Happy Sober Anniversary to Me!

I will never forget my sobriety date: October 25th.
Why? Because it’s my husbands birthday.

Today he celebrates his 41st birthday and today I celebrate the greatest gift I could have given him, our marriage, our family and our future – MY SOBRIETY!

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When I decided to get sober I was scared.
I was scared that people would laugh at me, abandon me, think I was a sell out to my old lifestyle and that I’d be all alone in my battle against my addiction.

It turns out that I was wrong. DEAD WRONG.

I have had nothing but support from old friends and lots of new friends.

Let’s just say that the sober community is a lot more supportive than party friends.

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I walked outside earlier to find a delivery 📦 box. I opened it up and found this gorgeous bouquet and a loving message from my dearest friend Jennifer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️


My best friend, sober sister and business partner, Melissa, posted this amazing picture of us from last October when she was 30 days sober and we were attending an event in Coronado Bay, together SOBER for the first time, along with this sweet message. 

“Sober people are boring.

Sober people are lame.

Sober people get left out.

Thoughts we both shared.

Fears we both shared.

When I “met” Mindy Hord in 2013, I was instantly drawn to her party girl nature. She had a tagline about being fit and drinking beer…. Hello, I loved beer, I needed to be fit…. it was genius to me!

I got to know her through the Internet… And we’ve become the best of friends… Two years ago today she made a decision that would not only impact her life but her children’s as well… I’ve always been inspired by her strength and knew that this woman could do anything that she said her mind to… The road to Sobriety can sometimes be lonely… She was one of the first people I called when I made the decision to get sober…. I watched her for a whole year and thought how STRONG she was…..she had been there for many conversations about me quitting drinking before but I never got serious about it… Shes work hard on finding her way, I’ve seen her grow in ways she may not even realize…..She’s been a friend, a sister, A mentor, and a pillar of hope on my journey….I’m honored to know her, to share so many incredible milestones and memories with her that we remember and don’t have to delete any sloppy pictures … I’m proud to say we aren’t boring at all! How lucky are we to have such a special friendship that empowers one another to be our absolute BEST!

Next week we will meet in Las Vegas… AKA in City and be toasting our sparkling waters to the success of our teams and celebrating huge milestones in our sobriety… Congrats my friend I am beyond proud of you two years is MAJOR!!!

You continue to empower others to make changes in their lives just by being your authentic RELENTLESS self.”

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Today marks 2 years since I decided to break up with alcohol.

I grew up in a household where alcohol was always present. We had a liquor cabinet in our house. My Mom always drank wine. My paternal grandparents had a liquor cabinet and always brought alcohol on every trip they took me on. My grandpa brewed his own beer. My parents and grandparents loved visiting wineries & going on wine tastings… living in the wine country in Northern California it was normal. I remember alcohol being ordered every time we ate out. I remember finding alcohol stashed in the medicine cabinet of my maternal grandma. I remember my dad always joking that it was 🍺 Beer:30. I remember my Mom making wine coolers & letting me taste it. I remember taking sips off of my grandpas’ beer. Yet I don’t remember seeing any of them “drunk”, but I distinctly remember the times when I knew they had “had too much”.

I think back on all of the times I drank and drank to excess in front of my kids and wonder how it’ll affect them in the long run. All I know is that they were monumental in my decision to get sober.

 

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Today is day 731 of my sobriety journey…
I can’t believe it’s been exactly 2 years since I declared my DECISION to get 100% sober.
It was a decision that I had put a lot of thought into.
But, I had put more thought into talking myself out of it.
I was so comfortable being numb. 
It was terrifying to let go of a security blanket I had been holding on to since I was a teenager.
I started drinking REGULARLY at age 15 when I left home on December 2, 1996. 20 years later on October 25, 2017, I finally parted ways with the most toxic and longest relationship I had maintained.

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Teen drinking is very bad.
It’s just a start to a lifetime of bad habits.
Luckily, my children don’t want to have a relationship with alcohol or drugs after hearing my story and being affected by my poor choices.
Although I’m not proud of my past or my mistakes, I’d gladly do it all over again if it meant that I’d deal with the pain and regret to shield my kids from making the same bad decisions.

 

As I was going through old pictures this week, I found all of these old pictures that represent the old me. I am wearing a fake smile in many. I may appear awake, but I was dead inside. I was there in body, but totally not present. I appeared to be the life of the party, but I was totally numb.

Around 1-2 a.m. on this day, 2 years ago, after HOURS of drinking and countless beers, several bottles of Grey Goose and whiskey, I was leaving a club in Miami, totally incoherent, totally sloppy drunk. I still don’t remember having anything that happened past midnight that night.

After a few hours of sleep, I woke up, feeling brain dead and made the declaration of my need to get sober. I shouted it out to the universe to make it real and held myself publicly accountable because it wasn’t the first time I had said I was going to get sober.

October has always been a memorable and monumental month for me.

On October 20, 1981, I entered the United States of America for the first time. On the 21st, I was handed over to strangers. On the 22nd, I was brought into a new house, that I was to call “home”.

On October 23, 2008, I was proposed to for the first time and agreed to marry my best friend who’s birthday was 2 days later and agreed to become officially “step-mom” to Hunter who’s birthday was on the 24th.

So now October 25 has become extra special. It’s not only the day the love of my life was born but today it marks TWO YEARS of SOBRIETY.

731 days of fighting old habits, old behaviors, old routines, old addictions.
731 days of celebrations. Every day I found something to celebrate and focused on the things I COULD do that I never did or couldn’t or wouldn’t do if I had still been drinking.
731 days of inner struggles.
731 days being counted one day at a time.
731 days of learning who the REAL Mindy Hord is.
731 days of CLARITY.
731 days of MINIMAL “arguments” with Ryan.
731 days of being FULLY present.

Turns out I am fun. Turns out I don’t need to have a drink to have fun. Turns out I can say no to social gatherings I don’t wanna attend vs getting buzzed in order for me to go. Turns out there are more sober people than I ever knew existed because I used to avoid people like “that”. They made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t understand them and didn’t want to. Turns out a once party girl, can turn her whole life around and inspire others to choose to look at alcohol differently and even start their own sobriety journey!

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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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