I had my first drink at 12 years old.
This was my toe dipped into the ocean of alcohol back in 1988.
I slammed a Busch Beer in my room alone.
Then I acted “crazy" with myself.
I journaled with sloppy handwriting, so I could prove to myself (and later my best friend),
how drunk I was.
How bad I was.
How out of control I was.
How troubled I was becoming.
How rebellious, dangerous, and grown up, I was.
I hid the empty can in my closet for approximately 12 hours.
The next day I told my Mom what I did.
I think I blamed her for my bad behavior.
From there, I would sneak a few sips while babysitting with friends, or staying at a friend’s house.
I always over exaggerated my behavior to try to act crazy and drunk.
The goal was to prove how drunk I was, and how outrageous I could be.
I was never actually drunk.
I was always just waiting for the alcohol to take effect.
I wanted it to be as good as they say it is, and...
A rarely advertised fact is that alcohol is the third preventable cause of death in the US.
That is not how it is marketed to women.
Alcohol is sold as “Mommy’s Helper”, or “Mommy’s Juice”.
It is advertised as a break for Mom.
It is sold as “Me Time” for women to escape the responsibilities of parenting, which women desperately need, in these challenging times, when they are expected to be on all the time.
Parents, and especially women, do need a break from parenting.
They need rest.
They need time away from their responsibilities.
They need resources and support.
They do not need alcohol.
Alcohol is scientifically proven to increase anxiety and depression, which is the last thing parents need during tough times.
The problem with the message that women need wine to relax or get a break from parenting, is that it’s true that Mom’s need a break, but alcohol is an addictive substance, that creates more...
My first sober Cinco de Mayo was something to anticipate and get through.
Something to white knuckle and endure or tolerate.
Cince de Mayo was another milestone drinking holiday that I was about to do sober for the first time.
Similar to St. Patrick’s Day.
I always drank on these occasions.
Sometimes I drank with certain people or ate certain foods.
How could I possibly get through this sober?
I was twitchy.
I probably started anticipating Cinco de Mayo on Cinco de April, if you know what I mean.
I was so full of nerves, fear and anticipation of everything.
I lived like a live wire.
A masseuse literally told me that once, and he was right.
On my first sober holidays, I tried to do all my same activities, just sans alcohol.
It wasn’t all that fun, tbh.
My alcohol free life has changed over the years.
This was my biggest fear in getting sober.
That everything would change.
I didn’t want anything...
It’s ok to start over.
I just have to share that.
Especially with drinking.
If you’ve tried to quit before and it didn’t work…
...it’s ok to start again.
If you changed your mind or had some success or had no success…
...it’s ok to start over.
Every moment is a chance to start new.
There was a study of athletes that were both equally talented, but one was more successful than the other.
It came down to the successful one being able to rest his mind and let it go.
If you have struggled and tried and failed and found yourself back in the drinking loop,
(maybe even worse off than you were before you attempted to quit)...
...it is ok to start again.
Everyone I know that successfully quit drinking...
...started by unsuccessful attempts at quitting drinking.
Just because you haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
I started the week with a cycle class at my new gym.
It’s been a while since I took a spin class.
I was intimidated.
When I scheduled the class at the end of last week...
I wanted to start the week off with a bang.
I wanted to put myself first,
get a hard thing out of the way,
and create new energy for my week.
I usually start Monday's really slow.
I sit and sip my coffee on the couch, under a blanket, with Rocky at my feet.
I write a blog.
I write a newsletter.
I stay in my pajamas.
I drink my green juice as a late morning breakfast,
before heading to the shower to really start my day and my week.
I sat on the couch under my blanket with my coffee.
Time went too fast and it was time to go to class.
I didn’t want to.
I wanted to stay home.
I wanted to cancel.
Sitting here on a Sunday morning, giving myself time and space to be.
To just sit, to rest, to check in, to create.
This weekend has been a lot of nothing, in the best way.
Reading, resting, carpooling my kids, and cheering them on at their games.
After being gone nearly a month, it feels right to just sit for a bit.
I am gaining energy to meal plan and prep for the first time in weeks.
Laundry is going.
My candles are lit.
I tidied the kitchen.
A frozen mango pineapple smoothie is thawing on the counter,
for me to enjoy when I finish my coffee.
I had a conversation with my husband this morning about our outdoor space.
We see things differently.
We have different ideas, goals, and priorities.
Landscaping or patio furniture?
I say both.
He does not.
I was able to speak my mind and not demand a decision.
We came to some conclusions and some things are still left unknown.
I can let it simmer.
The answers will...
When I look back on pictures, I can see clearly how alcohol is poison.
The bloat in my face is painful to see.
The bloat was my body's way of trying to protect me from my drinking habits.
As a drinker, it was just another reason for me to hate my ugly self.
I was ignoring myself, in every way.
I did not pay attention.
I numbed out everything that was happening to me, so I could just keep drinking.
I started drinking in my early teens.
I never had a chance to fully develop without it.
I didn’t learn healthy coping skills.
I didn’t know how to regulate my emotions.
Alcohol was always there to soothe me.
I thought it was fun.
I thought it was what made me fun.
I thought other people liked the funny, fun, party girl, who I was, with a drink in my hand.
I have written about my sober vacations before.
You can read my other vacation blogs here:
Today, I want to share my most recent experience, Spring Break 2021 in Florida.
We spent time in Naples with my sister in law and her young family.
We also had our 3 best friends and their families from our neighborhood,
spending time in the same area.
We ended our trip in Fort Lauderdale with just the four of us.
Needless to say, we had a blast.
My husband had golf buddies, my kids had a group of teenagers to hang out with, and I had a Spa Day and Ladies Night with my Card Club.
We were on a pontoon boat during the day and a catamaran cruise at sunset.
We had the best food around the biggest tables.
We relaxed at the pool and at the beach.
We explored the ritzy areas, the historical areas, and the late night hot spots....
Spring Break, Man.
On my 21st birthday (also my golden birthday), I got a tattoo and headed to Panama City Beach for a week in the sun with my friends.
Finally legal to drink alcohol!
I watched frat boys drink so much that they dug a hole in the sand to puke in and then cover it up and drink some more.
Even as a party girl myself, I felt sad watching this.
I wondered what their mothers’ would think and it seemed dangerous.
Spring Break has always been a thing for me.
On my first sober Spring Break 3 years ago, my husband and I sat there at the pool listening to Jimmy Buffet and staring at each other.
What in the hell were we going to do?
How was this going to be fun?
Who does this?
Who stays sober on Spring Break?
It seemed awkward, uncomfortable, and even painful at the time.
If that’s where you are at, this is for you!
Flash forward to today, 3 years sober, and many vacations in.
I just returned from a long weekend away and I am...
What do you do on the weekends when you are sober?
Isn’t it boring?
It’s relaxing, productive, and fulfilling.
I had no idea how to spend my time when I first quit drinking.
I was antsy, irritated, and annoyed.
Alcohol had removed my ability to find pleasure in anything but alcohol.
For the first time in a long time, this weekend I had few plans and obligations.
I thought this would be a perfect example of what a “normal” weekend looks like.
Saturday I woke up early and had coffee with my husband,
in our quiet living room, while the kids sleep in.
I welcome the spring sun and the bird song, in the morning these days.
I had gotten in a habit of sleeping in during the dark, winter season.
I prefer an earlier rising, so I am happy to wake up early without an alarm, even on a weekend.
It starts my day off right.
I welcome the day, instead of curse the day, because (Hallelujah!) I am not hungover.