If you’ve never heard of the star blogger and author Kristi Coulter, let me introduce you to more than her photo. The blog Off-Dry , which she used to chronicle her sober journey, caught fire when her post entitled “Enjoli“ went viral in a way that inspired and outraged the world. Nothing Good Can Come from This is her recently published debut book, a collection of 52 essays sprinkled with Kristi’s signature razor-sharp wit.
Kristi’s writing is special to me. I once had a very vivid dream about her. It was one of those complicated story dreams that goes on and on with just a flash of remembrance when you wake up. The kind of dream that always slips away unless you write it down quickly.
In the dream, I was talking to my therapist (which I don’t have) and we had been doing very deep intensive work. I was hoping that we were wrapping up and I could stop talking, but I had this sort of hangdog kid feeling—and she was looking at me like this…
Exactly like this picture.
I had just said, “So do you think we’re done?” when she gave me this calm, somewhat ironic, but warm and knowing look.
She didn’t actually say
“What do you think?”
but I heard those words as clearly in my soul as if she had said them out loud—and yes, my therapist was Kristi Coulter, which is brilliant on so many levels.
The reason that Kristi showed up as my dream therapist was the way her sobriety blog fortified and anchored my sobriety. Her voice is my all-time favorite for truly understanding and articulating what you need to do to stay sober.
Kristi is the one I turn to for a dose of insight and humor. Her voice feels like the warm smile of a close friend who understands—one of many voices within a growing sober community who helped me discover that a life without alcohol is far from the boring, heavy slog I expected and feared. Kristi’s brand of realism laced with wicked humor made her my therapist. Who else would have shown up in my dream?
“I’m saying, think about cutting yourselves some slack. Have a cupcake if you want it. Buy two cupcakes and eat only the frosting parts of both of them, which is a thing I have heard some other people do. Go to a movie in the middle of the day. Sleep late. Binge-watch something. Smoke a bunch of cigarettes, if it’s going to make not drinking a little easier.
Goof off. Fuck around.
This is not about being lazy for the rest of your life, or gaining fifty pounds or getting fired or resigning yourself to lung cancer. This is about giving yourself some space to just be sober for a bit until you’ve got some momentum. You’ll know when you’re ready to tackle the next thing–and you’ll be ready in a way that you probably couldn’t even recognize right now, so early on. It’s hard for me to describe what that readiness feels like, except to say that it’s wonderful and solid and when you get there, you may have a sense that you felt like this long ago. Before. Oh, and when the time comes, you get to decide what it means to be good. Personally, I ended up dropping ‘crafting expert’ from the list, but replaced it with ‘ability to have an honest conversation w/a human being.’ So it all balances out.
But until then: You do not have to be good. You just have to be sober. And the rest will come in time. I promise it will. And I’ve never been wrong about anything.”
We’ve been running a series of posts on our community blog called “Debunking the Glamour of Mommy’s Wine Time“. Today we’ve decided to make it a bit more fun by having a contest and giving away a copy of Kristi Coulter’s book Nothing Good Can Come of This. If you’d like to participate you can come in and add a caption to our toxic drinking culture image of the day here. It’s an image of one of those “cute” products that sells wine as everything every woman needs, wants and deserves in her hand, all day, everyday .
Come in and check out the image that we are trying to come up with a caption for and you may decide to hang around and chat a bit.
With so many engaging, wise, drop-dead funny voices online today, no one has to feel alone or misunderstood in their choice to stay alcohol-free. I feel empowered, happy, peaceful and free and so can you!
Thank you to all who have joined me on the road. For leading the way and walking beside me. For letting me turn and reach back to you. Sobriety truly does deliver everything that alcohol falsely promised—and so much more. In Kristi’s words:
“I got sober. Life got big.”
Sobriety is the Best Kept Secret!
If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much.
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