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Thankful for my Darkest Days

Uncategorized May 08, 2019

 

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...

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Sobriety. It’s a Practice.

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019

 

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...

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Tortured Life

Uncategorized Apr 18, 2019

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...

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What do I think about AA?

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2019

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...

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Rock Bottom

Uncategorized Apr 12, 2019

Rock Bottom.

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.

For YOU.

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...

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SheRecovers Creating Connections

Uncategorized Apr 07, 2019

I left my family in the middle of a volleyball tournament in Wisconsin Dells for the SheRecovers Creating Connections event in Chicago. My two best friends and my Mom attended the tournament, which is a pretty sweet replacement for me. Attending my kids’ activities are always my very top priority. However, I felt like this SheRecovers event, was a can’t miss opportunity for me. I wanted to tell the Universe that I was serious about my new sober coaching business. I really wanted to connect live for the first time with others in the recovery space.

So I said goodbye to my family and drove 3 hours back to Chicagoland alone. As the clock ticked towards Go Time, I got so nervous. I thought I might not even go. I grabbed my dog, laid in bed and listened to a calming meditation. This did not settle my nerves. At all. I did my first Instagram story and just put it out there that I was nervous. That helped a little, but now I was running late. My hair looked dumb and I...

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Wild and Free

Uncategorized Apr 03, 2019

One fear I had about quitting drinking was that I would be bored, or worse yet…boring. I have a party girl image and I like to have a good time. Below is an actual list of things I did my first year sober. I am wildly impressed that I was able to replace sitting on my couch in shame guzzling wine with so many more interesting experiences and adventures that contribute to looking good and feeling good too. This list beats nasty hangovers, painful depression, and hopelessness every day of the week. A few of these things I did half ass while drinking, most of these things I would have never done at all when wine was my only hobby, interest, and top priority. Do you want to get started on your list?

 

Exercise:

Yoga

Ran a 10K

Got my bike tuned up and rode again for the first time in years

Started playing tennis for the first time in a decade!

Glo Run 5K, night run with my daughter in downtown Chicago

Daily walks with the dog, sunset walks being my favorite

Tried Aerial...

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Tell Me Again...

Uncategorized Apr 01, 2019

Tell me again how sorry you are that I am not drinking. I see it in your eyes. You think, poor me. Such a shame. The terrible consequence for having an alcohol problem, is that now she can’t drink at all.

You see not drinking as a lifelong punishment. You think I can’t drink now, because I have somehow overdone it. I used up all the drink coupons. There are no more drinks left for me. The good times are over.

Do you really think I can’t pour liquor down my throat anymore?

I am capable of opening a bottle and pouring. It takes no skill at all. I did it for years! No one is stopping me. I don’t wear hand cuffs. I do not have a medical diagnosis that warns against it. I am not on medication that results in negative side effects from it.

Could you entertain the possibility that not drinking, is perhaps, a choice?

A person and a world that doesn’t drink is a person and a world with fewer accidents, a decrease in abuse, and trauma. Crime reduction,...

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The Sky

Uncategorized Mar 24, 2019

I am knee deep, (up to my neck actually), in creating Sober Boost, my 6 week online digital challenge. Its going to be so amazing, if I do say so myself. I have been participating in other sober classes, challenges, et all.

Honest to goodness, not to brag, but what I am creating is so much better than anything I have seen yet. I am so super especially excited to share it with you.

My days are spent gleefully in the creative process of writing and creating content. I have been hyper focused on getting this class complete. Once I am done building it, a chain reaction of other exciting projects will roll into motion.

Anyways, as I do this work, I am also learning the lessons, all over again, as I attempt to teach them.

Today, I am also annoyed with my husband for leaving on a work trip and not putting the grill cover back on the grill. Ever. In the history of Ever.

I sometimes take it upon myself to micromanage him. Every good wife does, right?

Today, I am reminding myself that the sky...

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Slainte

Uncategorized Mar 18, 2019

It might surprise you that I am zero percent Irish. I look the part with my red hair and freckles. I have always acted the part by liking beer and corned beef upon first taste. Green is one of my favorite colors. My Mom’s name is Patty. My girls have curls that Irish Dancers are made of.

As you can imagine…I love St. Patrick’s Day and debauchery! I have always enjoyed the happy music, green beer flowing, and “Irish for a Day” crowd. St. Patrick’s Day is huge in Chicago. Parades and dying the river green and pubs overfilled with shenanigans for weeks leading up to March 17th. Last year I went downtown bringing along my mom and my daughters. We joined friends in parade watching, having lunch and getting our photo ops in front of the green river.

This year the girls had sport activities in the middle of the day into the evening, leaving us just a few hours for fun in between on the Sunday of St. Patrick’s Day. If I was a drinker this sports...

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