#197 – Episode 197 – 12 Steps and Self Esteem with Arlina Allen


Veronica is joined by Arlina Allen from the One day at a Time podcast. Arlina shares how she has been sober for 28 years, her experience of the 12-steps, and why working on self-esteem is so important.

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about this episode

About Arlina Allen

Arlina Allen is a Certified Recovery Coach (IAPRC), Certified Hypnotherapist CH, the Founder of Sober Life School, and host of the award winning recovery podcast “The One Day At A Time Podcast” since June 2016.

She has been sober since 4/23/94, happily married for 25 years, Mother of two amazing young adult men and Mama to Teddy, the family English Bulldog.

Through her 28 years of lived experience in sobriety and working with other women to heal their relationship with alcohol and other addictions, she developed a special intuitiveness and insights into resolving the blocks to behavior change. With a combination of science based mental, spiritual, physical and emotional practices she has seen profound and lasting changes in her clients.

Her class “Reinvent-How To Rebuild Self-Esteem & End Self-Sabotage” is being taught to those who’ve suffered from low self-esteem, addiction, codependency, toxic relationships and many other issues.

key highlights

From trauma to addiction

At the age of seven, Arlina’s parents divorced and she was sexually abused by their neighbor. She was too young to understand what was going on with her and felt everything was her fault. That experience left Arlina feeling guilty and wrong, filled with self-loathing and self-hatred from a young age.


Her first drink

Arlina started drinking around eight years old. From her first drink, she felt a temporary and instant relief, a warm feeling that left her wanting more.

“The way it burned my lips, the way it burned all the way down. But that when it hit bottom, the warmth that spread through my whole body, and I felt really good.” – Arlina Allen

Once she was in junior high, her drinking accelerated. She felt like alcohol brought out an alter ego and she couldn’t understand the storm of emotions and mixed feelings she experienced.


High school years

Arlina’s drinking habits accelerated to the point where she experienced having two alter egos once she started drinking. She could no longer control the emotions she had been suppressing since childhood.

I was either fighting or crying when I was drinking. It was like everything I had suppressed came out in a volcano style. Sometimes I would wake up the morning after and just be like, “What was that all about?” – Arlina Allen


The blue jeans addiction

“If it was in a bottle, a bag or blue jeans, I was doing it!” – Arlina Allen

Arlina developed a serious love addiction to married men. In her mind, she saw them as knights in shining armor whose love would save her from the chaos she was battling.

It wasn’t until she went into recovery that she realized she was choosing men that were unavailable because that allowed her to avoid real intimacy. They were a distraction from the endless weight of the feelings she was carrying.

Looking back, she realized that her relationship behaviors were rooted in her early childhood experiences.

As children, our brains are developing so rapidly and we interpret our experiences through a childlike lens, making connections about the world and developing beliefs about who we are and what we deserve. As adults, we carry these beliefs with us until we do the deeper work needed to see things for what they really are, through a different lens.


Seeking sobriety

Reaching a point of deep despair, Arlina reached out to her sober friends. Luckily, they were extremely supportive and introduced her to a 12-step program. Joining that community was transformative.

Arlina felt like she finally found her people – a place where she felt safe and where everyone could relate to each other’s struggles and the experience of addiction and journey to sobriety.


One day at a time

Arlina started her podcast, One Day At A Time, to help people like her, struggling with addiction, to work on their self-esteem and overcome their battles.

“When your self-esteem is high, you attract from a higher level because you’re no longer willing to tolerate things like being gaslit, or being invalidated.” – Arlina Allen

resources mentioned

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