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,...
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.
When asked what I do, I tell people I help others take a break from alcohol.
Then I launch into a definition of gray area drinking, coaching, and ending the stigma.
People usually respond with, yeah you don’t have to quit forever though, right?
You don’t work with like really bad alcoholics?
There’s a difference between someone who can never drink again and someone that does Dry January.
Then I rant about alcohol being toxic substance that creates dependency.
I talk about it being progressive, and blah, blah, blah.
But here’s the thing:
What if alcohol was poisonous for everyone and not just some of us?
What if anyone had the potential to become an ALCOHOLIC, because of alcohol?
What if anyone, whether ALCOHOLIC or not just decided to stop putting poison in their body?
What if anyone, no matter how much alcohol they consumed, just decided to start looking internally instead of externally for their own peace and happiness?
What if not drinking ever again led...
Shame on you Big Alcohol.
How dare you market your poison to Mothers.
You are selling us a carefree afternoon with a crisp chardonnay in the sun.
You are selling us a sip to take the edge off a long day.
You are selling us relief from the high stress of parenting.
You are selling us deeper connections with our spouses.
You are selling us empowerment with each other.
You are selling us glamour, luxury, and a vacation from the daily grind.
These are all the things we desire and none of it comes from alcohol.
You know that.
You know that you are selling lies.
Your lies take away our power and hurt our future generations.
It’s the worst thing you can do.
I don’t know how you sleep at night.
You suggest we need wine to help us parent.
You tell our kids we are drinking because of them.
I was sold, hook, line and sinker on your promises that never delivered.
I was duped.
I drank your wine.
I sucked down that elixir and waited for the magic to happen.
Change of Season
The cooler weather and shorter days are calling to wrap yourself in cozy solitude. This sweater weather reminds us to tuck in early, be introspective, and self soothe with quiet comforts. One main concern for people taking a break from alcohol is their social life. As the buzz of a social summer winds down, September is the perfect time to ditch the drink. The hygge lifestyle of fall encompasses a feeling of wellness and contentment. Being alcohol free aligns with wellbeing. As the weather changes, so can we. We look to nature to guide us. It’s a season of letting go. Like the leaves of a tree, we can release the things, like alcohol, that no longer serve us. We see the beauty in transformation of trees and serves as a reminder to us. Transformation is welcome. It’s ok to try something new. Let nature be your guide and try a break from booze.
The Real New Year
The start of a school year is an invitation to get organized, start...
Will I lose weight if I quit drinking?
This is one of my most asked questions.
I can’t guarantee anything about the scale, but I can share my experience.
When I quit drinking, I let myself eat whatever I wanted, with abandon.
I didn’t have a sweet tooth until I gave up alcohol.
Without wine, my body craved sugar and I indulged.
Alcohol had a hold on my brain and giving it up was hard.
I let myself consume whatever I wanted, craved, and needed.
I only had one exception: no alcohol.
That was the only simple rule imposed.
For me, this was the only way to make it through the first hours, days, weeks and months.
Giving up alcohol was enough.
More than enough.
This was my life’s work.
To grab a Twizzler instead of a drink.
This simple type of transformation is profound.
If you know, you know.
I went out for coffee and dessert instead of drinks.
I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Whatever tasted good and whatever comforted me.
I allowed it.
Growing up in Wisconsin, alcohol was omnipresent.
My parents met in a beer tent.
I met my husband in a bar.
I had a lot of fun drinking days with just a few embarrassing moments and a couple of painstaking hangovers sprinkled in between.
Just like everyone else.
When I became a Mom, I was adamant in keeping my party girl identity shining through.
Lucky for me, Mommy Juice Wine Culture was on the rise.
My drinking was totally normalized.
I brought my breast pump to happy hours in bars.
You do what you gotta do.
Mom’s are people too.
Make no mistake, I love my kids beyond measure.
Their health and safety is my top priority.
I never drove after drinking.
I have lost friends from my hometown that way.
I wasn’t reckless, careless, or stupid.
Neither were they.
As time went on, I was becoming more and more unhappy.
I was out of alignment with my career.
I experienced the tragic loss of 3 loved ones 3 years...
For a long while, I've struggled with drinking to have fun and drinking to relieve and escape some of the monotony and fatigue of the day-in, day-out routine of working full time as a database developer while also trying to be "everything" for my three young children.
Sometimes a glass of wine seems like the only way to get through a dinner with a screaming toddler who doesn't want to eat, homework with older kids, dinner, bathtime, storytime, etc. It exhausts me even thinking about it, but I knew the wine was also increasing my exhaustion, my anxiety, my daily internal struggle that I wasn't doing my best either at work or at home because of what I was holding onto: wine.
With my older kids now 9 and 7, they were beginning to see things in me that they hated when I was drinking, and my entire goal of being an amazing mother was falling away from me. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, using wine as an escape from that pressure, and then failing at the very...
A year ago I was between jobs.
I was interviewing at a few companies.
I was rising as the top candidate for a few positions.
The openings were for jobs that I was qualified for and that I had done before.
I was good enough at these jobs.
I visualized myself making a decision about these positions and my heart sunk.
I had a year of sobriety under my belt.
I made huge gains in my personal development.
The result of my efforts, was that I no longer fit into the corporate puzzle.
I couldn’t see myself going back to these jobs that, were never meant for me.
I wanted to do something that made my heart sing.
I wanted to go back to my social work roots.
I wanted to inspire and help others.
I wanted to share stories, connect, and create.
I wanted to work with people that share a passion for mental health.
I took a leap of faith.
I let go of a paycheck.
I decided to have relentless belief in myself.
Something I had never...