Candice sits down with grad-school friend, nonprofit director, and addictions specialist, Niles Comer. Niles shares his personal story of trauma and loss, and opens up about his lifelong journey of addiction recovery. He describes how he has learned to 'live from his scars rather than his wounds’ and shares why transparency is so critical to sobriety. Niles shares the statistical realities of addiction rates in a post-pandemic world; then together, they discuss the essential, and often complex, interplay between inner authority and community, agreeing that they are equally essential to the path of healing. Candice unpacks how her early years of personal empowerment crossed over into spiritual bypassing, and how she learned (often the hard way) the fundamental difference between positive psychology and toxic positivity. Niles chimes in as they discuss how the industries of self-help and wellness very often leave people feeling less equipped and more isolated than ever.  This episode contains some intimate shares [trigger warning for abuse survivors] and also lots and lots of shared laughter. It's a full-spectrum experience & a must-hear for anyone who is striving to embrace the fullness (and messiness) of their humanity.

Niles Comer has spent his life working for and alongside those at the margins of society – the addicted, the homeless, the disenfranchised. His professional experiences include CEO, nonprofit director, addictions counselor, HIV/AIDS case manager, recovery center manager, trainer/educator, community development specialist, and social entrepreneur. Niles has over 30 years of personal and professional experience with addiction and recovery, mental health, trauma, homelessness, spiritual development, community renewal, and the impacts of poverty. He is currently the Director of Roanoke Valley Collective Response, a regional collaborative of 200 agencies responding to the ongoing rise of addiction rates in Southwestern Virginia whose mission is “to build, sustain, and support communities by responding to addiction and promoting recovery and wellness.” 

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The stories and opinions shared in this episode are based on personal experience and are not intended to malign any individual, group, or organization.

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