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A Little Backstory

Updated: Apr 29

I love writing… I really do. But the best way to describe myself feels similar to Dory from Finding Nemo. I cannot even tell you the amount of blogs I start, and then by the time I circle back to edit, it just doesn’t feel right. All of this to say… I went to Tampa in March for training with This Naked Mind in Affective Liminal Psychology ( and I tried to write about it, but now so much time has passed (realistically a month and a half) that I had to add some more thoughts. When I got back, I went through a lot of thoughts… a lot. I was so energized after being in a room full of people who want to take this methodology to help others. I was on stage with Annie Grace (for those who don’t know her, she is the author of This Naked Mind amongst many other accolades - best to just google her). Meanwhile, in 2017, I found myself in the darkest space, not wanting to continue. So… I had to try and let myself just absorb this experience. We’re talking about me here… the girl who used to drink… and I mean driiiiiiiink. Then I found myself in a lifestyle where sleeping on weekends was just not part of my routine. The combination of alcohol + cocaine meant I wouldn’t get “messy” and “I had a high tolerance” and somehow I thought that was something to be proud of. What?! Seriously… what?I didn’t know what I didn’t know.I was also a very different version of myself. Not my best chapter, but a real page-turner if I do say so myself! Someone said they were relieved when they found out I did cocaine because they knew “I was cool.” And at the time, I believed it. When I think of that now, I cringe. When it happened at that point in time, I was proud. What?! I shake my head so much at my past self, but I also have compassion for her. I am grateful for every experience because I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of it. But… wow. 

It’s interesting because in college, I definitely drank too much. No doubt about it. I just thought it was what everyone did, and I had absolutely zero self awareness of how I came across. When I tell you I feel as though I’ve lived two lives and have two completely separate identities… I’m not being dramatic (and I’ll be honest, I love being dramatic, I’ve often been compared to both David and Alexis from Schitt’s Creek… just to put it into perspective).

When I stopped drinking in 2018, I knew I wanted to help people. I didn’t know the “how.” When I talk about allowing myself to download my experiences and where I am now, it’s hard to explain why it is so surreal without giving more background.

Listen, it’s impossible to get the meat and potatoes and whole dang story into a blog, heck I’m not even sure I could fit it into a book, but we can do a readers digest version.As I mentioned before, I used to drink… and I never had an off switch or the ability to gauge how intoxicated I was. I’ve talked to people who say they don’t like when they start to slur or feel “tipsy” and I can honestly say I never had that. I had zero awareness. The lenses may have been blurred, but there I was thinking I was seeing clearly. I can transport myself back in time and I genuinely believed I seemed “fine.” In my head, I wasn’t slurring, I was solid on my feet… I was “fine.” Except, I wasn’t.When I peel back the layers there, I can see that I never had the off switch, I never gauged where I was at, I was all or nothing, with zero awareness of how I was perceived or how drunk I actually was. When people would ask the next day “how are you feeling?” I would get that sinking feeling in my stomach… but I would assure them I was fine. It is them who must be remembering things wrong, I was fine… really (not really).As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my mom drank my entire life growing up. It wasn’t until I read “Origins of You” by Vienna Pharaon that I understood how that shaped a lot of who I was (by the way, not blaming or pointing a finger, I take full accountability for leaning into the wrong things to “help me”). I don’t want to dive deep into that, perhaps another day, but understanding how that shaped me, really helped me understand why I chose the relationship that I did. When it comes to those unhealthy relationships, I also have full awareness that I was toxic going into them and I was just pulling in people with my same vibration. Which was low.

Drinking was always a weekend thing, and it was completely normalized. Everyone was doing it, and everyone was experiencing awful hangovers, so it was fine, right? Blacking out and falling down was all part of the college experience, right? Then I got into the party scene and went to a few festivals where I popped pills with zero regard for the fact that I didn’t have a clue what was going into my body (if you could see me now, I can’t even drink coffee without severe anxiety and I want to know what it is I’m eating/drinking). When it came to the rave scene, I wouldn’t feel much of anything, so I would take more than the recommended amount without a care in the world. Eventually I moved into cocaine, something I swore I’d never touch. I knew addiction ran in my family, and I deemed that too dangerous, until I didn’t. In my mind “I’d never let that happen to me” and it was “just for fun.”

Cocaine was a dangerous combination with alcohol, because suddenly, I’m not falling down or blacking out, and in my mind, I felt like “I could be me”… but I wasn’t. I cannot stress that enough, I was not me. I was a shell of myself who was constantly seeking external validation and was desperate to “fit in.” I wanted to fit in with people With people I didn’t even know on a soul level, on a values level, on a kindness level. Things were so different. I wasn’t me for so very long. I was lacking self love and self acceptance in so many ways (which I didn’t realize for a very long time, without doing a lot of reading and soul searching/discovery). I wore this confident persona which was essentially just a mask of all of my insecurities. I worried more about other people liking me, than me liking me. Those insecurities… those would show up if I was drinking, like Jekyll and Hyde. One of the reasons the combination of alcohol and cocaine was dangerous was because it kept Jekyll and Hyde hidden or locked up, so I thought that was a good thing. If it was just alcohol, hello insecurities, goodbye filter and kindness, my mood could switch in an instant. Again, hard to even think about or talk about… but I would switch and you never really knew what was going to happen. I’ve had so many people say they can’t picture me being bitchy when I drank because it’s unlike the person they know now, and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around too, but it was a chapter in my story. I’m so glad that chapter ended. So very freaking glad. And I know many people feel the same way.

When it came to dating or guys (not all - but most), I didn’t get to know them or their values, I just came from a place of ego and wanted to be chosen (more Origin Wounds)… who cares if they are actually a good partner/person or not, right? I paid attention to their social status (which meant nothing) or if other people thought they were great… newsflash, that doesn’t make them a good person, not by a long shot. As I mentioned above, in full transparency, I also attracted the energy I was putting out there. It isn’t as though I was in this super healthy space, because if I was, I would have never found myself in the relationship I did. I thought because I liked sports, I was low maintenance, and I didn’t like drama - that made me a catch. It didn’t. I’ll never look back and say “woah is me” or “poor me.” I became an awful version of myself, and therefore I became an awful partner too. All of these experiences have given me perspective and a level of understanding and compassion for all of the clients I coach.

I’ll never point fingers. I’m my own villain and my own hero. I will say, wholeheartedly that I have the absolute best friends and family and I am not taking anything away from their unconditional love.. What I am saying is that I chose to change (and nudge nudge hint hint - you can too). I realized I got myself to where I was and that meant it was up to me to find my way back. The journey and path isn’t linear, but my god it’s actually something I am so grateful for. All of it. The highs and lows. The moments that brought me to my knees, literally. I have more compassion than I thought possible, and I can share from my scars, not my wounds. If those scars can help anyone find their way back, it is worth sharing. That was always my thought, if sharing helps one person, it will be worth it. I used to let fear of judgement keep me in my shell and hiding in a space full of shame, but what does that serve? Nothing. Who does that help? No one.

This is a snapshot, and nowhere near the whole story. Alcohol started as a weekend habit because “everyone does it'' and that ultimately spiraled into trying other things. As my moms health failed and I was miserable in a relationship, I relied on alcohol and cocaine as a coping mechanism. Essentially, I gave them a job. When that happens, the whole dynamic changes. And quite frankly, there were red flags all along the way when it came to me and my relationship with alcohol.

Now… I coach in my own personal business, and I also coach for This Naked Mind . The methodology and model is based on science and compassion. That is a combination I can get behind! Annie doesn’t say she is sober and neither do I. She says she can drink whenever she wants to, she just hasn’t wanted to in 9 years. I say I used to drink, and now I don’t. The next day I wake up and regret not drinking will be the next day I drink.It all feels like it is exactly where I meant to be, and yet I still have moments wondering how the heck I landed here. Me… the girl who used to driiiiiiiiink & party. I now get to be part of a movement and team that is changing people's lives. I knew in 2018 I wanted to help people, I knew it in my core… but I never ever ever imagined I would land here. Did I say never, because I really mean it. 

I was the person who feared my whole life would be over if I stopped drinking and partying. I was the person who was afraid of what people would think of me. I didn’t post on social media for over 2 years because I was afraid of what my former “party pals” would think. I was the person who feared being called a hypocrite for advocating against the exact things that I used to do. 

Then I realized that I genuinely no longer care about what other people think of me. My dad so kindly reminded me many years ago that what other people think of me is none of my business. He is the best!I realized in my reflection that I missed a massive portion of where partying sped up for me when I lived in Toronto. I tend to focus on the worst years and forget that there was an entire amount of time that led up to that. Like I said, there were red flags all along the way. Being a bartender I was constantly drinking after shifts and partying on the weekend. I also did promotions where I promoted the very substance that I see harming thousands of people on a daily basis. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Now I know better, so I choose better, and I try to spread awareness. 

Life was far from over, it was actually a beautiful new beginning. The opinion of other people does not define the way I see myself. I do not post for likes or validation, I post to spread awareness and to let other people know that they aren’t alone. 

The thing is, you don’t have to wait for a rock bottom to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. Your intuition is your guide, and if you’ve been feeling like you need to slow down, or you feel like you are on a slippery slope… it’s okay to stop. It’s okay to get curious and it’s also okay to reach out for support. It doesn’t make you weak or broken, it makes you strong as hell. By the way, I’ll never stop repeating this… it can happen to anyone. Alcohol is an addictive substance and there is no such thing as “problem drinker” vs “non problem drinker.” I really think that message needs to be reinforced. Consistently. And louder for the people in the back… 

You have no idea what is possible for you. 

You have no idea what relationships can be repaired.

You have no idea the level of self love you can discover.

You have no idea the amount of healing your soul can experience.

You have no idea how good it feels to be able to trust you again.

You have no idea until you try.

You are not alone.

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