Self-Care Tools to Survive the Not-So-Merry Holidays

holidays sobriety stress Nov 10, 2017

Bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting, and Santa’s on his way, and you smile to all passersby, saying “Happy holidays” when really you want to vomit up fruitcake.

The holidays can be so stressful. The shopping, traffic, lines at the stores, events at work and school can turn the Hallmark holiday into Hallmark hell. The feeling of loneliness can trigger the dis-ease if you sit home by yourself romanticize the holiday; thinking everyone is having the picture perfect holiday without you. And to top it off, there is alcohol everywhere you look.

I got sober November 13, 1999. I was separated from my then husband. Our children were two, five, and eight years old. Within the next six weeks, I had to face Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, my son’s birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the new millennium! I prayed that the holidays would just be over with. "How the hell am I not going to drink through all of this?" I wondered. In the end, I did...

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Not Every Day is a Doris Day

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.
Elizabeth Edwards

Most days, I wake up feeling happy. Nothing out of the ordinary is happening, things are no different than usual, but for some reason, I am excited about life; I feel bright and cheery, and can’t wait to get out of bed. I am grateful for the simple things in life, like the rain outside, the green trees and the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen. Then there are those other days when I am irritable, discontent, and impatient with everyone, but I have learned how to be happy and coped with those things that might not contribute to that happiness. My days use to start out in a much different way, where I would wake up with a head full of horrible thoughts. “Oh my God is today the day the IRS will show up at my door?” My house was such a mess I was sure someone was going to report me to the show, Hoarders. My kids would be...

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Dating for Single Sober Mom's - A Cautionary Tale

dating recovery single mom Feb 07, 2017

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.
MAE WEST

For the alcoholic/addict woman, the dos and don’ts of dating are convoluted and complex. Dating for anyone today is like a minefield, but for recovering women who already have a history of disastrous relationships, the dangers are even more significant. My friend Diane told me, “I’ve dated every dysfunctional man in Arizona, so I had to move to California.” 

You may feel like your Prize Picker is broken after so many failed attempts, or maybe you had no relationships and just slept around, looking for love in all the wrong places. You may be the woman who never dated and had given up on ever finding love. It was suggested I refrain from dating for the first year of sobriety, which I thought was absurd. I put down the drink and picked up the men (plural). The first one was thirty days sober, and I was ninety days sober. It was love at first sight: my dysfunction was...

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