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You know those pretty turquoise light blue boxes with the silk white bows? They rhyme with epiphany (hehe) and you know where it’s from the moment you get one? When I see them, I immediately imagine what’s inside is going to be a wonderful surprise, a sparkling gem or precious treasure. And in life, what’s that pretty box all about? Is it the packaging that matters most, the way we dress it up on the outside, or how about what’s inside? Possibly, maybe a little of both!?
I feel that authenticity is what people want today in the world and I want you to know who I am behind all the photos, what’s on the inside, and my journey to find that inner love and beauty. It can be easy on social media to only share the best moments and this milestone felt right to share the journey I took to find my true self, that gem inside the pretty box.
Today I am woman celebrating seven years of sobriety, a life of freedom without drugs or alcohol.
The biggest thing that changed for me in this journey was finding an inner freedom, peace, and happiness that I never had before. Today I know that the goodness I feel today starts from within and and then can radiate out. In my journey, sobriety helped me find my essence and authentic self.
I share this truth and vulnerability today in hopes of inspiring maybe just one person to consider doing something that’s been holding them back or brings them closer to their truth, in any aspect of their lives.
By the time I turned 30 Chardonnay was my best friend and it always found a way to come first. Alcohol was what I turned to when I was happy, when I was sad, when I celebrated or when I mourned. I used it to self-medicate and to not feel my feelings.
And yet, deep down, I knew my life would be better without it…but how? It was like a bad relationship that I couldn’t get out of… I wanted to stop, but I was scared. No matter how great the package looked on the outside, it was what was inside that needed polishing.
How I Found My Way Out
In early 2010 a coincidental sequence of events occurred, I believe came from my higher power, that led me to look at myself and my drinking for the first time in my life.
Here are a few things I did to help me look inside for my truth that you may be able to try:
- Honesty. Be honest with yourself – search within and ask yourself, what is really true for you? Are you being honest with yourself about what you’re doing, what you want for yourself and your life?
- Willingness. Have willingness – be willing to believe you can do something different in your life or willing to be willing to consider trying something different.
- Identify don’t compare – as Theodore Roosevelt says, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Look out for the similarities, not the differences.
- Be Open. Open mind, open heart – be open to how you are feeling and try to connect back with your heart, not just your head, and tap into the inside.
- Gratitude. Keep an attitude of gratitude and you cannot go wrong (read my post here for gratitude writing tips).
September 15, 2010
That was the date of my last drink. I almost wish I could tell you it was the best or worst night of my life, but it was pretty uneventful. The truth is, I had decided to try to give up drinking for 90 days to see if I could do it and ended up tricking myself sober, and it stuck. (Mind you, there was a lot of time and effort that went into figuring out my last day of drinking before I could choose my date and the only way it worked was because I didn’t know it would be my last)! But the trick worked.
What it’s Like Today
Alcohol used to be my solution to everything. Today, my solution lies within an unbelievable toolkit of resources and people I can use and reach out to for any feelings I’m having or issues I’m facing. I have a network of supportive friends and family who I love and trust. I can overcome anything without a drink or a drug. Anything. Today I put my trust in God and let him show me how to live, I have hope and today I live a life of endless possibilities! Is everyday perfect? HELL no, but with a great support network and resources, I can handle it on life’s terms and embrace it all.
Working a twelve step program has given me the freedom, courage, self confidence, inner peace and happiness I thought I would have gotten from alcohol, but didn’t. For the past seven years, with hard work and help, I am becoming the woman I was meant to be. In putting down the drink I have picked up a better life.
When I was drinking I would just think about my dreams and never do anything about them, I would save them for another day. Now, I am finally following my heart and dreams, and living my life more aligned to my authentic self. That is exactly why I started this blog, it’s something I was considering for years but didn’t have the courage to do before. I frequently write out the goals I want to achieve, so I can work towards them, try it! (Read my post here about goal setting). Sobriety gave me the courage to move to San Diego from Boston for a fantastic job opportunity, the courage to take a solo trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast last summer (blog forthcoming), the courage to travel with friends to Thailand in January, (blog posts here, here and here), and to live a life where my Godchildren and niece and nephew never have to see me pick up a drink.
Today I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams! And I believe the best is yet to come. Look for the miracles that come each day, big and small and you will see them. They are all around us and within us and we can always find them if we look for them, just open up the box and find the gem inside!
In this journey to find my inner beauty, authentic self, I allowed myself to believe that a different way of life was available and possible for me and it can be for others too. If you or someone you know is suffering from drugs or alcohol, there is a solution if they are willing to consider a different way of life. This is part of my story about how I found freedom! Please leave comments below I encourage you to please leave a comment and share my story via the links below.
Thank you for following my journey and listening to my story, I am so grateful. Scroll below for helpful resources, meditations and blogs along with all my shopable links.
Here’s your Bicoastal Beauty tip of the week:
Take care of yourself from the inside out, try this healing addiction meditation for spiritual guidance (it is also helpful if you don’t identify as an addict and for other things in your life; food/shopping/gambling/men/women, etc.): Gabby Bernstein Video
Shop My Look
*dress ships from China, allow a few weeks per order
Shop My Look and Similar Look – Dresses, Shoes & Jewels
Gabby Bernstein has been a wonderful resource for me, she’s on a spiritual sober path and I love her books, videos and blogs, check out this one on Healing Addiction.
If you are looking for a path to self love and to find a way to let your inner beauty shine, check out my dear friend Catherine Hummel’s course on Self Love, here!
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – Brené Brown Part 1: Daring Greatly
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – Brené Brown Part 2: Daring Greatly
Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability
I have always journaled and in sobriety I have loved being able to track my goals and dreams and watch how I’m really achieving them, set your goals with this post here.
These are my favorite journals, Moleskin:
Living Sober book helped me early in my recovery, it helped give me perspective on my addiction and what early sobriety looked like.
If you’re interested in learning more about the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and here google AA in your local city. Listings will come up and all meetings will welcome you. There are no sign in sheets, dues or fees to attend a meeting.
Photography by Meg Marie Photography
Such a beautiful post and so brave and wonderful for you to share with all of us. So happy for you! Seriously and inspiring story! Xoxoxo
You are beautiful inside and out..and such an inspiration.
I am so proud of you,
Thank you so much. It’s great to hear from you, I hope all is well in your world!
Thanks so much for your note and for the support!
Hope to see you soon, hugs to baby c!
What a beautiful and inspiring post! Congratulations on an unbelievable milestone. Your courage is admirable. I wish you nothing but continued success and sobriety. ?
Love you! I had tears in my eyes reading this!
Thank you so much, Christine. Thank you for your constant support and honesty. I will always remember you trying to help me before I knew I needed it, which was a nudge to get me get a step closer to recovery. I love you and hope we can get a trip on the books for early 2018!?
Nicole Alexis, Thank you so much for your beautiful words and encouragement! I’m so glad we have met on this journey! Thank you for your support 🙂
I am so proud of you. Your journey certainly has been a long one. You have accomplished so much. I know we don’t talk often (almost never) but I think about you all the time and the fun we used to have. You always make me laugh. Here’s to you, 7 years sober! Xoxoxo
Thank you so much, Raech. It was so touching to hear from you! Thank you for the note, it really made my week. I remember my goodbye dinner at Hamersley’s in Boston, we were CRYING laughing, I miss that so much. I would love to catch up, left you a voice message.
I hope you and the family are doing well and sending you lots of love.
Wow, this is truly amazing Kellie! Thank you so much for your sharing this and the (helpful) resources that you use instead. The blogosphere and Instagram have such a strong way of only showing the happy, effortless-looking moments in life when there is so much beneath the surface that makes us who we are and even stronger than we were.
Fifteen Minutes to Flawless
What an amazing post!!! Love your transparency, courage and strength to overcome all obstacles. Your belief in God is admirable and the reason you were able to take a leap of faith – and continue to. You are truly beautiful inside and out. A true inspiration to us all. God bless you on your journey.
Pentene! What a beautiful message, thank you so much for your kind words, that means the world to me!
Faith will take us far, I am so blessed.
Happy holidays, thank you so much,
Thank you so much, Terra. I totally agree, it’s so easy to share all the easy fun times and it’s nice to know we all have struggles and hardships to overcome, which is life! Thanks for being so supportive on this journey! I am so glad we have met, virtually!