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International Overdose Awareness Day

August 30, 2018 6:32 pm

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What is International Overdose Awareness Day and why is it important?

Tomorrow is International Overdose Awareness Day, a day dedicated to bringing awareness and shedding a light on the most important public health concerns in the country right now: overdoses. Over 72,000 people died from an overdose in 2017 in the United States, making overdoses the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Over the past couple of years, the number of deaths caused by overdoses has increased each year, particularly the number of overdoses as a result of opioid use. 

How can overdoses be prevented?
Overdose reversal medications, such as Naloxone are extremely important and access to them is vital to saving lives. Unfortunately, these medications cannot prevent overdoses from occurring. The only way to prevent an overdose from happening in the first place and preventing future ones from occurring is to ensure those battling addiction receive treatment.
Treatment is the key to preventing overdoses. 
For more information on treatment options, visit or call 831.372.2334.
The Beacon House, a proud affiliate of Gateway Foundation, is located on the Monterey Peninsula on the coast of Northern California. Offering inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment for adults, professionals at Beacon House create custom-designed treatment programs for each client to ensure long-term success. 
Focusing on treating the whole person and not just the symptoms of addiction, Beacon House provides a warm, homelike setting for those in need of a safe, comfortable environment as they begin a path to lasting recovery.  

Unintentionally Shamed

December 27, 2017 10:13 pm


I am a sober woman. I love it.  I mean I really, really love being sober.  I don’t experience headaches, dry mouth, indigestion, wake up with my makeup on, wake up in a strange place, get in fights with the people I love, say really rude things, show up late to work with booze on my breath, crave a gigantic greasy meal that will sit in my gut like eight hockey pucks, and best of all, I don’t hate me anymore.  Did I mention I love being SOBER?

My challenge lately has been to cultivate a fellowship of women who I can foster deep meaningful relationships with.  Meanwhile, I still have my few girlfriends that I feel really close to.  They drink, and I was hoping that this wouldn’t become problematic, but inevitably, it has.

Question recently from a friend who drinks: “So…do you think you will ever drink again.”

Answer from me, the sober one: “Ya know, not today.  I really am enjoying being sober.”

Reply from friend who drinks: “Whoa…ok don’t use the word sober.  Just say….alcohol free.  No wait, that sounds worse.  Just say…not drinking.  You really enjoy not drinking.”

Ok…so in the moment, I just felt really anxious because she got really anxious and I agreed with her definition of what I am supposed to be according to her.  A person who enjoys not drinking?  But that really isn’t the truth, and I am all about speaking and living my truth lately. I am an alcoholic.  Plain and simple.  I don’t drink because when I do, I leave behind me a giant wake of hurt and generate a long list of consequences for myself.

But this friend, along with the other drinking friends, don’t want to hear about that.  They don’t want to know about me and my deepest inner workings.  They may think they do, but the only way they can attempt to meet me on that level is by “sharing” a glass of wine together.  And I just cannot do that.

I am slowly starting to realize that my friendships are changing shape.  By my choice to abstain, I am creating a distance between myself and these women that only seems to be increasing.  Each time they unintentionally shame me for being an alcoholic it breaks my heart.  The truth is, all the education in the world isn’t going to help them understand me and the reasons I do what I do. Only another alcoholic/addict can and the few normies out there who love me and respect me for what I am doing.

So here I am. My marriage is healthy, my relationships with my parents are healing, I love my job, I do have a few authentic friendships and I am truly enjoying being a sober alcoholic.  So I guess I will stick with this for today.

Where was the last place you drank?

October 1, 2016 8:31 pm


The last place I drank was a little local bar in Carmel, CA.


I have no idea what I drank….  I really do not remember much about that night.

I was 28 years old.  I took a leave of absence from school and had moved home to Carmel to be with my mom and grandma.

My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer.  My grandma was in Hospice care, dying at home.

I was there to help and I was drinking heavily…..

It was during this time that I got sober.  In the midst of crisis and high emotion I was able to ask for help.

Here is what happened:

My grandma had recently died and my mom was recovering from her surgery.  I was out drinking…..

The last night I drank, I walked home in a blackout.  Apparently, I went to bed and woke with clarity at  3:30 am.

The news was on talking about the Iraq War.

Clear as day, I heard a voice say “Game is Over.”

I went back to sleep.

When I “Came To” the next morning I was not sick (small miracle) and I asked my mom for help.

Game was over.  I was done.

If you are looking for help please call Beacon House.

If we cannot help, we will help to find someone who can.


Quitting Tomorrow?

August 25, 2016 11:46 am


I will quit drinking tomorrow….

Tomorrow is going to be THE DAY!

Can anyone relate?  Every single day I would say:

 I will quit tomorrow!

Tomorrow never came…..

The obsession would set in and I would drink.


Just like Dory…  I would forget and get distracted by that shiny, pretty bottle and I would drink it.

I would forget the pain that alcohol inflicted on my life – both emotionally and physically.

I was stuck in a vicious cycle that I did not know how to get out of.

Today, instead of embracing my ability “Dory like” ability of forgetting the consequences,

I choose to embrace her motto of:  “Just Keep Swimming”.

I have broken that brutal cycle and turned my attention away from the shiny object and towards moving forward with my life, without alcohol.

**image found on pintrest

Rising From Ashes

August 5, 2016 6:56 pm


A place that I love is literally going up in smoke.

It is said to have been started by a campfire.

Currently it has burned more than 53,000 acres.

It has destroyed over 57 homes.  It has killed one man, injuring two others.

The fire still burns.  It is 35% contained.

I have hiked the Soberanes Canyon Trail hundreds of times.  Sometimes twice in one day.

I have hiked it in the pouring rain, heavy fog, and relentless heat.

This is a place where I find my God – in the Great Out Doors.  This is where I connect.

When I travel to California for work I arrange my flights so I can hike Soberanes the day I arrive and the day I leave.

This past trip, that did not happen…..

My flight into Monterey was greeted with smoke rising from the place I love.  My heart broke….

Despite all of the continued devastation, what gives me hope is the knowledge that after the fire new growth will come……

Like me, after complete ruin, a seed sprouted and I am stronger, more resilient than before.

Thank you to all that are working so hard, around the clock and those who support the workers behind the scenes.


The Jeep Wave

July 13, 2016 5:49 pm


I drive a Jeep.  It is the best vehicle I have ever owned.

Going everywhere is an adventure!  Even to the grocery store.

Before I bought my Jeep I had no idea of the “Jeep Wave”.   Once I bought my Jeep I noticed that every Jeep I passed waved to me, so I waved back.  I have since discovered it is a ‘thing’ – the waving between Jeep owners – it is called the “Jeep Wave”!!!

The Jeep Wave:

‘When two Jeep Wranglers pass each other on opposite sides of the road, one of the drivers initiates the wave and the other waves back symbolism some sort of bondage between jeep owners’. – Urban Dictionary

For me this is AMAZING!  I get a “hit” is positive human contact without ever having to engage with another human being!!!!   It makes my day every time I pass a Jeep!!!

When I was drinking, I used to take a book into a bar to get some human contact without having to engage.  Now I jump in my Jeep and get friendly human contact through the wave every time I leave my house….  Even if it is only to the grocery store!



June 22, 2016 11:24 pm


I recently got a speeding ticket….  50 in a 35.  I was guilty.

In Nebraska they offer a class called STOP!.  It is a 4-hour class aimed at scaring the CRAP out of folks by showing disturbing videos of drunk drivers and many clips of individuals who have killed others while texting and driving – and the survivors.

The class was effective.

I do not drink (anymore) so driving drunk is not an issue, today.

I am guilty of looking at my phone while driving – checking a text, changing music, looking at an email……  Now, after hearing the testimonials, I keep my phone in my purse and in the back seat out of reach.

To those that drink and drive – please, PLEASE do not get behind the wheel.

To those who text and drive…..  It can wait!

The ticket is now off my record, and they say it is like it never happened.

For that I am grateful.


What are your triggers?

April 28, 2016 3:09 pm


So, this came in the mail today….


I am not a pill addict, nor have I ever been….  However this marketing campaign from a local pharmacy was a trigger for me!  A trigger for my addictive thinking…

It is like there is some switch in my brain is that activated when I see something that might be able to change my emotional state.  This is the reason I avoid the liquor aisle in the grocery store and I do not go into bars!!

From the countless stories I have heard, I am convinced that my disease is cunning, baffling, and just waiting patiently for that pill, the drink, that line, joint, hit…

Whatever it is, our disease waits…… 

As the Big Book Says:  There will come a time when no human power can keep you from taking that first drink.

My sponsor has always said this to me….  Hence the reason for going to meetings and keeping spiritually fit through working with others, exercise, prayer, attempts at meditation, and practicing the Golden Rule.

What are your triggers?  What do you do to keep spiritually fit?


April 8, 2016 5:14 pm


Recently I had my 13th sobriety birthday.  THIRTEEN YEARS!

I am beyond grateful.

Thirteen years is also how long I was in my disease.

That totals 26 years….

A Ninth Step Promise is:

”We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it”.  –Big Book pg. 83

There are times when I regret my past.

The reason for the regret is time.  Lost time……  Thirteen years, in my disease, being controlled by a substance……

However, with regards to the second part of the Promise; I have never, ever wanted to shut the door on my past.

That past of mine, no matter how DARK, how DESPERATE, how ALONE, and how DEPENDENT, makes me the Light that I am today.

Out of that darkness came Light.  Out of that darkness I have learned to live, love, and forgive.

Thank you to all of my Lights who have shown and continue to show me the way.