Cloudy with a Chance of Rainbows

It is Sunday morning here– and I am on day 116 alcohol free.  I am feeling pretty dang good about it too.  I just passed my biggest test to date and am probably still relishing in the feeling of success.

Last Saturday my sister came up from Florida for the week.  The weekend was full of festivities including a graduation party for one of my nephews and a graduation dinner for my other nephew– both events contained disgusting amounts of poison juice, but I stayed away.

After the weekend of festivities, my sisters and our kids went up north for the week.  At the cottage, alcohol Was. Everywhere.  I knew early on that I was making huge strides making it through.  My previous relapses helped me stay on course.  In the summer 2017 I relapsed after 93 days of sobriety.  I would continue to drink on and off– stuck in the cycle clear until March 2018 when I was able to get another good sober stretch in.  I relapsed in July 2018 after 127 days of sobriety.  Things in my life all around me seemed out of control and I chose to drink after scout camp with my sister up north. Again, I wasn’t able to get back on track until March of 2019.  ALL of these relapses where it takes me several months to get back on course— SO MUCH WASTED TIME.  All I knew this week is that I DID NOT WANT TO RELAPSE and get stuck in that cycle.  SO I DIDN’T.

The week up north was just absolutely perfect.  The weather could not have been better.  We had hot sunny days and cool nights.  The kids got along beautifully and in retrospect I can’t even think of any of them arguing with each other– at any time– which is rare when you stay together in a small space for several days.  My Florida sister hadn’t been to the cottage in 3 years.  We haven’t all 3 been together in at least 3 years.  We had a grand time.  And we slept like a pile of logs too.

My sister flew home yesterday and I just felt the backdrop of sadness all day long.  It’s a little better today, probably because we chatted like normal before she starts her work.  I know it’ll get better– but her heading home was a reminder of how these days are SO different than the carefree days of our past when our life was still complete, untouched by grief.

On the day we left the cottage, we woke up to a lot of rain, as if the quiet town of Tawas was crying. We had one last get together at my dad’s on Friday night.  The weather was like my mood– bittersweet.  I was happy that we all had such a great week but sad to see it come to an end.   It rained, then the sun came out and there was a giant double rainbow.   It was the same weather yesterday, the day she flew home.  Rainy then sunny and sometimes all at the same time.

Such is life… bittersweet ❤

Good Vibes Only

Life is so good!

I’ve had a perma grin since getting these gnarly braces on.  I can’t wait to have a good smile  Image result for smile emoji

The purpose of me writing today is to create a desire list.  I saw this idea on facebook from a post from Gabby Bernstein, author of The Universe Has Your Back, one of my favorite books.  I figure a desire list fits in nicely with some other things I wanted to do this weekend.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and talking..   I took off Thursday to see the alternative doctor & then got my braces on Thursday night.  I was so excited to go to work on Friday, show my braces and tell all my friends about my doctor visit.  Many of these work friends have known me for several years and have seen me through good times and bad, health wise. They’ve seen me in my most debilitating state.  I’m pretty sure my work peeps have never seen me as animated as I was yesterday.  They are intrigued!  All I can say is that if Dr. Tent fixes me, he is going to have A LOT of new clients!

If? No. There are no ifs.  When I was 18 an old veterinarian that I worked for gave me a copy of a book he wrote called, The Power of Positivity.  It took me over 20 years, but I ended up reading it after I turned 40.  Positivity is powerful and I was meant to get that book.  Just like I was meant to see the old rheumatologist who told me I have a Parvo virus.  I thought he was a real quack but it gives me even more motivation now to get these viruses out of my system.  I also believe that I was meant to encounter that older gentleman at the Refuge Recovery meeting who told me he meditates his pain away.  I’m a firm believer that we encounter certain people totally on purpose.

I HAVE to think positive and not even entertain the idea that this will not work.  I am 100% submerged in it and compliant.  This weekend I’m printing mantras and positive messages about my health and recovery and hanging them up around the house.  I’ve started meditating with a mantra to rid this body of the infection and viruses.  I’m also going to make a desire list.

So here it is:

My Desire List  —  November 2018

  1. Healed feet and joints
  2. Feeling of well being (like pink cloud)
  3. Decreased anxiety and depression
  4. Increase sleep
  5. More whole foods, less processed foods
  6. Alcohol free living, working the steps
  7. Better focus
  8. To finish one of my books
  9. Regular exercise
  10. To run again
  11. Start organizing and improving the house
  12. Physical strength
  13. To spend more quality time with family and friends
  14. Organize and purge my classroom
  15. Write more
  16. Read more
  17. Sing more
  18. Go to more concerts/shows
  19. More date nights with hubs and kids
  20. More yoga
  21. More meditation
  22. Visit the Dharma temple
  23. Get of prescription meds
  24. Run a race
  25. Hug more

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Pity Party: Time for a Gratuity List

Honestly, I have been SO crabby the past 2 days I can’t even stand myself! I could not sleep well on Sunday so I was so tired all day Monday. Slept very well last night (Monday) but I’m drinking only decaf tea & was just groggy & not well all day. Also woke up with sore feet (yes plural & that sucks because usually it’s just 1 foot).

I’m SO tired of the meals I’m eating & am hangry most of the time. And to top it off I bought f’in diatomaceous earth to start ingesting to help this inflammation. I’m. Going. To. Eat. Fossilized. Algae. 😱😱😱. PLEASE, someone call me a WAAAAAMBULANCE!!!

Ok my point of posting this is that I am not acting grateful & need to start. Making a gratuity list. #1 on my list is DAY 17 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Ugh— can’t wait for this funk to pass!!!!! 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’m Thankful Today

  1. Day 17 of sobriety
  2. Day 16 of elimination diet
  3. I don’t have a life threatening illness
  4. None of my immediate family have a life threatening illness
  5. Hubby treats me well and works hard and is a great father
  6. Kids are doing well in school
  7. I’ve lost weight and fit into my clothes better
  8. Thankful for having enough money to buy supplements that could help my RA
  9. My manicure still looks nice
  10. I like my job
  11. I like my coworkers
  12. My furbabies give me so much love
  13. Being able to get braces next month
  14. Being able to get all of the problems my teeth have fixed
  15. Selling (and buying 🙂 ) Avon again
  16. Our new fireplaces
  17. Being able to have an area to set up for meditation/yoga
  18. Good friends who are always there for me (Debbie)
  19. Chai tea lattes
  20. Tigernut butter

That’s all I have right now.  PHEW– already I feel lighter and happier!  ❤



Valuable Lessons of Grief and Sorrow

The  thought of a new year is exciting, promising and full of hope.

Although I’m very excited to kiss away 2017, overall it was a good year.  This last few years of my life haven’t always been easy & I am fully grateful that nothing tragic has happened this year.  Tragic meaning the death of a loved one or diagnosis of a fatal illness.

The year 2014 has opened my eyes to what constitutes true hardships in life.  Prior to that year I didn’t know real suffering.  The only family member I had lost was my grandpa, who lived a great life well into his 80’s.

2014 in a nutshell:

In the springtime I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  This made my future incredibly unsure and I was afraid that I would end up disabled at a young age.  Right before the 4th of July my mom suddenly passed away.  In the fall my ailing grandma passed away.  Around this time, we had moved and our cat who is an indoor/outdoor cat disappeared.  In early December, my husband’s 22 year old cousin committed suicide.  And finally, on December 31st, on the final day of 2014, my grandfather, who had been fighting cancer for three years, passed peacefully.

Since that awfully horrible year, I am far more grateful for life and my family’s health.   I no longer worry how my RA will affect my future, and am thankful that my body can fully function today.


In many ways 2017 has been a great year.  While my desire to stop drinking began in 2016, it wasn’t until 2017 that I learned how to stay sober.  I proudly went to my first AA meeting, while the thought of even going to a meeting in 2016 brought me to tears.  I also had my first sober vacation, birthday and many other sober firsts.

I wasn’t perfect and am still learning, but I have a lot of hope that 2018 will be even better.

Hope and gratitude— without them we are in despair and with them we can conquer even the most challenging obstacles.

(Read about 2014’s happy ending below)

December Blips

This month has been much more difficult than I expected.

I’m trying really hard to not be depressed during this holiday season.  I miss my mom and wish she was here.  I wish I could ask her about her wine habit and talk about my journey with her.  I never thought in a million years that she had an alcohol problem, but now I wonder if she drank more than she wanted to.  It now annoys me that I drank so much at most family parties and wish I had more sober conversations with her.  This is turning into a big ramble…

I’m trying to get out and run, even if I don’t make it out until it gets dark out.   I actually like running in the dark this time of year.  The holiday lights around are so pretty and the City Hall is all lit up with a giant Christmas tree.  It’s all very beautiful and serene and running keeps me from going insane.

I’ve been having more slip ups this month than previous months.  I’m accepting it and am ok with it, mainly for 2 reasons.

#1 I’m ecstatic that I had more sober time in 2017 than the past 10 years combined.  I think this is fantastic.  I’ve learned so much this year!  Back in 2016 I wanted to quit but had no idea how.   I look at how far I’ve come since then and I am so pleased.

#2 I have a plan for 2018 and that includes it being one of the best years ever.  My plan includes getting a sponsor and working the 12 steps carefully and thoroughly.  I haven’t been to an AA meeting since the summer.  The meetings I went to were at noon so now that I’m back at work I have to find an evening meeting.  I’ve looked and still have to decide on which one to go to.  If I’m not comfortable there, then I will try a different one.  In addition to AA, there’s a Refuge Recovery meditation meeting at a barn in Milford on Tuesday nights.  I would like to try this as well and think it could benefit me.  The next couple of weeks are very busy with several night commitments.  My hope is to start the evening meetings before getting back to work in January.  I sure hope I find one that I like with people who I can connect with!

My mood is good today & I had a very good day yesterday.  I was annoyed when I woke up because the hubby and kids played Minecraft all evening on Friday and stayed up too late.  They have been playing so much lately and it leaves me bored to tears.  So I when hubby woke up yesterday, Saturday, morning I demanded a date day.  He agreed and it was lovely, although part of the date included grocery shopping.  That was ok though, I always like it when he comes along and helps me.  I was happy that I calmly voiced my needs and wants and that he listened.

That is my Sunday ramblings.  I am optimistic that the future will be great ❤497680462


End of day 2. Not a totally great day but better than yesterday. Quite a bit of frustration this evening with my kiddos, their homework, the animals, getting stuff done for tomorrow, etc.

BUT.. the work day was much better to get through without a hangover.

I DID have the urge to drink tonight while helping my unfocused son with math. Huge urge. Almost texted hubby to stop for something on his way home. Didn’t help that I had a root canal 5 days ago and my tooth is still bugging me tonight.

I followed the drink and didn’t like where it lead me. I visualized getting hammered to the point of closing up and not being able to verbalize my thoughts. I thought of going to bed without remembering if I moved the elf on the shelf or if I fed the dog. I imagined waking up with a throbbing headache and going through the whole day feeling awful– like I did yesterday on my last Day 1.

I have to stay grateful and maintain the mindset that I’m on this journey for a reason.  It’s not easy, but if it was then everyone would beat their addiction.  It is hard, but I have already gotten so much out of this process.  I am grateful for another Day 2 and hopeful that I will beat this ❤ download



We are an Army

Thanksgiving was ok, but ended with a huge amount of frustration on my end.  Hubby went to his parents with the boys while I went to my dad’s.  He was supposed to come out after a few hours.   I told my dad when I arrived that the boys would be coming later.

He didn’t start to head out until almost 8:00pm.  By this time we were all leaving my dad’s house.  He had been at his parents since about 2 pm and I was livid.  I didn’t even want to talk to him or look at him the whole night– I was so disappointed.  We don’t get out to see my dad much and I could tell he was disappointed that the boys didn’t make it over.  I don’t feel like I ask for a whole lot in this marriage, and Thanksgiving ended with a plethora of awful feelings.  It was a long 40 minute drive home from my dad’s and you bet that Betsy was talking me up the whole time trying to talk me into stopping for liquor on the way home.  

Friday wasn’t much better in terms of my feelings and emotions.  It was a boring and lazy day.  I was ok laying in bed for most of it, until the neighbor boy came over telling my kids about how warm it was outside and that they should come out.  Then I realized that it was like sunny and 50 degrees and I was missing out.  I have been waiting for a warm day for a bike ride and I’ve been walking almost everyday in the cold.  I took a shower and was getting dressed to go out, when I just collapsed on my bed.  I. Just. Couldn’t.  I didn’t have the energy nor the motivation.   I needed a ‘rest’ day both physically and mentally.

By this time, it was early evening and hubby was dealing with a work problem.  He’s a web developer for a major USA retailer and there was an issue with their system yesterday (on Black Friday– eeek!!).  He was on the phone for hours and I was expected to walk around the house as quiet as a mouse.  The kids were downstairs, but I didn’t want to be a part of that chaos– and I had been shut in my room for most of the day– so I had to just keep quiet in the common area– getting more annoyed by the minute.

By this time, Betsy piped up.  She urged me to get my shoes on and go to the liquor store.  She reminded me how much better I would feel after a glass of wine.  She told me I deserved it and that I was torturing myself for no reason at all.  She asked why I wanted to just sit there like a miserable being and that I should treat myself better.  She kept going and going and for the first time in several weeks, I listened and knew that it would be far too easy to throw away 52 days.

This could have gone one of two ways.  I could have allowed Betsy to talk me into getting some drinks.  I would have numbed out.  That first glass may have felt good, but this would have ended with me locked in my bedroom, sad and lonely.  Today would have begun with a giant hangover, a cloudy mind, increased anxiety and irritability and another Day 1.  OR, I could reach out to other sober friends.   And I did.  And they gave me a different perspective and some good advice and tips.  And they had positive messages and motivational thoughts.  And I listened.  It is much easier to be a warrior when you have an army standing behind you.  

I made a late dinner and felt a little better after eating.  After dinner, even though it was after 8pm, my teenage son and I ran to Target.  I realized that I just needed to get out for a bit.  It may have been dangerous going to a place that sold wine, but I didn’t think twice when I walked by the wine aisle.  I DID have a great time picking out some new earrings and jeans 🙂

I am so thankful for a clear headed wake up and Day 53.  I am enjoying some coffee while writing this and intend on going on a walk/run afterwards.  Today will be a better day than yesterday and if Betsy tries to get in my head she is getting a big middle finger from me and my army of warriors ❤

Thanksgiving Cheers

Today is Thanksgiving.  So far, it’s been a good day.  Well, except that my itchy pup woke me up at 3am and I was not able to get back to sleep.  So.. I’m up early enjoying coffee and my computer.  When it gets a little closer to daylight I am going to go do my Couch to 5K workout.  I’m thankful to be up early to get in my workout on an otherwise busy day!

After my run, I’m going to make a quiche and sausage for breakfast & deviled eggs to bring to my dad’s.  Luckily I was assigned to desserts and pop– which is all made and ready to go.  My sister usually brings deviled eggs (which my dad LOVES) but she is in Florida now and my dad mentioned he will miss her and her deviled eggs.  I can’t bring her back to Michigan, but I can surprise him with some deviled eggs 🙂

This week hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies.  I started my two day work week on Monday in a pretty foul mood.  Not sure if it was PMS, anxiety about the holiday or my inner alcoholic voice, who has been chatty all week causing my irritability.  Tuesday was better– even though it was a long work day with parent/teacher conferences, I felt lighter and happier and relieved that a 5 day weekend was almost here.

Yesterday was a great day.  I was off, but the boys had 1/2 day of school. I didn’t sleep all that well, but had to be up early to get them off.  After they left I got ready, went to Big Lots (to mainly stock up on coffee– but also to tool around), then to get a haircut and then to Kroger for stuff for today.

I got home before noon and got some things done around the house, then a 3.5 mile walk/run and made dinner and my desserts for today.  It was the kind of day that was productive, but with mainly things that I enjoy doing– so not too much like work!


I belong to many support groups online and are connected to many recovering folks like myself.  There are many people struggling this holiday season.  I am constantly trying to lift them up and motivate them with positivity.  I know that when I go through tough times, they always have my back and I am forever thankful for the support we can give each other.  If you have a moment today, please send a prayer and/or positive thoughts and vibes to those who are struggling.

Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving and a happy and healthy holiday season ❤


Sober Firsts, a Year of Growth and Learning

Day 46.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come since first quitting last February.  I’ve made it through many challenging firsts.  A friend in recovery told me in the beginning, “The first year is the hardest because you have so many firsts, everything is a first and can be difficult and uncomfortable, and then it is no big deal.”  Knowing this helped me get through some of the tough firsts.

February 10th- My last day of drinking after nightly drinking since being pregnant (10 years prior).

February 13- my 1st third day sober in several years and also my late mother’s birthday.  I was making dinner when my husband got home from work.  He came in to give me a hug and I melted in his arms with heavy sobs.  He comforted me, thinking that I was upset about my mom, who’s passing was still fairly fresh.  I wasn’t upset about my mom, I was crying because I had wine in the garage and I wanted it SO badly.  This is so utterly ridiculous to me now.  I was upset not because of my  dead mom’s birthday that I could not celebrate with her, but because I wanted a drink so friggin bad.  He talked me through it and we ended up going for a walk after dinner.  I made it through and later dumped the wine.  To this day, that 3rd day was by far the most difficult day to stay sober.  I wasn’t going through physical withdrawals either, it was all psychological.  Habits die hard!

March 17- St. Patrick’s Day AND my 40th birthday.  I threw myself a party at my house.  My sister and brother in law gave me a 5th of rum (they did not know I quit).  I later gave it to my cat sitter (I wanted someone to be able to enjoy it!).  Hubby made a delicious “Almond Joy” cake and my BFF brought a cake over.  I indulged on cake.  It was pretty fun, but the whole night it felt like a good friend was missing.  I was missing my party companion, alcohol. I felt incredibly boring, but my BFF later told me that she didn’t think I was boring and that I was much more entertaining than if I had gotten wasted and crashed out early.  All in all, it was a success!

April 2017- Spring Break.  We flew to Florida and stayed at my sister’s.  She and her boyfriend drank a couple of nights, but mostly didn’t drink.  Our drinking together goes way back, so it was kind of difficult, but by now I had a lot of sobriety under my belt and didn’t want to ruin it.  This was my first sober vacation and it was pretty great.  We were active and did many cool things, like run through the tropics and over the causeway and kayaking down a river filled with gators and manatees.   I could tell that my sister was envious of our commitment to a healthy and active vacation.    It was a great trip and I left with no regrets!

Difficult things that I mastered over the summer of 2017:

The pool.  Traditionally, I never went in without a drink.  Interestingly enough, around the time that we opened it was the same time as my first relapse.  I relapsed every 2 weeks or so over the summer, but still had a lot of sober time, so I spent more time in the pool not drinking than drinking.  By the end of the summer, it was normal to hop on my float with a book and a tall glass of ice water.  I enjoyed the pool so much more sober.  By September I was using it more than I ever had before.  It became a great place to cool off after a walk and swim refreshing laps.  Since the day we closed it I have been counting down the days till we can open it again.  I hope that I’m not tempted at first, but at least I know that the temptation will go away with practice.

The beach.  Like the pool, it was highly unusual for me to be at the beach without alcohol. We went a few times over the summer for family parties and after a few times it was second nature to be coherent.  It was actually nice to be able to drive our family home and get stuff done afterwards.  Previously, any trips to the beach ended with me passing out in the car on the way home and not remembering getting home and going to bed.  It was also a bonus to be able to socialize without slurring and remembering all of the conversations I had.

The cottage.  This was a toughie.  Our first trip up was also during my early relapse days.  I love going up to the cottage, but it is sometimes a sad place to be.  My mom died about a year after she bought it.  My aunt, uncle and grandma lived next door.  Since my mom died, my grandma and my uncle have passed away.  My aunt still lives up there, but works a lot so sometimes when we’re up there it’s incredibly lonely.  Especially when I start to think of the good ole days when being at the cottage meant being surrounded by family members at all times.  July 3rd and 4th are always difficult days.  My mom passed away on July 3rd and hearing all of the fireworks on July 4th always brings back those awful memories.  Happy to say that I stayed sober both days this summer.  This was pretty huge for me and I know my mom was proud ❤   After that, I basically stayed sober at the cottage.  I tried to focus on getting good sleep and exercising.  Also, I’m triggered when my other sister is up there with me.  She drinks a lot.  I was able to abstain while she was up there with us and this was with lots of alcohol in the fridge.  I did drink one time near the end of the summer.  It was our last hurrah up there and I drank Saturday night and also Sunday all day while we were getting ready to go home and chilling at the beach.  It wasn’t pretty and I don’t want to do that again.

Since summer of 2017 I’ve had a couple of other firsts.  My first sober concert, which was totally enjoyable with Red Bull and my first trip up to my Bff’s house.  I’ve never spent the night at her house sober (except maybe during my pregnancies).  I didn’t sleep great because they are so loud at night, but I did do the whole night sober.  It was fun, we sat in the jacuzzi and played cards and ate snacks.  Again, I came home with no regrets– which is like the best feeling ever!

Next will be my first sober Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I am totally looking forward to spending the holidays fully present and feeling well.  During my time off I’ll be able to fit in a lot of workouts.  I think I’m getting a bike for Christmas, going to go on lots of bike rides if it’s not too cold.  There is so much to look forward too, especially knowing that alcohol will not be in charge and dictating what I do, when I do it, and then waking up feeling like death.

Then New Years eve.  I’ll eat delicious snacks and actually remember the ball dropping!

It feels amazing to have kicked guilt and shame to the curb and to be living life fully present each and every day ❤