sober lifestyle


Not to be flip, but if you want to stay on the path of recovery, sidestepping the inevitable landmines of temptation lying in wait here, there, anywhere…might I suggest heading in the direction of higher education?

I can think of no better way to keep yourself accountable than to air your dirty laundry in front of a grad school admissions board, presenting your own battle with alcoholism as a reason you’d be a great fit for their program, and discussing with great passion and emotion your goal of taking your Masters degree and using it to help other addicts change their lives.

No offense to you internet friends — all three of you — to whom I pour out my sober heart and soul every week on this blog, but I could easily just ghost you and “go back out” without much of a brouhaha. It’s a lot more difficult to say “🤬 it” to Doctors and Professors who just heard your story and thought it warranted acceptance into their university’s Class of…(hamster wheel in head turning)…2024?

I haven’t thought that far ahead, but yes, as of next fall — student lenders willing — I will be enrolling in the MA in Counseling Psychology program at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA.

Go Aggies! 🐏

I had a 2-hour group interview with the faculty Friday morning via Zoom, and about an hour after hitting “Leave Meeting,” my phone rang with the good news.

Hubby and I celebrated with a nice sushi dinner, leaving the nitty-gritty financial discussions for another day. I woke up this morning feeling a real sense of accomplishment, along with the true gravity of the situation.

You guys, I just doubled down — is it possible to triple down? — on my recovery.

My future success is inextricably tied in with my ability to stay sober. In order to make it through school, while working for a living 🤯, then carve out a whole new career as a therapist 🤯🤯, probably even figuring out how to start my own business 🤯🤯🤯, I will need every ounce of unadulterated brainpower, unmuted willpower, positive energy and, for lack of a better term, “me-ness” that I can possibly muster.

I have a full year between now and the start of classes to stockpile supplies.

A lot can happen in a year. Hell, let down your guard, and you can lose your way in a week!

Thank goodness for this heaping helping of accountability! There is absolutely NO WAY I can turn back and abandon the path of progress, unless I want to flush this opportunity of a lifetime directly down the drain.

I say again: NO. WAY. In the eloquent words of Cousin Eddie, my shitter’s full.

I’ve already wasted enough life, always trying to escape the hard questions and terrifying decisions that help to shape the future, and at age 42, there’s just not enough future left to mess around with. Now is my time to…well, frankly, to shit or get off the pot. 🚽

Just trying to keep it light here, man! Realizing your future is in your hands and you can make it whatever you want, if you put in the work, is exactly the kind of scary stuff I once drank to avoid thinking about.

But there is no room for that, no room for alcohol and all its insane accoutrements in the new life I’ve now begun to carve out. Accepting this invitation to grad school is like walking through a door that locks from the other side.

Today, I’m slamming that door shut. Ready?


OK. That’s that. Let’s go! 👣 ➡️

5 thoughts on “Accountability”

  1. Exciting news indeed, no doubt you will face this new opportunity with your usual passion for a exciting new future.
    I’m rooting for you.


  2. Well done, Jen, well done! Never doubted you for a minute! The sky’s the limit and you’ve only begun to scratch the surface!



  3. I’m so proud of you, Jen. Our parallels continue. I actually toyed with going for a Masters in Psychology when I was in my 40s but I didn’t get sober for another 15 years so that never happened., But my life in sobriety has turned out better than I ever thought possible so it’s all good. You go, girl.


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