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Kelli gets her life back on track, epically

Kelli Miller is building her life again with a new business selling B-Epic lifestyle products (Photograph supplied)

After battling drug addiction for 15 years the isolation of the pandemic really got to Kelli Miller.

“A lot of people have died from addiction during the pandemic,” the 51 year old said.

So when the Bermuda Government allowed people under 65 to take out their pension money for survival, Ms Miller used hers to check into a rehab facility in South Carolina.

“I took my pension to save my life,” she said. “I thought what is the sense of keeping my pension and dying from addiction?”

She has been fighting for recovery since 2015, trying programmes in Bermuda and abroad.

“Recovery is simple,” Ms Miller said. “But it is not easy. It is a daily battle with starting your day off right, and making sure you do certain things on a daily basis. This disease never goes away. This is a disease that has no cure. It can be put in remission, but it is something you have to do daily. I am the first to admit I don’t always get that right. I have fallen on many occasions. Relapse is not a shameful word. The shame is in not getting back up.”

And with every relapse she has learnt something about herself.

“This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful,” Ms Miller said. “It never stops. Even when I am in recovery, my disease is in the parking lot doing push-ups. It is always lurking. It is waiting for that one moment where you feel vulnerable and the voices start saying you are not worth it.”

This time she tried a 90-day programme instead of a 30-day programme, and found that made a lot of difference.

“They say you can get sober and stay sober anywhere,” she said. “But I think in Bermuda it is very hard. It is like living in a fish bowl. You are in a community where you are surrounded by alcohol, bars and drugs.”

For Ms Miller, finding a sense of spirituality has been an important pillar in her recovery.

“I have recognised that if I had the power to keep myself sober, I would not be in this situation,” she said. “I had to find something greater than that. What recovery looks like for me is a 12-step programme, a sponsor – someone who has gone before me, and being of service to others. You need to feel that you contribute in life and to society.”

She is serving others through a business she started in April, selling B-Epic plant-based supplements and lifestyle products for everything from weight loss and low energy levels to menopause and sleep.

“I get to help other people find happiness within themselves,” Ms Miller said. “Their moods are being uplifted. Menopause is not so horrendous. I probably think more about my customers and their needs than I do about my own.”

Launching a business felt like a huge risk.

“But I took a risk in so many other areas of my life,” she said. “Sometimes I feel like, am I setting myself up for a big old failure. But even if I was to fail tomorrow, the journey I have been on for the last ten and a half months has been amazing.”

Running the business has given her extra confidence and a sense of empowerment.

“I really have been able to see that I can do it,” she said.

Ms Miller has a sales background but said you do not really need one to sell B-Epic.

“You just need to like to talk to people and love the products,” she said. “That is why it has been so successful. I love the products and believe in them.”

B-Epic is providing an income for her, and also allowing her to work to her own schedule.

“I get to do what works for me,” she said.

While in periods of recovery, she was always interested in health and wellness.

“So it felt very natural to do this,” she said.

Ms Miller feels the products have helped with her addiction recovery, and her severe attention deficit hyper activity disorder. People with ADHD can struggle to control their attention and energy levels.

“I refuse to take prescribed medications for ADHD because they are highly addictive,” she said. “When you suffer from addiction and ADHD together it is a vicious cycle because one sets off the other.”

A friend introduced her to B-Epic, an American business, when she was in South Carolina. At the time she was struggling with her own weight, energy levels and sleep patterns, which were badly disrupted by years of addiction. She felt a difference almost immediately, and lost 30lbs in the first four to six months after going on B-Epic products.

“B-Epic started four years ago in the United States,” Ms Miller said. “Two years ago, it launched into England and Europe. We are worldwide now. I am an independent brand partner. I get my own website, and it is up to me to find customers.”

She said B-Epic wants to give people the opportunity and access to proper high-end health and wellness product without the huge costs.

“It has grown from there,” she said.

In a few months she will be flying to the UK to do a retreat with other women who sell B-Epic items.

For her, addiction is a symptom of a larger problem. She experienced severe emotional trauma in childhood which went unaddressed for many years.

In her 20s and early 30s she partied hard but never did drugs.

“But I could never just go home at the end of the night like everyone else,” she said.

Then at age 36 she experienced post-partum depression after having her first child.

“I was with a partner who was abusive,” she said.

When her partner introduced her to drugs she was in such a dark place she accepted them.

Now, she has two teenage daughters who are her inspiration. Her dream is to see them grow up healthy and happy and spared of the disease of addiction.

“I also have some family members, especially my aunt who has been my champion through everything,” she said. “My customers are also my champions. I am really grateful. A lot of them have become my friend.”

She is open about her status as a recovering drug addict.

“That is the only way we are going to change the face of addiction,” she said. “A lot of people don’t look at me and think I can be an addict. Addiction does not discriminate. It does not care what colour you are, how much money you make or how fit you are. It does not care.”

Her advice to other people struggling with addiction is to ask for help.

“Asking for help is the scariest thing to do, but that is the first step,” she said. “There is so much help out there.”

Ms Miller is not sure what the future holds.

“As someone in recovery, I live one day at a time,” Ms Miller said.

But so far, her business is growing by leaps and bounds.

For more information see https://www.bepic.com//kmiller1970.

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Published December 30, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 28, 2021 at 7:43 pm)

Kelli gets her life back on track, epically

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