Talk therapy may not be for me.

So, since the last post, I’ve discovered a few things. First, as I mentioned about seeing booze everywhere, not wanting it but resenting that it wasn’t an option (resenting is a strong word. Annoyed.), I no longer feel that. I think the mere act of writing about it diffused any energy left there. Poof. I don’t resent it. It is what it is. I still see it, but it carries very little more energy than the bread on the table I can’t touch. The longer away from it, the easier it is, and the more I admit what I feel as I feel, whether in my head or here on this blog, the more the energy shifts away from that. I don’t drink and I’m really fucking okay with that.

I have discovered this doesn’t just apply to my relationship with alcohol. It applies to anything I am feeling. As I mentioned before, that documentary and post conversation about sexual abuse triggered me in a way that really surprised me. I had thought I had dealt with most of the stuff, but more came out and clearly, it made me emotional. Just writing about it here pretty much healed that for me, so when I went to the therapist I’d chosen, it was actually quite an unpleasant experience.

I spent an hour giving her my full, sorry, sad and cringeworthy background in regards to this issue.  I hate talking about these things. It made me cry, which I also hate. I find it embarrassing, especially in regards to these things. I feel such a sense of shame, as the pattern repeated itself over the years and in multiple ways with multiple people, and I’ve carried the weight of feeling responsible on some level for all of it. Logically, I know this is bullshit. If I were hearing about this from someone else about someone else, it would be clear to me that this wasn’t their fault. I KNOW this; I just wish I felt this. I would love to feel this. The fact is, I don’t dwell on it at all, but when it does come up, I feel shame. I have my entire life felt like damaged goods just faking it. I also feel like I’ve done a really good job of dealing with it for the most part.

That said, I left the session feeling worse than I did going in. She nodded at all the right times but didn’t explore anything with me. I felt exposed and silly, as I have worked on all of this before and made peace for the most part with it, so bringing it up again was just really unpleasant and embarrassing.

I get more out of this blog than that, and it’s clear to me that just acknowledging feelings goes a long way to diffusing the energy around it and moving forward.

I have lied to keep people close to me, and I don’t want to anymore. Certain things have happened to me that I have denied sparing others’ feelings about those involved, and I don’t want to do that anymore, AND I don’t want to dwell on it either, as it is over and I am at peace with that part of my past. Denying that it happened though to keep people close to me is damaging to others, and it’s not right or fair, and I am strong enough now to say that.



I’m still around. I’m still sober.

I wanted to give a quick update. As the title says, I’m still sober. It was 18 months in January, which was the original goal for me. I made it.

Observations: I still think about alcohol on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean I think about how I wish I could drink. It just means that something about it will cross my mind daily, whether it’s just about me being sober, or seeing an ad, or what have you. Last night we went to dinner and I noticed which tables had wine. I felt annoyed that I still do that, and annoyed that I can’t have it, despite not wanting it. How’s that for a dialectic? I wish I could have it even though I don’t want it. I really don’t want it! I just am annoyed that I can’t have it. Now in truth, of COURSE, I could have it. I really, really don’t want what comes with having it. I don’t miss it. I just hate being told what to do, even if it’s me telling me that. 😛

I have been mentioning the need to lose weight and get healthy. Having a thyroid condition has made losing weight a very difficult task. Almost impossible, and couple that with having had a full hysterectomy, I have a lot of things going against that. I was delighted to find out that despite that, the HCG diet still works for me. I started it March 9th. As of today, I am down 33 pounds. I have another 30 or so to go, but I feel like I can do this now. I will start up the weight loss portion of the diet again after a 3-week stabilization phase beginning of next month and plan to be at my fighting weight in June.

In other news, I’ve reached out to a DBT counselor about starting regular sessions. I thought I’d pretty well dealt with some trauma in my life, but it’s seeping out again. “Leaving Neverland” and the Oprah special after it had me in a puddle. I clearly have some more to work out in that area. I feel ready. I’m a little afraid as I know it will impact some relationships that I’ve been willing to compromise myself for in order to have them in my life, and I don’t know what that will look like when I’m through this, but it’s simply time. By the way, if you haven’t seen the Oprah special on HBO about Leaving Neverland, it demonstrates perfectly the concept of DBT – how 2 things that seems so opposed can exist side by side with one another. This concept is what really freed me from my addiction. Once I quit fighting the notion that something couldn’t be true because this other thing was true, I could heal.  To that end, I’d like to update the Jung quote in the picture. I am what happened to me, AND I am what I choose to become.

Here is the homework. Be warned that if you are a survivor, this could be triggering and it could be healing.


Happy New Year!

Name: Heldy
Drug of choice: alcohol
Clean date: 7/24/17
Days sober: 1 year, 5 months 8 days

I am feeling focused because the first of the year is a time for me to look forward to what I want to achieve.

What I’m working on: Seeing the basic goodness in everyone I encounter.

Meditated? YES! I missed Christmas and the day after, but past that, I am solidly like 2 months now of meditating every morning before coffee. It’s working for me.

Success? I realized this morning that 2018 was a completely sober year for me.

Challenge? I need to focus on the rest of my health.

Have you felt triggered since group? I hate the word trigger. I haven’t wanted to jump into a lake of wine in longer than I can remember. I have attended a lot of social gatherings lately and yes, the thought crossed my mind of what would it taste like again, but that was absolutely the end of that thought. It never went further, not even “playing the tape”. I’ve memorized the fucking tape. 🙂 I’ve also become quite comfortable with my excuse for not drinking, which is 100% true even if it’s not the entire story, in that alcohol triggers (that word!) migraines for me and it had become unbearable. 100% truth there.

Do you intend to harm yourself or others? No

Homework: It’s time for me to do my yearly collage so that’s what I’m setting as my homework.

Are you open to feedback? Yes



– Heldy

Happy A-Ha Holidays

Name: Heldy
Drug of choice: alcohol
Clean date: 7/24/17
Days sober: 1 year, 4 months 4 days

It seems I naturally come back here each month. I obviously am no longer holding myself to a particular schedule, and this is working for me.

This time of year is always tricky, but this time I know exactly why. It’s not all the booze everywhere. It’s all the socializing. Something I have finally really accepted about myself is that I’m an introvert. Putting myself in social situations is not comfortable for me. At all. I can do it, but it’s really difficult for me, especially mustering any motivation to go (which may be the worst part). Generally, I will find some pleasure in it, but for the most part, it’s just not comfortable.

So now, here we are again. That time of year when I have to be social (and I do have to be social – this is a requirement). I am still an introvert, only now I am an introvert that doesn’t fit in. I realized recently that THAT is the part about drinking that I actually miss the most at this point. It’s bad enough being an introvert in a social setting, but let’s add onto that the fact that I’m one of only a couple, but usually THE only one, without a drink in my hand (and wondering if they’re wondering as to why).  I miss feeling like I kind of belong.

It’s a small price for all the positive things not drinking does for me (like being alive at all) and I will get over it, especially now that I have figured out that it’s that that has me feeling so uncomfortable. Being able to name it helps. I’m an introvert who sticks out a little more because I don’t drink. Yay. Again, I’ll get over it.

As an aside, I finally read the entire “This Naked Mind”, and I have to say, I found it a little infuriating. In the beginning, I was really excited because I could relate to what she was describing as my drinking. As it went on, however, she states over and over that everyone is in a different stage of alcohol dependence, and then periodically denies she said that. I have lived with a man for 20 years that I can count on 1 hand how many times he overindulged.  It hasn’t gotten progressively more. He drinks every day, and he never drinks too much. He has an evening ritual, but I’ve watched him not drink if he’s sick, not drink at parties, etc., etc. Now maybe it was true in her experience that everyone in her life has a problem. That’s just not the case in my life, and I found the book irritating because of it. That and her continued contradictions about it. That said, in true dialectic form, it was also useful to read. I also had a renewed appreciation for DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).

Speaking of…

I continue to go to a weekly class with my daughter, and I finally determined I really must meditate every day, so that’s something I am doing. I have associated it with my morning coffee. I meditate before I can pour a cup. It’s working. Today was day 24.


I watched this yesterday and found it super useful.

Happy Holidays!

– Heldy

Observations at 1 year, 3 months sober and DEAR MAN.

Name: Heldy
Drug of choice: alcohol
Clean date: 7/24/17
Days sober: 1 year, 3 months

I am feeling contemplative because of how I feel about where I am today as a non-drinker as opposed to some more euphoric folk. I said I wanted to not feel one way or the other about alcohol, and I’ve mostly arrived at this place. I was speaking to my mother about this the other day. About the “why me and why alcohol”.  I’ve come to the conclusion that quite simply it was how I learned at a very young age to cope with distress. It worked really well at that. It’s a pretty simple answer, but it feels absolutely spot on. So with that said, and knowing the brain does heal from the alcohol abuse; recreating healthy neuropathways given enough time, and if one has learned how to cope with distress with healthy methods further strengthening those neuropathways, what would stop me from trying a drink again someday in a social context? The simple answer is why take that risk? Why, if I have indeed learned how to cope with distress in healthy ways, learned how to socialize without it, replaced so many negative aspects of it with positive or at the very least, lack of negative, why would I risk it? She talked about how many years it’s taken for her to heal her gut and that she felt the same way about gluten (granted that is a far less complicated substance). Why would she risk trying it again after achieving balance without it?

And that is basically where I am.

I see my sister who got sober about 5 months after I did, and she’s euphoric in a lot of ways about her decision. I can’t say I’m there. I am so grateful to no longer be hiding and living in constant terror of being caught while trying so hard to disappear every day, but I’m also not necessarily happy about being sober. I’m ok with this. As I said, I wanted to be indifferent. It does get easier. I still think about it, but never without the adjoining thought of the terror I mentioned.

What I’m working on: Currently the class is working on validation and recovering from non-validation. I was gone from last week’s class as I was out of town. This was an interesting class though and especially interesting after the day I’d had. It was a rough one. I’m under a tremendous amount of stress with work, with my daughter, with my son, and I’m still jet-lagged from my trip. I kind of lost it a couple times. I sobbed from sheer exhaustion and frustration, and I found myself self-comforting myself saying it was ok to lose it. It was ok to be sad. It was ok to not feel ok. Total self-validation, even though some part of me was saying, “C’mon now! Put on your big girl panties – you should know better.”. That thought though didn’t have much of a chance. It felt good to attend class and to look at recent instances in which I naturally did quite well with this, as well as ponder where I could have done things differently and gotten a more pleasing result.

Number of recovery meetings this week: Just DBT.

Success? I’ve gotten a shit ton done. I’m pretty pleased with my time management.

Challenge? My diet and weight. I did keto before my trip for 6 weeks. My sister has dropped over 50 pounds this year with it and is such a fucking inspiration. In the 6 weeks of keeping my carbs 20 or under with the rare couple of days I popped up to mid 20s, as well as keeping the calories between 1000-1500 a day, as well as walking 30 minutes a day about 5 days a week (I know that isn’t much, but it’s what my back will tolerate), it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t weigh myself throughout but just before. My clothes didn’t change how they fit on me. While on this trip, I allowed for the occasional treat because of where I was and knowing I wouldn’t see that food for another year or so. I went to the doctor on Monday and told her my tale, asked if it was possible to try HCG again which has worked and worked really well in the past (I was able to lose 55 pounds and keep it off for 6 or so years) which she seems to think would be ok to try again, and we weighed me. Same as what I was before starting keto. So, I’m back to eating clean, but will start HCG again as soon as possible. It would be nice to drop 52.6 pounds, according to my scale this morning. I’m in no big hurry but over the next 8 months or so. New goal. New focus.

Have you felt triggered since group? For about 3 seconds after falling apart. Nope.

Do you intend to harm yourself or others? No


Are you open to feedback? Yes

– Heldy

This Naked Mind, Freedom from Drinking, DBT, Radical Acceptance

Name: Heldy
Drug of choice: alcohol
Clean date: 7/24/17
Days sober: 1 year, 1 month, 19 days

Before I go into my regular check-in, I am compelled to let you know that I’ve discovered a couple alcohol related recovery resources that I wish, wish, WISH I had had when I first stopped drinking. It is PURE gold. I will update my links with it too. Whenever I feel the need to connect to someone else who “gets it”, this does it for me. I still have yet to step foot in any real-life meeting since I stopped drinking over a year ago, and I feel the only thing that may be missing is a crew of people who get it, however, this satisfies that for me completely.


This book, which I haven’t even finished yet, is a total game changer. As I said, I wish I had had this from day 1. It’s seriously so good. The intro alone had me feeling so NOT alone. She gets it. She gets me. I listen to it on audiobook as I don’t have time to sit still and read:

Here’s an article from Forbes on it:

For some, a temporary break from alcohol (aka #DryJanuary) can reframe their relationship with drinking, but some may find avoiding it entirely helps them have a healthier, happier personal and professional life. In her book, This Naked Mind, author Annie Grace shares her story of quitting alcohol and uses psychology and neuroscience research and a “no scare statistics” approach to empower readers to do the same.

Secondly, her podcast. It’s PURE GOLD, people.


Go. Subscribe. Buckle in. Not a bad place to start would be episode 100 where she goes over 100 things which improved since she stopped drinking.

I am feeling ah-ha duh-ish because last night was our 4th DBT class and this one introduced radical acceptance. Radical acceptance has been, by far, the most profound thing I have ever learned in how to just live. And yet! When she asked us to think of examples of things we’re dealing with in which we are willful instead of willing, it was so silly obvious that I wasn’t practicing this when my daughter has her meltdowns. I have in past, but I haven’t lately. Our teacher used her own daughter’s meltdowns as an example and she described her exhaustion of “here we go again”, and my eyes got big. This is how I’ve been feeling, and I haven’t stopped, truly accepted, and leaned into what is. I’ve been resisting and frustrated, and feeling so guilty for not being able to fix it. I’ve been exhausted and angry. It brought tears to my eyes when I acknowledged this.

My daughter has been participating, and even pointing out things in our day to day, showing me she is listening and really taking this in. I am so relieved. I really love our Tuesday evenings. It’s us time, and we are both learning so much together.

What I’m working on: Radical acceptance! I also learned it’s okay if I don’t choose this; radical acceptance is a choice. So is being willful. So is being self-destructive. We all have choices in how we handle things, and that is true freedom. We can choose to do something, we can choose to accept, we can choose to do nothing, we can choose to make things worse.

Number of recovery meetings this week: I am definitely changing this. Number of DBT classes, 1. That’s all there will be too. I may just eliminate this question altogether.

Success? The progress with my daughter is huge. Personally, I’m doing ok. My daughter and how I choose to react to our situation is both my biggest challenge and success.

Challenge? See success.

Have you felt triggered since group? I’m getting rid of this question. After I hit the 1 year mark, things actually quieted completely in my head. I didn’t realize how much I felt I needed to get to that milestone, and how much noise that caused in my mind. It was somewhat all-consuming for a time, and once I got there, it was like I could relax and breathe.  I’m still counting the time to that 1.5 year date, as I’ve given that some meaning. It falls close to my birthday as well. I will for sure drop this question as well as the time counting once I get there, as it no longer is meaningful.

Do you intend to harm yourself or others? No


Why not listen to “This Naked Mind” podcast #100?


Are you open to feedback? Yes

– Heldy

Feeling happy. Changing things here.

Name: Heldy
Drug of choice: alcohol
Clean date: 7/24/17
Days sober: 1 year, 29 days

I am feeling happy because I think this may be helpful to my daughter. As I mentioned in my last entry, we were just starting a DBT skills class for adolescents. Had I checked in with you a week ago, I would have told you how exhausted I was and utterly defeated. I walked the walk though and chose to radically accept that my daughter might not find this useful the way I did. She told me after the first group that it wasn’t for her. We had a long evening of expressing our frustration with one another. She didn’t believe anyone was listening to her when she said school wasn’t for her, and this simply wasn’t going to work. I expressed my frustration that she hadn’t given it a proper try. In the end, she agreed to go for 4 sessions and after which, I agreed to explore other options for her for school. Mind you, school hasn’t even started yet. In the end,  we both felt heard, and I think that was the most important thing.

Last night was our 2nd group. It was totally focused on distress tolerance and emergency skills. She really responded to this, and even participated. As we left, she said she really only needed 1 more session (something she had tried to bargain down from 4) to realize that this was a good thing. Off to dinner out we went, and I mentioned again how happy I was that we could do this once a week and try a new restaurant we probably never would have otherwise, just the 2 of us. It was a great evening.

I’m changing part of my check-in. Some of these questions just don’t match what I’m doing anymore. I think once I hit 18 months sober, I’ll remove that part too. I am not in AA, and the recovery programs I followed don’t really count sobriety that way. By their accounts, I have almost 6 years of sobriety. That said, I’ll keep the count until 18 months when I believe my brain has safely healed from the abuse.

What I’m working on: DBT skills (mindfulness, distress tolerance)

Success? My daughter feeling good about this class

Challenge? Currently, just making sure I keep everything straight as far as things that need to be done. Work is incredibly busy. I feel awful as I agreed to meet a new client tonight. I felt strongly I was forgetting something. I had. I had previously agreed to let my sister park her car at our house and I was to take her to the airport tonight. She insisted she will just park there – it’s a short trip, but man do I feel like a putz. I offered to have my son drive her or get her an Uber – I just can’t blow off a new client last minute, but I could arrange something else for her. I still feel terrible about this.

Have you felt triggered since last checking in? No.

Do you intend to harm yourself or others? No


Funny, the video I posted in the last entry was supposed to be a TED talk about humor. It was a 30-second ad and I still don’t know what for. Oops! At least I know no one really reads this thing! Hahaha!

This was the video shown at our first DBT skills group: