Sobriety and Belonging in Forced Social Situations

sober sobriety social weekend Jul 15, 2024

My daughter had an out-of-state weekend soccer tournament last weekend. I love to watch my kids play sports. However, both as a drinker and as a person in early sobriety, these weekend away tournaments were my worst nightmare. From the long drives to the forced socializing, my anxiety is amplified. 

Small talk, travel, hotel lobbies, parenting, and sports can all be triggers. Some of my people-pleasing, competitive, insecure, and perfectionist qualities can really come out in moments like this. 


I dread the long road trips. This tournament was a six-hour drive each way. It’s hard for me to sit still. My back hurts. I need a restroom every half hour. It’s so boring! More importantly, I am not into small talk with the other parents. It feels like torture to me. I feel like everyone already knows each other, and I am the odd (wo)man out. 


As a drinker, I tried to get “in” by drinking the “right” amount alongside near...

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Sobriety and Self-Discovery: How Coaching Can Transform Your Relationship with Alcohol

I want to be frank with you. There is no award to be won for being alcohol-free with the least amount of support possible. I know that's how we all try to do it. Me too. Like a middle schooler waiting for the bus in 30 degree weather with no jacket. We’re the cool kids. We’re good. We don’t need a coat. We’re strong, independent women. We don’t want any help. We got it. We GOT it okay?! Now leave us alone. 


Except, sister, you don’t really get it. You keep trying to get it. You start with the easiest possible way to do it. A way to attempt without fail. A way to try without overcommitting. You’re smart like that. I get it. So you try a short challenge. A free 5-day fix. And maybe you succeed, or maybe you say that was so dramatic. You forgot about the book club on Tuesday, so you’ll just drink on day 3 of the 5-day challenge. It was free. You tried. Who cares?


Success! 3 days alcohol-free. Then it’s back to the...

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Conscious Alcohol Consumption, Mindful Drinking, and Moderation

It’s all about balance, they say, and that might be true for many things; however, there's no reason to find balance with alcohol. Alcohol is an addictive substance that creates dependence; you are not missing out on any internal happiness or joy by not consuming it.  

I am all for being mindful, intentional, and prioritizing awareness, health, and wellbeing, but there’s a problem when it comes to terms like conscious consumption and mindful drinking. In short, they are oxymorons. 

I am the last person to want to tell you this. I wanted to believe for years, as a wine drinker, that alcohol was good for me. I wanted to know about the grapes and the soil they came from. I wanted to know the region and the year. I wanted to believe desperately that I wasn’t dependent on alcohol, and it was an empowering choice that I was making to free myself from rules and responsibilities. I thought alcohol was one of my great pleasures in life. I did not want to see...

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9 Ways I Honor Black History Month in the Alcohol Free Space

business coach diversity sober Feb 26, 2024

I am sharing a few examples of how to honor Black History Month.

I try to do many of these things year-round. Black History Month serves as a nice reminder to evaluate my efforts and add to them as well. I hope you can implement and add to these ideas. 

Consider the source here. I am a white woman who grew up in a small white town in Wisconsin. I went to a mostly white college in Wisconsin, too. Growing up, I could count the number of black friends I had on three fingers. My black friends were all adopted by white families. I can't change this fact, and I am not an expert on this matter. I do care to broaden my world, so I try to mostly listen when it comes to this topic.

After college, I moved to Chicago. I currently live on a street that you could compare to Sesame Street. No family is the same when it comes to race, religion, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, age, and more. My children are growing up with much more diversity, and we are all benefiting from it. As a...

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How to Get Sober, Stages of Change

I’m sharing a few tips for how to get started with any new habit including ditching the drink. I am starting a new habit of walking in the morning. This is something I’ve been considering for a while. For months I would say to myself “I should really get up and do that,” and then I would not get up and do that. Relatable?

I did this while drinking too. It is part of the contemplation stage of change. 

The stages of change model describes the process individuals go through as they make behavioral changes. The stages of change include:

  • Precontemplation or as I like to call it, blissfully unaware. In this stage you are unaware or resistive to the idea of change.
  • Contemplation. This is when you are starting to think about making a change. This stage can last a long time. In my case with alcohol it was years if not decades. For my new walk routine, I’ve probably been thinking about it for 6 months. I recognize the need for change, but I still...
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My Experience with Sober Travel Retreats

I often get asked, “What is it like to go to a sober retreat?”

I have had many sober retreat experiences, and I’m happy to share my feedback. 

In this blog, I will be reviewing 3 specific retreats: Brave Recovery Coaching, Sober in the City - Zero Proof Experiences, and the SheRecovers Annual Conference. These are three very different experiences with different goals, taken at different points on my alcohol free journey. 

Spoiler alert, they were all fantastic. TLDR.  

My first ever sober retreat was a female hiking retreat in Sedona, AZ hosted by Brave Recovery Coaching. I was an acquaintance of the host, Carrie May, a Certified Recovery Coach and Nurse Practitioner. I had met two other attendees briefly at a previous local event. I didn’t really know anyone, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was very nervous because I wasn’t friends with any of the attendees. I was basically going alone. I ended up flying and driving...

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Hard to Be Sober - From a Sober Coach

I am in a season of extreme emotions right now. 


My oldest daughter is graduating high school in just a few weeks. She will be moving 6 hours away to go to school (MIZ-ZOU!) in early August. I feel like we are still connected via umbilical cord, so as much as I want her to spread her wings and fly…I also want to swaddle her in a blanket and hold her in my arms from now until the end of time. 


Saturday was her last prom. I watched her in her gorgeous gown donning fancy hair and flawless make up. I was absolutely stunned by her beauty, maturity, and confidence. I am so proud of the woman she has become. She is better than my wildest dreams. We all know I have too high expectations for everything. Lily is everything and then some. 


Since birth she has flipped me upside down and shook me around until I was dizzy. Somehow, in between cleaning up after her, and keeping her safe and fed, she grew into her own being. She is so much more than even I...

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An Annoyed Yogi

fitness sober Oct 07, 2022

I didn’t want to go to yoga yesterday. 

I love yoga. 

I really do. 


And yet, I didn’t want to go. 


I know it’s good for me. I always feel better afterwards. I pride myself on being a yogi.


I like to do it at least three times a week. Four, if I can. 

Sometimes I do that. Sometimes even more. 


Lately, it’s been hard to fit it in with my extra busy work schedule and both my daughters’ full volleyball schedules. 


For this season, I have committed to at least once a week. 

This has been an achievable goal, until last week when I missed it. 


I reserved my spot, but when the time came to go, I told myself my time would be better spent doing more work. I decided to catch up on emails and home administration while sitting on the couch. I talked myself out of  yoga. I told myself this was me giving myself a break. This was my way to find the time to accomplish other...

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What Climbing a Mountain Taught Me About Sobriety

Yesterday I met Mt. Evans of Colorado up close and personal and accomplished a big goal of mine = to climb a 14K mountain. 


Climbing a mountain is a big feat. 

Climbing a mountain of this elevation is a big feat. 

Climbing a mountain at this elevation, as a 46 year old woman from Chicago, was a real challenge.


You know what else is a huge feat and a big challenge? 

You guessed it, getting sober.


Throughout my entire climb I was trying to find the metaphors between getting sober and climbing a mountain, but they didn’t come to me, until the day after my climb.


I am first sharing my climbing experience with Mount Evans. Then, I will share the lessons I learned in retrospect. Let's start at the beginning. 

I commited to climbing a mountain a year ago, after a hike with a friend in Colorado. We decided to accomplish this goal together and we decided on Mount Evans. We got a parking permit, and put a date on the...

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Reflections on 4 Years Sober

sober sober celebrations Feb 23, 2022

I fell to my knees the morning of February 20th, 2018 and surrendered to my husband. 

I was crying, miserable, terrified. 


For the first time in my whole life I said the words that seemed impossible to me,  “I need help.” He held me and we cried together. 


I made a very wobbly decision that I was never going to drink again. I was somehow going to become the kind of person that doesn’t drink and in doing this we both knew our whole life would change. There was no other option. The path of alcohol led to complete destruction of me and our family and I wasn't having it. In order to save my life I would have to be sober for the rest of my life. I was so sad about it. I felt like a failure. Defective. Weak. I was scared. My life was clearly not working for me, but yet I was clinging to what I knew and I didn’t want anything to change.


I was mostly afraid of how this would affect my relationships. I wouldn’t want to...

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