Always Have an Exit Plan

Always Have an Exit Plan

Tonight I could be celebrating an old bestie’s milestone birthday at the cutest getaway cabin, with women I’ve know going on 17 years. But instead, I’m staying home. I’ll go to a recovery meeting, do regular mundane mom kind of stuff, baby my dog who has a little injury. I’ll work, getting my business ready to reopen in a pandemic. I have a mammogram.

I could have ditched it all for a reunion. For sure. But I’ve been trained in sobriety to check my motives before making any decision. This celebration was going to be just girls, in a cute cabin far from home, getting shitfaced. That’s just the kind of situation my alcoholic brain craves. I love these girls, but watching people get loaded isn’t fun. Plus the addict in me could easily cave-who would know? Just this once. No big deal. And there goes years of sobriety, circling the drain. “Staying stopped” is WAY easier than starting over.

I ALWAYS need an exit plan. Sure I’ll go out to a birthday dinner, have a piece of cake, support and love my friends. And then I’ll go on home, sobriety and dignity intact. Any time I go where there’s alcohol, I think it through, and decide if there’s a valid reason to go. And I plan my exit IN ADVANCE. The FOMO will pass. And I’ll be here, strong and serene.

Show Yourself Some Love ❤️

Hey sisters!

I was just thinking about how giving up drinking was a huge gesture of self love. And that can be so hard, loving myself. My inner critic can be mean. And unforgiving. This was especially true in the pergatory I found myself in- when I KNEW I had an escalating drinking problem and made a decision to stop drinking. A promise I made made single day. And then I failed to stop, over and over again.

So how did I finally succeed? In 2015, I had an alcohol-related disaster that snapped me right out of denial and right into a 12-step program. I stayed sober for a couple years, then convinced myself that circumstances were stacked against me, that my drinking problem was a result of medicating over truly hard life problems. So I drank again. Never mind that drinking always made things worse overall, it still obliterated the pain temporarily. Then I just had to suffer extra when I wasn’t drinking. With real hangovers. And emotional hangovers. And shame.

In early 2018 my kids called me out on acting drunk the night before. And that gave me the push I needed to stop again.

The trick is staying stopped. I’ve quit hundreds of times! But I value my life and what I can contribute to my family and community nowadays. I love myself sober. Until I got to this place, I realized I had to be brave enough to tell someone I needed help. Once it came without having to say it. On account of crashing the car.

There’s a lot of practice and planning and lying that goes into living a double life. For me, it was a relief to finally tell the truth. It helps keep me accountable. I tell the people in my life that I can’t and won’t drink. So that’s the first part. Admitting to myself and other people there’s a problem I can’t fix and I need help.

The next part is just get through another day without a drink and keep up honest relationships. I had to want to do this for me, but I really wanted to do it for my people too, especially my kids.

Even the bad days are much better now. Because if I get through a day sober, that’s something to be proud of.

💋 Nicole

welcome to the sister blog!

welcome to the sister blog!

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