5 Years of Freedom

5 Years of Freedom

It was just like any other weekend of my crazy 20-something life. Sun, sand, and a plethora of drinks in my hand. Only this time instead of staying up for days at a time and snorting cocaine off my house key in the bathroom, I was with my childhood best friends in the Dominican Republic. I had an incredible amount of anxiety before going on this trip and in a way, I feel like my body and soul already knew, and were preparing me for it. I was worried about doing the right thing and playing the part for everybody.

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Building Walls Keeps Out the Bad and the Good

Building Walls Keeps Out the Bad and the Good

I’ve had a complicated past with friendships. I know this is hard to believe for many of you who know me now, but it used to be difficult for me to make friends. Growing up I had several tight-knit friendships with a few different girls, each one dying out on its own, but that separation was always hard for me to accept. In 6th grade I even signed up for a “how to make friends” course with my school guidance counselor, on a recommendation from my mother. In 8th grade I finally found a group of girls who would become my best friends, some of them I knew earlier than that from soccer and elementary school, but we solidified as a group at the end of middle school. They made my days brighter and we vowed to be friends for life.

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40 Ups & Downs in 4 Years of Sobriety

40 Ups & Downs in 4 Years of Sobriety

I hope this day in the history of my life is just as important to me 20 years from now, as it is today. It can be a painful memory to recall. No one likes to admit that their life is a mess, that they lost control, or that they cannot moderate their drinking no matter how hard they try. Before May 7, 2013 I worked incredibly hard at making it seem like I had it all together. I had a job, I could pay my rent, I had a boyfriend, I was living in one of the most fabulous cities in the world. Everyone thought I was living the dream, when deep down inside I had a hole in my soul.

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Why I Don't Hate 2016 And You Shouldn't Either

Why I Don't Hate 2016 And You Shouldn't Either

Ok, I've already heard all I need to about the year 2016. Everyone is coming out with their yearly reflections, New Year's resolutions, and hate-filled posts about how shitty this past year was. I won't lie to you, 2016 was the pits. Personally, I don't think it was a horrible year in comparison to other years I've lived through in my life. But for the world, for the U.S. government, and for ideas and morals like love and tolerance, we've been knocked down once again. I could sit here and list all the shitty things that happened in 2016.

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Every Day is Christmas When You're in Recovery

Every Day is Christmas When You're in Recovery

Wow, this year was a whirlwind, but I won't go into all that right now. I'll save that talk for next week when I'm reflecting on a new year coming up. This week I wanted to talk about the holidays. I've already offered practical advice for staying sober during the holidays, how Christmas is much different for me now that I'm sober, and why you should be grateful in recovery. I have to stop and think about how when I drank I always wanted it to be some other day of the year. I was always waiting, for the next party, the next happy hour, the next bag of cocaine, the next birthday, the next celebration, or the next holiday. It was a waiting game.

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10 Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks To Enjoy That Aren't Mocktails

10 Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks To Enjoy That Aren't Mocktails

The holiday season is in full swing and you're probably being bombarded by holiday party invitations, ads that include Christmas cocktails and wine bingeing, and if you're really lucky, a secret Santa gift that includes some sort of drinking paraphernalia. Ah, it ain't easy being sober folks. But that's why I'm here to give you some seasonal drink ideas to cure your "Am I the only one who doesn't drink?" feeling.

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My Experience As A Sober Bachelorette

My Experience As A Sober Bachelorette

I just realized I've been so behind on posting this month. This month has been a doozie. The last post I published was in the aftermath of the election and let me tell you, that wound is still open. It's been hard to function, to go about everyday life, and find hope to carry on. This was especially hard for my bachelorette party which had been planned for months to occur on the weekend after the election. In my ideal mind, we would be celebrating my upcoming nuptials as well as the election of the first woman present. It was like I had been holding my breath for three months and I was hoping I'd finally be able to feel some relief and de-stress with my best friends.

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Are Curious Elixirs The Future Of Partying Sober?

Are Curious Elixirs The Future Of Partying Sober?

When I got sober I wanted to blend in. I wanted to still be at all the parties and nightclubs and still socialize like I was so used to doing. But when you're used to having alcohol in your hand at all times, how do you make that switch? At first, I had water, sparkling water, or soda in hand at all times. Over the last 3.5 years, I've evolved and I don't go out as much, but the feeling of being included at a bar, restaurant, event, or any other place where alcohol is being served is still a desire. I think this is one of the main fears and hurdles of getting sober.

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How To Ask For Help When You Don't Want To

How To Ask For Help When You Don't Want To

Asking for help is something no one ever wants to do. Especially when it comes to addiction. For me, it has always been hard to ask for help. My ego has always been in the way. Growing up I was scared I would look stupid in school if I asked questions everyone already knew the answer to. It was one of my biggest fears and it led to me getting behind in some subjects because I wouldn't speak up when I didn't understand. I was terrified of looking and feeling stupid because then I would believe that I really was stupid.

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5 Unusual Things That Keep Me Sober

5 Unusual Things That Keep Me Sober

After a few conversations last week with fellow sober women including my sponsee, I got to thinking, there are some absurd things that keep me sober. There are a lot of things that keep me sober: my recovery program, exercise, my health, my relationship, and being an aunt to my nephews, just to name a few. But the following reasons are somewhat untraditional and it’s possible not everyone can relate. In sobriety everyone has their own story, that’s what makes it so important that everyone shares their experience, strength, and hope. On some days here are the absurd things that keep me sober.

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Making Amends in Vermont and a Visit To Bill W’s House

Making Amends in Vermont and a Visit To Bill W’s House

This past week I traveled to Vermont with my family. Vermont is a place I’ve been going to since I was a baby. I have family there and we have a very special house there called Irish Hill Farm – my grandma’s farm to be exact and before her, it belonged to her mother and so on. The house is a symbol of my childhood and reminds me so much of my grandma. Her spirit will live on there forever and her ashes were scattered in the backyard up on the mountain.

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Book Review: Sober Stick Figure by Amber Tozer

Book Review: Sober Stick Figure by Amber Tozer

Reading literally saved my life. What do I mean by that? I mean when I got sober in 2013 I had a lot of time to myself and the internet was my friend. I read addiction and recovery information, blogs, memoirs, and any other kind of book I could get on my kindle while living in Cancun. I still read as much as I can, but I hardly give reading the attention it deserves on this blog. But that’s going to change. I want to share with all of you books that have made an impact on my life, ones that I couldn’t put down, and ones that I simply enjoyed.

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The Gift of Tooth Brushing

The Gift of Tooth Brushing

Every time I get to spend a few hours alone with my significant other I am reminded of just how lucky I am he is mine. Although we share a house and a bed, and both work from home, Fer and I very much have our own lives and enjoy our own space. That’s why we make it mandatory to have at least one date night per week where we aren’t allowed to touch our cell phones for a certain period of time (this is admittedly hard for me haha). As our hot, steamy end of date night winded down on Tuesday night, we were both giddy, laughing, and talking. We had just completed our bedtime rituals – face washing, tooth brushing, face cream, etc. As I lay my head down next to Fer I ran my tongue along my squeaky clean, freshly washed teeth. My mouth tasted like mint and my lips had just been applied Chapstick. I turned to Fer and I said, “You know what I love about sobriety?” He looked at me and said, “What?” “Brushing my teeth,” I said. Fer scrunched up his face, laughed and said, “I know! Never having that gross taste of alcohol in your mouth anymore?” He always knows just what I mean. “YES!” I said.

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Sober Haunting: Drunk Dreams in Sobriety

Sober Haunting: Drunk Dreams in Sobriety

Have you ever woken up in a panic unsure if what you were just dreaming was actually real or not? Sometimes our dreams can be so lucid it's downright scary. Even more so, when these dreams include drinking or using drugs. Chances are if you're sober, you've already experienced a drunk dream. When I got sober I had no idea what a drunk dream was and it took me months to figure out that was what they were called. Their frequency at the beginning of my sobriety was much higher than it is now. So, what is a drunk dream? Why do they happen and what do they mean? Unfortunately, these traumatizing experiences are a normal part of sobriety. But armed with information, we can expect that this is a part of our healing process on the journey of recovery.

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31 Years Ago My Mom Made This A Special Day

31 Years Ago My Mom Made This A Special Day

Today I am 31 years young 31 years ago my fearless and courageous mother gave birth to her second and last child. She tells me she knew I would be the crazy one. Shortly after I learned to walk I began to teach my older sister how to do mischievous things, like open the toilet seat lid and play in the water. Another time my mom was running a bath for me and I snuck into the bathroom and turned the knobs to scalding hot, then proceeded to put my feet in, burning myself and screaming bloody murder. At the grocery store I would run down the aisles away from my mom, laughing my ass off, thinking it was hilarious she couldn't catch me and didn't know where I was.

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Running for Recovery on June 4

Running for Recovery on June 4

Last year I wrote about an important event called the Heroes in Recovery 6k. I completed the race in South Florida and was able to share my story of recovery while I was there. It was later published on their website. The Heroes in Recovery 6k was emotional for me last year. It was the first race I ran for recovery. It was the first race I ran that I really felt was for me. That I was part of these 23 million people who thrive in recovery, that we really are completing heroic acts, just by living in recovery from our addictions. I was amongst my people and running that race with the support of my sister and brother-in-law really moved me. I suppose it will be just as emotional for me this year. This year I am 3 years sober and in a little better shape physically (last year I was just coming back from my knee surgery!)

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3 Big Life Lessons Learned in 3 Years of Sobriety

3 Big Life Lessons Learned in 3 Years of Sobriety

Three years ago today I sat in the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Airport, alone, weeping, sweating, and with my head pounding. I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. I was so tired of what my life had become. I didn't recognize myself or my life. I'll never really know why that day was the day that my life changed forever, but I know that something inside me shifted that day. Looking back I know it was the culmination of years of binge drinking and abusing my body. It was the the final straw in years of blackouts, tumultuous relationships, and self-loathing. I knew that it couldn't be all there was. I knew deep down inside drinking wasn't fun for me anymore and that it was the only thing that, year after year, kept making my life more chaotic. I knew there had to be more to life than tequila shots, cocaine bumps, and weaseling my way into the VIP section of the nightclubs in Cancun. I wanted so desperately to have a normal life - to sleep peacefully, not pass out, to travel without incorporating a hangover into my plans, to be able to spend time with my family without worrying about what time I could get away and go to the bar.

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My First Sober Cruise

My First Sober Cruise

Last weekend a wonderful friend of mine got married to her one and only. I was invited to be a part of her wedding party as a bridesmaid, and Fer and I were invited to join the wedding guests on the cruise that followed the wedding. We love any excuse to travel so of course we said yes to the cruise. The wedding was held aboard the Carnival Conquest at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and the ship took off shortly after the reception ended.

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Gifts of Sobriety: A New Job

Gifts of Sobriety: A New Job

For me, employment has always been about making money and getting by. During my drinking years I knew I needed a job to pay for things like rent, booze, and drugs, and to convince my friends and family that my life was manageable. I never really gave thought to my future, my "career," or what kind of job would actually make me happy. It wasn't until I randomly got my first writing job in Cancun from friends I used to party with, that I discovered something I really like and thought I might be good at. Add in social media and I thought I really had something I could do for a long time. Writing turned into blogging at a tourism job, and then I created this blog. From this blog sprouted so many opportunities.

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Can You Be Carefree, Fun, And Spontaneous In Sobriety?

Can You Be Carefree, Fun, And Spontaneous In Sobriety?

"Fun" - double fisting at a concert with a million other people. A little over a week ago I received a detailed message from one of my readers about reaching two years of sobriety and feeling, well, kind of blah. She expressed that she felt that she was finally coming down off the "pink cloud" and that she had been thinking a lot about her former drinking life. She said she is grateful to not have to wake up with a hangover and not be the volatile, messy person she used to be who was surrounded my chaos, but that she did miss being carefree, fun, and spontaneous. As soon as I read her message I knew I had to write about this topic.

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