Happy New Year

I have been so remiss in posting.  Many of you have such interesting, well thought out posts.  Mine tend to mark where I am mentally by acknowledging where I am, then, focus on where I am going.  Hopefully there is some value to others in seeing the different directions life takes for all of us who chose to live alcohol free.  I hope it can help others find their own "true north".  We are all on our own paths.

My new year has started out well.  We had a wonderful holiday skiing as a family.  We have also taken the plunge and decided to finally get the kids a much begged for puppy.  I am not much of an animal person and I like a clean and neat house so this should be interesting.  One of my daughters friends said "well there go your wood floors".  I almost fell over as I just had them done a couple years ago and love my wood floors.  Yikes.  But the kids are over the moon and "promise, promise" to take care of him.  We'll see how long that lasts!  I th…

Why Do I Feel So Blah?

I hit the 18 month mark October 4th.  I stopped counting at one year but I have a rough estimate and know my quit date was April 4th, 2016.  I had a hard time the first 100 days and at 6 months I went through good days and bad days.  Along the way since then I have had bad days but they typically only lasted one day and were highly correlated to a lack of sleep.

So why have I been feeling for the last few weeks so blah, so down so back to the uncertain again?  I slogged through the early months where my self esteem and sense of direction were in such disarray.  Somewhere around 9 months I started to have fewer and fewer bad days and things just got better and better.  I became confident and comfortable in my own skin.  When I felt like a drink or was in a situation where everyone was drinking I knew what to do to make myself comfortable.  On the rare down day I cut myself some slack, focused on self care, got a good night sleep and would feel great again the next day.

But some where a…

Random Reflections

I have been terrible about posting.  I guess it is because not drinking has become a lifestyle.   I don't really think about drinking much, it isn't hard work and no one expects me to drink anymore.   I like my life better not drinking.   There are occasions - on vacation, when stopping at a bar or fun restaurant or when with friends or family I wish I could join in and "be normal" by having a drink.    I find when ordering it is awkward, but then when the drinks come, I forget about it.

For me, the true value of quitting drinking is the freedom.   When I had a drink it was always about more - would I get enough, when was my next drink? I didn't enjoy myself.  I didn't connect with people.  It was all about more wine.   Now it is the opposite.  I enjoy my food; I enjoy people.  I ask tons of questions and learn about what is happening in peoples lives and walk away feeling refreshed, and connected.

I used to drink with my mother-in-law (MIL).  I find our rela…

"For Women, Heavy Drinking Has Been Normalized. That's Dangerous."

Some of the bloggers I follow have not been posting lately.  I worry about them but then I realized I haven't posted either!  So hopefully they are coasting along as I am. I stopped counting days at one year.    It just feels very natural and normal to me to not drink and it isn't consuming effort or brain power.

I went to a lunch with an old friend and her husband last weekend.  We always drank tons of wine together so it was a bit of a shock to her when I told her I quit.  It was an awkward few moments but they had their wine and my husband and I had sparkling water and I forgot about it.  We had a great time.   I love that I can have a great time without wine and by example maybe show others it can be done?  Life can be fun without wine!

I am amazed that I now have confidence that I can navigate really any situation without drinking- going out with friends, parties, business travel, leisure travel.  I have done it all multiple times and I am becoming more and more comfortabl…

One Year

One year a go today was  Day 1.  I cannot believe how far I have come in one year.  It some ways it seems hard to fathom I was living the way I was.  It feels like the part that was awful is now just a bad dream.

I think for me the worst part was the obsession.  I would wake up and assess how I felt - how much was I up in the night full of anxiety, how much did I drink (was I able to control it and just have 2 glasses, an entire bottle or a glass or 2 in addition to the bottle?), can I remember going to bed?, conversations I had?  What did I eat?   Once I had a sense of what I was dealing with I thought about what I had to do that day.  Could I go back to bed if I was miserable?  Did I have to drive the kids in the evening?  How did that affect when I could have my wine?  Planning, planning, planning when I could drink wine and go in my cocoon.  How much were my responsibilities going to interfere with my time to self sooth?

I don't even like to think back to it anymore.  I just …

Women In Recovery, One Photo at a Time

I wanted to make sure you all saw this amazing piece in the New York Times.  This wonderful woman, Rocio De Alba who is in in recovery uses her photography skills to tell the tale of other women in recovery.

She says, "I conducted interviews of fellow “sisters” who believed in my objective (sober life) but, most importantly, live a fulfilling, productive life regardless of economic status, race, age or sexual orientation. The only criterion was they had to be sober for 10 years or more. It seems an independent yet miraculous transformation occurs within each woman during that time period. Not everyone reaches this milestone, and even if they do, without constant vigilance a relapse is almost inevitable — in fact, some of my subjects experienced repeated relapses and near-death experiences before they found solace in recovery.

During our photo session my main focus is for my subject to fully comprehend my intentions, which are to celebrate her and bring social awareness to the fact …

Are Women At Increasing Risk Of Addiction?

Good morning.  I just read an article I have to share from the Washington Post.  The paper is my new favorite and I have recently subscribed on-line to keep up to date on the latest political news.  

This article however is on women and drinking. "Are Women At Increasing Risk of Addiction?"   I would certainly argue yes.  As I have become aware of addictive behaviors and educated myself I find I can spot it in others.  It makes me sad - it happens to great people!  I keep my thoughts to myself and the only effort I make is to try to model happiness and contentment in drinking situations by NOT drinking. 

Many of us can certainly relate to and experienced the following:

 “women report depression and anxiety twice as much as men, and . . . depression and anxiety are often comorbid with addictions.” Furthermore, among women who drink, “alcohol use tends to escalate more quickly than with men” — what doctors call a “telescoping effect.”    The main problem with women drinking like m…