Join the Sober Summit Holiday Edition - Free Tickets Here

When It Feels Hard to be Sober During the Holidays

I had 6 days of company. I helped host a crowd of 15 and also hosted a crowd of 13. I had an open door and a week-long combination of family and friends passing through. Loved ones traveled to Illinois from Colorado, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. There were people aged six to 77. Three dogs. Beautiful chaos meticulously organized. Heartfelt gratitudes shared around a table. Turkey and brisket. Ham and carnitas. Donuts and pies. Chips and dips. Charcuterie boards that went on for days. A mix of Christmas tunes playing in the background. Silver bells. Football and more football on dueling wide screens. A big batch of chili. Dolly Parton at half time. Our first snow!


Gluten Free alternatives. A Wednesday night Poker Tournament. Afternoon naps. Sharing medical test results that were an answer to silent prayers. Client’s reaching out. People achieving new alcohol free milestones and ditching the drink. Staying sober. A Friday morning Euchre game. A houseful of my...

Continue Reading...

How to Get Sober & 7 Tips to Maintain Recovery

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2023

This article was written and published in partnership with Monument.

Thinking about removing alcohol from your life can elicit many questions. This article will offer a few tips from Award Winning Sober Coach Heather Lowe, Founder of Ditched the Drink, who has helped many people get and stay free from alcohol.

If you’re concerned about your drinking, you’re not alone. The CDC reports one in six US adults binge drinks, with 25% doing so at least weekly. Binge drinking is just one pattern of excessive drinking, but it accounts for nearly all excessive drinking. Over 90% of US adults who drink excessively report binge drinking, according to the CDC.

Tips for How to Stop Drinking

Consider Cutting Back:

Many people first try to moderate or cut back on their drinking before quitting altogether. This can be a safe way to reduce your alcohol intake while experimenting with drinking less alcohol. I used this technique myself. For three years, I strived to...

Continue Reading...

Why Paid Newsletters Are a Great Idea

I sent my first weekly newsletter in August of 2019. I had seven subscribers at the time. Two were myself using my other email addresses to populate the subscriber field and set the momentum. The others were my mom, my husband, and a few friends that I asked to add. I committed to writing a weekly newsletter for 4 ½ years with very few weeks off. Mainly, when I have been out of the country, I have missed a handful of weekly newsletters. With tons of organic effort, my subscribers list has grown greatly since 2019. My writing remains incredibly personal. 


I have always had the belief that writers should be paid. I pay for writing that moves me. This includes a Medium Membership, Substack Subscriptions, paid newsletters, great books, writing courses, writing coaches, writing classes, writers retreats, hearing writers speak, and more. I gladly pay for all of it. Each month when I open a paid newsletter, I think maybe this will be the month I cancel or weed out and...

Continue Reading...

My Experience with Sober Travel Retreats

I often get asked, “What is it like to go to a sober retreat?”

I have had many sober retreat experiences and I’m happy to share my feedback. 

In this blog, I will be reviewing 3 specific retreats: Brave Recovery CoachingSober in the City - Zero Proof Experiences, and SheRecovers Annual Conference. These are three very different experiences with different goals, taken at different points on my alcohol free journey. 

Spoiler alert, they were all fantastic. TLDR.  

My first ever sober retreat was a female hiking retreat in Sedona, AZ hosted by Brave Recovery Coaching. I was an acquaintance of the host, Carrie May, a Certified Recovery Coach and Nurse Practitioner. I had met two other attendees briefly at a previous local event. I didn’t really know anyone and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was very nervous because I wasn’t friends with any of the attendees. I was basically going alone. I ended up flying and driving...

Continue Reading...

Are Alcohol Free Drinks a Tool or a Trigger?

Alcohol-free drinks can be a helpful option for people that are sober or sober curious. However, the appropriateness of alcohol-free drinks depends on several factors:

  • What Stage of Sobriety?  In the early stages of sobriety, some individuals may find it best to avoid any beverages that mimic the taste or appearance of alcoholic drinks, including alcohol-free alternatives. This is because consuming such drinks might trigger cravings or lead to drinking alcohol for some people. Over time, as individuals become more confident in their sobriety, they may choose to incorporate alcohol-free options into their lifestyle. I personally, didn’t have any alcohol free alternatives my whole first year of sobriety. I was afraid they might trigger me into craving an alcoholic drink. As a drinker, wine was my drink of choice. I started to explore with alcohol free beer in my second year of sobriety and found it to be a great tool at that time. Both beer and alcohol free spirits ended...
Continue Reading...

I Was Drunk When My Friend Died

grief Sep 27, 2023


It's been 10 years since my friend Bulmaro Junior passed away. His death was one of three that escalated my already heavy drinking. He was my good friend, and he was also my drinking buddy. We loved drinking together. He lived across the street from me and we called ourselves "backyard neighbors". 

Anyone who is close to their neighbors might know what this means. We can be polite and friendly in the front yard while bringing in our groceries, and then be our real selves in the backyard.

This usually included drinking, smoking, and swearing for me.

Sometimes tears and always rip-roaring laughter about the dumbest stuff.

The way he mimicked our kids tossing their Capri Sun straw sleeves in the yard is…to date…the best stand-up comedy routine that I have ever seen!

As a father of five, he had to keep his sense of humor.

There’s nothing I appreciate more than someone who can make me laugh.

Junior made me laugh at our first meeting...

Continue Reading...

Are You Happy?

This is my happy place. 

And by THIS I mean sobriety.

I was on a walk yesterday. Walks are where I always have my deepest thoughts. I was thinking about my life. I was a happy go lucky young gal since birth.I know this from my mom’s reports and also I have picture proof of me with a big bald head and a jolly gummy smile.

I was meant to be happy. It was my most natural state of being. Unless there was discomfort, I felt good inside. I continued to have a sunny, upbeat, optimistic disposition about me, despite a few major bumps in my young life.


This automatically joyful girl changed around age 12. The same age I had my first sip of alcohol. How interesting that this went hand in hand. I didn’t drink because I felt good. I drank because I suddenly felt bad. I looked around and no one was as happy as me. I thought maybe I am not supposed to be happy. Maybe this is wrong. I am not supposed to be such a sunshine-y girl. No one likes me that way. I have to be...

Continue Reading...

I'm Sober, but I Can't Relax

I did nothing this weekend. I just relaxed. 


What I mean by that is:


I finished school shopping with my oldest daughter Lily. I made two new recipes: a chopped (Kardashian) salad and a strawberry cobbler (for breakfast). I am reading four books right now. Two are on my nightstand, one is on audible (Lessons in Chemistry) and one is on my Kindle. I read four People magazines, which were handed down from my mother in law. 


Speaking of, I hosted a small 9 person Family Send Off party for Lily. I watched the Anna Nicole Smith Documentary and the Happiness for Beginners movie, on Netflix. Only halfway though because I was mostly looking at my phone. I did a few loads of laundry. I picked a few fights with my husband. We looked at Lily’s college finances and made a budget and a plan. I listened to the Greta Gerwig Smartless podcast. I took my dog on two slow sniffing walks around the block. I took two afternoon naps. I registered my youngest daughter...

Continue Reading...

5 Years Sober, I Want a Glass of Wine

I went to bed before 8 pm last night. My eyes were tired, swollen, and sore from crying. 


The dam of tears welling up inside me finally burst when I called my mom yesterday and spoke all my fears out loud. I admitted that I am lonely. My husband and my youngest have been gone most of the last 2 weeks. Competing schedules have made it impossible to get together with friends. I am afraid of rejection for my daughter, in her rush to sorority coming up in a matter of days (no longer weeks). I am afraid of rejection for me in taking on a new business endeavor. I can no longer push these feelings away into the future, they are all suddenly here, now. 


I am launching a new coaching business course at the exact same time my first born is leaving for college. It is bringing up every insecurity I ever had. I am reminded of every time I put myself out there and lost, failed, flopped. 


There was the  6th grade speech contest Final Championship. 


Continue Reading...

Drunk Again on The 4th of July

It is 2016. I am on a sober experiment, maybe 14 days in and it is the 4th of July. We are out of town spontaneously visiting friends. One of them works in hospitality and got us a beautiful hotel room in a nearly sold out city. When we check in there’s chilled champagne for us, a sweet note, and milk & cookies for the kids. It was such a sweet surprise! We felt VIPs. I have never had this kind of service upon arrival. I am really touched, but I don’t touch the champagne. I’m doing a sober experiment afterall.


We have lunch at a famous Wisconsin staple. I get the biggest, baddest, extra spicy, Virgin Bloody Mary with all the fixin’s on a skewer poking out. Celery, pickle, bacon, shrimp. I took a picture for Facebook. Sober. Easy peasy. I am not missing out on anything. I see everyone with their beers around me, but I am ok. 

We have a few sets of friends that live in the same town and we want to introduce them to each other. We met at the...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete