out Laura’s new book. It may serve as a great motivation for your own journey. Don’t stop there though. Recovery programs give you support and tools you need so you can live a sober, happy life past addiction. We’d love to hear from you. If you have a comment, please leave it below. We are also available to answer any of your questions regarding you, or your loved one’s recovery. Call us today.