Sober On Bourbon Street

SOBER on Bourbon Street!!!!! Here is what I have learned in life..no matter where you go there you are!! Before I left on this trip, I had someone say to me, “what the hell are you going to New Orleans for?? You don’t drink!” Why, yes sir I don’t but I also CHOOSE to continue to live life and not curl up and become a recluse… Alcohol is in every town, every state and every country on this planet. You can make any town a party town but I will not sit back and let life pass me by and I’m FOR sure am having a sober time in one of the best cities on the planet. Sobriety is the NEW EVERYTHING!!⚜️💜🚫🥃

SOBER SEX!!!

Alright friends…. I’m going to open up this discussion, if you are not comfy talking about it..DON’T but for me it took a bit of time to get use too. Also I know this is a topic to a lot of people in the Recovery community you may feel like “am I the only one who feels this way?” You are not. So please feel free to share below if you want or have any insight to the topic. As we know in this journey, what you are feeling and thinking there is at least one other person who feels the SAME.  I feel like for this topic..thousands feel this way!!
SOBER SEX! 
I remember when I got sober, I seriously thought “how am I going to have sex” at this time I was 1.5 years into my relationship with Matt(my husband) and we had sex BUT it was a lot more when I was drinking. So I was never really fully comfortable with myself to have that intimate relationship(because most addicts/alcoholics have problems with intimacy) with him and being fully present. I used sex thru out my addiction as a way to feel loved, my self worth and to manipulate relationships(obvi super toxic) and I know now that is so outrageous to think that it was the only way to feel loved but it’s what I did. When I say it took me almost a year to feel fully comfortable with him, I’m not kidding. Now I think about “how I could never have a one night stand” like I use too. Seriously, it creeps me out and can’t believe the ones I had. Of course if I was in a right state of mind, I wouldn’t have done them. Some of these dudes I couldn’t even tell you their names but could recognize them by he bar I was at..like shit!! I have forgiven myself and those shameful feelings have disappeared thruout the years of recovery. 
If you are feeling like this just know it does get better and it just takes some time in this journey like everything else. 
I’m an open book and I don’t look at Sex as a shameful topic but totally get and understand everyone’s views on this topic are different.  You actually may be reading this and judge which is fine cause I don’t care. Judge if you want, think I’m a ho(I was and I own it) No one is perfect, the point is I’m bringing awareness to the topic of addiction and folks this is part of it. It’s not pretty and during active addictions, you do some really bad shit that you would never do Sober!! 
Hope this post helped one person understand that they are and weren’t alone in this behavior.
Always, 

CMA

Choice!

This was a hard one for me to understand FOR YEARS!! 
In my active addiction I always played the victim, I blamed my Drinking on everyone else and I justified it by saying “I’m not hurting anyone” which was all a crock of hot shit because I was hurting myself and the trickle down effect it had on others. I blamed my drinking on my parents, relationships, friendships, jobs, I mean really anything.. “Life someone how fucked me over so”…well that was the story I kept telling myself!!! 
Yes..was my childhood and teen years not good because of my parents and I know half the reason I went into drinking was because of the lack of parenting and structure I received. My parents divorced at age 7 and there was just a series of misunfornate events that kept coming after they split. The chaos and crazy times was a yearly staple in my home.  Alcoholism and mental illness was HUGE and at age 7, I already knew what these terms meant because this is what I was shown by adults.  I also learned in early childhood, that drinking was fun and that’s how you have a good time and cope with life or life events. 
The other half of my drinking was because of genetics, alcoholism and mental illness clearly runs on both sides of the family..so BOOM double whammy(anyone remember that game show?? It was a fave of mine😂😂) I was more likely to catch a case of the alcoholism!
But In the end and it didn’t take me getting sober and out of the delusion to realize this.. WE ALWAYS have a choice!!! NO one was sitting there telling me to drink, that was all me!! I created a world for myself that all I did was “party and get wasted” I couldn’t continue to blame people for my drinking because the older I got and the more involved I got into my addiction, I was the one who had control to drink or not to drink. I couldn’t keep living in the past of my childhood and keep blaming others when I was feeding myself the poison. Once I did take my first sip of alcohol it was GAME ON, lights out and zero control.  
Remember we always have a choice and in my heart of hearts I know their are people in this world who truly are “allergic” to the sauce so abstaining from alcohol is the best decision I have ever made in my life.  
I am truly powerless over the hooch and that is 💯 percent amazing and not shameful to admit!!

Always, 

CMA

You can have fun Sober!

It’s totally normal to be scared that first year of sobriety!! I was scared shitless..for reals. Don’t ever think or feel like it’s silly for thinking these thoughts because it’s not!! We end of relying on such a powerful drug to help us deal with feelings, I was told and shown growing up that life was FUN when you had cocktails. So it’s know surprise I turned to alcohol for everything!! 

I didn’t know how life was going to continue on without that drink at birthdays, concerts, holidays, weddings, funerals, family gatherings, brunch, cookouts, engagements, hanging out with friends, spring, summer, fall, winter or even having sex without being hammered..truth! Oh yes, how many of us have only been able to have sex hammered??? 
But guess what?!?! Life does go on and it gets better and a lot more “fun”.  You just have to be patient with the recovery process, put in the work with yourself  and know all these “Life events” are actually better without the booze. I remember so much now with these important life events and just LIFE in general. I know longer wake up thinking “what songs did they play at the show” or “how the fuck did  get home” My world isn’t revolved around when I’m going to have my next drink..seriously that thought consumed me for so many years. It’s nice to be free of that awful feeling of wanting something every hour of everyday.  

4 years, 8 months and 8 days without alcohol and I have yet to regret that decision I made on 8/18/12!! There is a whole world out there that is full of help and there is nothing wrong in asking for it. 

Gratitude is the Attitude

In the past few weeks I have upping my gratitude vibration which I had lost for the past few months.  I have always been a person who lived in gratitude but when I got sober it was taken to a whole other level of appreciation. I guess when you have had 1,000 chances at life and you finally see that with clear sober eyes.. shit gets real and you don’t take for granted what you have in the present.  Sometimes, you have to keep gut checking yourself in life and refocus. It’s very easy to get caught up in the what have not’s and I’ve been dealing with that on this journey of infertility issues.  I remember in my first weeks of sobriety, I went to a meeting and sat at the table and listened to people say how much “time they had sober” I remember thinking I wanted that, I wanted to be a year, five years, ten years, etc., etc.  After my 90 days came my attitude shifted because that is when I started to wake up and realize, “whoa man, I just nailed 90 days and fuck yes to me for beating my own demon!!” I had to stop comparing to others and be grateful for another day of sobriety and another day of life because this was MY journey. We all have our own ride in life and this I know, no ones ride is the same!!

Below is what I shared in my Fertility group and I wanted to share here because it goes along with the theme of this blog.

“Saturday I got my lady cycle and I have got to say I was surprised due to it being a week early. Maybe the moon fucked it up, who knows.  However I was not disappointed because we had stopped trying this past month since our next step with a new fertility doctor is coming in the near future. We had to take a step back and just be. It was taking over our lives and driving us both nuts. It felt nice not having this consume our lives these past few weeks.

Whether kids happen or not for matt and I, I am so grateful that we have each other!  We built our relationship on the love we have for one another not on the fact that kids are everything in life. I’m learning thru this process like so much in life that nothing is guaranteed or PROMISED to us in life. So if it is just him and I for the rest of our lives with a shit ton of Fur Babies then that is what is already mapped out for us. We can’t change that!

We aren’t giving up by any means. But man for anyone who knows about going thru infertility issues knows how much it consumes your life.  Coming back to gratitude that past few weeks has been LIFE!!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating My Emotions

Have you ever turned to food for comfort? I’m not talking like lady cycle comfort, like legit you turn to food to make yourself feel better. I did for my first year of sobriety…YIKES!!

So, for a year I ate and ate and ate. Didn’t care, zero fucks and had a yolo attitude with whatever I wanted because “I quit drinking!” I found myself using this excuse a lot that first year, it was some “dry drunk” behavior I went thru.  Sometimes I wasn’t even hungry but would eat to satisfied myself when I had a “feeling of life”or even when I would have the urge to drink. There were some days I would have urges every hour, starbursts and skittles were my besties and so was DIET COKE. I use to drink up to 6 sodas a day.  I ate my way to almost 180 pounds!!! At the time, honestly it didn’t matter to me because the first year of sobriety was so scary I just had to exist in life and get thru each day. Never in my life did I think I would find comfort in a bag of KIT KATS, it was better then therapy.. TRUTH! But there I was eating treats to not feel like I did with alcohol pushing feeling down that I didn’t want to deal with like, accountability, the hurt I caused others, repairing relationships, dealing with feelings from your childhood like was I ever good enough for my parents??  The list could go on but that’s for another day. You get the drift!

I started noticing after some time what a slippery slope I was going down. The summer of 2013 I had enough and didn’t want to feel like shit anymore. It wasn’t until I saw this picture that I’m sharing where I had a wake up call. Maybe I finally snapped out of my own delusion of a year of just trying to deal with sobriety. I’ve said it before and will keep saying it, SOBRIETY IS NOT EASY BUT ITS WORTH IT. Lots of feels go on during the recovery journey.   You may see one sober pal killing it with exercise and nutrition from the get and think “why can’t that be me” but you can’t compare to others and maybe that person took a few years to get to that point or maybe that’s just how they dealt from the get it go. One of my closet pals was able to go out with friends right away when she stopped drinking but I could not!  Everyone is different!!

I got to the point where  I felt lethargic all the time, my sleep was awful, my anxiety was soaring and I hated the way I felt. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and starting to feel extremely shameful after I would eat like this.  I wouldn’t even change in front of my boyfriend. I felt like I was slipping into another addiction. It’s funny they usually say where there is one addiction there is about 2-3 more.  Was food addiction about to make my list?!?!? If I kept going that route yes I would of had more of a problem but I recognized it and dealt with it by looking for different outlets of healthy activities.

I started to cope with exercise and learning more about cleaner nutrition to fell better. Don’t get me wrong I still have days especially this past year of falling into a habit of eating my feelings due to infertility issues.  I am human but I snapped out of it again because I was starting to feel like garbage. The last few months I’ve gotten myself back on track because I know eating myself into numbness will not solve anything and just make myself feel worse.  I talk with a lot of women in recovery and ones who are early on in their recovery  and they all say how they have gained weight and are SO hard on themselves.  Ladies, go easy on yourselves… Honestly, gain the weight!!!! It’s better then the alternative, this is just my opinion.  Focus on 90 t0 200 days of your recovery and then start working on the fitness and nutrition part.  Step by Step you will get there. I really believe in early recovery there is so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect! At least I felt that way until I started to just chill after so many months and realizing sober life isn’t so bad and that it wasn’t a punishment.

Give yourself a break for a bit and just get use to your life sober. Let it go and let it flow, the rest will fall into place

 

Always,

CMA

 

July, 2013… This is the picture that opened my eyes… this is also NOT MY CAR just my dream car!!!

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Hello my Name Is

Hello my name is Courtney and I am a Recovering Alcoholic!

I wanted to share a little more of about my history and what my rock bottom was for anyone who is new that is reading my blog. I have been sober now for 4 years and 5 months. I LOVED alcohol, like it was my bestie for over a decade.  My vicious cycle of addiction was spent for over ten years feeling ashamed, embarrassed, lonely, isolated and scared but I kept staying in this world. For so many years I didn’t feel like I deserved any good.  Most days depending on my work schedules were spent thinking about drinking, drinking or dry heaving, laying in bed all day until I ordered pizza at 8pm when I finally stopped throwing up all the alcohol from the night before. I mean this cycle happened weekly, alcohol poising for sure! Of course I would say to myself every time I would dry heave that “be the last time I did shots or drank like that”…LIES! I often find when I woke up the night before I had no clue how I got home or what happened. About ninety percent of the time my drinking would end up with me upsetting one of my friends, boyfriends or family members.  I often would yell at them, pick fights and get violent like a real pig.  So many missed opportunities and relationships down the drain because of my addiction.  So much TIME WASTED and moments I will never get back in my life. Funny thing is since I was about 24 years I knew I  would have to stop drinking one day. In the pit of my soul I believe that all addicts know they have a problem of some sort its just a matter of “are you going to address the problem” or just carrying on because you don’t want to feel or face reality?!!

When I was 29 years old, I woke up the next morning from a complete shit show of an evening.  I was told I lost my cat(who was not an outside cat at all) for the second time as I left my screen door wide open because I went outside to smoke in a blackout. I was also told by my then boyfriend that he was over the drinking as we at that point we had been together for a year and a half. He had seen plenty in such a short amount of time because I will say the last couple of years of my drinking my episodes were getting worse and worse. So that day I made a pact to myself and the universe that if Fiona(my cat) was found I would give up drinking and give life a go sober as I knew I had to do since I was in my early twenties. For two days I laid around from the worst hangover in my life, like straight up death! I surprised I didn’t need medical attention.  So every few hours I  would go outside shaking Fiona’s treats and calling her name, finally FURPANTS came walking out slowly from under my neighbors deck looking terrified and leaves all over her fur  and in her whiskers. I dropped to my knees like a scene from a movie and scooped her up and instantly starting crying. I felt in my whole being and on another level that sobriety was my answer this was 1 million percent my rock bottom. I probably hit RB about 40 times previous to this but this time it was the last bottom I would face.

My life began on  August 18th, 2012! That boyfriend who said enough was enough is now my husband. He even gave up drinking with me, he never had a problem but just got to a point in his life he could do without.  Sober Life has not been easy, a lot of emotions a lot of ups and downs buts its all worth it. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing of how my life has become. My world is just better with friends, family, husband, myself and everything else. I even have my own health and fitness business! That would of never have happened if I continued to drink, I probably be dead if I would of kept in my active addiction and I know that in my heart and soul! Looking forward to bringing more insight to the world about addiction and wellness.  

Hello my name is Courtney and RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!!!

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Motivation or Mindset?

I have often been asked and the last 4 years from people, “how do you stay motivated with your sobriety?” The answer is easy, I don’t want to die!! TRUTH. It may seem a little dramatic to some but its all TRUE. That’s how I look at what would happen to me if I went back to drinking. If I were to relapse it would end in death, maybe not that day but I would down the road. That is where my life was going for many years before I said, “I’m done!” You have to understand something about addict’s, we don’t know how to stop. When I go out in life it’s going to be like Rose in the Titanic all warm and cozy in her bed dreaming of DiCaprio. The sauce will not take me out, NO THANK YOU! Over doses or people drinking themselves to death happen daily just not many talk about it. I know that one sip of something would put be back down that rabbit hole of awfulness…is that a word?? The hole of despair, shame, loneliness, desperation and death.

Since becoming sober there is something I have done and that is waking up every day, recite in my head what I’m a grateful for and then say it again. In this morning reflection, my sobriety is always included because without it, I would not be where I am at today. I wouldn’t be married, running my own business, have the relationships I do with friends and family in my life or even writing this blog. On Sundays I also take some time of reflection to remember my days in my active addiction and all the shitty things I have done to others and most of all myself. When you sit in reflection and remember all the god awful things you did, do you want to go back there??? F to the NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I mean what is so fun about waking up in jail or the hospital and not knowing how you got there?? This has happened to me numerous times and not my finest moments in life. Now a days my finest moments in life are living in the gratitude of sobriety and just being in life.

I totally understand how hard the fight is and still have to fight urges present day but we have choices and we must remember that. In those urges I have to change my mindset around and think of my old life. If you want your life to change, you have the power in you to change it you just have to start and GO. You fall off, pick yourself up dust those boots or wedges off and start again. But learn from your falls and reflect on them. Any person in recovery will tell you that the journey isn’t easy, you have to put in the work. Whether that be AA, NA, Therapy, journaling, some online groups or my personal favorite self help books! You must do the work and yes some of it is hard to get thru but once you do it feels pretty good and it so freeing. For me it’s going to be a lifetime or work and I’m totally cool putting that work in because I’m not looking backwards. I will never forget the day I had to make some mends with some important people in my life, I cried(like ugly cry, hard to get the words out type of cry) while telling them how sorry I was for missing some of their important life events. Type of moments you don’t get a redo at. It was hard cause I had to except what I did and own it and guess what? They excepted my apology and we have better relationships now then we ever did when I was drinking. After that day the heavy burden I carried around for so many years was gone. It was liberating.

It’s going to take work, dedication and some days your going to have to fight the good fight to get thru it but it gets easier!! For the days or even hours your addiction is talking to you cause it does. Sounds crazy, right?? BUT it’s true!! Always remember the life you had up until your rock bottom and then remember it again. Really, really REMEMBER that feeling of where you once were. I look at my decade long stent of drinking as the pits. Yes, did I have some amazing fun times having drinks, of course but they were few and far between. I guess you can say my MINDSET is the one that keeps me motivated in my sobriety!

Always,
CMA

Sober Pals

Hey world!!

It feels good to be back and at my creative outlet. I really had to take a step back from this for a minute. When my good pal passed away just two days before Thanksgiving, I went into grief mode followed by the Holidays. I tried writing tips of how to stay on a sober path during the Holiday season but I just faced such a “creative block!” I sat one night for 3 hours trying to get it all out and my mind was taking me into 25 different directions, so I just stopped. I mean at one point I got mad and I didn’t want to hate what I have started to love doing. You know what I mean? I was having a block and there was no sense of fighting it and writing something I just wasn’t into.

I do miss my friend, and think it is important to have some sober friends in your life. Him and I were sober pals and always there for one another. We had that connection of we get it, I hate to say “brotherhood” cause it sounds so Sons of Anarchy(worst series ending of all time) but it is true! Same thing for women, it’s a sisterhood. You forever are connected with people who understand the power of addiction. How it can bring you down, lift you up, make your world delusional AF, ruin jobs, ruin relationships and fuck up everything in between… But for some reason you still continue to drink??? Until one day rock bottom smacks you silly. WE ALL GET IT! The souls in this community understand how hard it can be to even take it one day at a time, some days we have to take it minutes at a time. Many addicts are extremely intelligent its unreal, in a good way! So much to learn from one another. As selfish as this disease is the amount of love in the recovery world is just awesome. We know some days are easier and some days are harder, people relapse, people die, people have dry drunk tendencies(I for sure have and you can totally catch yourself doing it) but we all get it. It’s such a “me battle” but we all get the battle. This of course is not a community we wish to be in, it is just where our lives have lead us to.

My pal was always there for me know matter what and we both knew what picking up one drink would do to our lives. I use to ask him if he missed drinking and the answer was always, “NEVER KID, I have to much to lose and its just not worth it” I dug deep over these past few weeks and took his positivity and strength to keep carrying on sober. He did it in his fight against cancer so I can continue to do so in my own life. Forever grateful for my friendship with my dear sweet sober friend.

If you are newly sober and on your journey in the recovery world it is so important to have a support system around you. Having sober pals around and people who get it will help you so much!! There is a huge network out there, from social media, treatment centers, support groups.. sober pals are all around. You just have to show up or reach out and I guarantee one of us will be there for you.

Always,

CMA
 

Is Escaping Reality Worth It?

There is a day month after month for the past two years I would love nothing more then to get absolutely shitfaced! I mean really just take it to the face, black out drunk!! This day I speak of, is the first day of my lady cycle. For the past two years my husband and I have struggled with trying to conceive aka Fertility issues. When you are young you never think that trying to get pregnant would be so hard. You think easy, no big deal, it just takes one time, I will do the opposite of what they told me do in sex ed class and just not use any birth control. For some couples they don’t even try, for some they get pregnant after month 1, some 6 months, some 1 year, some need IVF, some need IUI, some need a surrogate and some need to adopt. We all have such different journeys of becoming parents. On our journey I have learned that thousands/millions of couples go thru fertility/infertility issues. My heart breaks for all couples who have to go on this ride because it is beyond the pits. This really is extremely hard and emotionally draining of one’s soul! I’m putting it out to the world because I have to just release this, sometimes holding onto to something so tight limits you and blocks things from coming into your life.

Each month when my lady cycle comes its like a death, you have to mourn a thought, a possibility like this was going to be the month. You have then put more pressure on yourself because “TIME” is an issue for us ladies. It for sure is not in our favor when it comes to bearing children, we all know as you get older chance of pregnancy decreases. After the moment of my lady cycle presenting itself then comes the feels. It’s a combination of sadness, anger and just a big bummer feeling. During these feelings, an old friend decides to bring it’s self to the surface… hello addiction! This asshole really likes to show me some pretty rude scenario’s, like rude! For instance, me having a time with all kinds of liquor mainly lots and lots of shots just not Jameson(insert dry heave)oh and don’t forget the cigs, I’m chain smoking like a savage in these movie trailers playing in my head. During the trailer in my head, then comes the feeling of not deserving good things and really sinking back into the thought process of “I don’t deserve happiness” or “this must be karma” which is just a crock of shit. I do deserve good and know I’m a good person, its just part of the self sabotage/addiction cycle. It’s beyond fucking WILD!! In all honesty, I see how easy it is for people to relapse. Life is hard and you never know what each day is going to throw at you. Addiction is strong, evil and has a way of making you feel like its right to use… it’s seductive.

So, for a few hours of this particular day this is what my thoughts are consumed with but it always makes me feel dirty, like its not right. I’m happy it does make me feel this way because I know that drinking/using wont solve anything. Why?? Cause the pain will still be there tomorrow. I would only be escaping reality for those few hours and is it worth it??? NO!! I’ve come to the point in my recovery and life I have way to much to loose if I drank then gain if I did. Know matter how much therapy, AA, NA, self help and support groups you attend or complete the “addiction” doesn’t leave you, its a disease and will always be apart of you. I’m only speaking from my 4 years and 3 months of sobriety that the addiction just becomes silent and remains still. Life will continue to throw me curveballs but its up to me to keep the fight going and know that DRINKING IS NOT WORTH IT! My way to grieve this loss each month now is eating some really bad food, wearing fat pants, having a good cry and watching Steel Magnolias. Still gets me every time M’Lynn is trying to make Shelby open her eyes while she is laying in the hospital in a coma. I choose to wake up the following day and continue on with life in a positive mindset and know in my heart that one day we will be parents, how we get there that is uncertain but that is life. I choose self love and not self hate.

I’m beyond blessed with all I have now and lucky to have such an amazing, supportive stud of a husband and the best cat in all the land. We will keep our heads held high and keep on truckin at expanding our family. As always we will take our journey one day at a time!!

Always,

CMA