Hi Everyone. So who is this chic that created Zero Relapse and what is she doing now? Well, I grew up in the California Bay Area. During my youth I suffered from severe depression and panic attacks and was bullied and publicly humiliated often at school. I was not treated for my disorders and suffered mentally and emotionally for decades.
During my Junior High years I found relief from my depression through music; specifically heavy metal music back in the 80’s. In my opinion, music saved my life. I found out that playing heavy metal guitar in heavy metal bands and writing music about how I was feeling was extremely therapeutic. You may have caught my shows in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Omni and Stone back in the late 80’s and 90’s with such bands as Feline, Mischief and Barbee Killed Kenn.
I also found that food, alcohol and a short love affair with cocaine became other sources of relief from my chronic feelings of darkness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety and general feelings of discomfort. I had the self awareness at age 17 that cocaine was going to quickly take over and destroy my life and walked away from it fairly quickly only to have my cravings for sugar and alcohol escalate. As social expectations and consequences from drinking arose for me, I soon realized that alcohol could not be a part of my life style either as I pursued college with (what would have been diagnosed today as dyslexia) I worked very hard for my A’s and B’s and eventually pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Wholistic Health and Psycho-somatic Psychology. Sugar/carb addiction and co-dependency continued to riddle me for the next two decades.
Eventually I became a licensed therapist and specialized in addiction issues, depression, anxiety, family systems and at risk youth – SHOCKER! It was so interesting that as I continued to work with people that were suffering from alcohol and other drug addictions, that I more and more noticed that their thinking and behavior was similar to mine in regards to food and sugar. It wasn’t until much later on in my adult life that I identified as an addict that got by on, what I refer to, as a secondary addictions through food and sugar and simply did not allow myself to promote up to the alcohol and other drugs even though I had tasted the goods. For me, societal pressures, the intense need to ‘do the right thing’ and the fear of not being able to take care of myself as an adult is what I think kept me in line and stopped me from going back to alcohol and my beloved cocaine.
Bottom line, once I became a substance abuse counselor, role modeling sobriety became essential. A quote that I do my best to live by daily is, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. How could I counsel young people to pursue sobriety and then go home and have a drink? No way. I lived a clean and sober life whether I had the alcoholic/addict stamp of approval or not. It just seemed like the ethical and moral thing to do despite where I fit on the addiction scale. I simply don’t care any more what the box is that I ‘belong’ in. I do not drink, smoke or use drugs period.
After a 15 year career as a substance abuse counselor working in a variety of settings including public mental health, juvenile drug courts, adolescent in-patient rehab centers, adult inpatient/outpatient programs and alternative/wholistic centers for addiction, I retired my license. I had become frustrated with the one on one or small group therapy and wanted to reach a greater audience through my speaking events, audio and video programs. I finally finished Zero Relapse and Zero Relapse for Loved ones in May of 2015 and am delighted to bring my programs to mainstream.
When I am not doing educational/inspirational speaking events on recovery, you will find me pursuing my new passion of Corporate Wellness. I am absolutely jazzed by this paradigm shift in this country and am honored to be a part of this awesome transformation of bringing health education, inspiration and prevention to the work place. I am a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and offer educational and inspirational programs to Northern Arizona University employees as well as other Corporations in Northern Arizona. I am also Certified to teach many programs through Franklin/Covey including The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the Speed of Trust.
Even though I have work in many areas of supporting people in living their full potentials, my first love is my Zero Relapse programs. You can find me speaking at local and national conferences on sobriety and may catch me on a local commercial or infomercial on TV or radio. If you are looking for long term success with sobriety or are a loved one trying to understand why your loved one will not stop or struggles with recovery, I recommend picking up my programs and utilizing them as part of a wholistic approach to your sobriety and well being. It’s like getting the greatest hits of Shawna Bowen as an Addiction Behavioral Specialist in a box offering twenty sessions for the price of one. I wish you the very best with your sobriety, your health and your life. Take care out there!