Hi, My name is Lise, and I am an alcoholic!
What it used to be like……What happened……and What it is like now……
Utilizing the long time generational traditions and the conventional art of hand-knitting from my native country Norway, I combined this craft with the modern fashion of today creating my own clothes out of necessity, and was soon “discovered” by Vogue Magazine. Department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and a celebrity clientele were quick to follow. After having lived the “poor artist’s life” for awhile, it felt like my career suddenly had a rocket launch.
They say the disease of alcoholism is cunning and baffling, and will lure you in at your most vulnerable moment. I was stressed beyond anything I had ever experienced, full of anxiety and panic attacks…it all happened so fast for me…and I was all alone, no support system, no network to tap into.
I started drinking mostly by myself, all stress and anxiety vanished, I got everything I needed to get done, and I was happily floating on a cloud of excitement for each next day. Alcohol was clearly the answer to all my problems…and it was…and it worked…for a short time.
My disease escalated as quickly as my career. The more celebrity clients, film and TV work I got, the more I was drinking……and had too. Within a year I was a full blown alcoholic, and had already started my downward spiral. I was drinking up my career. I started losing clients, I started losing friends and I started losing my family, mostly because I could not be accountable. I held on for 8 years, but by then my body was starting to shut down and what I had acquired as a support system was almost all gone.
My bottom was very low. I found myself thanking God for finally letting me go as I was falling into darkness. I did however wake up and was somehow led to the program of Alcoholic Anonymous, and my life was saved.
I used to say I had a Fall From Grace, but I realized quickly I had a Fall Into Grace.
After the first fog started lifting off of me I was given the sense of having to heal my whole self in order to be free and and have the ability work towards living a full life. Body, Mind and Spirit. Walking and proper nutrition started healing my physical body, and in addition to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, my mind and spirit were being healed through my knitting.
Again, being led and to be of service very early in my sobriety, I started teaching knitting and crochet to other women suffering from substance abuse problems and/or mental health problems. The experience was profound, and through the many healing stories I was witness to, I saw the need for a concrete Knitting in Recovery Program and it was hence established in 2010. We have served hundreds of women, young girls, young boys and men who have shared their experience, strength and hope with us and their stories of healing through knitting and crochet.
Today, 10 years sober, my life continues to grow and flourish with miracles abound. I live on a small homestead in Ojai with my husband, cats, chickens, ducks, lots of birds and any other creature that comes visiting. We love our organic garden full of flowers, fruits, berries and vegetables……with all the butterflies and bees abuzzing.