ATEC - Episode 36: From Downward Spiral to the Other Side ft. Ashlee Brown

Episode 36: From Downward Spiral to the Other Side featuring Ashlee Brown

Just before she went off to college Ashlee’s younger brother died in an ATV accident. With her soon-to-be-divorced parents grieving and her own uncertainty about how to cope with loss, she decided to leave for freshman year. Struggling once she was there, she dropped out and found work to help make her way while she figured out her future.


Within four years, her mother died by suicide and Ashlee spiraled into alcohol abuse and drug use. Unable to cope with her grief, Ashlee spent several years without hope and in a self-destructive cycle. But then like a light had turned on inside her, she decided that she didn’t want to lose her girlfriend, she didn’t want to stay trapped in a pattern of self-destruction, and she was ready to move on and build the life she wished for.

She rekindled her love of writing, enrolled back in school, made the President’s List, and believes words are the most therapeutic a person has. In this episode Ashlee talks about her losses and difficult years, her losses, and how she climbed her way out of her downward spiral.

Ashlee is currently a 31-year-old non-traditional student obtaining her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is proud to say that she is a back to back member of the President’s List with two 4.0 semesters behind her.  With her degree under her belt, she aims to educate others about grief and pain through a memoir surrounding her story of how to keep living after loss. Ashlee’s goal outside of being a published memoir author is to teach creative writing courses to help others heal themselves with the craft of expression through words.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)