top of page

"I am Enough" with Margy Jackson


Margy is a retired school teacher who has just written her first book called ‘I Am Enough’. After battling depression and anxiety in her formative years, Margy turned to alcohol to self medicate.


Margy’s alcohol dependence led to fractured relationships, domestic violence and low self esteem. During Covid lockdown, Margy took time to re-evaluate her life. She stopped drinking, started writing and used her voice to say ‘Enough’!


Listen here!


If you enjoyed this episode please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share the podcast so it can reach more people that it will serve and benefit.


To learn more about Margy's book, check her out at www.margyjackson.com. Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at http://themindfullifepractice.com/.


Are you a fan of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast? The podcast remains completely free, and free from advertisements, however, it has monthly production costs. If you are able to, please subscribe to become a monthly podcast member to support our show. As a member you get invited to a once a month mocktails night and hangout with Alex on Zoom (rotating times to accommodate our many timezones!) Please subscribe here to support us! www.themindfullifepractice.com/podcast.


Full episode



Transcript


Intro

Welcome to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019. And now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.


Alex

All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "Sober Yoga Girl". I am super happy to be sitting down with Amy Guerrero today, and Amy is another conscious, sober woman. So welcome, Amy. How are you?


Amy

I'm doing really well. We're recording today as the new moon rises in Libra. And so I woke up very early this morning and did some, like, letting go and calling in underneath the stars and feeling really connected to all the things today.


Alex

Oh, that's beautiful. You know, I don't follow the moon cycles as much as I should, because I know a lot of people follow them and talk about them in yoga. But our new moon, it's like an opportunity for, like, rebirth. Is that what you would say or what's the significance?


Amy

Yeah. I'd cycle with the moon, too. So I'm usually bleeding with the new moon. And so it's something that I've always really been in touch with, even when I was at my heaviest of heavy drinkings.


Alex

Wow.


Amy

Yeah. It's a really great time to say, like, okay, this is what I want. This is what I want to bring to life. And you know, literally, as I'm shutting you know, the lining of my uterus, I'm like, oh, yes. And I get to bring so much to life through this because the womb space is the birth space, right? That's where we create life. And I ovulate with the full moon. So I'm always like, oh, God, I just want to be penetrated by the world right now. What can I create? Yeah. That's so fun.


Alex

It's amazing. Well, I need to do-- after this call, I have to do some letting go and some manifestation journaling.


Amy

Yeah, that's what I did. I wrote five things that I was you know, grateful for. I was going to bury and a plant, and then five things that I was calling in for this season. Yeah. And the seasons are changing for us. Those of us in both hemispheres. So, yeah. It's really great.


Alex

So tell me a bit about yourself. Kind of where are you located? You know, what are your hobbies? Whatever kind of makes you unique.


Amy

Yeah. I moved from California, so I grew up in Texas. I lived in California all of my adult life, San Francisco. And then I moved on to Topanga Canyon for the last five years. And I just bought a house across the street from my parents in Texas.


Alex

Wow.


Amy

Yeah. So, I mean, talk about really being transformed in a life of recovery. My ability to live across the street from my folks is a big deal. I knew it was time for me to expand, and I had no idea it was going to bring me here. I know I'm here for a reason. I'm not sure how long I'll be here. I'm not sure what my next stuff is that I know that this was all meant to be. I just moved here in June.


Alex

Wow.


Amy

And I've been practicing yoga for over 22 years. You know, that's one of my big hobbies is movement through breath and sound. And I love music, like, live music is definitely my jam. Funky, weird, yummy stuff. I really dig it. I've been into, like, clean eating and just you know, different, like, exploring life from a different lens. I grew up in a big Mexican family where everyone stayed and had babies and did the thing. And I decided pretty early on that, that's not the life that I wanted to live. And so I went on a big ass exploration. And San Francisco is just, like, such a perfect place for me to just really expand and try all the things and do all the things. And it's so fun to be back in Texas in this really small, very conservative town that is mostly, like, fishermen and people over 60. And it's just so funny because I'm regulated enough to be here. And I know I'm here for a reason. It's so different than the life that I had in California, so definitely in the transition and feeling all of that as well.


Alex

Wow. Yeah. Sounds like a big-time for you.


Amy

It is a big-time. Yeah. I mean, I knew I was ready-- the pandemic and the isolation was something that I think. Oh, Hi, baby. Was something that was such a breeding ground for me to feel safe, to slow down and be more in my feminine and more of my creative and to open up these parts of me that had been shut down for so long. That really did lead to the way that I drank and used for sure.


Alex

Right.


Amy

Yeah. So now I have a view of the water, like, on all of my windows, of my whole entire house and a little saltwater pool, like, above the ground salt water pool that I put in. And I'm just like, oh, I can just be in the dreaminess of you know, still like, isolation. I like to live away from people now that I live in San Francisco for so long, but also with all the things that comfort and nourish my body.


Alex

Yeah. Wow. That's beautiful.


Amy

Thank you. Yeah. It's been a great change of pace, and it's so fun to get to know my parents. We haven't lived in the same state in over 20 years. And so, it's like, hi, who are you? What are you all about?


Alex

Tell me a bit about your drinking. When did you start drinking?


Amy

I started drinking when I was like, 11 or 12?


Alex

Wow. It's really young.


Amy

Yeah. Yeah. I think at first you know, it was sneaky and fun to do it at people's houses. And then by the time I was like, 14, it was full-on fun. That's how we connected. That's what we did. And then you know, 16, 17, 18, you know, it was just like a way of life, like all of our parents knew we were drinking already. It just became normal. Texas, you know, like barbecues and you know, watching football and all the things. And because I had already experienced so much dysregulation in my nervous system. When I found alcohol, it helped me feel really safe. It helped me feel more comfortable in my body and you know, listeners, you get it. You felt that too. It was like that rush of, oh, okay. This helps me experience life differently. I definitely started to have negative consequences from it right away, though, because I had such a healthy lifestyle now, I was able to manage the negative consequences for a really, really long time because I didn't stay stopped drinking until I was 40 years old. I started getting sober when I was 37. So I drank for a really long time and you know, mostly successfully. It managed my emotional pain and my emotional trauma in a way that helped me not want to kill myself all the time. So, you know, I'm not mad at alcohol in any way, shape, or form. Did it stop working for me? Was it sustainable? Absolutely not. But I also am very grateful for it because it helped me. You know, I've been super successful in my life. I've been an entrepreneur for a really long time, and I don't think that I would have had the nervous system capacity to move through it without it. No one was giving me-- well, I had yoga, I had breathwork. I was introduced to all of that stuff really young as well. But of course, nothing worked faster than alcohol.


Alex

Right. And so tell me how did it escalate over time?


Amy

I got an idea around-- started formulating around 35 when I went to yoga teacher training, I've been practicing for about ten years, and I was like, all right, I started another business and I was like, what am I doing? I am not really fulfilled. What is happening here? So this is around 35. I went to yoga teacher training, and I took some months off of real work. And that's when I started to figure out, oh, my gosh. I've got a lot of unprocessed trauma, a lot of unprocessed trauma. And thank God for yoga because it was keeping it at bay as well. But during teacher training, I went to Bikram teacher training, which was traumatizing myself. Yeah. And I stopped practicing Bikram or, like, the typical 26 and two after I got sober because I realized that it was so much of that type of masculine, archetypical things that were keeping me in these very rigid patterns that never agreed with my nervous system. So when I came back from teacher training, I ditched my life and started doing-- as yoga teachers we could trade lives. So I gave my apartment, my car to someone. And then I went to New Orleans and took someone else's life.


Alex

Wow.


Amy

And I did this with different lives throughout the United States. I'm like, hey, I have a badass apartment in San Francisco. Come stay in it. I'm going to have your life. You have my life. And I would teach. And so I was making money and doing this thing. And that's when the emotional pain and the emotional trauma started to get more real because I was out of my everyday life. So I got this idea that I was going to heal all of my trauma before I turned 40 and around 37 I got very serious about it. And went and found my birth mom and had this whole list of things that if I could do those things, then I was going to be okay. And on that journey, I got chemically dependent on alcohol. So I woke up literally shaking without the ability to change it unless I drank more or went to the hospital, have a detox. So my first at-home self-detox was in December of 2013. And then--no, it was in 2014. And then I found my birth mom. But all I did was go towards the alcohol because although I was practicing yoga, eating good dah dah dah. Nothing worked faster. And when I became chemically dependent on it, it was so confusing because that wasn't a part of the plan. I was just going to heal my trauma. Right? And then all of a sudden I was like, in my chemical dependency on it, like, the way that I became dependent on it was so scary for me because it meant that I could not ever drink alcohol again safely.


Alex

Right.


Amy

That I didn't know how I was going to live if I didn't have my favorite coping mechanism. And so it escalated quickly at that point. And then I became suicidal because the rigidity of the systems that were being taught to me in treatment centers and in different recovery programs was more of the same that I had already been beating myself up over for years and years and years. So I'm like, this feels like shame and guilt. And I'm very familiar with how to do that and how to do it in that masculine way.


Alex

Right.


Amy

So I felt really lonely, and I pretended to connect with the communities, but I wasn't really connecting with them. Like, one of my treatment centers, the very first one that I went to. I started writing what I call these regrouping methodologies of how I was going to get sober. And they stopped and do it in a way that felt good to me. Which, of course, therapists, all the things were like, not going to work. It was really hard. It was a really rough couple of years in and out of hospitals all the time, in and out of, like, eight different treatment centers. Walking around the streets of San Francisco, sexually assaulted, with no shoes, like wristbands on my wrist. I really explored the yuck of the yuck, and I could pull it together like, pretty easily when I was sober up because I was so used to masking my pain. So people thought like, oh, she's got it. She's fine. And I was like, yeah, whatever. Until the next time, I try to not be here anymore. Next time it's going to work. And it's a rough, rough, rough time. And so that's why I'm so passionate about this space and how I deliver information about recovery because lots of stuff that people die over that shame. You know, and it's not like that for everyone. It was just going to be my path. As painful as it was looking back on it. I also did it very gracefully and then reemerged into the world with a lot of grace as well.


Alex

So tell me about that. What was the turning point for you?


Amy

I was here in the town that I now live in, and my parents were just not-- I mean, I think I had tried again to not wake up and it didn't work. And just looking at my parents' faces, I was, like, annoyed. I was just like, oh, my gosh, I've got to go do something about this. I would just make the decision. I was like, I'm going to treatment and I'm going to stay stopped. And I'm going to start a business helping other people figure this out. I was very clear. And I had all these notebooks and all of these binders, and I got on a plane. I blew over four that day. I put all the papers on the desk of the psychiatrist while they were doing intake, and I was like, you have to let me do it my way. I cannot keep living like this. And I have a plan. When I sober up, you can listen and decide if you want to hold space for me to be able to do this. And they were very helpful. They gave me more space. I didn't have to go to all the groups. And so I was able to start writing, finishing up a couple of courses that I was in. And I mean, I'm an entrepreneur. You know, that spirit needed to be alive and be a part of my recovery. And they listened to me. And I was just, like, a really good client, did all the things I needed to do. And then when I left there three months later, I started a business supporting people.


Alex

Wow. That's amazing.


Amy

Yeah. And I had decided I was done.


Alex

And so tell me about, like, what is it in your business that you do? How do you help people?


Amy

Well, people get to the root cause of why they used and drank the way that they did. To really experience, like, the next level of consciousness. To embody what recovery is.


Alex

Right.


Amy

And not to say it but, I mean, you've felt your way through life, I imagine, as well. And what I've listened to what you've said. You know, I'm like, I feel that from you.


Alex

Yeah.


Amy

And so I had that gift of being able to speak through my body. You know, you're teaching a group of people in a yoga room. You're not talking to their minds. You're talking to their bodies. You know, I'm studying in every little fidget and move. And I'm like, oh, that's interesting. How can I support them right now to let that go without saying unclench your fist or unclench your jaw? And so the way that I meet people is to help them understand they have a body because they don't often know that. And then to support them to embody why they got sober, because my whole thing was if I continue to focus on the alcohol and the substance, and that's what it's going to become about. That's what my neural pathways are going to think about. But when I take the substances yet, but just a way to cope. And so when I focus on my body and what my body always wanted, then everything started to open up for me because I realized that I'd been feeling these sensations and this discomfort since I was, like, you know, before I was verbal, I was already uncomfortable. I was constipated. And in and out in the hospital as a child.


Alex

Right.


Amy

And so I was already experienced that dysbiosis in my gut, all the things that I teach now. I think if I put it very simply for the listeners, it's like I teach a bottom-up, like, I start with your body, and then we change your mindset instead of, like, let's change your mindset. But I know that if your nervous system isn't regulated, anything I say is not going to go in.


Alex

Right.


Amy

Yeah.


Alex

It's so amazing. The use of yoga and mindfulness and all these things fusing together because it really is such a-- I feel like there's so much of the journey that for me has been about my spirituality and my yoga practice and the body-mind connection. And so the way you draw on that, I love it.


Amy

Yeah. That's why I was so grateful for my experiences with yoga. Well, before I even knew that I was going to live a life without alcohol.


Alex

Yeah.


Amy

You know, that was not a part of my plan. And when it happened, I was like, oh, that was the missing piece. In the movie, "The Matrix", I often say the experience was like, when Neo gets plugged into whatever he gets plugged into, he's like, I know, Jujitsu. I felt like when I got sober, like, really, really sober, I was like, every self-development, every course, it just downloaded into my body. And I just had all this access to it. And I was like, oh, my gosh. I knew Jujitsu. Right. So I started sharing it with everyone because I was like, it's the missing piece.


Alex

Yeah. Absolutely. And so what were the best and the hardest parts of sobriety for you?


Amy

The hardest part of sobriety in those two years, we're feeling like there was only one way to do it, or I was going to die. Right. Like, the conditioning of the rigidity of the masculine systems in this world is something that I'm, you know, always have been pushing up against. So that was the hardest part of living sober one moment at a time. And that really messed with my head and my body. The best part is getting all the downloads. It was like, none of it was for nothing. All of it was for something. And every single thing that I've done led me here. And so that's why when people are really angry at alcohol, I'm like, oh, well, you're angry at something else. That's deeper than that. I think very fondly of a lot of the times that I had, and it worked. And then it stopped. And I think being in deep celebration of this fun that I had with it is a big part of my recovery. You know, when all of my friends are doing their thing, that they still do. I'm very much into live music, and there's a whole scene that goes around that although so many of my friends are now sober, too, which is so cool. But I sometimes look at pictures and I'm like, oh, I remember what it's like to not be conscious. Sometimes I feel that yearning for it, and I allow it to be there. I don't make it wrong. I'm like, oh, that makes so much sense that I yearn to dissociate because I used to dissociate a lot. But now I