Valentine’s Day Gratitude

I have been reading about love all over the place today. Love yourself, love others, and some ‘bah humbug’ feelings about love in general. I am pro-love all the way, baby. Love yourself in order to love others. For some of us it is difficult to love ourselves, but we can learn how to do it. We can get better at loving ourselves. Gratitude is helping me find my way towards self-love because I am being grateful for who I am, warts and all. 🙂

So, what makes me ME? How can I celebrate that today?

First of all, I am grateful for my ever-seeking nature. I have always been a seeker of truth, information, answers, experiences, people, work, love. This led me down some strange paths when I was trying to find answers in a bottle of booze, but it has also led me here. To a place where I am finding my TRUE self more and more everyday, and also finding a spiritual and fulfilling way to live.

I am grateful for my genes. I bitch about them a lot because they hold alcoholism and some other nasty stuff, but they also hold intelligence, good looks, generosity of spirit, a strong work ethic, an adventurous nature, loyalty, and a good sense of humor. Ack! It feels uncomfortable writing nice stuff about myself like that. I am getting my brag on today. I would definitely write all of those things about my child, so why not about myself? Moving on…

I am grateful that I have an active imagination. I have a vision for the future, and it looks like a really nice place to live. My imagination has served me well throughout my life. It was how I survived childhood before I found alcohol to soothe my fears and escape from reality. It is really nice to get back to using my imagination for escape instead of booze. It is healthy and makes me feel like a kid again. How cool!

I am a capable, honest and good person. I knew it all along on some level, but it was getting lost underneath the booze. I lied to myself, therefore it became easier to lie to others in a myriad of ways. The true me lives life according to strongly-held values. It feels great!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!


Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

I am getting better at taking care of myself.

My baby steps are paying off in small but good ways. I am treating myself better than I have… maybe ever? It is shocking to me that I treated myself so shitty now that I have a bit of clarity through sobriety. I didn’t think I was at the time, but I was.

I was doing the best I could then. Luckily, I know better now.

I am only doing simple things to take care of myself, but when repeated daily they have the power to make me feel pretty damn good. Eating healthy and delicious food, getting exercise, looking nice everyday instead of wearing yoga pants, praying, writing, taking some time to myself, etc. …

It all adds up. Self-care is greater than the sum of its parts.

I never knew!

But… I know now, right?

I am trying not to worry about doing it perfectly, either. It is okay to miss a day of exercise, for example, if that is what I need to do to take care of myself. It is NOT okay, however, to make excuses all the time because I am being lazy. Balance, balance, balance. What a nice word. I thought my word of 2014 was surrender, but maybe it is really balance. Maybe it is BOTH.

I am not allowed to talk in a mean way to myself, either. That is not allowed in my new balance-y life.

I just shut those negative thoughts right out of my head, and DO something instead.

Baby steps, baby. Just keep taking them.

I Ain’t Perfect, But I Sure Do Try


The need to be perfect is a common trait of ACOA’s, and maybe all alcoholics. I don’t want to generalize, but I have heard it said a lot. I sought my father’s approval throughout my childhood, and still do to a certain degree to this day. Alcoholics can be mean when they are drinking; they don’t always have the sensitivity that comes with being fully present in life. My father was critical, and it stuck with me. I still have a seriously hard time being criticized by anybody, even when it is meant to be constructive and helpful.

Of course, perfection is unattainable in real life, which leads to problems if you have a hard time doing things if they are not perfect. Why bother doing them, then? The fear of doing something badly is very visceral, and I avoid it at all costs. I would rather do nothing and be a lazy bum than do something and have it be mediocre. Which is a huge problem in real life, where mediocrity is a necessary step towards getting good at things, or even just getting things done at all. ALSO- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT. So, there’s that.

I am trying to embrace a ‘good enough’ attitude. Where it matters more that I suit up and show up in my life than anything else. Trying is a good thing, perfection is NOT a realistic goal, and it is okay to take care of myself instead of being perfect. Wow! What a relief, this idea.

The tricky thing now is figuring out how to hold myself accountable, and push myself forward/onwards/upwards, without going overboard. It is a balancing act that I am just learning about for the first time, well… ever. I am learning how to take care of myself by taking breaks when needed, not pushing myself too far, making reasonable goals, etc., but at the same time putting myself out there and TRYING. Being persistent, fighting procrastination, and telling laziness to shove it. So… you know, finding balance and stuff.

Now that I think about it, drinking helped me avoid failure from any attempts at perfection, as I was taking myself out of the game. Spending my time drinking/planning to drink/recovering from drinking meant that there was no failure, no perfection, no nothing. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Except I was losing myself the whole time… down a bottle of booze.

If you need me I will be right here, finding balance, and trying for something a touch better than mediocrity.

Saturday Morning Dance Party


I have been writing a daily gratitude journal- well, most days at least- for the past few weeks. I am already noticing a shift in my attitude because of it. I became sick with the flu this week, and felt nauseous in a way that I haven’t since my last hangover. I can’t believe it used to be normal for me to feel that way so much of the time. It is SO not normal. Today I am grateful to be sober because I am learning that I deserve to spend most of my life feeling good.

Early this morning I had a dance party in my living room with my son. I never would have done that when I was drinking because I usually felt like I had the flu on Saturday mornings, and it was all I could do to make coffee and supervise. I am grateful for Saturday morning dance parties. They are 1,000,000 times better than Friday night drinking parties.

Happy weekend to you all.


I have been doing my thing lately, which involves spending a lot of time working on my recovery, plus eek-ing enjoyment out of my day-to-day life, when and where I can. I have been working on developing good routines, too, but that subject deserves a post of its own.


I used to hate that word and all it implied. If I was recovering from something it meant I had to acknowledge it, accept it, and actually deal with it. Yuck. It totally made me feel like damaged goods to even think about being an alcoholic- much less admitting to being one. We don’t acknowledge alcoholism and all of the problems that go along with it in my family, remember?

Luckily, I found that recovery is a natural process for me. I help it along by attempting to learn my patterns, trying to be aware of my behavior, reading-reading-reading about recovery, keeping a gratitude journal, etc., but the most important aspect of my recovery was making the decision to change my life. And deciding that alcohol has absolutely no place in it today or EVER. Once I got clear on those two points it began to get a little easier. My life began to develop a flow- some people call it grace- and I am lucky enough to be able to step into it some of the time.

I am actually starting to get excited about the future, which was a totally foreign concept to me a few months back. I was so caught up in my own cycles of self-defeating behavior, anxiety, and alcohol abuse that I had a hard time seeing my nose in front of my face, much less planning positive moves for the future. I experienced frantic feelings of needing to change or needing to DO something, which isn’t a good head space to be in. Now it is starting to be fun to think about life, make goals and plan ahead a little, but I am taking it slow, slow, slow. It is okay to be patient and try to spread my wings little by little…I am in no hurry to fly. I know that I will fly eventually if I keep going down this path. Or maybe I am flying already, just staying low to the ground. Either way it is OK. I am ok.

So…recovery. Yeah. It is nothing like I thought it would be and so much better than I could have imagined…sometimes. And sometimes it is hard as shit. Today is one of the good days.


How to Surrender or Let Go

I never have really understood the concept of letting go. I mean…I understood it in an abstract way, but I didn’t actually know what it looked like to DO IT. It seemed hard. Unrealistic. I would “let go” only to have invasive thoughts creep back into my head…thoughts that I TOLD myself I was letting go of. It just didn’t work. I eventually stopped trying because I felt like a failure at letting things go.

I have decided to focus my attention on the art of letting go. So, instead of trying to let go of my thoughts, I am now telling myself “I Surrender” throughout the day. It is a powerful mantra that really seems to work. It brings me back to the present moment to feel my feelings instead of dwelling on my negative thoughts. “I Surrender. I Surrender. I Surrender.”

I want to let go of my past. I want to let go of my obsessive thoughts. I want to let go of control, especially unhealthy control over things that I have no control over. I want to let go of guilt and shame. I want to be open. I want to listen to my inner voice. I want more peace. I want to gain more personal power. I want my life to be fluid. I want to surrender.


The Ups and Downs of Life

There are always going to be highs and lows in life.

Fact: I used to bypass them with alcohol.

It didn’t matter whether I felt good or bad- drinking would make me feel comfortably numb and a kind of spaced-out happy. I skipped the hard work that goes into creating a mostly-happy life by drinking to change my feelings…no matter what the reality of the situation.

Fast forward to now. I am 145 or so days sober, and I feel highs and lows on a regular basis. My body does its thing. I don’t feel happy all the time. I don’t even know that it is possible to feel happy all the time, unless you A) work really hard at creating an enlightened spiritual mindset or B) use a substance to change the way you feel. Option B doesn’t work for me and I have a really long way to go with Option A, so I am going to have to live with the fact that I shall experience cycles of highs, lows, ups, and downs in my life.

I definitely like being happy more than angry or sad, but that doesn’t mean that those feelings….my low periods…don’t have purpose and merit. They totally do! They create balance in my life. As I continue to be sober and work on myself, there will be more and more equilibrium present. It will be easier to let go of the bad feelings to make room for happiness. That takes time, though! I have a lot of funky shit to work out from years of stuffing my feelings down with booze.

I have noticed some signs that I am in a funk, in my thought patterns. Once I notice these thoughts I KNOW that something is going on. I start worrying much more about what others are thinking about me. I start suspecting that my friends and family are thinking bad things about me. I start “shoulding” myself about small stuff, big stuff, and everything in between. An offhand comment can make me feel small and unloved. I get totally down on my appearance.

My mind basically runs away with me.

These are all signs that I am feeling low and need an immediate prescription for self-care. I am realizing that I am pretty bad at caring for myself sometimes, especially when it really matters! Like when I feel lonely, small, and unloved. It is easier to do nice things for myself during the happy “high” times.

I also have to ignore my mind during these time periods. My thoughts are my enemy and can make me do things based upon fear and insecurity…things that I really don’t want to do! Weird/bad/unhealthy things. Like fight with loved ones, invade someone else’s privacy, or pick up a drink.

So, for me, self-care that lets me lose myself for awhile is good. Interesting or funny television shows or movies, doing things with my hands, creative projects, cleaning, reading, baths, cooking, yoga, and naps. Hugs, too! Never forget the power of a good hug.

I am still not through my low period, but I am starting to see the light peeking from behind the clouds. I have also been fairly productive and not caused any relationship or life problems because of my stinkin’ thought patterns.

Thanks for all of the nice support. You guys are the best.

We Are Trying For SOMETHING


I needed this reminder today.

Sometimes it seems like the more work I do on myself, the more work that needs to be done. It is a never-ending process. When I take a step back and look at the big picture, however, I can see that my life is gradually getting better and better. I have taken responsibility for my life and happiness in a totally new way by getting sober.

I look at this quote as another reminder from the universe to be gentle on myself, even when I make mistakes. I haven’t been close to drinking, but I am so far from perfect sometimes…wow. I can be harsh, critical, grouchy, not present with those I love, etc. I am trying to be better at all of those things, and that effort matters. It means that I care about the impact I am having on the world around me.

So…if you are reading this, you are trying too. Be gentle on yourself.

Limiting Belief: Being Sober Isn’t Fun

Dear Limiting Belief,

I know that you believe that life without alcohol is boring and flat, but I am here to tell you that it is possible to have a great time sober. Alcohol never made things fun in the first place. It was an easy way to change your mood or to gain a bit of energy, but the good feelings that it created were short lived and fake.

You might have an idea in your head about the type of person who is sober while others are drinking. “What a bore! Must be totally uptight! Learn how to let loose and live a little!” The fact is, however, that many different types of people stay sober for a variety of reasons. You know what is crazy-sexy-cool? Taking care of yourself! Loving yourself! If you know that alcohol does bad things to your mind, body and soul, then not drinking it makes you smart. It is fun to be smart!

After you are sober for awhile you begin to realize that fun comes from within. It comes from spending time with people who ‘get’ you. It comes from finding things authentically funny and weird and awesome- which is totally life in a nutshell. It does not come from a bottle of booze.

Is it fun to say stupid things to people when you are drinking? No. What about waking up hungover? Um, no, not fun either. What about blacking out and not remembering how you got home? Scary, not fun. The list goes on…while drinking does make you feel a sense of euphoria, it can also make you sick and hurt and feel really bad about yourself. It can also do far worse things. Are these things fun? No, sir.

So you might feel left out sometimes when everyone else seems to be drinking. Does that mean that you can’t have a good time? Hell, no! You can do everything sober that you did while drinking, but in reality you might not want to. You might find that your idea of ‘fun’ changes a little bit. And that is 100% okay! It can be totally fun to stay home and read a good book or curl up on the sofa with a good friend and a cup of tea, chatting about life. These things are not wild and crazy, perhaps, but they are real and fun and good. You will probably realize that hanging out at bars with a bunch of drunk people isn’t actually all that much fun, and that if you need to be drunk to do something it likely isn’t a fun thing to do in the first place.

You know what is fun? Being yourself. Finding hobbies that you enjoy. Being creative. Taking real risks that don’t involve a crutch. Learning what makes you truly happy. Exploring. Traveling. Growing. Loving. Giving. Accomplishing goals.

Living life is fun! It’s your life. Free and clear and sober and authentic and messy and good and bad. So go away, limiting belief. Being sober IS fun and we don’t need you anymore.