It’s Friday, and there’s no rush

I’m sitting here at my massage therapy practice, having just finished up for the week, and I am struck with such a wicked feeling. I’m calm, grounded and I have zero sense of urgency. Urgency about what, you might be wondering…

I remember times, even as a teenager getting off work on Friday evening at the bakery, when I felt almost frantic about “getting alcohol.”

Whether it was finding someone who could buy it for me and my friends, or I was old enough and just felt super rushed and anxious about figuring out where and what I’d be drinking within a few hours of getting off work, it was a TO-DO that was top of the priority list. Actually it was my only priority. I was just itching to get the weekend going, which meant get drunk. It really pisses me off that there were literally no other things that I was excited to do. Fuck. But that’s a whole other can of worms for another post..or many.

There’s a quote from a book called Parched by Heather King that Belle introduced me to:

drinking is never actually fun, but it always feels like you are about to have funĀ in 15 minutes.

I think my panic about figuring out ASAP what do drink, how to get it, and where to drink it and who with, came from this concept. The sense of panic never really went away. I remember it at parties, jumping from one conversation to the next or one room to the other like a bumble bee, because it was never actually that fun…but that sense of it being ABOUT to be fun was there the whole time. Anyways.

Now, I sit here with no need to get out of here as fast as I can…clearly, since I’m sitting here blogging. The point is that not letting alcohol have that weird hold on me is awesome. It’s been a long time since I felt that power over me and it’s really liberating to be free of it!!!!

Does it have that hold on you? Or did it in the past? Can you relate to this?

Have an awesome weekend!!!

It’s Monday, I’m cool with it

I just thought of one of my most HATED memories of the drinking days. Not a specific memory but more of a trend. Mondays. Specifically, Monday mornings.

Whether the hangover was from “Sunday funday” (eye roll) or still lurking from Saturday, Mondays SUCKED. Anxiety. Disorganization. House a disaster. No clean laundry. No groceries. Nothing to bring for lunch.

Mondays had such a bad rap in my former life, and I feel like they do in our world in general. What’s funny though, is that when one is ready for the start of the week, it fucking RULES.

Those annoying sayings out there like “never miss a Monday” or “Monday motivation“, etc, aren’t annoying any more when you’re feeling good and ready to get after it. So I guess what I am saying is…sorry that I used to hate you, Monday.

Mondays are like New Year’s Day, every week. I hope your day (and week!) kicks ass.

Jamie

the SMELL of sobriety! LOL

OKAY so I was at my friend’s boutique yesterday and she has a great selection of fancy candles. The saleswoman (another fabulous friend of mine) says, “smell the Yuzu + Birch, it’s my favourite!

So I pick up this heavy, swanky candle and take a long smell…my eyes went big and I said to her “THIS IS WHAT SOBRIETY SMELLS LIKE!

Yes. It has a smell. Fresh, natural, happy. Like forest and beach and wood and wind and bike riding and coffee. Okay it just smells awesome. Like freedom and happiness in general.

Scent can be a powerful trigger of emotions and memories – I don’t know what exactly I was associating the smell of that candle with but it was ALL good feelings. This is just another experience that shows me that the lifestyle upgrade that I consider a sober lifestyle to be, doesn’t get old. Even 1886 days in!

Happy Hump Day!

Sober Life is like a Mary Oliver quote

I’ve been more committed to practicing gratitude lately and I base it around one general concept to get me started. I’ll try to explain.

So back in the day whenever I had anything from a severe hangover to just the tail-end of mild hanxiety, I would emotionally assault myself about why I, AGAIN, was feeling like dog shit and wishing that I hadn’t gotten drunk. During this process I’d have this vision, or daydream maybe you could call it, of what it would be like to be a person who could say truthfully and confidently out loud “I don’t drink.” It felt like being in fresh air, or being in the forest in the Fall, alone, something like that. It felt exactly like a freaking Mary Oliver quote and gave me butterflies but also made me sad because I couldn’t avoid getting drunk long enough to make my life like that. It was just a wish.

I thought about it all the time, probably daily, and it came in two versions. The first was kind of a combination of the feelings that can come up when seeing someone’s “perfect” life (i.e. highlight reel) on Instagram, mixed with seeing a woman in a cute outfit who’s out for a morning run looking happy and peaceful while I was on the bus to UBC trying not to vomit or have an anxiety attack. This version is based on wanting what we don’t have.

The second version was more like what I first described, the Mary Oliver quotes! This version is based on knowing what we want and knowing it’s possible, somehow, but still feels really far off…

So, back to the gratitude practice. I remind myself that everything I wanted back then, I HAVE IT. Fresh air. Rainy runs. Trails. Morning coffee without nausea. A sense of being grounded that I can tap into if I decide, even on days that are overwhelming or stressful. All I have to do is think about the fact that as long as I pay attention, life now feels like Mary Oliver quotes most of the time, and it’s fucking awesome.

What do you have now that you always wished for? Happy Sunday xo

Jamie

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“How to Quit Drinking”

How to Quit Drinking.” – an instruction manual I searched for off and on for close to ten years.

This of course was after searching for a few other things (also over and over again) that by now I’ve learned are super common for many people to poke into a search engine. Things like:

“help with drinking, not AA”

“how do you know if you’re an alcoholic?”

“is there a spectrum of alcoholism?”

“how do you know if you drink too much?”

“how do you know if you should quit drinking?”

“how to cure a hangover”

I wanted someone who: 1. was around my age, 2. had a similar history/patterns of unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-sabotage (though I don’t think I could have identified it this way at the time), and 3. had SUCCEEDED and didn’t hate their life, TO TELL ME HOW TO DO IT.

My questions for this imaginary person or instruction manual I couldn’t seem to find were along the lines of:

  • how do I quit drinking when it’s the only thing I really do?
  • how do I quit drinking when every person I know drinks?
  • how could I possibly function in this society? I’ll be an outcast
  • who will I hang out with if I quit drinking?

And, the question for ME that swirled around my head in various forms, but I never directly asked myself..

How can I ever live the life I want if my beiefs and behaviour don’t change?

Fast-forward to 2021. With the help of many others, I have become the instruction manual I used to search for. I took courses, implemented ALL I learned about confidence from Suzanne (self-awareness, facing fears, self-limiting beliefs, self-trust), read every book I could get my hands on, had a pen-pal, wrote a reflective blog, and finally got to know myself.

I can relate to you if you’re relating to this post, so reach out if you feel like it’s your time. I will help you embrace a sober lifestyle with confidence and pride so you can feel better, save money and have more time and energy!

xo Jamie

Good things are coming!

Wow okay I’m so excited about something ELSE ahah (always something, gotta stay excited!!!)

Today Suzanne and I decided to collaborate on a confidence & sobriety project!!! We have yet to establish exactly how it will materialize (virtual course, group program…) but the combination is going to help a lot of people, this I know.

Confidence is one of a few major components of my 5-Week Sober Lifestyle Coaching Program. I associate my successful sober lifestyle, as well as general love of life, with all of the work I have accomplished with Suzanne’s guidance since 2011.

If you have worked with Suzanne, read my blogs or testimonials about her life-changing confidence coaching, or are just feeling curious about her after reading the post I linked above, I want you to stay tuned about our collaboration.

Good things are always coming. Say it with me, “good things are always coming my way!

Especially in these weird COVID’y times, I think it’s critical to stay excited and inspired – if you need a hand with any of that, please let me know

xo

Jamie

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