Overcoming Addiction: Finding Recovery through powerful self-expression

Barrett Gargala

“You don’t look gay.” I’ve heard it 1,000 times. Who are you to label me? I get to choose how I see myself and today I choose joy.

Being queer to me has nothing to do with who I love but how I feel. I want other people to realize the power in expressing sexuality- feminine, masculine, or other. The end.

I believe we’re all human and constantly in the process of discovering who we are, how we feel, what we like, and how we fit in. All I ever ask of the person next to me is to be open to collaboration, communication and self awareness.

I don’t need everyone to agree with me and my beliefs, but feel it’s necessary for everyone to respect others beliefs without criticizing the way they choose to live.

Editor’s Note: Like many members of our Queer Kentucky community, Barrett has lived through trauma and addiction. We encourage any and all folx to tell their stories of overcoming adversity in hopes to inspire someone else. We value and appreciate the vulnerability of those who share to help others.

Learn more about Barret and her journey of coming out and addiction via the Zen Life podcast. Episode 68: “Addiction Does Not Discriminate” The story of recovering and loving back to life after addiction.”

“There is no story more raw and real than the one of our guest today.  Meet Barrett Gargala.  Shannon and Brittany first met Barrett when she was just a young, ’20- something’ trying to make it in the business of Lululemon. 

Little did they know, Barrett was struggling with some dark addiction demons that traveled with her since her college days. 

Barret first started avoiding her problems early into her college days and it wasn’t until 18 months ago that she finally sought the help she always needed.  As Barrett says, “you could have put me in a steel box and I still would have been an addict.”  Learn more about Barrett and how she is still learning to love herself back to life after addiction.