82 Days: The Vulnerable Truth About Me

by Amy on January 22, 2014

confessions“Seek discomfort when it’s in honor of your dreams. Stop tolerating mediocrity to avoid doing what’s hard or scary.”

Seek discomfort. Seek discomfort. Seek discomfort. It’s my core message.

Which is why I have a confession.

This just isn’t going to come out right. But as a mom of three, all under the age of 6, I’m uncomfortable most of the time.

Being a mom has a ruthless and unrelenting way of shining a light on my deepest shortcomings.

There’s the boredom.

I am not one of those moms who finds joy in the day to day of Wake up. Make breakfast (oatmeal, pancakes or scrambled eggs). Brush hair. Brush teeth. Clothes and shoes. Walk to bus. Pick up from school. Make dinner. Clean up dinner. Take bath. Brush teeth. Floss. Story. Repeat.

And my impatience.

In which I go from happy and playful mom to intimidating drill sergeant mom, barking orders while the front door is open and my husband stands speechless on the sidelines.

And my constant need for order.

Clean that up! Don’t make a mess! Pick up your toys! I grasp for a tidy home as if it’s the only thing I have to hold onto amidst the chaos.

And my intense sensitivity to noise.

The level of noise becomes so disarming that I find myself fantasizing about getting away where it is quiet and I can hear the sound of the furnace clicking on and clicking off. Free from requests for more chocolate almond milk, or the sound of “Mommy I’m done!” coming from the bathroom (alas I cannot escape so I seek the aid of Jake and the Neverland Pirates).

Which reminds me again of my quick temper and my lack of tolerance and my gigantic ego as I rush to fix a snack, find the crayons or change the wet pair of pants and I grow more and more frustrated at how these little dictators can cut me down so quickly and effortlessly.

But most of all there is the shame.

When I’m around my kids it’s like someone is holding a gigantic mirror up to me showing me how easily bored I am, how impatient, intolerant and bossy I can be. How deeply I resist the present and long for what I don’t have when I know that what I have is as fleeting as it is precious.

And instead of feeling the discomfort and leaning into it, for the past several years I’ve been self medicating.

I’d like to tell you it’s been one glass a night but since we’re being honest it’s usually 3 or 4. It got to the point where I just couldn’t — didn’t want to — stop. Didn’t want to feel the discomfort. Just wanted to pull the blinds down.

And I started to look forward to my first glass of the night — red (when it’s cold) and sparkling (when it’s warm) — like my sanity depended on it. In fact I found myself wondering how one could even have fun without it…?

Nope. There isn’t much in my business that scares me. But when I look to where the discomfort lives in my life, I find it in the day to day of being a mom and what it reminds me about myself.

I thought maybe I’d wait a year to tell you. I thought that would be the prudent thing to do – allow a good 12 months to pass between me and a glass of bubbly before sharing with you the vulnerable truth about me.

But that just felt like hiding.

I wasn’t in integrity — telling you to embrace discomfort when I wasn’t doing it myself.

And I realized something else…

I was beginning to need the chaos, the drama; I needed my kids to exhaust and infuriate me. I needed the shame.

Because I needed an excuse to drink.

It was a relationship of the neediest, ugliest sort. And I never want those three innocent children to be that to me…

An excuse –a way for me to “excuse” myself from growing into the kind of person who manages discomfort clear headed and sober. I didn’t want them to be my excuse to become emotionally stunted by a bad habit.

It’s been 82 days since my last drink.

Already, I’m learning how to manage my energy in a way I never could with a glass of wine in my hand. I’m learning how to love the parts of me that aren’t very loveable. I’m learning about myself – who I am and what I need. And I’m learning how to be present with myself, my kids and my life like never before.

And I’m not going to tell you it’s been easy. But it is in honor of who I will become in the process.

Some questions for you:

  • How are you perpetuating a bad situation so you can continue to take the easy way out?
  • How is your unwillingness to lean into discomfort keeping you from growing?
  • How do you avoid facing the truth about yourself – who you are, what you need and the parts about you you’d rather not face?

Please take a second and share in the comments below. It would mean the world to me.

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Jones January 23, 2014 at 12:41 am

Oh, MAN. I don’t think…nope, I KNOW I’ve never been prouder to call you my coach and friend. You are a badass. Everybody’s got their something. Mine is sugar. I just inhaled 4 yummy rolls in the last 5 minutes like a savage. You are brave and wonderful, and your kids are blessed to have a Mama who can embrace her truth and strive for her best. Love you to Uranus.

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Love you to Mars. xoxo

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Nancy-Lynn January 23, 2014 at 1:03 am

oh, wow! GREAT post – and … well… we need to hang out. You are Awesome! <3

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Thank you Nancy-Lynn xoxo

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Adriane January 23, 2014 at 1:04 am

Amy Sue, I second Amy Jones. And I am with you on the kids as a mirror thing. It’s like it is all right there in bold…This is a heavy topic-I could go on and on about it. For now, thanks for this post. And I am excited for you and your brave venturing into wild new territory. xoxo

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

It is truly wild new territory. Thank you my friend.

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Anna January 23, 2014 at 1:05 am

Honest and inspiring as always Amy! Thanks for sharing your story.

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

You are so welcome Anna. Thank you for holding space.

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Sarah January 23, 2014 at 1:58 am

Girl.. you said it all so well. YOU ROCK! From another mom with 3 under 6.

Thrilled to know you.
xoxoxo,
s

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Solidarity. xoxo

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Elisia January 23, 2014 at 2:26 am

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more inspired by you and what you’re doing in the world, you go and blow my socks off. Again. I can relate to this on so many levels: the noise, the chaos, the moodiness. And here I am, kids in bed, glass of wine next to the computer… 🙂 But you, standing in your truth and sharing it here shines a rare and stunning spotlight on the beauty that is being vulnerable and real, to yourself and to us. Thank you so much for that vulnerability. And congratulations on 82 days. Here’s to the next 82! xo

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Thank you Elisia. There is something so beautiful about sharing what’s painful to me so it can help other people know that they’re not alone. I appreciate your appreciation of that. xoxo

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Rae January 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

You’ve dared greatly x

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm

xoxo

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Mary Jane January 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Amy, you are an inspiration! Your story brings me back to my own story (a few 24hours ago) I have done mothering drunk and sober. Sober is hands down the best. I remember about 2 weeks into my sobriety, having dinner in my home with my husband and 2 kids….and then it hit me,” I am actually here in this moment, not numb, I am present and this moment is beautiful. I was overcome with gratitude !
May gratitude sneak up on you everyday !!!.

love and peace
MaryJane

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Amy January 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Thank you Mary Jane! Yes I have my good days and my bad days but the good days are getting more frequent. The other day I was struck by how much better I’m getting at managing my energy under chaos. Something I wasn’t able to work on at all with that ever present glass of wine in my hand. Thank you for sharing your experience. xoxo

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Richard January 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I love the smell of raw truth in the morning!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

LOL Richard! Anytime.

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Kerry January 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Wow, so amazingly vulnerable and inspiring at the same time. I totally get the sigh of relief following the gigantic step of sharing and baring your soul, your truth. The fear we anticipate dissolves into a pool of knowing this is the true path …. You are aligned with your North Star. And you are not alone. Namaste, Kb

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Chills. Thank you Kerry.

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Shelly January 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Amy — I’m on your email list and really enjoy all that you have to offer. I’m writing to let you know that this post is not only incredibly brave and honest — it is liberating and inspiring. I believe that is exactly why you wrote it despite the risks of being vulnerable. Thank you. For me, it’s sleep deprivation. I stay up way too late because I love the quiet and time alone when nothing is expected of me. However, I suspect I also use it as a way to keep myself small and under-functioning. Success is scary. Congratulations on 82 days of being fully awake… and counting! I hope to emulate that in my life. I’m toasting you with a big ol’ glass of refreshing water!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Thank you for the toast Shelly. Toasting you back with my green smoothie. Success is scary. Okay I have to share one of my favorite passages from The War of Art: “We fear we will succeed.”

This is the most terrifying prospect a human being can face, because it ejects him at one go (he imagines) from all the tribal inclusions his psyche is wired for and has been for fifty million years.”

We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/ teachers/ think we are. We fear we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. Tat we catually have the gust, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plan our flag, reach the promised land. We fear that because, if this is true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.

We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? We will lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.

Of couse this is exactly what happens. But here’s the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone. Instead we are tapped into an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consiousness, companionship. Yeah we lose friends. But we find friends too, in places we never thought to look. And they’re better friends, truer friends. And we’re better and truer to them.”

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mekeel January 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I’m going on 21 days without a drink or a cigarette! I own a holistic salon! I wasn’t walking my talk “behind the scenes” and now I don’t have to hide anymore! YIKES! I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be reminded that I’m not the only one 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real, Amy!
Btw, I’ve read that it takes 22 days to break any habit and 40 days to establish new neuropathways for new habits…82 days? You’re ROCKIN’ it! Take good care~

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Thank you Mekeel. I do go days now without thinking about a drink. It’s pretty awesome. And then I get triggered by something and my mind starts to play tricks on me. I’m just happy to be able to wake up each morning feeling proud of myself. That I’m staying in integrity no matter how effing hard. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and I wish you the best. You can do this.

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vanessa January 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Amy
DO you have any idea how many people would like to have your courage?? To openly face and admit this….huauuuu you are giving every one permission to do the same.
I value you and appreciate you so much.
Huge hug and thinking of you all the way from the other side of the world…Mozambique.
Warmly
Vanessa Sacadura Botte

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Thank you SO much. Okay this made me cry.

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Diane January 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Amy, dear soul, first of all, good for you and congratulations on your accumulating days! You are brave and good, and I love your honesty. I am writing to tell you that your rewards will come. I have two grown sons, they are intelligent and charming men and fabulous fathers. I am so often amazed at the men they’ve become because I was a stay at home mom until they went to school and they had ME for a mom. They were born 17 months apart, so believe me when I tell you that I have worn your shoes. Thank God I was young when I had these children because I don’t know if any of us would have survived sanity intact had I been older. Then again, had I been older I would have had more patience, been less boring, and more fulfilled…maybe. Apparently while I was learning to be a parent and striving to do a good job I stumbled into teaching them good values and a good work ethic. My drug of choice was food. Wish I could say I kicked that habit; I’m still trying to lose baby weight 43 years later. In fact I’ve gained and lost the same pounds so many times they’re now paying property tax. Sounds to me that you’re doing your job and doing it well. Your children are fortunate to have you (warts and all), and after you all survive their teen years, and they ask for your advice, you will at last know what a great mom your children have. They don’t ask advice of someone they don’t trust and admire. And Amy, all your fans are here for you! We’ve got your back.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Wow. Truly overwhelmed by all the love in these comments. Diane your kids are lucky to have you. And I hope someday my kids will turn to me in that way as well.

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Kim January 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Wow! Thanks for sharing! At first, I thought you were describing me! Every bit of it sounded like you had a hidden camera in my house. I, too, have realized that I am not as patient or energetic when I’m drinking. My husband and I started do some organ detoxes and body cleansing, and I am amazed at how much energy we both have. We allow ourselves a couple of drinks on the weekend, since life isn’t as hectic then and we can actually sit and have a drink together. It’s less of the self medicating that I was doing to get myself through the night time ritual of kids homework, dinner, bathing, etc. We also gave up coffee, except on Sundays, which is our day for a family breakfast. I’m now able to get up in the morning before my alarm and have a lot more energy to make it through the day, all without caffeine! Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story, because there are a lot of us in the same boat! Congratulations on the 82 days!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

As I sit here responding to these post at 10am in the morning, I shit you not, I am finishing of a bag of Riesens. It’s true I did just finish off a green smoothie but that was after my third shot of espresso. I could definitely use some help with the detox part. I would love to know what you did!!! I hope you see this and email me some more info: amy@livebrazen.com. Thank you for your post and for your willingness to say “me too.” xoxo

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Lori January 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I’ve been there, Amy. When my kids were little and I’d left a job that I loved and I was bored silly. I’d always wondered why my Mom drank too much and then one day I understood when I found myself thinking how much a glass of wine – at 3pm – would help. I’ve managed to keep that in check by realizing that it wasn’t some mother flaw in me but that I needed more than my kids’needs to fulfill to feel fulfilled myself. Anyway… Loved your post and your vulnerability and honesty. And good for you for your 82 days and counting. It’s posts like this that free us all up to look honestly at ourselves.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Lori. It is comforting to know that I’m not the only one! It’s not a mother flaw! Love that.

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Maria Angelica Brunell Solar January 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Thank you, Amy, for sharing such intimate and vulnerable details. Your post encourages and inspires one to be brave, to be transparent and to learn to face and accept the darkest aspects of ourselves.. I really admire you.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Maria for taking the time to comment. My heart is bursting. Thank you.

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Dana January 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm

WOW! I am constantly quoting you from the Joy Diet class when you said that “success lives at the intersection of authenticity and vulnerability” and you nailed it on this one. I am in awe of how you are able to process your own shame and anger and find truth when the rest of us mortals just get caught up in the current of negativity. You are leading the way for so many of us to find our own light, and I don’t know that you even realize how many people you touch, and you are able to do that because you are honest and real. I have a question for you though–was this one of those snot and tears breakdowns as you were writing? I got about half-way through the blog and I could just see you sitting there typing with tears and snot, like the serious uglies and I love, love, love that you are willing to be ugly to be a beacon of light for me. Much love!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm

LOL Dana. There were tears that’s for sure!

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Melody January 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

I’m cheering u on. I’m proud of ur willingness to be honest. My girls r 16 and 21 but I could still remember the pain of wanting to be present mixed with all of my expectations. I am very proud of who my girls have become despite my imperfections but I now realize they r so far ahead of where I was at their ages because of all my growing and vocalizing my desire to grow. I think it helped them realize that they didn’t need to be perfect to be loved because they loved their mom and she was constantly questioning herself. They love me for being me and therefore have an easier time loving themselves for being who they r and they know in the future they will be different because that’s what life is about–growth,appreciation and love

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

I want my kids to love themselves flaws and all. Which is why I have to demostrate that to myself, right? Thanks for sharing Melody. It is so validating to here that about your girls.

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Cara January 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Hi, Amy,

I’ll just sum it up by saying that every night my daughter brushes her teeth and comes out saying, “mom, please don’t get mad at me tonight, OK?” Because my trigger is bedtime–big time. My daughter is 9, and doesn’t go to bed until 9, so I’ve got 1 hour from when she falls asleep until my own bedtime. One precious hour. So every time she can’t sleep or has to get up to pee–thus waking herself up, or has a nightmare, or gets scared of the dark, I am overcome with impatience and anger.

Which is so counter productive! Seriously–how does “Go to bed RIGHT NOW!” help anything??? I have changed my behavior around getting to school on time for the most part (getting a bad parent grade for timeliness on her report card is my other trigger–approval addiction, check), but the bedtime thing is really embarrassing.

Since Jan 1, I have given up sugar, which has highlighted the fact that sugar is the way I have fun. After drop off, I get a hot chocolate, on the way home from school, we get cookies to see us (me) through the trials of 3rd grade homework (last night it was organized lists and decision trees for math. OMG–I kid you not, it was basically a short version of the exam I had to take three times in order to pass college math.)

Just want to show you you are not alone. In fact, when friends ask me if they should have kids, my first question is, “Have you ever wanted to work as a nanny?” Because that’s the job of child-rearing. Also, short-order cook. That’s the other job of child-rearing.

I think it’s OK to embrace the fact that I hate some parts of the child-rearing job–which does not mean I hate being a parent. It just means I need to better, barter, or bag the parts I hate. My plan–right after my daughter’s big choir concert and section math test, both of which keep her awake at night–is to get her to a state of independence about bedtime. To some, it may seem harsh for me to encourage my child to manage her bedtime routine on her own. But bettering this time of day will leave me MUCH more cheerful for the other times of day.

Thank you so much for sharing. I’ll be tuning in to hear about your progress.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Thank you Cara. I know the bedtime routine is so tough. Also the dinner routine for me has been hard. Trying to make dinner with 3 hungry little ones asking for stuff stresses me out. Until I stopped drinking, I was just pulling the blinds down figuratively speaking. Dulling out so all the demands on me were easier to deal with. But the reality was it didn’t make things any easier. It often left me more irritable. Once I stopped numbing out, I was able to figure out some ways to better the dinner time routine. One biggie has been to get them to help me set and clear the table. We have instituted a whole new chore policy that has been working really well to get them to do stuff and have me in less of the drill sargeant role. Still trying to figure out some ways to better the bedtime routine. It seems to be getting better anyway because I’m learning how to be a better energy leader at this time. I have my good days and my bad days 🙂

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Sarah January 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

One of the best blogs I’ve read in a while. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Lots of love!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Thank YOU Sarah for taking the time to share that.

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Jill Marie January 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Today is my unsubscribe day…to let go of all the emails I get and never read or I only briefly skim…I had already unsubscribed from 5 and I was on a roll…since I am newer to you I figured it would be an easy decision…but just to be sure I decided to take a peek. at what you had to say this week 🙂 I love your honesty and vulnerability 🙂 and I am so happy for you too!

thanks for being in integrity and putting yourself out there with a message that I’m sure many will benefit from!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Wow! Jill Marie, I’m pretty picky too about what I allow in my inbox. I’m honored to make the cut. And I sooooo appreciate you taking the time to share that.

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becky January 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Whoa, that could not have been easy. Acknowledging your struggle. best wishes.

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Andrea Owen January 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Parallel lives, babe. Parallel lives.

This is beautiful. Thank you for the gift of showing us your messy side so we can all heave a huge sigh of relief and say, “Me too.”

Love you xoxo

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Thank you Andrea for being with along this road. I don’t know what I’d do without you! Move to Portland!!!

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Anna Kunnecke January 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Beautiful and brave. Just like you. Love you, woman!!!!!

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I love you Anna.

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Linda January 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm

You are one amazing woman and coach. Laurel Mellen author of The Solution and other books and programs talks about how most people use some kind of solution for dealing with stress. It’s kinda like self medicating. Some people use alcohol, some use food(my preference), some spend money, gamble etc. Acknowledging the problem followed by dealing with what triggers the problem is the challenge. You are human and one of us. I truly sympathize with the noise issue. That has always been a problem for me and has worsened over the years. I find ear plugs helpful. I can still hear but everything is toned down. You are now rated even higher in my book after reading this post.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I will be buying that book asap. The beautiful thing about sharing is that I have received so much unexpected support in the form of book recommendations, detox programs, ways to work with my energy… Another advantage of being willing to be vulnerable. Thanks for that reminder Linda.

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Kris McGuffie January 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Best. Post. Ever. THANK YOU! Keepin’ it real, as always. High fives and a victory chicken dance to you, my friend.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Thank you Kris. So happy to have you in my orbit.

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Michelle Reinhardt January 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm

So beautiful, brave and authentic. You are so inspiring and real lady. As you know, I’m doing some leaning in myself and truly–it’s a bitch. However, as raw and difficult as it can be facing all of it, I know that this is the road home back to me–the real me that’s been hiding for way too long. Love you woman. xxxxxx BTW, I’ve been booze free for that last few weeks too at my coach of amazingness’s suggestion heehee.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Way to go Michelle! You don’t realize it but you are an inspiration to me. The way you unabashedly follow your dreams and stay with yourself. Thank you for all your support.

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Maureen January 24, 2014 at 5:03 am

Amy this is so poignant. i was the child of an alcoholic mother who I know loved me but how I wished so much that she could have “been” with me. You can’t ask friends around, you don’t ask mum to go places not that she was falling all over the place or anything like that it was just that if there was alcohol you never knew the outcome in the most innocent of places and so much was lost.

I admire you so much for your bravery, your realisation and the fact you can now “be there” with your kids. The mess will probably never go away as they generally get worse rather than better, and the noise is often a factor with alcohol and people who drink are really sensitive to it and with a bit of good luck unless you have Misophonia it should in time subside.

I have only known of you for a little while but my admiration for you has trebled today. I’m just so proud of you for what you’ve done for yourself and your children, your husband, family and everyone whose life you touch on a daily basis and i know you’re going to just let alcohol know it’s not part of your life anymore just like any business deal that doesn’t fit gets tossed over it has too.

Bye for now and Blessings~~~~~~~~~~~

Maureen

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I come from a long line of “low bottom” drunks. The kind who wake up the next morning in ditches with their baby crying next to them. Or throw their wives through glass tables or consider suicide. So I decided, hell with rock bottom. I have 3 kids. I don’t have to let it get to that. Nope. Alcohol is not welcome in my life any more. I thank you so much for your support. You don’t know how much it means.

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Anena January 24, 2014 at 7:11 am

This was incredibly courageous and authentic, which is such a gift to give to the world. Thanks for this beautiful share. Your authenticity and vulnerability inspire me to practice more of the same.

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Amy January 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm

What an incredible thing that my vulnerability can help you. It’s incredible to see and experience that in action. We all need each other. I need the kind of love and support that came from sharing this and you need to hear the truth from me. We are all so connected. Thank you.

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Ginger January 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Amy,
Thanks so very, very much for continuing your crusade for honesty and vulnerability–for daring to seek your OWN approval and not other people’s–and by doing it the hardest way, which is to face up to what actually, truly IS. I remember the morning I got so mad at my two boys that I threw their loaded toothbrushes at the wall (while yelling simultaneously “F*** you all”–I only have two sons; I don’t know how many I thought I had that morning) so hard the toothbrushes stuck to the wall with striped toothpaste. Well, we laugh about it now–I gave my boys the gift of being so stupendously imperfect and having to say over and over, oops, totally wrong, let me start over that maybe they won’t have to go through so many layers to get to their real selves. That is my hope and prayer as I enter my 20th year of sobriety. It is a hard, beautiful, real road–the parenting and living with life on its own terms. You are an inspiration and a true teacher.

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Wow congratulations Ginger on 20 years! So inspiring. And I too have had a few toothbrush episodes. There is so much power in knowing you can just be your fallible, imperfect self and still be completely loveable. That’s what I want me kids to know.

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Jean January 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Hi Amy,

Congrats on your courage and perseverance. It is not an easy choice but as I know you know already so worth it. I am a child of an alcoholic and the sister of one and my former spouse drank. All are in recovery and for that I am grateful. But I may not have chosen to drink but I definitely have dealt with behaviors that would be described as addictive all in an effort to self sooth. Awareness for me was the first step and then realizing there are so many better choices leading to a much fuller life! Congrats Courageous Woman…I knew there was a reason that I became one of your peeps! xx

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Thank you Jean! I too come from a family of alcoholics. I think it was a combo of seeing what alcohol can do + being so fricking self aware that led me to choose to stop. The HELL with rock bottom. I’ve been doing a lot of self soothing via chocolate lately. But I endeavor to feel my feelings because I know that the way to the other side is through not around. I so appreciate your comment.

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Jennifer January 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Amy, Nothing cracked open my world of shame and perfectionism like becoming a mother. No one warns you about that, no one tells you it might not be daily bliss with bows, home made cookies and kids who pick up their socks. You have just shined the spotlight on what many of us struggle with in silence; we don’t want to be the one to admit that motherhood is hard-rewarding yes, but hard. Congratulations to you for having the courage to recognize what was really happening. Your courage and honesty is inspiring. Lots of love to you.

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Thank you Jennifer. I thought I had worked through all that shame but writing this post helped me to see that I clearly HAD NOT. Motherhood is definitely the hardest thing I’ve done. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. Your support inspires me to keep telling the truth so that others don’t have to struggle in silence.

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Meredith January 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Nice work Amy….I don’t think you will ever realize the full extent of how many mommies you just helped by writing your very vunerable blog post. WE NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION! There are so many stay at home moms that I know that are struggling with this issue that it seems like some kind of epidemic to me! I am writing a play about it right now. Motherhood is a really tough gig….we need to put the wine glass down along with the guilt and start talking with each other in an open, authentic, non-judgemental way about our failures….anxieties….the bloody boredom….all of it!!!
I think you are the BOMB for being brave enough to blog about your journey. And 82 days is pretty damn awesome. Well done! Thank you!!
Meredith

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Meredith will you please keep me in the loop about your play? I agree we need to put the wine glass down. I read a lot of memoirs by people who struggled with drinking. There is a point when they stop being able to control it and the problem gets out of control. As a mom I just couldn’t afford to let that happen. Rock bottom is bullshit in my opinion. I don’t need to let it get that bad.

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Kristine January 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Amy, this was so brave. Not just sharing with us which is inspiring, but facing the discomfort. This blog will be with me for a while. Thank you.

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Becky January 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Amy, I love you so much. I can’t help myself. It’s inspiring to watch you grow and be so brazen out in the open the way you do. It’s all good. You can do this. You can do ANYTHING. So much love coming at you right now <3

P.S. if you need some "mom" coaching, I'd love to help 🙂 ever.

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Thank you Becky. Love you right back. And I bet you have some pretty awesome tricks up your sleeves now that you are taking Jolette’s stuff. A guest post might be in order 🙂

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Alanna January 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Oh goodness. Your courage brings tears to my eyes.
It lends a gentle but fierce prodding to my heart to *step up!*

Thank you

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Alanna. What a simple, yet powerful share. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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Meagan January 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Amy, There is so much comfort in hearing that other moms have the same daily struggles. With a 5 yr old and 3 yr old, the frustrations you described were spot on with my day. Thanks for being brave enough to share!

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Meagan — it’s comforting to me that it’s comforting to you! xoxo

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Carrie January 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Amy, this was such a beautiful post. I appreciate the integrity, the honesty, the authenticity. It’s so inspiring as I sit down to write this weekend. xoxo-

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Amy February 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Thank you for taking the time to share that Carrie. Your kindness inspires ME.

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Diane January 26, 2014 at 4:11 am

That was really powerful Amy. By speaking the truth, and opening up to your emotions, and aknowledging them out loud for all of us to hear. Wow. Everyday, I was going through the same things you wrote, same emotions, just different reasons. I was impatient, overwhelmed, irritated, angry, even had some rage, and I don’t even have children! You are not alone, and your right, the children really weren’t the excuse, it’s just stress (emotions) that we don’t want to face.

Recently I was researching the mind-body connection, chronic pain, and our emotions. I uncovered, that it’s when we try to hide our emotions from ourselves and others (makes sense, we don’t want others to see us at our worst), that we create stress (and the body physically responds to this stress as well). And to jump to the point, aknowledging our emotions reduces stress. Just like the saying “get it off your chest”, all you need to do is say how you’re feeling. Talk to someone, or aknowledge them out loud to yourself. I was amazed how simple this was, and how quickly the body responds with reduced stress (the body gives a big sigh or relief). It also allows for the thankfullness and gratefullness to enter into that space that was being occupied by all of these negative emotions that we were stuffing inside us. It’s awesome that you were able to discover this on your own, and even more awesome that you had the courage to do it (aknowlege your emotions) to all of us! Your pretty awesome Amy.
Thank you and God bless!

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Amy February 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

This is really interesting stuff Diane! I love to learn about the mind + body connection and it makes total sense that even though it’s uncomfortable at first acknowledging our emotions is what ends up reducing stress in the long run and covering the stress up with wine, food whatever ends up creating more of it. The way out is through as they say. Thank you SO much for the comment. xoxo

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Pam January 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Wow Amy! You hit a home run with this one. The raw honesty, vulnerability and authenticity you continue to be willing to model for the rest of us is just beyond inspiring. I can’t imagine that anyone reading won’t be compelled to pause and ponder their own form of numbing. I have had so many I can barely count them all…..shopping, carbs, sugar, wine, TV, sleeping…just to name a few! All efforts to stay small, play small. Funny, that’s not working so well for me these days!! Your coaching helped!! Your rock!

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Amy February 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Thank you so much for the love Pam. I am so happy this helped you because it healed me to write it.

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Dawn January 26, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Heya Amy~

I came across this post b/c my mom reads your blog and she sent the link to my sister and me. It was funny (ha ha?) because I had just been coming off of a rough week with my son and I was joking (ha…ha?) to my friend that I was on the verge of being a “Monday and Wednesday-aholic” (those being the 2 days I am at home alone with him). And yes, those are the days when I find myself behaving joylessly, impatiently, roughly, irritably…and I feel such shame and self-judgment and discomfort….because this is not the mom I dreamt I would be. And I find myself wondering “What the hell is wrong with me that I can’t handle this? Why am I not happier, more joyful, more relaxed, etc etc etc?” And I find myself (as a proud feminist and un-proud approval addict) questioning my every decision, unable to find peace or happiness in many of them because of the insidious self-judgment that I’ve managed to incorporate into most of my life at this point. Blarg.

So to you and to many of the commenters, thank you for sharing of yourselves. It has truly been a little bit of light in the darkness, and I am grateful. It is beautiful to see you exposing your bellysides and/or embracing each other with such lovely compassion and gentleness.

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Amy February 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Oh Dawn. I am so there with you. Thank you fro sharing that.

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amy davis February 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Amy,
I am right there with you momma!! I have consciously NOT reached for the bottle of red during the week for many months {still indulge a bit on the weekends} and it feels so authentic to stay clear and just let the chaos commence around me {two boys 14 and 11}!!!

You are an amazing writer, momma, and woman . . . thank you for sharing your story. xo, amy

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Amy February 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Thank you Amy. Agreed. It’s much better, I’m learning, when I stay clean and sober among the craziness.

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Michelle Barry Franco February 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I’m so happy for you, Amy – and grateful for this conversation you are inviting. I couldn’t possibly relate to your story more (three kids, all very young, green-smoothie loving, 3-4 glasses of wine a night – in my case, watching to “make sure” I never hit a full bottle, because what would THAT mean?).

My “alcohol sabbatical” started one completely surrendered morning when I just knew I didn’t want my life to feel like that anymore… sort of powerless, chaotic with a side of uncomfortably numb. I just decided I wasn’t going to drink for a while. Honestly, I thought I could NEVER actually do it for very long. After all, bedtime routine wasn’t going to disappear!

My alcohol sabbatical is coming up on 16 months right now. It just kind of comes down to this: I really love the way I feel when I don’t drink.

I LOVE that you are having this open conversation. I know there are plenty more Mama’s like us who would love to know that it is possible to not drink those 3-4 glasses a night – and that it can feel really good to make that choice.

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Amy February 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Wow! Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on these inspiring 16 months. It was really tough at first but I’m starting to see that I really love the way I feel when I don’t drink. We have so much in common and I wouldn’t have known it without this post!

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sherold May 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Hi Amy – I studied with Monica Shah this year. Thinking of doing her Platinum MM. Have fun at money 2.0 and way to be authentic! So proud of you.

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Christine July 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Amy-

That was RAW courage. I celebrate your courage. I’m trying to become THAT courageous-putting the real me out there. The other thing I celebrate is that-it’s courageous just becoming a mom. What you wrote resonated with me. I know myself to be impatient, bored….etc… I never became a mom-but had I become a mom-I would have had the same confession. So….yeah Amy! 🙂 Your brazen-self really blessed me. 🙂

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Bana April 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Hi Amy,

The thought that came after reading your blog this time was PURE OXIGEN! I want to say YOU ARE SO GREAT! and at the same time I feel: WE are so great when we dare to be truthful. I myself am still learning not to numb with snacks, TV, looking for company, being “positive” – I am done with this one.
I came across an interesting article on the effects of pure oxigen on human body. I feel your blog has a similar effects on human soul, and still feeling it’s an understatement.
“What would it be like to breathe in 100 percent oxygen? For people with chronic, non-healing wounds, this therapy is effective, painless and gentle. Patients may spend two hours a day for a given time in a large, clear, tube-like chamber. They can relax or watch TV in this specially equipped, pressurized room as they breathe pure oxygen.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the most progressive treatment option for wounds that won’t heal. During the treatment, the oxygen level in the patient’s blood increases, which helps to reduce swelling, control infection, and stimulate growth of new blood vessels. All of this allows stubborn wounds to heal.”

More at: http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/11/how-breathing-pure-oxygen-can-heal-tough-wounds-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy/

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