Day 113


As the boys nap and I prepare for an afternoon of football and beers with friends, I’m examining my resolve again. And last night’s post about this being My Own Journey is holding fast.

We’re having friends over who we’re close with, and who we’ve drank with many, many times (in fact, almost every time except for our beach time with these folks). And so far, they are the only friends who have questioned my decision to not drink.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been pressure to drink, but their initial reactions are in the back of my mind while I steel myself for an afternoon surrounded by beer and good cheer.

My decision to quit was based on my own internal struggles with alcohol, something no one, not even my husband, felt or saw externally. I was drowning. Alcohol was sucking my soul away, taking away the best of me and making the precious years of my boys’ infancy and youth Less Than. No one knew that better than I.

But externally? I was able to drink socially and then drive home, visibly “sober”. I was a success at work and at home. I was cheerful, present, pulled-together, and only occasionally visibly hung-over. I’m not sure they would say they’d ever seen me really drunk (although they had). But it was the internal landscape that mattered in the end. 

And I don’t feel the need to explain that to anyone at this point.

So I’ll happily join in the fun this afternoon, sipping a seltzer or a fancy juice (the latest sounds disgusting but is actually rather awesome: pineapple, lime, kale, cucumber and parsley). And if asked about my choice, I’ll just say – For me, life is better without!

An article with a similar perspective, “They say my drinking wasn’t bad, but it was”

Day 112


Wow. We did it.

A bounce house party with 20 kids ages 2-5, filled with lots of sugar, excitement and NOISE! Only a couple minor injuries and meltdowns, and no potty accidents. Incredible. It’s amazing what parenting will do to lower your standards.

At the end of the day, the boys are tucked in and I’m about to go decompress with C (him with bourbon, me with pot). 

I will admit, coming to the end of all that effort and expenditure of energy and will power and everything else that a party like that requires, I really – I mean REALLY – wanted a drink. It’s interesting, observing my triggers from an objective distance. Why was the urge so strong then? What was I trying to escape, or erase, or numb down? Really, honestly? The boys were great, the experience went smoothly, C and I worked really well as a team, I was able to enjoy chatting with the other parents and my good friends while the Bounce House staff took care of all the hosting details (something I wasn’t aware they did, and a very nice perk!). Overall, it could not have gone better.

But I still wanted to unplug, escape, numb myself.

Maybe it was the sense of overwhelm. Maybe it was the “I earned this” feeling. 

In any case, I didn’t.

But I did have one thought as I lay there snuggling with the boys tonight, unplugging in a much more self-aware way. And that was that part of my success at this has to do with the fact that I’ve made this My Own Journey. I’m on my own with this. No one else’s journey looks anything like mine. And I’m owning it.

C’s habits, my friends’ choices, even my online sober buddies who come in and out of my life – quit or not quit, none of it has any bearing on my own decision to do this and stick with it.

I think that helps a lot.

Day 111



Made it through the week AND through the boys’ first birthday celebration tonight, with sanity intact and sober. I feel like a super hero.

Tomorrow is the bounce house party with 20 3-4 year olds and lots of sugar. Man, I am so glad I will not be nursing a hangover for that.

Lots percolating along in the background, especially related to my expectations for a relationship with C, a lot of trying ideas on for size and not recognizing myself in the mirror… but for now, the little penny-drop today was in the moment when I realized, even without a nap and with the addition of WAY too much sugar, the boys were better behaved than they were last night. 

Last night was an absolute hellacious evening that made the 7th layer of Hades seem preferable. One meltdown after another, sometimes two at once, over things like “My straw is too short” or “this banana is broken”. Dinner was a struggle of threats, tears and timeouts – all just to get them to eat a few bites (why must toddlers fight an activity that keeps them alive?) At one point, I looked over to C leaning over the sink just shaking his head mumbling “I love my life” over and over.

Yeh, it was bad.

But we survived! And although in the moment, it felt like life was Always going to be that way, and the boys were Always that bad, and C was Always going to respond in that sarcastic, angry way, and it was going to last for Eternity… it didn’t. 

Just one of those little reminders that, even in the worst of moments, it’s just a moment. And then, like tonight, there are moments where you expect the worst and the opposite happens.

Glad to have been there both last night and tonight, fully present in the good and the bad.

Day 110


Just making it in under the wire. 11:55pm and exhausted.

I’ve finally finished with the birthday prep, including making an emoji poop-shaped cake per special request. It was a busy day, but not without its charm and moments of clarity.

One of those moments happened when I was running through a conversation in my mind, thinking back to what I’d said, and suddenly saw my words through a different lens. I’d said something to the other person that framed me as powerless – it was a thinly-veiled complaint, but more importantly, I had intentionally made it appear that it was something I had no control over and therefore… what? What was I wanting…Pity? Concern? Empathy?

And in that moment of realizing how transparent that must have been to the other person, I felt embarrassed. That same sort of embarrassed you feel when you look at your high school prom pictures. You know – you thought you looked so good, but that HAIR! How could you have thought that was a good idea?

It’s a narrative about my life that I’m outgrowing. This narrative of “poor me”. 

Because honestly, I don’t need that pity anymore. I’m doing fine, thank you! And any hardship I’m going through at the moment is one that I have some control over, and more importantly, it’s just a moment. It will be over soon, and then on to the next. So why sit and stew about it – only to make it worse. 

Certainly, I can start being more mindful of the amount of complaining I do to friends and co-workers. 

Baby steps.

Day 109


If yesterday’s post was about Confidence, today’s is about Intention.

Driving home from work, having resisted biting my nails off during an incredibly intense day, I am noticing how much easier it is to stick with an intention, now that I’ve quit drinking.

For sure, our inhibitions drop away as do our best intentions, the more we drink. And in the moment, that makes sense. But what I wouldn’t have expected is the more global effect. 

Not only am I better at resisting temptation (snacking on a whole bag of chips, biting my nails off, sending an angry text etc) when I’m sober in the evenings when I would have been drinking, buzzed or drunk, but I’m doing a better job of living intentionally during the DAY – when I would have been sober anyway.*

The effect has carried over into my daytime life, when I thought I was an upstanding professional – successful, organized, respected, regardless of my nighttime habits.

I’m learning the ways in which I wasn’t quite as put-together as I thought, now that I’m quit – and am more myself. A better self. It’s encouraging. And also a little embarrassing – like I’m playing catch-up with all the sober people in my life, wondering how much of my habit *was* noticeable even during the day.

*Disclaimer: this isn’t true 100% of the time. But it is nice to see a noticeable improvement overall.

Day 108


After burning the candle at both ends, my hope is to go to bed super early tonight although I still have a list of things to do… so please excuse the quick thoughts, with no filter.

Confidence. Today’s therapy session focused a lot on that. And it has me thinking – as I have before – of all the small ways I behave that chip away at my own self-confidence. Drinking was a major one, and I noticed a real increase in self-confidence after quitting. I’m sure pot is on that list – it always makes me second-guess myself for a day or two after smoking.

I’m a nail biter, who has managed to get the habit under control for periods of my adult life. But it goes in cycles. And when under extreme stress, I find that I end up biting without thinking, or without control. And when I bite my hard-won and carefully curated nails all off, I notice a huge dip in my confidence. I end up really upset with myself, and start going down the negative pathways like ” you just think you’ll get over these bad habits, but really, you’ll always succumb” “you’re a failure and you can’t fix that” “there is no hiding the ugliness inside” etc. 

Really negative thoughts.

And I’m halfway there right now. I’ve trimmed my nails down and am trying trying trying to not bite them. It’s incredible what a compulsive and persistent habit this is. I’d gone for months this time.

Aside from that, the lack of exercise coupled with too much time online, also contribute to a low self-image. And of course, anytime I do something I’m not proud of – yelling at the kids, acting bitchy to C, saying something not-so-nice about a co-worker etc, I feel low and Less Than.

I guess it’s good that I’m seeing these things so clearly now. At least then, I can try to address them. It can be so hard though!

We know what’s best for us, but we struggle to actually do it. Why?

Day 107

MLK Monday

My good friend, S, just informed me that she’s quitting in 7 days. We’d discussed our alcohol habits and desire to cut back months ago, and she’s followed me through this journey – expressing interest in doing it herself. So her plan is to do 30 days along with an Isogenix (sp?) diet plan, and see how it goes.

She’s a single mom of a boy the same age as ours, and kicks major ass as a detective. She is a Crossfit beast, but could also win a Texas beauty contest (although she’d never enter). Grace, strength, perseverance, and a work ethic to shame most of us. I guarantee she’ll do well at this.

And I’m 100% there for her now and moving forward.


Day 106



Today was a fun-filled morning on a play date with fellow 3yo twins (we terrorized a local diner after the bounce house), followed by an afternoon of work while boys napped and played with dad. I’m just now getting done with freelance and headed down for pizza with the fam.

All of these extra hours (logging close to 70 now between the three gigs I’m juggling – NOT planned!) are really making me want a cocktail. C came up earlier to help with something and I smelled a G&T on his breath – man, did that sound good. Now, I’m headed into an evening where I need to do at least another hour or two of agency work before calling it a night, and I know I’ll end up smoking as my unplug and reward.

I wonder how/when I’ll be able to kick that habit, as I know it’s just as unhealthy as the alcohol (mentally at least, although not as physically addictive or harmful).

Sigh. One thing at a time.

Day 105

Boris Tellegen


After cracking a bit today and yelling at the boys and C, I feel like complete shit. And in the absence of alcohol to blame, I am now realizing how much stress has to do with it.

All it takes is a few weeks of high-intensity stress at work plus lack of sleep to cause me to really fray around the edges. 

When I first quit, work was a lot easier and the kids were, in general, sleeping through the night (as I remember anyway). And I credited my feeling of mental balance to the lack of alcohol. I’m sure in part, it was. And no matter what, I know it helps – a TON.

But now the effect of stress stands out in stark relief. 

Gotta find my happy place, and get some better rest tonight.

Day 104

Masks, Shel Silverstein


My brain is fried after this work week. Juggling dev handoffs for two pharma websites (whoever thought one AD could manage two full websites on the same timeline?!), with brutal clients and timelines and panicking coworkers all-day, every-day has left me burnt to a crisp.

I’m sure the pot is helping with that crispy too.

Headed to bed, but for one random alcohol-related thought.

I’ve just finished a novel set in Boston, about the ins-and-outs of an Irish family. Lots of Catholicism, guilt and drinking. One of the characters in Saints for All Occasions dies an early death in a drunken car crash. At his wake, a sibling reflects that at the bar where he would hang out it was considered a badge of honor if you could hold your alcohol. The more you drank, the better. But you had to exhibit a tolerance. Anyone who slipped up wasn’t respected as much.

Left me thinking about how true that is of drinking culture in general. 

So much about alcohol is hidden in our culture. Weakness in general is taboo. So struggles like dependance or mental illness aren’t talked about. The people like myself, who quit because they worried they’d lost control, don’t tell anyone about it! So no one knows who around them may be going through similar struggles.

Reminds me of a poem I read the boys all the time, by Shel Silverstein:


She had blue skin,

And so did he.

He kept it hid,

And so did she.

They searched for blue their whole life through,

Then passed right by – 

And never knew.