Day 31


Silver stacking rings, Arbotique Designs

Halloween Tuesday

Well I had plans to write a deep post about the masks we all wear, and how alcohol plays a part. But then I had an absolutely wonderful, chaotic, crazy, candy-filled evening.

Right now my head is ringing with little boy giggles, my heart is warm with the company of good friends, I’m still laughing at my husband’s costume and the fact that he wore it all around our neighborhood (although I will preserve his dignity by not mentioning it here), and it’s all Enough. In the best possible way.

The deep thoughts will have to wait until tomorrow.

It’s worth mentioning though, that today marks Month 1 for me. And I ordered my first stacking ring to celebrate. It feels like I have a long road ahead but the changes I see, both current and potential, are all positive.

Bring it on, Month 2!

Day 30


Nothing like a simultaneous head cold and stomach virus to help you forget you ever wanted a drink. Alcohol is the last thing I want right now. A bath, a book, and bedtime is more like it. But there is laundry to fold, halloween daycare snacks to prep, lunches to make, and then… maybe a long hot shower.

Working on a Halloween themed post for tomorrow. But for today, I got nothin’.

Manafort was indicted though!

Day 29

Rainy day still life, Valeda Beach Stull

Rainy Sunday

Procrastinating right now. I really should be building a website, but I’m here instead to record a story from last night.

At the end of the night, my main emotion was elation at staying away from the booze without too much effort. But, as I’m realizing is common, the emotions of the night weren’t that easy to deal with. I may be doing a good job of ignoring alcohol, but I’m struggling to ignore or deal with the raw emotions that apparently come when you subtract that numbing device. I’m realizing that maybe that argument at the wedding was spurred on by my own internal struggles at being in the romantic environment of a wedding when our own marriage is struggling. If I’d been drinking, I’m sure I wouldn’t have reacted the same way. Those raw, rough emotions would have been buried and I would have been in a much more pleasant state of mind.
Similarly, last night I struggled a bit. One of my plans to distract myself was to take time to have tarot cards read by someone they hire every year. I didn’t give her a lot of information – just something like “I’m interested in my own self-development over the next year” but the cards I pulled all told a story of cutting ties with an important person and being better off without them. I don’t believe in that kind of thing but it did leave me thinking. As I drove home, I passed a sign at a church that read “Before seeds can be planted, the ground must be tilled” and it felt a fitting explanation of where I’m at currently.
I feel like my life is being turned over and around and mixed and torn apart in a good way. Of course this is all happening internally, but it does affect those around me. While the tarot cards predicted an end to our relationship, I am choosing to believe that the destruction I am feeling internally is a sign of positive change and opportunity for new growth to happen. Hopefully this occurs within our marriage as well as inside me. 
But first, I must work on myself – with my many flaws and baggage and emotional immaturity and then, maybe a year or two down the road, when I’m over the grief and newness of giving up alcohol, I may be ready to work on our marriage. Now, if only I could stick to that.
I guess I could start by not procrastinating anymore and getting back to work… baby steps.

Day 28

Mask pattern by Wintercroft


I did it! I made it through today. Quite proud of myself. And maybe this is a pink cloud talking but it wasn’t that hard! I really honestly had just as much fun at the party as I would have if I were drinking – and was able to get in and out cleanly, without leaving behind awkward drunken conversations that I didn’t remember, or did and regretted, without falling asleep on the car ride home or not remembering HOW I got home and waking up the next morning with half my costume still on, without driving drunk or buzzed, and with my dignity and self-respect intact.

I went, I saw, I conquered. Woohoo!!! 

Today was super packed, starting with boys’ commitments through the morning and afternoon, halloween costume prep for them and myself in between, then a rush to get them in bed before the sitter arrived so I could race out to the party. By that point, I was feeling rather haggard and didn’t even want to go. But the sitter arrived and I didn’t want to send her home. Plus, I’d been up to midnight last night making my mask and I wasn’t going to waste that dammit.

So I powered through, with my plan, and did everything I intended to: ate from the tasty buffet, scared some people, got my tarot cards read, chatted up a bunch of C’s coworkers, primarily his boss and boss’s wife (put in a better impression than previous years I’m sure!), took a pictures of the best handmade costumes – of which there were quite a few, had a seltzer and cranberry, and danced my ass off until my mask broke. All in all, quite a successful night.

And now I’m exhausted and headed to bed. Thank god there won’t be a hangover tomorrow.

Day 27


Yet again, almost midnight and I haven’t posted. Not a good week for sleep! Tonight’s excuse was building halloween costumes with the husband, *mostly* sober (I smoked pot, he drank a couple beers and a bourbon). He’d been joining me in sobriety all week (Tues, Wed, Thurs) and was quite proud of himself. And we had a good time together tonight which was a pleasant surprise after the past week!

The voice in my head urging me to drink was less Despair as it was an annoying drunk friend, trying to push shots on you at the end of the night when you’re over it. 

Tomorrow is a busy day of gymnastics, birthday party with the boys, then more halloween prep, then our big adult halloween party that C and I attend every year. Well, he MC’s it – and I show up by myself to putz around, usually drink heavily, dance and get my fortune read, while circulating the bar many many times. Sometimes I bring a friend, but I didn’t plan well enough this year.

So, tomorrow night will be me – alone – at a boozy party with not much to do. Hmmm not easy. I’ve made a mask that covers my whole face and would be impossible to drink through, and although I’ll take it off to eat and get my fortune read, it’ll be at least one barrier between me and the bar. The plan is to eat at the big buffet spread, then find a few coworkers of C’s that I know and catch up with them. Get a good look at all the costumes, maybe take a few pictures, do some dancing… and make an early exit.

Good luck to me! I’ve got this. 

Day 26


Working from home today and was able to mix my usual workload with a lot of sober community interactions and a visit to the Bubble Hour podcast to listen to one of my new AFFs (alcohol free friends haha), Alison’s interview. Nice to unabashedly multi-task! I’ve even found a group of sober advertising execs in the area to hang with, SEAM.

As I come up on a month, I find myself reflecting on the changes I’ve noticed since quitting. Although it might be premature to draw any conclusions, one of the things that has been surprising to discover is that life is easier.

Don’t get me wrong, this has been tough. Really tough. I’m still hanging on for dear life – needing to have a solid plan every evening and an iron-clad plan for the weekends. I’m working out more than our family schedule easily allows, and I’m avoiding my husband in the evenings just to scrape by. I’ve had headaches during happy hour for the first few weeks. I am still struggling to calm down at the end of the night, and put myself to bed before midnight. My online spending has jumped (since I deserve rewards, right?) and I’m sure I’ve spent the same amount on fancy AF drinks as I did before on alcohol. All the emotional baggage of my marriage and my own personal insecurities and issues have been tough to deal with and I see a long road ahead in the area of self-discovery and improvement.

But it’s become easier to cope. Nothing has changed – the stresses of normal life, the ups and downs, the demand of a job and family are all there but I am coping better. I’m not second-guessing myself anymore, and I feel calmer, less reactive.

My self-confidence is increasing and I feel more fully present, mentally and emotionally, both at home and at work. And I’m enjoying this feeling so much I’m starting to examine what other things I do that erode my self-confidence. Now that I recognize what that feels like (in it’s absence), I am noticing activities and choices I make that chip away at my self-respect.

And adding them to the list of things I need to work on. At least now, tackling these issues seems managable.

Late PM update:

Just wanted to record this memory – an example of connection… Today at dinner, while one of my sons and I sat still finishing our dinners after the others had left, he turned to me and made a funny head-shaking, fist-making, exertion face to be goofy. Not unusual, but I picked up on it and repeated it, exaggerating a bit more. He laughed, I laughed. This game repeated itself about 20x, each time getting more exaggerated and hilarious for both of us, until we were almost peeing our pants and he said “I got to go to the bathroom!” and ran off. I had tears of laughter streaming down and realized it was one of the most connected moments I’ve had with this son in a long time. Grateful for special moments like these, and for the ability to notice and remember them. And grateful I’m discovering this now, in time to capture this beautiful time in our lives.

Day 25

Fake it till you make it, Gaya


Today was another busy day, but throughout the busy-ness I had a number of thoughts marinating. Not sure any of them are quite fully processed yet so I’m saving some nuggets for future sharing when they’re a little more complete. 

But for the sake of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, tonight – I’ll share one. This thought has been bubbling to the surface for awhile now: the idea of “faking it until you make it”.

Words and actions have the power to bring about transformation, even when we aren’t truly “feeling it”. 

My Valentine’s Day decision to love myself the way I wanted to be loved led to a number of personal goals for 2017 which have all been transformative. I have a Post-It note hanging off my computer that I read almost daily with the list of goals, among them more self-love, more exercise & outdoors, less alcohol/pot, invest in friendships, therapy, more sleep, more of what I love – music, travel, woodworking etc. 

And I’ve done most of them, more or less. After one of the many times my therapist told me that I need to love myself first, I asked her in frustration, HOW? How do I love myself? How can I validate myself? How can I be enough?

Tough questions, but I think I’m beginning to find one answer.

Just by ACTING as though I love myself, I am feeling more love for myself.

On that note, I’m going to go to bed… more sleep.

Day 24


I’m just realizing I didn’t post today, and it’s almost midnight so this will be a quick one. It was a busy day but I had a great therapy session, and also reached into my growing network of sober online groups for wisdom about having a relationship with someone who drinks heavily, while you are trying to quit.

In a nutshell, the advice was:

  • You can’t change another person, just focus on yourself
  • Take care of yourself, make yourself happy first and foremost
  • While they may try to change you back, don’t worry about their moods and reactions – that is a reflection of their own struggles, not yours
  • A deep, meaningful relationship is not possible when one or both people are drinking
  • Regardless of how “high-functioning” he is, heavy drinking is a sign of bigger issues that will remain unsolved as long as the person is drinking
  • So just work on your own issues – that’s more than enough to handle

Work on my happiness, work on my issues, and keep on keepin’ on. Sounds like a good plan.

In case anyone is reading/for my own future reference, here are some links to groups and info that have helped me today:

Living Sober online community

Mrs. D is Going Without blog

Soberful Facebook group (private)

Veronica Valli’s free e-book

Day 23


On our way home. Made it through the four days without alcohol! I’m a little sick of AF drinks, might have ODed on kombucha (but also turned a friend on to it, and learned of another friend who makes her own!), and am still dealing with the blowback of the wedding night fight, but otherwise feeling great.

I’m proud of myself for staying strong, and grateful to my friends for not questioning too much. I got a few looks and the initial, “You sure you’re not pregnant??” questions, but everyone was supportive and left it alone. I actually ended up having a few long conversations with a friend who is concerned with her fiancĂ©’s drinking habits, and didn’t have much to offer except a listening ear-but I think it helped her process some thoughts.

One of the most important things I learned on this trip was that I can still have fun (in fact, maybe more fun) without the booze. My friends and I rocked that dance floor, even trying out a bunch of new line dances with the “young kids”, and I may have made a fool out of myself by wearing a horse mask and sexy dancing in front of everyone. Dead sober.

It occurred to me later that I probably wouldn’t have participated in those dances, certainly not donned the horse mask before due to lack of confidence. Somehow for me, alcohol reduced my self confidence, not the other way around. 

I also learned that there were many people, friends, who weren’t drinking much at all, and  prior to quitting, I would have been oblivious… but now, I was aware and able to take advantage of being sober to really connect with them, late into the night. Before, I would have felt like I was connecting because I was talking loudly or cracking jokes but it would have been at the expense of true connection. And I would have very little memory of the evening of the event.

I will admit to using pot a few times on the trip to escape the feeling of being an outsider, when everyone else was drunk. But I am also seeing how much this reduces the experience in the end, and causes me to question myself… plus the “toxic self-shaming” that comes the day after if I’ve had an argument or other behavior I’m not proud of (terminology from my Living Sober online group, which was also a huge support this weekend) Not sure I want to quit that yet, but I’m learning the value of being 100% present in my own life and am getting more reluctant to give that up for a temporary and somewhat damaging high.

Feeling the self-love today, in spite of the interpersonal stress between C and I. 

Day 22


How did last night go? Horribly and wonderfully at the same time. I drank water or lemonade all night, barely missed the alcohol and had an absolute blast on the dance floor and chatting with friends, really connecting. When it started to get to the end of the night, and everyone was buzzing with booze-I slipped out and had a puff with another like-minded soul I’d met at the beach house. Great conversation and connection with everyone.

Except my husband

I won’t get into the petty details but suffice it to say, the wedding was a reminder of the love lost between us and we got in a fight.

Although I apologized twice and tried to bridge the gap, “Let’s not let this ruin our night, please?” he is slow to forgive and spent the rest of the evening either hidden away somewhere or actively avoiding me.

Even when we returned to the house, we weren’t able to patch it up-having a couple nasty raised-voice arguments in various rooms, probably within earshot of our friends. 

Part of me wants to throw in the towel but part of me realizes what a major shift I’m going through right now and the need to hold still and wait. What’s the advice-Don’t make any major decisions in your first year of sobriety?

Tired of reaching out to patch things up and being turned away, when the fault goes both ways. He does not come my direction but I so want the rest of this trip not to be ruined. Guess I’ll probably be trying again at some point or just doing my new normal of ignoring his pout and enjoying myself regardless.

Before he stormed out the last time last night, he waved his hand at me and said, “whatever THIS is, I don’t like it”. And I, in the heat of the moment said, “It’s sobriety. Get used to it!”

I’m not sure if that is exactly true but I know that my negative emotions about our marriage are much closer to the surface now that I’m not burying them under a thick blanket of alcohol. Not sure where that leaves us, but guaranteed I will be ruminating over it unhealthily in the alone time that C’s pout will afford me.