A Lighter Aesthetic (and State of Mind)

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Lately I have been feeling lighter, fresher, and free- and my home reflects how I feel on the inside.

I noticed how my personal aesthetic has evolved over the past couple of years- from blacks to pale pink and gold, I’ve slowly brightened up my life and opened my heart a little more.

My new bedroom decor is a representation of how I feel on the inside, with simple luxuries and a feminine feel.  My minimalist approach to my decor is practical and chic, choosing quality over quantity and a purpose for each piece.

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As many may know from my writing, it has been a turbulent few years.  The process of changing yourself on the inside, overcoming pain, and getting (but most importantly, staying) sober is emotionally draining, but coming home to a haven is imperative to my serenity.

I wrote about my leisurely morning on my other blog, Sobah in the City, where I share stories of self improvement and living sober and chic.

Life is a journey, and it’s even more meaningful when you learn to live beautifully.

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Orchid: Trader Joe’s / Mug and Robe: TJ Maxx / Bracelet: Olivia Burton / Nail Polish: Essie “Let it Glow” Bedding: Primark

Who Are You Calling Fragile?

Over the past few years I’ve learned the benefits of vulnerability and the value of opening yourself up to other people. As a self proclaimed “counterdependent,” I often have a hard time sharing myself with others one-on-one, or showing who I am due to fear of making a connection:

But connection is powerful.

Taking back the narrative of your life and owning your truth is a gift that takes time, but reaps immeasurable results.

I opened myself up to many different people this past year- some in recovery, and some not. Thanks to my friends in sobriety, I learned to safely share my story with people who understand.

However, sometimes you open up to people who don’t- or won’t. That’s okay too.

I was recently in a situation where I was called “fragile” by someone I hardly knew- simply because I am sober in recovery and showed my vulnerable side. What?!

I’m not sure who he thought he was talking to, but I do know today to keep my standards high and my expectations low.

After years of settling for less or compromising my own morals, I’m no longer willing to let someone else dictate my value or worth.

Struggle brings strength, and although I haven’t always made the best choices in my life, I survived my difficulties and have been able to thrive because of them.

The butterfly represents transformation and new beginnings- if she hadn’t struggled to emerge from the cocoon, she wouldn’t have the strength to spread her wings and fly.

She may be delicate, but she certainly isn’t fragile- and neither are you.

Mental Health Benefits Of Being Alcohol-Free

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It’s a fact: alcohol is everywhere.

No matter where you go, there it is.  Every restaurant you walk into, and at every celebration, you best believe there’s an opportunity to indulge in an alcoholic beverage.  It doesn’t take much thought- drinking is a huge part of everyday culture.  It’s expected, and in fact, it can even be confusing to people when you tell them you don’t drink.

But do you ever stop and think how alcohol affects your brain

On a sunny Saturday, probably not.

As I walked through the Greenway in Boston the other day (one of my favorite urban gems), I passed not one, but two areas designated for outdoor boozing.  Then, a couple of days later, I passed a beer garden in the Charles River Esplanade.

I used to absolutely love these opportunities.

However, as an ex-drinker, my days of beer gardens and brunch always began much happier than they ended- in fact, the mere idea of drinking was always better than the actual consumption.

For over 15 years, little did I know that I was quite literally drinking a depressant.

While drinking, I was snappy, agitated, and impatient.  I was anything but mindful, always awaiting what was next- the next drink, the next bar, the next thrill.

Over the years I’ve realized that my drinking was directly linked to my mental health.  Mental health is just as important as recognizing a physical problem.  Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are serious health conditions that can be just, if not more, crippling as a physical disease.

For me, my anxiety and PTSD are heightened when I consume just one alcoholic drink.  I used to think something was seriously wrong with me.  I would wake up in the morning feeling empty.  I was nervous about the people around me.

Then, when I stopped drinking, those nervous feelings stopped.

I’m not alone.  Millie from Sober Girl Society (one of my favorite Instagram accounts) shared with The Telegraph:

“I knew quite early on that hangovers affected me mentally just as much as they did physically. I’d wake up feeling on edge, like I’d done something wrong or upset someone – even though my friends all told me I’d been perfectly well behaved. Towards my late twenties, even just having a glass of champagne would make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Hangover anxiety began to permeate my everyday life. I lost all confidence, motivation, and some hangovers even left me bedridden; not because I was sick or tired but because my mind had gone into overdrive and I was sweating and shaking in panic.”

Our society is quick to provide “quick fixes” for mental health, including medication, material gratification, or even more alcohol to calm the nerves. Having a drink after work or popping a Xanax probably isn’t the answer for long-lasting change, but I can say from experience that meditation, spending time in nature, exercise, and- gasp- abstinence from alcohol- have provided a solace in my soul better than any quick fix.

I’m confident these simple things can work for you, too.

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