Car accident. A serious fall. Broken tooth. DUI. Stove left on. Forgetting to pick up your children. Arrest. Waking up not knowing where you are. Debt. Injuring someone else. Homelessness. Cirrhosis. Divorce.  Hospitalization. Job loss. Death.

These are some bottoms. Some lower than others. Not everyone hits bottom in the same way, and not everyone hits a ‘low’ bottom before they decide to stop.

I’m probably what would be considered a high bottom and formally a high-functioning alcoholic. I never got a DUI, never got arrested, never got into an accident, never got hospitalized, never lost my job.

I think there are a lot more people out there who fit this description and are struggling. And I feel because of my outward experience and lack of serious consequences, I had a hard time getting help in the past.

The first meeting I ever attended was called a SMART meeting, and this was back in 2004 when I lived in Tucson, Arizona. I’ll never forget that meeting, because someone actually came up to me before it started and said, “You know, you have to be addicted to something to come here.” Talk about awkward. I feebly said back, “I am.”

Clearly I didn’t appear to fit the bill.

Some have a preconceived notion of what an alcoholic should look like, the problems they should have, the consequences they should have experienced.  Some people might even question or dismiss the authenticity of one’s addiction because they haven’t experienced dire enough outcomes.

But here’s the thing.

You don’t have to decide to stop only when you have hit bottom. You can get off the elevator at any floor you like. And the sooner, the better.

All because someone quit sooner doesn’t mean the person is not an addict, or less of an addict, or any of these other ridiculous judgements. They just got off before things got worse. And that is how it goes. It doesn’t get better. It just gets worse. It’s only a matter of time.

So forget about the expectations for “bottom.” Define your own. Pick your time to stop. You don’t have to end up in one of the aforementioned circumstances. You don’t have to have a crazy story to tell. You don’t have to have a catastrophic bottom to be accepted. And remember, don’t judge others, because you don’t know what their bottom is and it doesn’t matter. What matters is they stopped. And they are committed to staying stopped.


A Month

IMG_9270February 13th 2018 through March 13th 2018. It’s been one month. One month of consecutive sobriety. One month of freedom: Freedom from shame, memory lapses, guilt, anxiety, binge eating, nightmares, nausea, stomach cramps, dehydration, wasted money, lost time, squandered memories and so much  more.

Technically it’s been 28 days. February was a short month. So this one month milestone comes a little early. But is it ever welcome! I am looking forward to picking up my  one-month chip at this Thursday’s Women’s meeting. The first chip of many, many more.

I am still on shaky ground and have much I need to do, but I feel good. I feel strong. And I feel confident this time. But I won’t get overly confident, complacent, or lazy. I will stay vigilant.

Luckily, this time around, I don’t have to drive to my father’s after this milestone, like last time. Newly one month sober back in October, I had to drive home to bury my uncle and my mother. And being around my father, who drinks, was a recipe for relapse.

Nope. This time, at one month sober, I’m staying put, and controlling all the variables I can, and letting go of the things I cannot. I am eating well, exercising, going to therapy and doing everything within my power to make this stick.

Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my birthday. I’m nearing the end of my thirties. Where does the time go? It seems like it was just yesterday I was struggling to moderate my drinking in college. And look where I am all these years later.

When is enough enough?

Not until it is truly enough, apparently.

On May 11, 2014 it was enough. But then, three years later, I forgot.

On February 13, 2018 it was enough. This time I’m going to fight like hell to remember.

I want to be able to say I was one-hundred-percent sober at the close of my thirties and bring my forties feeling amazing. I want my forties to be a sober decade. I want to remember the feeling of having had enough and the desperation. I don’t want to forget again. I don’t’ want to start over again. Ever.

So the best gift to myself yesterday was the gift of sobriety. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Three Weeks, Take 2

Last time I hit the three-week mark of continuous sobriety was back in October.  It was after my “wake up call” in September. After our August vacation. It’s when the relapse really reared it’s ugly head. September 13th was the first sober date (of several) of these past 6 months.

How did that happen? Six months! Half a year!! And I’m still struggling. Relapsing is SO dangerous. It’s like falling in a dark hole and trying to find all your tools you dropped while falling, in the dark, and you can’t see, and there is no way to get out if you don’t recover your tools.

I have slowly found my tools again. And I’ve found new ones. I’m gaining traction. I’m sick of what I have been through these past six months. I am looking forward to hitting the one-month mark next week.

Last time I collected my one-month chip was at my first in-person AA meeting ever back in October. I was overly confident in my sobriety. Hey, I had done this before, what’s so different? Let me tell you: Relapse makes everything different. It is something not to be messed with.

Next week I look forward to collecting my one-month chip at the women’s group I have come to identify as my “home base.” But for now, I’m focused on the next 24. Because that’s the only way I can do it. One day at a time.

Two Weeks, Take 4

Today I am two weeks sober.


Writing this makes me nervous, because last time I declared “two weeks” I screwed up yet again.

But if gut feelings count for anything, I feel like it’s sticking this time.

And I’m working my ass off to ensure it does.

I had therapy today.

A meeting tonight.

Gym tomorrow.

Healthy food in the fridge.

A schedule and weekly plan.

Hopefully next time I check back in here I can report I’m 2 weeks + ______ .  Signing off for now. Happy Tuesday.

One Week

Today I celebrate one week of continuous sobriety. My sober days far outnumber my non-sober days lately, but my goal is 100% abstinence. I am determined to finish out the rest of this short month of February on a streak and start March off right. Once I meet that goal, I hope to continue the streak through March, one day at a time.


Right now I am focused on getting through another day, moment by moment. Here I go.

Back to Therapy

Two posts ago I said I had made the two-week mark (yet again). Well, I have to tell you, two days after that post I blew it. I slipped up the 5, 6, & 7th of February. Then I slipped up again a week ago on the 12th. My husband caught me out and is furious with me. I’ve been sober since 2/13/18.

I confided in him I went to a meeting last week. I wasn’t sure how he’d respond, but he seemed congenial and supportive. He said, “Good.” That felt like a huge relief, telling him my “secret” that I’d been going to meetings.

He’s really big into wanting to know the “why” behind why I pick up. And I struggle to give him a definitive answer. On the night of the 12th I remember telling him, “Mondays are hard” and he seemed to balk at that. And he said I needed to get back to a therapist.

So today I am going back to therapy. I am trying out two different therapists who are local, since the one I  had been seeing the past couple of years left the practice. We’ll see which therapist feels right and sits well with me. I know I  shouldn’t be anxious, but I am a little.

Day six, signing off for now.