On my vacation we did so much lazing around.
Just napping, sitting, lying, being.
So much nothing.
It was the perfect place to do it.
We were always poolside, with a view of the ocean waves.
Some days we were under the shade of a cabana.
I would read and sleep and swim and read and sleep and swim.
Eating tacos at regular intervals.
Laughing with my kids.
We were all so relaxed.
It was a beautiful escape from the busy hustle of our regular lives.
We had a beautiful soaking tub on our balcony.
Every afternoon my oldest would go enjoy a bath in solitude.
I would get up early each morning for coffee and reflection with the ocean alone.
My youngest joined in on the games and my husband golfed a few times.
I did yoga and had a spa day.
We all had the right mix of togetherness and alone time too.
We only left our resort one day.
We were there for a week.
We could have stayed...
Why cant I stop drinking?
It is a question that has pained millions, including me.
These words are typed into a Google search, daily by people feeling broken, confused, and desperate for answers.
I am here to tell you, there is nothing wrong with you.
It's not you, it's alcohol.
I know because I became dependent on alcohol too.
After years of exploration, I came out on the other side.
I had a lot of things going for me, and still I was sucked into alcohol's hole of despair.
At the end of my relationship with alcohol, I no longer recognized myself.
I didn't know how to get out of the cage I had built around me.
I am a highly productive, educated, mentally strong person who lived an almost perfect life.
I have children I adore, a house I love, a devoted spouse, lots of friends, and a wicked sense of humor.
Yet, when I was drinking nothing brought me happiness.
I had no hope and I looked forward to nothing.
Nothing was wrong, and yet nothing...
A comment, I found to be incredibly condescending and offensive, was made on my Ditched the Drink Facebook page, by an acquaintance of mine.
The post was about me wearing my sobriety out loud.
The picture was me (literally) wearing the words SOBER AF on my shirt.
If you follow me, you might recall this post.
The whole post was about how private and scared I was when I started this journey.
I shared how I didn’t always feel comfortable with my sober identity.
I didn’t always wear it so loud and proud.
I evolved into a sober advocate after many, many secret Day 1’s and “failed” attempts, that no one knew about.
The intent of the post was for me to give compassion and encouragement to anyone who is sober today and not yet announcing it.
Or maybe never announcing it, but quietly remaining sober.
Thankfully, my message was received.
I believe stories heal.
I appreciate people that recover out loud, but...
I used alcohol to turn off the noise in my head.
I had a very loud inner critic and anxiety about nearly everything.
I love the boozy, woozy, relaxed,
“everything will be ok”
feeling my first sips of wine gave me.
What a relief! From myself.
It honestly felt like the only way to get away from the demanding, persistent, never good enough tape running in the background of my head.
When I quit drinking, I was left to deal with this and it wasn’t pretty.
I can still feel anxiety rising up like a lump in my throat sometimes but I have learned other ways to escape.
We need to run away sometimes.
Alone time is a #1 tool for my clients working towards ditching the drink, and it was for me too.
If you are new to ditching the drink, you might not know any other way to get an escape, other than alcohol.
It has likely been your mindless “go to” for as long as you can remember.
Here’s a list of other ideas to try.
We arrive in Cabo.
We walk off the plane, down the steps, into the Mexican earth.
The kids and I feel like we are getting off of Air Force One and wave to the mountains, as if it they are our adoring audience.
The process of getting into another country is stressful, even as a visitor.
There’s forms to fill out and never enough pens.
There's too many germs.
There's confusing repeat questions.
The airport is full of tired travelers, crying babies, and not enough air flow.
My main goal in these situations is to exercise my strong project management skills.
Most strangers aren't getting with my program and have not received my mental memo.
This arrival feels a bit more intense because of COVID.
I had more than usual big emotions, because I recently finished a book called, American Dirt. American Dirt is a story about a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant into the US. (highly recommend)
Anywho...I was feeling...
My #1 question this week is, "How was your vacation?”
Thank you for your interest and curiosity!
Normally, I share all my comings and goings in real time on Instagram so my followers can literally follow right along with me. I haven't done that for this vacation so it's no wonder people are curious to know how it went.
I am typically an oversharer. I like expressing myself and letting people in.
In this moment however, I have taken a social media break, and it is uncharacteristically taking me longer to share this vacation in a blog post too.
I have written many blogs (1, 2, 3, 4) about past vacations.
I suggest reading them all (of course) to get the breadth and depth of my past vacation experiences, and how it has changed over time.
I love to provide encouragement, inspiration, and support to others going on alcohol-free vacations.
Here’s a few thoughts on why it might be taking me so long to share this vacation.
I have been...
I am annoyed when people over explain their relationship with social media and here I am doing the same.
I think it’s arrogant to think anyone really cares, but it turns out they do.
And I do too.
I am a solopreneur building my coaching business and Instagram has been a wonderful resource for me.
I inspire and support people in ditching the drink.
The growing sober/alcohol free IG community has been a great tool in my own recovery.
It has also offered a cost effective place to market my offerings.
I love it!
I started like any regular person with one unimpressive post and 1 follower (me).
I wondered what to post, how to add value, what to share, what not to share, and how to capture anyone’s attention.
How could I be of service and understanding to the great wide open of anyone who might cross my path?
Would anyone care what I had to say?
To my delight each day my following grew.
I started to meet people that I really...
I was driving home this morning from dropping my daughter off at her summer job, and I was thinking about our upcoming all inclusive family vacation.
It hit me that I hadn't thought about alcohol on this vacation yet and it is quickly approaching.
Alcohol was not a thought in planning it, booking it, or packing for it.
I remember taking a similar vacation a few years ago.
I was excited, anxious, and fully prepared to accomplish my first all inclusive sober vacay.
You can read about it here.
I have also unsuccessfully attempted sober vacations before.
More on that here.
It took me by surprise, this morning, to realize the very thing that used to be my one track mind, was nowhere to be found, as I was planning, preparing, or anticipating this vacation.
This is incredible, awesome, and absolutely how I live my life!
I celebrate this!
Even as a Recovery Coach, alcohol takes up less headspace for me, than it ever did while I was drinking.
I’m in my 4th year of sobriety.
It was painful to get out from under the grip of alcohol dependence.
Time and space from alcohol has changed me, my values, and my priorities.
I am a different person today, than I was on my last Day 1.
I continue to choose to live alcohol free every day.
I have no desire to drink alcohol anymore.
I thought being sober was going to be sad and boring.
I thought I would always feel like I was missing out.
I expected to be jealous of friends that were still drinking.
I am happy to report, that is not at all how I feel.
I do not feel like I am missing out on anything.
Sobriety does not feel like deprivation to me, it feels like a gift.
Not only am I not drinking, I also do not want to drink.
Sobriety feels like the world’s best kept secret.
It feels like the ultimate super power.
I no longer seek outside myself for comfort.
I have everything I need within.
There is so much freedom that...
There was a moment this weekend where I picked up a glass of whiskey,
so I could wash the table underneath so we could play cards after dinner.
I put my nose in and smelled it.
It smelled so good!!!
It gave me a warm, boozy, fuzzy feeling just to sniff it.
I knew I would love the burn going down my throat.
Whiskey wasn’t my drink of choice, but I always did like it.
Did I want a sip of whiskey?
Did I want that happy burn and fuzzy buzz to come over me?
Yes, I definitely did.
I know now what that would mean for me.
Alcohol is a big head game.
I am so glad to not be playing anymore.
Ultimately, I don’t want what alcohol brings.
For me, alcohol brings disappointment, dependence/addiction, hangovers, and shame.
It hijacks my brain into a one track mind with only one thought - drink now.
It clouds everything that is beautiful and free about me.
It makes me anxious, and depressed.
Drinking got you thinking? Evaluate your relationship with alcohol with my free download, 12 Sober Secrets and bonus Get Free, Stay Free mantra.