My name is Tori and I’m a recovering addict.
I’m a compulsive over-drinker, over-eater and over-doer. I hit my bottom at age 31. At the time I was the co-owner of a gorgeous wearable art gallery in St. Louis. I thought I had it all: the big career, the fancy clothes, lots of friends, plenty of press and attention and so on. But no matter how exciting my life looked on the outside, on the inside I was emotionally, spiritually and even financially bankrupt. I was more concerned with my appearance of having it all together than actually knowing myself – let alone loving myself. I believed if I met the right guy, had the perfect body, and projected just the right image, then I would be happy. I was searching for love, peace, happiness and serenity outside of myself. I’d been drinking alcoholically for over ten years in the hopes of escaping the choices I made as a result of my debilitating codependency. In the throws of my addiction, I was raped, beaten and brutally humiliated by the men I chose to be with. I remember believing my soul was dying and that there had to be more.
I worked down the hall from a man named Lee that I used to drink with on a regular basis. It was great drinking buddy because he always drank more than me so I could easily convince myself that I was “not that bad” when I was around him. Then one day, he just stopped going to the clubs and the bars. I was very concerned about him, (because he wasn’t drinking himself into a stupor anymore…) and he told me he’d decided to get sober. I really just saw this as a bummer for me, because as an active alcoholic, everything was all about me. Then one night about six months later, the guy I was with decided he did not like what I was saying and he dragged me into the alley behind the bar, threw me against a wall and held my windpipe closed with his hand. Having been in many abusive relationships, I had learned not to fight back if I wanted to survive. I was too drunk to fight back anyway. But in those moments when I thought I was going to die, I had a thought: “Um, God, I could use some help.” Suddenly, a stranger came around the corner and yelled “Let her go; I’ve called the police.” I was relieved when he let me go, but a fire began to burn in me that demanded “There has to be more to life than this!”
I called my old drinking buddy, Lee, and he encouraged me to get into Al-Anon, which I did. I used that platform to complain about all that had happened “to me.” But I could only do that for so long before it became clear that I was the source of my misery. I fought the truth for a long time. But on January 2, 1993, I took my last drink. Since that day, I have been on an insatiable inward journey to know and love myself.
Without question, my sobriety and spiritual practice has become the most important part of my life. Ironically, I could have never dreamed up a life this good. I am very clear that I would not have my career, health, love, relationships, happiness, and success without my sobriety and my spiritual work.
I have always been a seeker, but once I was on the right path of self-love, I became dedicated to truly understand the choices I made and the results I experienced. I know all too well the pain of the untreated codependent and addict. When we get the help we need, our lives take a new shape.
I began working with others and I began making a difference. I studied, read, took classes, workshops, went on retreats… anything to become more aware, more connected to my own truth. I’ve always been aware of my intuitive nature having been visited by an angel when I was about 4 years old. Talking to “dead people,” (which has always confused me because there is no such thing as an actual death) is as normal to me as breathing. Even in the depths of my disease when I was trying to drown out the voices and awarenesses, they were there keeping me safe from myself. So, when someone approached me about working with her as her coach, my first thought was from my ego: “I don’t have the qualifications to help her.” But the truth is, I had everything within me to help her find her truth. Since that day, I’ve helped thousands of people to find true, lasting love for themselves and in so doing, their lives change in extraordinary, miraculous ways.
As my work grew, I began to implement the wisdom I had gained into a format that anyone can utilize. I call this method The Whole-Life Transformation System©. My work as a coach, retreat leader and coach trainer reflects my commitment to guide people through their emotional and spiritual bottoms and back to the truth of who they are: Powerful, brilliant, spiritual beings. This is my Life’s Purpose; this is why I went through the things I went through, so that I can do this work. Had I known that going in what was ahead of me, I would have said a resounding NO!!! But the wisdom of hindsight shows me how each choice, each moment of pain, shame, fear and desperation led me to this life. And for this, I am so grateful.