A Little About Me...
I like to refer to myself as a chronic blogger. I started out years ago using LiveJournal in my mid-twenties and gradually moved to other platforms as they became available. Back in those days, I wrote about general day-to-day musings and even a brief stint exploring roller coasters, both literally and figuratively. I’ve written about everything from music and weight lifting to cocktails and the craft beer scene (see a theme), but that all changed when I started the Intentional Optimist blog. After entering my fourth decade, I was exploring much more about myself at this stage in life than ever before. I was a long-time anxiety sufferer and finally made my way to therapy to try to get a grip on it after it started to consume my life. I was well aware that part of the work I needed to focus on was related to growing up as an adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA), and as a chronic blogger, I was driven to write about some of those experiences. As I kicked off that site, I had never before questioned my own drinking - even if it was impossible to recall a time since my early twenties where the drink wasn’t part of my daily life. Yes, given my family history, I was keenly aware that I needed to be careful. But, I was nothing like my father, so obviously I didn’t have a problem. Until I did.
Red flags started to pop up everywhere. There was a voice inside that kept telling me drinking every single day wasn’t such a great idea. There were the nights of crying to my husband and telling him I really wanted to cut back, followed by the mornings of brushing those thoughts off as drunken nonsense while I started to think of my next drink. I tried moderation a multitude of times, with only failure to speak of. Then I started dabbling in other people’s stories out of an attempt to prove to myself that I didn’t have a problem. That was also met with failure. I was listening to podcasts and reading blogs and books about other women and their addictions when I quickly recognized my own story within many of those voices. I followed that up by taking every online quiz that I could find and every one of them said I had a problem with alcohol. I didn’t like that one bit. I tuned it all out and went on about my business for a while. Denial at its finest.
My drinking was increasing, but no one really knew to what extent. I was never the woman that people saw with a problem. I wasn’t falling off bar stools or picking fights. I was holding it all together and presenting the picture-perfect image that I believed was expected of me. Meanwhile, I was numbing. Some days I stuck with just a couple of glasses of wine at night, but most days were closer to a bottle. Maybe a bottle preceded by a vodka martini or followed up with straight whiskey. Maybe all three. I was alone most nights and coming home from a stressful job ready to unwind during my first few steps through the door. Late in 2017 I started sneaking alcohol when my husband was home. I was grabbing an extra swig out of bottles when he wasn’t in the same room, which I knew was a bad sign. On the weekends I started looking for any excuse to crack open a bottle of champagne earlier and earlier until I decided the only excuse I needed was that is was Saturday morning. Then came the handful of mornings that I poured a little rum in my tea as I headed out to start my week day. The voice in my head was practically shouting at me by this point.
Fast forward to February 2018 when I finally recognized that I had no choice but to draw a hard line in the sand. I had to quit. It had to be forever. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever come to terms with and was by far the most difficult experience I’ve encountered. The voices of those women who I reluctantly related to months before were the very ones who helped me take my first steps into sobriety and beyond. Their stories led me to a place I never saw coming. A place where I could own my truth. A place where I want to help you own yours.
Hi. I'm Tracie.
I’m recovering from anxiety, alcohol addiction, perfectionism, workaholism, codependency, trauma and abuse. Your stories have changed my life. My hope is this place and the stories within it might make a difference in yours.