Day 30

In our apartment you can hear the rain outside as it trickles through the pipes that run through our walls, close to the ceiling.  The constant running and “tick-tick-tick” of that water reminds me of the thoughts in my brain as I try to articulate the last 30 days.

I have had no alcohol in my system in 30 days.  Wow.  I particularly knew I could do this, as I have done it before.  However, my situation is now different.  I have a greater appreciation for myself and for the reasons to why I have stopped all together.  As I have mentioned in the past, when I stopped drinking before – I never planned on it being in perpetuum. This time – I am sober today.  I plan on also being that way tomorrow and the next day, and the next.  You’re catching my drift – but, it is daunting to think that far ahead into the future, as we cannot control anything except the moment for which we are currently in.  Every night during these last 30 days, I have gone to bed proud, relieved, and humbled to be in a place of such growth at my age.  I am not worried about the “what ifs” in my future; and the guilt of things I have done in my past because of drinking is slowly dissipating like the sound of the rain in the pipes near the ceiling.

I am a “human-being”, not a “human-doing”.

This is a quote that I heard in this past weeks AA meeting, and it resonates within me so.  We (maybe it’s just me, but doubtful) get so caught up in every day on the “go go go” mentality.  Overbooking, overlooking, and really feeling inadequate if the high standard mold we created doesn’t quite cut it, we get upset and down on ourselves.  Can it be possible to break our molds of self depreciation and to just be “ok” – just being?  Being happy, and healthy, and satisfied – even when the dishes don’t get finished, or if the day didn’t go according to plan.  I think it is possible.  As I become more pendulous through my days, I see every one as a chance to live.  I am trying my hardest to not bombard my brain with useless thoughts of not being enough, and congratulating myself instead on a job well done because I am surviving.  I don’t have to fog my feelings with alcohol to feel “better”.  I don’t have to pretend that everything is okay when it really isn’t sometimes.  How cool is that.  At that same  meeting I also heard that in fact, some flowers bloom when they have been placed under stress.  It is quite amazing that we as humans are much the same, rising time and time again after we fall.  Blooming like the beautiful flowers after little light. 

So here’s to another 30 after this, but taking it one day at a time.

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Jen gave this to me soon after I decided to quite drinking. It says “Retiring Carol, Discovering Carey 8*4*2017”. She has been my biggest advocate and support system. I am so lucky to have her next to me every day.
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My new mug, sent to me from my best friend Corrine. She moved to NC a few years ago and we have remained so close. After sharing my blog with her – she sent me this and a long letter that had me in tears. I am so grateful for her friendship!!




The Climb

Although my posts have been infrequent since beginning this blog, I can assure you that my brain has been a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions daily, and I am always looking forward to what may come from my fingers to the pen and paper, or straight onto the keyboard. Unraveling and understanding my past leading to the choice to stop drinking and then subsequently sharing my story excites me, and exhausts me at the same time.

 I feel as if I have completely barricaded myself from a toxic relationship – one that formed over many years of trying to “work it out” – you know how those ones go…

It’s Thursday night, and all week it felt as if it should already just be Friday.  How does that happen?  As the minutes go by sometimes – we wonder are the days really always 24 hours?  Some go by so fast, and others….so damn slow.  Jen and I have had a whirlwind of activities since the last time I posted.  #1 most exciting being: I bought my wedding dress!!!  I couldn’t be more excited for our wedding day.  All of the planning so far as come easily and been fun, 274 more days…but who is counting 😉 We also went  out to dinner with a couple friends, had 2 birthday parties, hosted a dinner party and a few other things on top of crazy work weeks for the both of us.

Damn, we keep busy.  I wouldn’t have it any other way though.  I am also finding time for me – to write, even if it is on paper for the time being, to knit, and I have practiced meditation most mornings – which I think is going to become a daily thing because I can completely feel a difference when I add it into my morning routine. As amazing as our social calendar can get, and how fulfilling our day to day lives are; if I am being totally honest here – all week I have struggled with a hefty load of anxiety, PMS, and mood issues! What gives.  I’m only guessing when I try and figure out exactly where it all comes from.  None of the above is brand new since quitting drinking, however, I am sure it plays a part with the frequency in which it is occurring, and how I am coping with it all.  Perhaps in the past I would have leaned into the anxiety with a nice bottle of wine – just to cushion the uncomfortable feelings about my insecurity, or worries.  Or blamed a couple drinks for my moody behavior.

Well that is no more.  I am taking more responsibility for my ups and my downs.  I want to lean into the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts until it all makes more sense as to why it is there. It is there for a reason, to learn from or to grow with.  I truly believe life isn’t always after us – even when it seems unfair or exhausting…lean in.  I am a big proponent of reducing the stigma within mental health, so I find it important for me to discuss that being part of my path here as well.  I am on the hunt for a new therapist, someone I can break down every day thoughts and feelings, and give them appropriate shelter in my brain, and make room for the really good stuff to bloom.

“It’s he or she who’s willing to be the most uncomfortable can rise strong”

Brené Brown

Now, I must mention my first AA meeting! Jen joined, as well as a friend who is in recovery and offered to come with. I was so freaking nervous.  Everyone was so incredibly kind.  One girl was brave enough to raise her hand when they asked “is anyone here for the first time”…that girl wasn’t me.  I was too busy with my sweaty palms and racing heart.  I recognized a couple faces in the room, which made me even MORE nervous – like “shit! They see me, I see them…eek, what must they think!?”  Then I snapped into reality.  They are there for the exact same reason I am. I listened to stories in which I was able to relate to on so many levels, and was impressed at the authenticity of the group. Everyone who spoke initially welcomed that new girl and said if she needed anything at all – that they were there.  I kind of regretted not raising my hand! When we were outside after the meeting, a girl came up to us and introduced herself. She said she missed introductions of the new people.  I admitted to not raising my hand, told her my name and began talking about the process of attending meetings, perhaps acquiring a “job” to do at meetings which equals accountability.  It led to talking about sponsors and how they are part of your growth in sobriety, etc. She and another member said they’d make their sponsees call random people on the list of members, just to get outside their comfort zone.  I was like uhhhh, scary. Then all of a sudden, the girl was giving me her number and said, “I’ll make it less awkward for you – call me tomorrow!!”  That was it! So I called her the next day, we chatted briefly and have texted a few times. I planned on going again this past Tuesday, but got stuck late at work.  I look forward to next week when I am not the late shift person and can enjoy another meeting – and possibly raise my hand this time!

Whoever has gotten this far in reading this post – I thank you.  It is as if the world has created a new mountain for me to climb and you are my belay.  Making sure I rise to the top safely, but still letting me do the brunt of it on my own.

Until next time.


So much love,



What the Future Holds

“Change often occurs when the pain of the current situation becomes so great you become willing to change without fully understanding what the future holds”

Annie Grace

I feel like I have so much to say.  It has been just a week since my last post and I can honestly say – I went through some potentially tempting and risky social situations! With my willpower going strong and my support growing huge, I made it to another week.  I am 3 days away from being two weeks without a sip of alcohol.  I have really gotten into the Recovery Elevator podcast, and I think Paul the host would say – just take it one day at a time.  Anything can happen in three days, the thought of what the future holds is daunting, and can cause anxiety. So I will follow that advice, and just not drink today. Today is all we can promise.

Lets break it down with the situations I found myself in this past week!

1.) Going to a lake house with family.

This was an amazing trip!  We got there the day before my sisters so we got a little 2:2 time with dad and Wendy.  We chatted about the blog, my dad turning 60, going on the boat, etc.  Nobody drank at dinner.  I assured everyone they could if they wanted!  They were all respectful, and like I had heard before in the last almost two weeks,  people are being mindful of their own habits.  By me not drinking, I believe it could inspire others to look into their own lives.  Do they really need that drink with their dinner?

 My sisters and their kids arrived, as well as their husbands.  My brother in law made a joke about “why I couldn’t just push it back a week” – so I could drink with them at the lake house.  This bugged me, but I didn’t really expect much else from him.  Refer to the top of this post for an amazing quote by Annie Grace.  That is exactly why I couldn’t wait.  I was just ready. Jen was a key factor in me keeping my – I guess you would say “resentment” feelings at bay.  I get in my head. I’d randomly through the weekend emotionally kick myself and say “why couldn’t you just have a few beers and be good with that?” or “whats wrong with you – that you had no self control several times while drinking..that has led you to this?”.  Well…fuck it. It was my journey, it was how it happened.  I am deciding to not drink because of this.  I am now in control.  Annie Graces’ book “This Naked Mind”  is now right next to me after hearing amazing things about it through the Recovery Elevator podcast, and I even heard her interview on there!  She associates our inability to really deal with our addictions fully until we uncover what we in our UNCONSCIOUS mind believes to be true.  I love it, and I cannot wait to dig deep and rewire my unconscious, so that in the near future – alcohol will be just a mere afterthought.  Anyway – Jen recommended we stay active, and that part of the reason we would even think to drink during the trip was because we were bored – and that that is just something you do…we sit around and watch the babies, and usually just drink. We thought that was fun.  What was more fun was going for daily runs, playing games, rope swing into the water, swimming, and just being present with my family. 

2.) A wedding!

My first ever sober wedding.  Imagine this….it was still a blast!  Add in the insecurity of a couple of my exes being there, and you are almost grateful to now be sober. I have mentioned before, and I will again; that when I drank, it just made my insecurities worse (not better, contrary to popular belief) and in turn made me feel very defensive of things not necessarily needing a defense. So that being said, I have to give so much appreciation to Jen again, because she was right there next to me.  Even though I said she should enjoy a drink or two – she claimed she wanted to experience her first sober wedding right along with me! She has also gotten into the RE podcast, and considers herself “sober curious”. I love her.  We were happy to enjoy each others company while catching up with friends I had not seen in a while, eating good food, and also dancing! It is possible to dance at a wedding without being hammered. Cue the shock. And yesterday when we recapped the weekend, we were almost certain that if drinking played a part in our time at the lake or wedding – we probably would have gotten into some silly argument about nothing.  All in all; a sober wedding = a fun, full of legit memory making, free of hangover good time!


Ultimately, the past 1.5 weeks of sobriety has been full of willpower, encouragement, research, and connecting with those on this journey as well.  This has made me feel even more proactive with being mindful of my surroundings and keeping internal tabs on how I feel about each situation I find myself a part of.  I am glad to be documenting this process here, as it will keep me accountable and able to look back during times where I may feel uncertain of why I made this choice.  It is for the best.  There is an amazing sober community awaiting people like me who are deciding that an alcohol-free life is a better life. I found an online community already that I feel I am only just getting acquainted with – that has potential to be vital in my future of remaining sober.  The other members are real, honest, and inspiring.  I am not sacrificing a thing by choosing not to drink, I am only enhancing my experiences by being fully a part of them. 

….Now let me tell you what I am doing tonight.  I am going to attend an AA meeting.  I went to one during nursing school, as it was a requirement for one of my classes.  I have unconsciously steered away from AA before I even thought I’d quit drinking.  I am intimidated  with what I think is a “religious” organization.  However, after a lot of feedback – I am considering it more of a spiritual conquest, and I think that a lot of the people who are part of AA are also more in that realm. It will be a tool towards remaining alcohol free in addition to the several other ways I will venture through this journey.  I am curious if it will also help me curtail these unsure feelings of the “higher power” because it is in a Unitarian Universalist Church and an all women’s group. I consider myself very open minded and I know there is something to learn no matter where you are getting your support.  I look forward to sharing my experience of tonight afterward here on my blog.

These connections I am striving to make that are nearer to home I know will be super important.  There is nothing like having another person nearby to relate to. There is a recovery fitness group (ROCcovery Fitness) that I have been eyeing on Instagram.  They go for hikes together, have their own gym, and seem to be an awesome group of people!! As any social media goes, I can see that a few of my friends follow that group as well.  I may connect with them and see if they’ve ever participated, or if they want to with me!  This type of support group seems to be right up my alley being that I love to stay active and healthy.  It seems like something that is sustainable in creating new friendships and creating my best self.

So, it is clear we do not know what the future holds. No one does. But you know what sounds good? Clarity, increased health and wellness, good memories – real memories – are just a few ideas amongst several more things.

So much love and happiness.




(Just some images from this past weekend. My dad and me, good friends at the wedding photobooth, my love and me on our road trip, and the whole family after playing an intense/fun game of guesstures!)