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...
I had such a serendipitous experience on Spring Break. We stayed in Naples, FL for the first half with family and in Treasure Island, FL just the four of us (meeting our Chicagoland neighbors for dinner one night) for the second half of our stay.
We had a hotel on the beach for the second half and before we arrived, my husband changed it to a place we had stayed before. As we were crossing the magnificent bridge’s into St. Pete’s I was overcome with emotion. We would be staying at the very same place I had my first Sober Spring Break over 4 years ago. I remembered it so clearly. I was about 30 days sober, very wobbly and unsure how I would make it through.
I did not have the strength and confidence that I do today. I was a fragile baby bird. The first day was excruciating. I was jumping out of my skin. Looking back, I can’t believe I made it. I am so proud of myself. That was so freaking hard. You can read about it here: ...
I was inspired to take on the 75 Hard Challenge after seeing some of my Instagram friends do it. I started on a bit of a whim. I didn’t think much about it and just decided to do it.
It is a big undertaking and a huge commitment in some ways.
In other ways, it was much the same as what I was already doing.
It was not a complete stretch, like it would have been a few years ago.
I knew it would be hard. I also knew it would be possible. I couldn’t guarantee completion, but I could give it a try. When I started I was doing just that. Starting. I wasn’t attached to the final outcome. I was willing to take on a challenge and allow myself to experience it with no big expectations.
I am not a 75Hard guru. I didn’t read the book. I listened to one podcast and I wasn’t a fan. I am not an expert of knowledge about 75Hard, nor do I plan to be. I am not even sure if I agree with anything about the founder or the program. This is...
At four years sober, looking back I can see how my whole life revolved around alcohol.
St. Paddy’s Day is, of course, a huge drinking holiday. All I needed in the past was alcohol to make it a success.
So much so, that it was my first night out just 6 weeks after my first daughter was born 17 years ago.
On March 17, 2005 I got out of my nursing pajamas and into my kelly green to hit up an Irish pub with a friend while hubs stayed home alone with the baby for the first time ever.
I loved it.
I was impressed with my hot mom body (don’t hate me).
I had a skinny waist, brand new boobs, and insatiable desire for a night out of the house. I was ready to hit the scene and show it all off.
I was thrilled when the opportunity spontaneously arose. I leapt into that pub, chugged my green beer, and announced to everyone that I was (gasp!) a new mom.
I was just begging for attention, and on an absolute...
In an alcohol obsessed society it is so hard to be sober.
As a child growing up in small town Wisconsin I had no alcohol free role models.
Every adult I knew, minus two family members, drank beer.
It was my understanding that the two people in my family who no longer drank beer “were alcoholics”.
They were not living a happy, glamorous, alcohol free life.
They were sad and deprived and did a bad job at drinking so could no longer do it anymore.
It was somehow their fault, and growing up to be like them was something to avoid.
Having to not drink was something to avoid.
Drinking on the other hand was something to be celebrated.
I watched my lovely Grandparents get buzzy while pregaming for the Badgers. I had never seen them so happy and loose before. It was entertaining and fun filled with so much laughter.
Alcohol was included in all holiday parties and family events. As a...
I fell to my knees the morning of February 20th, 2018 and surrendered to my husband.
I was crying, miserable, terrified.
For the first time in my whole life I said the words that seemed impossible to me, “I need help.” He held me and we cried together.
I made a very wobbly decision that I was never going to drink again. I was somehow going to become the kind of person that doesn’t drink and in doing this we both knew our whole life would change. There was no other option. The path of alcohol led to complete destruction of me and our family and I wasn't having it. In order to save my life I would have to be sober for the rest of my life. I was so sad about it. I felt like a failure. Defective. Weak. I was scared. My life was clearly not working for me, but yet I was clinging to what I knew and I didn’t want anything to change.
I was mostly afraid of how this would affect my relationships. I wouldn’t want to...
It has taken me a long time to admit this, I was addicted to alcohol.
To my inner circle, my addiction looked like drinking too much, too often.
Getting drunk too fast.
Passing out too quickly.
Getting sloppy, slurry, while the people around me were just starting a buzz.
To me, my addiction looked like disappointment.
An uncontrollable downward spiral that picked up velocity at every corner.
It was a dirty secret to be hidden away.
A spill to be cleaned up quickly, before it became a stain.
To most people, my addiction looked like someone who never drank too much.
Someone who had it all together, someone who could moderate.
I drank around other people and I also drank alone.
Alcohol is an addictive substance that creates dependence and changes the brain.
I didn’t see myself as an addicted person, until after I got out of it.
I think this is true for most people.
I was a loud happy drunk at times.
I was sad,...
New Years Eve has always felt like one of those days where you are supposed to be having more fun than you actually are.
I have done almost every kind of New Year's Eve you can imagine.
I have been in a sequined dress in the middle of the biggest party in downtown Chicago.
I have been asleep in my bed before midnight.
I have hosted a bash complete with champagne toasts in vintage glasses.
I had people I didn’t even know attending, so you know it was a wild time.
I have written intentions and literally thrown them into a campfire.
I have declared resolutions and not.
Picked a glorious, fancy word for the year and none at all.
Made a list of goals and had no goal.
I have done a countdown at 8 pm with young kids.
I have had blowers, headbands, top hats, and streamers.
I've kissed strangers and crushes and lovers and friends.
One year I rang in the New Year at a wedding. 9 months pregnant.
I have been drunk.
I distinctly remember a few holidays past.
One Christmas, many moons ago, I had 2 young, toddler-ish girls.
It was 1 pm on Christmas Eve and we had already completed everything I had planned until we opened a few gifts after dinner.
I was bored out of my mind.
It was supposed to be a very festive day and here we were with nothing to do.
The girls were crawling all over me with excitement in their adorable sequined dresses, and perfect baby curls.
I did not know what to do with them.
We brought gifts to the neighbors.
We decorated cookies.
We painted our nails.
We sang carols.
All before noon and there were hours and hours to go before bedtime.
I opened a bottle of wine as a sigh of relief and we started playing a card game.
I was literally bored out of my mind.
I loved my darling daughters so very much, but I did not want to play 6 hours of Go Fish.
The wine, although a bit too early in...