Caregivers in Recovery

LifeRing Caregivers Meeting image -- Elderly hand held by young hand

LifeRing Supports Those Who Support Others!

LifeRing is proud to introduce our newest focus meeting for Caregivers in Recovery on Saturday mornings at 7:00am Pacific.

    Caregivers in Recovery
    Saturdays at 7:00am Pacific
    Zoom Meeting ID: 831 9115 7163, Passcode: lifering

Following is a brief interview with Caregivers in Recovery convenor Shelly W.



Tell us a little about yourself
I am a pianist, vocalist and choral director by trade who is currently retired from teaching in the IBO school system but work steadily as a retired “guest support” at a local school. Gets me out and about and I LOVE just dealing with staff and children – no report cards, meetings (UGH!), homework to grade, lesson plans, parents- I did all of that for 30 years and am SO done!

I lived overseas in the Caribbean for 12 years after retiring and worked as a beach attendant (renting chairs, umbrellas and water toys to cruise ship passengers), worked in Hospitality (manager for a hotel/restaurant/bar/boutique on the beach) and was the choral director for the local community college prior
to finally returning to my roots and becoming a full time teacher for an IBO school (International Baccalaureate Organization) while continuing with the College.


The goal I have for this meeting is to help those of us who are caregivers remain in active recovery (and sober)
while doing one of the most difficult jobs there is: caring for loved ones ...


Being on a Caribbean Island where the rum flows like water didn’t help in my sobriety efforts at all! When in Rome… . I was an extremely heavy drinker and even though I didn’t think it affected my professional life (although in hindsight, I know it affected my mental capacity!), it sure affected my marriage and life in general!

Went through Hurricane Irma September 6, 2017 (one of the strongest hurricanes in Atlantic history), lost everything, saw my husband fly out the door 3 times (he was holding on to the door handle with a rope to try and keep the hurricane out – not too smart!) and was evacuated by the US military 2 weeks later. Returned on-island in December to help rebuild it and during this time, my husband received his US Spousal Visa so we moved back to the US in July, 2018 where we moved in with my elderly mother to help assist her. Enough about me!

In summer of 2022, I contacted Kaiser Permanente after just having enough of the drinking lifestyle and in talking with a therapist, we discussed that I may have not been ready for total abstinence but “Harm Reduction” may be the way to go (totally my decision, she, in speaking with her later, thought this wasn’t the best idea but…) . I had never heard of that! I tried it and after 3 days, ended up in the Emergency room. In my addictive mind, I thought “Well, Harm Reduction, that means I CAN drink, right?” and BOY did I drink!! It was my Emergency Room experience that was my final step towards true abstinence.


How long have you been with LifeRing?
I’ve been an active member of LifeRing since September 2022 and I’ve been drug-free and sober since September 25, 2022.

I found out about LifeRing by researching online as I wasn’t interested in any traditional 12-step programs. Been there—done that. Had an opiate addiction in early 1990s and AA was the only thing available – even though it slowed my use, I didn’t jibe with that!!


What is the focus of your new focus meeting?
I am calling my meeting Caregivers in Recovery because there is a tremendous need out there for people who need an empathetic ear to hear their voice. In my personal experience (5 years now), there is a tremendous amount of guilt in the frustration I can feel with caregiving. I wouldn’t change my position for anything but the complex emotions can be overwhelming and to those who haven’t been a caregiver, they may be very sympathetic but don’t really understand what we go through. Sort of like recovery, yes?

The goal I have for this meeting is to help those of us who are caregivers remain in active recovery (and sober) while doing one of the most difficult jobs there is: caring for loved ones who are elderly, mentally disabled, physically disabled, dying, any caregiving really. Sharing each other’s stories can give hope and tools for our everyday life. I hope we will also be able to incorporate laughter at some of the absurdities of caregiving! This meeting will be mostly geared towards those of us who are dealing with family members, i.e. elderly parents but all are welcome.


Join Shelly for
Caregivers in Recovery
Saturdays at 7:00am Pacific
Zoom Meeting ID: 831 9115 7163, Passcode: lifering


Please help people like Shelly overcome their substance use challenges with your one-time or sustaining donations. Thank you!



  1. Elaine M. on August 10, 2023 at 9:59 am

    This meeting comes at a perfect time. I have had some days where caring for my 97 year old mom has been lonely and emotionality draining. She’s relatively healthy so most days are OK, but I can feel that I need a more balanced life and more self-care.

    You’re right, it’s a lot like recovery, people on the outside don’t quite get it.

    See you Saturday!

    • Shelly W. Convenor on August 15, 2023 at 8:50 am

      I’m looking forward to meeting you Elaine! Although we have only had 2 meetings thus far, everyone involved has shared what a wonderful venue this meeting is for those of us who are in the trenches on a daily basis. See you Saturday!

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