Day 3, Day 4, and now Day 5

I was wonderfully overwhelmed with the response I got from starting this blog. The words of encouragement and love from friends, family, and even some strangers have really, REALLY helped me through the first few days.

I read somewhere that the first four days are the hardest when kicking an old habit or starting a new one. It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I just keep going back to all of the messages I’ve received and it gives me a boost of much needed strength.

I can’t say thank you enough!

Day 4 was the hardest thus far.

For the first three days, my mom was in town, which made the transition into sobriety surprisingly easy. Not only was I distracted with fun, family outings, but I also had someone watching me 24/7. Not just someone, my mother; which, if you know my mother, you know it means I couldn’t have slipped up even if I really, really wanted to (which I didn’t).

Day 4 I found myself awake too early with not a whole lot to do. And that scared me.

One of my biggest fears, with all of this, is getting bored. Doctors and health nuts and Oprah talk a lot about people who eat out of boredom. I’m sure you’ve heard it before too; people who say they are always hungry, when really they just don’t have anything else to do, so they eat. Well, that’s how I am with alcohol. When I’m bored or don’t have anything on the calendar, I drink.

The weekends were always the heaviest drinking days because I had more idle time on my hands. I became a master at losing the better half of a Sunday in bottomless mimosas and American Spirits.

So what did I do instead this Sunday?

I went for a run. I OCD-cleaned my apartment (even the ceiling fans). I took Warner for a long walk. I taught myself how to make sautéed scallops and wild mushrooms. I went to church. I invested in a pound of red licorice. I watched the news. I went to bed at 10pm.

I’d be omitting some truth if I didn’t add “reminisced about the good ol’ weekends” on the list.

Sure, I missed drinking and cleaning, drinking and cooking, drinking and running (just kidding on that last one), but I finally started feeling present in my moments again and that feeling gave me butterflies.

When I went running, instead of focusing on how much my lungs hurt; I focused on how amazing LA’s skyline looked from the top of the mountain.

When I was cleaning, I didn’t forget where I put the Swiffer or accidentally leave some dust on the top shelf.

When I took Warner for a walk, we took our time, we (literally) stopped and smelled the roses.

When I was cooking, I taste-tested everything, and could actually taste it.

When I was in church, I could feel the worship in my toes and I thanked God for putting this challenge on my heart (I’ll touch more on that experience in a later post).

When I went to sleep, I knew I would wake up refreshed and inspired for another sober day.

Yesterday was definitely the hardest day thus far, but it was so rewarding. I was reminded, in a lot of little ways, why I accepted this challenge and how willing and able I am to complete it.


Author’s Note: The title of my very first post is not a typo. I’m on Day 2. This blog and I are a work in progress. I promise my timely blogging will begin progressing soon.

Backstory:  I’ve been in LA for 8 years. I moved out here to be a movie star. I was young and naïve and dreamy, and never had a pessimistic guidance counselor to explain that choosing to be an actor meant choosing to be an unstable, creative, hot mess. It means getting fired a lot, from a lot of different day jobs, waiting tables at three different restaurants four days a week, using your sick days to go on auditions and spending more time on the 405, stuck in traffic, than in the actual casting office. It means being in your late 20’s and still having to occasionally ask your parents for a little help with rent.

It also means the highlight of your day is coming home to a $4 bottle of wine, or two, and some friendly neighbors, who you spend hours swapping war stories with.  Ay, there’s the rub.

To be blunt: I’ve been drinking a lot lately.

At first, I thought, it’s just a social thing. I live in a great apartment and love my neighbors, so we spend a lot of time sitting around a table with drinks. I figured, if they weren’t around, I wouldn’t drink this much.

But, then there were times when they’d be on vacation or working late, and I’d still find myself in the Ralph’s checkout line holding a bottle of chilled Sauv. Blanc and asking for a pack of Marlboro Lights.

Ok. So it’s not just a social thing. I enjoy it. That’s fine. A lot of adults like to drink after a stressful day. It’s normal, right?

That’s the question I started asking myself. Is this normal?

After a lot of soul-searching and prayer and talking to loved ones and talking to myself, I realized, that it isn’t MY normal.

When I think about how I’ve been spending my time, I can see my 8 year-old self, hitting her head against the wall over and over and over again.

I have big dreams and high expectations, and lately, when I feel those dreams are still unreachable or my expectations aren’t being met, I drink about it, and to me, that doesn’t seem like the right way to do life.

SO… I’ve decided to do something drastic…

365 days of sobriety.

Starting now. (Well, technically I started yesterday. I’m a tardy blogger, remember).

Yes, this means:

No drinking. No smoking. No drugs. (Although the drugs part will be easy. I get sea sick in a bathtub, so don’t even get me started on what I think a handful of mushrooms would do to my vestibular system).

I hope by the end of this year, my 8 year-old self will want to give me a high five.