We’re Not SUPERstitious, We’re Just a Little Bit Stitious

My sis and I don’t mess around when it comes to signs from the Universe. We’re a bit superstitious and maybe that’s how we survived our drunken years. We hold our breath driving past graveyards. No WAY do we not find wood to knock on when needed. We pick up our feet whenever we drive across train tracks. My 16 year old son forgot to lift his feet last year and I said “OOOOOOOHHH YOU’RE GONNA GET IT!” A week later he snapped his femur (along with a tree) in two snowboarding. I’m not the type to say I told you so but 😬. Here’s the thing. The universe, the people in my life, bartenders, Uber drivers, and strangers used to tell me to stop drinking so much. There were road blocks to getting as much as I wanted. Car accidents that left me for almost dead. No money. Anxiety. Isolation. Self sabotage. Somehow I didn’t see the blocks. Maybe I was in a black out but it was really that I didn’t want to stop. All I wanted yesterday was some big sugary unhealthy donuts. The road had flooded to get to the shop! Did I stop? Welp. No. And the flooding could have been a sign to stop being such a sugar afflict. I got the donuts. And loved them. My jeans didn’t. Anyway. Signs are everywhere. It’s just a matter of opening our eyes. Happy Friday, sober family! Keep it simple today. 

Watch and Learn


If you tell me I can’t, then I have to. The people in my life who didn’t believe I could quit drinking weren’t just trying to be haters. They just knew me. The ones who REALLY knew me? They knew that my stubbornness and I’ll show them attitude was exactly what would work for me. They also had to wait until I decided to do it for myself. They had a long ass wait 😂😵‍💫

Whether or not your tribe believes in you, just know that we do. We do because we’ve been there. We do because we’ve done it. We’re not angels. We definitely are closer to being good people since we dropped the bottle. It’s not just putting down the bottle, though. We also lost severe anxiety and depression (still have it a bit though), gossiping, judging, and lying. So just think about this – If they don’t think you can, then you have to. And we’ll be by your side (at least virtually) every step of the way. Happy Thursday, sober family! Keep it simple today.

Cinderella Even Slipped

If you don’t try, there’s literally zero chance of success. I know a guy who tried, and failed, to quit drinking 9 times until it stuck. And I’m not talking about the promises he made to himself after a particularly wild night when he swore he’d never drink again. I’m talking real instances where he poured out every last drop, insisted to friends and family he was done for good, went to recovery meetings and announced his sobriety. Nine times. Some people said he’d never get it- look at his track record. But time number ten was his magic number. Getting sober isn’t a straight line. It’s twisty and turny and messy and exhausting. But if we don’t keep trying we have no chance of succeeding. Give yourself a break if you slip but don’t forget the lesson. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. Happy Wednesday, sober family! Keep it simple today

Reflections

This seems to happen to almost everyone I know who has made a decision to cut alcohol out of their life. They tell us about how some of their best friends or family members tell them that they’re fine and don’t need to quit. They say that we all do stupid shit and just “tighten up”. We have a few sober sisters in Ireland who say they’ll be cut off from their family if they quit. For me, no one said I was ok and didn’t need to stop🤨😵‍💫🤪but even my sister heard that she didn’t have a problem with alcohol. Here’s the thing. If you do or if you don’t, no one should feel like they can tell you what’s best for you if you’re telling them what is. How the f do they know?! I know I lied about the amounts I was imbibing and the consequences of my actions when I was drunk. If you want to stop, that’s for you to decide. If they can’t handle it, that’s on them. Maybe they’ll just miss their party pal. Maybe when you’re so wasted they think they’re not so bad. Maybe they’re scared to level up themselves. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. You can say that you’re doing it for your health. That you’re on a cleanse. That you’re in a diet. You’re pregnant. You developed an allergy. Or tell them your truth. Whatever you have to do to keep you sane and sober is key. Happy Tuesday, sober family! Keep it simple today. 

Tahiti


If I had a penny for every time I was going to quit but didn’t because of an upcoming event I’d be writing this post from my glass bottom house in Tahiti. Maybe Bali. But I digress. How many countless times have we all done that? Oh well I was going to quit but I have a reunion coming up! Maybe next month. I wanted to stop but then I had to cope with a breakup! How could I!? About five years ago I remember texting my two bffs and saying I’ve had enough! From now on I’m only going to drink if there’s a reason! My friend Amy said isn’t there always a reason? Mind you, hers is the wedding where I took off my dress in front of her grandparents at the bar supposedly because I’d “never been so hot in my life”. 😵‍💫

We can always find a reason TO drink. I’ve found about ten thousand reasons NOT to. I’ve proven it to myself countless times. Alcohol and I don’t mix. Oil and water. Tigers and gazelles. The two families from Romeo and Juliet. Our mom’s wild dogs and squirrels. We just don’t do well together. If you do drink successfully, good! We tried. Oh how we tried. We got tired of blowing up our lives. Took long enough. Happy Monday, sober family! Keep it simple today.

I’m No Elephant


Have you ever wanted to erase a day? Or something that happened on that day? I know I have. One of my serious issues when I was drinking was that I blacked out. Every time I drank … at the end. It didn’t even seem to matter what or how much (though let’s be honest, I’m not a one or two drinks type of lady) but more like my brain was over it and shut off as soon as I started. Like here we go again, let’s save her at least the humiliation of actually REMEMBERING the debauchery she engaged in (I mean started). Now I get annoyed when I can’t remember what I did. I’m sober! How can I forget things like I’m not?!? That is what happens when you start drinking at 13 and quit at 45. It’s not the alcohol anymore – it’s the age 🥺😩😡😒🙄.

It’s a miracle to make it out alive. So bring on the new year. I’ll remember everything I can and live life to the fullest. When I forget something at least it’s not because I’m drunk. And who knows?! Maybe I’ll remember an elderly aunt who left me a mint. I’ll even share it with my sister (although if I forgot, so did she). Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, sober family! Keep it simple tonight.


Streamers, Please

I’ll never forget the day I got out of rehab and went to a recovery meeting. I wanted the world to give me balloons, cake, and streamers. Didn’t they realize that I’d been sober for 28 WHOLE DAYS?! Where are all the props? It eventually dawned on me-why should I be celebrated for something that “normal” people do daily? They didn’t need a treat when they drove past the liquor store without going in. No high fives for making it through one more happy hour without a drink. I thought that people just didn’t get it. They didn’t get how hard it was for me. I’ve been drinking since I was 12, for fucks sake. And just like that I got it. Everyone I met in recovery was the worst of the worst (drinking wise) of their family and friends. I wasn’t special. There are more people like us than we realize. And when we get together we can relate. We can even laugh about it now. But today I want to tell you that you’re incredible. If you’ve gotten through three hours without a drink you’re killing it. And we’ll celebrate both your little and big wins with you. Happy Tuesday, sober family! Keep it simple today.

You Are Not What Happened to You

My anxiety today went from code orange to code red, then zoomed right ahead to flashing sirens. Something happened that triggered unresolved trauma. It’s been horrible, the resurgence of panic and dread, as well as the sort of resigned feeling that I’ll probably never really feel safe again, that there’s always something lurking and waiting to get me.

I’m not trying to stuff it all down, which is huge progress. I didn’t drink my weight in wine whilst furiously drunk dialing everyone in a hysterical spiral.

I did my best to take care of myself instead. Because I finally learned that I’m not broken or unworthy. I have a story, and some of it is dark. That darkness doesn’t have to define me. The fear is my monster. The more I face the monster, the less power it has.

The monster is not me. Facing it down head on reminds me it is separate from me.

The day started great—productive and peaceful. It’s a classic gorgeous San Diego day and I got to Dog Beach with a f*cking amazing new friend, and attended a powerful and humbling support group meeting (you’re all invited, send a DM if you want to join us). And then the trigger. But not the usual crazy reaction—a healthy response! I called friends, I messaged my therapist. I blew off my other jobs on the list and took a lavender salts bath in candlelight, listening to guided meditation and doing loud, embarrassing-to-teens deep breathing. And I just told you what happened too, which took even more of the monster’s power away and separated what happened to me from who I am.

It’s hard sometimes, but true healing usually is. ❤️‍🩹

Thanks for being here, sober family. I’m more grateful than I can say.

Why I Drank, and What Happened

The links between why I drank and what happened as my drinking progressed matches this chart exactly.

I drank to cope: with anxiety (made it worse); a bad relationship (made it worse); work stress (worse); parenting stress (you get it).

The more I drank to cope, the worse care I took with myself. I only managed the bare minimum-clean clothes, basic hygiene, some kind of calories. Risks? Plenty. The worst of them was drinking and driving. I went to jail and everything. Work problems? See ‘jail’, above. I risked my professional license. I also was just phoning it in at work, and my job wouldn’t last long with me doing the bare minimum.

The other motive that fits my story is to “enhance” positive feelings. Basically, I read this as “to try to falsely create some.”

This is the one with binge drinking and blackouts and a primary outcome. This fits. If I’m trying to feel good (in other words, completely different to how I really feel), a slight warm relaxing feeling won’t suffice. But getting wasted, that’s more like it. Let’s dance. Ughhhhhh.

It helps me to work through some of my “whys” to fix what’s really wrong. It helps me to remember what happens when I think the fix for what’s really wrong is at the bottom of a bottle.

Happy Friday sober family! Keep it simple today.

**This is a very simplified snapshot of an NIH (National Institutes of Health) study from 2012, called “Motivational Pathways to Uniques Types of Alcohol Consequences.”

Just Staying Stopped

I swore to all that is good and holy that I was SO quitting (for the week, for 30 days, forever). Then again, sometimes I made myself a solemn vow to stop after two drinks. Three max. I’ll pour my own, thanks.

I was convinced I’d never be able to stop. I stopped drinking more times a year than it rains in Seattle.

That’s it, I thought. I’m doomed. Why would I keep trying something I OBVIOUSLY completely failed at?

Well I’ll tell you what. I ALWAYS had a loophole. An exception to the plan. A damn good reason to drink today, don’t worry about it. And, like, I didn’t announce it to people, stop lying, ask for help, go to meetings or anything that was such a big commitment. I had the books. I browsed the social media. I figured that was enough.

I liked the idea of abstinence but I didn’t want to commit all the way. Really I liked the idea of moderation and moderation is not in my wheelhouse. So I toyed with getting sober but only kind of; I thought of it as a last resort. And then kept telling myself I wasn’t anywhere near that stage in my drinking. I knew damn well I was chasing toward disaster like it was my destiny. And I didn’t want to give up my drug. I didn’t want to, in my heart. My soul was crying for help and my fear drowned those worries with another glass, or four.

Giving up alcohol wasn’t a punishment at all. It was a gift. I kept holding on to a burden. A soul sucker. When I remember the control I let booze have over me, I’m so glad I decided to not pick up a drink, today, no matter what.

And then I don’t have to keep going through the miserable cycle of half-ass quitting. It’s so much easier to just stay stopped.