ONE YEAR BOOZE-FREE.

sober me

Wow. It has been one entire year since I stopped drinking. I remember on day 4 looking at my ‘quitter app’ thinking ‘gosh four days is not very long… but soon this will say 1 month, then 6 months, and then 1 year – you can do it.’ I had no idea I would grow and change so much. I had no idea I wouldn’t have to endure my life anymore. I had no idea how fucking happy and awesome I would become during these 365 days. I shouldn’t act like I can’t believe it, because I can – I made all the choices to stay sober and did all the work. I guess if anything I just can’t believe how amazing life is sober and I am in awe everyday at how much more awesome life gets.

On July 24, 2013, I knew I was done with alcohol indefinitely. It had been a long time coming and after years of saying I could control my intake and my drunk behavior, I reached a point where I knew I was not in charge of my drinking anymore. Drinking just was not fun. I would lose important things, spend money I barely had, looked terrible, felt terrible, and emotionally was just a vacant person with no self esteem. I wasn’t drinking round the clock or taking nips here and there, but I was not able to separate drinking and priorities anymore. That sounds sad, and honestly it was. I would try to do things and ultimately I would psych myself out or not be reliable or consistent about anything. Then, I think of all the drama and the anxiety I have caused for family and friends. The erratic and inconsistent behavior was just a drag for me and for everyone around me. Living paycheck to paycheck because of uncontrolled spending sucked too. Drinks? Sure! Dinner out? Sure! Random crap because drinking makes preplanning impossible? Sure! Plus don’t forget I was supporting a household!

The first few months I felt firm in my decision and very nervous around drinkers, like I had something to hide or be ashamed of. I can laugh at that now because I’ve come to find being sober is a characteristic almost all people envy. Heavy drinkers always commend me on my sobriety and ‘wish’ they could do it. I’ve had people be critical and worried that I chose to get sober without AA or a formal support group, but honestly it’s been incredibly easy to be sober. I don’t put myself in situations that would illicit me not being sober. That means emotionally and psychically. I can very easily go to bars/clubs/events and have a blast – the best part is that I don’t spend hundreds of dollars, talk out of my ass to strangers/friends, and then I remember everything and truly enjoy it.

Probably the reason I made it past my birthday (July 30) and remained sober for those first few critical weeks was my dearest friend Tannith. Our friendship, her support, and her own sober journey allowed for me to have someone I trusted to turn to when I had questions or just observations about this new sober world. Her support and enthusiasm for sobriety showed me that it entails a world without ‘missing’ because her life is so much more full in sobriety too. Tannith, you were my rays of sunshine in the dark and lonely storm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you and your family sharing this journey with me. I am especially glad that we have a true friendship and can experience it all sober. I love you and am so grateful for you.

While I’m thanking people I should also commend my family. Mom, you were always right – booze is lame. Thank you for supporting me and dealing with the old Brianna. Thank you for not ever saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ and especially thank you for being my friend. Words can’t even express my gratitude for your love. Dad, thanks for reminding me to not be so hard on myself and taking me to the edge of my thoughts and comfort zones. You are able to transform the way I see things and I’m so grateful for you.

Honestly, I think back to the person I was a year ago, and I don’t even know her. I am so happy. Truly happy to be sober and to be enjoying my beautiful life. The more removed I get from my old life, the more wonderful I become. I cannot stress that enough, sober living is so marvelous. This world is stunning and for me, alcohol makes everything fuzzy. I will never be sad that I cannot drink or rather will not drink, because I am in love with reality.

I am so fucking proud that one year ago today I finally let go of alcohol. I gave myself the opportunity to grow and to become this person I truly love. Goddamn, life is good.

xxx
GFK

LET’S GET ALL SQUISHEE.


At the beginning of March I made a little ‘to-do’ list and I just wanted to revisit that and set some new intentions for Spring now that we are really getting into some wonderful weather.

1. Go to the dentist. I did it! After what seemed like decades of bad news at the dentist, I finally received an ‘outstanding’ review and found out more about my options for dealing with my 15 year old root canals. Since the integrity of my teeth is really great, the dentist told me I would have these ‘dead-teeth’ for a long time and could go with a ‘less invasive’ method of crowns for fixing the color issue I have going on. CUTE! I know right!? Anyways, maybe prepare yourself for the panic stricken dental posts that will begin to show up as I embark on this endeavor in the next six months.

2. Cheapskates are the BEST skates! Well my cheapskate lifestyle is really gaining momentum. I’ve managed to stop consuming new clothing and housewares items. I’ve cut my shopping bill to reflect a sustainable, yet low amount each week. I’ve even gone so far as to price compare at several store and online for the items I consume regularly. I signed up on Amazon’s FREE Subscribe and Save plan for several reoccurring items that I use such as face wipes, wet ones for the cats, allergy medicine, floss, toothpaste, vitamins, Vega protein powder, and lotions. The great thing about the subscription plan is that you can save up to 15% off each item and you can choose the frequency of how often you’d like to receive the item. Then you receive all your monthly subscriptions on the same day depending on your frequency selection. PLUS you can cancel or opt out of it at any time. It’s really a great program and there are quite a few discounts/coupons floating around that take 30% off your first Subscribe and Save enrollment. I even called up my current satellite and internet providers and negotiated new cheaper plans – and somehow got SHOWTIME and STARZ for FREE!!! (for three months). Cut my monthly bill by $30 calling on both! 🙂

3. Lent. Going strong with my GIANT reduction in froyo. Thank goodness. Adios frozen yogurt. I’ve only had it twice all of Lent. However, now is probably not a good time to ask me about all the Easter Candy and limited edition sugar I’ve consumed in place. SAY SUMTHING!

4. Positive Energy. In this goal I have made the most improvement. I really did kick the negativity to the curb. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve made immense efforts to be positive. Don’t get me wrong I’m still emo as hell sometimes and will readily drop a UGH MY LIFE IS OVER in jest (well mostly jest), but I’m not focusing on the negative. Life is wonderful right now and the fact that I am rocking it, is just glorious. I worked really hard to get here – I’m healthy, I’m sober, I’m busy, I’m creative, I’m excited and most of all I’m able to love myself and the great family and friends that have my back. I owe a lot to PMA and to my support group. I’d also just like to give a huge kudos and squeeze to my ‘heterolife mate’ and life-seester Tannith – she has been my sounding board and a great friend in all these changes despite being such a stupendous wife and mother to her own family!

For some new intentions I really want to find a balance in fitness. I love working out – for the physical results, but also for the mental benefits. I rejoined an online Yoga site to practice some things at home and so far I’m loving it. There is deep twisting for detoxification and wonderful work for tight shoulder (because the chiropractor visits are few and far between) and hamstrings. I think keeping with my existing cardio regimine but adding yoga to the mix will be splendid. Further, I really want to focus on being a leader and student in my health, crafts, and relationships. I’m so grateful I have this moment to be proud and look at all the gifts I’ve given myself.

See I told you I’m all squishee.

BARF RAINBOWS.

XXX
GFK

Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE 🙂

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

A High School Memory

Share a high school memory that you will never forget.

It’s funny I’m not really someone who cared about high school. I got to school one minute before the bell rang and was outta there thirty seconds after class ended. I only liked a handful of people from high school and I still talk/catch up/know what those handful are up to via facebook/blogs/instagram/texting etc. Otherwise high school, for me, was a time when I got the opportunity to grow personally away from the stereotypical teenage norms.

I never drank, smoked, partied – the extent of my ‘rebellion’ was planning to see a movie and then seeing a late screening then going home afterwards. I didn’t see the need to rebel or anything because I loved my home life. I never had a teenage romance or love or boyfriend. I did however become obsessed with Heath Ledger (RIP) and Elivs (RIP). I worked hard in school and it paid off for me with my success in college.

I did however discover the gym and healthy eating. I would say the coolest thing I did was lose a bunch of weight – and healthfully. But that’s not really a memory as more a learned lifestyle I’m happy I was open to.

I guess what I would never forget is that I didn’t have the ‘typical’ high school experience. Instead, I came home for lunch everyday senior year to have it with my grandma and hold ribbons so she could tie them into bows, spent Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk with Juanita and Lois, spent some Fridays having amazing dinner parties with Lois or Poppop & Cym, and overall had really enjoyable time with the people I loved.

It takes most young people well into their twenties to figure out their family is actually awesome. I’ve always known this and therefore I’m glad there’s not one stand out memory from ‘high school’ that doesn’t involve them some how.

It’s funny though, in hindsight I really loved who I was in high school especially the last year or so. Here I am almost a decade later and I’m getting back to the things my 17 year old self lived by and thought was important. Family, self-worth, healthy (i.e. sober) living, hard-work, and CRAFTS!

Oh and for good measure my favorite thing about high school was this band:


xxxx
GFK

ps. THE DARKNESS RULE.

The Pug Meet Up. I’m a Loner Dottie.

Leopold and I had a little adventure on Sunday.   We both branched out from our feline friends and tried to meet new pugs/pug people.  The Pug Meetup – organized through the great website MeetUp – was held at an actual animal events center.  It was pretty nice to have a space that is dog ready and friendly.  I had tried to attend a larger Pug Event here in the early summer, but that was when Leopold was sneezing blood so I opted out of taking him.  This event was smaller, but still quite full of pugs and pug people.

If Leopold had a motto it would be “I’m a loner Dottie, a rebel.”  Truly.

(source)

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On our way to the Pug Meet up – don’t worry I was parked outside.

So we arrived at the pug meetup.  (Note to self – next time bring sodas/water for myself because it was a serve yourself alcohol bar.) Leopold looked cute in his Halloween bandana I made earlier that day.  Since it was raining in Chicago I opted for a “Seattle-themed” outfit which basically entailed a beanie and my canvas Doc Martin’s.  PREPARE FOR BLURRY PHOTOS!

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Cue up “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys starting now.

Leopold was interested, but didn’t wander more than five feet away and he kept coming back to ‘check-in’ every thirty seconds.  That was fine with me though, because we were the ‘new kids’ in the group.  Everyone was very friendly, but I had to approach and start talking with people.  Then they were all smiles and full of pug info, questions, and answers.

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Leopold primarily wandered around alone.  The photo above was a general descriptor for his mood as ‘woe is me here at the pug meet up.”  No surprise since this is how I operate in real human life.  (It may come as a shock – or not – that I do 85% of the things I do alone so he has only been provided this example).  I could tell he was getting unsettled – I felt weird saying this out loud when I noticed him looking agitated, but I know him okay?!  I asked him if he wanted to leave and he jumped on my legs, which is out code for “GET THE EFF OUT!”  Again – I know Leopold, we’re family.

All in all it was fun.  I would definitely maybe try to drag a human friend along next time just to break the ice a little better.  I’ll bring some tasty drink mixes for myself and to share too.  Plus, I know the more often we go the better Leopold will feel there and me too.

Till the next pug event!