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Karen VanDenBerg

About Karen VanDenBerg

Just to be forthcoming, I’m writing my own bio. I think most people do, but I’m writing in first person (it just feels more personal). In general, my bio is fairly unimpressive with a serious lack of formal credentials, but the evolution of Karen continues!

The most recent leg of this earthly journey began in 2012 (in Connecticut). I lost my job of 31 years in February, had my knees replaced in March, went to yet ANOTHER detox in April, took a road trip from Connecticut to my home state of California in June, and landed at New Creation Treatment for 90 days in August—in Colton, California. 2012 was a big and life-altering year.

With some transferable skills, a ton of faith, and no experience with publishing whatsoever, I was inspired to start a Recovery Magazine in 2013 while attending school to become a drug/alcohol counselor. I finished school and graduated with honors which is where my formal training in the field of recovery stops (so far).

My real credibility is no different than anyone else’s who struggles with addiction. I have struggled with food, work, relationships, spending, internet, and self-centeredness—it was alcohol that finally kicked my butt!

While 2012 was a transformative year, I first walked into the rooms as an overeater in 1993. I walked out in 1994. Psychotherapy helped a lot in the 90’s, and yet I found myself back in the rooms as an alcoholic in 2004 (after my 400 pound self underwent weight-loss surgery). Still unwilling to admit defeat, that leg of the journey only lasted 9 months. Between 2005 and 2012 I researched rehabs, bars, detoxes, liquor stores, and emergency rooms extensively. For me, the winning ticket has been acceptance.

I’m also the mom of an addict/alcoholic who was homeless for nearly a year before finding the willingness to reach out for a power greater than himself. I know first-hand how heart wrenching it is to watch a loved one struggle. It’s comforting to know that every person on the planet is connected to a Higher Power—and I’m not IT. Phew!

The “transferable skills” I acquired in the corporate world include computer proficiency, project management, communication skills, win-win negotiation skills and a solid work ethic (not to mention proficiency in manipulation, sneakiness, and fake-it-til-you-make-it self-promotion). I learned how to learn fast and ask the right questions. Outside of work I was a single mom of two, cub-scout mom, girl-scout mom and company party planner and sometimes company party “crasher.”

At 56 years young, I still want a tattoo of Gumby emerging from a little green blob of clay. It symbolizes my outlook on life… flexible, good-hearted, a little gullible, and still emerging into whatever I’m supposed to be!