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...
This weekend we will be on a lake.
I heard an interview by the band Old Dominion about their new song titled,
“I Was On A Boat That Day”.
It’s a super fun song and I love Old Dominion’s music.
They said they were drinking when they recorded it because they wanted it to sound free and loose, like the meaning of the song.
I totally get that.
I love that too.
It gives me a jolt.
I want that kind of two beer buzz they talk about in the country songs.
This could give me a strong craving because...
I want that all summer long, but let me tell you…
...alcohol didn’t do this for me.
Maybe for one second I felt the loose, free feeling...
...but it was always followed by heart palpitations, worry, and insecurity.
I wasn’t really loose.
I was acting loose and inhibited because I had something to blame it on = alcohol.
Sitting here on a Sunday morning, giving myself time and space to be.
To just sit, to rest, to check in, to create.
This weekend has been a lot of nothing, in the best way.
Reading, resting, carpooling my kids, and cheering them on at their games.
After being gone nearly a month, it feels right to just sit for a bit.
I am gaining energy to meal plan and prep for the first time in weeks.
Laundry is going.
My candles are lit.
I tidied the kitchen.
A frozen mango pineapple smoothie is thawing on the counter,
for me to enjoy when I finish my coffee.
I had a conversation with my husband this morning about our outdoor space.
We see things differently.
We have different ideas, goals, and priorities.
Landscaping or patio furniture?
I say both.
He does not.
I was able to speak my mind and not demand a decision.
We came to some conclusions and some things are still left unknown.
I can let it simmer.
The answers will...
When I look back on pictures, I can see clearly how alcohol is poison.
The bloat in my face is painful to see.
The bloat was my body's way of trying to protect me from my drinking habits.
As a drinker, it was just another reason for me to hate my ugly self.
I was ignoring myself, in every way.
I did not pay attention.
I numbed out everything that was happening to me, so I could just keep drinking.
I started drinking in my early teens.
I never had a chance to fully develop without it.
I didn’t learn healthy coping skills.
I didn’t know how to regulate my emotions.
Alcohol was always there to soothe me.
I thought it was fun.
I thought it was what made me fun.
I thought other people liked the funny, fun, party girl, who I was, with a drink in my hand.
Spring Break, Man.
On my 21st birthday (also my golden birthday), I got a tattoo and headed to Panama City Beach for a week in the sun with my friends.
Finally legal to drink alcohol!
I watched frat boys drink so much that they dug a hole in the sand to puke in and then cover it up and drink some more.
Even as a party girl myself, I felt sad watching this.
I wondered what their mothers’ would think and it seemed dangerous.
Spring Break has always been a thing for me.
On my first sober Spring Break 3 years ago, my husband and I sat there at the pool listening to Jimmy Buffet and staring at each other.
What in the hell were we going to do?
How was this going to be fun?
Who does this?
Who stays sober on Spring Break?
It seemed awkward, uncomfortable, and even painful at the time.
If that’s where you are at, this is for you!
Flash forward to today, 3 years sober, and many vacations in.
I just returned from a long weekend away and I am...
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.
As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and Retired Party Animal, I know one main concern about ditching the drink, is the fear of a boring life.
I understand this completely, because it was one of my greatest fears too.
This is for the sober curious folks, a life of sobriety does not equal a boring life.
Here’s some food for thought when taking a break from alcohol.
Is it sobriety or pandemic?
If you are getting sober or experimenting with being alcohol free, during the COVID pandemic, separate feeling bored and shut in, with being sober. They are not the same thing. If you are bored because of the pandemic, consider yourself lucky, right?
Is it temporary?
Being sober does not mean being shut in, unless you want it too.
In early sobriety you might choose nights on the couch with Netflix over fighting cravings in alcohol induced environments. With practice you will grow your sober muscle and start to venture out more....
1000 Days Free from Alcohol.
I am super proud of me.
I can’t believe I used to start everyday on the wrong side of the bed:
hungover, full of guilt/shame/fear, physically ill and in a bad mood.
How did I do this for years and then hate myself when I wasn’t happy with my life?
If I could look back on myself, on Day 1…
this is what I would tell her.
Start by tuning in, instead of tuning out.
You don’t need to seek outside yourself for love, acceptance, and peace of mind.
Pursuing meaning and purpose will prove so much more valuable than the pursuit of pleasure.
Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
You are worthy, you are enough, and there is nothing wrong with you.
You’ve done a great job dealing with some heavy shit, give yourself credit.
Not everyone is going to understand or like you and that’s ok.
You don’t have to be perfect, you get to be whole.
Discomfort and pain are part of life,...
It is Saturday morning.
I don’t have to get up.
It is 6:30 and still dark out.
I roll around in bed.
Pet the dog.
Lay and enjoy the slowness of the morning without the rush to get up.
My eyes are wide awake.
My body feels mostly good.
Maybe slightly puffy from the sushi last night, but my head is clear.
I awake with energy and joy.
I decide to get up out of bed and make myself my first cup of coffee.
I am excited for this early morning alone time, because I am at the end of a great book.
I turn on the lamp, grab my blanket, and settle in on the couch.
I finish this 5 star read, as the sun rises.
I treat myself to a Starbucks run for my next cup of coffee.
Today is Halloween.
I have a fun day of holiday baking, crafts, and movies planned with my teenage daughters.
Because of the COVID pandemic, we are not attending our usual costume parties, treat or treating, and other neighborhood activities.
We planned our own Halloween agenda weeks ago.
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...