Memorial Day Weekend two years ago had me passed out at a party in the middle of the day, disappointing pretty much everyone I care about all at once.
Nice job Heather!
I embarrassed myself. I worried everyone I love. I will never know the damage this scene did to my kids and that will never not break my heart to think about for as long as I shall live.
But as soon as I came to and got home, I wanted more wine.
That was the final straw for my husband, I think. I think he gave up on me right then, and just saw that I had a major problem I wasn’t going to face and this was the rest of my life until I killed myself from it.
My mom witnessed it too and it was too much for her. She started calling around trying to find support for what the fuck we should do with me. My words, not hers. She would never talk that way but she was scared shitless. She could not ignore that this was not me getting tipsy. This was me putting my life in danger.
As a drinker, I felt a rush...
As a woman in recovery, the most challenging part of my journey, especially in the beginning stages, was putting myself first. I hate to sound like a martyr, but honestly that is what it took for me to get and stay sober. It continues to be my #1 recovery tool.
When someone asks me what they need to do to stop the cycle of addiction, my response would be to put you and your recovery above everything else in your life.
I understand, that is a big call to action.
It is also permission.
I would go so far as to say it is the only way you will succeed at long term recovery.
I had to learn to love myself in a big way.
No one has ever succeeded at anything by hating themselves.
So if you want to get sober, get on board with self compassion, and radical forgiveness. Everyone in your life will benefit from a healthy, sober you, so its not selfish at all to take care yourself first. Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Whether being sober makes you a safer parent, a more...
I joined a Facebook Group and as an introduction I shared my website that includes my blog/my story. I also offered a Free Sober Starter Kit. The admin saw this as advertising and asked me to take it down. I did. And I apologized. Then I felt defensive in reaction to her defense.
Was offering a free resource advertising? Depends on the perspective of the person viewing it.
Was I trying to advertise?
Yes. In a way I was. I have some great tools and resources that are helping people over come triggers in recovery. I want to get the word out. I want to help as many people I can. I can’t help anyone who doesn’t know about my resources.
I believe in a diverse and unique Sober Tool Kit for each person. I want to offer my support, my experience, my voice, and the resources that I have put together to everyone. They have successfully contributed to people’s recovery.
Does this take away from another person’s offerings? I think no! I happily...
On my run today I took a new path.
On one side it was littered with beer cans, broken glass, garbage and liquor bottles.
On the other side was lilacs.
I was on the path in between.
I live on the path in between.
Perhaps we all do.
As a person that struggled with alcohol, I understand the draw to the dark side.
I am familiar with the current of the the underbelly, pulling me in.
I am not a stranger to the shadows.
I saw myself as the garbage on the side of the path. I have been as broken as the glass. Ugly. Defeated. Hiding. In shame, from everything. From just being me. Left to rot. Decompose, as a life left un-lived. It was my greatest fear in addiction.
In sobriety, my natural instinct is to turn toward to the light, as flowers do with the sun. The desire to bloom by expressing myself. Ready to show my goodness, my truth, my love. I am open to learning and loving. I am strong and fragile at once.
I recently announced my new business as a Life and Recovery Coach on LinkedIn. This was a big step for me. Like many professionals, I was really good at hiding my own alcohol issues.
I was afraid to admit my problem, especially in the workplace.
Now, I have successfully addressed my concerns.
In an effort to reduce the stigma around choosing an alcohol free lifestyle, I would like to share more information about how getting rid of alcohol improves performance and increases productivity, in life and business.
I would like to inspire others who may be evaluating their relationship with alcohol. I want to share stories, about other high functioning professionals, who were able to ditch the drink, so people struggling with these issues will know they are not alone. It doesn’t have to be a dirty little secret. Getting support and connecting with others is more than half the battle.
I have coping strategies to share about how to turn down a drink a happy hour, how to get through a...
At 450 days sober, I am still recovering.
I imagine I always will be.
Recovery looks different now than it did in the beginning. The cravings are over. The painful process of rewiring my brain is complete.
At first it seemed impossible to get through the day without a drink. Now I almost never even think about it.
The challenge of finding new ways to cope will always be a work in progress, but I have come a long way. The drink was my response to every emotion. I have learned to feel my emotions instead of drinking them down. I am not suggesting this is an easy task, its not. I have some time and practice under my belt now, and it definitely gets easier. I know now, that feelings pass. Every feeling I feel is not an urgent call to action. I don’t have to believe every cockeyed thought that crosses my mind.
I am strong enough in my recovery that I have started to challenge myself in other ways. I am eating healthier, training for a ½ marathon, and investing in my...
I signed up to run a half marathon 2 days ago. Yesterday, I put my practice schedule on the calendar. I have exactly 12 weeks until the race which means training starts today. It’s a pretty aggressive training calendar and I will be running 5 times a week. Starting with 17 miles this week, and moving to 41 miles a week before the race. Right now that feels impossible because I am out of practice. Running 3 miles right now is quite an accomplishment. I have a long way to go.
Yesterday, I visited a behavioral health facility near my house. I will be a referral source for clients after discharge. Touring the clinic brought me back to my social work days. The staff was really interested in helping the patients. They had a real heart for families and children especially, struggling with mental illness. They offer programs to support many disorders including, OCD, anxiety, and addiction. One of the treatments they use is Exposure Therapy, which is just as it sounds. Safely...
I wore my Dad’s wedding band yesterday. He was only married to my mom to a few short years, but he carried this ring with him for the rest of his life. My sister’s found it when they were cleaning out his things after he died and gave it to me. I have it saved in my jewelry box and decided to wear it yesterday. It is a cool ring from the 70’s and I wanted to feel close to my Dad.
He had very long thin fingers, and I don’t, so it almost fits me. His whole body was long and lean, like his fingers. It felt weird to be wearing something so intimate of his. I don’t know how to say it, but just seeing his hands and knowing how it felt to hold his hand and then having the ring on mine, had me feeling really close to him.
I thought about him all day. Some people say he lived a tortured life. I am not sure what they mean, but I do agree in a way. In some ways it's like he never really got there, wherever there is. I think he had some undiagnosed mental health...
I have been asked a few times what I think about AA. Many people who learned about my sobriety, assumed I was in AA. I would like to address that here.
Spoiler alert: I am not in AA.
A little background: I am not in AA, and I don’t work the program, personally. Therefore, I am not an expert on AA. At all. I studied AA in a Drug and Alcohol class in college while earning my Social Work Degree. I also worked at a halfway house with criminal woman who had drug and alcohol issues. I drove them to meetings, and I assisted their counselors with their individual treatment plans, all of which included the 12 steps. This is to say, I have some personal experience and knowledge of the program, perhaps beyond the average population.
What do I think about AA? I think its a program that works for a lot of people. If I had to say what I think in one sentence that is it. So you can stop reading right now, if that is what you were wondering.
It is not something I turn my nose up to. It is...
Reading other people’s stories helped me immensely in my recovery.
Stories continue to inspire me.
If my story can help one person, than that will be enough.
It will be worth it, to have written down the truth of rock bottom.
I am so scared to share, but if just one person in this whole world gets a nudge from my words and decides to start the process of recovering from their pain, then I don’t give a shit about my insecurities or what the rest of you will think of me.
I am writing this for that one person.
It helps me too.
Here it is.
Here are all the cards that I hold closest to my chest.
I am laying them down face up on the table for all of you to see.
I am crying my eyes out to write it, and I am crying my eyes out to read it.
Please be gentle with your judgement.
The Rock Bottom is the part of my story that is the hardest to share.
I don’t really want to talk about it.
I want to talk about The Rising.
I want to preach about the...