Moving On and So It Goes (audio 72 / day 286)

Moving on is a very weird thing. Even if you have longed for it in one way or another for what feels like an eternity, when the time comes and you are really sure you are sure – there’s something in you that’s still not totally sure. It’s like 100% is just maybe not a real thing in any decision or situation in a human life. There’s always a teeny bit of your inner workings – your heart, your mind, your nervous system – that’s afraid, or hesitant, or resistant, or holding on tooth and nail in some kind of desperate last ditch effort to keep you from heading on out the door. Even if that is exactly what it’s time to do. And not look back.

It so happens I find myself in such a place right now as I make plans for the next phase of my life. My writing life. My work life. My sober life. My life life where all of the things that once felt so disjointed are finally starting to come together under the same umbrella that is me. The biggest driving force behind my sobriety has ultimately been my deep desire for integration of myself. Alignment of my values on the inside – my intentions, beliefs, world views – with my actions on the outside.

But just as there is no such thing as duality, there is no such thing as being in the new life and out of the old life with just the snap of a finger, or a change of address, as it were. Transitions take time. There is liminal space between what is dead and gone, and what is coming soon. I am in liminal space now, in every conceivable sense of that idea. A very big season of my life is over, never to return. Hiding inside of an alcohol addiction is a long and painful chapter which has mercifully come to a close. Hallelujah and praise fucking be.

To stop abusing of myself (it isn’t substance abuse, do you see what I mean there? you can’t hurt the wine, the wine hurts you) means not only to stop drinking but also to stop hiding who I am at my center, at my core, as it becomes clearer and clearer to me. And while removing the wine from my home was one thing, a tangible visible thing, what I am left with now to manage are the murkier realities, traumas, and disordered thoughts, which are all but invisible to the outside world. People can see that I am sipping Pellegrino now instead of (… god fuck, even to write these words causes a sick taste to slick the back of my throat) Sauvignon Blanc, but what they cannot see is what’s going on inside my mind as I take in my surroundings at a party or concert or picnic. While I’m thrilled to bits to enter holiday season entirely hangover free, I’m also so nervous my heart is right now racing in my chest.

Liminal space. The storm is over but the river is still swollen, still muddy, still turbulent. It will be some time for all to settle into its new way of flow. We must first die fully and completely. No going from summer right to spring. First autumn. Then winter. Winter, winter, winter.

As I type this, a heavy rain begins to fall outside my writing room window. I am reminded of how many times my writing has evolved with me over the years. How many absolutely beautiful, kindred souls have stuck with me through all the changes. I’m so damn grateful. Let’s keep going. I’ll still be writing. It’ll be new and new, right now, for me, is a very very good thing.

You can follow my new writings on my new substack account at

I’ll see you there. I’ll see you so soon.

Authenticity Is Not What You Think It Is (audio 71 / day 284)

Panic clings to my chest first thing when I open my eyes in the pitch darkness of the very early morning. I’m completely safe and warm in my bed, as the waning gibbous moon shines her golden white light down on me through the open window. I make an attempt to calm myself to no avail. Worst still, I berate myself for being such a neurotic freak that I have already ruined a fine autumn morning with my anxious thoughts. Is it survival, all this dreadful worry? What’s it helping me to survive? And for fuck’s sake I’m two months shy of my forty-fourth birthday, haven’t I already proven I can survive? Is this just how it’s supposed to go until I die? My whole spirit sinks down through the frigid floorboards just to imagine that. What in the fuck are we doing any of this for?

It’s one thing to be entirely possessed of existential angst first thing in the morning when you are also fully participatory in an active addiction to alcohol, which was me all of last year and – well, all of the years before that. But this year – in the year 2022 – I have had zero drinks. I have been sober since January 1st. Haven’t fucked around, and found out sobriety is the center of my existence now. The center which has held, around which everything else swirls, and swirling indeed it is, swiftly, relentlessly, chaotically. It turns out that when you get sober after twenty years of drinking, your internal workings come to a screeching halt, you are operating in a way that now runs counterclockwise to the rest of the life you built around yourself whilst you were still ignorantly, hopelessly, merrily focused on your hellish addiction.

And when everything inside you slows to a dead stop, you cannot help but take a look around at where you are. To my astonishment, I have come to realize I am at the center of my soul, I am in the quiet eye of the storm. I am where I always was. Before time began. I am where I will remain, after I move on past time, space, the prison of the body. I am where I came from. A place so infinite, so mysterious, so expansive, hopeful and impossible that while I can appreciate it anew in my clear clean state of mind, I can also understand why I’d wanted to get the hell out as often as I could through booze or men or achievement or any number of earthly distractions. Where I come from is so far beyond this place it can feel mighty cold, desolate, lonely, frightening in all of its cosmic vastness.

I believe in God, it turns out, although I do not love the term God. Too heavy with baggage. I believe I am held by something miraculously wild, which is ecstatically radically insistently at odds with conformity. Entirely opposed to fitting in, to keeping quiet, to following the status quo. God is vibrational, it’s a Universe of a kind of beauty which could never be contained or manufactured or achieved or understood. I know this now like I knew it as a child. I always believed. Even before the monster of the patriarchy tore into my pristine soul and corrupted my innocence, dirtied the lens through which they forced me to observe myself. But that’s for another post, perhaps? Perhaps.

This post, the one we hold together in our hands right now, could go in any of a thousand directions. As could our lives. The paths we can chose are many, some more restricted by status and circumstance than others, but still there are choices to be made every day, every year, every which way, as long as we are here on this planet. And all along I thought the most important thing to do if I wanted to live an honest life, a life true to who I am is to be authentic. And while I still believe that is the case I see it differently now. Not that I have to know who I am but that I have to first know where I come from. Where I originate. A place that is not of this world. A place that is beyond place or time or choices.

When you know you are from a place without limits, without restrictions, rules, greed, judgments, cruelty, pettiness, you realize you can drop all of those things because they are not who you are or where you originate. They are shields you grabbed along the way to try to protect yourself from the invasion of the world around you which absolutely meant you great harm. My addiction was not wrong it was a normal reaction to a fucked up culture. But I do not come from this culture I come from beyond it. And now that my booze blinders are off, I see that. Which is both comforting and terrifying. To know where you come from and at the same time feel so very far from home.


authenticity: of undisputed origin; genuine


*All of my Sobriety Audios are collected for you here (or go to the top of this page and click “Sobriety Audios (Free Downloads).” You can listen as often as you want, anywhere, anytime, for free, forever.

How to Do the Next Right Thing (audio 65 / day 263)

I can’t handle anymore stress and in an astonishing turn of events, I actually tell my boss this. Well, not my boss-boss but his second in command, to whom I also report. I say it not very bravely or strong-ly or matter-of-factly but rather staccato through some very embarrassing, persistent, inconvenient tears. I have this recovery thing going on, I tell her. This is why it’s been really tough and a strange year for me. She is completely understanding and even brainstorms with me ways to better my situation. I am immensely grateful and also more than a little bit stunned.

When you get sober they tell you: Do the next right thing. This is a lovely idea but in actuality it stops me in my tracks. The next right thing? Who the hell am I to know what’s right? Or what comes next?

For me what it means really is: Tell the truth. Tell the big ones and the little ones, each time they come up. The truth always rises to the top and it is our job as sober people to let it come forward. We are the gatekeepers of the truth of ourselves. We have to let it come forward, let it lead. In this way, if you just tell the truth, the true thing will come out in front and you just follow it.

We hold back our truth because we think it will hurt others or make them mad at us or whatever. But holding it in is a lie and lies destroy every hope we have of ever healing. It’s a trust thing. Do you trust the truth? What would happen if you did?

In active addiction mode, I spent so much time lying about being okay when I was not okay. But I did it because I felt trapped. I felt frozen in this place where I feared the consequences of truth telling so to try to spare myself the pain of holding the truth in, I told myself the truth was not real. That’s some fucking fucked up shit. That is some master level game playing. And ultimately it made everything worse because it severed my connection to myself.

You see – you are the truth. The reason you must tell it is because you are real. And every time you refuse to say what is true for you you create an unreal world where you do not actually exist. It’s like an attempt to live your life as a ghost. Something without weight or voice or substance. No wonder you can’t figure out where you fit, you haven’t spoken aloud your edges. You have to speak the truth which is that you have weight and take up space, which is that you have a voice that must be used, which is that you are made up of many, many deep complexities which all deserve to be explored.


*All of my 60+ Sobriety Audios are collected for you here (or go to the top of this page and click “Sobriety Audios (Free Downloads).” You can listen as often as you want, anywhere, anytime, for free, forever.

Voice Command (day 251)

The tiny waitress walks by my table with a giant martini. That martini is sexy and beautiful. I think to myself. How could that have been me before? How can it NOT be me now? A mini tantrum fits and punches through my psyche.

I look away.

I turn my attention to my delicious food and my lovely husband and the conversation we are having with my brilliant son who is about to take a trip to San Diego for work. He loves the work he does and he is very much looking forward to seeing the west coast for the first time in his young life.

In under a minute, I have forgotten about the parading martini entirely.

At just over eight months sober, I’ve been having these random inner shit storms that basically sound like this: Well, this sober thing was a huge waste of time, wouldn’t you say, my dear? Guess this wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be – like, at all. Game over, yeah? We’ve lost the point of this little experiment, haven’t we? Why are we not joining in the drinking fun, again? Jesus mutherfucking CHRIST WOMAN can’t we just have one???????

And so forth.

The strange thing is, for many months there, I did not have this mental flip happening inside. I don’t think. I just know that now I am finding the ‘just drink one and drink it now come ON!’ voice is back and sounds just the way it did the first month of my sobriety in January. I am surprised by this – though, logically, I should not be. They say (They? Whoever They are) it’s one day at a time and that the voice never entirely dies off. He was quiet for a long time, though. And he’s quiet mostly now. But once in a while…

There’s no point in sharing this other than to record it for myself in real time. To remind myself that all I am doing to stay sober is working and is 100% necessary and it’s worthy work. And in case anyone else out there can relate.

Overall. I’m good. I’m solid in my sobriety. I know that the glasses of booze I can’t help but notice all around me are just a mirage. Illusions of euphoria, glittering and sweet, seducing me with fantasies of a kind of endless pleasure that doesn’t actually exist.

What Getting Sober Really Means (audio)

I think what getting sober is about is getting into alignment with your truest deepest self. And learning how to integrate all of yourself – mind, body, soul, spirit, environment, thoughts, beliefs, commitments, goals, dreams, creations, prayers, words, actions – so that as you move through your day, your night, any given moment, you feel an inner peace. That peace becomes your anchor. Your center. That peace keeps you true. True as in: faithful to yourself, your sobriety, and true as in: in perfect balance. Your steady state is one of humble confidence. Not competing with anyone. No conflict between what you say or do and what you believe. So it’s a bit heavy I guess you could say, because sobriety encompasses everything. But if you can let go of the weight of self-doubt and the burden of keeping the lies and hiding the truth in addiction – your existence, your joy, your experience of the ups and downs of this crazy life – becomes light. Or you can hold it all lightly. More gently. You remind yourself over and over every time you don’t pick up, every time you choose your truth over false outside beliefs: I can take care of myself. I’ve got me, I’m good. I’m okay. I’m safe. I can breathe and be in this moment and I do not have to rush it along. /

I’m Eight Months Sober Today (audio)

I’m eight months sober today. Not a whole hell of a lot to say just feeling very humbled and tremendously grateful. It’s been a wild eight months. So much is clear to me now. About myself. About the energy within me and around me. The sacredness of my existence and of the existence of all things. I don’t know – never have known, never may know – what to say about God or the Divine, but I can promise this. There is something out there. Something which moves powerfully and effortlessly through time and space, light and shadow. And it is grace and fulfillment. It never lies. It aches and it rescues. It whispers and destroys the things – all the merciless things – that have ever, ever hurt us.

Where We Live Now (audio)

The vision you have for your life is valid. Give it time and attention to come forward. You don’t need to rush. But you don’t need to be intimidated either. Take steps toward what you know is true for you. That you are worthy and precious and your life – your experience of your time here – matters. Make it good for you. And by good I only mean sincere. That’s all. Doesn’t have to be strong or flashy or loud or successful or correct. Just sincere. Sincere is where the truth is. And truth is where we live now.

I wrote this in my journal just now during meditation. Just thought I would share it because it felt like a message for all of us. The ones in active addiction. The ones trying to crawl out of the pain and the fear and the hurt and the loneliness. No matter what we are up to, we are seeking to know ourselves. And love ourselves. We just don’t know how. Or maybe, correction, maybe we do know how but we have been steered so wrong for so long that it just takes a lot of quiet and a lot of focus to get back to who we know we are. We always were.

Anyway. I’m 239 days sober today which is just a random number but isn’t everything. My husband told me this thing the other day that made so much sense the way obvious things do when you finally realize them. Don’t make the finish line the goal so that you are always losing until you get there. Make the small steps the goal so you are winning a little bit all the time. I like to substitute the word ‘joy’ for goal. And the word ‘content’ for winning. Make small steps the joy so you are content more of the time. ODAAT, etc.

I don’t quite know yet what this blog is about to become but it’s already different because I am different. Eight months sober is a fuck lot of time spent on rewiring myself. And it’s funny because what happens is you intend to save yourself from so much goddamn misery, you know what I mean. There was so much booze drenched pain inside and all around constantly. And day by day, evening by evening, I peeled off that wretched skin suit. I was so tightly wrapped in it. Suffocating. Afraid to move, afraid to speak, afraid to just be. What I am has changed forever. What I thirst for now is just the honest to god truth. Maybe that’s all I ever drank to get to. Ironically enough. Tragically, but sincerely.

Maybe all we need to start from is a place where we can honor ourselves for real not for show. To keep reminding ourselves over and over as we sip our morning coffee: The vision I have for my life is valid.

High Jump (audio)

There’s endless distractions out there. Everybody is after something. Even me, don’t get me wrong. I was dying to write something to share just so I could speak to you. That’s nuts right? Who knows. The internet is full of liars and trolls and scammers but I think mostly it’s just us, you know? Just regular people out here all alone wondering what the fuck to do with ourselves. Why do people always try to tell you what to do. Why do they think they have all the good answers to questions you never even asked.

The sun is so high in the sky at 5:56pm it pisses me right off. But in any case, I want to say to you: if you can sit in a room and just feel what you are feeling and not do anything to deny it or fix it or chase it with some kind of chemical numbing agent you are a mutherfucking hero. I think. Nobody will see you and nobody will know but I see you, I know. I see my own reflection in the mirror when I wash my hands like I still do too often. And I like some things about me and I don’t like others but either way it’s fine. It is what it is. If you just be quiet and sit there, all alone in a room, as the sound of the cars sift by down the street outside your window, and you just breathe, man. It sounds so stupid but it’s true. Don’t write anything, say anything, whatever, just sit.

I sit and I smoke a cigarette. I sit and I feel the crushing grip of menstrual cramps. I open the window even though it is way too hot to open a window because it’s August and August absolutely sucks. And I feel the heat sink into each of my bones. I sip on cappuccino and check the spam folder on my blog. “buy viagra” has left me a message to tell me I inspire them and that I should keep going. lol okay but I am already there. Why are people always saying that, keep going. No thanks. I’m just gonna be here. For now. Against all the odds. Against all the fucking distractions about bettering myself – tryinna make me lose my goddamn mind.

It’s Friday night. It’s everyday of your life right in this one minute. Where are you rushing off to? Where have I been trying so hard to get to all this time when I could have spent evenings alone with myself. Writing whatever words I wanted to. Being quiet as the dusty walls. Speaking to you. Whoever you are. You ever notice just how beautiful it is to be here at all. You ever notice you don’t have to spend all your time trying to alter what is. You don’t have to talk at every idea or reason through every problem. You can just let what is be. The breeze coming through the screen. The warm summer wind pushing the plant leaves around for no reason at all but softness and light and the way it is.

Wish I Could (audio)

I am not chasing anything. I am not trying to impress anyone or even myself. I’m not trying to be better just trying to be not false. I don’t need more attention. I don’t want more words. I don’t want anything to define me or try to minimize what I am experiencing right now because what I am experiencing is quite beyond words, beyond language, beyond description.

My recovery continues to evolve, deepen, twist, turn, and surprise. What feels like I am coiling back on myself isn’t exactly that, or at least I don’t think it is. But there are no words in most of my recovery space right now. I meditate a lot. Read non-stop. Currently: Martha Beck’s The Way of Integrity, and David Hawkins’ The Map of Consciousness.

I’ve been dealing with a fuck lot of anger, I notice. Perhaps a level of all out rage that I have never before let myself feel. It is very, very real. It spews all over the pages of my journal, in private. I try to keep it from coming out in the times when I am supposed to be nice to people. But it is really hard. The tears come hot and they push, push, push against my chest. I am so very angry. The way women are not allowed to be. Ugly. Undignified. Vengeful. Like a million mountains all on fire inside my cells. In my stomach, in my brain.

There is a sense I have these days that something massive has already shifted inside of me and I am rather quiet because I have not caught up with it yet. My whole body, mind, spirit, soul, feels so new. So vastly and entirely different from who or what I used to be. Or should I say maybe, different from what I used to chase or value or believe. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t think I ever really knew. Now it’s all I’ve got. This new story unfolding about myself. And all I can do is feel it. I can’t speak it or write it or make it pretty or palatable or linear or concise or poetic. I can’t teach it or preach it or tell you about it. Because there are no words.

And So It Is

You learn to use the voice inside you that you tried drowning out with booze. You begin to say the things out loud that you told yourself you should never, ever say. And those things sound like:

What I need is….

What I want is…

What needs to stop is…

What needs to change is…

What hurts is…

What brings me joy is…

And you come to realize that you are the only one who can decide to fight for your own life to come forward and be seen, heard, and lived. The ripple effects of that are not up to you to try to control or hold back or spare people from. And so it is…

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