Love Finds a Way

02/01/2023 02:14 AM By Lisa Anderson
Feature Story
Alicia & Tina Northcott
Alicia & Tina Northcott
Story by Taylor Strickland • Photos by Joshua Jacobs

Love Finds a Way

Spouses in Recovery Run Facebook Support Group

Love cares little for carefully laid plans and often comes at the most unexpected time. Few know this truth better than newlyweds Alicia and Tina Northcott.

“We met on TikTok!” Alicia exclaims. “She liked one of my videos. I followed her for a while and had a little TikTok crush on her. So, I pretty much manifested my wife.”

“She was like, ‘That’s going to be mine,’” Tina playfully interjects.

“She told me to find her on Facebook,” Alicia says. “From there, sparks flew, but we wanted to take things slow. We’ve both been in pretty toxic relationships before.”

“We had our first date planned, which was a Thursday,” says Tina. “That Wednesday, I was on the phone with her, and the left side of my body went numb. That’s the night I had my first stroke.”

“She was actually not feeling good when we were video chatting,” Alicia recalls. “I said, ‘I know you’re not the type to go to the hospital, but you need to go to the hospital.’”

“I have blood clots in my family,” Tina explains. “Many women in my family have died from blood clots. My mom is the only living female on her side of the family, except for her younger sister.”

Alicia was quick to alleviate any worries Tina had about ruining their first date. “She was at North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville. I told her, ‘No matter what, I’m coming up there to spend time with you.’ I was with her the entire time.”

“That was it for me,” declares Tina. “Like Alicia said, we wanted to take things slow, and we didn’t want to just hop into a relationship. We still moved fast, but we really got to know each other during that time.”
John Jackson


Previous bad experiences in love were not the only thing Alicia and Tina had in common. Both were in recovery for addiction. “I started putting it out there on TikTok,” says Alicia. “My previous relationships were rocky, because they were trying to get me to relapse.”

It’s important to Alicia that her partner respect the boundaries she’s set regarding alcohol consumption. “Tina was at a sober living house, at the time. I was like, ‘Great, we’re on the same level.’ Then, she told me about her own recovery.”

“Next March will be almost four years,” Tina chimes in.

“Almost two years for alcohol,” Alicia reminds her.

“Oh, yeah,” Tina realizes. “I’m in recovery for opiates. When I met Alicia and found out she was in recovery from alcohol, I vowed to never have a drink again. That was the April before last, so 2021.”

It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that Alicia began to reevaluate her relationship with alcohol. “That was when I officially came out as a lesbian. I had a lot of inner homophobia. I realized I was drinking out of fear, anxiety, and depression. In order to be attracted to [a man], I had to be under the influence.”

Romantic relationships are a contentious subject in most recovery programs. “The rule is usually that you stay single for a year, and we don’t really believe that is always true,” Alicia asserts. “It’s good to have someone who supports you through your recovery, and it’s nice when that person understands what you’re going through.”

“I’m a firm believer that once an addict, always an addict,” Tina states. “I’m always going to fight that. Even after that first year, there’s still those demons. I think being able to talk through our recovery without judgment–“

“I think that’s our foundation,” Alicia agrees. 

When You Know

For all their aspirations to take things slow, the proposal was expeditious. “It went pretty quick,” Tina says sheepishly. “When you know, you know.

“May 30th, we made it official. I think it was July 11th when I proposed to Alicia.”

Alicia wasn’t fussy about the details of her engagement. “I never pictured a wedding for myself, because I honestly thought I was never getting married. I didn’t have good role models for marriage. I told Tina, ‘I don’t care to have an outlandish, crazy ring.’”

Tina holds up her hand. “So, I got the silicone ones,” she laughs. “I hid them in my bra, and I told her I wanted to go take some pictures. I took her to go to Fort Island Gulf Beach during sunset. There were dolphins, and I handmade a little picnic basket. I made her a photo album with all the pictures from when we met up until that point.”

“She sold it as just a surprise picnic,” Alicia reminisces. “I was so excited, because I’ve never had anything like that. She said, ‘I want to go see the sunset.’ That’s all she told me.”

Alicia is amazed at the direction her life has taken. “I was always a loner. I thought I was going to be all by myself with my fur-babies.”

“Now, they all wear matching outfits with us,” Tina beams and indicates the identical plaid ensembles she and her wife have on.

Sober Fun

The idea for Alicia and Tina’s Facebook support group, called What’s Your Recovery, pulled Alicia out of a dark place. “It came about when I was on the verge of relapse. I put it together in one day and made a post about it on Facebook. Tina started sending out friend requests to her friends who were in recovery.

“Our schedule is at least one day a week,” Alicia continues. “We’re planning on doing two days a week. I named it What’s Your Recovery, because people don’t think about their recovery long-term. Your reason changes day to day, month to month, year to year. When people come and join our Facebook Live, I always ask, ‘What’s your recovery?’”

“Every week, we’ll ask again,” Tina explains. “If it’s the same, cool. If it’s not—well, what is it?”

What’s Your Recovery provides a safe space for people to support one another and share their experiences with addiction, including those who are not addicts themselves. “It helps them see from an addict’s point of view, to explain that we’re not doing this to hurt you.”

Alicia is strict about adhering to the rules outlined in her objective. “Addicts are infamous for ‘woe is me’ and putting the blame on somebody else, and we don’t tolerate that. It’s about ownership of yourself, and you have to take ownership of your own life.”

“On the other hand,” Tina adds gently. “If you did have a bad day, tell us about it. Just don’t be negative towards other people. Anybody can go on there, like people who are on maintenance programs, where they have to take medication to help them stay sober. They’re not welcome in a lot of areas, and we want them to feel welcome.”

“I want to eventually do meet-ups,” Alicia suggests. “Once you get clean, you lose so many friends, because they feel you’re not fun enough anymore. During these meetups, we would engage in sober activities and show we don’t need substances to have fun.”

“If we could help one person, that one person can help another person,” Tina recites. “It can start a train of helping people, and it can eventually get around the United States and around the world. Help can transfer.”

Extended Content

Full podcast interview with writer Taylor Strickland coming soon! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that notification bell!

Sponsored Content
Hear Now LLC
Sponsored Content