Day 355 of 365 – Phoenix Rising

10 days away from the ‘end’ of this one year experiment and I’m sharing a blog to say that I am FINALLY at a place where I find myself rising above the ashes of the booze life that I lived… for 40 years!!

I was 12 when I first snuck booze from my mom’s bottle of rye (at the time she was drinking heavily – 40oz a day on some days). I would sneak it bit by bit into a cup and hide it under my bed. Then I’d take a can of pop and pour some in and would go out and be ‘the cool kid’ who had a drink with her and everyone wanted a taste. When I was younger – I had very low self-esteem and didn’t fit in. Up until puberty – I was very much the nerdy buck tooth glasses wearing girl that no one looked at twice. I longed to fit in and this was how I started with alcohol in my life.

I grew up with parents and family who drank pretty heavily. I witnessed a lot of messed up evenings with fights, arguments, threats with a gun… My drinking ramped up when I was legally of age and was able to go to bars at the age of 19. At that time I was in a relationship with a man who was abusive towards me (psychologically and physically) – so I guess I drank to cope or mask the pain and shame of it all.

I have a history of other instances where I was inappropriately touched by a priest when I was an alter girl and propositioned by a neighbor when I was super young (he was offering me candy in exchange for me to play with him) and there were more instances of abuse spanning into my adult year and at times when I drank too much and allowed things to happen …

When I met my now ex-husband – I was trying to get out of the physically abusive relationship and as my dad put it – I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. At the time my ex was drinking a lot too. I guess you could say I went with ‘if you can’t beat them – join them. After the birth of my 2nd daughter I experienced post-partum depression and began drinking more heavily. I went through a really dark phase. Then in 2002 my world fell apart when my ex left me and my mom died. There is so much more to the story … but fast forward to today and all I can say is the process of my transformation and conclusion to being who I am today is BECAUSE of all I’ve lived through.

I took my last drink on August 12th 2018 (was done by 9pm). I have 102 days where I have had drinks in this experiment and have now finally had my moment of ‘CLICK’ if you will… to say that I’m retiring this habit that no longer serves my life or life purpose! For 40 years it has brought in so much SHIT into my life! Sure I can romanticize and there were some good times in there (the ones I can remember lol)… but overall booze basically was associated with negative experiences for me.

Releasing it from my lifestyle has brought a new freedom! Like the Phoenix Rising – the transformation time is NOW! There’s no looking back and only great things to look forward to. I hope to be able to help others get to this point as I continue to lead/facilitate the amazing Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Success Group… and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me!!

So as September nears… and so does my Birthday … I say YES of course to #SoberSeptember and hope others will jump in… for 30 days… or for 100 or for LIFE!! #LoseDabooze for good… Gain LIFE!!

Day 314 out of 365 – 227 Days AF and Day 14 #DryJuly

Checking in mid-point into #DryJuly… and nearing the end of my ‘one year experiment’ leading up to my 52nd birthday on September 3rd.

This week has been great as I’ve been off work (only worked Monday) after somewhat of a break down last week as I was feeling burnt out and broken with all the stressors relative to my daughter’s mental health issues and the challenges they bring. But being AF has kept me strong and allowed me to focus on strategies and solutions including making my morning workouts non-negotiable again and doing daily personal development.

The guilt that comes with drinking for me just isn’t worth it anymore. The feeling of ‘I deserve it’ thinking of “I deserve a drink after this or that…” is gone and what I want MORE is to feel as I do today… Stronger, more energetic, having more clarity and purpose again. I’ve come across a few great resources this week including Rachel Hart’s podcast on this topic and the other one was a blog post that reminded me how I seriously DON’T want to go back to day 1 again (The Obstacle Course). I’m also listening to Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits which has a ton of great ideas and tools to help me get back on track in many ways.

The group that I created (Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Success) is also doing well and we share resources from various places. I don’t put limitations on what #sobertools we can get our hands on. I hope to someday be the resource that someone refers others too as I continue with my mission to #LoseDaBooze in my life (and let go of the hold that alcohol had on me).

In our group I try to collect resources and share in files so we have a go to reference – things like distractions, sober tools links, quotes, photos of our face to face before and after…

Staying AF for me means staying busy and finding a purpose… and I feel like I’m back and today will be the day I create a NEW (updated) vision board which I’ll share a bit later once it’s completed.

The alone time at home doesn’t come often anymore so I’m going to savor it and get my day started… it’s amazing how much gets done when you don’t drink (and also a raw realization of how much time is wasted when we DO drink). We choose and today is a beautiful day to continue this awesome sober streak I’m on! Are you with me?

Day 225 of 365 – April is Alcohol Awareness Month

I took a pause and stopped blogging and then realized it’s time to speak out and up about this. I slipped back into some daily drinking habits and with this month being about alcohol awareness – I am yet again having to acknowledge that I have issues with too much booze.

I have 188 days AF and 37 drinking days in this one year experiment so far and what I will share with you are my raw and honest observations about this slip and how it’s made me feel … if for nothing else to be a wake up call for me.

  • I’ve regained weight and feel bloated and terrible
  • I am back to living life on the couch and lack motivation to move
  • I am making lame excuses or jokes about my drinking – like it’s ‘ok’ to drink again (but it’s really NOT)
  • I have anxiety, depression and worry filled sleepless nights (tossing and turning and thinking about how this is NOT working again)
  • I am pissed off at myself for slipping backwards yet again…

So what does this all mean? Well – it means it’s time to be HONEST with myself again and just do what I came to do this year… Live the year sober and clean and get back to AF living!

Let got of guilt and let more clarity back in!

Today I’m back to day one with my eye on 200 days AF as my next ‘goal’ … and beyond!!

I’m grateful for each moment … for our group (Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge) and for the ability to get back to a place of peace and sobriety.

Day 153 – 5 Month Badge

Cheers to one more badge earned!! Life is good these days even with the challenges that arise… I’m staying strong and no longer think about going to ‘da booze as a way to cope. Instead I think about my workouts, reading, taking a bath, meditating, going for a walk, checking in with our Losedabooze group or calling a friend.

These are the #sobertools that will help me reach my health goals!

Here’s to the next month ahead and hitting the half year mark! I haven’t gone this long since my last pregnancy … 17 years ago!!

Lose ‘da Booze Secret Facebook Group

There are a lot of groups out there for those wishing to change their relationship with alcohol. I first joined HAMS – as I simply wanted to perhaps learn to moderate my drinking but soon found that the group grew large and the focus was more on drinking than not in many posts. I had a few members who wanted to do an AF (alcohol free) challenge and I had a team I had been doing this with via another platform (SparkPeople – Cutting Down the Booze) and I decided I would try doing one through Facebook.

Back in 2013 I tried to join Belle’s 100 Day Challenge (Tired of Thinking about Drinking) – but it didn’t click for me and I found it turned into more and more of a sales pitch.

My goal was simply to get to that 100 days and I finally achieved it on my own last December 10th, 2016 and then in January of 2017 – I decided to launch it as a closed group. I later changed it to a secret group to ensure more privacy as closed groups sometimes come up as suggested groups on pages and members didn’t want that to happen. I had about 140 members join in and when I completed my 2nd 100 Day Challenge  on April 10, 2017 – I was joined by many others. It felt amazing to be able to share in the experience and the testimonials have been amazing. The group has grown to be the most supportive, positive and non judgmental group I’ve ever been a part of and I’m so proud of the fact that it has grown as I always envisioned this type of group would.

So bit by bit – I sometimes introduce it to others – but you have to be invited or added by an existing member as you can’t find it in a search … so if you’re interested – feel free to add me as a friend (as I can only add friends as members) and send me a note to be added to the group. If you’re not ready to do 100 days that’s ok – you can still join in. Many of our members gather inspiration from our daily posts and work their way up to 100 and some have gone BEYOND (like me) and are alcohol free for life!

Before you do – have a read of our group’s description and if you still think you want in – then I look forward to hearing from you!!

The goal of this group is for you to get an AF streak in (perhaps you’re joining for the one month) or perhaps you’re striving to reach 100 Days (or more) consecutive days Alcohol FREE (AF)! It’s about Thriving without ‘da booze! The group was created in January 2016 where many of us jumped in to reach 100 Days AF – and we’ve since grown to call it a “Success Group” rather than a ‘challenge’.

This group is meant to be a safe space to share a sometimes very private and personal journey related to your desire to let go of alcohol in your life a CONSECUTIVE stretch of AF days – the focus of the discussions and posts relative to sobriety and being AF. This group is SECRET to allow for us to be able to share in this group and not open to the open Facebook community you may have on your own page, so please respect this and do not share anything that is said in this group outside of this group. If anyone encounters any issues around this, let me or another admin know.

** This group will not tolerate negative posts, hurtful or unsupportive posts. This group is not intended for posts relative to opinions about religion, politics, debates relative to other groups, etc. The Admin reserves the right to remove these posts and the members who post them. We will not tolerate TROLLS either. NO-PROMOS ALLOWED IN COMMENTS OR POSTS If someone requests your email or website, message them privately.**

This group is committed to focusing on being AF (alcohol free), ABS (abstaining)! We understand that some may not be ready to jump in right away and perhaps gaining inspiration to get to a point of doing a longer period of abstinence. There’s no failing in here – we believe that better is better but if you are doing too many restarts perhaps you’re not quite ready for this challenge and you perhaps need to check the other resources: HAMS is a great support group for moderation support with some periods of abstinence www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/.

I created the group because the AA model did not fit what my intentions were when I think about ‘Losing ‘da Booze’ and my journey (as I do not believe I am powerless in any way). I wanted to create a group of support that did not follow the 12 steps but that simply was a gathering of like minded individuals who were simply trying to better their lives – without any negative labels. While I do recognize AA has helped many – this is not the place or space for discussion/debate. I also do not like the labels of alcoholism, alcoholic or recovery. To me it’s simply about choosing to live a healthier life – without alcohol! Blogs are posted periodically via this site losedaboze.com 

DISCLAIMER ** This group is for support and encouragement but can NOT replace professional medical counsel. If you have a serious dependence on alcohol or have been a heavy drinker- please consult your doctor or professional counselor before attempting to quit completely. You may have to practice tapering first. **

Day 2 – The importance of Journal Writing

#SoberTools – I’ve been on this path a few times – dating back to 2013 and even now, when I go back to read about stuff I was going through, I am in awe of how I have come through it all and I know that the same will apply to the difficult times I’m experiencing now.

I felt really low today and it showed I guess as I had people at work ask me if I was ok as I didn’t seem my usual bright/perky self. It’s hard to smile and answer to “How are you?” with the usual “I’m good”… because I’m not feeling it!

My daughter was supposed to go to school today (her before last day – Friday being her last) but she didn’t feel up to it saying she was tired and depressed and quite frankly – all that she is going through is sucking the life and light out of me and I’m trying to catch my breath. When she misses a day – it means I have to then contact the school and transportation – provide and example – then I have to deal with her messaging me throughout the day while I’m trying to work. I try to set boundaries but because she is depressed and pretty much tells me daily she wants to die – I feel compelled to always be ‘on call’ and I’m honestly so tired and praying for a miracle shift for HER… to no longer feel this way… so that we can live a happier life together.

I know all the stuff I’m supposed to do and NOT supposed to do to get back on track. The thoughts going through my head was about going to see my doctor to talk to him to maybe get a bit of time off as a ‘stress’ leave but I’m not even sure that’s the answer. I am feeling burnt out though – that I know for sure and getting emotional out of the blue here and there throughout the day. SO I’m writing – to record my feelings and thoughts.

We were supposed to get a screening/intake call at 4:30 and that didn’t happen and my daughter was upset about that (I tried to explain it was likely a bureaucratic mistake but upsetting nonetheless as I really hoped to get the ball rolling on this for her to have regular counseling). I sent in info for the other counseling with animals and no reply there either (she had said she could possibly see her this coming weekend but no news now). I even emailed our EAP services – saying I’m doing all that I can possibly do for myself, for my daughter and it’s just like it’s not enough…

I’m really trying to focus on some positives for today… like how she did a craft project on her own at home and made some stuffed peppers for us. How she also made some desserts for my fiance with the sweet tooth – speaking of which that’s back with no booze again for me. I managed to stick to my 8 hour eating window today – although I need to clean it up and get rid of the junk in there (trying the Intermittent Fasting but can’t speak about that around my daughter due to her struggles with body image/food/eating issues).

And now it’s past 6pm – and I’m going to get my butt downstairs for another workout so I can hit my 10,000 steps and get more activity minutes in for my at work June Health bet that I organized (oh and by the way my talk yesterday went well despite me feeling this way – I put on a smile and shared my success tips – good reminders about how I achieved it and how I can do it again).

Cravings were there again – after work so I ate sugar stuff – twizzlers, chocolate bar and a cinnamon roll that my daughter made… but I’m done for the night now. Seeing how I’ve gained back 20lbs in TWO months with ‘da booze back in my life… that’s enough to shut that stupid voice telling me how nice it would be to have a drink – NOT! Nothing tastes as good as THIN feels! Back to work on de-bloating with no booze!

Day 1 … Back to Basics

Sober June stopped for me… with a LOT on my plate with some at home ‘life’ stuff, I allowed myself a bit of give and had drinks… the problem is that I started feeling myself slip into old ways and I could feel my anxiety and guilt increase as I was no longer following through on my intentions … so not being my AUTHENTIC self anymore. And honestly – that feeling so completely SUCKS in comparison to the WIN I feel when I fight through the cravings and win!

In the moment the idea of having a drink sounds like so ‘relaxing’ but then it turns into more and more (at least in my case) so I’m back to Day 1 and working on my 125th day AF for 2017. I now only have 20 days left in this year where I could allow drinks to make my goal of 300 days for this year and with summer ahead and lots of possible drama surrounding my step-daughter’s wedding, I need to get a GRIP and dig into my sober tool box (one being my blogging and journaling my thoughts and feelings day by day).

Right now my work performance is suffering as I’m not focused due to the issues going on with my daughter. I feel myself slipping into a pattern of negatives … not working out, eating junk foods, passing on doing every day chores for sitting my ass on the couch and mindlessly binge watching tv. As a result I’m regaining weight I worked so hard to lose and feel like crap again! It shows in my posture, my face, my skin and my spirit.

I want the strong me again… the one who follows through on her goals and plans and so tonight I am going back to writing out a simple to do list … the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting things done will allow me to wake feeling better. I haven’t been doing my morning workouts these days either and BOY does that take the wind out of my sails so I am back to it tomorrow. For tonight I’m going to clean up the kitchen, go through some emails to clean out my inbox (a cluttered / full inbox stresses me out) and end the night with some reading and/or meditation – turning in by 9pm hopefully to get my 6 hours of sleep to start my day right tomorrow with my daily practice… affirmations, posting to my groups and then working out all before hitting the shower to get ready for work. #sobertools

My daughter is in a ‘so so’ mood tonight so hopefully I’ll be able to follow through on my plan. One thing is for sure – despite the MAD cravings that came as soon as I came home … wanting a drink. I took my Kudzu and rode it out. I’m AF today! And below are my pics for comparison to later… I want the brighter happier me again!