Teresa Rodden of Pink Cloud Talks About A New Path to Sobriety
In this interview, Cindy Hooker talks with Teresa Rodden, of Pink Cloud Coaching, about her revolutionary approach to sobriety. Teresa tells us about how she is helping women have fulfilling lives, and liberating them from the misuse of alcohol.
Teresa Rodden’s Story
In 2010, with seven years of struggle-free sobriety, Teresa knew that the traditional path of getting and living sober was not helping enough people. She auditioned for the Oprah Winfrey Network to create a show traveling the country to learn and share how others got and lived in recovery without twelve steps and alcoholics anonymous. Oprah didn’t call, but that didn’t stop her.
Teresa had hopped on her pink cloud and rode out of the rooms of alcoholics anonymous to save her sobriety and knew there had to be something she could do to help others.
In 2012, she founded Pink Cloud Coaching and started promoting, advocating, and coaching women to break free from the need to misuse alcohol without identifying as an alcoholic and become inspired to go after life-sober instead.
She is the author of Wholly Sober – How I Stopped Thinking About Drinking and Started Loving My Life and, The Primed Drinker (just to be released).
Thank You Cindy Hooker
A big thank you to Cindy Hooker of Gold Dog Consulting for contributing this amazing video to my little blog. We’re going to be getting more stuff like this from her soon!
You can learn more about Cindy and her work here.
Read the YouTube Transcript
Hi it’s Cindy and I am blogging for faces from the neighborhood. And I’m here at the beautiful home of Theresa Raddon, and we’re snuggled up under cats. It’s a beautiful the October day out there ,and I might take some pictures of her Halloween festivities that are having outside her house when I leave.
But I want to introduce you to Theresa because she is amazing. So, her business is pink cloud coaching. And first of all tell me what is it what is pink cloud coaching and who is Theresa. Oh such a good question.
Oh covered my mic after I put it in my ear you care more. Here so what is pink cloud coaching. Pink Cloud coaching is it’s an alternative or not even an alternative but a progressive approach to help women change their relationship with alcohol. So it’s not about the alcohol – it’s all about the woman taking charge of her life.
Okay all right, so let’s just outline the difference because the only thing I know about is like Alcoholics Anonymous that where that it’s that focus is this is alcohol it’s this monster right versus pink cloud coaching which is just this is about your life.
Yeah she’s right up. Okay so Alcoholics Anonymous it really feeds on the whole premise that you have this disease, and it’s a monster inside of you. And it’s always growing it’s never cured and no matter how long you abstain from it. It’s out to get you right right right.
Okay so that’s that’s the traditional theory that’s that’s don’t the gold standard out there right now. Now when I was in Alcoholics Anonymous, and I was facing three bankruptcies, and I was penniless job homeless- yes it’s a lot yeah – but I was still going to meetings. And like beaming like oh my gosh I cannot believe I’m free I’m free I’m free! And they said oh you’re on a pink cloud – you’re gonna come crashing down. You’re gonna end up getting drunk. You better keep your but coming to meetings.
Cuz this is a pink cloud I know right. And so eventually it’s like um you know what I like this pink cloud thing. And I’m just gonna hop on it. I’m gonna I’m gonna just move out. And, so I went out and I blazed a new trail, and I’ve been sober for over 15 years. Wow!
Yeah. I’ve never struggled ever struggled well you know that’s like modern positive psychology talks about if we feel good those are the things that you’re supposed to go towards right not away. From so while I was you know when I was newly sober I was facing all these really mountains of challenges. And but I really saw it is that I was free right.
I have my sobriety. I have never been sober my entire life as an adult from the age of 12 years old. So it’s sobriety twelve years old is when I started misusing alcohol to numb out the pain.
Oh yeah so when I got sober. Has a book she writes about oh yeah wholly sober when I when I got sober I decided to go after life instead of managing my disease or managing my addiction instead of trying to abstain which I do and have.
For over fifteen years my focus has been on setting goals and going after dreams. And having aspirations not just reminding myself of how all the horrible choices I’ve made. And I have made some different directions.
You know it’s interesting I was at an intuitive speaking workshop all weekend long. And my way in Sunday I was thinking and you can drop the name. If you want to drop the name for the speaking Daniel oh yeah Louise Ross. She’s amazing by the way um.
But uh where was I going with that oh I was on my way in and I was thinking my grandmothers. I felt my grandmothers over my shoulders when I was writing my book. They both misused alcohol horribly one of them actually killed herself in a drunk driving accident racing between bars.
Yeah knock. I’m not. I’m not. I’m laughing kinda because it just sounds so ridiculous right. And yet it yeah yeah, and so that happened when my dad was about nine years old. So I’ve never met her before but I felt her presence when I was writing the wholly sober my book the holy sober.
And and then my other grandma misused alcohol. And she was just miserable she was a cantankerous old woman. And she died very young just like sixty years old. And so I felt them like going yes look at you look at you you’re doing this away. They’re changing this, and you’re helping women break free
And I can get emotional thinking about this. I felt them and my mom who now is in a blissful state of childlike wonder with onset Alzheimer’s. But she’s she’s finally free right yeah. But she didn’t she never knew that freedom being sober right and being whole of mine right right you know.
It’s funny my dad was an alcoholic. And he went to a you know he went that’s how her. He was so bad he went to Hooper house. I mean you know it’s pretty much the end of the place where it’s some of them go. Because that’s all he could afford at the time.
But I have he’s dead. He died from alcoholism. And I have his journals though when he was in treatment. Right and he does talk about it as being a an entity a thing you know inside of you that is actually really even separate from you.
But this thing in there and it’s really hard to read. I can’t. I can’t read it. I can’t look like pick it up and read it. But it’s it’s really tariff stuff. And I wonder if people you know back in our parents and grandparents generations if they would have had other options. You know what’s that well I’ve grown up. I’ve wrote about that.
I actually wrote a blog about that. If what if somebody would have asked my mom, “hey Judy what are you drinking for?” You know – what pain do you feel. And what else would you want if you had a magic wand. What would you create with it right now?
I don’t think mom ever had that space held for her. And so I’m doing my very best to break that break that system. Break that whole glass container that they you have to be this certain way. And that keeps women away from even reaching out.
Right right and you talk about kind of kind of moving on here you talk about. That I don’t have to be like drunk every single night. It could just be somebody who mmm self-medicates just now and then. Is that okay? Am I using a good terminology?
Here’s something I really would be very very clear about. I have been opening my talks recently with my mother. I’ve known my mother to be drunk even when she’s not. Drinking mm-hmm…And my mother and her abstinence has never been sober.
And if we really look at the truth of the words that if you’re going home and you’re drinking down two glasses of wine. That’s it. You’re not getting drunk. You’re not doing anything. But you’re drinking it down because you’re lonely or you’re bored, or you’re mad, or you’re depressed.
You’re misusing alcohol you are drunk. And it doesn’t matter that you’re not falling down intoxicated. You’re drunk with depression. Or, you’re drunk with sadness. Or, you’re drunk with loneliness. I really want people to understand that.
Sobriety is a state of mind. It’s a state of being. And it’s freedom right. So when we start dealing me. Two up. That’s right. It’s the pink cloud. So when we start taking charge of our lives, we can handle the darkness. When it comes to dark clouds – when they roll in – we just hop on. Wwe have our pink cloud post.
Right right. And you’ve gotten some flack. I get lots of laughs. And you look probably here it gets more flat. Oh I have a lot of. There’s a you know the lay person of Alcoholics Anonymous loves to attack me. And says this is the only way. AA is the only way. And if you you’re struggling to quit drinking it’s because you’re in denial. You’re just not ready.
Yeah. You’re you know you have this disease. And then if that’s true. Please don’t believe. Don’t buy into that. It might be true. I’m not going to tell you yes or no. But it’s not absolute, and everyone’s an individual. This is right.
It’s just like coaching you. You meet the client where they’re at. Aand you help them where they’re at. And if it works for your clients, then it is just say it’s wrong right. It’s nothing. It’s not – it’s not right. Right. And the thing is is I’m not. I’m not. I’m not saying that I am cheering anybody or treating anybody. I’m not diagnosing anybody. But what I’m doing is I’m facilitating an opportunity for you to explore an experiment to see what’s going on inside.
And if we can use it up a bit to where you don’t need that alcohol. So you can take it or leave it. Right. And enjoy the experience of life. That’s right. Because we only have one. Right that we know of that. We remember unless you’re a cat.
Okay. So I have some questions here. At what point did you say I want to help other women do this okay?
So there’s there’s a couple of different answers to that. Because from the moment I got sober, I wanted to help women. And I thought women don’t want to openly come out and ask for help around alcohol. They don’t. Yeah there’s something like, I don’t know what is. That it’s just take my. They don’t want to be put in a box.
And say oh I know you you’re an alcoholic you sit over here you fit nicely in here. This was what you do. And we’re done right. All right. Because they’re individuals. And they may not be ready to give up their wine.
That’s true right yeah. So and that’s okay. And we should have that opportunity for them to explore and get curious about it. And what does it mean?
Okay. So I started as a health coach actually health counselor at La weight-loss. It’s in well I think I was six months sober. And I really thought that if I could help women with their weight loss, that I could work with them and help them see how amazing life could be. Right. And that that and that would be a way into it.
Well I quickly learned how diets are frustrating. Not only for me but for them. And that’s it. It’s really misdirected. So then in 2007 – 2008, I decided to go get my life coaching credentials. And thought that maybe I could be a better coach. And I still hated health coaching and the weight loss coaching. And so I started I tried with life recovery coaching
So, I’ve been wanting to help. I’ve been coaching people since I got sober. But in 2012 was when I’m like I’m done going by at playing by everybody else’s rules. I’m done trying to you know not make any waves. We’re going to make a splash and piss a lot of people, but we’re going to change this moving forward.
Yeah I guess. Yeah. Well okay. So men are gonna watch this, and they’re gonna go well why not me. Why can’t I do that, and they can. And they really can. They can pick up the book. A lot of men have reached out when they’ve read wholly sober and said thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I have one man one gentleman who reached out to me. And he said I wish I would have had your influence because I could have helped somebody who ended up not making it. Because I just fell back on the traditional AAA. And had I had your influence that I had. Had I already read your book and been exposed to your Facebook page and stuff, I could have helped him. I could I had a better chance of helping out.
Of course we never have that total control. So there are men that are still influenced by my work. But my message is directed towards the woman right. But you have to understand this is my work is for my mom. I think of her spending you know 70 years of her life. And she’s never had the freedom of sobriety.
I want every woman to walk through this planet chest open, head held high. And not accepting anything less than what they deserve and what they want right. I hear that from you yeah.
Yeah you can feel that energy. Okay so, you’re a pioneer. I am you are you’re also a leader A leader and a pint and I think kind of pioneers are leaders in a way. So how does that change your life?
Well if you ask my mom, she didn’t want to come live with me this time. Because she said I was bossy sure to story. When she was in her medicated state of dementia, she’s like she’s too bossy. But it really being a pioneer, being leader, has really made me understand that if I don’t, if something doesn’t fit, if it’s not working for me, then I have the choice to change it. And if I can’t change it then walk away from it . Right.
It’s not that important right or accept it. And change the perception of it. That’s how leadership is is. And I get this is my favorite. I get to lift people up – right yeah – and help them shine. And love them and support them and so that you know you just can’t accept I guess.
To answer your question how is it changed my life is that I can’t just get by with status quo. Mm-hmm. How long looks like average how long do people like work with you? Women work with you an average probably about six months. Actually I have clients that I started working with back in 2012-2013. And they’ll go book a session once a year right just for a tune-up right. But I’m not interested in creating a codependent relationship.
So my flagship program is only 28 days long in and out. Yeah and now it’s like I would I want to equip you with the wisdom and the tools to help support you. So you can live your life. Right. I don’t want you being having to rely on me right. Right now there are some that still want to do a weekly follow-up for that accountability, and that’s fine. But then that’s also – that it’s created in a way to where they can use their sessions as they need.
I’m not their babysitter. I’m not somebody’s gonna say if you don’t do this you’re gonna break. It’s like you know when you’re in trouble, and so you need to make that decision you’re in charge of your life. Right right.
Yeah. You’re the boss. Right. How does what you do you just talked about lifting them up, so how does what you do elevate women? And I’m thinking about this like globally like with the whole you know meet – with people calling women names. People not believing everything how do you think this contributes?
Oh now you’ve laser massively as I don’t you know. I’m creating a sober revolution that we are really taking charge of our lives. That we’re not accepting that you have the sickness, you’re helpless, you’re hopeless, you’re powerless, which is right in the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
And they did some some of them will twist that. And say oh well they’re saying you’re powerless over that whatever. Anyways right you’re not powerless at all. Right. So what this does is this really informs the woman of how she’s much control she really has in her life. Right right. I get to choose who I am, and how I show up in this world.
I get to choose how I want to live and what I do right those are my choices. That I’m empowered with choice. Yeah. So how does that not tell like yeah how does it not elevate when we get to choose we’re not being stuffed in a corner, or put in a box or a stereotype, or stereotype. We’re not labeled. You’re not an alcoholic you’re a woman. How me roar.
Yeah. You what I’ve looked at dissected the words on that. I’m like God oh hell yeah I am woman. Oh yeah. And you said okay. So this is my last question because I think we should probably wrap it up here. Police is gonna have to. You said recently you help women go after life. So what does it mean and how have you gone up after life? I mean you’ve been talking about it talk to me a little bit about you know in your personal life. How is this helped you in your personal life?
How have I gone after my life okay? So I’m just gonna give a quick yeah blow by blow. When I first got sober I went after being a health coach and I made eight dollars and 35 cents an hour plus Commission okay. But not a lot of Commission. You get Commission at bars when you sell over ten bars.
Alright well that’s this was their makeup. And they did go bankrupt back away. So so so then I went back to my old corporate world because of the money. And I realized I can’t work for money – it will kill me. I will I will get drunk again because I’m not because my values are not in alignment here. And because I’m seeing them do some shady things and I know where that leads.
And so I ended up going into business for myself through network marketing. Which I worked my tail off and never made enough money to really major bills. So and then the and then I went after it I just kept everything you know. I kept following those those little bread crumbs. Those little what else what what about this do I like and so and then I grabbed that.
And I’d move forward into something else. And then I landed in the pink clouds. And I when I worked through all the fear because there’s a lot of fear. Because who wants to take on an establishment. Yeah a major establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous and the whole recovery system. that’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
Now who wants to take that on. I’m not taking them on but I’m trying to do is to just really inject some hope right. Having other possibilities to explore. Right. Wo well and that’s that whole theory like of abundance right like there’s never just one way to peel an apple.
Well please tell them that . Yeah. Going after life. I mean I just never settled. I always have goals dreams and aspirations that I’m moving towards. And if I don’t what happens is I get stagnant. And what happens in stagnant water that’s where the mold and the pests and and the fungus. Did you do think time huh the pest for us on my video the mold in the past. And the fungus grows an infection oxygen in the water.
So what do I do I keep moving. No house here. So that’s going after life is really going after it. Making the most of it, and say oh what do I get to do today. Right right.
All right. So you have onebook on the Shelf another one coming? Prime drinker. My editors promising it any minute now. Brian drinker and it’ll be on Amazon. It’ll be on Amazon. And so what’s next?
After that I just announced today that I have a YouTube channel pink cloud coaching. And I am going to be releasing but do I call it what I call it. What I call it it’s a series of videos on sober possibilities. So what good sober look like for you. What is it mommy no. And I’m taking information from my journals that I’ve had since I’ve been sober. And dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens. And I’m also taking information from my family members who’ve gotten sober since. And from my clients.
So I’ll be able to share that information so women can go oh I never thought about sober like that. Yeah yeah. And for those of you Portland, Theresa is accessible here she does speaking gigs.
And how can they connect with you? Just go to pinkcloudcoaching.com and all my contact information was underneath the contact label tag tab tab whatever you call it.
Yeah and yes absolutely I would love to present. This is not about recovery , it’s not about addiction. It’s not about alcoholism. It’s really about learning how to go after life sober minded which is very key. And she’s so much fun to have.[Laughter]