Fiona McCosh – Sober & Sexy MD
Fiona McCosh – Sober & Sexy MD
Irish born photographer Fiona McCosh is the brainchild behind the Sober & Sexy brand. Now in it’s third year, she aims to build on the last calendars successes to continue spreading a message of hope, that recovery is possible and even sexy sometimes!
Here is Fiona in her own words.
My name is Fiona and I’m an addict in long term recovery. My clean date is 19th September 2011.
After coming here from London for rehab, I decided to make Cape Town my new home, a fresh start.
Growing up I always felt different. I was an isolator and didn’t fit in. When I first got drunk I gave myself alcoholic poisoning, the writing was already on the wall. As the years progressed, so did my substance abuse. Life passed me by, friends drifted away and got on with their lives. I was lost, scared and felt incapable of living life on life’s terms.
I convinced myself I was self medicating because of depression. I thought drugs were the solution, but they ended up being the problem. I flitted from job to job, never being able to hold down a career. Relationships were tainted with resentments and blame. I pushed loved ones out of my life and I eventually ended up alone. Towards the end I only left the house to get more of what ever poison I could get my hands on. When I hit rock bottom, I could barely go a couple of hours without using, going into withdrawal if I didn’t get my fix. I was trapped in a living hell and I couldn’t see a way out.
What or how much I took is irrelevant. I have the disease of addiction. Had I not had an intervention by my family, it would have eventually killed me.
I was sent to South Africa for rehab. I packed a bag for 28 days, that was 5 and a half years ago. I didn’t get it the first time round. I wasn’t prepared to put down the red wine. Whilst I knew the drugs made my life unmanageable, to me, wine was a food group! I spent 4 hellish months researching why I had to put down the booze and booked myself back into treatment. The penny had dropped. I could never again put any mood or mind altering substances into my body. This terrified me, but I would surely die if I carried on.
I rekindled my passion photography and held an exhibition not long after I left rehab. Snapshots of recovering addicts, looking happy and living fulfilling lives. I began my new career with a passion I never thought possible.
A couple of years later, I was urged to do another exhibition of recovering addicts. The idea for a calendar came about whilst chatting with a couple of friends. I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming enthusiasm and support by the recovery community.
The calendar launches and exhibitions were a huge success, and I am committed to further developing the Sober & Sexy brand. New and exciting opportunities are opening up and I hope to make this a career. The project has given meaning to my past suffering. I had to go through hell and come out the other side to create something beautiful and worthwhile.
My vision for Sober & Sexy is to focus on the joys of recovery. There is a solution and we do recover. Working an abstinence based programme has not only saved my life, but given me the chance exceed my expectations. I now understand that it is possible to have a life beyond my wildest dreams. I am the happiest I have ever been. I now know who I am, I have purpose and direction.
I’d like to thank all involved. As with my recovery, I didn’t get here alone. To all the sponsors, thank you for believing in me and Sober & Sexy. Big love to my friends and family for your support and encouragement. And to the recovery community, you have shown me I need never be alone again.
This project has shown me anything is possible, people can change and be given a second chance.
After years of hopelessness and despair, today I’m proud to be Sober & Sexy!