We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Dominguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
Getting sober, and getting treatment. It’s been nearly 2 years since the last time I used oxycodone. I hardly take the time to really sit and think about just how bad things had gone for me at that time. I lost so much that year. This all just fueled my addiction even more, and the art I was creating showed how much pain I was in. All of this cost me 2 hospitalizations one of them being in a rehab center. Through these two years I can say with a clear mind now that rehab saved my life and forced me to become vulnerable while being sober not just while creating my art but also in my day to day life, which has been one of the most difficult things I’ve had to teach myself to do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Something I’m most proud of in my art is how much it has evolved from how I was when I first started. My sobriety has also changed the way I create. I feel more truthful in my writing now after being sober. Before I had a fear, like many artists that I have come across, that if I got sober and got treatment then my art just won’t be as good, because I was making such crazy pieces I was even amazed at what I was making, I was afraid I would lose that. If anything being sober and getting my treatment has given me the strength to be raw and honest with my work, and Im more proud of that than anything. It was not easy getting to where I am, I had a lot of personal growth to do, a lot of trauma to process, and a lot of healing to do. The only way I got through any of that was through the support of my friends, family members, counselors and therapists, and my partner Eli. I’ve learned that the best way to get through something is to go through it and not around it, I used drugs to escape having to deal with the things I was going through in my life, things that happened to me when I was a kid that I’m just now getting to process and heal from, and things that were happening at that present moment. I don’t want people to look at my story as a tragedy, I want my story to be known so I can bring awareness to things like this happening everywhere, this hasn’t happened to just me, and this is a fight that is far from over.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are a bunch of cool places to go to in Miami Beach, for breakfast there’s this really good cuban bakery called pinecrest bakery. The pastelitos are amazing. Theres also these 2 french places that are also really good, one is called Maison Valetine, and the other is A La Folie. They’re both good for breakfast or lunch. There are a ton of good restaurants to eat at in Miami Beach, some of my favorite are Cvi.che 105, Yuca 105, Havana 1957, Huahua’s taqueria, Bodega and Pizza Bar. The cool thing about Bodega and Pizza Bar is that they both turn into speak easy bars and its super fun to go with friends or your significant other, worth checking it out!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank so many people in my life for helping me get to where I am, Firstly, I would like to thank my close friends, they became my family when I had none, and pushed me to do better even on days where I felt like I couldn’t. I would like to thank Banyan Treatment Center for helping me in my mental health and sobriety journey and for all the wonderful people I had the honor of meeting there, a personal thank you to Ashley and Ms. Q, 2 incredible women that pushed me to want a better life for myself. I would like to thank my therapists Michele and Diana. But most importantly I would like to give a huge thank you to my beautiful partner Elizabeth. She plays the biggest role not just in my story but my heart. I don’t think i’ve ever really sat down to thank you for everything you have done for me. You gave me a home when I had no where else to go, you gave me safety from my abusers, and made me feel comfortable enough to be honest and to be unapologetically. me You see me for me, even through the trauma, the mental illness, and through my addiction. You saw me, you loved me, and you never gave up on me, thank you is not enough.