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Member Spotlight: Kristina Coley

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

We’re spotlighting Kristina Coley!

Kristina has been a member at Dragonfly for 5 years and has an inspiring journey. She talks about how sobriety has changed her life and how Dragonfly has factored into that experience. Thanks for sharing, Kristina!

I’m an academic librarian at a local university, and I live in South City with my husband Mike, two cats, and two rescue greyhounds. Mike and I are huge music geeks who love going to concerts and record stores. I also love to read, explore cemeteries (we got married in a beautiful Civil War memorial chapel at Glendale Cemetery in Akron, OH), take photos, do yoga, hike, and travel.

What I am most passionate about is my sobriety because without it, I wouldn’t have the amazing life I have today. I’ve been sober for over 9 years now. As a teenager drinking “helped” me to deal with my social anxiety and feelings of never quite fitting in. I lacked confidence and lived in fear so more and more I turned to drinking to deal with life. I drank when I was happy, sad, mad. From my late 20s into my early 30s I worked for the humane society in Akron where I saw horrible abuse and neglect of pets daily. After many hard days, my coworkers and I would head to the bar to drink away the stress of the day or block out the horrors we witnessed. I was depressed and miserable and had no idea that I was the cause of the black cloud over my life.

In May 2013 I nearly died in a car accident I caused and injured another driver. A state trooper on scene with me that night before I was life-flighted to another hospital later called me the luckiest person in the world. I was filled with so much shame and guilt after my accident and was initially angry that I survived. I also found myself in trouble with the law and facing serious legal repercussions. Many people felt that I was treated too harshly by the legal system, but I am grateful for everything that I went through. I needed those consequences to turn my life around. By losing everything I gained my life back!

IAside from my support group and service work, Dragonfly is one the best tools I have in my sober toolbox. Working out regularly helps me to manage stress and anxiety while also helping to build my confidence. Getting sober means getting out of your comfort zone entirely, and after almost 5 years I still find myself doing things outside of my comfort zone at DFT. I’ve noticed the resulting growth and positive changes within myself mentally and physically since becoming a member. Plus, the community at Dragonfly is wonderful, and in a way has become another support group for me. A lot of folks in recovery are hardwired to be isolators, and for me, having a supportive social network is so good for my mental health. I am grateful to have discovered Dragonfly on my sober journey!

Thanks for sharing, Kristina!

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