Executive Director, The Frog Pad & Author of "Sober.House"
I worked in Manhattan in Marketing for 18 years (including 3 years at Ann Taylor, 10 years at Coach, 2 years at Best Cellars) and residential real estate at Halstead for 13 before opening my first sober house for women. I have also worked at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and volunteered at Hazelden, New York, The Addiction Institute in New York, and Gods Love We Deliver, and soup kitchens, also in Manhattan. For the last four and a half years I have opened and now run two women’s holistic healing houses called The Frog Pad in Delray Beach, Florida. I recently published a memoir called Sober.House. (My Story) and I’m excited about reaching others so that they can learn that there is hope for people who are alcoholics and addicts.
My name is Mallory Neuberger. I’m a cocaine addict and an alcoholic in recovery, and becoming an addict is the best thing that ever happened to me–once I got sober. Since that day, my life has become all about staying sober, living my best self, and helping other addicts and alcoholics to find lasting sobriety and happiness, free from the substances that want us all miserable and dead.
I learned of sober houses while in treatment at Hazelden, New York, when a peer there invited me to hear him speak at his sober house in Brooklyn. I was in awe of the beautiful setting, the camaraderie, and the accountability there, which was nothing like I had ever imagined. Before this, I thought that sober houses were for homeless people who had nowhere else to go. That first night, very early in my own recovery, my idea for opening a sober house was born.
With addiction and opiate overdose as a national crisis, the need for ethical and professional sober houses has become increasingly important.
Negative press focused on South Florida about corrupt sober houses has made attracting people to our area challenging. Addiction, and greedy business people who prey on people with this disease, is a national issue and no greater here than elsewhere in the country. Turning around these negative perceptions has been difficult as the press is more interested in stories about failure and corruption than in success stories. There are ethical sober homes here, like mine, and the public needs to learn how to find them. Looking at regional websites, such as FARR (Florida Association of Recovery Residences) is an easy way to pinpoint the houses that are operating legally.
My houses are a legacy to my mother, who died from alcoholism. She collected frogs, and my first house sits on a canal covered with lily pads. There was a shortage of women’s sober houses in South Florida (there were nine men’s houses for every women’s), so I set out to create beautiful, safe, serene houses for women, where they could find recovery, friendship, accountability, and fun, ultimately living the lives that they want and deserve.
I have two houses in Delray Beach, Florida and I am open to creating more nearby and in other areas that I love, and where there is a void.
We are always exploring new ways to help our residents learn about themselves and to enjoy life without mood or mind-altering substances. Our sober book club has been a wonderful addition, as have healthy potluck brunches where we make crafts like God boxes, dreamcatchers, and intention journals. Next on the calendar is a sober birthday celebration at a restaurant in town and a house meal where we will decorate Easter eggs. Everything is worth celebrating at my houses, because every sober day is a miracle and a gift.
I work closely with each resident’s treatment team, as well as their families when appropriate. Ensuring that residents are not compartmentalizing their lives and recovery programs is essential to keeping them accountable and to help them make mindful decisions.
The most difficult moments at The Frog Pad have come when residents are unkind to one another. Treating each other with compassion and kindness is a requirement in my sober homes, and residents who are unable to comply are subject to dismissal. We take this as seriously as a relapse on alcohol or drugs. Women in early recovery can be emotional, hormonal, and extremely fragile. Creating a safe environment is paramount to their success.
Achieving a joyful life in recovery which includes things that have helped me—working a solid 12-step program, doing the steps with a sponsor, paying it forward. Embracing community and kindness, forming meaningful relationships with other people in recovery, engaging in yoga and meditation, eating healthy, exercising, and practicing self-care. Living in gratitude, and of course, staying sober.
By sharing my personal history and showing how it has worked to turn my life around. I walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. I instill structure, accountability and discipline into the lives of other addicts and alcoholics in recovery and I love them until they can love themselves.
Take care of yourself first so that you are truly present and equipped to help others.
I answer my phone. I show up. I listen, and I care. I also give really good hugs which are filled with love.
My innate desire to connect with and help other people to live better lives. To be able to listen, and not to be afraid to share my own experiences to put others at ease.
To live a life that is happy, joyous, and free—one day at a time. To die sober, surrounded by family, having made a difference in the world.
Birthing and raising my incredible children—my daughter Morgan and my son Jack.
Getting sober and opening The Frog Pad, my sober houses for women and finally finding meaningful work.
Trying to get sober.
Think kind thoughts, say kind words, feel love in my heart.
My sponsor is my role model. My daughter Morgan and my son Jack are my favorite people.
Santa Fe, Sedona, Barcelona, Manhattan, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cabo san Lucas, St. Barths, the Italian Riviera, the French Riviera, Miami, Palm Beach, Delray Beach (where I live), and Boston because my son lives there.
AG jeans, yoga clothes, small LV handbag with pink and orange straps, furry Chloe wedges, skull yoga mat, tennis racquet, convertible, diamond wedding band, Nars lip gloss, kindle, Iphone, MacBook, my bed.
Reading, listening to music, having meaningful conversations and relationships with other people, my two dachshunds (Grandpa and Cooper), helping others with addiction, spending time with my family, yoga, running, spinning, working out in the gym, and tennis. Travelling whenever possible. Promoting my memoir.
To stay sober and be happy.
To be kind and of service to others.
Attend a meeting and help others in recovery.
Smiling at people and asking how they are.
Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it nice? Is it necessary?
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
The beautiful beach and year-round warm weather.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Coffee at home or Starbucks.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Saying my prayers, checking my texts and emails, watching the news, attending an A.A. meeting, checking in with my residents and staff, holding house meetings.
10:00 AM – Working out – tennis, yoga, gym, spin, running or walking. Phone calls or meetings with residents, staff, therapists. Meetings with sponsees.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
My house for fruit, lowfat cottage cheese or fat free Greek yogurt sprinkled with Ezekiel’s cereal or Grape Nuts and yellow raisins. When I go out to lunch I love Bagels With, Farmhouse Kitchen, or eating with my mother-in-law at her assisted living facility in Lantana (egg salad wrap with swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato).
Run errands. Afternoon calls and meetings related to work. A nap with my dogs when possible and needed, phone calls with sponsees. Feed and walk my dogs.
7:00 PM – Dinner with my husband and/or friends. Watch TV. Read. Pray: “Thank you for keeping me sober today.”
11:00 PM – Sleeping
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Two coffees with almond milk, lots of water, an always full glass of sparking water with lemon and lime whenever I’m out or entertaining at home, Sparkling Ice (lemonade or pink grapefruit)—no more than one a day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Facebook, Amazon, OpenTable, Starbucks, Venmo, ParkMobile.
What should everyone try at least once?
Praying. I have heard that the only people who don’t believe in prayer are those who have never tried it.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In my dreams. In a book or movie.
What Else to Know?
We are only as sick as our secrets. Today I wear the things that were killing me on my sleeve. I have a disease called addiction. It is not my fault so please don’t judge me for it.