From 🍺 booze-hound to 💦 happy & hydrated in 725 days!

7 2 6 Days

1 year

11 months

3 weeks

4 days

103 weeks + 5 days

62,726,400 seconds

1,045,440 minutes

17,424 hours

………………………. since I took my last sip of alcohol!

It’s funny how you outgrow what you once thought you couldn’t live without.

It’s funny how you don’t miss what once was part of your identity.

It’s funny how you can get A D D I C T E D to the feeling of having your SHIT TOGETHER!

It’s funny how I used to be a bad influence. I was the instigator. It’s funny how I used to be THE PARTY GIRL! I was the WILD CHILD! It’s funny how I used to be the person who made fun of sober people because they made me feel uncomfortable. I was an instigator and feared those who I felt were judging me

It’s funny how I’m now an advocate for SOBRIETY. It’s funny how no one has ever tried to make me feel uncomfortable like I used to do to others.

It’s funny how I’m still fun & haven’t lost my wild side. Turns out I didn’t need alcohol to be me.

It’s funny how my priorities have changed, my social circle, my interests and the way I live have changed. It’s funny how much my life has changed as I’ve come to accept the real me and learned how to navigate through my emotions.

From 🍺 booze-hound to 💦 happy & hydrated in 725 days … if I can do it, so can you.

All you need is :

• a strong desire & reason to change

• leverage – what you’ll lose if you don’t change

• a new habit [positive] to replace your addiction

• a vision – what your life will be like because you decided to change your lifestyle & the way your story is written

• a Support system + accountability

• a strong mindset which can be achieved through personal development

I was so excited to go to the Butcher’s Ball with my husband on Sunday.

But…I knew that I’d be in the environment that I used to love … music, food and alcohol. I purposely shared on social media first thing that morning that it was my 102nd sober Sunday to hold me accountable.

When we got there, the weather was right, the smell of the BBQ pits brought back old memories, there was alcohol everywhere and there was a Bloody Mary station. Bloody Mary’s on a Sunday used to be my jam. Then I saw a pineapple 🍍 with a fruity drink in it. It made me want one. Not the alcohol, but the cute drink in the pineapple.

It would have been so easy to drink. Not because I wanted or needed to be drunk, not because I miss alcohol or drinking, but out of habit and trying to recreate the feeling of connection, being carefree and uninhibited.

There was tons of new people. The best part was that it was people we didn’t know and didn’t know us. We had fun together and I had an incredible time sober. I realized that I can have fun at events where there is temptation and that I can enjoy myself with my husband and feel the same way without alcohol.

As the event went on and people had been drinking for 6+ hours, I was reminded of how good it was to be sober.

Some people think I shouldn’t talk so openly about my sobriety or past battles with drugs and alcohol or my mental illness… but I don’t care… talking about it holds me accountable, is therapeutic and helps connect me with others that help me stay on the path I’ve chosen because it’s best for me.

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The history of my addiction & recovery

I am a Korean Adoptee, that was adopted by a childless American couple at 9 1/2 months old. I never formed a bond with them, and even though they’d probably never openly admit it, I believe they also struggled with forming a true parent-child bond with me.

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As an adult who is now a parent, looking back, I will say that they had unrealistic expectations and were overly critical of me. They were “religious” to the highest extreme and used their religious beliefs to control my every thought & move. Both parents were egocentric and narcissistic.

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Around age 4, I started displaying signs of mental illness. I was a highly stressed, worry-prone and anxious child. I would break out in hives often and my O.C.D. started to disrupt my life while I was in Kindergarten.

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I was sexually abused by age 5, by a non-family member, but didn’t feel safe to tell anyone. The physical and emotional/mental abuse began at home around the same time. I suffered silently. I always felt different. I always felt alone. I always felt like something was missing. I desperately sought out a connection with others but did not know how to create & maintain a healthy relationship, since I had never experienced love or connection with anyone. I so badly wanted to fit in, but as an adoptee, my life was one big identity crisis.

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I’m an 80’s kid who grew up when the “Just Say No” ad campaign & the U.S. “War on Drugs” was most prevalent.  What I learned at school, was reinforced at home. I was told to say no to drugs and not to fall to peer pressure, but there was never any real education as to what drugs I would come in contact with and why I should say no, other than you would “fry your brain” as taught via the popular video that showed an egg frying in a frying pan. I have always been a curious person. I always searched for certainty and facts. To be honest, it just made me more curious.

I smoked my first cigarette at age 12. I was scared & it really wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I remember feeling this rush of excitement as I did something on my own free will. I remember feeling cool. I remember feeling in control for once in my life.

At age 13, I was offered Marijuana for the first time. I didn’t feel pressured and since I had never been given any substantial reason to say no, other than I would get in trouble. I said decided to try it and see what it was really about. The first time I got high, I felt like I was floating. I was numb to the pain & stress I had felt my entire life. It was a great feeling. It was like a mental vacation for me. I couldn’t understand why they said drugs were so bad because I felt relief for the first time.

After that, I got addicted to the feeling – the thrill of doing something I wasn’t supposed to, feeling like I belonged to the “in-crowd” and having an escape. Pot led to experimenting with alcohol. I got braver and started drinking during lunch while I was in high school. I thought that I was cool and that my friends & boys would like me better.

I could no longer endure the abuse & the terms in which I was living in so left home at age 15. It felt good to be free and be free, but being on my own at that young age came with so many more challenges and A LOT of guilt from my parents.

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I started drinking every night. I had a milk crate full of hard liquor. I would spend my weekends drinking a 12-pack of Budweiser along with a fifth of Jose Cuervo. This led to so many poor choices revolving around men, getting involved with the wrong crowds and heavier use.

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My drug and alcohol use came to a screeching halt when I found out I was pregnant with my first child at age 18, but it didn’t take long to return to using alcohol to numb the pain. I struggled with an off-and-on relationship with drugs and became more dependent on alcohol as the years flew by. Drugs and alcohol only provided a temporary fix to my mental anguish and false happiness but left me with a history of bad decisions, failures and a lot of shame. Recreational drug use became habitual drug use. The problem was that I was a functioning drug addict. No one knew. I still went to work. I still took care of my responsibilities. I was a “highly functional druggie”. I could hold conversations, perform my job duties higher than a kite and no one could ever tell. I felt even more in control of my life, knowing that I could find relief to my pain, overcome my social anxiety, and hide what a mess I truly was.

In 2012, I found myself completely lost once again, back at rock bottom and that is when I stumbled across someone and something that would change my life. I found Becky Brossett who introduced me to fitness. I found a new crowd, which consisted of people who were positive, high achievers and pushed me to be a much better version of myself. I started taking care of myself and stopped smoking and stopped drinking. I started overcoming my past. I started to become a better person and forgive myself for the mistakes I had made in the past. I realized I did the best that I could with what I had. I started helping others, which helped me heal myself. The downside to that was that I started to lose myself in others problems. I started to become more of a people pleaser and found myself neglecting my needs to try to fix others. I also had found a new sense of confidence and started digging into my adoption. Searching for my birth family, connecting with other Korean Adoptees and taking a DNA test unlocked some doors that had never been opened and I found myself in a deep dark depression. I tried to ignore it and my drinking became heavier and heavier. Feeling numb to my pain became the thing I searched out the most.

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To order your DNA kit, click on this link.

Mid-2015, everything came crashing down around me. 2 days after my sons 5th birthday, on June 9th, I found myself facing my 3rd divorce as my husband of 6 years and I were separated and my 2 oldest children moved in with their Dad. I was homeless, living in someone else’s home on an air mattress with my son. I had hit rock bottom once again and couldn’t find any reason to pick myself back up again. I didn’t have the strength.

After a life-changing event, my husband started an intense out-patient treatment program to treat his PTSD. He started to find peace and answers to his problems. He kept encouraging me to do the same as he learned more about mental illness, realizing he had missed all the signs I had displayed for the 8+ years we had been together.

Finally, at the end of August 2015, I checked myself into the same mental health facility, as an inpatient. The day I  voluntarily checked myself in, I was suicidal and completely hopeless & lost.

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7 days later, I was discharged with a new mindset, new lease on life and a new set of coping skills. I continued treatment as an inpatient for several weeks. While in therapy, it became apparent to the therapists that I had formed a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol and was still abusing it as a coping mechanism. I was encouraged to take a look at my behavior and make a decision to change it. It was also pointed out that my anxiety and depression medications became less effective with alcohol consumption.

I wasn’t ready to admit that I had a problem, but by the end of September, I stopped ignoring how much control alcohol had over my life and how it was negatively affecting my life. I set the goal to only drink 5 times in the month of October. I reserved my “partying time” for the end of October because I had plans to visit Miami for a few days.

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When we arrived in Miami, it was customary to party with our Floridian friends and we were there to celebrate a friends achievement and it just happened to be my husbands 39th birthday. On October 24, 2015, we started drinking early, pre-gaming before the event that began at 5 p.m. We started with beer and red-bull and vodka since we knew we had to stay awake because we had planned to have an after-party at Scarlett’s, our favorite Club in Miami. We continued to drink bottle after bottle of Grey Goose from 5 until we arrived at the Club. (I can’t even remember when we arrived at the Club because I was already so wasted.) I have very limited memory of the time spent at the Club. We left around 2 a.m., but I don’t remember even leaving, although there was a picture of me awake as we waited for the car from the Valet. The next morning I woke up feeling disoriented and not fully aware of my actions from the night before. I felt so much shame and regret. I could not think coherently. I felt brain dead. I declared once and for all on my friends couch that I didn’t ever want to feel this way again. I shared on Facebook that I made the decision to get sober.

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I have not had a sip of alcohol since around 2 a.m the morning of October 25, 2015. It hasn’t been easy, but I believe getting sober was the best birthday present I could ever give my husband and the best gift I could give my children and myself.

Getting sober has been challenging in ways I never imagined. It has been humbling & extremely eye-opening on so many levels. I have had to learn who the real me is for the first time in my life. I have had to create new habits and routines. I have had to re-evaluate relationships I had. I have had to 100% feel all the feelings that I had ignored and avoided my whole life. I have had to rediscover how to do everything sober. I have had to remind myself nearly every day why I can never go back to drinking..because that one drink today would easily become a case of beer, maybe not in a month, but most definitely within 6 months.

I have held myself publicly accountable and shared my journey openly since day 1, which at first, much to my surprise inspired and influenced others to take a look at their relationship with alcohol and decide to start their sobriety journey too. If it weren’t for the sober community, which turns out to be bigger and more supportive than I ever imagined, I could not have made it as far as I have. I am thankful for everyone who has supported me and kept me inspired along my journey to staying 100% sober. I now can say I am truly living life to its fullest and all my fears that I felt regarding sobriety were completely invalid.

Because of this, I have decided to pursue a Life Coach and Recovery Coach Certification so I can continue to pay it forward.

If you are reading this story and any of it resonates with you, let’s connect. You are not alone. We are not alone. If I can get sober, anyone can. I promise it’s worth it.

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5 Reasons Why

5 Reasons Why

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5 Reasons Why to Get Sober

Let’s do something fun today!

I love this exercise. It is good to do to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and a great exercise when the cravings and temptations become unreal.

Let’s list 5 things that you thought you’d miss, the things you feel you had to “sacrifice” (or let’s use the word limit) because of your lifestyle change AND then list 5 things you have to gain (or maybe have already gained!) from this getting sober! I bet we’ll all see how much more we have to gain than what we’ve given up 🙂 Excited to see these!

1 • I was afraid I’d be no fun & be boring
2 • I was afraid I’d lose my friends
3 • I was afraid I’d have no social life
4 • I was afraid I’d lose my identity
5 • I was afraid people would make fun of me

Turns out that I didn’t know how to have fun without alcohol, but I’ve spent the past 700 days trying new things, stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing things the old drunk-Mindy would have never considered doing. I am far from boring. Looking back, doing the same thing [getting smashed every weekend] over and over was the definition of boring. I lost people in my life and my social life changed, but it just reinforced who was my real friend who truly cared if I got better and supported me. I did lose part of my identity, but I didn’t lose who I was, I just lost a “security blanket” which caused me to work hard to find my self and learn who I was, which I like a whole lot better than party-girl-Mindy. Only one person has made fun of me to my face and called me boring, but when it was said, I just laughed because I had just came back from Los Angeles where I attended Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within where you are pushed WAY out of your comfort zone in an arena of nearly 10k people, pushing past their limiting beliefs and Hawaii, where I met new people, tried new food, flew in a helicopter for the first time and since then I have been out of the country where I snorkeled in Punta Cana, swam with stingrays and sharks and just recently I went skydiving…to me, those are not things someone who is boring would do.. But then again “boring” is subjective, depending on the persons perspective. I know see, doing the same thing, being found at the same place weekend after weekend [my old life], is what I consider boring.

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What I have gained since getting sober 700 days ago:

1 • More time now that I am spending less time getting drunk or recovering from a hangover
2 • More money now that I am not buying beer every day and then spending my money foolishly while under the influence.
3 • I make better decisions
4 • My relationships with my family members have improved now that I am not always tired/irritable from recovering from a hangover and now that they get my full attention vs. alcohol getting my attention
5 • I take better care of myself and respect my body and have a sense of pride that I have never felt before

……..And I have met a TON of new people who are part of the sobriety community that inspires me daily and helps keep me accountable to my goal of staying sober. To join my private group, click on this link. 

If you are reading this we should definitely connect on Social Media – You can find me on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube

One book that has greatly helped me, that I recently was gifted by Sarah Ordo is Sober As F**K. I highly recommend it. Click here to order your copy.