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A Sobering Thought (Okay, Lots of Thoughts)

Deep breath… and GO…

So I quit drinking.

Like, yeah, completely.  I am a sober person.

And I’m one of “those people” who is counting the days without a drink (#Day82), and I’m proudest of the days when I go out to a cocktail party and I am drinking soda/lime and I’m home and in bed (and hydrated by 10:30 pm).

I have received lots of private emails/messages about this decision. (“Why in the world WOULD YOU give up wine?” and “HOW COULD you possibly live a life without beer?” and of course, the “Good on you. I’m 18 years sober and it’s the best decision ever.”).

I pondered many of these comments and emails.  And I waited a while to discuss it completely publicly (much like my nutrition), because I take many things lightly… but I do not take my advice or stories that I put on this blog lightly (like, at all).

This decision was a long time coming.  Like ten years, probably.

In 2005, I quit drinking for a year.  Because, well, it was sort of bad.  I was drinking A LOT during law school (and yes, I know WHY… ahem).  But it was sort of getting crazy.  So I went to AA.  And this—as public as I am about many things—this is a thing that very, very (like maybe 10) people actually know about me (and a thing that I omitted glazed over in my book).

Because here’s the thing… I have family and people in my life that I don’t ever want to embarrass.  And another truth about my life is that I have spent entirely too much energy trying to make people in my life proud — that I did a really shitty job actually taking care of myself.  I didn’t know if I could live up to the expectations (actually, I knew I couldn’t)… so I drank. And then I would forget about said expectations–for a little while.  Until the morning or whenever, and then I had to deal with the cycle all over again.

And here’s the thing…  ANYONE can have this exact destructive cycle.

Maybe it’s not booze as your “numbing mechanism of choice” – maybe it’s food. Or you have the exercise addiction where you are on the stair-stepper for 5 hours a day.  Or you’re in debt up to your eyeballs keeping up with all the fads. Or, whatever.

I guess I’m not embarrassed, because deep down, I know that everyone has their “thing” – their own addiction(s), or their own recovery, or their own hangups. It’s just a matter of whether you eat it, smoke it, drink it, wear it, watch it, snort it, read it, type it, text it, spend it… etc.  We are terribly flawed human beings— at least that’s what organized religion and the media has been telling us. Regardless, everyone has something they wish they didn’t.  Everyone has something that they wish someone NEVER found out.

So here’s one of mine. [And there wasn’t a break down, per se.  I  was a total functioning, “thriving” and “successful” drinking person.  Until, well, I wasn’t feeling the love any more… more on that later.]

“People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction.” Source.

So ANYWAY.  Yes.  Back in 2005, I went to AA and worked the program and I stayed “sober” for a year.  Interestingly, I have always referred to that year (April 2004-April 2005) as one of my best years.  (No correlation, I am certain… ha.)  My dad was in a terrible motorcycle accident in April of 2005, and when I returned back to the Expert after several days of being with my dad, we went to Mexican for dinner.

And I had one margarita.  Fast forward, TEN YEARS LATER… and I was still drinking.  Literally, it was like a weird time warp. Of ten years.

Drinking was a huge part of my life starting from the time I was legal to purchase, and even before, until recent times.

Drinking was sometimes heavy. Sometimes VERY heavy. Sometimes not as heavy (e.g., before Lake Placid and working through my nutrition woes last year, I pretty much gave it up.  Had a few here and there, but really put it down for a good stretch.  But after Ironman Lou, I found myself drinking again…because well, I finished two Ironmans—yay me! ).

(And for those of you who don’t care for booze, you might ask the question – how did you train for Ironman drinking wine all the time.  The answer:  I just did.)

Here’s the thing.  I LOVE BOOZE.  That’s a reason why people drink.  They like it. It relaxes them. It’s social. It’s tasty and cold and delicious. It helps introverts be extroverts for short periods of time. It makes you forget everything necessary to forget and helps you sleep. It turns off the racing thoughts, the regrets, the things you don’t want to deal with…

I LOVED all those things about booze. And more.

But here’s my real confession.

I am 100% certain that I have never (ever) been capable of having just one drink.

I am also 100% certain that I have never had ONLY ONE drink in my life.  A simple glass bottle of wine at dinner? Sure.  A lovely pint six-pack twelve pack of beer at an all-day cookout? Yep. I could out-drink anyone in the room. Really.  And that I was “proud” of.  No, not really. It just was easier that way. People expected me to out-drink them, and then it was okay. (Or something like that.)

When I started working with a “health coach”, she had me log my food for a week.

And this was the first time in my life that I was honest about things. Because I was sick of being ME.   Because things needed to change, and I was pretty much at the end of my “I am trying my best here, and things are bad.”

IMG_6202

So I was totally honest, with a total stranger.

I present to you, Food Log #1.

Breakfast
Smoothie

Lunch
Salmon Salad

Olive Oil

Dinner
Burger and Fries

1 Martini
1 Bottle of Wine

Yep. I went there.  I told her that I drank one bottle of wine.  After a martini.  And then I did it again for the next several days.

I know she had to pass out when she reviewed a week of logs that pretty much looked like: Breakfast (great), Lunch (good), and Dinner (HOLY $&%@!)

But that was my TRUTH. The truth was that I ate crap starting at 4:00 and I drank like a fish.  And the scary thing about our truths… sometimes they are just plain horrible, nasty and gross. [And here I am blogging about it.  Oh well. It could be worse. ]

I decided on December 13th that I was done with it.  Done with the expense, the calories, the headache, the social anxiety, and all of it. D-O-N-E.

And here’s how I came to the conclusion.

One thing I also noticed is that when I woke up each morning, I would open my eyes and mutter curse words.  (Ummmm… who wants to wake up THAT way?). How ridiculous is it to start the day on a bad foot.

But the most effective thing that helped me?

Well, it was old-fashioned PROS and CONS list.

I made a list of PROS and CONS of me continuing to drink booze. And it was very eye-opening.  And it was clear that I was doing it ONLY for the purpose of not dealing with the things in my life that I didn’t want to address.

My very short PRO list about booze was actually a list of excuses. They weren’t actually PROs at all.  They were excuses for me to continue my habit to deal with my life and my stress. The CONS list was very, very sad.  And also sort of required a forehead slap–it was so obvious how lost I had been, and how drinking had clouded so many things for me. I lack self-confidence in general… always have.  Despite what I may look like… not much confidence here. Selfies are over-compensation. Ha.

But the list of the CONS almost begged the question of:

“What the F, Meredith?! Do you actually hate yourself?”

That… that question, was the one that was hard to answer.

Maybe I did.  Maybe I actually did hate myself.  Well, that opened up all sorts of mini-cans of worms–when I had to sit on that one. (That was not pretty, by the way.)

I realized with my handy-dandy little list that alcohol served NO PURPOSE in my life.
NONE.  No good things. None. None. Nada. None.
(Did I say NONE?)

So on December 13th, I made a challenge (not a resolution) to myself.

And it went something like this:  What if I gave EVERYTHING my best shot in 2016?

Not a resolution.  Just a thought.  A goal.  A process.  A way of living.  What if I made sure I ate well, stopped the booze, took care of myself (dentist! doctor!), trained hard as I could, worked hard at my job(s), was present with my family, cautious with finances, and the whole she-bang.

What if I gave EVERYTHING my very best?  

[Caveat: I know that’s a sort of crazy thing. How can I POSSIBLY be great at EVERYTHING in my life? That’s a crazy goal!!!]

No…

I meant that really, I just wanted to give myself a fighting chance at my life.

A fighting change to live my life ON MY TERMS… without numbing.

With real CHOICES.  To be who I wanted to be. To do what I wanted to do. To make goals and to crush them… To deal with obstacles and train wrecks and troubles without numbing…. How can I live and love whole-heartedly?  That’s what I was aiming for.

So for those of you who have asked…

Yes. I am literally taking one day at a time, not drinking today, training for five really hard races this year, working my nutrition, hugging my babies, cultivating stronger relationships, mourning the loss of my grandmother, nursing an injury, working all my jobs…

…and kicking it all stone-cold sober.  And it’s a lot, people.

It’s hard.  And I totally don’t have it figured out. Not pretending to.  But I owe it to myself and my family to figure it out. End of that story.

[And I also realize that I have been possibly trading one addiction for another… triathlon.  But at least one is arguably more healthy than the other.  (Maybe?)  Still. It’s about trying to figure out how to strike some sort of balance, and if not that, then at least a place of gratitude and love.]

And it’s amazing how much things can HURT, when there’s nothing to do but sit with those feelings and that many damn things on a TO-DO list.  It’s hard. Very hard.  But I’m doing it.  And every day is better and every day I do more and feel more, and my heart grows too.

Even in the pain. And in the words of old Lady Antebellum… “I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all.”

I am not numb right now.

Not all all,  and when my grandmother died three weeks ago, I wanted a bottle of pinot grigio to make it all stop spinning. But I ran instead.  And I knew most of all, that she would have wanted me to keep my commitments (to myself, to my family)… and I wanted to make her proud.

So I marched on. I continue to march on.

And I can say that these last 82 days, while full of joy and pain, have been wonderful. I am better every day. I am grateful. I am not battling near the number of demons and sadness and depressive things that I had before.

There’s my truth.  There’s the juicy gossip about old Swim Bike Mom.

But it’s okay with me. I’m glad to have a forum to share and tell.  Because I have always said… if something I can say or write matters to ONE person… just one, then it’s worth it all. So maybe it will.  Or maybe it will make you all annoyed at me. (Haters gonna hate hate hate…)

Either way, it’s part of my life, part of something that I needed to say and do… And hopefully it answers some of the questions or judgments out there. And if not, oh well, too.

I’m not embarrassed, at all.  I’m empowered.  I am blessed.  And I’m thankful.  Most of all, just thankful.

Thank you for listening. <3

#JustKeepMovingForward

Atwood_swim

 

================================

For those of you who might be struggling, please feel free to reach out or get help, and ask for help.  I’m also here if you want to chat or confess or just need someone to talk to.  And I really do mean that.

Resources:
http://www.drinkerscheckup.com/
http://www.aa.org/
http://al-anon.org/
https://www.na.org/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction
http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/what-is-addiction.html
SMART and SMART Friends and Family

The NEW SBM support group

(*I am not a psychologist or health care provider, and am not pretending to be. Just sharing some links. Feel free to add your own that might be more helpful in the comments below.)

 

69 Comments

  • Meg

    March 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Meredith! This is very inspiring. While I am one who CAN limit myself to a drink a day, I have one literally every. Single. Day. Even though I never get drunk, it sucks being powerless to that end-of-day drink. It’s my reward for my hard work and workouts. It’s my way of coping with the stress of parenthood. It’s a numbing escape, even as just one drink.
    Anyway, I haven’t quit, but I hope to.
    I came across this recently; you should check it out: http://www.oneyearnobeer.com/
    Just a fun, social way to kick the habit …
    Good luck!!

    Reply
    • Kellie McGuire

      June 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

      July 31,1999 – there would be no Triathlon without that step there would be no trail running, no rock climbing, masters degrees, no Peak Magazine. It was the first choice I made in becoming mself. Congratulations on a great start and I wish you a long,slow, recovery.

      Reply
  • Joan Kane

    March 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    You know, as you peel back the layers, you become more and more …beautiful ( I thought you were beautiful before). This process you are going through is like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon. Much love to you as you continue this journey and are brave enough to share it with us. <3

    Reply
  • Dawn

    March 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    You are absolutely remarkable! And I mean that. It takes a lot of soul searching to find peace with yourself, where you are and who you are; a strong sense of self to not worry about what others think or keeping up with the Joneses…. It’s your path and you alone have walked it. As is my story is mine and if one cares to judge, then that person cannot be a part of my story. I neither have the time nor need for judgmental people in my life. Rock on sista!

    Reply
  • M

    March 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    You just became my hero. Training for my first tri in Sept. I’m at day #246, for all the same reasons and in all the same ways. I’ve never told anyone the REAL truth. Thank you for speaking it.

    Reply
  • Sara

    March 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this – love your honesty and admire your ability to have an internal dialogue that results in action. Congratulations on 82 days and I’ll raise a glass of milk to 82 more.

    Reply
  • Monica Pato

    March 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Wow…..powerful message and so very transparent. It is not often athletes are open about their struggles and this hit me really close to home. Thank you for sharing and for being others voice so they don’t feel alone. You are inspiring and motivate me to be the BEST ME!

    Reply
  • Kay

    March 2, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I am very proud of you for a lot of reasons. We all deal with stress in different ways; mine is food. EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING! I am so glad that I got to know you and I will keep you in my prayers. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother; I know everyone says “time will help”, but it will. Over the last 5 years I have lost my mother, mother-in-law and my father. I still miss them, but I have some great memories. Love you Meredith.

    Reply
  • Amy

    March 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    You get one big (((hug))). So many people can continue their whole lives and never accept the challenge to try to be better – not you. Nope. You just keep on bettering and bettering. This was a good read. I wish you strength and fortitude as you continue this goal.

    Reply
  • Kerry

    March 2, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    So sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Congratulations on finding the courage every day to be a better you. You continue to be an inspiration.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth

    March 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I know you wrote that you aren’t embarrassed, but I’m sure you had a few last minute thoughts before you clicked “publish”. Because we all have those thoughts before we “publish” our struggles to someone. I am currently 62 days clean from alcohol. I’m doing it in support of my husband who, as you stated, can’t just have one. I’m over being the one who makes excuses for him and laughs off obnoxious behavior. He’s a highly functioning alcoholic, but nonetheless, an alcoholic. He won’t admit it yet, but he agreed not to drink. And I will admit, my solidarity actually feels good too. Better gut health, less bloating, less money spent. It’s a win-win. Again, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • HBF

      March 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      I’m in the same situation…but can’t convince my hubby he needs to stop…yet. He is highly functioning. He has come close. I just went to the drinkers checkup site that SBM suggested and answered as I was him and he needs to stop. It’s hard. Our life is so stressful with an adult daughter with disabilities and he is SO supportive of my triathlon stuff, although not active himself.

      Reply
  • Mary

    March 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Add SMART and SMART Friends and Family. It helped someone close to me who just couldn’t relate to aa, and the friends and family part helped me a lot.

    I’m sending big hugs your way! I’m sure this was not easy for you to share. After supporting a close friend going through recovery, and talking to so many others affected by alcohol and drug addictions, I came to realize how common it is and then promptly became angry at the stigma that keeps some people from seeking help. You may have saved another life with this post. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Tara

      March 4, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      I checked out SMART and SMART Friends and Family last night. Our family has not connected with AA/Al-Anon and we need an alternative. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  • Andrea Boyette

    March 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I don’t believe in consequences, and there is a reason I came across this post because I feel like I just read my life story. And I decided this morning that today was the day I started taking control of my life. You are an incredibly strong woman and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story as it makes me feel that I am not alone.

    Reply
      • Andrea Boyette

        March 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

        I printed out your article so my husband, 20 yr old son and 18 1/2 yr old son could read it and so that I can see it on my bathroom mirror every day! I started training with a group for a sprint marathon and the alcohol got in the way every Sunday morning for my 8:00 swim and now I’ve been sick for 3 1/2 weeks, but I am determined once I am over this thing to commit to my tri. Thank you again for being brutally honest. (I keep quoting the line “I realized with my handy-dandy little list that alcohol served NO PURPOSE in my life. NONE. No good things. None. None. Nada. None.” And that is what I keep replaying in my head because it is the truth.) Stay strong and know that you too are not alone!!

        Reply
  • Diana

    March 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    For a brief moment I thought I was reading my own life story of the last ten years. Well minus the exercising and triathlons… But the drinking and desires and feelings… Everything else. My weekday was always “I’m going to quit drinking” in the morning and after lunch it was “is it beer:30 yet”. I lived to open that beer. I would drink so much on weekend nights that I couldn’t get out of bed before noon the next day. I began skipping dinner to make sure I could be drunk before weeknight bed time… I asked for help and I am 92 days sober today. I do feel better but now I struggle with when. When will I be able to drink again? How much can I drink? How often? My cravings are getting further and further away but my mind still wonders back to what my normal was for ten years. It is interesting for me to know I was not the only woman in the world that would out drink all company and that I am not entirely alone. Thank you for sharing your story! Keep up the sober thoughts as I will too. <3

    Reply
  • Kim

    March 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Meredith, this is REALLY powerful. Thank you for sharing and being so honest – it takes a lot of guts to share what you shared and if I lived closer I would give you a big old hug. I am in the middle of “listening” to the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. Have you read it before? If not, I think you should! It definitely fits into your goals/purpose for 2016.

    Reply
  • Karen Okupniak

    March 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    One of the reasons I haven’t had a drink in a long time is that it’s REALLY hard to stop. Early sobriety is immeasurably difficult and I don’t want to do it again. You are in a truly tough place, but you are not alone. Send out the bat signal and there’ll be a special division of the Army right there for you.

    Reply
  • Runningmom56

    March 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story . Sounds just like mine and i am inspired to really make it work this time! I don’t do tri’s but run half Marathons .

    Reply
  • Kate

    March 2, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    This is a very generous thing you have done – sharing your story with us. Thank you so much – I promise to hold all this gently and hope you are met with nothing but love.

    Reply
  • Linda

    March 2, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Meredith – thank you for your candor and I have to say that I am drawn to you for sharing your honesty. I tell my friends that I don’t drink anymore as I don’t like the way I feel, I am training, etc. Unfortunately they don’t respect my words. I can go out and not drink. I can be fun without drinking. I have people that sabotage my self care I honestly thought that you excuberate confidence and I was hoping if we ever meet you would rub some of your confidence off on me! Your words truly spoke to me. I have been going through some things, injured and I have not been able to train since January. I am bummed and a little depressed and seeing your pictures of you working hard training, hearing about your grandmother’s passing – shows your true colors and I am so proud of you. You are one of the truest person and I thank you for your words…

    Reply
  • Anna

    March 2, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    I love you brave and honest writing. You don’t sugarcoat anything. It must have been hard to open up and be so vulnerable about all that is in this post. But I give you major props about not drinking. When I was a college athlete, I was dry during season and people would always question me. I just always thought well how can I perform my best if my body wasn’t at its best? Or even when I trained for my ironman last year, I hardly drank (maybe one beer or cocktail a week) and again people would ask how I trained so hard for new reward? I did indulge in an occasional bowl of ice cream. But I wanted to perform my best and I believe alcohol really hinders so much. Only in the last few months since my race have I had more to drink than all of last year (trying for a baby and every time I see Aunt Flo, it’s a bit depressing, so I drink during that week and than I’m done).

    Reply
  • Beth

    March 2, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I am an alcoholic……like 1 liter of vodka per day. I struggle with this every day for years. At one point I had over a year sober. I have struggled to put together a few 24 hours recently. I actually considered Vodka for my IM special needs bag. Thank you for having the courage to post about this. It gives me hope that I will conquer my demons and live the life that God intends for me.

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      March 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Beth… hugs and love to you. I am here if you need anything. It will get better if you can just not drink today… truly. The first two weeks are brutal EVERY second… but then the sky seemed to open up and shine. I journaled through it all very heavy from the beginning and that helped. Just to write… and those were really dark posts…. but then they got better. Let me know if I can help in any way. I mean it.

      Reply
  • Suzanne

    March 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Great post, Mere. Thanks for sharing. It’s truly a gift that you have given yourself. So glad to see drinkerscheckup.org first on it. It’s an amazing site that, IF, IF, you are honest with yourself is so eye opening.

    Reply
  • Rebecca

    March 2, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Dear M, thank you. We all have our demons. Your honesty & humor & heart give others the courage to try to change. All the best to you!

    Reply
  • TG

    March 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

    While I am generally just one of your admiring fans who lurks in the background and follows your journey quietly and without comment, I really feel compelled to respond to this post. I have been following you since before your first Ironman, and you are really the reason that I first felt confident enough to actually register for and complete a race. Your ‘everywoman’ perspective and your willingness to share your struggles and be real with your followers makes what can be an intimidating sport more accessible. That being said, while I have always enjoyed your stories of training and life, I have been even more inspired by you over the last several months. It takes true commitment to actually jump in with both feet and do the work to be the best that you can be, and while it is sometimes easier for those of us who follow you to relate to the struggles, I find that your new commitment and mindset are presented in a way that makes it clear that you are working hard to reap the benefits and successes that you are having. You are a true inspiration, and I wish you nothing but success on your newly chosen path. Keep posting those victories, so we can all share in your celebration!

    Reply
  • Katie Schlogl

    March 3, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I am so humbled and blessed to call you “family”. You, and your mom, always bring a smile to my face, sometimes a tear, but always the neverending joy that we are a part of something great. Your honesty is part of that greatness. YOU are part of that greatness. Thank you for being candid and sharing. And making me laugh and cry all in one post. 🙂 Keep kickin’ @$$ and takin’ names in 2016.

    Reply
  • Elena

    March 3, 2016 at 11:24 am

    love it – one of my favorite posts you have ever done! Day 88 here and your story really resonated. I also just decided, basically, that I could be better. I definitely have never been a “just one” glass of wine person – it was like “what’s the point”? I also finally relized it was probably not productive to have a couple glasses of wine at night on the heels of my gym workout. Not the best re-fueling strategy 😉

    Huge catalyst was that my dad died 12/1 and partially due to alcoholism (and smoking). The day of his celebration of life meal was my last drink. It can be hard to FEEL all your feelings but I’m learning to do just that even though it can be hugely uncomfortable at times.

    Best of luck!

    Reply
  • Mel

    March 3, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you Meredith. The information that you share and your candor have been so helpful and inspiring to me in my triathlon journey. This latest post really touched me because of how much it rings true to my own experience and the timing -my husband and I have recently stopped drinking as well. I know that I will come back to the this post to read and re-read it in the days and months ahead when I need your inspiration. I applaud your bravery and so appreciate all that you do to share and inspire this community. With love and gratitude, Mel

    Reply
  • Mary

    March 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The problem with alcoholism is I found out that it’s progressive and only gets worse over time. For many years I was just a weekend drinker and never drank at home, then kids came along and I started drinking wine at dinner. Just a glass or two but within a few years it’s a bottle a night.

    And every once in a while when I was really overwhelmed I’d have a shot of vodka in the middle of the day. But I deserved it, right? Because I worked hard at my business, took care of my husband and kids, had a well run, clean house. Then before I knew it I was starting that bottle of wine in the late afternoon but I’d run out by early evening and want more so sometimes would open a second one.

    Then I started drinking at noon and then a few months later I’m hiding in the laundry room at 7 am swigging vodka to start my day. Who does that?!?

    Alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t crossed that line into addiction how it happened and why at the end of my drinking I was powerless to stop it.

    But here I am and it’s almost 6 years now that I haven’t drank thanks to AA and therapy I was able to turn my life around. Sobriety is an amazing gift and I hope that other people struggling see that it’s possible for them too.

    Reply
  • Melissa Marowelli

    March 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    ” It helps introverts be extroverts for short periods of time. It makes you forget everything necessary to forget and helps you sleep. It turns off the racing thoughts, the regrets, the things you don’t want to deal with…”
    Can you please get out of my head? Day-um. Bless my heart. Authentic much? 😉
    Much love, See you in June? This time bring your goggles…just in case.

    Reply
  • Clark Carvish

    March 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Every day certainly is a special one. Good for you Meredith!! Really is a big step and a wonderful result. I myself am 8 years sober, so I can relate. Your training will help you, your family will help you, most of all you, yourself will thank you. Congratulations and keep up the great work!!

    Clark

    Reply
  • Angie

    March 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Meredith, I recently found your blog through the Triathlete magazine and I am so glad I found you. You are so incredibly and beautifully honest, and I applaud your courage for opening up about this addiction and sharing your feelings with us, complete strangers. But please know that with all of the readers above, we are all cheering for you and praying for you. My father is an alcoholic but a much different one, he got nasty and mean and abusive. Quiet alcoholism is often more difficult to live with because nobody would guess what goes on behind closed doors. Although I still drink occasionally, I have had to cut it back immensely as like you, I drank way too much in college and law school (could outdrink anyone with those jello shots) and in my “adult” life, I often put away a bottle of wine at night. Now, I limit myself to Friday and Saturday nights but am able to stop after 2-3 glasses. I am trying to settle for just one glass on some nights to get that relaxed feeling, but it is sometimes a struggle. I don’t think anyone can really understand unless they have been there. Thanks again for your honesty. I love your blog!

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  • Duckie

    March 3, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    You already know I am SO PROUD OF YOU!
    Seeing you open up like this made my heart swell immensely.
    Thank you. Thank you for letting others see that they are not alone.
    Thank you for allowing others to identify with your story.
    Thank you for showing others that you can get through the hard times without a drink/drug/etc.

    You are such an amazing woman. Don’t you ever doubt that and don’t you ever change.

    Love your 7 year sober friend and fellow triathlete who thinks you are the bestest!

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  • Laurie

    March 4, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I first came upon you at Tri Goddess Tri, and have loved keeping up with your blog. I’m a mom of two young, energetic boys and I’ve embraced triathlon as “my thing.” So I thought you were pretty neat…then I read this blog and it nearly brought me to tears. I’m on the other side of the equation: my husband, also an endurance athlete, abused alcohol secretly for nearly two years. It almost ended our marriage, but he decided to get help and now he is nearly two years sober. Sobriety, achieved through a strong commitment to therapy (for both of us…his addiction damaged me, too), AA and cycling have made him an even better man than he was when I met him 14 years ago.

    For all who struggle, either with a personal addiction or the addiction of a loved one: it doesn’t have to be this way. Ask for help and take it one step at a time.

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  • Suzanna

    March 4, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Becoming sober is truly the best thing you could do for yourself…as an athlete, a wife, a mother, a professional….the benefits are endless, yes. But please take a moment to think of your family and how this benefits all of them. “Alcoholism” or problem drinking (if you are in denial) is a family disease. It will destroy your marriage, it will likely have your children emotionally troubled as teens and young adults…especially your daughter. It will dismantle your family and leave it in ruins, Al-anon is well intended but, I believe, the damage is done by the time the family decides to muster the courage to go there. I applaud your effort, immensely. But, as a person who has been on the other side for years, I am elated for your immediate and extended family. “Stay the course, hold the line, and keep it all together ” .they are all believing in you. This not only changes your life, but improves theirs as well. There is no glamour in that bottle as our culture would have us believing….it truly only leads to pain and suffering. “Keep moving forward” on your new path! Well done!!!!

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  • Carol Tarby

    March 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Love this post. Thank you for sharing. I stopped drinking almost 19 years ago with the help of AA. My ex husband was suing for sole custody of our 3 year old son, claiming I was an incompetent mother. And with my drinking, and the fact that I had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since our son was born, he had a point. So, yeah, I wasn’t functioning too well. But having led a sober life for 19 years now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a fantastic relationship with my son, and with my family in general. I have a job love. And although I didn’t get into running until about 8 years ago (and triathlon, about 4 years ago), this active lifestyle has filled my life with passion. But sometimes, the shit form life still hits the fan. My baby niece died yesterday morning; and I am heartbroken for my brother and sister in law. And grieving myself. But I don’t need to drink over it. I chose to go to an AA meeting last night, and I am about to get on my bike trainer. Being sober has taught me how to better take care of myself in all aspects of my life. Meredith, I wish you much joy and strength on your sober journey. I may never have met you, but I love you, and you have brought a wonderful community into my life. Thank you for all you do, and many blessings to you and your family.

    Reply
    • Mary Moreno

      March 6, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Carol I am so sorry to hear about your niece. May she rest in peace and may her parents and you be blessed with the peace and love which passeth all understanding. Keep moving forward, keep going to meetings. Blessings to your whole family. From, Mary

      Reply
  • Jen Kaufmann

    March 5, 2016 at 12:08 am

    amazing! One of the most grounded-real blog post I have read, ever. You are not only opening your life to be raw, real and inspiring to others but have a way of saying “I know you feel similar, it’s ok”
    I also have had a life changing experience similar to your story of swim, bike, mom, and also have had the amazing opportunity of working with MV.
    You are empowered. You are the living the best version of you and are inspiring other tri moms that you have never known.
    With Gratitude and Appreciation

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  • Heather

    March 5, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Today, I needed to read this. The list of pros and cons is going to be done today. I have a feeling it isn’t going to be pretty. Thank you for sharing…

    Reply
  • Jennifer Dunn

    March 8, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I do not have the words to say how your post has impacted me. I stumbled across your blog last night as I was searching for a wetsuit for my first 2 triathlons (olympic distance) this summer. Completely overwhelmed, I started looking at your comments regarding a tri suit and common mistakes that first timers make…laughing the whole time.
    The drinking…wow. I have cut back with my recent training but as I sit here (first glass of wine) so much of your story resonates with me. I am going to stop here for tonight because of you and I will do my best tomorrow night, and the night after that.
    Thank you…I am sure when my alarm goes off tomorrow at 5 am for my date with the bike trainer I will thank you again.

    Reply
  • Beth

    March 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Very courageous to share something so personal with all of us. You opening up like that will definitely help someone out there. Thanks

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  • Nancy

    June 28, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this huge piece of honesty! I found your blog last year and you were an inspiration then, and even more now. I can relate. I can’t believe I’m putting this in writing but….I just signed up for the 90 day ‘no beer’ challenge at the ‘OneYearNoBeer’ site that was recommended above.

    Reply

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