Emily is a mom of two kiddos, ages 11 and 8, and a 10 year old golden retriever. She is the wife wife of one incredibly patient and loyal husband and the daughter of an alcoholic who is the daughter of two alcoholics, one of whom took his own life and the other who got sober. Emily loves to write and launched her Quit Wining blog in 2014.
1)Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
My rock bottom was a slow demise. It began at a client event in March 2014. Just before checking into my hotel room to change into my dress, I located a package store and bought a six pack of Sam Adams lager. While I primped and perfected my appearance, I downed four beers. Then, I strolled across the parking lot to the event. I have absolutely no idea how much cheap red wine I drank. I can’t even recall whether or not it was open bar or if I was buying the drinks. I had a glass in my hand all night – even taking it with me, spilling like crazy, each time I went to the ladies room. I had conversations I don’t remember. I couldn’t put two words together and when I did my speech was terribly slurred. I was interviewed for a video documentary and was astonished weeks later (when I received a link to the finished product) that there was actually a decent clip of me that made the final cut. To this day, I shudder when I think about all the unusable footage of me. Long story short, I went out with a crew after the event and drank more beer and smoked a few cigarettes. I’m not a smoker. In the morning, I felt like complete garbage, had awful shakes, and promptly downed one of the remaining Sam Adams before my client picked me up for breakfast. The other beer I saved to drink before my four hour drive home. About a week or so later, I placed a call to a wellness coach I had worked with years ago. It was my cry for help. A couple of weeks later, after continuing to drink to excess daily, I had my first session with her. It was another several weeks of off again, on again drinking before I managed to stop completely.
2)What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
I remember that my first 30 days of recovery were tough, so difficult. I yelled at my kids and my husband a lot. I cried, and I am not a person who cries. I kept wondering how long I had to stop before I could start again. There was a huge part of me that thought I wouldn’t have to give up alcohol completely, just take a good long break and then begin to drink with control. During my first 30 days, my dad was hospitalized. Waiting for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with him so they could start helping him get better was a nightmare. At the same time, I began a two-week cleanse/detox to help kick start my path to healthier eating. I actually think that helped the alcohol cravings. The weather was getting warmer, so I wanted cold beers when we sat around the fire pit on weekend evenings. But, honestly, I don’t remember it being that huge a struggle not to drink. Perhaps I have blocked it out.
3)What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?
Since getting sober, I have discovered experienced clarity on a daily basis. Yes, there are still times I am completely frazzled, but I can now focus and prioritize and manage the overwhelming feelings that from time to time flood in when I try to wear my mommy, wife, business owner, and sobriety hats all at once. I remember more. I smile and laugh with my kids more. I accomplish more in one day than I ever thought possible. I have rediscovered a love of reading. I am more present in my own life and the lives of those I love. I’ve recommitted myself to honest and authentic living, leading by example. I’ve grown my business with quality clients. And, I’ve made time for a healthy kind of self care.
4)If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?
If I came face to face with my former drinking self, I would tell her she’s an idiot, that she’s throwing away her life, screwing up her kids, and stands to lose her business. I would tell her life can be so much more, so much easier and fulfilling without booze, and that nothing is truly as scary as it seems. I would tell her how great it feels to wake up clear headed every morning, sleep soundly every night, and how freeing it is to not have to plan every waking moment around getting and hiding a high. I would tell her people don’t care if you have something else in your wine glass, just as long as you show up for the party. I would tell her she is plenty creative and funny without the liquid courage and that the emotions she’s afraid to feel aren’t as bad as she imagines.
5)What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
Since getting sober, I have learned that I have even more value than I suspected I did. I wanted others to value me and tried to prove my worth, but it wasn’t until I started showing up for myself that I began to feel others’ confidence and trust in me. I have learned that the things we deserve most don’t always require hard work.
6)Tell me about something wonderful that happened to you recently that never would have happened if you had been drinking.
Had I not quit drinking, I never would have started my blog and its presence on social media. The wonderful thing that has started to happen as a result of that work is the opportunity to connect with others who are thinking about getting sober, struggling to stay sober, and celebrating years of sobriety. I’ve found a community I didn’t know existed and a place where I can share my story both as a creative and therapeutic activity for me during recovery and as a source of support for others with whom my story resonates.
7) What are your favorite recovery slogans? One day at a time. The longer I’m sober, the drunker I was. Sobriety is a journey, not a destination.
8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’ Very simply, recovery rocks because it has given me clarity, focus, and a whole new view of what life can be. Recovery makes me want to live. Every. Single. Day