Sunday, January 5, 2014


I came up with a glorious word for 2014 after days and days of heaving all these heavy words around in my head like freedom and restraint and peace. 

I wasn't even going to pick a word at all. Then, while I was writing a totally different post that I totally deleted I came across this little word: FUN. 

And my brain went: Oh. Huh. What a nice word. And completely opposite from something I'd normally pick. THAT'S IT! PICK IT.

I was writing a post about how people think sober people aren't fun. And then I started thinking about how I don't really let myself have fun. Like, I'm just all bogged down in the sobriety of sober-ness. Which doesn't seem very fun at all. My dear friend Lilly over at One Too Many is struggling with this right now- how to be sober and fun. 

Why is getting drunk considered the only adult fun? I mean, people look at you like you've grown another head when you say you don't drink. So many people. Why is it "cool" to have too much to drink and then feel like shit the next day? It sounds so stupid and inane to me now: "Hey, I know. Let's get dressed up, go out, spend a lot of money, do embarrassing things, and then feel like shit the next day." Or my regular: "Hey, let's go to the drinks store, spend too much money, ignore our lives, do embarrassing things, and then feel like shit the next day." It doesn't happen every time, but still.

It's like wearing a life jacket, but not the good kind that will save you, more like the bad kind made out of burdens and expectations and weights. One that suffocates and smothers your life until you almost can't even breathe. I mean, no wonder drunk people think they're having all the fun: they forgot the cumbersome jacket. They forgot that thing after two or three glasses of wine. They have "permission"- liquid amnesia. Until the next morning when that strangle-y coat is weightier than ever.

How cool would it be to actually practice having fun, but without the lapses in memory or manners? Have a good damn time but without the morning oh-no's? To be brave enough to not give a whit what people think so much? To do the work of finding people and things you actually enjoy rather than getting drunk again with that same group of people? To take that suffocating jacket off of your life and be the fun person you imagine you are when you're getting your drink on, but without it. Without the protection of the booze: just you.

Why can't we "let loose" sober?

I don't mean drunk let's-sleep-with-that-random-stranger let loose or look-at-me-being-an-ass-but-it's-ok-I-just-had-too-many-jagerbombs loose- I mean the let loose of enjoying the moment, some time of abandon without using booze to numb yourself out of your life, you just are choosing to put down the burdens and Taking off that smothering awful weight of that alcohol straitjacket and finding the lightness of self. Self only. No props, no false courage. That doesn't sound super fun yet, but it gets easier and easier and suddenly you find yourself talking and making sense. That people look at you not to whisper about what an ass you were last night but to admire you. Yes, you

A lot of being sober for me has been giving myself permission to grow up. To act like a grown up. To make the right decisions. So I made that one right decision: stay sober. But I still behave like a spoiled brat when it comes to eating too many cookies or laying in bed and not getting up to write. So what about being a grown up and being an all the way grown up? Could that mean not doing this never-ending dance of permission and execution? Could that

I have a hard time with some stuff- my temper can be quick, I can be a total doormat. And then I can be a totally resentful cranky doormat. One of my biggest changes has been being able to admit when I am wrong, and then saying things like, "Help me please." and "I don't know what to do." Which doesn't sound like much fun, but it actually kind of is.

So that's my word for this year. Fun. A reminder to not take it all so seriously. A way to see things differently: that life is to be enjoyed. That all this learning that never ends is not only hard and sometimes soul wrenching but a source of pure pleasure. That even the normal every day stuff can be entertaining. It's all the way you look at it. 


  1. I want you to go get a whiteboard marker and write that word on your bathroom mirror. That way you'll see it as you start your day and remember to have some FUN.

    What a great word. And what a beautiful reminder.


    1. your new template. ;-)

    2. Thanks! I'm remembering. And sometimes it even makes me laugh when I think- whoa, not so serious. Fun, remember? Then I remember and feel lighter.

  2. Bravo! And love the new look!

  3. I love this, Amy. Do I say that about every one of your posts? Ha. I want to have fun, too! I want to dance without feeling stupid, make art, write, sing, play with children, cook, travel, etc. So, I am with you 100%! I can't wait to hear more about how you progress through 2014. xx- Jen

    1. Lol, thanks. It's been interesting to notice how much I want to be all bogged down in serious and not really enjoying things. It's not on purpose, just a damn bad habit.

  4. I love this. Though I kind of wish you hadn't deleted the previous post as I would have loved to read that too.

    I was thinking about this more after our email exchange and I started to think about that night I was telling you about 'missing out on all the fun' and the more I thought about it the more it did it fact sound kind of stupid and shallow and then all the icky downside. And I realised maybe I am finally growing up, maybe I am just clinging on to this old idea of what I used to think was fun and that stuff isn't actually that fun for me anymore.

    The thing is, alcohol used in the way a lot of people use it CAN be fun. When a couple of drinks gets you loose and silly and giggly and relaxed. But, beyond that, the extreme drunkeness, the moronic behaviour, the shameful behaviour, the after-effects… that stuff is not fun. We have just been sold this amazing marketing story about how it is the sole route to adult fun.

    I am definitely realising I need to find new ways to have fun, to relax, to unwind. I also know that the times i've been happily sober I have had times/nights when I've realised I was actually having MORE fun minus the booze. I also may need to distance myself from people who have really bought into that idea that this is the best way to have fun.

    Anyway. Ramble over. I heart you.

    Lilly xx

  5. I don't believe that alcohol makes you more fun, even 1 or 2. For me, I have to believe I can have that kind of fun with no booze. And since quit forever I believe in that. I have to. Otherwise it's another excuse. I love you! Keep going. Change is hard, and you have to change all the way with this. Xoxo

  6. We held a birthday party for my daughter at the w/end and the kids were playing musical chairs. I decided to just cut in and sit down on one of the chairs when the music stopped. Silly, yes. Fun, yes! This is not the usual me but sometimes we have to stretch the fun muscle and just see where it goes. I'm with you on this need to do it differently completely :)

    1. Yes! Be able to reach out of the comfy box and wave your arms around a bit. Be willing to "embarrass" ourselves. Is that possible while sober? Lol.

  7. I have always wanted to approach this topic, and you do it so well. It's an endless topic that I hear not only online (blogs and recovery forums) but face-to-face with other people in the rooms who bemoan the fact that life will always be blah now. Really? for sure, you are right - there won't be the sleeping with a stranger hoopla, nor will there be the hilarious breaking into someone's house to steal their dog kind of stuff. Eating cheetos in bathing suits at 3am while watching reality tv in a hot tub. Fun? Nah, that's not what we mean. Fun - having and finding joy in things. Being spontaneous. Breaking out into silliness without reason. Getting past fears and trying new things. Doing something you've always wanted to do. There are no high extremes or low rumblings...just a nice middle.

    I too agree that I don't think I truly had "fun" when having a few. I was too anxious worrying about the next 15-20 I craved and so deeply wanted. There was the illusion of fun. Maybe when I was 17 or 18 it worked and it was fun...but it ceased to be fun a long time ago.

    Wonderful job here, Amy...and I do love this new look :)


    1. It takes me back to being a kid- where you did eat cheetos in your bathing suit, maybe not at 3am but still. You did stuff that you wanted to do. So maybe it's about being more grown up, but more child-like too? Reaching for that part that doesn't mash every decision into a pulp before acting. Looking at things a different way- like this: ugh. I hate unloading the dishwasher. or dang! look how incredible all these clean dishes are! (insert dance move here) Teaching ourselves to be ok on the steady rather than always on the river of blah.

  8. here's the whole thought process....why are there people that I get delivered to my inbox and those I don't? who am I missing? Amy, Soberbia..haven't read her blog for a while, (put laundry on, make salad) let's find her...(eating and reading like mad)...look at all these great posts! I want to comment on every single one!

    Man I have missed a LOT! Good housekeeping? So good! A year sober? Fantastic! A word of the year? I love this! I have to figure out how to get this delivered so I don't miss anymore, but for now I will bookmark and that will help.
    Such great stuff here Amy...your growth has been beautiful and FUN is an amazing word.
    I hope you have lots of it this year!