From growing up in small-town Iowa to becoming a military police officer Army Reservist, Holly Paulsen has seen and experienced much in her life. It wasn’t until she woke up still drunk after a night of drinking, that she decided to make changes in her life. Today, she is living her best life and helping other veterans get the help and resources they deserve.
In this podcast, Holly talks about:
- Following in her brother’s footsteps and joining the Army at age 17
- The military being its own world
- The peer pressure of being old enough to serve is old enough to drink
- Being deployed in Afghanistan when she turned 21
- Attributing early addictive behaviors to undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and later to numb the pain from injuries sustained in the military
- The military saying, “Drink About It, Don’t Think About It”
- A friend planting the seed of sobriety
- April 1st is not a joke
- Being supportive by going with a friend to SMART meetings
- Years later, making the choice to attend SMART meetings and finding the Veterans & First Responders inaugural meeting
- How SMART fits into her life and co-facilitating meetings
- Telling others don’t struggle alone; ask for help
- U.S. Army Fort Leonard Wood
- SMART Recovery for Veterans & First Responders
- Veterans Crisis Line
- Holly Paulsen’s Life Beyond Addiction Video
- Becoming a SMART Facilitator
- Mike Hooper’s Podcast
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- SMART Family & Friends
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