The 4 Stages Of Changing Your Relationship With Alcohol

The 4 Stages Of Changing Your Relationship With Alcohol

Why What You’re Experiencing Is Completely Normal

If you are on a journey to change your relationship with alcohol, I see you and I feel you because I’ve been there too. Although now I’ve made a confident decision that drinking no longer contributes anything to my life, I remember very well my days as a sober curious woman who wished deeply I could have a take-it-or-leave-it relationship with alcohol. I remember wondering if I was the only one silently questioning my relationship with booze and experiencing awful anxiety after I drank. I wondered if people would think I had a problem if I were to quit. I sat paralyzed in indecision for quite some time before making the decision to take a break in January 2017.

During my journey to find freedom from alcohol, I’ve noted that there are four distinct stages you go through when changing your relationship with alcohol. I’d love for you to read these and share with me where you are now:

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1000 Days Alcohol-Free: Here’s What Helped Me Get There

1000 Days Alcohol-Free: Here’s What Helped Me Get There

Today - September 29th, 2019 - is my 1000th day free from alcohol. I’ll be honest, I don’t track my days anymore because not drinking is just part of my lifestyle...it’s just something I don’t do. Miraculously, it’s also something I don’t have any desire to do...I never thought I’d be here.

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I Quit Drinking Even Though I'm Not An Alcoholic

I Quit Drinking Even Though I'm Not An Alcoholic

Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m not an alcoholic. In fact, back in my drinking days, I was what you would have considered a run-of-the-mill social drinker. I drank just like everyone else in my social circle: a glass of wine with dinner here or there, happy hours, social events. But, as a single, thirty-something - the social events were plentiful. There’d be dinner and drinks with friends and a round of bar hopping on Friday night followed by brunch on Saturday to recover before being productive (or at least attempting to) for a few hours and going back out Saturday night.

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Why Drinking Isn't Actually Helping You Sleep

Why Drinking Isn't Actually Helping You Sleep

Plus, my best tips for upping your sleep hygiene game and getting great sleep without a nightcap.

I took prescription sleep aids for more years than I’d like to admit. I had tremendous anxiety when it came to the thought of not being able to get to sleep. I was easily frustrated by my mind that would not seem to quiet itself enough for me to rest. Long story short: I know what it’s like to struggle with sleep. I know how tempting an “easy solution” can feel when you think you’re a “bad sleeper”.

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How I Made The Most Of My Solo Vacation

How I Made The Most Of My Solo Vacation

Real talk: I’m not a seasoned travler. I spent my summers in the Midwest going on weekend driving vacations. I didn’t get on a plane until graduate school and didn’t leave the country until after I’d turned 30. I’m only just getting into the groove when it comes to knowing what types of travel I’m into. Sometimes, travel seems intimidating and I’ve been grateful to have so many willing travel buddies to guide me and share experiences with me over the past few years.

In the last few months, however, I’ve really been slipping into a season of introversion and desiring to spend more time with myself and those with whom I have really close soul connections. When it became quite obvious recently that it was time for a getaway, I made the conscious choice to travel alone. I booked a last minute trip to Tulum, Mexico (read more about my travel experience and recommendations here) with the clear intention of reconnecting with my intuition, which I’d lost sight of during a recent season of business.

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A Wellness Blogger's Guide to Doing Tulum Solo

A Wellness Blogger's Guide to Doing Tulum Solo

I visited Tulum for the first time in May of 2017. I’d heard so many wonderful things about this destination being the boho-travelers dream. However, the all-inclusive resort I stayed at for a friend’s wedding was nothing like the Tulum I’d been told about.

Just two years later, in May 2019, I decided to venture back for my own solo exploration of this magical beach destination. The purpose of my trip was to unplug, rest, relax, and experience the culture of this beautiful place. If you’re in need of a refreshing solo trip, Tulum is your destination - here is my guide.

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Why Every Single Woman Should Date Herself

Why Every Single Woman Should Date Herself

How a Breakup with Booze & Boys Helped Me To Truly Love Myself

I walked into the dimly-lit theater and apprehensively took my seat. At 31, this was the first time I’d ever treated myself to a movie solo. My thirty-first year would be full of many firsts. This was my first of many dates with myself.

The catalyst behind this newfound relationship with little old me was born out of necessity. It was only a few months before that I’d made the decision to take a break from alcohol. A “party girl” in my 20s, I’d had a sudden sense that my life might be better without it. So, as terrified as I was to navigate the world without a substance that had given me the confidence to date in the first place, I listened to my intuition and broke up with booze.

Little did I know that eliminating alcohol from my life would fuel one of the most intense and important periods of personal growth I’m sure I will experience in my lifetime.

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Why Giving Up Alcohol For Dry January Is Not An Accomplishment

Why Giving Up Alcohol For Dry January Is Not An Accomplishment

A few things you’ve got wrong about taking a break from booze + some good news.

You read the title: Giving up alcohol for Dry January isn’t an accomplishment. I know, because I did it. Two years ago, I decided I couldn’t keep living the, work hard / play hard, mimosas made me do it, 5 o'clock somewhere, party-girl lifestyle I’d kept up for most of my 20s. It was becoming exhausting, mundane, boring, and I could sense that the lifestyle was the single most concrete habit interfering with having the career, relationships, and fulfillment in life that I deserved.

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5 Reasons I’m Thankful to Be A Non-Drinker This Holiday Season

5 Reasons I’m Thankful to Be A Non-Drinker This Holiday Season

I grew up in an area of the Midwest where “Wild Turkey Wednesday” was a thing...never heard of it? Well, it’s where you drown yourself in shots of Wild Turkey the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a way to kick off the holiday season.

Now, I never even liked Wild Turkey, yet I participated in this senseless activity because I thought it was fun. What wasn’t so fun was waking up on Thanksgiving day with an incredible hangover hoping to find some greasy food to bring me back to life before it was time to have Thanksgiving dinner. These days, my holidays look a little different. As I approach my second holiday season as a non-drinker, I wanted to share some reflections and observations about how life has changed. With the holiday season approaching in mere days, I know there will be many temptations to imbibe and many stressful opportunities that would have led a previous version of me to conclude that I “deserved” a drink. Here are five reasons I’m thankful to be a non-drinker this holiday season.

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Writer's Retreat at Dao House in Estes Park, Colorado

Writer's Retreat at Dao House in Estes Park, Colorado

Nestled against a backdrop of Colorado’s scenic mountains, just outside of Estes Park, Colorado, you’ll find a serene little spot called Dao House. With its sprawling grounds, log cabins and rustic lodge, it was immediately clear that Dao House was the place I’d gone searching for when looking for a place to go for reflection, inspiration, and relaxation.

Dao House hosts personal retreats, group retreats and weddings at their rustic venue, sat in a peaceful valley facing a breathtaking view of Longs Peak. During my stay, I got a sneak peek at several of their restorative services as well as their Artist’s Residency Program (which I can’t wait to return for).

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How I Moved From "Gray Area Drinking" to "Spontaneously Sober"

How I Moved From "Gray Area Drinking" to "Spontaneously Sober"

…And Three Tough Questions I Had To Ask Myself

My name is Amanda. I’m a single, social, thirty-something living in Austin, TX. I’m also alcohol-free. I describe my journey as “spontaneous sobriety” because I didn’t identify as having a “drinking problem” (though, as you’ll read, that doesn’t mean my drinking wasn’t a problem).

A former social drinker (read: party girl), I’ve candidly discussed my alcohol-free lifestyle quite a bit over the last few years. What I haven’t shared in detail is how much I struggled as social or “gray area” drinker.

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Staycation At Lake Austin Spa Resort

Staycation At Lake Austin Spa Resort

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a quiet day in the country, spent sitting by the water. I’m always dreaming of spending the day soaking in the views and reading by the pool or lake. I love the convenience and excitement of living in a great city like Austin, but long for time to disconnect and relax in the country.


Located on Lake Austin, Lake Austin Spa Resort is perhaps the most lush expression of my weekend dream. With ample lake shore views, a scenic country setting, mature trees, foliage, and...oh yeah, a beautiful spa, two restaurants, and amazing accommodations, Lake Austin Spa Resort is the ultimate spot for a day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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How to Say "No" Gracefully

How to Say "No" Gracefully

In my last post, I wrote about how saying “no” to others is really saying “yes” to ourselves. But knowing when to say “no” and knowing how to say it are difficult - especially when someone puts you on the spot or is relentless in their request. Saying “no” in these situations can make us feel uncomfortable, uncaring, disinterested. But “no” is really none of those things; it’s simply a boundary we set that says, “this isn’t for me”. Personally, I find that practicing how to best say “no” is a valuable way to prepare me to do it gracefully when needed. I feel like I’ve finessed this process during my 9-5 and am able to confidently and kindly decline sales calls and offers kindly (even when they're rather persistent)...but I realized recently that I hadn't fully transferred this skill over to my personal life. When I thought about it, the tactics I use to say "no" in my professional life translate rather well to personal situations as well. Here are my best tips for helping yourself to say “no” gracefully:

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Why Saying "No" To Others Is Really Saying "Yes" To Ourselves

Why Saying "No" To Others Is Really Saying "Yes" To Ourselves

My name is Amanda and I am a recovering people pleaser“yes” person, and be everywhere / do everything gal. Saying “no” makes me feel kind of uncomfortable. Case in point: I recently made the conscious choice to say “no” to a seemingly simple request. Saying “yes” would have been the easy, people-pleaser thing to do, but I’ve been working really hard to become protective of my time and, based on my own criteria, the request was a “no”.

Since I’m (always) being honest, I’ll admit that I didn’t handle the “no” very gracefully...I felt compelled to explain myself and when the other person wouldn’t take “no” for an answer... I snapped (eek). Losing my cool is a sure sign that I have some reflection to do (I know, I know; we’re all human, but I am human who has gotten freaking good at self-reflection and unpacking things that disrupt my good vibes).

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Why I Choose Sobriety Over Moderation

Why I Choose Sobriety Over Moderation

When I started to feel like drinking culture was no longer serving me a few years ago, I was admittedly resistant about being “sober” because of the social stigma I held around the label. I didn’t want to be “sober” because I didn’t want to have a “problem”. As it turns out, you don’t have to have an addiction-level “problem” with alcohol for it to be a “problem” in your life.


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How To Rock A Group Vacation When You're (The Only One) Not Drinking

How To Rock A Group Vacation When You're (The Only One) Not Drinking

It’s officially summer, which means many of us are planning an adventure or relaxing getaway. Vacations are traditionally a time to cut loose, relax or explore new places and experience a new culture. For most people, this means gluttonous eating and drinking. I gave up the latter almost 18 months ago and have navigated the waters of sober vacationing many times since - and always with a travel companion (or companions) who were decidedly not sober.

Whether you’re newly alcohol-free, working through recovery, or just trying to be more mindful - getting outside of your normal routine can be a test of your commitment to sobriety. You are surrounded by messages that suggest you deserve a drink to relax or that you need to have a cocktail to be normal. Here are my tops for rocking a group vacation when you are (the only one) not drinking.

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Four Steps to Finding Peace When Someone is Testing Your Patience

Four Steps to Finding Peace When Someone is Testing Your Patience

I had a conversation with an acquaintance this past week that really tried my patience. While my relationship with this individual had been wearing on me for some time, our interactions of late - while less frequent - had really taken a lot out of me. So, this week, when I most felt the desire to react from an unloving, ego-driven, place; I took it as a sign to take pause and call upon the tools I’d been diligently adding to my toolkit over the past few years…I took the opportunity to practice these four steps to find peace when someone is testing your patience

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Four Relationship Truths Everyone Can Learn From

Four Relationship Truths Everyone Can Learn From

I found myself holding space recently for a friend who was going through a confusing time in a romantic relationship which she felt might be coming to an end. I felt deep compassion for her because I’d been where she was; sitting in a gray area of uncertainty and anxiety…

What I wished for my friend (and what I wish for anyone going through a similar situation) is that she would come to know these four important truths about relationships:

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Raise Your Standards, Not Your Glass

Raise Your Standards, Not Your Glass

How living alcohol-free has helped me elevate my expectations & priorities in every area of life.

There is no way I could have imagined how much giving up booze would transform my life. Sure, I’ve been on my a-game both physically and mentally; a level of vibrancy which was not my reality as a drinker. However, I would have never dreamt that giving up alcohol would be the best decision I ever made...and one that would become the catalytic mechanism for growth and higher standards in all other areas of my life.

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A Modern Girls Guide to Appreciating Singleness

A Modern Girls Guide to Appreciating Singleness

How to make the most of the single life & prepare yourself for the relationship you want. 

I can attest that as I've become more intentional with how I spend my time as a single gal, I've become more understanding and aware of why this time exists. To say I'm grateful would be an understatement. My singleness has provided me with tremendous opportunities for personal growth; I've accepted them all as graciously as possible. I know, with certainty that this time has made me a stronger individual and prepared me to be more present in all areas of life; especially to be a better partner. As a result, I know I have a lot to give and will add value to all relationships - romantic or not - and I seek for the same in others.

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