I’ve been embarking on some lofty home projects.
I wallpapered a statement wall in my primary bedroom.
I chose a bright and bold floral pattern. It was a risk. It turned out awesome.
I am cleaning out and getting rid of old furniture.
I put a pile out on the curb and notified Facebook. It was all gone in a matter of moments.
I decorated for fall. My favorite season.
I added a piece of furniture that was passed down from my Aunt Joan. It adds depth, history, and character. It warms my heart to see her stuff amongst my things. They go together as beautifully as we did.
And finally…drum roll please…
I am replacing all the blinds/window treatments in my house with new ones.
This is a big undertaking in DIY.
I have been staring at these old, outdated blinds for years and years. I have hated them since I moved in over a decade ago. I thought about getting rid of them often. I spent...
As you embark on a sobriety or moderation journey, building a toolkit to keep you motivated and inspired can help you reach your goals. Recovery-related books, AKA ‘quit lit,’ can be great for seeing how others have navigated similar experiences, gaining tips that can help you along your journey, and learning more about the science behind substance use. Not sure what to pick up first? Here are my 29 favorite books related to alcohol recovery.
Biographies, Memoirs, & ‘Quit Lit’
1. A Happier Hour by Rebecca Weller
2. Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas
3. Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome
4. Nothing Good Can Come From This by Kristi Coulter
5. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
6. We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life by Laura McKowen
7. The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley
The promise of a new school year has a freshness to it that rivals January. September is the real start of the new year for me. It is a freeing idea, that we can start again. We are brand new in every moment, never the same as we were in the moment before. This gives us the freedom to evolve and change. We are not stuck in our past. What is done is done. We must let go of the past to make progress on our today.
September, to me, is the most obvious universal invitation to begin again. The fall season teaches us how beautiful it can be to allow ourselves to change and let go of the things from our yesterdays that hold us back. The leaves on the trees vibrantly shift their colors before their ultimate release. It is ok to unplug, release, and then plug in again. September is a great time to restart ourselves.
My sobriety journey had many Day 1’s. New beginnings started with gusto. I had a million false starts only to fall back into old patterns...
As a former ‘Party Girl’ turned Certified Recovery & Life Coach and seasoned international traveler, I am excited to share my tips for how to stay alcohol-free on vacation.
Let me start by saying, vacations are so much better when enjoyed fully present and sober. I know this might be hard to believe, but after many vacations and travels both drinking and not drinking, I am here to say sobriety wins, every time. There are no wasted days. No coming home needing a vacation from your vacation. No foggy memories. No embarrassment. No cringy photos, social media posts, or new “friends” that you have to face after alcohol was doing the talking.
Yes, your first sober vacay might feel a little unsettling but I promise it gets easier. As a Sober Coach I have witnessed hundreds of people successfully complete sober vacations. No doubt when the time and place are right, you can do it too.
Last week, I had dinner with some of the sober babes that I met on a sober hiking retreat in Sedona, a month ago. Most of us live in Chicagoland. From the larger group, four of us were available to get together. We picked the most central spot for dinner. Lucky for me, that landed close to home.
I was the last to arrive and when I approached the table I was welcomed immediately. Everyone got up out of their chairs. We hugged and squealed with delight at our reunion. It was so wonderful to see each other again. We were familiar with each other, having spent days and nights on a soul filled retreat together. We were also brand new, having taken off our hiking boots, and donned our pretty sundresses for the occasion. It was a thrill to be meeting up again, in real life, so close to home, solidifying the beginning of meaningful new friendships.
Our dinner lasted as long as it possibly could.
We ordered drinks. A round of the signature mocktail...
Yesterday I met Mt. Evans of Colorado up close and personal and accomplished a big goal of mine = to climb a 14K mountain.
Climbing a mountain is a big feat.
Climbing a mountain of this elevation is a big feat.
Climbing a mountain at this elevation, as a 46 year old woman from Chicago, was a real challenge.
You know what else is a huge feat and a big challenge?
You guessed it, getting sober.
Throughout my entire climb I was trying to find the metaphors between getting sober and climbing a mountain, but they didn’t come to me, until the day after my climb.
I am first sharing my climbing experience with Mount Evans. Then, I will share the lessons I learned in retrospect. Let's start at the beginning.
I commited to climbing a mountain a year ago, after a hike with a friend in Colorado. We decided to accomplish this goal together and we decided on Mount Evans. We got a parking permit, and put a date on the...
I used to be gone drinking every Memorial Day. It was tradition. I was pretending to have so much fun in pools and boats. Some of it was fun. Some of it was not. I am not faulting the company that I was in. I thank the hosts so much for their generosity. The problem wasn’t with them, the problem was with me.
I didn’t know myself. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I needed. I wasn’t comfortable anywhere. Truth be told, I loved the excuse to drink all weekend. I think everybody did. I am not sure anyone drank as much as me, but that’s not my business.
I was anxious.
I woke up with hangovers and shame and did it again on repeat for 3 days of the holiday weekend instead of two.
I needed to start the summer with a big splash. Literally, lol.
I needed to prove we were having So. Much. Fun. I needed my drinking, around others, in the daytime, to be super normal. I needed to compare myself to other drinkers so I could say “See? I am...
Navigating friendships and finding people to support you in sobriety can be one of the most challenging parts of getting sober.
How did my friendships change when I ditched the drink?
I have long, complicated, painful, and layered stories of friendships that are now over. There are stories left unwritten. In truth, I still don’t have a full understanding of the endings or what could have been done differently. I am not sure if there’s anyone to blame. I’ve tried blaming myself and I’ve tried blaming them too.
I’ve had changes in friendships with people that I love and I always will. I have disconnected with people who have a shared history with me and hold my deepest secrets. There are friends from childhood, who I have drifted from, and these...
May is the busiest month of the year in my house.
I think this is true for many families, especially those with kids.
There are all the end of the year extras that completely fill our calendar.
We have award ceremonies for academics, sports tournaments, and more.
It's the final push for everything, when we’ve been running at high speed, since returning from Spring Break. Everything is due and all the deadlines are rapidly approaching.
One more field trip to squeeze in. One more banquet. One more project. One more celebration. Not to mention the emotions of a season full of endings.
In Chicagoland, it snows in April and the next day it’s 80 degrees. Summer seems to just appear when it wants and we are anything but prepared.
We’ve still got our winter coats hanging on hooks in our laundry room and our patio furniture stored in the garage, when the weather turns to the heat of the dog days of summer somewhere in mid May.
I used to do a lot of drinking when I got home from time away.
I had a sunken feeling of being home. It felt like Sunday Scaries on steroids. I never knew what to do with myself. I didn’t know how to end the “good timing”. I didn’t know how to transition back to real life.
I wanted more social gatherings to keep my drinking looking normal. I wanted excuses to keep drinking alongside other drinkers. I wasn’t happy at these gatherings, but I wasn’t happy without them either.
This Spring Break we were bummed to leave the 80 degree weather and head back towards snow in our Chicago suburb.
I am sober now. I own my own coaching business. I love my job. Shouldn’t I feel excited about coming...