I wake up early before many of the residents of my small northern California community stir from slumber.
Founder of Colusa County Recovery with Zipper
My mind is already focused on the day ahead, on the people who rely on the digital recovery-support platform I founded in 2020 in Colusa County. It’s not about me. It’s about them. The ones battling addiction, the ones who have embraced a new way of living. The ones who need a lifeline.
I log in and immerse myself in the virtual realm of recovery. I read messages from people who are struggling, from people who are finding hope. I offer support, I share my own experiences.
I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. I’ve been there myself.
I remember the darkness, the despair, the feeling of being lost and alone. I remember the cravings, the relapses, the shame.
But I also remember the moment I decided to change. The moment I realized that I didn’t have to live this way anymore. The moment I asked for help.
It wasn’t easy. There were setbacks and challenges along the way. But I never gave up.
And now, I’m here to help others find their way out of the darkness. I know that recovery is possible. I know that there is hope.
I am not a miracle worker. I can’t make people change. But I can offer them support, guidance, resources, and a listening ear. I can be a beacon of hope in the darkness.
On Tuesdays, I drive to the Day Reporting Center in Colusa. There, I meet with a group of people on probation who are also in recovery. We talk about our challenges, our triumphs, our fears. We support each other.
I see the hope in their eyes. I see the determination in their hearts. I know they can make it. I know they can overcome addiction.
I am not a hero. I am just someone who cares. Someone who wants to make a difference.
My work is not glamorous. It is not always easy. But it is rewarding. My little online recovery-baby has grown, and now supports over 6,000 sweet souls on their recovery journey, and more are joining our ranks daily. Every day, I see lives changed. Every day, I see people find hope. That is why I do what I do.
I am Susan Wagenaar. A sober chick with a white cat, and this is my story.
But my story is not just my own. It is the story of everyone who has ever struggled with addiction.
It is the story of everyone who has ever found hope.
It is the story of recovery.