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« T-32 Days | Main | NoBriety Day 10 »

November 04, 2013


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I so heart you and your blogs...

I have great amount of snark when it comes to the depression screening questions... I have uncontrollable BPD2, and if I didn't answer them, in the same manner of having to explain that if I answer just in black and white, I'm going to get committed (and that's NEARLY happened due to my suicide attempt almost 5 1/2 years ago (I had one bad one that landed me in the system for 15 months even though I didn't get committed)

I hope you realize with our social media connection, I am not using it to promote my own blog, I will say I was fortified in strength by your honesty which both can help others as well as sometimes be entertaining and heartbreaking, to tell my own truths. I've never not seen you though being someone as a real person, not just a blogger who's writing style both in fiction and your blogs, I absolutely love...

I'm hoping I'm wrong in the fact this blog doesn't create another shit storm for you. I was hesitant to respond because at the time I'm writing this, there is no other comments. I hope that this prevents the "you're an alkie in denial" or some bullshit form of that....

People aren't black and white, as you've said. And some like me are a whole FUCKING 50 shades of GRAY..... I get my share of haters based upon my honesty on Facebook and now in my blog.

Ain't no one going to deter me from telling my truth. And that's what I adore about you, is that you don't let anyone deter you from telling your truth. Not only that, I find most people who have a tendency to try and point out what a mess my "mental backyard" is, their own is a fucking toxic waste dump site..... Fuck the haters and just concentrate on those of us who support you digitally and all the peeps in your real life who have your back...

p.s. if you ever turn your blogs into a book/book deal, I can hope that Mall of America is one of your tour sites (see then you'd have multiple reasons to come to Minnesota ;) )... I'm not a stalker (not that most stalkers reveal themselves, I'm too disabled to get out of my house, most days, but anyone who could break my cardinal rule of NOT ever purchasing any book to read electronically, like "Gravy" did, could probably get me to leave my house for their book signing tour ;).. Think about it....You have multiple books in you, and I am so glad you are writing on a regular basis again at least with your blogs....


I completely disagree with you that AA is horse shit. While I may not be for everyone it works and it works well. I have a number of friends who would not be alive if not for AA. Life is about moderation, balance and peace once you have those worked out you don't have to give up anything.


I am also doing a NoBriety (I know...Me? Ridiculous). It is day 4 for me. It's not that I /can't/ have a beer; it is simply to drink more like a 'normal' person when I choose to resume.

A reset button of sorts.

Drinking is a part of my lifestyle, and I want it to continue to be, although in a reasonable manner.

Reasonable means it cannot a). significantly impact my finances; b). significantly impact my weight/health; c). significantly impact my relationships in a negative manner.

So a reset of my tolerance, and simply finding other things to do (normally much more productive), like the gym or reading or plotting my next bold move can only help me better appreciate the delicious booze I am drinking. And, just maybe, it could help me consume slightly less of it and be perfectly satisfied.

Cheers to the reset button. And Cheers to drinking.

Anna Hernandez

Alcohol is a depressant. Fact. If you suffer from any kind of mental illness it will exacerbate it. You're being irresponsible whether you realise it or not by testing yourself. If you feel like you need to test yourself to see if you can go without chances are you should just being going without.


"Staying 'sober' around my kids." So by your own definition of "sober", you'll have three drinks in one evening while the kids are with you. And that's assuming you're being truthful about that or even can even keep count. I guess you don't even care that Dave could use this blog post to take 100% custody or at least require supervised visitation. He'd be a neglectful father to do otherwise. Manda, it's time to stop blogging--drinking, obsessionally exercising, voluntarily living hand to mouth with no ability to give your kids squat, in your late thirties ans sleeping around like a freshman at college--your life is too sad to share.


oh man , you are just a functioning alcholic who thinks its "cool" to call AA horse shit and talk about how 3 drinks is sobriety. You are unable to stop drinking period (a month is a joke). I challenge you to go a year without a drink, a year sober, when you need to face your challenges (kids, boyfriends, money shortages, etc.) then lets talk about if you are strong, or able to say no to booze.
You have no fucking clue about AA , don't bother even mentioning it, I am really really offended by the ignorance you spout. I'm usually quite tolerant but seriously??

AA is horseshit, you drink more than 3 drinks around your KIDS, your drive while drinking, i'd like to think someone is watching your children, forget you , the kids are the piece of this scenario which i feel sorry for.


As a daughter of a very functioning alcoholic this post made me very sad. My mother finally went into rehab when I was 35 years old. I carry the scars of her choices everyday of my life. Her drinking and always needing to be under the influence on some level, shaped who I am.
Just my experience but this post really hit a nerve with me. I am so happy that my Mom has finally gotten real and sober but I mourn all the years she chose alcohol over her kids. I would bet anything your children's story on your drinking will be very different than yours and I say that sadly from experience.


What you have written here is just another form of denial, Amanda. I recognize it because I use to talk that way about myself.

Addiction is progressive, meaning the longer you put off addressing it, the worse it will get. I used to think and say the same things about AA. Even after I joined a 12-step program, I thought I was smarter than everyone else and didn't need a sponsor. Didn't need to read the big book. But it wasn't until I surrendered completely that my life started to change. And after three years, I'm happier than I've ever been.

But I also know that addicts don't elect to go to 12-step programs until a) they hit bottom, or b) they're ordered to by the courts. I've met people who have lost everything--spouses, children, jobs, fame, wealth, freedoms--because of alcohol. I pray that you find your way to recovery before any of those things happen to you or someone you love.


One month is not enough to give your liver a rest.

I hear this one a lot, and funny how it never comes from someone who's just spoken to an actual doctor after seeing the results of their liver enzyme test.

Go one month, get the test, then go another month, and get another test.

Just because your liver seems to be still functioning doesn't mean it's not about to blow out on you. Ignoring it, thinking 30 days will fix 'er right up, being female and having three drinks on a "light" day... that's how you end up with a rotting pickle where a vital and functioning organ was supposed to be.

There are REASONS for chrissake why they say a woman is an alcoholic if she has more than three drinks a day. It's not arbitrary hogwash pulled from their butts!

As someone who has had catastrophic physical illness, I advise you not to ever find out how massively crushing the feeling of regret can be when you realize you might die for something you could have prevented.

There's no Command-Z for life.

cindy w

Damn. Sometimes the way you phrase things makes it difficult for the people who really want to root for you.

I support this idea of trying it for a month and seeing how you do. I think that's great. Good for you. But at the same time, someone I love dearly is in AA (not saying who because you know - anonymity & all), and I think he'd be dead or in jail if not for it, so when you call it horse shit, that strikes a nerve. It's not for you? Fine. But it DOES help other people, and therefore it's not horse shit.

And to a point, I agree with you that drinking has nothing to do with morality. But there's a line where it DOES start to cross the morality border... like, say, if you endanger other people's lives by driving when drunk (which I'm glad to hear you don't do), or if your kids are witnessing your drinking. I'm not sure what staying "sober" in quotes means - I guess that means you're not getting wasted in front of them, which is good, but I still wonder what they're being exposed to, and what their interpretation of your drinking will be as they grow up? I hope it isn't like the "Anon" comment above.

Honestly, though, I think it's great that you're trying this. I really hope it works out for you, and you find what it is you're looking for with it.


Long-time reader here, just chiming in to support the "month of no drinking." Hope it's the "reset" you're looking for.


Check out SMART Recovery. It is NOT religious based but behavioral. They meet and there are quite a few in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Janet McCandlas

There have been two times in my life when I quit drinking for 2+ years--at first because I felt like I was losing control or drinking for the wrong reasons (and alcoholism is rampant in my family), but then because I got out of the habit. Both times, I returned to drinking because frankly I love Love LOVE the taste of booze, even in diluted form, and felt like I could control it.

The third time I took a step back, I could cut back without cutting out booze entirely. Which is great because I currently reside in Bavaria, where beer is cheaper than water yo. And it isn't a problem, I cut my wine with a ton of water and rarely have more than one pint of beer anymore. Still isn't making my gut disappear as fast as I would like...

So I applaud you for your decision to take a step back and reevaluate. Whatever you decide is healthy for you, I have hung out and drunk with you and you are not an addict. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But like a lot of people who love booze, you can probably cut back and it will make you a healthier person.

BTW milk thistle extract is liver support FTW. My buddies in Scotland take one a day and maintain a truly impressive booze habit. Of course it's in their genes....and if you are of Northern European descent it's probably in yours too. WIN!


my mom is an "functioning" alcoholic. she will never cut down/'s rather embarrassing to have my kids around her.

because drinking a beer at 11am, drinking at the 5 year old's birthday party, drinking until having slurred slow speech, drinking and smoking when my kids are watching every move....i dunno....just not something i want them to think is an ok lifestyle to adopt some day.

AA might be a joke to you sure....i tried OA and thought the same thing, but i have to eat to be healthy. drinking is something i never have to do in life. *shrug*

and i agree....being married to a lawyer...i've learned to be extremely cautious about what i say/do/search on the internet...hooo doggy your ex has a whole juicy case against you.
but, you've been warned about this many times.

i can't wait to see what else you post next.

Type (little) a

Oh honey. No. This is denial. Listen, I am an atheist, so I'm not big on the "higher power" thing, but one month of being dry (because you are FAR from sober) isn't going to do jack shit for you. And honestly, I don't think you'll make it that far if you're spending your month dreaming of vodka on Dec 1.

I don't know how you know AA is bullshit. Have you tried it? Have you looked into alternatives, like Moderation Management or SMART? Anything?

Amanda, I have been commenting here off and on for years. I'm not a concern troll. So believe me when I tell you, you need help. And this post is a cry for it. I was raised by an alcoholic and an enabler. I see Alex and Genoa's future. Don't you want better for them? Don't you want better for yourself?


There is such thing as a CAGE screening, which can indicate that you have a problem with alcohol.

C is for cut down. Do you feel you need to cut down on your drinking? Based on what you said above: CHECK.
A is for annoyed. Do you feel annoyed by people's comments about how much you drink? Based on what you said above: CHECK.
G is for guilty. Do you feel guilty about your use of alcohol? Based on what you said above: CHECK.
E is for eye opener. Do you feel you need to start the day with a drink or use a drink to get over a hangover? Sunday mornings = eye opener, maybe, maybe not.

I hope you are taking in the comment here, as I think people are being direct because they care. Also, research indicates a significant risk factor for alcohol abuse is related to those who have experienced gastric bypass surgery, called transfer addiction.

Hope you consider giving up alcohol for more than a month. Your kids deserve a mom who is present AND sober.


My father is a functioning alcoholic. I can tell the difference between when he is truly sober and when he is "sober" by your definition. I realize that you may not "feel" like an alcoholic, but neither does my father. He thinks this is just the way he is and he is wrong. I pray that my father will one day be sober all of the time and I can get my dad back.


Hi! I wandered over here via Jill Outside and her blog. Can't recall the connection explicitly but just thought I'd explain how I ran into your blog.

I am also an enthusiastic drinker although I probably regularly have a week here and there without alcohol (not intentionally, just how I roll sometimes). However, I decided to have an alcohol-free month in March 2013. Why? I dunno, I guess like you said, just to see if I could. It was to see how often I wanted a glass of wine and to see what it felt like to say "no" rather than just always saying yes to whatever I wanted. For me, it went fine. There were a handful of days where I really would have enjoyed a glass of wine, for sure, but overall it was more of an irritating itch rather than a really, really difficult thing to do. Good luck with your plans!


My husband is a functioning alcoholic, too, and i only truly madly deeply love him when he is COMPLETELY sober. He went to AA and cleaned up for almost a year once - and it was the best year in our marriage. He is the best husband and best father when he is clean and sober. Right now he isn't angry or aggressive or mean or anything bad like he has been in the past because he is limiting himself to only a few drinks around us - this still changes him. And not just when he drinks. I hesitated commenting because i don't want to be against you or come off as rude, but i do hope you consider sobriety for a longer time period. As a mother who see's the effects my husband's drinking has on our family (and how his past drinking still effects me emotionally even though its been years since anything negative happened) i hope you can step back and see it too. I'm sure you are a great mother and i'm sure you have great intentions... but its hard to see the results the drinking might be having on your children unless you are sober. And i think it will take more than a month for that type of clarity to come by. Hang in there, though. It might not be as easy as you think, but it is so worth it!

laura md

You would be better served by using your time to do some self-reflection rather than blogging. The sad part is you are in it. It is the "shit" when you think you have examined all the files because you pulled open the drawer half-way. You feel balanced, practical and in control. You think your disease is all about "management". The sad part is that it it going to take you a lot longer to crash. If you were a black-out drunk who passed out on the steps of your kid's school at 3 in the afternoon you might have a better chance. The problem is that you think you are better than that. It will be crash and burn for you and hopefully sooner rather than later. Not all people who drink excessively are alcoholics, but you've got a lot more of the "drinking personality" than you realize. This could go on for years and you'll have no idea how you stunted yourself. I am not judging you in the sense that I think you are dumb etc...only saddened by how you don't see your own obviousness. We all have blind spots. Someday, if all goes will find yourself in ANY recovery program sober and telling the story of how you once posted this on your blog and thought you had it managed and were just engaging others in some fun and supportive dialog. I hope it happens quickly because I have a feeling your descent will be one for the books.


I've read three posts and the pattern is obvious. You had a food addiction, had surgery, transferred that into an alcohol addiction, got fat & had to quell the nagging feeling so you took a drinking break and jumped headlong into exercise. Can't you see that your problem is how excessive these things are, not that you do them? Until you curb your innate need for excessive behavior, and find overall moderation, you are just going to keep cycling and transferring the "addiction" to new substances/activities. You may be right, you may not be an alcoholic, but you are an excessholic.


Hi Amanda,

If you ever change your mind or things progress to a point where you feel out of control, just know that the sober community will welcome you with open arms. There are other options out there besides AA, so you don't have to do 12 steps. I don't know if you're an alcoholic, only you can decide that (although that denial thing is tricky and sneaky -- how are you supposed to know if you're in denial or if the people around you are just being damn Puritans about the whole thing?)

I thought I was an alcoholic once, and took a whole year off drinking. Or, at least, I tried to make it a whole year. Made it four months, one drink, then another four months. Figured I was just overreacting and went back to drinking. The second time around, at the end, I found myself hiding drinks, noticing I was drinking WAY more than people around me, and occasionally blacking out (during times when I didn't even feel that drunk, which was weird.) I also stopped getting a buzz, which was alarming. I once announced a bottle of wine must've been "broken" because I drank the whole thing and didn't feel buzzed at all. But then I proceeded to trip and knock over a bunch of drinks all over my kids and baby nephew, because my motor skills were impaired. I quit drinking a couple of weeks later.

When I quit again, I told a sober friend I was back on the sobriety wagon. I thought I was in for a lecture, but he welcomed me back like a hero coming home from war. He was so encouraging. Told me I was brave. Said sobriety is not for the faint of heart, and that even trying is an act of courage that most people don't even bother trying to take.

So congrats on attempting a month off. Your break isn't going to be the same as someone who embraces sobriety and realizes they are an alcoholic, because that is a whole mental trip that really results in a ton of growth. But a break is a break and I hope it does you good.

If ever, a year from now or 10 years from now, you decide you're an alcoholic and you're going to quit, hit me up because I am in a cool-ass support group online that you might very well love. We drop a ton of f-bombs and make each other laugh. I think you'd fit in quite nicely.


I don't know you and have never visited your blog until today. This post made me very sad for you and for your children. I am the daughter of a drug addict and an alcoholic. I spent my childhood watching my parents struggle with addiction and make excuses as to why they were not addicts. It left me with psychological issues that have changed the course of my entire life. Now I am in my late 20's and I am just in the last few years scraping together the mess I made of my life and becoming who I should have been all along. It took me nearly a decade to realize that my parents substance abuse problems were not my fault and that there was truly nothing I could have done for them. I grew up a sad, insecure, and depressed teen with horrible self esteem. I ended up focusing all my energy on the one thing I could control which was my body- so I ended up with an eating disorder that took until my mid 20's to recover from. My teenage home was so out of control and ridiculous that food or lack of food was how I coped with it. So instead of going to college and finding a partner and having a family of my own, I destroyed my body and worked dead end jobs and had a string of abusive and horrible men in my life.

It was worse my my siblings, one of which ended up raped at 13 because my father was so messed up he did not realize what one of his druggie friends was doing to her in the same room where he was passed out. She subsequently ended up with an STD and then later on cervical cancer. Later in adulthood she got married and pregnant and nearly lost her own life and her unborn child due to pregnancy complications from her earlier issues. My other sibling has been fighting lifelong depression and his own substance abuse issues. To get out of the home he joined the military on his 18th birthday and ended up serving multiple tours overseas in Afghanistan. He is home now but has a severe traumatic brain injury and is permanently disabled. He is in his late 20's and lives with family- he cannot work and cannot live alone.
I finally got my own emotional issues under control a few years ago and now I am engaged and have a loving home and life. I still don't have children, and we are not sure if we ever will because my fiancé also comes from a home of substance abuse and we are both scared that we will somehow damage our future children the way our parents damaged us.
My mother is clean and sober now and is a fabulous mother and grandmother. She is remarried and she is everything I could have ever hoped she could be.
My father is a sad and lonely man who lives in his parents house at over age 60 and he has not worked in over a dozen years. His health is failing and he has nothing. His last stint in jail for DUI was last summer and that was just the last in a long string of problems with the law. He has never seen 2 of his grandchildren and the others he has not seen but once or twice in their lives.
So this entry really horrifies me. It scares me for your sake and for your children. If I had a dollar for every time one of my parents said they were not drunk or not messed up during my childhood, I would never have to work another day in my life. It was a constant thing in my home- my parents being intoxicated but not plastered, all while talking about how sober they were. Of course, we ALWAYS knew the truth.
So please think about your children and how this can truly scar them for life. I don't think me or my siblings will ever be the people we could have been had our childhood been in a home without substance abuse. While I feel like I have won the battle over my upbringing and the rest of my life is mine to live happily, I will always have a deep sadness when I think back to all those years in a home we so much pain and so many lies.

bill donnelly

Amanda, this is bill Donnelly from lghs. Your blogs are funny as, well, funny! You were witty as hell in high school but you have hit a new high with your writing talent. I look forward to the day I see the TV show based on your writing.


I'm not an alcohol prude at all.

I'm chiming in like so many others, as the child of an alcoholic. Actually, two alcoholics. Your children notice, your children will start to be ashamed of you, to bring friends over, to have you as their mom. You won't notice at first, and then you will but you won't understand because you will be blind to the effects of your drinking on them. I don't hear you consider that at all in this post.

Right now you might be able to always make "sure someone else is around who can help if needed." You'll lose people in your life because you will become a chore to them, and they will see you as selfish.

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