SPEAK TO OUR STAFF, CALL US AT 833.276.5634
Select Page

Embracing Recovery- A Family Member’s Perspective" with The Pretty Pink Rooster Boutique

November 19, 2020
All Points North Lodge

Laurie Watter:

Hi, I'm Laurie Watter. Welcome to Therapy Thursday with All Points North Lodge. A lot going on today. I want to give a shout out to my dad who turns 90 today and my daughter, who also has a birthday today, and I won't let anybody know how old she is because that makes me even older, but I'm super excited about the guest I have today. Somebody really special in my life. Also, I want to let you know that iCAAD is going on. So you want to catch All Points North Lodge there. We've met some great people and Ryan Soave spoke to this morning, which you can actually access and hear again. His topic is we live in virtual reality, the power of perception, how it hurts, and how it heals. So it was a great talk. He's got a Q& afterward and it was really wonderful.

Laurie Watter:

So for those of you that missed it earlier, at the iCAAD conference coming to you virtually from London. It's been a really interesting experience to see how all that plays out. And for anybody that hasn't done this, this way before, this was a conference that was supposed to be in-person in London and it's a whole new virtual world. You literally walk into the conference room, you can see all of the programs that are being accessed there, and everybody's booth looks a little bit different just as it would at a regular conference. You have the ability to get your swag by just dropping it into your basket. So anything that you miss or that you want to save, you have the opportunity to just pop that in and it's sent to you later on. So it's a pretty cool way of doing things. And I hope it's not this way forever, but I guess it's an alternative to the way it needs to be for now with nobody being able to travel and have people in close quarters, so I'm waiting for my guest to pop on.

Laurie Watter:

Let me see if I can see her. Let's see if Alexandra gets on. She's pretty talented at this. There she is. Hi.

Alexandra Daras:

Hi, Laurie. How are you?

Laurie Watter:

I'm good. How are you doing?

Alexandra Daras:

I am doing awesome, thanks. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be live with you today.

Laurie Watter:

And I'm so excited that you said yes. So this is Alexandra Daras from The Pretty Pink Rooster from Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Alexandra Daras:

Hi, everybody.

Laurie Watter:

I know that we could blah-blah-blah for a really long time, and there have been so many exciting things that have been happening for you. And I'd love for you to tell people about The Pretty Pink Rooster and how it came to be because it's a pretty special story in itself.

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm so excited to be on right now. My whole story is a little bit different. I used to be a kindergarten teacher for 10 years and I loved my job, but I always wanted to have my own business and help people in different ways. And my dad and I created the idea of having an affordable boutique in our area and that was something that we never really had. We wanted to put that in our town and help women look and feel great without the hefty price tag. I lost my dad very suddenly before we could bring the whole store to life and my whole vision to life, so with that, I threw myself into teaching and just did my own thing, but that dream just kept coming back. I wanted to explore that whole thing that my dad and I created. So I decided to found my company in 2014 and I named it The Pretty Pink Rooster because he loved her roosters. So I wanted to kind of give a little nod to him in the name and we started off as a brick and mortar store. No, I'm sorry, just joking. Just kidding! Retake.

Laurie Watter:

No, no, no.

Alexandra Daras:

So we started off as an online store. And then in 2016, I quit my job of 10 years and I started my first brick and mortar store. So we're still online and we're still in the store and we're rocking and rolling here in Bernardsville.

Laurie Watter:

Yes you are. And it's amazing. I feel like I've seen it from the beginning, so it's very exciting to see how it's grown and it really is a special place and you are all special women in the Daras family.

Alexandra Daras:

Awe, thank you.

Laurie Watter:

Adore all of you.

Alexandra Daras:

Thank you.

Laurie Watter:

Part of the excitement and I'm constantly telling my family and friends to watch you because you have a great social media presence and ... can we talk about Verizon?

Alexandra Daras:

Yes. Yeah. We totally can. So I was actually part of their B2B campaign, which was super exciting and I was photographed and my business's name was on their flyers and their website. So it was an incredible honor and incredible journey.

Laurie Watter:

And I was like ... I don't know, I just took such pride in that when that happened. And I still look at the Verizon posters and I'll pass it and it's such a different you.

Alexandra Daras:

I know.

Laurie Watter:

Right?

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah, it is.

Laurie Watter:

It looks very corporate.

Alexandra Daras:

Oh, thank you.

Laurie Watter:

But really, really, really exciting. I feel like I've gotten to know all different sides of you and we've been on this journey together of self-discovery and personal growth and so I feel like we walk that line together, but we've also celebrated some really wonderful joys together and some really sad times, and I admire you beyond. I really do feel so lucky to call you my friend and I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about what your own personal story of recovery looks like. Or looked like. It's an ongoing process, for sure.

Alexandra Daras:

Totally. It's an ongoing process and we keep walking that walk and we just have to keep moving forward and keep learning. I always say in life we're always, always students. When you stop learning, it's never a good thing. So my whole journey ... I have a family member in recovery and I walked that walk with them for many years and it was something so difficult to watch them be so sick and not be able to help them. I think that was the hardest part for me because I am a nurturer. I always want to help people. That's just in my nature. That's how I am. So to know that I couldn't do anything for them was the hardest part for me and I really needed to look inward and work my own program.

Alexandra Daras:

So really that walk that we walked as a family just was difficult in all ways, but it was kind of mirroring my family member as well, because at first, I was like, I don't need to get help. This isn't my problem. Do you know what I mean? And as we know, addiction and alcoholism is a family disease. It's not just the person who has the disease, it's a family disease. So with that being said, I was definitely in denial and I didn't think I needed to do any work. And that made me sicker and sicker and sicker. So codependency also goes really hand in hand with, I think, addiction and alcoholism. And I was definitely codependent, for sure. So what I needed to do was look inward and really focus on myself to better myself and just do things that would make me healthy. And that's just something that I've been focusing on for many years now, and knowing that acceptance and serenity, those things all go hand in hand for family members as well. It's not just the person who has that disease. We have to have those same...too.

Laurie Watter:

I totally agree. I think it is a time to really look inside ourselves and see what we can do when there is chaos in the world around us, whereas within us, and if we can maintain that sense of calm within us, I think that we can manage what's going on in the outside world as well. What are some of the things that have worked for you in finding some peace and serenity amidst the chaos?

Alexandra Daras:

So what worked for me personally, I am a big journaler. I love to write. And that was one thing that really helped me put the pen to paper and just get it all out, those resentments and all of those feelings that I was feeling. That's a huge thing that I still do, journaling, I always talk about that. Turning to gratitude. Gratitude is another component for me to be living a healthy life. I do my gratitude journal. Every morning I get up and then I write 10 things that I'm thankful for and why I'm thankful for them, and if I don't do that in the morning, my day gets a little bit weird, you know what I mean? So to practice those routines, and then of course working my own program. I have the program that I work, 12 steps of codependency, and that really saved my life. And honestly, you can use those steps in daily life. It's applicable to everything. So you don't have to be an addict or an alcoholic to work those steps.

Alexandra Daras:

I'm living proof of that. I was codependent, out of control, 911 codependent. It was a hot mess. My sponsor had said to me, "Buy this book and highlight when you read." So I remember the first step I was reading and I was highlighting and I go, "Oh, gee, this is really highlighted." And then she goes, "That's okay, don't worry. That means you're in the right program." And I'm like, "Oh, okay. I don't know." It was so funny because it did. That helps me. I use the steps daily, in my work life, in making decisions, so that was my lifesaver. And of course, going to meetings, going to family anonymous groups, and even going to open AA meetings to get a view of the other side and I thought that was so interesting and it really helped me with my recovery.

Laurie Watter:

I think that's an amazing way to educate yourself and to really have a broader sense of what this disease looks like and what we can learn from it and how we can learn to behave differently. I also would love to see ... I think that the 12 step model is such a wonderful structure to live and [inaudible 00:12:11]. I feel like they've started introducing more mindfulness programs into schools and certainly yoga they've found to be really helpful for kids. I'm waiting to see some sort of a 12 step structure for kids to really develop from the early years and learn to live by that foundation because it's helpful for anybody in all walks of life.

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah, 100%. And honestly, I am so grateful for my family members' disease because that made me really look within and really just made me focus on myself to better myself and the 12 step program, during coronavirus was a lifesaver for me because I tend to future trip all the time. I'm rearing to go in the future and then I like am a pendulum, I swing back to the past. So staying in the present moment is something that I really struggle with and I have to really remind myself to be right here right now. So when my business had to close and pivot to online, I really leaned into my program there because, as I said, it's applicable in so many different ways. It's not just a program. If you work your program, it works. And that helped me during that uncertainty of not knowing and are we going to have another wave. So then every time I started going over to the future, I'll say, "Okay, got to be right at the moment." So that's another huge thing, a huge component to...

Laurie Watter:

What can we do at this moment? And the gratitude piece ... Acceptance and gratitude, I think are just huge components that have really changed my life. I wouldn't change one thing about my journey. I wouldn't change one thing about my story. I feel like all of my experiences have brought me to where I am today. I feel like I'm so blessed and I have so much to be grateful for and acknowledging all of those big and small things in my life. And this past weekend we had no internet and I spent three and a half hours on the phone and every time I would talk to somebody, they'd say, "Oh yeah, no, that's internet in your home. Let me connect you to somebody else." And the next person would say, "Oh, no, you need the place for internet in your home." And I'm like, "Four times."

Laurie Watter:

But I find myself just being like, "It is what it is, you want the internet, make the next call." And then when I finally had internet, I was like, "I'm putting that on my gratitude list." I don't know. I don't even think it was 24 hours that I was without it, but just acknowledging all of the little things in our lives that we tend to take for granted-

Alexandra Daras:

Absolutely.

Laurie Watter:

... a cup of coffee in the morning that comes out just perfect.

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah, absolutely. And some days my gratitude journal is super basic like you said. When I'm having a hard day and I'm like, "Oh gosh, nothing's going right," or I'm upset or I'm super stressed out about something, sometimes it's hard to get onto that gratitude journal because I feel like, "Oh my gosh, what the heck am I grateful for today?" I stubbed my toe. I couldn't make my bed, all this stuff. But then I'm like, "Okay, I'm grateful for my health. I'm grateful for my bed. I'm grateful for my coffee." Just breaking it down to keeping it simple. And sometimes we have to get back to the basics in order to really tune in to that gratitude.

Laurie Watter:

Right. And I would also say, and I could see ... my boss Noah is on. So I want to ... He's the best.

Alexandra Daras:

Hi.

Laurie Watter:

But I also want to say, I think when we do go off track and I know that our individual support systems are broader than the ones that we share, but we share an amazing support system. And people that you can reach out to when things are good, people that you can reach out to when things are not so good when you feel like you're struggling and you can't find gratitude, to have a network of people that can be there for you and remind you of where you've come and how far you've gone, just to help us get back onto the track and stay in our own lane.

Alexandra Daras:

Totally. That's huge-

Laurie Watter:

I'm always here and now.

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah. It's so important and sometimes you go through those times and you feel alone like nobody gets it, but to have that support system, I know I can call somebody up and be like, "Look, I am totally having a horrible day. I don't know what to do." And they'll just level it and then put things into perspective and perspective, I love that word and I love that practice because putting things into perspective is so, so important. One thing that you think may be out of control when you talk to your support group, it goes, and then you're just like, okay. And that's huge.

Laurie Watter:

Yeah. I'm super, super, super grateful for the people in my life that have really walked this journey with me. I'm actually doing a family support group now for All Points North Lodge. Do it on Monday evenings. We have people that come, that have somebody in our program. We have people that no longer have somebody in the program, but continue to reach out for the support that they need and want, which is really wonderful.

Alexandra Daras:

Yeah. That's awesome.

Laurie Watter:

Because there's no stop to any of this. This is really just a continuous process and we are growing and changing and are shaped by our experiences.

Alexandra Daras:

It's so true. Just like you said, you always have to do this. You have to keep the cleaning of the house, I like to call it, and just tidy up, keep your side of the street clean, and then when you go back, you could give back. And like you said, you wouldn't change any of your stories at all. I wouldn't change any of mine either. I think that all of the things that I went through as a family member, I look at the things and I'm like, "Wow, this is so insane." But then when you meet people in the rooms that have a similar story and you share that, you're giving back and you're helping them and you're giving them hope that you know what? Once you focus on yourself and really work on that work inward, you'll be able to grow outward as well.

Laurie Watter:

And you have such wonderful energy.

Alexandra Daras:

Oh, thank you.

Laurie Watter:

You really bring such a light to this world in so many ways, more things than we're talking about in these 15 minutes. I know that there is so much good that you do. And your family is fabulous, but you are real shining light.

Alexandra Daras:

Thank you so much.

Laurie Watter:

So I'm so happy that you did this with me today. It was so much fun.

Alexandra Daras:

I'm so happy to be on. It was an honor when you asked me and I was so excited. I'm really excited to be here, and I think that it's so important to keep spreading that message and spreading the awareness and just letting everybody know as a family unit that you're not alone, there are so many people that go through this horrible disease and the support groups are there. And like I said, you work your program and it works. You just have to dedicate that time to yourself because you're worth it.

Laurie Watter:

It works. I would say that for people that are out there that are struggling, there is support, you can reach out on our website, there's Al-Anon, there's Families Anonymous, there's support within the programs that you're working. There are programs that are online. Anybody that's struggling and wants to reach out, please contact us through Instagram Live, our website will be on there. And if we can help you get what you need, we'll absolutely do that for you.

Alexandra Daras:

Totally. You know what? I'm here too. I know I'm not in the field, but I would be happy to talk with anybody, shoot me a direct message. It's all about being there for one another and creating that support group and really letting people know that they're not alone.

Laurie Watter:

Thank you for that. You could find her at The Pretty Pink Rooster. So thank you. You're the best.

Alexandra Daras:

All right, thanks, Laurie. Have a great day.

Laurie Watter:

Take care.

Alexandra Daras:

Virtual hug. Thanks, everybody. It was so much fun.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *