Moments You Can’t Get Back

On April 16th, I had my first drink in 106 days. There is no regret. It was done in moderation. My first beer was consumed in the presence of others (socially distant, of course). I had said that once I got to 100 days (which did change form my original plan to re-evaluate at the end of April), I would take it day by day. On the 107th day, I enjoyed the taste of an adult beverage. It was a beautiful night by our fire pit. I appreciated every little detail about the night and was thrilled with achieving my goal moderation.

Once the sun went down, I got into bed around 8:30pm which is totally normal for me since I wake up at 5am each day. As I started to settle in, my daughter came into my room and began to sob because the reality and effects of the pandemic finally hit her. Addison’s birthday was the next day. She missed family, her friends and just the sense of normal she once knew only 6 weeks ago. She cried and cried and I did my best to comfort her. Honestly though, I told her I felt just like she did. We both agreed that this whole thing sucks and that we would feel the feelings and do our best to make the most of it.

I was so grateful she was open with her feelings and she felt comfortable to confide in me. What a gift. It was an honor to hear her share her words and be there for her. Had I consumed any more beer than I had, I can guarantee that this moment would not have happened. I could have been dismissive, sloppy with my words, or any number of things.

In the moment my daughter left the room, a light went off and I reconnected with why I should not drink in excess or even at all for that matter. When alcohol is present (or when it had been more present in the past) there wasn’t space for those tough conversations. Many of us, myself included, have used alcohol in the past as a way to have those hard conversations because we have liquid courage and all of a sudden alcohol is our armor. We know deep down that it really prevents us from showing up as our most authentic self.

For years, because of drinking, I have missed so many opportunities to have those hard conversations with people. Moments were missed to do a deep dive or be vulnerable. I always thought drinking would help me be clear and give me the courage to say the things I needed to say but that was never the case. Who wants to listen to someone when they slur their speech?

In the last several months, I have learned that not drinking is what gives me clarity. I am able to live in the present moment better, live truthfully, own all my faults (and there are many) and live in a more authentic way.

Since last spring, I have been working on this not drinking thing and as a part of that process, I have written letters to folks where relationships had been strained in part because of my relationship with alcohol. It felt important to say “I’m sorry” and “I did not show up the way I would have liked or wanted to”. I want to own my faults and the part I played in the relationships that changed. Beautiful, heart felt conversations have emerged from this process and for that I am grateful. It felt good to be open, to be raw, to be honest, to apologize and to ask for forgiveness. I continue to be so appreciative for those that love me, walk through through life with me and help me become a stronger person.

There is no changing the past, sadly. What I know for certain is that I don’t want to miss moments in the future for meaningful conversations. Alcohol will never serve as armor and I won’t ever miss those moments that I can’t get back. XO

100 Days

April 9th was day 100! I am beyond excited and extremely proud. This is something I have not done in my entire adult life. Honestly, when I think of college, post college, the years where everyone got married, had babies, celebrated baptisms and first birthdays, I always celebrated with alcohol. There is this event, that event, turning 40 and so on. It was probably fair to say there were more times in my adult life where I drank 100 days in a row instead of abstaining.

From January 1 to April 9th, there have been hard days, not so hard days and days where it was a piece of cake.

The original goal was to get to the end of April. I wanted to get through 4 whole months per the recommendation of the book “Can I Keep Drinking?” by Cyndi Turner. Once the pandemic hit and we went on lock down, I said to myself, “Maybe I just get to 100 days and I will see how I feel.” On April 9th, I chose again not to drink. On day 101, I made the same choice. Friends asked if I would drink and I honestly thought about it. A beer sounded amazing. So did a margarita. But the thing was, I did not want to drink alone. (That’s kind of what got me here in the beginning.) If I chose to enjoy a beverage, I want to be with people in celebration. Not alone. That would only set me up for failure. Thank goodness for the clarity to understand this point.

Maybe when the lock down is over and there is a chance to celebrate with friends, I will do my best to enjoy in moderation. For now, I know it absolutely won’t serve me well as I am confined to my home for the most part. I can’t run since I am injured and while I love to walk and do strength training, my runs served as my “get the demons out” protocol. Connecting with people over social media, quality family time, diving into my business and meditation are what keep me going these days.

I came across the quote this week: “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

At the end of last year, I knew things had to change. One thing that I did most days and had regrets about was my drinking. My life has certainly changed for the better as a result of quitting.

While I don’t know if I will try moderation out in the coming months, here is what I do know. There has been 100 days of:
Good decisions, no hangovers, no regrets, good sleep, good energy, clear thinking, a growth mindset, a LOT of time for reading (16 books in 13 weeks), improved relationships, clarity, more time, patience and so much more! I know for certain that I want to experience more of what I have now.

I am grateful for the support of you and this community. Here is to some more sobriety! A special shout out to my friend who brought this over to celebrate the other day! Thanks for the care package. I loved the Nanny State and all the yummy treats!

What I Miss the Most During the Quarantine

Good Sunday morning to you all. How is everyone doing with the quarantine? How are you feeling? What has been the most challenging? Are you celebrating victories? I would love to hear what you are going through.

I know we are all managing jobs shifting, homeschooling, a sense of uneasiness without know how long all of this will go on. It’s been quite a week, that I know for sure.

My kids and I decided to come to my in-laws beach house on Sunday in effort to make social distancing a little easier. If we were at home, I know I would struggle to not bend the rules and would figure a way to see people if only for a second. My kids would want to see their friends and it would have been a constant struggle (and an overload of mom guilt) to repeatedly say no. Being far away is making that easier to manage.

With regards to drinking, I am happy I said no drinking for 4 months at the beginning of the year. Generally at the beach, day drinking would begin around 11am and last well into the evening. The good thing is, I am really productive with work and am not sloppy by supper. I am present for the kids (for the most part, computer time and reading have probably taken the place of booze). It is comforting to know that during this time, when I would have used alcohol to cope and feel not so bogged down, I am making different choices. So everyday feels like some small victory for that reason. All that said, please know that I would love to chug a beer and have an entire bottle of wine at dinner. It won’t happen, but I need you to know that I miss it.

Now, the next thing to tackle is the ice cream addiction. Ha ha! Ice cream consumption has dramatically increased in the last week. I need to get a hold of that and will do so beginning today. (Since I finished the ice cream last night and won’t allow us to buy anymore.) I mean, the struggle will be real with no mint chocolate chip.

All that aside, here is the thing I want to share the most. I miss the hell out of some hugs. Within a week, I see friends and clients daily. (It is no secret I love social interaction). With each interaction is a big old hug. Right now, I miss that more than anything. My son is going through the phase where he doesn’t particularly want to hug mom. That’s fine, I know it’s normal and it won’t last forever. My husband, as wonderful as he is, is not a hugger. He will make me tea and bring it to me, make dinner and do things around the house I don’t want to do and I appreciate all of those things. He makes the quality family time happen, for which I am truly grateful. He just isn’t a hugger or someone who generally wants to cuddle. I crave affection. My sweet Addi is a hugger. She will at random come up to me and just tell me she loves me and hug the shit out of me. Thank you, Addison. She will help me get through this time. Thank goodness for my girl!

Hugs from my friends fill my cup up. They keep me going and mean the world. I will never take hugs for granted. I may even hold on tighter for longer at the end of this physical distancing. One of my sweetest peeps sent this to me this am. I loved it and may just have to print and hang on the fridge.

Wherever you are, I am sending you a big ass virtual hug. I can’t wait to hug it out whenever this pandemic wraps up.

Love and hugs.

Steph

50 Days Sober

It was the spring of 2015 when I first started to question whether or not I had a problem with alcohol. At the time, I was training for my first Ironman event and I remember having to do long runs and bike rides on the weekends, but still felt a NEED to show up as “FUN STEPH” and not become someone who only talked about her race training. I did not want this race to change my life (although it did in every way).

During this time, I was seeing a therapist and was working through a few challenges. Often, I brought up whether or not I thought alcohol was an issue in my life and she encouraged me to read “Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem?” by Joseph Nowinski and Robert Doy. After reading the book, I remember thinking “Oh shit, I can’t deny this.” I tried like hell on my own to get a handle on “playing too hard” but managed to convince myself that the Ironman training would keep me in check if I just continued to focus. I became more mindful and aware of my drinking and started to notice patterns, but can say I did not make any real changes.

Later in 2015, we learned my sister in law had cirrhosis of the liver. It shocked our family but explained so much of what we had experienced with her over the last year leading up to this diagnosis. If you knew our family, it seemed as though I would have been the one to get this first seeing as I was the party girl. Sadly, my sister in law passed away 12/31/2015 from complications of cirrhosis. In that moment, I realized, I needed to clean up my act.

Fast forward a few years, I was still doing what I have always done which is work hard and play hard. Throw in a few attempts to for a dry January or Sober October or Sober September and I managed to not make it far at any attempt. All I wanted was to know that I could not drink for 30 days. That’s it, 30 days. It was hard and every time I gave in. I never wanted to not be fun. After all, I have been drinking since college and drunk Steph was fun Steph. Let’s get crazy and dance. Drinking for me was a way to stay connected to being young. To being free. To show up as someone that I never felt I was, a naturally fun person.

In 2019, there were more serious attempts to not drink for extended periods of time. I felt more success and got more confidence that I could have handle on it. As the holidays approached, I decided to drink a little (a lot) and just see what happens when I did not focus on reigning things in. What slapped me in the face was that there was never just one drink. There was no one glass of wine with dinner or just one beer watching football. I still made dumb choices or got mouthy. I would get annoyed at my kids (for no reason at all). The holidays taught me a lot. My gift over the holiday season was a real hard look at myself and the realization that it was go time.

A friend shared an email about a women’s group therapy meeting that would begin in January 2020 to examine my relationship with alcohol. AA sounded scary to me and I did not want the alcoholic label. The group therapy felt right for me at the time so I went with it.

I blew partying out of the water on 12/31/19. Not knowing if that would be my last hurrah, I went all out and drank every damn thing I loved. Wine, beer, margaritas. It was a lot of fun. I partied like it was 1999.

January begins. No drinking! Day 1 was recovery from the day before. Easy enough. January wasn’t bad, but I did manage to have a few days where I felt anxious and sad that I was not drinking. There were some real tears, but I did it. It was 31 full damn days. Success.

February started. Still going strong. I even made it through a weekend away with friends. That was a test, but I got through the weekend. There were tears there too (privately) however, I got it together and had a great time. More success.

Now, I am at 50 freaking days of no alcohol. There are tears of happiness and still some tears of sadness and fear.

I am grateful for support of family and friends who check on me and encourage me. Who tell me I am strong and can do hard things. Who let me go to bed at 8:30pm.

I am grateful for my book club/therapy group. We have met only 6 times and I never knew any of these women but feel as though I have known them my whole life. Thanks goodness we have 6 more weeks together.

Over the last 50 days I have researched meanings of sobriety and am figuring out what it will mean to me. I saw this quote and made a few modifications. So far, this one is working for me. Sobriety means finding peace with yourself, with life and its ups and downs, developing the discipline to remain sober, and practice abstinence.

I love that I started this journey in winter as this season often reflects or symbolizes calmness, silence, mourning, ending and detachment. Here is to ending my relationship with alcohol. Here is to letting go of chaos that alcohol brings to my life. Here is to being a better (healthier and more kind) version of myself. Here is to 50 more days.

By the time 100 days rolls around, it will be spring, the season of rebirth and blooming. I can’t wait to see what is happening then.

A Weekend Away… Little Victories

Our family went away over the holiday weekend. We have done this trip for the last 5 years and the time has been filled with fond memories. I know these trips will be remembered as the “good old days” in the coming years. The experience includes: good friends, great food, copious amounts of alcohol for yours truly, singing, dancing, skiing, card games and being cozy next to a fire. This year, I experienced everything as I had in the past, minus the alcohol.

There was hesitation on my part leading up to the weekend. My intention was to continue on my sobriety path and I was very nervous about throwing in the towel to say “screw it, you only live once and I am here to play.” I am happy to report that it did not happen. I stayed on my current path. It was a series of small victories that lead me to to my first successful sober weekend away.

Prior to leaving, Matt was kind enough to buy me non-alcoholic drinks. Although I have done this in the past, often times these drinks have stayed in the cooler and I have often opted for the regular stuff. Not this time. Nope! I did good.

Each night was filled with yummy food, great conversation and a lot of laughs. There were several times I was so tempted to have a regular beer but, I just grabbed an NA or a water or maybe even a handful of peanut m & m’s. Each time I had a thought about deviating off of my path, I just thought to myself, “you really don’t want to start this over.” I also kept thinking that I have come so far and have almost reached 50 days. Why would I screw this up?

For the most part, I felt strong and empowered over the weekend. There was one morning that I had tears well up in my eyes because I felt as though I were missing out or that I was not fun anymore. My thoughts began to spiral out of control as I worried if I was making others feel uncomfortable or if I was somehow being a pain in the butt. In my heart, I knew this was not the case and I took a few minutes to sit quietly and meditate. I also took a moment to the listen to the audiobook, We are the Luckiest by Laura McKowen. This book served me so well this past weekend. (I listened to it late at night and early in the morning and was so grateful for each message Laura shared with her readers.) Once, I was in a centered state, I rejoined the group and we went about our day.

The day was wonderful as we spent time outside with the kids by a fire. There was laughing, singing, and exploring. It was wonderful to be fully present and to witness the children having fun and just being kids. It was a gift to take in the crisp air and listen to the stream. The experience was incredibly grounding and peaceful. Had I been drinking, there is so much I would have missed out on or I would have been needlessly angry for some reason at my kids for playing in mud or in the frozen lake (and let’s face it, kids playing outside in mud is always better than a day filled with technology).

This morning as we prepared to come home, my friends shared with me how proud they were of me for not drinking over the weekend. It was so nice to hear them say these words. They knew it was hard for me. I had shared with them that I was worried it made them feel uncomfortable or was weird and they assured me that it was great fun and that they loved me. My heart was pretty full.

On Wednesday, I celebrate 50 days. I can’t wait to share more with you at that time.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful week. Wishing everyone peace, joy and happiness.

Celebrating 31 Days

Last summer, when I began to really examine my relationship with beer, wine, mojitos and margaritas, I had been stalking some sobriety sites. Many folks posted pictures of celebrating different milestones. For some reason, I never really understood the whole “hooray for 30 days” or “I made it 100 days.” Honestly, I was quite annoyed with the celebration of it all, and I am a girl who will celebrate damn near anything. Perhaps for me, the thought of celebrating being alcohol free without alcohol rubbed me the wrong way. For as long as I can remember, alcohol has been at every celebration I have had my entire adult life.

Well, I am here to tell you, this girl has dramatically changed her tune! Let the celebrating begin. This sober momma has been a roll for 31 freaking days. Hot diggity dog!

The other day as I was driving around jamming in the car to The Pointer Sisters and Tina Turner, I was thinking in my head how I would spend today. Maybe I would by myself some flowers, get a mani/pedi or even hit the mall. I was so excited about today I went by a local diner and grabbed a chocolate eclair to celebrate!!! (I only ate half as it wasn’t as good as I had imagined). If the truth were told, I feel like I have achieved the completion of another ironman event. (I ain’t lying either.)

It has been a steady month. There were only a few up and downs. Per previous posts, I have 3 months to go before deciding what is next. So here is to being strong for 3 more months. Freshman month down. I know this next month will bring some challenges and I am doing my best to get ready for those but I am not looking to far ahead as it feels important to just remain in the present.

I am throwing myself into reading, focusing on growing my business, and hopefully doing a good job being present with my family. It is amazing how much free time I have found as a result of not drinking and how energetic I feel because I am getting a good a night sleep on the regular.

So, bring on the next 29 days (go figure the is an extra day in February this year). Love and hugs and healthy wishes to everyone! Thanks for reading along and for your kind words and loving thoughts. I know it can be uncomfortable to be friends with someone making a change, but your support truly means the world to me. XO

Staying Strong in Your Battlefield

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

-Margaret Thatcher

Hi dear friends. For those that are doing “Dry January”, how do you feel? Is it a piece of cake? Is it harder than you thought? I would honestly love to hear from you.

January has been going along well until January 25th. Good news is, I did not give up or give in. All month long, I had felt really strong in my mind and body while having great energy. It felt amazing to get stuff done, not be hungover, have focus, and just feel in control of things. And then…BAM!

Without any warning whatsoever, I had this weird 24 -48 hour period where I felt angry, irritable, little enthusiasm, and even anxious. It was so bad that I had to just to take a big ass time out and reset. On a Saturday night, at 8:30pm, I sprayed a boat load of lavender mist on my pillow went to bed with every hope of waking up in a different head space on Sunday morning.

Luckily, my plan worked! Sunday morning I woke up and joined a friend for a run, managed to teach a movement class and was surrounded by the best energy. Hooray for progress, coping skills, and enough sense to make this happen versus what I really freaking wanted was a big old glass of vino omg Saturday night to tame whatever nerves I was feeling.

While this odd little episode occurred, I just so happened to be reading a book by Clare Pooley called, The Sober Diaries. At the time of my little internal struggle, I felt like maybe I was experiencing a few symptoms of perimenopause. I mean after all, I have the belly fat, random forgetfulness and irritability to go with that so it made sense to me. But, I was learning about a new kind of PAWS other than my sweet perimenopausal friend. This new PAWS is Post Acute Withdrawl Syndrome. Ah-ha!

There a few symptoms of PAWS (which to me mirror symptoms of perimenopause) and they include: mood swings, tiredness, disruption of sleep and low enthusiasm for things. Guess what else is a symptom, memory lapses. Hot damn! I read that PAWS is the second stage of withdrawal from alcohol. It seems as though my brain is working to return back to equilibrium and while it does this, the chemistry may fluctuate a bit. The joy of it all!

Additional research has taught me that PAWS can last for a bit and it could be cyclical. (My family will be thrilled to know this fact.) I kind of feels like double whammy. Don’t you think so too?

At any rate, as Margaret Thatcher says, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” My ammunition happens to be meditation, exercise, time with family and friends, good sleep, no hangovers, and seeing daily progress and little victories as I grow my business. That feels solid for now to get me through the next few months of exploring my relationship and ultimately deciding how I move forward. This past weekend won’t be my last battle, but I feel like I have all the tools in place to keep on winning.

The Freshman

Happy 2020! I hope the holidays were good to you and your loved ones. May this new year and decade be off to a healthy start.

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of women led by therapist to discuss the book, “Can I Keep Drinking?” by Cyndi Turner. This sober curious book club meeting was truly a gift and it made discussing a daunting topic a whole heap of fun.

The contents of the book leads a person to examine their relationship with alcohol by using tools, checklists and quizzes. You ultimately answer the question: can I keep drinking? The author does a brilliant job of writing about a hard topic without making it feel like you are being lectured. I felt as if I were chatting with a girlfriend over coffee at a local coffee shop. Great information is shared along side some humorous bits.

One of the author’s requests/suggestions is to not drink for FOUR months before you even make the decision to not drink or practice moderation. Yes, FOUR WHOLE months. You read that correctly. 🙂

The purpose for this length of time versus the traditional 30 days is that within a four month period, one will experience more discomfort and begin to understand triggers and patterns. A sober curious being will be able to examine why he/she turns to alcohol in the first place (be it emotional, a habit, a crutch, or physical craving.) The gift is that during this time, a person will be able to gain good perspective, identify problems, and work to develop coping skills. Cheers to all of the work!

To make this four month timeframe seem a a little more “fun”, I decided to label each month as Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior. Surely, we can all understand and relate to these labels.

Presently, I am in my “Freshman” month. It has been only 14 days into this process that I am choosing to do in effort to see where it leads me. If you have been following along since last June, you know I have ebbed and flowed through different phases of giving up alcohol. Given I have been at the start before, it doesn’t seem so hard right now. The rubber will meet the road in the coming months as I experience different trips and holidays without consuming alcohol. My goal is to complete all four months and my intention is to share what I learned and have experienced along the way. The greatest challenge will be getting through spring break in April. My daughter and I go to France. Hmmmmm. I am going to France to eat cheese, crepes, macaroons, bread and not consume wine? It seems criminal to me, but that is the plan.

So, here we go. Check back at the end of each month to see how it goes and maybe I will even have a tip to share with you. In the meantime, I will be sharing what other books this amazing book club is reading. Good times, even if sober, are ahead. Have a super good day and know that I am sending you love.

Together, we achieve more…

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in a running event with some girlfriends. Over the last several months, I had been working towards achieving a particular time goal. With the help of a selfless friend (meaning she ran the race with me and while she could have gone much faster, she chose stay with me to help me meet my goal), I achieved my goal. This was a huge gift and an incredible act of kindness for which I will always be grateful. This is why I love running, my running tribe and the running community.

Finally, something has clicked for me in a big way. After seeing how I reaped the benefit of working with someone on a goal this past weekend, I have decided to take this fun fact and apply it to my other goal of not drinking.

Today I begin meeting with one of two groups that will talk about our relationship with alcohol. I am over the moon that these groups are available and local to me. It will be so nice to connect with others and share with you what I learn.

Additionally, I will be launching a sober curious challenge via a private facebook group beginning in January. If you or someone you know is looking to give being sober a try, there will be a 30 day, 60 day and 90 challenge. Anyone can join and we can support one another in our efforts. For me, this will be a wonderful way to be held accountable as well as supporting others. This will be a compassionate and non-judgmental space for us to share what we feel and our challenges and it is private. There will be more information coming soon. If you are interested, send me a message).

Thanks as always for reading. I wish all of you a wonderful week.

Next week, I will share how I get through a few holiday parties this weekend. Lots of love. XO

Truth

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.”

-Elvis Presley

Well hello friends. It sure has been some time since I have posted anything on social media or written a blog post. I will give you one guess as to why I have been so quiet. Yes, that is correct! This girl has been enjoying some tasty adult beverages.

Right around Halloween I allowed myself some drinks. Both times I drank in October, I over-indulged. I did not think much of it as I am on the road to sobertown and was allowing myself to live in the grey.

Then November rolled into town. Matt and I went on an anniversary trip to Florida and had a lovely time. My plan was to not drink on the trip. While I did not drink much, I still drank. Again, I gave myself a pass and remained compassionate towards myself as I refused to beat myself up.

There were a few other nights I drank in November that were random. I started to kind of question myself a bit as I felt there was a pattern forming or reforming. Over Thanksgiving, I went to my favorite place which is Emerald Isle, NC. Every night that I was there, I drank. The first two nights it was a glass or two of wine. The third night was more wine and beer as the whole family arrived and it just seemed too familiar not to drink. We ate bbq and shrimp. Our family laughed, played games and watched hockey. Drinking is what felt right. I felt normal.

On Thursday, I did a 5k turkey trot and ran so hard I set off some kind of asthmatic/allergic reaction in my body. I was sick for Thanksgiving day and not been 100% since then. After our big feast, I retired early just because I was so tired of sneezing and sniffling.

On Friday, I woke up not feeling much better. I chose to lay low on the couch and nap throughout the day. Everyone else played on the beach, went fishing or enjoyed shopping. Later that night, I had some wine. It started with one glass. Then I kept going back for glass after glass as our family watched Netflix comedy specials. (By the way, I was still sniffling and not feeling great but the wine made me care a little less.) Finally, I asked for another glass and heard someone do that cough or throat clearing that signaled “no, she doesn’t need anymore.” Well, let me tell you, THAT was embarrassing. I felt nothing but pure shame. (I know Brene Brown would be so proud of me for being able to own how I felt.) Shortly after the cough heard around E.I., we all started to go to bed as everyone had planned to get up early and head home. I could hardly sleep as I was just replaying the the last month in my head as to how I got here again with the drinking. Ugh! My mind was racing with thoughts like guilt, sadness, frustration, sprinkled with some failure.

Saturday, we drove home and it was all I could do to unpack the car. The only thing I wanted to do was start decorating my house for Christmas because that is our family tradition. Sadly, I had nothing left in the tank because of being sick, the travel home and then of course the cumulative effect of drinking for the past few days. So here I am on Sunday, December 1st with no damn decorations up in my house and not feeling good on a physical, emotional or mental level.

As I participated in my online meditation videos today, I came across the above quote from good old Elvis. It spoke to me. Over the last month, I learned many truths and while I can shut them out for a short while, they aren’t going anywhere. It’s time to face the truths and lean into them.

Truth is…

I know I need to never drink again (or at the very least for a very long time) and it pisses me off.

I know I more than likely have a drinking problem and it makes me really sad.

I know that living in the grey is not good for me when it comes to drinking and I need to be black and white. This frustrates me.

I know I probably need to meet with a group and talk about this and get support but I don’t know what this looks like yet. I am not ready to take this step yet because it scares me to bits.

I know and understand why people don’t want to talk about these things. It’s embarrassing and hard. It’s easier to talk with strangers than to talk with friends and family about it because the strangers don’t know you.

I know I will not drink in December. This will be hard for me. It will be all I can do to show up for events. I hate this fact because I want to be all in.

I know there are more truths that haven’t even surfaced yet but will come to me as time moves on.

I know that I will have to take one day at a time but showing up feeling good and energetic will feel better than the way I feel at this moment.

So, here is wishing you all a healthy and wonderful holiday season. I will be in touch with how things are going as the month goes on. My hope is to share things I learn throughout the month that are helping me along the way. For now, I am going to light my Christmas tree scented candle and play Blue Christmas by Elvis as I sit on the couch in my non decorated house. Here is to kicking off a sober holiday season!