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"Of course it’s one day at a time," Captain Sandy said via email of what it means to be nearing this accomplishment to The Daily Dish. "And it’s also contingent on my own maintenance – if I am not fit mentally, physically, and spiritually then it means nothing."
A lot of hard work has gone into maintaining that sobriety for more than three decades, a process that Captain Sandy has been open about on Below Deck Med and social media. For instance, she shared on Twitter earlier this month that she was attending an AA meeting that day. "It is so important to feed your soul and stay strong!" Captain Sandy added in the August 5 tweet.
"The fact that I have been able to stay clean one day at a time for 33 years is because I keep doing the work and showing up for my life, which feels incredible," Captain Sandy told The Daily Dish. "It’s such an accomplishment to look back on my life and see how I used to be and where I am today. It’s a miracle."
One of the things that keeps Captain Sandy motivated is the desire "to help and teach others," she said. She recently did just that, encouraging her social media followers to take part in Dry July and refrain from drinking alcohol for all 31 days of the month this summer. "As more people are out enjoying summer fun, we want to promote #SafetyFirst while on the water and land. #StayHydrated with Non-Alcoholic drinks," Captain Sandy kicked off the initiative on Twitter on July 1. "As I always say, #SoberIsSexy!"
Captain Sandy told The Daily Dish that she started the social media campaign because "so many people desperately need hope." "Especially during the pandemic, many people have turned to alcohol and drugs, and it’s heartbreaking to see. I have a gift that I have to share with others. That’s how I keep my gift, by giving it away and sharing with others," she shared. "This platform has been given to me, so why not use it to give people hope and encourage them?"
She also noted that she wants to send "hope and love" to the many who have reached out to her about their own experiences. "I have received thousands of messages from people who said they have stopped drinking or have been sober the past few years," Captain Sandy said. "Some of them thanking me and some asking me for help, so I direct them to the right resources."
Captain Sandy provides inspiration to all through her social media, especially during Dry July, showing her followers that you don't need alcohol to have fun on Independence Day or to make "moments [and] memories with beloved family," just as she did last month.
Emphasizing the importance of self-care, Captain Sandy encouraged her followers to "share what you are doing for a better you." She also noted her passion for boats and bikes and how "I couldn't do what I do without my sobriety. I work at it every day," along with a throwback photo of herself on a motorcycle.
Captain Sandy posted other motivational messages throughout the month, sharing: "Any day is a good day to start making changes for a better you"; "All of our journeys are unique! Life isn't one size fits all"; and "Sobriety is work. Stay strong."
She ended the month by looking ahead to celebrating one more year of sobriety. "Will be celebrating 33 [years] of my sobriety soon. Life is so much better!" Captain Sandy tweeted. "Hope this challenge helped get you started on your commitment to recovery. #Sober isn't boring!"
Captain Sandy actually has multiple reasons to celebrate this month. Last week, she shared on Twitter, "I had [kidney cancer] and my [doctor Dr. Frank Martinis] gave me the all clear yesterday. Another year #THANKGOD #cancerfree."
Captain Sandy previously opened up to Women's Health in 2017 that a few years before she joined the Below Deck Med crew, she was hospitalized following a motorcycle accident. While recovering in the hospital, a kidney scan found what doctors said could be a malignant tumor. Captain Sandy later had the tumor removed, which was found to be stage II kidney cancer.
She now has kidney scans every year to make sure there are no signs of cancer, the latest of which was performed by Dr. Martinis, who has appeared as a charter guest on Below Deck Med and Below Deck Sailing Yacht.
Captain Sandy followed up this news about her health by showing her gratitude for all of the kind messages of support she received from followers. "Thank you for all the positive vibes," she tweeted on August 11.
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