Memorial Day 2017:
It is the last day of my hometown pool party. I am so excited to be with my family, my best friends, and my mom all at the same time. This never happens, so I am thrilled. When my mom arrives I want to show her how fun it is at my friends’ pool house. I want her to be comfortable. I offer her a beer. I start drinking too. I am kinda nervous to have all my people in one place. The holiday Monday gives me an extra bonus day of drinking. How exciting! I start the day taking my anti anxiety pill, drinking, and eating very little. I end up with a quick buzz and passing out midday. My kids are disappointed in me. My husband is beyond pissed off. My mom is worried and ready to drop me off at a rehab center. I sit in shame in the third row car seat for a 2 ½ hour drive home. My dog, my only ally, is on my lap. We are stuffed in the way back of the car, which is loaded with my family that seems to hate me. As soon as I got home I get a glass of...
I always hated those online quizzes named “Are you Drinking too Much?”. Have you ever experienced a blackout? (Duh). Has your family suggested you get help? (Whatever). Do you drink more than once week? (Who doesn’t?) Do you have more than 2 drinks in one sitting? (Are you serious right now?) Have you missed work due to your drinking? (I had the wine flu, but I am incredibly high functioning).
I saw another bloggers list of 8 signs your relationship with alcohol is more complicated than you think. I thought it was really good. I really related to the signs she mentioned.
I started thinking back to my own uneasiness about drinking. I thought it might be helpful to share some, not so obvious clues, that I was picking up on. These clues were subtle, but it became more obvious that alcohol was becoming more and more important to me.
If you are becoming mindful about your alcohol consumption here’s a few things you might consider as clues that your...
I have created some before and after pics from drinking to sober. Holy Cow its obvious how much better I look now. My bloat is gone. I think that is the most obvious difference. Good sleep and hydration do wonders to make your skin glow, your eyes sparkle, and your hair shine.
I usually post about how happy and beautiful it is to be sober. And it is. It is much much prettier and more beautiful to be sober. Me and my surroundings look better on our worst day sober than on our best day drinking.
I have energy and interest in maintaining my yard and my eyebrows. I am not wasting time drunk and hungover. I can paint my nails and my walls. I have money to invest in wrinkle cream and seasonal throw pillows. You get what I am saying.
So my after picture is the best picture of me. It is a picture of a woman crushing her goals. Training for a ½ marathon, running her own business, and nailing the parenting gig. I always brag about the ME in the after picture because I am proud. I...
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...