Category Archives: Alcoholism

She Recovers Day 3 – and when I ugly-cried in front of 500 women

Marianne Williamson and me at She Recovers

Marianne Williamson and me at She Recovers


We have all been to a meeting, an event, to see an acclaimed speaker, and felt that they spoke only to you. That their words were already written on our souls, they just had to call them forth.
That’s what happened to me when I heard Marianne Williamson speak at She Recovers.

This wasn’t why I came. I came because I had the incredible honor of being invited onto the sober blogger team. I came to serve. I had no idea there was so much here that I needed. But my soul knew.

Marianne is the spiritual teacher I had been waiting for, for a long time. A Course in Miracles is my spiritual truth. This is the second time I had heard her and she delivers such a powerful and important message. I love how politically engaged she is. The personal is political, Marianne made that very clear. What we are doing to our planet, how women and children’s voices are silenced. She spoke to me today.

As I wrote yesterday, the theme of this whole event has been about ‘pain.’ Her quote ‘Let me not squander the hour of my pain’ pierced my soul.
I am in pain, but the enormity of it frightened me so much I have been holding it at bay. She Recovers showed me I could no longer do that.
I am a warrior. I have felt deep dark emotional pain before and I can get through anything. Anything. You can throw anything at me and I will get through it. I have done before. But just don’t throw it at my child, ok? Because that is a level of pain I am not prepared for. But it is here and it is mine. And. I. Will. Not. Squander. It.

Because Marianne spoke so passionately about the planet and the political situation we are currently in I wanted to ask her if she was going to run for Congress again. Like many of us, I have felt despair at our current political situation and I want a leader I can believe in.
I wasn’t expecting to full on ugly cry in front of y’all. I wasn’t expecting 500 women to surround me with unconditional love. I wasn’t expecting Marianne Williamson to lead the room in prayer for Luke’s healing from lead poisoning*.
I just wasn’t expecting that.
But my soul thanks you, for grace you extended to me.

This weekend has given me so much to think about. It has deepened my connections with you all. Every time I see you, I love you more. We are all in these incredible process’s, but what matters is we are all in it together.

I am still digesting what was said and how I feel. I know there is so much growth that will come from this. But for right now, I’m treasuring that Marianne Williamson came and said exactly what I needed to hear.

My son Luke. He likes mud.

My son Luke. He likes mud.

*If you are interested in learning more about lead poisoning in young children then please check out my friend Tamara Rubin’s website. Tamara is a mom whose children were lead poisoned by the house they were living in. She has since become an ‘unexpected lead expert’ and activist. She has worked tirelessly to help families and raise awareness of the situation and has been a great support to me. Her movie ‘Mislead’ is coming out soon and you can watch the trailer below.


She also has a ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign where she is raising money to buy an XRF machine (the best way to test any object for lead) so she can help more families. If you are able to support her in any way I would be very grateful.

#SheRecoversNYC – Day 1

I have no words.

Sober blogger meet and great

Sober blogger meet and great


She Recovers was so much more than I expected. The minute I walked through the door I connected with amazing sober women. Sober Julie and I had a magical moment, then Kelly Fitzgerald the Sober Señorita arrived and I adore her. And was sat next to Jean from Unpickled and The Bubble Hour and she is the loveliest women you could ever meet. And so it went on. This coming together of amazing women in recovery.
The desire to be better, to be connected, as Dawn from She Recovers says ‘We are stronger together.’

Yes we are.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better Glennon Doyle Melton just blew us all out of the water with her stories and her sass. She made us laugh and she made us cry but most of all she was real. Real stories of what it’s like to be a warrior in recovery. She rocked it.

My arm involuntarily shot up to ask a question at the end. That wasn’t my intention. But I wanted to ask another mother in recovery what it was like to face fear around your child. And the love and support just poured out.

The weekend has only just begun…….

Thank you everyone.

Me and The Sober Señorita

Me and The Sober Señorita

Me (left) Jean from Unpickled (far right)

Me (left) Jean from Unpickled (far right)

Sobriety – what I’ve learned so far….

Image courtesy of Prakairoj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Prakairoj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


On May 2nd 2017 I celebrate 17 years of continuous sobriety. This did not come easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I made some big mistakes along the way. But through these mistakes I learnt some vital lessons that have helped me stay sober and become the best version of myself that I’m capable of being.
Long term recovery means you never stop learning and growing. Here are the things that have helped me learn and grow the most….

1. Just when you think you’ve nailed it…..
More than once I’ve thought ‘I’ve got this!’ ‘I know everything there is to know about recovery and addiction’, ‘I’ve dealt with all my issues…. I don’t really need to do anymore work on myself’. Yep, that usually happens right before I fall flat on my arse.

2. The growth never stops…
Ever. I mean, like never, ever stops. It smooth’s out a lot, things are definitely less bumpy. But there is always more to know and if you think you know, all there is to know, then see above.

3. We teach other people how to treat us.
My behavior will instruct you on whether to walk all over me, abuse me or hurt me. Instead, I can teach you how to treat me, with the boundaries I protect and by saying what I mean.

4. Say what you mean, mean what you say…
People do not need to hear me waffling on about my story, they do not need excuses, they generally just need a truthful ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ my life became so much similar and calmer when I learnt how to do this.

5. I have to take responsibility for the experience I want to have.
By practicing the above I become responsible for the experience I am having right now. If events or circumstances are out of my control then I always get to choose my response. Therefore, I am responsible for my experience, in all circumstances, without fail.

6. If you don’t do the work, the shine will go off your recovery.
Being sober is just not enough. I need more than that. If I don’t put the work in, then I may stay sober, but I’ll stop feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’ll drift back to being discontent and fearful. Which means I have to keep being accountable and looking and reflecting on my behavior.

7. Give it away to keep it.
When my life came together in sobriety and my career and personal life went well I forgot to work with newcomers. Don’t do that. Giving of yourself is actually what fills your tanks.

8. Does it always need to be said and does it need to be said by you?
Not usually, I have discovered. Only give your opinion if explicitly asked, trust me, it saves a lot of time and trouble.

9. Exercise
Out of everything I have just told you, this is the most important one. Seriously, the benefits of exercising on your emotional well-being outweigh everything else you can possibly do.

10. Practice listening.
None of us listen well. Quiet the noise in your head and really focus on what people are saying. You will be amazed at what you hear.

11. It was never about you
OMG! The relief! It was never about me anyway. What YOU did or said, had bollocks all to do with my life. Everyone else is wrapped up in their own stuff too! Now I can stop worrying what other people think and get on with it!

12. Nothing is ever personal
See above. What other people do, say or think is always about them, not me. Even when it seems like it is, what other people do or say, always without fail, comes through the filters of their own experience, values and judgment. Therefore it is not personal to me but a simple expression of how they feel at that particular time. Took me a while to get that one.

13. The journey is joyous….
It was never the destination. We are always in a state of becoming the best version of ourselves. Uncovering who we really are is the point of it all. All I ever had to do was just keep moving.

14. Be still.
I am a human ‘being’ not a human ‘doing.’ Life is not an never-ending ‘To-do’ list. Sometimes it is in the stillness, or the quiet moments that we feel the most alive.

15. Love well
There was always much love here for me; I just refused to see it for a while. Always choose love, the chooses I have made in my life based on fear have never worked out. If I choose love, then things don’t always work out the way I want or planned but man, is the adventure a good one!

16. Friendships above all else.
At some point you will have cause to regret not making more effort to see your friends. We get busy, life gets in the way. But friendship is the soil your spirit needs to grow in. Good friends are hard to find, which is why treasuring the ones you have is more important that anything.

17. Ask for help
You will always need others to help you, friends (see above), or professionals. No matter how many years sober you have, life willthrough you a curve ball and it will be more than you can handle. Asking for help is skill that you can never forget. No matter how old you are.

Everyone needs a sister like Glennon


There are a ton of mommy-bloggers out there. Motherhood with all its joys and challenges is being documented by an army of fabulous, smart, kick ass women. And one of the most searingly honest, funniest and sassiest is Glennon Doyle Melton, a sober mommy-blogger. She coined the term ‘Momastry’ and set about building a community of imperfect and fabulous mothers who were all facing their own struggles.
She wrote a book ‘Carry on, warrior’ that detailed her own struggles and triumphs. I like Glennon for many reasons, she is very open about her recovery from addiction and eating disorders but the reason I love her is her attitude towards sisterhood. She believes it’s essential for women to be part of a sisterhood. And I agree with her.

Sisterhood is everything. It was a huge part of what was missing in my life when I was drinking. Sobriety has given me an amazing sisterhood.

In her new book ‘Love Warrior’ she details how just when she thought she had her life figured out her marriage was rocked by her husband’s infidelity. Glennon presents life as it is, imperfect, messy and real. And we need all of that. It’s exhausting pretending everything is perfect, because none of us are.
Glennon will be giving one of the keynotes as *SheRecovers next month. I am so excited to hear her. If you haven’t got tickets there are still digital tickets available here.

If you are going, be sure to let me know so we can say hi.

*In addition to the above you will also have access to:
– TWO yoga sessions with Taryn Strong and Elena Brower
– listen to a talk by She Recovers founder Dawn Nickel
– go behind the scenes with the Sober blogging team
– Spoken word performance by Elena Brower
– Musical performance by Elizabeth Edwards
– Speakers including Nikki Myers from Y12SR

And there’s more! You will have access to the content for 60 days after the event, the keynote speakers (Excluding Glennon Doyle Melton and Gabby Bernstein) will ONLY be available via the LIVESTREAM.

and finally…..you can take part in the She Recovers community online, chat with other She Recovers attendees and ask questions of the panelists and speakers.

All this for just $79 (if purchased by April 15th, $89 after). You can buy tickets for this exclusive event here: BUY MY TICKETS NOW!!!!

#ICan’tKeepQuiet

A friend of mine sent me this video. #ICantKeepQuiet by MILCK. The performer is survivor of sex abuse, anorexia and depression and channeled her feelings into music. The song is catching fire and has become an anthem to lots of people.
Great song AND a great message.

Ben Affleck: addiction superhero

car-superhero-symbol-batman
I have to confess I am not a Ben Affleck fan. I tend to avoid movies that have him in it. However, right now I am giving him a standing ovation.

You may have seen his brief, but poignant Facebook statement about his recent stay in rehab. In case you missed it, here it is:

“I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery”.

This may seem trivial, but what is amazing about his post, is how positive and how lacking in shame it is.

I’m so tired of the celebrity rock bottom/rehab/trite confession to Opera cycle. Addiction is a medical issue, a disease of the brain and a mental health problem. It is not a moral issue and we really need to stop treating it like one. This is not unlike other celebrities issuing statements to let people know have sought treatment for Lupus/breast cancer/Diabetes. But when it comes to addiction, celebrities are usually hounded and shamed into admitting they have an alcohol/drug problem. This has not been helpful to ordinary people who suffer from the same illness. Shame stops people seeking treatment when they need it. Hiding our disease in the myth of anonymity/secrecy keeps everyone sick. His honesty, straightforwardness and lack of shame, gives everyone else permission to do the same.
Ben Affleck has treated addiction like the disease it is, may others follow.

‘Good people don’t smoke pot.’

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m worried about the new administration. I don’t want to start a political slanging match, god knows Facebook has enough of those. But I am particularly concerned about the new Attorney General’s attitude towards everything drugs.

Facing addiction?
When we all attended the ‘Unite to Face Addiction’ rally back in October 2015 I really felt we were turning a corner and finally, finally we were at the dawn of a new attitude and direction for treating and discussing addiction. For decades, we have been stuck in the belief system that addiction, alcoholism and any kind of substance misuse is down to some kind of moral failing of the user. Surprisingly, this attitude has been also perpetuated by the recovery community, in their one-size-fits all, attitude to recovery and the mistaken belief that anonymity = secrecy. Which therefore, lead people to believe we had something to be ashamed of.
We don’t, of course. The first ever Surgeon General’s report into addiction states: ‘Addiction is a disease of the brain, not a character flaw.’
The report itself is ground breaking and long overdue. We hope it can do for addiction what the surgeon general’s report did for smoking fifty years ago. That we can start investing in research-driven prevention and treatment programs. This is a public health crisis, not a criminal one.

Opiate crisis
I keep reading about the opiate addiction and overdose crisis but I do not see anything substantial being done to combat it. There have been a few initiatives in different areas but no cohesive nation wide strategy.
Let me remind you, that many of the kids who are dying of opiate overdoses became addicted through sports injuries. You may think this won’t happen to you, but no family is immune.
It really felt like we were beginning to get somewhere and then we have this. Our new attorney general who is, quiet possibly, the only American left who thought the 1980’s ‘Just say no’ campaign was a good thing.

His beliefs about marijuana will tell you everything you need to know about what we can expect, ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana.’

*facepalm*

I am, therefore, not a ‘good’ person as defined by Jeff Sessions, I must confess I have smoked marijuana. You may know people who currently smoke marijuana and now you can put them in the ‘not good people’ bin. Because eventually, that’s where Sessions will put them, except his ‘bin’ is called, for-profit, *Ka-ching* prison’s.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


For-profit prisons need a supply of inmates. The purpose of for-profit companies is to, ahem, increase their profits. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Perpetuating the faulty, no-basis in science, stuck in the 1980’s, belief that good people don’t use drugs is a catastrophe for anyone with an interest, or a loved one affected by addiction.

Resist.

Choosing to live your truth

Image courtesy of sritangphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sritangphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


The most profound thing that happened to me when I first got sober was the discovery that I hadn’t been ‘living my truth’. I realised that each of us has a ‘truth’ deep inside us. It is the essence of who we are. It determines the choices we make and how we express ourselves. To my horror I realised I had become a ‘fake’ person. I made choices based on other people’s approval, not my own. I expressed opinions I thought other people would want to hear, regardless of whether I believed them or not. I had lost my path. I saw how this was tied into my drinking, how alcohol numbed the understanding of what I was doing (because deep down I knew). So I saw for the first time that I had to begin to be true to myself if I wanted to overcome drinking.


Living your truth is hard.

Not living your truth is harder.
Make your choice.
Only one of these choices leads to completeness, peace and joy, to freedom, whilst the other leads to darkness and despair.
I realised I had a choice in how I lived. Up until then I had no idea that I had a choice or could control the direction of my life, but I saw that every time I chose to do or say something that was incongruent with who I was, then I was choosing not to live my truth.
I had lost myself.
Who I had become was not my truth.
That’s why I hurt so much.
That’s why I had to anaesthetise the hurt.
That’s why I drank.

The emperor who wore no clothes
I was the emperor with no clothes, pretending that I wasn’t naked, surrounded by people who colluded in my self-deception. Everything was superficial and false.
I didn’t know how to communicate with anyone; I had never learnt about my ‘inside world’ and how much this mattered, how much it impacted on my outside world.
Nobody had ever told me about how to deal with my feelings, how to be true to myself, how to act with integrity. It’s only after years of personal development and seeking answers that I have finally found what I have been looking for: that my external world is a reflection of my internal world; if I take care of that, then everything else will be OK.
This is the world’s best kept secret.
Just think how different our lives would be if we were all true to ourselves. If we didn’t feel ashamed, embarrassed or confused about how we felt. Imagine what it would be like if we were all so much more authentic.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a parable that teaches children that pride comes before a fall. Pride is bound up with what we think other people think about us. It trips us up when we place an emphasis on being happy through influencing and manipulating other people’s opinion of us. If we get trapped in this illusion then we become victims of self-delusion, like the emperor.

Alcohol steals our authenticity
There’s something about alcohol abuse that steals our authenticity, that erodes our integrity and keeps us hypnotised by all the promises it fails to deliver. It promises us joy, companionship, connection, love, popularity, fun, excitement, but when we receive those much sought after gifts they are hollow, without worth, an empty promise, an illusion created by our own longing for it to be so.
Like the emperor’s new clothes, it’s a trick, a falsehood, a lie that we are all willingly buying into again and again, because it’s not the fine clothes or alcohol that we actually seek, it’s the feelings we think they will bring us.
It’s the feelings we are chasing. We want to change how we feel.

This is an exclusive extract from my book ‘Why you drink and How to stop: journey to freedom.’
2013 How to Stop thumbnail 130x160
Available on Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

The beauty of failure in learning to succeed

Adobe stock

Adobe stock


by Rose Lockinger
Most of my life I was afraid of failure. I suffered from the belief that I had to be perfect at everything I did and anything less then perfection was unacceptable. This caused me to go around in my life with unrealistic expectations for the way things should go. I would weigh out every step I took in life with a seriousness that did nothing but hinder my progress and paralyze my ability to move forward and grow. I realized quickly in sobriety that part of learning to live life meant that I was bound to make bad decisions, however those decision did not determine my future rather they were experiments in learning.

The interesting thing about this is that living my life in this manner all but ensured that I would fail. By having to be perfect I would often times not try something because I was afraid that I couldn’t do it, or couldn’t be the best at it and by doing so I failed before I even started. I would put mental roadblocks in my way that I felt would keep me safe, but in reality they just kept me down and kept me living in fear.

This is something that I have heard discussed by many alcoholics and addicts in my time in sobriety— how their lives were a dichotomy of perfection and failure. How the fear that they would fail kept them from truly living and truly succeeding and how once they got sober they had to learn to deal with this.

When I first came into the rooms of recovery of I felt like a complete failure. For all of my attempts to control the outcomes of my life and live in a way that would result in my experiencing the least amount of resistance, I still felt like a total and utter failure.

My marriage had come to an end. I had used drugs and alcohol to the point where I now needed treatment, and my ability to be a mother to my children was painfully lacking. And so I entered into recovery thinking that my biggest fear, being a failure, had been realized.

To a certain extent I was afraid that this feeling was going to follow me for the rest of my life. That because I had “failed” I was bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and that there was no way that I could escape what I believed to be my own inadequacies as a human being.

This however, if you haven’t already been able to tell, was completely unfounded and it was nothing but my mind and my disease attempting to keep me down. Every day of my early recovery I struggled with this fear of failure. I struggled with feeling like a complete loser and I struggled with whether or not I was going to be able to overcome my problems. Part of me just wanted to give up, because at that point I didn’t think I was good enough and I didn’t think that I deserved a better life.

Luckily, though I didn’t give up. I pushed on and in doing so I learned one of the most important lessons I have discovered in my life: that failure is never the end of the story but is rather the beginning. That all of the messy feelings and pain that failure brings up for me allows me to learn life lessons about myself that I couldn’t have learned otherwise. In a sense, even though I had been afraid of failure my entire life, it became one of my greatest teachers and one of my greatest accomplishments.

That last part might sound be a bit strange, but it is true. If I wouldn’t have used drugs and alcohol to the point where I completely destroyed my life I don’t think that I would be sitting here typing this out at this very moment. I would not have been introduced to God in the manner that I was and I would not have taken to a life of sobriety in the way that I have. I probably would still be out there somewhere, totally lost and afraid to admit it to anyone. I would probably have just wandered through life unaware that there was a better way.

Getting sober wasn’t the only time that failure has been my teacher, or has been a new beginning for me though. I have noticed many times throughout my sobriety that what I deemed to be a failure was often times a blessing in disguise. That often times having failed, lead me to something entirely new, whether it be a greater understanding of how my mind works, or a deeper appreciation for the things I have, but each failure has been a lesson that I needed to learn, and truthfully I probably couldn’t have learned those lessons any other way.

I have also noticed that my failures have in many cases turned into my greatest assets. For instance I was never really able to be honest in the past. I seemed to have an almost pathological need to not tell the truth and as you can probably guess this caused a tremendous amount of trouble in my life. But as my lies piled up on top of each other and eventually led to my undoing, I learned a valuable lessons from this, and today, while I am not 100% honest, I am able to share honestly with other about what is going on with me and I do my best to tell the truth.

So while I am not completely free from my fear of failure and sometimes I still get paralyzed thinking that I am going to choose the wrong path or do the wrong thing and everything is going to come tumbling down, I at least understand that there is nothing in life that I can’t learn from, or can’t come back from. I sunk lower in my addiction than most normal people ever go and yet today I am not a broken woman. My addiction didn’t totally ruin me and since that is the case, I know that no failure is too large for me to overcome, and no lesson to large for me to learn.

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger


Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

Caitlin Moran blocked me on Twitter and I’m kinda devastated.

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It’s true. She blocked me.

She was one of my ‘go to’ people when anything interesting happened, because she always writes so succinctly and is piercingly honest. Initially, I thought she was taking a Twitter break as I couldn’t see her tweets on Tweetdeck. Then to my horror, I realized she had actually blocked me. She had actually taken a nano-second out of her day to press the button that said ‘block user’.

I’m devastated that she imagines me to be some kind of troll who is sending her abusive messages (which as a kick ass feminist I imagine she gets a lot off). I’m heart broken that she thinks I’m one of them. And I’d like to apologize to her, as the last thing I wanted to do was cause offense.
It’s the first time social media has managed to dent my self-esteem. I assume it’s because she either read this, or saw one of my tweets, that I tweeted at her, imploring her to read this. I’m not a great writer and Moran does this for a living, but I tried really hard to balance how much I admired and respected her, with an attempt to initiate a conversation about how much binge drinking is normalized, and laughed about in our culture. I was suggesting she maybe mentioned this a bit too much, and could perhaps have a think about the impact of what she was saying. Obviously I came off as smug, patronizing and judgmental, and trust me, my 16 year old self is looking on in horror. How did I become this kind of grown up?

Because that isn’t what I set out to do. In truth, it is not binge drinking that I actually have a problem with. Adults need to make their own decisions, and many of us choose to do stuff that we know is bad for us, regardless. My issue has always been the rhetoric around binge drinking. The normalization of abnormal drinking. The jokey, jokey, references to hangovers and laughing about drinking quantities of alcohol that would kill a normal person.

It’s the subtext that says ‘alcohol is the solution to whatever problem you have.’

Stressed? I’ve got a bottle of gin here – that’ll sought it.
Bored housewife? Then it must be wine-o-clock, ‘wink, wink.’
Had a tough day? Nothing like a drink or two or three to sort that right out.
This is the language I’d like to challenge and I was hoping Ms. Moran would hear me on that.
But clearly I failed.

And I’m still not clear on how to address this. I do not want to be the fun police, I do not want to judge other people’s drinking, it’s really none of my business. I do not want to be a party pooper, or abstinence promoter (don’t believe in it).
What I do want to do is challenge how it’s represented in my culture. Because I believe our cultural representations of alcohol use are grossly incorrect, dangerous and actually camouflage’s our massive denial about the impact alcohol has. And it’s this collective denial that’s stopping people getting help.
We still culturally represent alcohol abuse as a bit of harmless fun. And it’s not harmless. It causes massive harm, to many people.
I’m not denying that drinking can be fun and can help with some unforgettable moments with friends. I’m also fully supportive of appropriate alcohol use. And even though I do have a problem with alcohol, not all my nights drinking were terrible, some were awesome.

If you have any suggestions how we can begin to change the conversation around drinking in a non-smug, non judgmental, non-twitter-blocking-by-celebrities-we-really-admire method. I would be very grateful to hear it. And if you happen to know Caitlin Moran, please tell her I’m sorry.