Bittersweet Symphony - On Leaving a Legacy

I got happy and sad news at the same time yesterday. First, a phone call revealed that my friend, Tracy, who had been bravely battling cancer for 3+ years, had passed away. Then I received a text from a previous client, who just celebrated three years of being alcohol-free, I considered the three-year timing for them both. My client chose to live in her most awakened state by ditching the drink and doing the necessary and sometimes painful work to get there. My friend Tracy worked towards living to her fullest potential while preparing for and accepting her departure, doing the necessary and sometimes painful work to get there. Thinking about these loved ones and their journey these last three years was very sobering, to say the least. 


Where will I be three years from now? Where will you go? We don't know all that is around the corner for us. What I do know is that I have never regretted ditching the drink. I wasn’t really living when I was drinking. I was...

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From Temptation to Triumph: A Sober Perspective on Watching Others Indulge in Wine


My husband and I went to City Winery for a 10,000 Maniacs show last night. After a comedy of errors in our dinner plans, we decided to eat at the venue. We did not want to be the first people at the show, so first, we enjoyed dinner in the adjoining restaurant. We got a cute little table right next to the big, roaring fireplace. We had fun ordering a bunch of little plates and sharing. Truffle fries and burrata. Lox flatbread and kale Caesar salad. I had an NA sangria to drink. It was a bunch of tart fruit juices. It looked like an aperol spritz, and it came in a pretty glass. My husband had an Athletic Brew beer. We ended with chocolate mousse and coffee.


Then we headed to the concert room. The seats and tables are really close together at this venue, making for an intimate concert experience. As the name implies, wine is obviously a big theme. The space is full of bottles and barrels as decor. The establishment gives away a signed bottle from the band. Right down the...

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Coping with Grief Without Alcohol

grief sober tools Dec 12, 2023


Something has been brewing inside me and it bubbled over this weekend. 


It started with listening to a song really loud in the car by myself. It struck a chord, almost literally.

I felt something in the music and started singing along. My singing took a turn and morphed into screaming which ended up with full on sobbing. Sing/scream/sobbing. Release. I spent the next two hours hiking in the woods talking to the trees, crying at the sky, and trying to make sense of my complex emotions. 


I didn't realize that I had been avoiding this meltdown for weeks. I ignored the signals and was now at the boiling over point. Looking back, there were some clues but I didn’t see them at the time. As a sober person, I have worked really hard to “check myself before I wreck myself”, but this one snuck up on me. 


In hindsight, I could see that my recent behavior in hustle, avoidance, distraction, and achievement was my own protection...

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I Was Drunk When My Friend Died

grief Sep 27, 2023


It's been 10 years since my friend Bulmaro Junior passed away. His death was one of three that escalated my already heavy drinking. He was my good friend, and he was also my drinking buddy. We loved drinking together. He lived across the street from me and we called ourselves "backyard neighbors". 

Anyone who is close to their neighbors might know what this means. We can be polite and friendly in the front yard while bringing in our groceries, and then be our real selves in the backyard.

This usually included drinking, smoking, and swearing for me.

Sometimes tears and always rip-roaring laughter about the dumbest stuff.

The way he mimicked our kids tossing their Capri Sun straw sleeves in the yard is…to date…the best stand-up comedy routine that I have ever seen!

As a father of five, he had to keep his sense of humor.

There’s nothing I appreciate more than someone who can make me laugh.

Junior made me laugh at our first meeting...

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The Thin Line Between Normal and Heavy Drinking

My friend, Becky died a year ago today from alcohol. 

It is so sad and it is not fair.

Becky and I were just casual friends, but we had a lot in common. 

We both come from the same small town in Wisconsin. 

We were both on the Poms squad in high school.

We married good, steady guys who loved us dearly. 

We both gave birth to two daughters, a few years apart. 

Being a Mom was the most important role of our lives and meant the world to both of us. 

We were as proud as peacock’s of our girls. 

We were closest to our own Mom’s, and everyone knew it.  

We looked just like our  Mom’s, who were our very best friends. 

We were both friendly, although I think Becky was way more likable than me. 

We both drank wine. 

We both drank too much wine. 

We stayed in touch casually over the years.

We were big fans of each other from afar, in a mutual admiration club of two. 

I really liked Becky, and I think...

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Silver Linings of Grief

anxiety death grief Jun 04, 2020

At 44 years old, I might be at the halfway point of my life. 

My Grandma just passed away at 88 last week. 

No one is getting any younger.

My kids are teenagers and I am middle aged. 

I am not sure how this all happened so quickly. 

Just yesterday I was in high school, and somehow my first born just completed her freshman year.

I know the older I get the more people I will lose.

This is heartbreaking in so many ways. 

I also know age is a gift and not everyone gets it. 

I have lost friends and family my age and younger. 

Losing people that I love has changed me forever. 

The silver lining of grief is the ability to cherish what you have , when you have it.

Death is inevitable. 

Because I have experienced so much loss, I know my moments matter.

They could be taken away at any time.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Loved ones have been unexpectedly ripped away from me without warning. 

This broke my heart. 

It has also given me an added...

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Asking for Help, I am Racist

Black Lives Matter. 

I want to openly admit how racist I am, and what I am doing about it.

This might surprise you to hear that I am racist, because I am, without a doubt, also anti-racism. 

I am a kind, accepting, open, loving white woman. 

I believe and vote for equal rights for all people.

My neighbors are black. 

My best friends are black.

I am from a white family, in a white town.

I went to a white college. 

I grew up in a very nice, loving, accepting white family who believes and votes for equal rights for all people. 

How could I be racist?

Because I grew up in a racist society with massive inequality. 

I don't know what I don't know.

A few years ago, a young blonde girl was shooting a skunk in our local park in broad daylight. 

I was scared and taken back at first, but when I saw who it was, I was relieved. 

If that was a black man or a black teen, I might have been scared and called the police.


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