Monday, November 11, 2013




So, a while back someone from Good Housekeeping contacted me about me being in the magazine. Not for Christmas cookies. For being sober. For being sober! My whole being hit the floor.

You mean you want me to be in a magazine because I quit drinking? You read my blog? Um.....what?

This happened this summer, and now here it is:


I only knew the article was out because someone emailed me and said, "Hi, I saw you in Good Housekeeping magazine....." And so I called Jonathan before I left work and said to please go to the store and get a copy or four so I could see it.

Holy crap y'all! I am so excited! I mean, there I am! Mixed in among the foolproof holiday dinners and smart ways to save this season talking about getting sober!

And I am also a big bunch of nerves, since now people might know. You know, like my mother-in-law who we haven't said anything to, or maybe someone at work who doesn't really figure into the equation, or well, you know- other people besides my safe sober community. It makes me want to explain: "But, see, really it was only a little problem, and I'm fine, and you know everyone drinks more than they should sometimes and and and....."

While I was hard thinking this morning I realized that I am afraid. Afraid of what people will think. Not of me now, but of past me. Now I'm fine (even when I'm not), it's then that's so messy. That old me is kind of embarrassing. I can stack up twenty different ways I shamed myself in ten seconds thinking about things I've done when I was drunk. (Ack. Don't do that to yourself.) I could probably fill a room with people who could say something bad about me that happened when I had too much over the course of my drinking life. I could feed a small country on the shame of it all.

It's hard, sometimes, to remember that that isn't who I am anymore.

I am afraid that people won't believe me. That they'll think I'm going back to the booze one day. That I am not totally committed. That I can't be trusted. That just like I hid my drinking I hide my sobriety. That I don't mean what I say. I'm afraid that I don't believe me either. What if I'm a big faker? A liar? What if I'm not good enough to have a nice together life? What if I don't really deserve it?

And then I realize that it's none of my business what other people think of me. The only opinion that I need to listen to comes from inside of me. I do believe me, big time. I do deserve it. We all do.

Here I am, in a magazine, and so the universe is making sure that I keep going. There is published out in the big wide world evidence now so there really is no turning back. If that's not a "you're doing the right thing" from somewhere out there I don't know what would be. I'm so grateful for that.

As I got further into my hard think I realized something. I am proud of who I am. And I'm OK with people thinking their own thinks about me. Cause besides all the bad stuff, there will be good stuff. Some of it really good. And so when I need to tie up my ship I'm going to head over to that.

So much of the twenty years I drank was about the continuous self tear down mission. FUCK THAT. I am no longer ashamed, or afraid to put myself out in the world just as I am, right now, today. Getting sober has made me finally, finally, mostly OK with me. Wow.

So this is me. My name is Amy, I am sober, and I am really proud of who I am.

52 comments:

  1. Oh my freaking GOD, this is so awesome!! I am definitely picking up that issue (bonus christmas cookie recipes!) and I am so proud of you for doing this brave and important thing. You've taken a huge step in removing the stigma of having an alcohol problem and showed you can stop. I can totally understand every fear you've entertained - I get every single one. Love how you saw the big picture and how sobriety is way bigger than all the little fears combined. Way proud of you. xoxo

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    1. Thank you for all of that good stuff. :)

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  2. Well Amy, this made me cry. I seem to start so many comment with that sentence....insert whoever's name though. lol Shining light on who were were, who we are, what has transpired in our life to make us who we are is a beautiful thing. Its freeing. Its also scary.....but I hope you hold your head high, bump your chest out a little bit and let it all swirl around you.....whatever *it* will be. You are you, great, beautiful, brave, sober you.....people can say what they want.....my guess is everyone is going to be so proud and feel so honored to have such an honest courageous woman in their lives though. I will be buying this later today! I am so proud to say that you are my blogger friend! lol I only wish you were my real life friend. Like sit down drink coffee, talk for hours, friend.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean- I wish there were a real town called Soberbia, and that we all could visit there for some love and support. Maybe that's called rehab? Lol.

      Thank you so much.

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  3. You have opened a door for me...hope I'm brave enough to walk through. You're article sounds like I could have written it..except the being able to rise above. Yet. I hold out hope that one day my finished story will be a reflection of yours! Thank you!

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    1. Open that door and walk on through. The really hardest part is saying "I really quit. No excuses, no going back quit." And then actually meaning it. Write to me if you need to. Asking for help helps.

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  4. hooray for you :) you put on your big girl boots and just waded on in there! and now look :) lovely photos, too. for those of us far away, is it available online? congrats to you! celebratory cake is in order.

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    1. Thanks! Not sure about the online thing.

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  5. Amy, that's so awesome! (I will run out this morning to but the magazine.) What a courageous thing to do! I think it will help lots of people and yes, help you too along the way. I see how you would be a bit scared, but I love where you take it. Proud of yourself and supported by all the good things people will say and think is just where you should be. You're amazing!!! xo

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    1. Thank you! I want it to help. When I found all these other people out here getting sober without AA it made me feel like I could do it too. That I didn't have to find a meeting and do things that made life harder, but that I could be really strong and dive in and ask for help and do it on my own. I think you're grand too! :)

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  6. "So much of the twenty years I drank was about the continuous self tear down mission."

    Wow! That totally resonates with me. It's like I refuse to let myself think that I am a good person and that I am great at things. I'm forever thinking that I'm not good enough. Again, thank you for sharing your story with Good Housekeeping or I would have never found this blogosphere of help! :)

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    1. I'm glad you found the "blogosphere of help." Now keep getting helped! :)

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  7. Amy, that is way cool! You are brave and authentic! I am getting my shoes on and going to the store to buy it now...maybe I'll buy cake, too. You inspire me! Jenny G

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  8. Damn wrote a big comment and lost it. Said: Yay for you brave proud sober warrior! (it was longer but can't be arsed typing it all out again sorry)..xxxx

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    1. Thanks mrs d! Aren't we all so wonderfully sober, even when it sucks miserably? Thanks for the almost epic comment. :)

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  9. Look at all your wonderful comments!!!! You're such an inspiration! I'm going right out and buy that magazine.

    Woot! So happy for you!

    You rock you know that?

    Love and hugs and other squishy stuff,

    Sherry

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    1. Bonus: cookies!!!!!!

      Thank you for all of your support. Love back!

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  10. I found you today in the magazine and I am so happy that I did. I have been trying to stop drinking for the last past few months and fail everytime!! But, its affecting the relationship that I have with my daughter and so its time to sit back and let go of what was keeping me down!! You absolutely did the right and the best thing for your family!!! you are now a new hero and an inspiration to me!! Dont worry about what anyone may think or if they pass judgement..you have fought a harder fight then most... I know... i try to stop all the time!! its not easy!!

    Thank you for sharing your story with me and with everyone else that is going through the same thing!! I hope that you are enjoying your night and reading with your husband tonight and enjoying time together!! May god bless your family! keep fighting the good fight!!

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    1. Hi, i just read your whole 2012 and jan of this year!! I am again thankful that I found your blog site and article. This will help me so much my new friend.. thanks again.. my name is Bernadette..once I learn to post without having to be anonymous you'll know its me!! Good night...

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    2. Hi Bernadette! I'm glad you are here. :) You can email me too. Welcome. Keep coming back for help, and check out other sober blogs too.

      Amy

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  11. I found out about your blog via Good Housekeeping! You're incredible, I love this! I'm really happy to have this resource.

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    1. Thank you! Read other blogs too, it helps. Feel free to email too.

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  12. You have so much to be proud about!! I love that the word is getting out there about this sober blogging world and more resources to help all those experiencing the very same issues with alcohol. Congratulations on your achievements!! Soberbia is a great place to be!! (I'm just on day 17 so far... but posts like this keep me going).

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    1. Day 17 is so many days all strung together in a pretty row. Keep going. I was on day 17 once too. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  13. Congratulations Amy! I'm on my way to get a copy.

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  14. Brave, and inspiring!!! I'm proud to be part of your journey, Amy--and thank you for all the comments and support on mine. I think you were one of the first blogs I found last year when I started this whole sober blogging ride. LOVE. (Btw, I, too, would be looking for an online version?)

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    1. Thank you! I sometimes feel like we share the same brain. Our inner struggles are really similar. It's so good to have your support too! I couldn't come up with an online version, but will keep looking. I can scan the article and reprint it here if I can't locate it. Xoxoxo

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  15. Your article spoke to me at a time when I thought there was no one who was there - thank you. My life has taken a turn that was unexpected for ne and I am not very strong in dealing with it. your story was very personal to me

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    1. Liz, my email address is posted. Feel free to write if you need to. Sometimes it helps to just say stuff out loud in writing. It's ok if you aren't strong, just feel weak and don't drink. And I really mean it, write to me. I'll write back.

      Amy

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  16. I tried to write but the link is not supported by my email program I guess

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  17. Sometimes people come into your life when you least expect them. your story was very real to me. I hate the person that I become when I drink, I am in a very fragile point in my life and I feel very alone

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    1. Liz, you should copy and paste the email address into your email. Try that. Let me know if it doesn't work. You aren't alone- you are part of our sober blogging community now. Keep reafing and commenting- there are so many lovely people here. And now you're here too. :)

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  18. Wow, just wow. You have helped so many people and continue to inspire. So great the world is learning about you!!
    A2

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    1. Thank you! It was a hard choice to make, but sobriety is a gift best shared.

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  19. Thank you, I just happened to come across and read your article. I am in that "before" place now and am inspired to make a change! *hugs* You are so brave and I hope that I can be the same...

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    1. You are brave, you are. *hugs hugs hugs* back. If you need a pen pal just write!

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  20. How amazing is this? You are brave and inspiring. I scoured mags for this kind of stuff when I was desperate - Someone to relate to. You have given that to so many through doing this article. You will help so many find support and that is something to be so proud of. I am proud of you. This is huge!! Hugs Carrie x

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    1. Oh Carrie thank you so much! We have been big parts of each other's journey- I know you are out there cheering me on every day just like I'm rooting for you. Sober women rock! I am proud of you, too. Xoxoxo amy

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  21. Holy shit...how did I miss this???!!!????!!!!????!!!???!!!???!!!

    Congrats on this - you were meant to do this at this time. The Creator puts us where we are needed when we are needed. And you have done something fantastic here, Amy. I am so very thrilled for you! You are gonna be a busy woman here on your blog...lol. You are no doubt inspiring many women to look at themselves and know that if you could quit drinking, so could they. Wonderful. :)

    Love and light,
    Paul

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    1. Thanks Paul! I like being busy if it means more people know what it's like to be finally sober.

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  22. Hi Amy! BIG CONGRATS! Woot Woot! Thank you so much for doing this, it is soo courageous to share your story on the public level. I think there is still so much shame associate with alcoholism and even sobriety. It is truly heartwarming to see you extend yourself like this; I know it is not easy. But it is soo very important because sobriety should not be something to be ashamed about, instead it should be celebrated every single day! Thank you again and I cannot wait to get me a copy of that magazine!

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    1. Thank you! Only by putting ourselves out there when we're ready can we take away the stigma of alcoholic. We have to put faces to the name to erase the shame and embarrassment. Getting sober is the best thing I've ever done for myself, and that deserves some attention.

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  23. Hi Amy, your story is so very inspiring and comes at a great time. I am going to spend this week end reading your blog. Also, there are so many links to other sites that give so much needed advice and encouragement. I want to be around for my grandkids. And not be referred to as "That" Grandma. I am taken aback, although by profanity, because I haven't used those words in about 40 years. But you've got guts lady, I will tell you that!! Keep up with the good work and God Bless

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    1. Thank you! And don't let the language bother you too much. I use it to make strong points. I wish you the best. Stay in touch!

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    2. I cant.quit.Artist in Wiscinsi.n

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  24. Amy -
    I also want to add a note of thanks to you. I saw your story in GH this week and, for me, it couldn't have come at a better time. I have had the "I"ll stop drinking" conversation with myself more times then I can count and for some reason, yours has really given me hope that I can do it. I am a 48 year old stay at home mom with 2 kids, ages 14 & 10. Overall, I lead what would appear to be a healthy life, a runner and athlete, very active, involved in my kids' schools in many ways, volunteer work and all. I also ENJOY wine. I have convinced myself over time that I really don't have a problem as I only have 1 glass a night - even if I go out, I only have one drink (with that said, I am small so one drink can really do me in). Problem is, at home, that one drink might be a little big. I'd pour a glass while making dinner, have a big sip, top it off and continue on. If my husband came home while I was cooking, I would top it off again (same glass, right?) Some nights, the sip (just to have a taste) might be any time around 5:00.

    I wake up in the AMs feeling awful - tired, a headache, etc. Ironically, just read an article this week that talked about how poorly people digest alcohol once they are in their 40s and I'm sure there is something to that as well. Would take me until about noon to feel better and then was generally tired most the day. No matter how badly I felt, I could still have that glass of wine at dinner. Cooking (which I love) is definitely my weakest point. But, I felt I was truly no longer being a good mom which ultimatelyis what really drove me to want to change. The AM's were the worst as I would feel bad and could feel myself being short with everyone and it really hurt me that I couldn't be better. I missed being able to have a normal start to the day with my kids. I didn't want my kids to continue to grow up that way.

    I have had the discussion with myself more times than I care to count about changing my drinking habits. Only having a drink on weekends or special occasions. But, always found a reason not to follow through. I felt alchohol and drinking have more recently consumed my thoughts - did I have a bottle of wine at home for dinner or need to stop to get one? Was it OK to have that drink cooking on my own if my husband wasn't home (it was). Wanting to make sure I was somewhere around dinner to have a drink. And, if I wasn't, coming home and having one no matter the time (getting home from school meetings at 8:30 or 9 and still having one). Always had a reason not to stop. I come from a family of people who enjoy their cocktails and have to admit that's probably one thing that has stuck with me - fear of having to tell them.

    I thought I could stop on my own but realized I needed to probably tell someone out loud. I ended up having a good discussion with my husband (who saw a record of a book purchase I made on Amazon which tipped him off) He went through a bout himself not long ago so was completely supportive and understanding. It felt so good to say it out loud. And, I feel it finally makes me accountable to someone else.

    That's why I'm writing here as well. I feel I need to somehow say it out loud or in writing to really make myself stick to it. I know the holidays will be challenging but on the flip side, really look forward to feeling better. Really WANT to spend Chrismtas morning on particular with my children not feeling hungover. Even today I am happy to have gotten up after a Thanksgiving dinner without a hangover (this is only day 3 for me!).

    Sorry this has gotten so long for a response. It feels so good to be able to share this and I really want to thank you for the inspiration. And, the courage you had in sharing your story as well as the success you have had on your journey so far.

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  25. I want to thank you for your honesty and bravery in speaking publicly to Good Housekeeping about your struggle with alcohol. I, too, have been struggling for years. Drinking to much, swearing to quit, quitting, only to say, how bad can one glass of wine be. As we know, it is the FIRST glass that is the problem. I am going into Day 3 tomorrow, tucking a 5 dollar bill in my old wine glass for my first "treat" when I hit 60.00, and I really want that treat! Thank you for speaking to ME through your article. You have sincerely helped an unknown stranger. :-)

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