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...
One of the greatest gifts of sobriety, for me, has been the ability to feel joy.
This may sound silly, as alcohol is sold as a rip roaring good time.
I had some good times in my drinking days.
The good times, however, were often clouded by my own shame and fear.
Now that I am sober, I have re-learned how to feel childlike joy in everyday moments.
While drinking, I grew to be afraid of joy.
It was like if I acknowledged feeling joy, then it would be taken away.
If I looked at my kids sleeping and felt overwhelming gratitude and love for them, it was immediately replaced with “what could go wrong?”
I was afraid to be ok, happy, content.
It was easier to complain, than to recognize that in this moment, all is well.
We aren’t supposed to feel happiness.
Who do we think we are?
It felt like bragging to say,
“things are good, I am happy, healthy, lucky...hashtag blessed!”
It was as if there is only so much of...
You can live a big, juicy life without alcohol.
I am 900 days sober and living a brave, and adventurous life.
Day 1 and Day 900 look completely different.
On Day 900, I still drink.
I still like to over indulge.
I love going out and having a good time.
I don’t need alcohol to do it.
In fact, alcohol took away from all my fun for years.
Getting rid of alcohol has been the most fun and liberating experience of my life!
Just last night I was at a happy hour where I enjoyed two craft cocktails free of spirits, followed by dinner with my husband where I enjoyed a Hoppy Refresher.
I was relaxed, free, and present.
Last weekend I played cards with friends and had 2 NA elderberry gin and tonics with extra lime.
I was not always comfortable socializing without alcohol.
I grew into my alcohol free confidence.
In my first month year sober, I had a lot of anxiety about going out and socializing without alcohol. ...
Sobriety is a lifestyle and it’s the one I’ve always wanted.
Rosé all day is a lifestyle too and it made me miserable.
As a drinker, I loved any occasion to make my drinking feel normal.
I loved when other people drank with me.
I loved when other people started the drinking, so it didn’t have to be me.
I loved weekends, holidays, events and occasions where I could start drinking earlier in the day.
I drank fast and furious.
I always wanted more.
It didn’t hit fast enough and then it hit all at once.
I drank alone like this too, but it felt better when there were others doing it with me.
I could not hang, so I often passed out hours before the party ended.
The drinking lifestyle started out with all the best intentions.
Wine at playdates.
Day drinking by the pool on a holiday weekend.
A crisp glass of white in the sun chatting on the phone before the kids came home.
The drinking lifestyle ended with...
“Building Resilience” is a popular term in the self help world.
I didn’t have a full understanding of what resiliency meant until COVID-19 happened, and social distancing was put in place.
You see, I’ve spent the past 2+ years building my resilience, by getting sober.
I basically trained for this.
I replaced drinking with new coping skills.
I put routines in place that strengthened my mental health.
I learned to care for my body by what I eat and how I move.
I listen to myself to tell me what I need, especially, in times of stress.
Building my resiliency looked like this:
Anxiety = walk with dog around the block/yoga
Angry = journal/ loud music in headphones/fast run.
Sad = cry/read
Irritable = alone time at gym/clean kitchen/donate stuff
Bored = coffee with friend/puzzle
Lonely = tell someone/letters to Grandma/volunteer
I pay attention to myself when things feel wonky, triggery, or a little off.
International Women's Day, March 8th 2020, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of 'Collective Individualism.'
We are all parts of a whole.
Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
Collectively we can help create a gender equal world and we can all choose to be #EachforEqual.
It is proven that when women do better, countries do better, communities do better, businesses do better and families do better.
Equality is not just a women’s issue. It's an everyone issue.
Supporting women not only helps women, it helps everyone.
One thing keeping women down is increased alcohol consumption.
Unfortunately, alcohol is reported by Dr. George Koob, Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as “a growing women’s health issue.”
He and Aaron...
If drinking is good for my health then why do I feel like shit after I drink?
If drinking relaxes me, then why do I feel crippling anxiety after a night of drinking?
Well friends, I hate to tell you, but your beloved bottle of wine is doing more harm than good.
You know this from your own experience, and not because I am telling you.
It's not that hard to find a research study that suggests drinking in moderation is good for the heart. You can easily find some research that implies drinking helps you to live longer.
Believe me, when I say, as a drinker, nothing comforted me more than hearing science was on my side, and drinking was good for my health.
The bad news is, these studies are often funded by alcohol companies.
The outcomes are often based on factors other than alcohol.
In all the studies key word is moderation, which typically means one 5 oz glass of wine per day.
We would all like to think we are just moderate drinkers, but...
I am 2 years away from my last drink.
Looking back, I’d love to tell myself then, what I know now.
The biggest lesson would be, that I wouldn't always feel the way I felt.
Getting sober was a process.
I had to go through each phase, before I reached the next.
Just because it didn't always feel pleasant, didn't mean I was doing it wrong.
It meant I was doing it right.
I can see this now, in hindsight.
Let me take you back to the beginning, when I wasn't so sure.
This might provide some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
My first night out
I remember being just 5 days sober and going to my first party.
I didn't want to go, but we had committed, before I decided to quit drinking.
We had already bought tickets to see a show, and I felt like I couldn't back out.
We had a pre party to attend before going to see a band at a bar.
We showed up to the pre party.
I brought my favorite water bottle with me.
My husband was also not drinking,...
On February 20, 2020 I am celebrating 2 years of sobriety.
Two years ago, I was just existing, robotically going through the motions of life.
Today I really living out my dreams and I look forward to nearly everything.
My first year getting sober was absolutely epic.
I relearned how to do everything without alcohol.
My second year was epic too.
I transformed from someone who was surviving without alcohol, to someone thriving, who was no longer even thinking about drinking.
I didn't know this would be my life story, but I am so glad it is .
Let me to share the evolution with you.
On Day 1 of year 2, I announced my sobriety online to my private Facebook Community.
This felt like a big coming out for me.
I agonized and stressed over carefully choosing the right words for a whole year.
For the whole first year of getting sober, I was quietly, and privately working on being alcohol free from mostly the comfort of home.
The only people that knew my...