Sobriety as a Career Path

Sobriety as a Career Path

I think the inherent desire to help others has always been inside me. It’s probably why promoting alcohol and Monster energy drink, selling shoes and vacation packages, and being an administrative assistant were such unsatisfying jobs for me. They didn’t fill me up. I was always discontent with those jobs because I felt like something was missing. I felt like I was meant for more, but I never knew what. It’s true that I didn’t consider myself a writer until I got my first online writing gig for a website called Medical News Today, and even then, I was skeptical. I’m not really a writer. I just got hired to do a job and I’m doing it. That’s what I would say to myself. It wasn’t until I got sober that I was thrust into the arena of helping others, and at times I’ve still felt the struggle to find my career path in life.

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Punta Cana, We Meet Again

Punta Cana, We Meet Again

Thinking, writing, and talking about my last time drinking has been something that I’ve done quite a bit. But there’s nothing quite like being back in the exact place where it happened. A few weeks ago I traveled back to the place where I consumed alcohol for the very last time, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I went for one of my best friend’s weddings. When I stepped off the airplane and was hit with the hot, humid air of the caribbean, it all came back to me.

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How I Shed My Party Girl Identity

How I Shed My Party Girl Identity

Drinking for me was always associated with going out, with partying. Since I attended my first party, I knew being at a party was when I was most in my element. These started out as small house parties in high school at empty houses with loud music and alcohol, given to us by older friends or stolen from parents. After I went off to college and found a fake ID, parties got even more exciting. I quickly learned you could even have a party preference! My preference was going to places that had cheap shots and good music to dance to, plus a crowd of strangers to flirt with. My nights would start with raiding my closet for the perfect outfit.

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6 Years Sober

6 Years Sober

At this time last year I was announcing something pretty cool on this day. It was my book deal. A dream that I had, realized, and then as you all know, it was quickly dropped from my reach months later. This experience has overshadowed the last year of my life. First, it made the last year seem exciting, fulfilling and diligent, and then after the deal was lost, I felt a great sadness and grief, followed by a feeling of being stuck.

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What is a Recovery Coach?

What is a Recovery Coach?

As I shift into this new identity of mine as a Recovery Coach, it’s no surprise that I am often met with confused stares or various questions via discovery call, email, and direct message. People normally ask me what’s a Recovery Coach? Or how is a Recovery Coach different from a sponsor? What do Recovery Coaches do? What are you discovering in a discovery call? Does a Recovery Coach get you sober? Why do you charge money?

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Strong Woman?

Strong Woman?

A week ago today was International Women’s Day and just like many women across the world I made a social media post about feeling grateful and empowered to be surrounded by so many strong women in my life. And it’s true I am grateful. I would not be the woman I am today if it weren’t for the constant inspiration and support of so many women. Most of the time I also feel strong. Normally I feel like one of those strong women who is inspiring and empowering others, but lately, I haven’t.

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Giving Back: Your Holiday Guide to Recovery Charities

Giving Back: Your Holiday Guide to Recovery Charities

Last year I provided a holiday gift guide for the people in your life who are sober. This year I wanted to get a list together of organizations who need your help and your money. When we reach the end of year it’s a good time to think about what organizations’ missions mean a lot to us and how we can give back to their causes. There’s nothing simpler than sending a $5 or $10 donation that takes no longer than 30 seconds. Here is a short list of organizations that are doing great things. If you’re looking to send a holiday gift, consider a donation to these groups.

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My Favorite Books From 2017

My Favorite Books From 2017

This year I’m writing “got done,” lists in addition to the regular “to-do,” lists and on those lists, I’m writing down stuff I get done every day. It’s been a powerful reminder that I am getting a lot done and I’m getting a lot more done than I thought I was. Additionally, my memory can be crappy when I try and remember what and when I’ve done stuff so I love having these lists to look back on. I also want to keep track of how many books I read this year and which ones. This led me to create a list of my favorite books from 2017. I didn’t make a list last year of everything I read, but I do remember a selection of books that were my favorites. I wanted to share these with you and I plan on a much more comprehensive list for 2018

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Living Outside the Sober Bubble

Living Outside the Sober Bubble

When I got sober I lived in a foreign country where being sober was basically unheard of. I didn’t know what any of this crap meant - “pink cloud,” “90 in 90,” “sponsor,” “people, places, things.” I was truly on my own from the get-go with my sobriety. I paved my own way and I never considered that some people get sober and stay in a sober bubble, sometimes forever. I was thrown into the fire in the first week of my sobriety. I attended a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law and there were bottles of wine. My family indulged while I could not. It felt horrible. I felt sad, angry, and annoyed. I felt like the odd man out. Shortly after that experience, I attended another birthday party for a friend which took place on a boat in the Caribbean Sea. On this trip, I was accompanied by a pregnant friend who also was not drinking, but I still felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I felt uncomfortable and I felt like a liar for telling people I wasn’t drinking because I was running a 5K in the morning (true, but not all the way true).

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Cultivate Your Full Bloom

Cultivate Your Full Bloom

On May 7, 2013 I was on a plane flying back to Cancun where I lived at the time, from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Minutes before I had made a heartbreaking decision for myself. I decided that I would not be drinking again, until further notice. My mom had listened to me crying in the Punta Cana airport, full of distress and questioning my worth as a person. What the fuck was wrong with me? I was so sick of not being able to control my drinking. I was so sick of feeling like crap afterward. I was sick of feeling paranoid that everyone was mad at me for something I did or said while wasted. I was sick of ruining relationship after relationship. I wanted these feelings to leave me and I knew in order to do that I had to cut alcohol out of my life.

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My Number One Lesson From 2017

My Number One Lesson From 2017

2017 was a year of high highs and low lows for me. As with all of my years in life, it didn’t go as planned. I had to readjust my sails. I had to adapt. I had to take in all of the feelings and do my best to navigate through them, even in the roughest of seas. I’ve learned many lessons this year, some hard, some wonderful, and some confusing, and others eye-opening. But there’s one lesson in particular that stood out to me. It’s one that is so important for those of us in recovery and also for the general public to understand.

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A Spiritual Experience Is Messy

A Spiritual Experience Is Messy

I have always been a girl with an imagination. It’s a blessing and a curse really. I hate scary movies because if I believe it’s possible that it could happen in real life, it becomes too real for my consciousness. Until I was old enough to truly separate imaginary from reality, life was full of fear, but also overwhelming possibility. I remember being crushed when I found out Santa Claus wasn’t real. I remember using the Ouija board to communicate with my dead relatives at the age of 12. Call me crazy, but deep down inside even as a child, I felt intuitively special. I felt in touch with my inner voice. My sister and I still joke around about how I said I had psychic abilities because there were times when I would predict the phone would ring before it did.

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When You're the Only Sober Person at the Party

When You're the Only Sober Person at the Party

A few weeks ago during one of our Bloom Club classes we discussed sobriety as a lifestyle. For me, I believe this component is essential for successful sobriety. Sobriety isn’t something you can take on and off like a jacket. It’s not something you can keep hidden away as a secret that you only take out in church basements to discuss amongst like-minded people. It must be something that you believe in with your whole heart. It must be something that you’re proud of and that you put first. Otherwise it won’t work. Or it might work, but you may eventually feel like you are leading a double life, that sobriety is a chore, or something to be ashamed of.

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Why I Stopped Attending AA

Why I Stopped Attending AA

I’ve been avoiding writing this post for a long time. Since May of this year to be exact. I guess the main reason I’ve been avoiding writing about this topic is that I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure if I was actually stopping attending 12 step meetings or not. But it’s been 5 months since I’ve been to a meeting so I figured I would finally address this topic

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Surviving Hurricane Irma Sober

Surviving Hurricane Irma Sober

In sobriety, there are many seasons of survival. It’s funny how that word has evolved over time. For many years I was just surviving. Going to sleep at night and waking up to see another day during active addiction was like playing Russian roulette. During early sobriety, I thought, “finally, I am not only surviving, but I am truly living.” I put intention into my days and my actions. I felt grateful for the first time in my life and coping with daily life seemed doable.

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Why We Should Give a F*ck About Overdose Awareness Day

Why We Should Give a F*ck About Overdose Awareness Day

I vaguely remember picking out my outfit and hopping in a cab with my roomies. We got a table outside in the back overlooking the bay and that’s when the lights in my head faded to black. That was basically all I remembered of my 23rd birthday, save a few spotty details from the next morning, and other things my friends told me when I attempted to piece my night together.

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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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The Yearning To Be A Normie

The Yearning To Be A Normie

One thing I felt so much of in early sobriety was remorse. As if we already don’t feel shitty enough because of the things we did while drinking and using drugs, those of us who quit drinking feel shame and guilt for doing so. If we say the word “alcoholic,” if we admit we are out of control, if we say we can’t drink anymore, we are automatically looked down upon. We are encouraged to stay anonymous for fear of rejection and stigma. So, is it any surprise that when I got sober I felt defeated? Inept? Like a failure? I felt like I couldn’t do something everyone else was doing - drink normally.

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Sobriety Gives Me Choices

Sobriety Gives Me Choices

As soon as the vodka hit my lips, I knew. The rush of excitement and feelings of the unknown would hit me. I just never knew what might happen. I could meet the love of my life, I could end up in a crazy situation, I could not remember any of it, I could have the best night of my life or the worst! I threw caution to the wind. Do most people feel this way when they drink? Maybe sometimes, but I don’t think it’s why they drink.

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32 Rotations Around The Sun

32 Rotations Around The Sun

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about my birthday and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but this one feels different. I don’t feel like I’m searching for the life lessons I’ve learned or things that have gotten me through this last year of life. This isn’t a pep talk. I’m not anxiety-ridden like I was before my 30th birthday.

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