How Quitting Drinking Taught me to Experience Joy

One of the greatest gifts of sobriety, for me, has been the ability to feel joy.

This may sound silly, as alcohol is sold as a rip roaring good time.

I had some good times in my drinking days.

The good times, however, were often clouded by my own shame and fear. 

Now that I am sober,  I have re-learned how to feel childlike joy in everyday moments.  

While drinking, I grew to be afraid of joy. 

It was like if I acknowledged feeling joy, then it would be taken away.

If I looked at my kids sleeping and felt overwhelming gratitude and love for them, it was immediately replaced with “what could go wrong?”

I was afraid to be ok, happy, content. 

It was easier to complain, than to recognize that in this moment, all is well.

We aren’t supposed to feel happiness. 

Who do we think we are? 

It felt like bragging to say,

“things are good, I am happy, healthy, lucky...hashtag blessed!”

It was as if there is only so much of...

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Taking Shots

Along with another chaperone, I took my 15 year old daughter and 5 of her girlfriends, to a lake house in Michigan, for a long weekend.

The weekend away was like a mini vacay.

A sober, alcohol free, rated PG, delightful vacation.

 Is it possible to have fun without drinking?

When I was drinking, I didn't think so.

When I was newly sober, I wasn't sure either. 

Now my vacations have gotten even better because they don't revolve around alcohol.

When I was drinking, alcohol crowded my thoughts.

Bringing drinks, mixing drinks, getting more drinks, keeping drinks cool, finding the right tool to open drinks, starting to drink, counting drinks, drinking more, cleaning up after drinking, replenishing drinks, rationing drinks from others, and recovering from drinking, were the center of my vacations. 

This Girls Trip with my daughter was nothing like that.

Here's the play by play:

Stop for dinner on the way up. 

Order the fried pickles/frickles.

Realize everyone in the...

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5 Tips to Thrive Booze Free on a Holiday Weekend

If you are newly sober, or giving alcohol a break, the upcoming holiday weekend can bring on anxiety. How will you party sober? How will you turn down a drink? 


I understand these fears. In fact, I was sober for months and feeling good until I found myself completely unprepared for a Fourth of July Booze Fest. 


By 10 am I had mimosa in hand and by the time the fireworks started I was a disappointment to everyone including myself. 


You can learn from my failure. Here’s my best tips for thriving an alcohol free holiday weekend! 


1 - Plan to succeed or prepare to fail


You cannot go into a party with a “wait and see” attitude. If you think maybe you’ll have a drink, you are guaranteed to have a drink. As a drinker, our brain is wired for it. Our default mode is set to alcohol. You have to go into the weekend with a sober mindset. You can tell yourself “I am not drinking today.” You don’t...

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How to Live a Big, Juicy Life, Without Alcohol

You can live a big, juicy life without alcohol. 

I am 900 days sober and living a brave, and adventurous life. 

Day 1 and Day 900 look completely different. 

On Day 900, I still drink.

I still like to over indulge. 

I love going out and having a good time. 

I don’t need alcohol to do it. 

In fact, alcohol took away from all my fun for years. 

Getting rid of alcohol has been the most fun and liberating experience of my life!

Just last night I was at a happy hour where I enjoyed two craft cocktails free of spirits, followed by dinner with my husband where I enjoyed a Hoppy Refresher. 

I was relaxed, free, and present. 

Last weekend I played cards with friends and had 2 NA elderberry gin and tonics with extra lime. 

I was not always comfortable socializing without alcohol. 

I grew into my alcohol free confidence. 

In my first month year sober, I had a lot of anxiety about going out and socializing without alcohol. ...

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The Thin Line Between Normal and Heavy Drinking

My friend, Becky died a year ago today from alcohol. 

It is so sad and it is not fair.

Becky and I were just casual friends, but we had a lot in common. 

We both come from the same small town in Wisconsin. 

We were both on the Poms squad in high school.

We married good, steady guys who loved us dearly. 

We both gave birth to two daughters, a few years apart. 

Being a Mom was the most important role of our lives and meant the world to both of us. 

We were as proud as peacock’s of our girls. 

We were closest to our own Mom’s, and everyone knew it.  

We looked just like our  Mom’s, who were our very best friends. 

We were both friendly, although I think Becky was way more likable than me. 

We both drank wine. 

We both drank too much wine. 

We stayed in touch casually over the years.

We were big fans of each other from afar, in a mutual admiration club of two. 

I really liked Becky, and I think...

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Client Stories - Amber

clientstories Jun 21, 2020

How did I get to mid-June of 2020 already?!

I feel like I had myself pretty motivated and put together walking in to the New Year.... Boy was I wrong! I KNEW I needed to face my relationship with alcohol and I knew I needed to address some healing, but if I'm honest now I can see that my vision was just hopping around back and forth, skimming the surface, and making excuses why that is "good enough" like I typically did.

As SO many people relate to, my drinking wasn't "that bad" but I also failed to meet my "Just ONE day without" desire over and over and over.

I kept thinking "I'm an active and healthy person with a huge passion for nutrition and movement and the outdoors, so how did I end up here, so dulled and misaligned and quitting before I even really tried?"

The broken self trust and broken promises to myself were more damaging than anything. Through May it was like God or the Universe just took over and said, we are going into deep self therapy here... And I did make some...

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The Magic Elixir

Want to level up your life? I can help.

What if I told you that you could have all this just by giving up one thing. 

Would you be willing to do it? 

Giving up this one thing will save you money. 

You will look better. 

The results are proven, 

Your skin will become clear and bright. 

Your overall health will improve. 

Every system in your body will run better and age slower. 

Your productivity will improve. 

You will have more energy, clarity and focus.

Your mood will be more positive. 

Your mental health will improve and feelings of depression and anxiety will decrease. 

You will sleep better. 

Your fitness levels will increase. 

You will have improved relationships with yourself and others. 

Your confidence will grow.

The gray matter in your brain will grow, making you smarter.

You will lose weight. 

Saying no this one thing, will have you saying yes to so much more. 

You will free your headspace, and...

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Alcoholics Need Love, Not Punishment

Uncategorized Jun 10, 2020

In our society we've got addiction all wrong.

I saw this picture of Carson Pickett, an Orlando Pride Soccer player, who was born without a left forearm.
When 2 year old Joseph Tidd, also born without a left forearm, came to her game, they did a high five with their elbows.
Carson became the role model she always wanted for herself.

It is so heartwarming it brings me to tears.

What if we did this with addiction?

What if we praised our differences, our unique challenges, and our strength to overcome, despite any defects we may have been born with or any challenges we grew into?

What if when we saw someone else with addiction issues we recognized them and gave them a high five and said "me too."

What if when someone was struggling with pain and turning to alcohol to self soothe, we wrapped them in a blanket and showered them with love?

Instead we label them, shun them, punish them, and even criminalize them.

What if when we started to see our loved ones go down, their brain's hijacked by...

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Dear Black Friends

antiracism Jun 08, 2020

Dear Black Friends,

I am so sorry. 

I didn’t know you were screaming for help. 

You’ve been living with knees on your necks.

It was urgent that I do something to stop it. 

I thought I was helping. 

I thought I was doing my part to help. 

I thought my votes and my love were enough.

They were not enough.

Not even close.

There is so very much more that I can do.  

Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t know this, all this time. 

It seems so obvious to me now..

I am embarrassed, ashamed and dumbfounded by my naivety, and stupidity.

You’ve been literally screaming and I haven’t heard your call.  

I think I was too far away to hear the screams, but I wasn’t listening for them either. 

I should have known you needed help. 

I should not have been so far away from you. 

I should have gotten closer to you, knowing it’s never been fair.

I should have opened my eyes and put my ears...

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Silver Linings of Grief

anxiety death grief Jun 04, 2020

At 44 years old, I might be at the halfway point of my life. 

My Grandma just passed away at 88 last week. 

No one is getting any younger.

My kids are teenagers and I am middle aged. 

I am not sure how this all happened so quickly. 

Just yesterday I was in high school, and somehow my first born just completed her freshman year.

I know the older I get the more people I will lose.

This is heartbreaking in so many ways. 

I also know age is a gift and not everyone gets it. 

I have lost friends and family my age and younger. 

Losing people that I love has changed me forever. 

The silver lining of grief is the ability to cherish what you have , when you have it.

Death is inevitable. 

Because I have experienced so much loss, I know my moments matter.

They could be taken away at any time.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Loved ones have been unexpectedly ripped away from me without warning. 

This broke my heart. 

It has also given me an added...

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