Growing up with alcoholism in the family creates a storm many families cannot weather alone.

Join us with the author of Chaos to Clarity, Marci Hopkins, who shares her story from being raised by an alcoholic mother to the chaos and clarity she found in her journey of recovery.

She gives us an honest account as she recalls the effects of childhood abuse, which caused her to battle inner turmoil, fear, loathing, and lack of self-esteem.

Even in the face of personal success, it seemed like she had everything, yet she felt an overwhelming void.

Her journey took a harrowing turn with a DUI, a stark wake-up call to the pivotal moment when she surrendered and found herself in the rooms of AA.

Tune in now to learn how, despite all her struggles, she is now over eight years sober and thriving! Take a listen.

Watch the episode here

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Growing Up With Alcoholism With Marci Hopkins, Author Of “Chaos To Clarity”

Thanks for tuning in. We are so blessed to be guested by Marci Hopkins who is an incredible light in the world and has her own story on multiple levels. She’s written an amazing book called Chaos to Clarity, which I love the title, to begin with. I want to say thank you for writing that book. She is the renowned TV personality and host for Wake Up with Marci. I love that title too because it has to do with a talk show with a heart. At the center of our swirling around this disease, your journey and my journey, the heart really isn’t the center of all this. How do we navigate when we love someone who’s dealing with the throes of addiction? How do we love ourselves in the midst of the chaos of addiction?

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism

You have great expertise in this arena. You are sought after by all the major TV stations. Welcome. My audience is thrilled to have you. I can’t wait to get started.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a blessing to be able to come on, share our stories, try to help others to know that they’re not alone, and give some wisdom that will hopefully help them during this lifelong journey.

If you would, start with the origins of your story, and then we’ll take it from there.

It started when I was very young. My mother had me when she turned nineteen. She was a child in the ’60s, having a little girl. I was an accident. My family rallied together to try to do what they needed to do to raise this new baby in the family. My mother had boyfriends. She did try to marry my father for a year, but that didn’t work. All the while, there was a lot of drinking and drugs going on during that time. I was sent between my grandparents’ house and my mother’s house for most of my younger years.

At six years old, my mother had a boyfriend. He ended up beating me because I got into some mischief, which I shared in detail in my book, Chaos to Clarity. Once that abuse happened, because my grandparents found out about it, I was given a choice to live with my grandparents or my mother. It was an extremely difficult decision at six years old, but I chose to live with my grandparents because of the fear and unease that I felt living with my mother. I remember telling my mother that I was going to stay with my grandparents and wishing that she would beg me to stay with her, and not as that young child feeling that she was choosing a man over me. That was the majority of my younger years.

I lived with my grandparents from 6 to 12. I am thankful that I was there during that time, these very formative years, because I did go to church and learn morals. I was involved in the school and extracurricular activities. At twelve years old, my mother ended up getting married. This is fast-forward. There was a lot in between there. She got married when I was twelve. They had the wedding at my grandparents’ house. That was the first time I drank. I was twelve years old and got buzzed on champagne. I was so excited about everything that was going on, this new life that I thought I was going to have that I get to be with my mother.

The one thing that happened was that I didn’t get in trouble. My mother drank all the time around me. She would give me alcohol at times when I didn’t feel well. My stomach was hurting. I remember at eight years old, she would say, “Here. Have a sip of my margarita. It helps me go to the bathroom.” There was always the drugs or the alcohol that was an answer or a solution to any problem. These are things we learn. As a young person, if our parents do have a drug or alcohol problem, they are putting it onto us. We begin to see that as a way of life, a way of coping, an answer, or a solution.

Once my mother got married, I thought that I was going to have this incredible life, a life that I always wanted with my mom back in my life with this incredible man. What happened was my stepfather began to sexually abuse me, touching me inappropriately. At that time, it was in seventh grade. Everything shifted for me at that moment. He had taken me to a movie. It was the first time he tried to touch me. I had a secret. He was like, “Please don’t tell your mother.”

He sent me on this trip that I’d been wanting to go through with school. He was giving me gifts. He groomed me, which I realize, because he saw the vulnerability in me and my need for love. He gave that to me until it wasn’t appropriate. The gift then started. I really believed that it wouldn’t happen again, but it was. It was happening again. Things were happening in my sleep. I couldn’t prove it at the time, but my intuition knew. I knew in my gut it was happening until I woke up with his hands in between my legs. That’s when I saw that I was not crazy and that it was happening.

During all of the time that this was happening in 7th and 8th grade, I was failing out of school. I was drinking on the weekends. At times, I became a bit promiscuous. I wasn’t having sex or anything, but I really did start to believe that if I gave myself in some sort of sexual way, then that’s how I would get love back. That’s how a boy would like me. All of these things started shifting for me. The most unfortunate part of this is that once I told my mother, she didn’t leave him. This happened several times. I honestly wanted to die because here I was in this situation where I didn’t feel safe and my mother was not protecting me. It was a very hard place to be as a teen.

You weren’t telling your grandparents?

At that time, I didn’t. I kept it to myself. I told a very close friend of mine. We were going to commit suicide together. How sad is that? It was in eighth grade. I remember this young girl who started coming over. She was saying that she had abuse in her house. I was begging for her to move in with me. That was a way I thought that I could be protected and this wouldn’t happen to me anymore. I elaborate a lot more in my story in my book.

Once I got into high school, I was still with my mother and my stepfather. It was interesting though. At the end of 9th going into 10th grade, we had moved again and he wasn’t touching me anymore. I believe that maybe I got too old. That’s the only thing I can think of unless things were happening and I didn’t know. What happened was I was always in a relationship. What I would do is I would leave the house all the time. I don’t remember parts of my high school years in the house with my mother and stepfather. Maybe there were things that were happening and I pushed them down.

All the while, alcohol is what I was doing to cope. On the weekends, I was drinking. I didn’t drink during the week. It was my escape. It was my way of feeling powerful, honestly. After I left high school, I drank every day because what I saw was drinking every day was very normal. I didn’t think anything different. I wasn’t drinking a bottle of wine a day. I wasn’t drinking in the mornings. I wasn’t drinking in the afternoon. I had what people would think is a pretty solid life. I got through college, had a great job, and was rising through the ranks, but all that time, I built so many walls around myself. My mother was also an alcoholic. All this time, she was drinking and partying. I wanted to get away from it.

I’d gotten to a place where when I was younger, and I’ll never forget this one scene, it was after high school and I was trying to make my way through college. I went through a lot of colleges until I finally found one that worked for me. I had all these people around me that were doing drugs. I was going to clubs. I saw myself in the reflection of a huge window and I saw my mother. I knew at that moment I had to make a change. My fear my whole life, even into my 40s, when I was drinking was becoming my mother. It was so terrifying.

I would go through ebbs and flows where my drinking would escalate. If things started going difficult in my life, I would drink more. I was always changing people, places, and things. Things started getting bad for me, thinking that it would make it better. It was hard for me to connect with people. I moved a lot throughout my life.

I never thought that people could love me. I didn’t know what that looked like. I didn’t know what real love looked like, and I didn’t know how to give it. I knew I wanted it. I knew I wanted a really solid relationship, but it was hard because I always get into relationships and things would happen. I’d get unhappy, my drinking would escalate, and then I would step outside of the relationship and find someone else. I could bridge the gap from that person to the next person so that person wouldn’t hurt me. It was always, “I will hurt you before you hurt me.”

Ultimately, what happened was I had a great job. I was living in LA. I’m from Houston, Texas. I moved to Denver with my work and then to LA. I ended up meeting my husband. I was the Director of On-Air Promotions for FX. I got married and had my first child. That was the first time I felt true love for my child. That was when I was like, “Wow.” Also, you’re thinking about how my mother did what she did to me. At that time, my mother was starting to go to rehab because her drinking had gotten so bad. I’m trying to have this new baby but also take care of my mother. I was taking my infant to rehab to try to support my mother through that.

How long ago was that?

That was several years ago. My mother died a few years ago. For the majority of my life, I dealt with her drinking, and then it got really bad. When she was on her own, my husband and I were trying to care for her and help her along. We told her I had to start protecting my family, so I separated from her. I always told her, “If you quit drinking and all, I want you in my life.”

I could not have the utter chaos that she was creating. There was this fear I would have all the time that she was going to die in an automobile accident or whatever. There was constant fear my mother was going to die too. I had my first child and I was trying to support her. She’s going through her divorce because her husband can’t handle it anymore. It was insane. I had no one to lean on, but my mother was always leaning on me and I was a new mother. It was beyond what I could deal with.

We ended up moving to New Jersey. My husband had an opportunity in New Jersey. We were living in California. My mother happened to be living in California also. We told her, “We’re moving to New Jersey. If you get sober, we want you to come live with us.” We moved to New Jersey and I got pregnant again. We have two children and things are good. We were fitting into the community. I’m giving back to the community. I’m raising my children. I’m doing everything I can to not be my mother and not have my children feel abandoned. There was that mommy culture.

Also, for me, it was normal to drink every day. I wasn’t drinking while I was pregnant, but once I had the babies, I started drinking again. At that time, I was drinking every day, but it was at night once I started cooking dinner. I’ll have a glass with dinner. These were several years like that. My mother on the other side was still going through rehabs, halfway houses, and jail. This is what I’m dealing with. I was trying to keep my family stable and keep myself stable, and all the while, my mother was in jail and I was fearful of her dying. I was like, “What’s going to happen next?” I was always feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for her. I know you can relate to that.

Once I hit 40, I decided to get in front of the camera. I’ve always been in media. I was always on television but on the network side. I’m 54. At 40, I decided to get in front of the camera. Some things in life started happening. I was trying to balance raising my children, being at the beck and call of my agent, and booking gigs. I’ve never wanted anyone else to care for my kids. I wanted to be there for them.

My drinking started elevating badly because of the fear that I had and the self-loathing. I had no self-esteem. All of those walls that I had built up. People may have seen me as a very strong person, but on the inside, I was that little girl in fear all the time. It was something about getting in those rooms and feeling judged all the time. It really spiked my insecurities and my self-loathing. I started drinking more. I started using alcohol as a crutch and my liquid courage during that time.

Was your husband aware of the internal turmoil that you were putting yourself through?

I don’t think he understood so much for a long time. We started having problems. We did go to therapy. Thank God because he was able to understand. The therapist was able to explain to him my needs and why I was the way that I was. It was almost like, “I needed you to love me and show me so much attention,” but at the same time, I was putting an arms link. I wanted a hug, but then I was like, “Don’t hug me.”

It’s this schizophrenic thing, which is crazy-making for all parties concerned.

Exactly. I didn’t want to be like my mom. I started waking up in the middle of the night. I was looking up all these different ways to tame my drinking. The idea of never drinking again was terrifying. I couldn’t fathom not drinking. It had been my whole life except for little intervals here and there. I was like, “Maybe hypnosis. Maybe acupuncture.” I was trying to find all these different ways, and all of it kept going back for me to AA.

We were having trouble, my husband and I. He kept saying, “I want you to get healthy.” You can’t force anyone to get sober. If you begin to say, “You are an alcoholic. You need to do something,” you become defensive. Even if you are thinking that about yourself, you will begin to drink at the person. I know you’ve been through this. There’s so much anger.

I finally had gotten to a place where I had to go to events for my kids’ school and I couldn’t go to these without having some wine before. Things were spiraling. I ultimately made the decision to go to AA. I was living in so much shame, fear, guilt, and pain. You’re so fearful when you go into the rooms. It’s so interesting. One, you’re afraid of being judged, but you’re also like, “How did I get here?”

I went for three months and it was great. I went on a vacation sober. It was my first time ever getting sober. I was starting to become curious. I was starting to like myself again. What I started doing was comparing myself to other people in the room. I was like, “I don’t have these crazy stories. I’m still a part of the community. I’m still a good mom. I’m doing X, Y, and Z. I’m not an alcoholic.” Even when I would say, “I’m Marci. I’m an alcoholic,” I still, at that time, didn’t 100%  believe it. You know when you believe it and you’re saying those words. I was more going through the action of it because that’s what they have you do in the beginning.

How long did it take you before you said those words out loud and you knew the truth?

A year. I convinced my husband, “I’m fine. I can do this.” We happened to be going to a Halloween party that night. It was a year because my last day of drinking was October 3rd, and we were going to a Halloween party the year before when I convinced him I was okay. I started slowly drinking. We went to the party and had one glass of wine. I was like, “I can do this.” Slowly, you start bringing people into your life that are drinking more. You never look like you’re doing something out of the norm.

It was when I was going to my gigs or my auditions. Every day, it became, “How am I going to drink at lunch?” My thinking was really starting to change. I had so much shame over this, but I have forgiven myself. For years, I didn’t drink and drive with my kids or myself and I started doing that. You start believing, “You’re never going to get caught. You can do this.” I would have my bottle of wine in my thermos face. It was craziness in the end.

We don’t have to go through all the gory details of that year, but by the end of it, I had gone to a gig and I ended up having my liquid courage. The full story is in my book. I’m fast-forwarding. I ended up getting a DUI. I went to bed still angry because I was always the victim. I hated my husband. With my life, you could look at it and say, “Marci has everything,” but I felt I had nothing except for the love for my children. That was always a constant. The drinking, the slippery slope, and starting to hide drinking, it had gotten to a really bad place. I went to bed that night.

Thankfully, I believe that God has stepped in. I needed a major consequence for me to stop. I recognize that. Somebody called in for erratic driving. I thank God didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t hurt myself. I had so much shame and guilt for that for several years. Even when I say it, I still feel so awful about it. Forgiveness is such a huge part of what we have to do to move on.

The next day, I woke up and thanked the dear Lord for Him stepping in and saying, “It’s time to surrender.” I knew at that moment I needed help. I had to stop with the lies. I had to stop fighting it. I go downstairs and I tell my husband. I sit down on the couch. At that point, I’m sure if I had not admitted that I was an alcoholic and needed help, I would’ve lost everything. I would’ve lost my husband, the kids, the house, everything. I would have lost my life.

I told him that I was an alcoholic and needed help and he embraced me. Honestly, that was the first time that I felt true love. It was like the walls came crashing down. I felt like the weight of the world came off my shoulders. I surrendered. I let it all go. I went into those rooms to AA and I never looked back. I was 100% in. I’m eight and a half years sober.


Thank you.

Are you able to identify that little click that took place for you? For those of us who love somebody or bodies that are dealing with substance abuse disorder, we’re always told, “Wait for them to hit the bottom.” Sometimes, that bottom is death. There’s a curiosity to wonder where that turning point is. Will you finally surrender like you surrendered and say, “I need help. This is bigger than me.”

I wish that I could have done something different for my mother to have that moment. She tried AA so many times. She went through an intensive rehab. She went through jail. She did it all. It is the individual. There’s nothing you can do to help someone find that moment where they’re ready to surrender. There are going to be relapses. There are so many changes that have to take place for an individual to continue on a sobriety journey.

The twelve-step program is a true gift. The reason I say that is because I went through so much therapy, but I was able to tear down those walls and get to the real root of my trauma through the work I did in therapy through those twelve steps. First of all, you have to truly believe you have a problem and that you really want help. You have to find a spiritual path for yourself. You have to believe that something is bigger than you and turn over the wheel of the car. You have to stop trying to be in control of everything. You have to start recognizing your part in things. It’s so important because if you are always blaming, shaming, not forgiving others, and not recognizing your part, you won’t have empathy for the situation. We all have a side to things. You’ve got to recognize that.

The 12-step program is a true gift to tear down those walls and get to the root of your trauma through the work. Share on X

The only control you have of anything is how you respond. It is your actions. Start to get out of yourself. Volunteer. Do things for others. Live in gratitude. Find the things you are grateful for every single day. When you start to live in gratitude, you start to look at life in a different way. What I learned is you can get a gratitude box or a gratitude jar and write something down. Find three things a day. It doesn’t have to be big. How many things do we have in our lives that we can be grateful for? It’s so important you do that.

Remove people, places, and the things that are triggering you. Triggers are huge and real. You have to build your toolbox. There are so many things you can learn. You might think at the beginning of AA, “That sounds corny,” but it’s real. Move a muscle, change a thought. You can’t think of anything more than one thing at a time. If you’re sitting there and thinking about a drink, get up and go do something else. Remove all the alcohol from your house or the things that trigger you in your house. It’s okay to make these changes in your life. It’s okay to be weak because you’re building that strength through the people in the community who help you rebuild this new life together.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Removing the people, places, and things triggering you are huge. Build your toolbox.

It’s a complete redesign. I’m still always struck by how you tell this story. I didn’t drink. I’m on the other side of the equation. Everything that is true for you in your sobriety is true for me as a loved one. I had to relearn all of the things that you’re talking about for myself in order to love myself in the midst of my son’s chaos and love him in the midst of his own chaos. I talk about it through the lens of learning to love deeply with no expectation of how this story ends, goes, or anything along those lines. It is one of the most courageous acts we can step into.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism

It’s so important. I didn’t do this for myself and I wish I had. You have to take care of yourself. If someone in your family has alcohol use disorder or drug addiction, you’ve got to get help for yourself. You’ve got to learn how to love yourself. Understand what that person is going through. It’s not about willpower. It’s not about choice. There is a choice to get sober. There are choices, but an addiction isn’t a disease, so understand what that really is and what that person’s going through. When you are getting sober, you are rewiring your entire brain.

You need to learn how to love yourself. Understand what that person goes through. It's not about willpower. It's not about choice. An addiction is a disease. Share on X

Exactly. I was going to ask you about that.

If you think about it, everything roots back to our feel-good drug dopamine. We get these hits in our brains. It is like, “That drink made me feel good. That video game made me feel good.” You get this hit that it feels good. As we do it more, our bodies cannot handle the constant dopamine hits. Our neurotransmitters have to start rewiring in a different way so the mind and the body can manage. There are so many things that happen in our bodies. We’re filling our bodies with this toxicity, and then our bodies over time become dependent on that drug.

There’s also what is genetic in our families. Both my parents were alcoholics as well as my grandfather, my aunt, and my uncle. When I tell you my family is riddled with addiction. That’s real. My son doesn’t drink, but I have fear for my daughter. She can go without drinking and I don’t drink, but then she drinks too much. There’s that fear of, “Is it being too young or is this a red flag?”

Are these open conversations?

Yes. I talked to her about it and understanding it. Thankfully, she understands. She has to be in a lot of fear about it, but she’s like, “I’m fine. I’m okay.” Drinking, especially at a young age, and if we’re coping with things and such, it is recognizing the behaviors. I never had anyone to step in and say, “This isn’t good. This behavior is not right. You’re blacking out every Saturday night or during the weekends.” My mother was blacking out almost every night like that’s normal. I knew I didn’t want to be that. People go the opposite way. They may see their parents drinking like that and then they decide, “I’ll never drink again.” It was how I had to cope with all my trauma. That’s how I chose to cope.

There are two things I’m thinking about. One is this focus on not becoming your mom. I’m curious as to whether you had a vision, a picture, or a notion about what the opposite looked like other than not becoming her. Where were you headed instead of away from?

Being the best mom I could be and being the best human I could be. It came down to parenting my children. That’s where it really was. I did think that way when I was younger because I wanted a life. I wanted success in my life. I wanted to be something more than dependent on a man and wasting my life. Through a lot of steps, I was able to do that. What it also showed me is that fire I had inside of myself to be something.

Now that I’m sober, God has put me on the journey of helping others. To think that I could start a talk show to help others, tell people’s stories, share hope, and recognize that we are all faced with trauma, whether it’s grief, mental health, addiction, financial, or divorce. There’s trauma in our lives, but how do we get through it? What are the resources available? How do we educate ourselves? What are the tools? That’s what I want to give on my show.

Whether you are somebody next door, a celebrity, a thought leader, an author, or a doctor, I make sure that with every guest I have, you’re going to walk away with steps and action items to be able to move forward in whatever you are faced with. God guided me to write my book. My book is called Chaos to Clarity. The chaos was my life. I created chaos even in the silence. We say we don’t want chaos in our lives, but if that is all we know, that is all we seek.


Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism
Chaos to Clarity: Seeing the Signs and Breaking the Cycles

If I had any quiet in my life or peace, I started creating chaos. That’s what I knew. That’s what I was comfortable with. That is what most do. Let’s say you don’t want it, but if it’s all you know, you seek it. Once I begin to get sober, rewire my brain, and change my thought process or my mental state, which is also through meditation which is so vital in recovery, while all of this is happening that you’re getting well, allow yourself to nap, meditate, and rest. Like anything else, your body is healing. Please give yourself that green light to do that for yourself because I did that a lot.

Once the clarity started for me, that’s when I was able to really know my path in this life. God started planting seeds for me. Seeing the signs and breaking the cycles is seeing the signs that you need help but also seeing the signs from the other side. There are so many beautiful God and angel stories in there. Talk about mind-blowing.

Breaking the cycles is seeing the signs. Share on X

This is also about breaking generational cycles. This is so important because a lot of people will ask me, “How did you forgive your mother for not leaving a man who was abusing you, for not being there for you, and for abandoning you?” Those were all the things that she did, but I had to forgive. The way that I forgave her was by understanding what she went through, whatever her chaos was from her parents, my grandparents, and then the way that my grandparents parented her and how they were parented. This is a generational trickle-down.

You say, “My mother did this and this is what I’m going to do,” but did that work? Do you have your voice? Are you happy? Did it work for you? Is that really the best thing to do for your child? Start thinking about these things because you may be living in a lot of unhappiness because of the way that your parents parented. It’s also a generational thing. Things change generationally. We learn what’s better. It is about taking notice.

This goes back to seeing your part in things, having empathy for others, and having empathy for your children. We put so much on our kids. Society puts so much on our kids. The schools put so much on their kids. Parents are living vicariously through their kids. The stress that they go through and you’re like, “They’re a kid.” We then wonder why they’re looking to vape, drink, experiment, or escape. They have no self-esteem.

Let’s get to it. The root of why we often drink or do other things is because then, we feel more comfortable in a social situation. I know adults that can’t even go into a social situation without drinking. You have to find the power within. You have to find the happiness within and the joy within. It all starts internally. This is what I’ve learned.

You have to find the power within. You have to find the happiness and joy within, and it all starts internally. Share on X

I used to look for everything externally. A man, a job, a house, or whatever it was in my life to bring happiness to validate me. I didn’t know who I was, but now I do. I know my joy. I know my purpose. I live in peace. We all are supposed to have that. I  never feel sorry for myself because I had to go through what I went through to do what I do now.

Are you in that space where you’re able to look at your life’s journey, the challenges that you face, and so on and so forth as gifts that led you to this moment?

100%.  Thank God I was able to get through those challenges. We’re all given challenges in this life. When something happens to me, I can say, “What is the lesson?” It’s not like, “I can’t believe this is happening to me. Pitiful me. God is so bad. The people around me are so bad.” If people around you are bad, maybe make a change. Change the people that are around you. We have the power to create change in our lives and not stay stuck.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism
Alcoholism: You have the power to create change.

What is the lesson? I can say when I get in a fight with somebody or I’m unhappy with a situation, “Is it really that big of a deal? What is that other person thinking? Did they perceive it in a different way? Let’s communicate.” I didn’t know how to communicate. I grew up in a house where everyone blew up, and then you acted like it didn’t happen and moved on.

How do you learn how to communicate? How do you learn to express your feelings? You keep pushing down until you blow up and it becomes utter hell. That’s what I did. I was so reactive. I may still react at times. That stuff comes back and the old Marci comes in, but I can stop it and say, “What are you doing? Let’s talk about this.” There is so much that you learn.

We have such a gift of so many people talking about sobriety, mindset shifts, and what has worked. Manifestation, the law of attraction, vibrational work, and energy work are real. What you believe and what you put out is what you attract. Start listening to people who are famous. They’ll all say it. It is believing in yourself.

What you believe and put out is what you attract. Share on X

You may have been told for so long that you were worth nothing. It’s the narrative or that tape that plays over and over. That might be a reason why you’re drinking. That might be a reason why you’re doing things that are hurting you. You have to start slowly changing these things, and the first thing is making that decision to make the change. You have to change your daily routines. There is so much.

There are so many books out there and so many people out there that are helping.  That’s why I wrote my book. I want to share my story of trauma, the journey through that, the moment where I decided to get help, the journey through recovery, how I became who I am, the success in life, and the happiness and joy. That’s the biggest part of it.

I share action items and what I learned through the twelve-step program. There are so many people out there telling their stories to try to help you. If you are thinking about it, you have a problem and it’s okay. You can make changes. Maybe it’s at a place where it’s a bad habit for you, but start changing that bad habit for yourself so it doesn’t turn into a full-blown addiction.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Start changing that bad habit for yourself.

How did the dance change between you and your husband once you got sober and have been on this path for eight and a half years?

It’s really beautiful. We were in a bad place. We probably both wanted a divorce. What happened was as I was getting help, as I was evolving, and as I was changing, I was able to talk to Ray, my husband, about it. We started evolving, changing, and communicating differently. The other person does have to also change. I will never tell my husband’s side of the story, but I had a lot of pain from the things that he did. We started changing together. That’s what you have to do.

We’ll get into arguments and it will be like, “We’re better than this now. This isn’t who we are anymore.” You put up the walls. You’re always on the defense. These are things that it’s hard to be vulnerable to, but there is a lot of healing in being vulnerable. We found our way through and have come out stronger. We renewed our vows. We did a lot and are doing a lot to build on a stronger foundation and a better life together.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Build on a stronger foundation and a better life together.

Kudos to him and you to be able to build this on the other side. M ary Beth O’Connor who wrote From Junkie to Judge, her husband was with her in the worst of her meth addict days. They are still married. What a journey. Humans are remarkable.

I think about what’s inside of us. I envision all these things working together, our heads, our hearts, and our guts. That stuff is real. What we ingest changes all of these things. It’s powerful. It’s not just what we ingest physically like food, but it’s also what we ingest spiritually. This life can be so beautiful. I didn’t think that for a long time, but I learned it and I’m living it. That’s what I want to give to other people.

We’re coming up against the edge of our time together. What I want to say is this has been so delightful and refreshing. I love your authenticity, genuineness, and willingness to tell the realness of your story and the whole transformation that has taken place in your life. That shift from inside out instead of outside in is the calling of our time in so many ways.

I want to say one thing. When you start telling your story, that’s where the healing begins. You can’t keep it inside of you. I know so many people who will share parts of their story and say, “I’ve never told anyone before.” I’ll say, “This is the start of your healing journey.” I was terrified to tell my story. I was terrified of being judged. When I started sharing, being real, and healing, and people saw this, if there are people who are judging me, they are very far removed from me. The majority of people are grateful for you to share your story because they heal through that. You’re helping someone else, so share.

The majority of people are grateful for you to share your story because they heal through that. You're helping someone else. Share on X

Statistically, 1 out of every 2 families is dealing with some sort of substance abuse disorder. You can look to the right or you could look to the left and one of you is dealing with it. If both of you aren’t dealing with it, you will be.

There’s so much shame. That’s what we were taught. It’s that generational thing. You will die in shame. You heal through communicating and seeking help from others. Find your voice.

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |Alcoholism

Let our audience know how they can get a hold of you, your book, and your show. Let our audience know how they can link up with you because you are worthy of linking up with.

Thank you. Please, you can find me on Facebook @WakeUpWithMarci. You can go on Instagram @Wake_Up_With_Marci. My account was stolen, so I had to go back in and I have to do all these underscores. My book is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, and Goodreads. Please find that and may it bring you some help. If you want to DM me, please DM me on social media, or you can email me at There’s so much help. It’s okay to be broken. Let’s start moving on your healing journey.

Thank you.

Thank you.

This has been quite an extraordinary conversation. I am so grateful that you’re eight and a half years sober and speaking the truth.

Life is phenomenal. It’s sobriety and my higher power. Thank you for having me on.

This has been a joy.

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About Marci Hopkins

Voices InCourage | Marci Hopkins |AlcoholismI am an award winning host and creator of Wake Up with Marci. A talk show inspiring others through stories of hope, celebrity inspiration, education and resources. A motivational show that tackles impactful issues such as: mental illness; chronic illness; divorce; addiction; trauma; mindset; sexual abuse; beauty; wellness and so much more.