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Captain Sandy Opens Up About Former Addiction: “I Should Have Been Dead 10 Times Over”
The Below Deck Mediterranean captain looks back on the difficult period in her life in her new book, Be the Calm or Be the Storm.
Captain Sandy Yawn is sharing her story in the hope that it helps others.
Much of that story is told in her new book, Be the Calm or Be the Storm, including how she had to hit the “rock bottom” of addiction before seeking help. “Someone’s keeping me alive for a reason,” Captain Sandy told People on January 10. “I should have been dead 10 times over with the lifestyle I led.”
Thankfully, she’s now more than 34 years sober. Expanding on her motivation to write the book in the first place, Captain Sandy continued, “I wanted to show people that you can change. There is hope, and if you are in the art of self leadership, anything is possible.”
Those who aren’t struggling with their own addiction issues can still relate to Be the Calm or Be the Storm too. In fact, Captain Sandy wants a wide variety of readers to engage with the book — especially if they’re in a position of power. As she put it, “My goal for the details of my past struggle is to show people, like CEOs of companies, that if you invest and actually help someone, the return on investment is tenfold because you are helping them change.”
It’s safe to say that Captain Sandy herself has certainly helped many people change throughout her Below Deck Mediterranean tenure. She opened up about her struggle with alcohol abuse during Season 4 of the show after she became concerned with Travis Michalzik’s drinking. “The only place I’m coming from is compassion because I’ve been there. It’s addiction,” she told Travis at the time. “Sometimes I just wish I could have a glass of wine, but it’s like I can’t stop with one. I would have the whole bottle, then another one, then another one. It got me nowhere. Or, sometimes, incarcerated.”
“Alcoholism runs in my family. When I add alcohol, I cannot predict my behavior,” Captain Sandy continued. “As a result, I would get in a car and drink and drive. I was always in the hospital. I woke up one day and said, ‘I want it different.’”
That, and “someone had a conversation with me the way I did with Travis,” Captain Sandy said, “and it changed my life.”
Watch Below Deck Mediterranean on Peacock and the Bravo app.
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