Happy National Sober Day!
I celebrate today because I am 3 ½ years sober.
I wasn’t always so enthusiastic about ditching the drink.
Believe me, sober was the last resort for me.
I tried everything I could to keep drinking.
I successfully completed 3 years worth of sober challenges.
I participated in Dry January, Sober October, Dry July, and more.
All of these experiments were to prove that I could keep alcohol in my life.
Afterall, if I COULD quit drinking, then I didn’t really HAVE to quit drinking.
Time and time again, I had a long term failure to moderate.
At the time I thought moderation was my biggest life goal.
Now that seems too small for me.
Why would I want to live by a set of rules.
Why would I want to abstain and never get as much as I really want?
I was talking with a client last week and she mentioned the weekend might be hard.
Because it’s Labor Day, a three day holiday weekend, and the end of summer.
It hit me that I hadn’t even thought about that.
I did have a trip out of town for my Aunt’s Funeral services at the end of the week, prior to the weekend's start.
I was performing the eulogy, so I was heavily distracted, to say the least.
My oldest daughter had a volleyball tournament,
so we had no plans for a for a last hurrah.
It actually felt like a regular weekend, with an extra day added in.
Less plan, and few obligations.
No forced family fun, which admittedly I shove in sometimes.
(don't we all?)
More time and space.
It was just what I needed, considering the emotional weekend I had endured.
I started the summer in an opposite way...with a BANG! on Memorial Day.
We enjoyed a weekend at a lake house,...
I always preach #sobertnoboring but the more I think about it...
...maybe I am boring.
Maybe my sober life is boring?
Maybe I don’t have to defend this anymore.
Maybe this will not inspire you to quit drinking.
Maybe this is your biggest fear come true.
It was mine.
I didn't want to be boring or lose friends, and it happened.
Truth be told...
There are people who don’t want to hang out with me since I've quit drinking.
I don’t get invited to events that I used to.
I have lost friends since I quit drinking.
Not at first, but eventually.
Not blatantly, but subtly.
My relationships changed.
That's how change works.
Many people in my life, don't want to do the things that I want to do.
They are not interested in the same things that I am.
Sometimes, I can't find anyone to do something with.
My husband and daughters have to fill in as my friends a lot.
In my friendship circles, I am...
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 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...