Lainey Southgate

Associate Recovery Coach

Lainey Southgate, Associate Recovery Coach

I’m Lainey and I am an Associate Recovery Coach. In July of 2022 I completed an intensive in-person training through Still Here Recovery Coach Training. I am currently completing two Master’s programs: one is an MA in Counselling with completion in Spring/2024 and the other is an MSc in Mental Health and Substance Use with completion in Fall/2023. I have been in recovery since June of 2019. 

I’ve enjoyed integrating my academic or theoretical learnings into practical applications, particularly in my social and recovery life. These skills and my lived experience work to help me in assisting others to achieve change by drawing upon their own intrinsic motivations for change, from a helpful, non-judgmental, and authentic frame of practice.

My recovery began at age 21, while in my fourth year of university. I had difficulty understanding and accepting that my substance use was destructive and abusive (to both myself and others), especially given that my peers were seemingly engaging in similar use. 

I thought that I was too young to be identified as having a substance use disorder, and too young to be sober. When I finally accepted that this was untrue, I dove head first into recovery.

The transition into recovery was especially difficult in regard to my social life — it seemed like every person my age drank or used some kind of substance. Every activity for those in their 20s seems to centre around alcohol and drugs, making early recovery feel especially lonely. I was faced with the challenge of ending unhealthy connections, building new and healthy connections, and strengthening and repairing old connections. I have since created a beautiful life for myself, filled with loving and fulfilling friendships with both sober and non-sober friends. The development of the foundations that hold up my recovery today have allowed me to build a life worth living. At 24, I feel fortunate to have gotten sober and found recovery at an early age. My life didn’t end the way I thought it would with sobriety, instead, it had finally begun. 

Because of my own substance use, addiction and recovery journey, I feel uniquely qualified to assist individuals on similar paths. I understand and appreciate the fear of having to leave behind something that brings connection, the fear of leaving behind something familiar and “safe”, and the fear of diving into the uncertain and uncomfortable. I know that recovery for young adults is both scary and doable and I want to help you navigate through the challenges of recovery so that you can create a life worth living too.

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