wine

8 Women Share What Made Them Finally Decide To Get Sober

Spoiler alert! I'm one of the 8 women featured. What an honor! 

Spoiler alert! I'm one of the 8 women featured. What an honor! 

Via Angela Haupt for Women's Health

“Like many who struggle with addiction, my wake-up call came in the form of a series of unfortunate events, each one a neon sign blinking, 'this is a problem,' rather than one single event," says Dani D., 34, who's been sober for seven years. Dani's story echoes that of many alcoholics: The drinking was fun, until it wasn’t. And deciding to get sober? That was hard as hell—but worth it, every day.

“It is so powerful to hear women’s stories of sobriety,” says licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor Beth Kane-Davidson, director of the Addiction Treatment Center at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. “It’s dealing with a disorder, just as if you were dealing with diabetes or cardiac issues, and people are much more open these days to saying, ‘This is the disorder I had, this is what I did to recover, and this is how my life is now.’” The more women talk about alcoholism, the easier it becomes for women to get the help and support they need, she says. It's time to end the stigma.

Here, eight women reveal their struggles with alcoholism and how they got—and stayed—sober.

Read more via Women's Health Magazine...

Guest Blogger: DeAnna Jordan of New Method Wellness

It's been FOREVER since I wrote something for the blog, and today's post is certainly no exception.  Please welcome DeAnna Jordan, clinical director of New Method Wellness and person in long-term recovery.  I should note that this isn't a sponsored post by a rehab or treatment center, even though its author works at one.  I'm just happy to share a well-written, bite-sized piece in the hope that if you or someone you love is struggling with drinking, that you find help.  There's a fantastic list of resources right here.

-Laura


Are You Drinking Too Much?

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"It's happy hour--I'm only going to have a couple beers."
"I'm not an alcoholic--I only drink wine with dinner."

These are some of the most common phrases that stem from drinking. Typically, people who binge drink, don’t even realize they are binge drinking.  According to the CDC, more than 38 million adults binge drink an average of four times a month. So, how do you know if you are an alcoholic?

Coming to the conclusion about one’s alcohol abuse can often be a messy and confusing path. The most important question I ask my clients struggling with accepting their alcoholism is, “How often are you thinking about drinking?” We then can delve deeper into a series of questions that aim to create a conscious awakening:

  • Do you frequently feel compelled to drink?

  • Does alcohol, the thought of alcohol or the planning of your next drink occupy most of your energy and focus?

  • Have you wanted to stop drinking, but find yourself with a drink in hand just a short time later?

  • Have you sacrificed other activities that you enjoy because you plan to drink or were drinking?

  • Do you find that you need to consume more alcohol to get the same effect you once had?

While the questions above only spark the conversation on alcoholism, these questions can help identify the most common behaviors in a person’s alcohol dependency. These questions are not medically-approved, nor are they an official test for determining alcoholism, but they will guide you as you observe your drinking habits.

The only person who can determine whether you are an alcoholic, an alcohol abuser or a social drinker is yourself; no one can answer these questions for you. If you take an honest survey of yourself and your drinking habits, you can determine whether you have reached the point of alcoholism and only then can you receive the help you need. Doing so will teach you how to move through life without the aid of alcohol, allowing you to reconnect with your loved ones and to rekindle your desire to live another day.


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DeAnna Jordan serves as the clinical director at New Method Wellness where she supervises a team of caring, well-trained clinicians who provide continued support throughout a client’s stay at New Method Wellness. Jordan has over 20 years of experience working with clients in recovery and is a marriage and family therapist (MFT), specializing in the maintenance of healthy relationships. As a result of her expertise, Jordan has been featured on “Dr. Phil,” “Jane Valdez-Mitchell,” National Geographic’s “Taboo,” and has been published in Elle Magazine as well as The Huffington Post.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from University of California in Irvine, Jordan did post-graduate work at Centaur University where she graduated in the top of her class with a CAADAC certification in Centaur’s chemical dependency program. Following her time at Centaur, Jordan received her masters in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is a current PhD candidate, studying depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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As a recovering addict, Jordan brings a breadth of personal recovery experience to her clinical leadership and believes a comfortable, structured and supportive environment is an essential part of maintaining long term sobriety. In addition to her passion for recovery, Jordan is extremely involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). As a current Woman of the Year candidate, Jordan is campaigning to raise funds for LLS blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors. 

Ode to Wine (...and it's not what you think)

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I can still taste the juxtaposition.  

The cool Pinot Grigio, slightly dry, slightly sweet, fully refreshing—and yet warm as it melted down my throat, into my bloodstream, and settling in that happy place of Tipsy Land.  I was never the biggest fan of red wine, but don’t get me wrong, I can smell the tannins and earthiness and feel my cheeks get redder and my voice get louder just at the thought of that, too.  I could call it a one glass night—but that meant filling the biggest wine glass I could find to the very brim; sometimes, I could fit close to ¾ of a bottle into one glass.  Still one glass!, I’d tell myself.  I’d curl up on my bed, with that monster glass of wine on my nightstand, and as the tipsiness washed over and the generalized feeling of anxiety quieted down, the need for connection grew stronger, like a giant magnet.  And so I’d whip out my flip phone and play my favorite game: texting anyone, anywhere.  

Are you there, God?  It’s me, Laura.
At a Virginia Wine(o) festival.

At a Virginia Wine(o) festival.

It all sounds very romantic—to a point—in retrospect.  Quarterly wine shipments from the quaint vineyard near Charlottesville.  Wasn’t this the sign that I had arrived in Yuppyville?  I was a member of a wine club! (And a book club—which was really just an excuse to drink wine and wax philosophical about a book I had only read a few chapters of).  A bottle of white, red, rose, and some delightful seasonal treat.  I’d go through those bottles pretty damn fast.  And of course, I kept the empties in a trash bag in my bedroom.  Because hey, none of my housemates needed to know my rate of consumption.  It was a little secret I’d keep to myself, from myself, for myself, me me me.  Lest I be blamed for discrimination, I drank plenty of other stuff too—beer (I could take it or leave it, but who are we kidding?  I usually took it), rum and Diet Coke, a fancy cocktail or two (or three or four or five--count with me, everybody!), margaritas—oh, margaritas.  Or tequila shots.  Those never ended well.  Jello shots, vodka cranberry, etc. etc.  But I kept coming back to w(h)ine.  I had it; it had me.  We made quite the team.

If I’m giving you the impression of an isolated, lonely existence, that’s not the case by any means.  I was a social drinker too, life of the party, everyone’s drinking buddy.  Dancing on bars, chatting with strangers.  Up for anything with anyone.  It was a win/win for me.  I melted away my anxiety and persistent, nay, unrelenting OCD--and I became the me I wanted people to perceive.  Plus, I was (supposedly) having fun fun fun!  Until I passed out early.  Or threw up all over [insert furniture type, name of person, etc.).  Or had to be monitored with such a CIA-like vigilance so I wouldn’t go home with Guy X, Y, or Z (but I did, and many times at that).   

Eight years after my last drink (well, multiple drinks, really), all of that is still familiar—yet feels like a movie reel.  I remember it well, but it doesn’t feel like my life.  I can romanticize drinking because I’m so far removed from it—wouldn’t it be nice to have a glass of wine with dinner like a normal person?  I mean, normal people can leave alcohol still in the glass.  They get tipsy--the point where I usually was just revving up--and call it quits for the night.  Not me.  I did (and still do) look at unfinished glasses because why would you waste such precious nectar?  And so even if I think, with all this time elapsed since I last drank, that it might be safe, I  remember that it usually wasn’t a one glass of wine night.  Or maybe it would be, this time.  What would happen the next time I made myself a very public limit?  JUST TWO TONIGHT, YOU GUYS! Maybe I’d be wheeled off in an ambulance after being found passed outside of a bar I was forcibly removed from. (True story).  I had absolutely zero control; I was powerless over alcohol and yes, my life had become unmanageable.  When you think someone else will take care of you because you can’t be held accountable for your own actions, something’s not right.

So as much as I can wax nostalgic about my love affair with wine and its tipsy, deliciously tight embrace, all I have to do is remember why I got sober.  Because I can’t safely ingest alcohol. I’m not responsible when I drink; I’m not my own best advocate.  Sure, one night I could be fine, at a dinner party or happy hour or work soiree, living the good life.  But the next I might drink myself into oblivion and then god only knows what would happen.  I’ve already been to that casino; already folded my hand more times than I can remember.   That’s not a gamble I want to take now--or ever again.

                       B    arolo Wine Region, Italia--STONE COLD SOBER, BABY!  Circa 2010.

                       Barolo Wine Region, Italia--STONE COLD SOBER, BABY!  Circa 2010.

And that’s the best insurance I have for choosing sobriety today, and every today after that.