The first time it happened was in Italy, 3 short months after I had stopped drinking altogether. A hot little Italian waiter (who I'd later make out with - fuck yes, Italy) and I were flirting as I ate my way through two entire pizzas. Near the end of the meal he told me he had a special treat for me, and returned with a glass of dessert wine.
It sat there. I stared at it. He stood there. He stared at me. He smiled, and did that thing with his hands that is the international symbol for "please go ahead and drink it." I blinked. Time stood still. The first thought was crap, I don't know how to say "alcoholic" in Italian. The second thought was, I wonder if I can ask him for a cappuccino instead. The third thought was not a thought at all, but that aching I get in my tummy when I am afraid I'm going to hurt someone's feelings.
Me: "Non grazie."
Me: "No bevo alcol."
Me: "No bevo alcol!"
Him: Sad face.
I smiled politely, thanked him again, and told him I'd take a cappuccino. He persisted. "Not even a little?" No. Not even a little. Read More
One of the biggest parts of my healing, one of the biggest blessings I have found on this path, is the art of understanding that all that came before today was simply there to bring me to today - exactly. Is the art of understanding that these perceived blocks on my path and these perceived faults in my journey, were really JUST THE PATH, were really JUST THE JOURNEY. It cannot be broken down into good or bad, dissected into failures and losses and the good stuff. It just is. And coming to terms with the fact that it just is, has freed me of my past, freed me of my pain, freed me to be here now reap the reward and the lessons of those perceived failings.
Here are five big things I could regret and feel a ton of shame around, that I have instead accepted as just part of the beautiful package that is our unfolding. Read More
This piece should be called irony. Because the thing I am most nervous to make a statement about is the exact opposite of the one I was afraid to as I began this journey.
Years ago I was terrified of the stir I would create and rejection I would face if I ever had to admit that I couldn't control my drinking. Admitting I was an alcoholic seemed to be the most terrifying thing I'd have to do. And now on this side of things, a non-drinker who not only refuses the alcoholic label and identity or that it is an "incurable disease" and thinks the word should be put to death, I find myself quietly skirting the issue entirely, terrified.
The funny thing about terror though, is that it normally shows you where you must go.
And oh, here I go. Read More
While this post is intended for the newly sober at Thanksgiving, it's actually a great post for ANYONE looking for a more peaceful, healthy, and flowing Thanksgiving holiday - sober or not - and is also a great post to keep in your toolbox for any high-stress social situation. Read More
When I need a quick fix to deal with situational anger - when it's affecting my heart rate, my ability to think straight, or leading me down a path of crazy bitch - I use this simple 3 minute Kundalini meditation to burn it up and go on about my day. It's quick, effective, energizing, cleansing, and empowering. Read More
I had my last last drink on April 13, 2013.
There is no way to describe what has happened in those months since. As far as I'm concerned, my life can be cut up into two boxes. The life before I learned what it meant to not drink, and the life after. The former a slow progression through a tolerable life with a severe longing for something more and a clear sense of never having or being enough. The latter not just the escape from that…the latter truly the having of things that I had always assumed were just not for me.
What unfolded was something beyond my wildest dreams. What unfolded was what happens when you decide for you and only you, and when you clear the space to make YOU happen.
Whatever benefits alcohol seems to provide I assure you they are trite in comparison to the possibilities of the life that stands beyond. Saying goodbye to the junk was saying goodbye to the life I had accepted as good enough and hello to a life that continues to unfold in magical, reality defying ways.
If you are looking for a little inspiration of what is on the other side...read these 19 things I have done in 19 months.
An alcohol cleanse is a low pressure way to not only examine how substances may be negatively impacting your life, but also a great way to explore the benefits of sobriety without the long-term commitment. While I recommend doing it for 30 to 40 days to reap real benefits, CBS's #14Days On The Wagon challenge - a call for America to experience life without alcohol for 14 days (October 6 - 19) while learning about addiction and recovery from the experts - is a perfect opportunity to try an alcohol cleanse in the company of a societal movement.
If you are interested in taking up the challenge, are thinking about planning your own alcohol cleanse, or are already in sobriety and just looking for ways to fortify non-drinking you, here are 10 tips to help you make the most of the experience. Read More
In the past five weeks: I killed my cat, overdrew my checking by some $15,000, STUPIDLY saw that guy that treats my like crap yet again (surprise, he treated me like crap, yet again), gained ten pounds (it's muscle?), commenced my fifth month of couch surfing, a boy in my yoga teacher training yelled at me in Starbucks that he doesn't like me because I'm a drama queen who never stops crying, the girl leasing my apartment broke the antique table that took me two years to find, all my plants died, and my mom dropped my brand new computer - the one I failed to buy insurance for - on a tile floor. Read More
Spoiler Alert: Sobriety is Fabulous.
It's the biggest secret to my success quitting. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The skinny jeans at the end of the diet.
If you are thinking about leaving the drink behind, and are worried that you're also leaving behind a best friend, a social life and gaining a new stigma, here are 12 ways to help you reframe it into your fabulous adventure. Read More
I set my lonely little foot on the road less traveled. It has not been so much a series of conscious steps that my mind categorically decides as much as a continuous and endless leaping of my soul into the void, my mind and body racing from behind to keep up. Exactly 573 days ago from this writing, I opened the door to that path. Exactly 573 days ago, all of me broke, and something broke free that has run wild into the wind since, leaving all else behind, scorching and burning all that was known as my former self. Read More