January 8, 2020

New Year, New Perspective

The holidays have come and gone, and after a whole lot of reflection, I feel that it’s time for me to admit something to myself and to you.  2019 was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced, and for most of it, I was pretty much just on autopilot trying to cope with all the sadness, anxiety, guilt, and hopelessness.  It’s REALLY hard to type these words, but I realize now that drinking has become my way of coping with all those awful internal feelings I”ve been experiencing.  It’s turned into a pattern that I feel like I need to address.

Now, please understand that this is a super touchy subject because many people will be quick to judge.  I am not asking for criticism, and I’m not looking for a lecture.  (Believe me, I’ve beaten myself up about this shameful little secret enough for all of us.)  I’m admitting this here because I have a feeling that I am not alone in this situation.  Am I an alcoholic?  No.  Do I have a drinking problem?  No.  However, I do want to take better control of my health and my well-being, and if I’m gonna do that, then I need to be honest with myself and make some changes.

It all started with my dad’s declining health problems.  Since I live in Chicago, and my parents’ home is in southern Indiana (six hours away), traveling back and forth for my dad’s many different surgeries and procedures was beyond stressful, to say the least.  Over the years, he had had three strokes, cancer of the larynx, triple bypass surgery, and throat cancer (two different times).  I don’t have any siblings, so I always felt like I NEEDED to be down there to help as much as I could, while still being mom/wife/friend to my own family and friends here.

I used to only really drink a few glasses of wine on the weekends, but over the past year, I noticed myself drinking through the week too.  The CONSTANT guilt of feeling like I should be in two different places at once was literally eating me up inside.  It got even worse after my dad passed away in June.  His final days of suffering were absolutely BRUTAL to witness, and then after he was gone, I HATED not being there to support my mom.  It’s agonizing to watch her grieve the loss of her partner of 55 years.  I literally worry about her all the time.  So, a couple of glasses (or even three on some nights) have helped to calm my nerves.  I also “thought” it was helping me get to sleep better, since my mind always seems to race as soon as I lay my head on the pillow.

The crazy thing about alcohol, however, is that yes, it does help you GO to sleep, but it certainly doesn’t help you STAY asleep.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I woke up and felt truly rested.  I’ve never been much of a morning person, but I detest them even more since I started this whole drinking-through-the-week habit.

The other thing about alcohol is that it is chalked full of empty calories, which have caused me to gain several unwanted pounds.  I’m only 5’2″, so even a few extra pounds show on my small frame.  You can just imagine what this has done to my self-esteem.  Seeing myself in a bathing suit over the winter break was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

So, as of this past Sunday, I decided to finally make a change.  I’m tired of being tired.  I’m tired of feeling guilty.  Life is too short and way too precious to just be going through the motions.  I want to be clear-headed.  I want to be better rested.  I want to be more productive.  I want to be a better role model for my teenage kids.  Basically, I want to enjoy life more.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m never gonna drink again.  I love a good glass of wine or a cocktail, but I’m going to try to reserve those for special occasions.  My health and my well-being are going to have to be my focus.  It’s time to come out of “the funk” and find better ways to cope.

I read a quote recently that really resonated with me.  It’s from Glennon Doyle Melton’s book “Love Warrior“:

Perhaps pain was not a hot potato after all, but a traveling professor. Maybe instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say, Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.”

  1. Patty Zohner says:

    So sorry that you have had such a rotten year. Life seems to go on all around you while you struggle inside trying to be everything to everyone but yourself and the guilt can be crippling. I have been where you are and it takes time to overcome. Drinking numbs it but like you say it does not make sleep last all night. I definitely feel like admitting this let alone to so many people can be very scary. I think you are on the right path. Please give yourself time for some self forgiveness. The pain lessens I bet time but you will still have those days of sorrow and guilt. I applaud you for being so honest. You truly are one of the most genuine person. Take care my friend. You have people who care. Like me. 🙏❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your kind message. It is a very scary thing to admit & there’s so much shame. I am just sick of wallowing in this and felt like telling you all would help motivate me & hold me accountable.

  2. Ellen says:

    You are not alone. It takes true bravery to bring this out in the open. I hope you find the strength to carry on. I wish you all the best!

  3. Josina says:

    You Are a power woman💪you cant proud of your self ❤ (sorry my english is not so good i am from the netherlands)

    Xxx Josina

  4. Erin says:

    I want to give you a big hug right now 🤗It is so hard to deal with the passing of a loved one!! You are. An awesome person don’t be hard on yourself you have had a very rough year. I wish you the best for 2020 !!! Everything will get better!!! Thank you for your beautiful feed and also you have the gift to make people laugh Wish you much happiness ❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words. It was so scary to publish this post. You never know how something will be received. I just know deep down that there are many who HAVE to be going through something similar. And admitting that you want to make a change is half the battle. I appreciate your support so much!

  5. Marianne says:

    You’re a strong incredible woman and I am so proud of you for facing your demons head on. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you will come out the other side of this even stronger. My thoughts and prayers are with you ❤️❤️

  6. Toni says:

    Bravo to you for recognizing that you needed to make a change. I had to do the same. I had a wake up call with my heart. I’ve since lost 50lbs and I feel so much better. Do I have an occasional glass of wine? Sure, but on special occasions. Hugs to you!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for your sweet & honest comment. That is amazing how you’ve come back – so inspiring! Congrats!

  7. BridgetRalston says:

    So sorry you’re Year was so difficult, don’t put yourself down, we all do the best we can and sometimes what we think is helping is really adding to our hurt. You are a true inspiration to this little IG community and I thank you for sharing every aspect of your life, you will truly help us all. Praying 2020 brings you much joy and peace. Do t you wish there was a “fit “ filter we could wear with our swimsuits🤪 hugs to you.

  8. JeriLi Thompson says:

    First let me say to you sweet lady that I respect you so much for being so personal and raw with your emotions here on a social media thread. I appreciate you for sharing your personal story which in itself is so very difficult to do. As I sit here reading this, I have tears streaming down my cheeks because like you I too lost my Dad in July of 18’ and he’d battled many health issues, heart attacks, home dialysis etc, but the day we lost him he had been in the hospital for a broke hip. He has a Heart attack only a few short hours before they were to do his surgery. I think I was hopeful he was going to be up and out of there like he had with so many other surgeries/procedures he’d been through before and almost in a form of shock that all evolved as it did. My mom and dad would have celebrated their 55 wedding anniversary just a few months after this happened. So many things you’ve written in your blog really hit home with me too with the similarities. I like you have always been more of a social drinker/special occasion or girls night out drinker, but after this began drinking several days a week! Am I an alcoholic NO but it helped me to feel with stress and so much grief. I too vowed that I was going to make 2020 a new year for me to get not only healthy but focus on spiritual and mental healthcare too. So I praise you. You can do this and I can too! Thank you so very much again for sharing such a deep and personal message. Trust me your not alone! 🤗 hugs, ❤️ love, & many 🙏🏻prayers for you in this new year and new beginnings!

  9. Barb says:

    Believe me, you are not alone!
    Please know that we all care about you and want you to feel better.
    How very brave you are!
    How lucky you are to have a family who loves you!!!!
    Believe in yourself. We will all try to help you in any way we can.
    Chin up!
    You’ve got this, Girl!
    😘😘😘 Barb , the Winnetka lady.

  10. Melissa says:

    It made me tear up to read what you have been going through. I guess we all have something but you showed so much courage in admitting what you have been going through. You took the first big step, talking about it. I really enjoy your Instagram and funny quotes. I don’t do Facebook and never have. Too much drama. I wish you luck in your endeavors and I know you will overcome! Take care of yourself.

  11. Janice says:

    Jennifer, I am so sorry that you had such a rough year. I absolutely love following you and feel like I have come to “know” you. My heart broke for you on the illness and loss of your dad (I lost my mom 3 years ago and it still hurts) and I completely understand worrying about your mom. We moms have to take on so many roles and sometimes it’s just too much. You are so strong for sharing this on your blog and I think you are in the right frame of mind to get everything under control. I’m sure there are many reading this who can relate to it. In helping yourself you are probably helping many others! I wish you the very best and send you hugs and prayers. 💝

  12. Anita Gildea says:

    Well you are taking a step in the right direction. I’ve had to step back from alcohol myself. I found myself having a drink or two every day after work. Now, I try to keep it to the weekends. You got this, girl! You are doing just fine. And just think of all the money you’ll save! Happy New Year and cheers to a better you. 🎉

  13. Laurie says:

    What an incredibly vulnerable post; but one that you should be so proud of! I’m a firm believer that in life we cannot just show and talk about our highlight reel. We ALL have struggles. And although the amazing decor pics, perfect vacation photos, and all the ‘I’m wearing an extra-small’ posts are great and can provide inspiration ~ REAL LIFE wins every.single.time. That said, I applaud you for your honesty, vulnerability, and candor in sharing this with all of us. You got this Jen! ❤️

  14. Kathy says:

    You are brave to put this out there. To me that means you are strong enough to work through this bump in your road of life. No doubt many others wish they had your courage. You will do this! Those pounds will fall off, self confidence will soar. Thanks for helping others today.

  15. b.tammy55 says:

    Jennifer I will pray for you every day and night! I think your a strong woman with a loving family by your side. You got this🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

  16. Carolyn says:

    Grieving is so hard! Everyone grieves and copes I’m their own way. And now YOU have realized that’s not working for you anymore. Praying for you to be strong and determined to change what’s not working for you. I’m not sure how I found your account or even when; but I know that I look forward to your stories and posts. I sincerely hope 2020 is better for you. I cared for both of my parents while they were ill….although not from a distance and not alone….it’s really hard and then to factor in the distance from you, makes it even harder. You’ve already won a battle by just figuring out what you want/need to change. Many blessings to you.

  17. Holly says:

    Good for you to take steps to improve health. Resetting our lives from time to time is a good move. A brave post …sending you positive thoughts.

  18. Mary says:

    So sorry for your loss. I can understand what you’re going though. It’s not easy, but I can tell that you’re a devoted daughter and I’m sure both your parents are very proud of you. Allow yourself to grieve and hopefully you will heal soon. Does your mother have any family nearby? Would she consider coming to live closer to you? I believe you are heading in the right direction. All the best to you and your family.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much. And believe me, I soooo wish my mom would move closer, but she’s been in southern Indiana all her life. That’s her home, and she won’t leave it. She just has to find her new “normal”.

  19. Karen says:

    Ahh, Jen, I’m in your mother’s position having lost my husband in September. And, I like you, have no siblings and I’m 5’2″. I need to lose at least 60 lbs and I figured when I just had me to cook for, it’d be a piece of cake. It hasn’t been. I have no motivation. I haven’t gained but I haven’t lost either. I don’t drink because I don’t enjoy it and I don’t like wine, but put sweets in front of me! My daughter is in MI and I wish she was closer but she she’s a working mom with two kids and a husband. I’m sure she’d like to be closer. She goes to the gym. Don’t feel guilty because you can’t be with your mom. We’ll both do ok without our daughters close by. You’ll see! And owning up to a problem with a plan to overcome it is 90% of the battle. Hang in there! You’ve got this! You’re an amazing, down to earth woman and I’dlike to think you’re my friend. ❤ (By the way, my new Ektorp sofa is being delivered on Saturday. Thanks for the suggestion!)

    • Jennifer says:

      I am so sorry you’re dealing with the loss of your husband too. Grief is no joke and is so hard to navigate through. I hope that this new year brings you some peace & happiness & that you can curl up on your comfy new sofa & relax!

  20. Lydia Bauer says:

    You’ve got this Jen, 2019 was the absolute worst for me too, I cry by myself but with family and friends I use humor to camouflage the pain. I finally made the decision to take control back. Baby steps each day that are slowly turning into big girl steps. Give yourself grace you deserve it, you are worthy. If you have a bad day as we all do, give yourself grace and come back the next day stronger. Peace in your heart and all that’s good is what I wish for you, ❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for the encouraging advice. I’m glad you are working on it too & hope that this new year is a happier one for both of us!

  21. paula haddad says:

    Thank you for your brave, honest post Jen! You are not alone! It can be easy for us to do just as you did; it is not realistic to be a supermom, superfriend, super wife, etc. The fact that you recognize that you want to make some personal changes is the first step. Love yourself and give yourself time to grieve and take care of yourself. I applaud you Jen!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you! And you’re so right about not being able to be everything to everyone. Hoping 2020 is a lot calmer, happier & healthier!

  22. Maureen OConnor says:

    I am so sorry about your Dad and stress that you experienced in 2019. You are so brave to write this post and put it out there. You are also smart to realize that you didn’t like where you were and are making changes. Sending you hugs, good vibes and prayers. xxoo

  23. Christi says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this. It makes me respect you even more. I really enjoy your stories and posts. You have a unique talent and I hope you feel the love and support from all of us here that are wanting only the best for you. Take one day at a time.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Good for you! Good health and great days ahead!

  25. Meg says:

    I can relate, my mother died in the middle of graduate school, leaving my youngest siblings twins who need myself and older brothers to care for them . After getting into the swing of things our father got diagnosed with cancer and passed three years after our mom. Then my brother (half siblings) father died 2 years later from cancer. I found myself drinking to escape, relax, sleep. It was all too much. I neglected my health, gained weight and felt unmotivated. But I saw a new hot yoga studio and my life changed. I felt like I was dying but something changed. I kept practicing, got a therapist, started eating better and hiked my way through healing. Be gentle with yourself, take time to breathe and know healing takes time and is hard, but it’s worth it. I found that Acupunture helped me with insomnia too. You got this. ♥️ P.s. I’m also a counselor so it can and does happen even with having the right tool box.

    • Jennifer says:

      My goodness – you’ve certainly had a rough road too! I’m so glad you found something that makes you happier & healthier! I, too, LOVE hot yoga. It’s so cathartic & so good for the body & the mind!

  26. Kelly says:

    Bravo to you for realizing that you need to make a change! I completely understand the need to do something to relax you during all that stress! I think what you described is one of the drawbacks to being an only child. It all falls on you! My mom was sick for a few years before she died but luckily, I had a brother and sister to share the load. I know a drinking problem can sneak up on you so it’s good to nip it in the bud early. One of my parents was an alcoholic so I’ve seen it first hand and is NOT pretty! Needless to say, I seldom drink! I would recommend discussing this with your doctor to see if a medication might be a better substitute for you to reduce your reaction to stress (along with exercise). I suffer from anxiety and take some. I feel better knowing my doctor monitors me. I’m not sure about your age, but if you’re in your 40’s or 50’s you could be dealing with some hormonal changes too. Good luck with your new healthier journey! Just remember that the more you take care of yourself first, you’ll be better able to take care of everyone else.

  27. Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal message. I admire your honesty. Positive thoughts and prayers to you!!

  28. Christine says:

    Oh my goodness, it is so easy to fall into bad habits! For me it’s emotional eating, and I try very hard to eat well and move my body because God only gave me one for this journey and I want to be healthy and just plain feel good! Like you, I’m short – 5’1” so it doesn’t take much for me to feel rotten in my own skin. You’ve got this! And bravo to you for being brave enough to share!

  29. Thank you for the ‘god wink’ of seeing my post, commenting and bringing me here to your story…. here is the extra special in that wink…. I didn’t share the trauma that first took me to the place where you are now at this moment or the circumstances that followed that kept me going…. This is your ‘google’ moment that I mentioned in my post – the one I wished I’d embraced. YOU have the self awareness to see it, catch it, change it. That is magic. You are doing it. I’m so very happy for you. I didn’t catch it, I continued drinking more and more, my compulsion got worse to the point that stopping altogether was the only option that would save my life and restore my relationship with my children.
    One of my ‘god winks’ happened when a women (now a friend) walked up to me after hearing my story 4 months ago – she said, “you are me 5 years ago – when I first tried to stop and I still had a chance to restore my relationship with my kids….now they won’t talk to me because I couldn’t stop….I hope you stick with it.” She offered me the gift of perspective – wisdom from her life lessons. I hope I can be that same example for you. Good for you for making yourself, your health and your family such a beautiful priority.

    And I am so very sorry for the loss of your father. Sending love, grace and strength your way.

    • Jennifer says:

      I am soooooooo glad that you are in a healthy place now & that you are rebuilding your relationship with your family!!! By sharing your story, you are helping so many others who are stuck in the trenches. It sure helps to know you’re not alone when you’re going through something so painful. The shame can almost be too much sometimes. Here’s to a much happier, healthier new year for both of us!!! xoxo

  30. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing ! This post will help lot of people . Most of us have been there and can relate! Take care of yourself and the rest will follow 😊 Always love what you have to say..
    Thanks ❤️

  31. Amanda Goncalves says:

    I have been following you on instagram for a while now and I find that you are one of the realest people out there! Thank you For being you! I’m so sorry that you are going through such a rough time and I hope you have a better year that will bring healing and happiness! Thank you for sharing such a personal struggle. You are definitely not alone!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comment! Hoping that this new year is a much better one for all of us!

  32. Chris says:

    Wow what a wonderful way to put it! 100% support you and youroverall healthy choice. All the best.

  33. Shawna says:

    You are awesome!!!! I’ve realized the same thing, I’m trying, to not drink all of January to see if a, it helps with my low energy and feeling like a loser and b, to see if I can. I’ve been self-medicating and Getting honest about that is huge!!!!!!I’m so glad you posted this. So nice to know we are not alone!! From the posts I see, you seem like an amazing mom, wife and daughter. Your fam seems happy. You are doing the best you can and even more admirable you are working on yourself!!!!! You are badass momma!!!! You got this, and I bet your parents are so proud of you’nnn

  34. Beverly says:

    You are one of my favorite accounts on Insta and now one of my fav people! Funny and brave and smart and beautiful are also in there with all the yucky stuff you are feeling! Mad respect for you!
    Another former teacher – Beverly

  35. Cristina says:

    First off I’m sorry for the pain and suffering you have experienced. Second thank you for being brave enough to share your struggles and being real! I wish you nothing but the best in your journey!

  36. Cass Evans says:

    Jen you’re a lovely person I’m sure a great Mum and a wonderful wife. Drinking has been a coping mechanism for you & you are definitely not an alcoholic. Don’t be hard on yourself you are only human. I just wanted to give you a big hug when I read that & tell you everything will be alright & you know what Jen, it will be.
    You make me smile every day , & I truly thank you for that. You’re going to be fine Darling ❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Well aren’t you just the sweetest??!! Thank you so much for your kindness & your support! I appreciate it more than you know!

  37. Cheryl Wall says:

    I applaud you for sharing and I promise things will get easier going forward. Of course your dad will still not be here and your mom will still be 6 hours away but once you start to feel better physically and emotionally it will be easier. I too quit drinking 3 years ago and hands down best decision I’ve made in my life. It was a vicious cycle disguised as “self care”. I had so much shame and guilt and just felt awful. It just got worse after losing my mother but I wasn’t drinking when my dad passed so I sat with those feelings and I was able to get through it much better. God bless and it will get better every day 🙏❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you & thanks for sharing your own journey. I’m glad you have come to a healthier place & hope that this new year is a better one for all of us!

  38. Linda says:

    I’m sure sharing this was difficult, but hopefully cathartic. Grief is different for each of us, as well as how we handle the process and stir it up. Add in guilt and it can be overwhelming. Throw in the loss of a beloved pet, and you feel like “how much more can I take? The last year has been rough…..but also enlightening. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and learned something about yourself from each. You’re taking the high road in your journey through life by recognizing problems and making changes. Now think positive (negativity breeds negativity), put one step in front of the other day by day, and love yourself for having the perseverance to change for the better. You can do this! There’s a lot of love and faith surrounding you,…guiding you forward.

  39. Deanna Melotte says:

    Oh dear sweetie please know that I am here with you and I am praying for you I will DM ing you on Instagram Because I have a lot more I would love to share with you but I want to do it privately just know I am here with love and support Deanna 🙏🏼♥️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much. I appreciate all the support so much. It’s was a very scary thing to put out into the universe, but I have been blown away by all the encouragement & people sharing their own struggles.

  40. Amanda Appolloni (SugarSawdust) says:

    2019 was a rough year for a lot of people, I think. It was the best year of my life b/c I married my best friend, but it was the hardest year of my life be/c it was my first year without my Grammy. Plus work stress was insane. It’s so easy to turn to that glass of wine and then before you know it the bottle is gone. I’ve been there. I get it. You (as in everyone) handle things the best way you can at the time. It takes a LOT to take full reflection and look yourself in the mirror to realize the changes you need and then to go public about it. You are awesome and I have loved getting to know you through IG. You’ve got a support system here that will always have your back!! <3

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much, Amanda. I truly appreciate the kindness you’ve always shown me. It definitely wasn’t easy to be public about something so personal, but I’m hoping it helps me to be accountable. I want to enjoy life & not go through it like a zombie. Here’s hoping 2020 is a better one for you & for me!

  41. Erin says:

    I am so sorry you had a rough year. It is a bad year for us as well mentally, and I know you’ve mentioned the hardships you have faced and I commend you for being so open in a public forum, that shows incredible strength. Thank you for being a vessel to show people what it’s like in the real world. You are a real person with real feelings and worries and they are all valid. It really humanizes people you follow when they share personal struggles and reminds you that you are not alone. I also want to commend you for taking your health and making it a priority. So happy that you plan to take care of yourself in the new year and make sure that your body is taken care of. You’ve got this and I look forward to hearing how good 2020 will be for you ❤️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much – I really appreciate your kindness & support! I’m sorry to hear that you had a rough year too. They say that misery loves company, & while I don’t want anyone else to be going through a tough time, it does help to know that I’m not alone. I hope & pray that this new year is a good one for all of us.

  42. Laura says:

    Jen – please know that you are never alone with your struggles. My heart hurts for you with the painful loss of your dad. I too lost my dad after multiple medical issues a few years ago. The pain is real, the emptiness is real, the longing to just hear their voice one more time is real. I don’t think it ever goes away, but I will say that it gets a little easier to cope with each passing day. I’m praying that each day let’s allows you to feel stronger and that you can take your grief and keep moving forward with a clear mind.
    Thank you for your raw, real, honest self!!! I just adore your humor and creative style. I always look so forward to your stories and you and your hubby seriously make me laugh out loud.
    You’ve got this – take on 2020 with clarity and vision XOXO / Laura

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. I’m so sorry that you went through the loss of your dad as well. It is gut wrenching to see a loved one suffering. I am looking forward to a much much better 2020 & I hope it is a happy year for you as well!

  43. Joyelle says:

    Wishing you peace, love and all the good stuff for you and yours for 2020 and beyond. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Maria Call says:

    I can relate to this and you on so many levels and I can honestly say that you are NOT alone! I, too, am an only child and my sweet Momma passed away 5 years ago after a lengthy (5 month) stay in ICU from a botched outpatient surgery.
    I am very proud of you for putting your struggle out here. That takes much courage that most of us don’t have!
    You go girl! You got this! Thank you for sharing so that WE know we are not alone ❌⭕️

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m so sorry that you went through all that with your mom – it is AWFUL to see your loved one suffering. Thank you for your words of encouragement. It wasn’t easy to share my story in such a public way, but I have to say that I’m glad it’s out in the world now. Hoping for a much better 2020!

  45. Jetta says:

    You are a very strong lady! I have lost both if my parents and it is so hard! I understand about trying to escape. My prayers are with you!

  46. Pat Quetsch says:

    Yes, we all have secrets. I’m a smoker! It’s awful and embarrassing. My husband is a recovering alcoholic and went through rehab 3 times. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you have a problem. But catching it now will be so much better for you if you wait until you can’t control it. It’s a hard thing to give up. But you can do it!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you. I truly believe that everyone has their own ways of dealing with the ups & downs of life. I’m not necessarily saying that I am giving it up altogether forever, but I know that I want to be more clear-headed and really be present for my kids & for myself.

  47. Andrea says:

    What a powerful and amazing blog. You are truly an uplifting spirit for me and I look forward to seeing your posts every day. I feel like I know you, even if we are complete strangers. Your post was uplifting, thoughtful, honest, and so very brave. So many of us can see ourselves in you. You just had the courage to put it out there for all to see. I admire your spirit. You just keep being you. Let yourself breathe and mourn. It’s going to be ok, and you’ve got so many people who have your back and are rooting you on!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you – that really means a lot to me. I almost didn’t hit publish because I was scared of how it would be received. I haven’t even talked to my friends or my mom about this. I’m much better at writing what’s in my head than talking out loud about it. I just know that I want to be healthier & really be present on a day to day basis. This life is way too short & we only get one shot at it.

  48. Terri says:

    My heart goes out to you. Your not alone. I too want this new year to change for me. Thank u for sharing. This is the beginning… hugs and love.

  49. Suzy Marsh says:

    Jen, I just wanted to say that I think you are amazing for putting this all out there and being so vulnerable. First of all, you had a very hard year…give yourself some slack. It’s ok! Something I always try to remember is that this dark place is not forever, it’s a hallway you’re going through. I lost my dad several years ago and know the pain you feel. Nothing anyone can say will take that pain away, but just know that you are not alone. Please don’t beat yourself up! You are a strong person and you have all of us on your side! If you ever need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen, we’re all here for you. You’ve got this, girl! Stay strong. Here’s to a great 2020! ❤

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you – I appreciate the kindness more than you know! It was a scary thing to share my story, but I’m glad it’s out there now because it will help me to follow through. 2019 really kicked my butt with the loss of my dad & our family dog. I’m praying that 2020 is much happier & much healthier!

  50. Deb says:

    Ohhhhh, I wish you lived closer so I could give you a huge hug!! Having lost both my parents FAR too soon, I can definitely relate. I really want to applaud your courage and strength and determination, though, because it took guts to not only write this but to share it. Thank you for your beautiful honesty…and I can tell you the loss DOES get easier, with lots of time (and lots of hugs from the people you love best!) Be gentle with yourself – hold tight to the memories of your dad, and hold tighter to the others who cherish them, too. You’ll get through this, and you’ll be so glad you did it without being numb – promise. ♥️

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comment. I am so sorry that you lost both of your parents. Grief has affected way too many of us, but I suppose that’s just a part of life. It was a difficult thing to share my story in such a public way, but I’m hoping that it helps me to be accountable & maybe even helps someone else who is struggling.

  51. Helena says:

    May God bless you throughout your grieving process…may I suggest you continue to be gentle with your self and know that intentions are so important as well so intend to heal not just move on , make an appointment for a massage and intend to release pain from the cellular level , drink lots of water and intend to all ow the sadness to pass right on through .. sending much love and positivity your way .. GO HOOSIERS!!!!!!!!

  52. Melissa says:

    We are all here for you, helping in any way, each day the best we can. You got this 👍🏻 Heres to You, Here’s to me and Look Out 2020 Here we come. 😊 Take
    Care and God Bless

  53. Jennifer, it takes so much courage to actually write your feelings down. We all have vices and personally I have been on the fence with a lot of issues myself. Depression runs in my family and I’m always thinking that I might succumb to that diagnosis one day. Do what feels right and know that you have support all around you. Sending you all the best for the new year ahead and much success with whatever you do.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much, Leslie. I appreciate the encouragement so much. You’re right about everyone having their own ways of dealing with the stresses of life. I just know that I want to be healthier for myself & for my family. Here’s hoping this new year is a better one for all of us!

  54. Rhonda says:

    I found a saying that helped me at the beginning of my sobriety 11 years ago, “What defines us is how well we rise after falling.” Know that you are loved and supported! Your sense of humor will help you through!

  55. Rhonda says:

    Just saw this quote in my new book(Christmas gift)! written by Hoda Kotb called “I really needed this today”! Great daily quotes!! Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. PS, “F” the SHAME, it will be replaced by a sense of pride that you can’t imagine!,✌️❤️

  56. Tina says:

    Jennifer you are a strong and brilliant woman my friend. It takes guts to put your fears out there like this. Not because of what others will think, because really, why they think isn’t really our business 😘, but because it makes you face them yourself. Boy, you just don’t know how much I needed to read this post! Thank you!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for your kind words & glad to hear that the post resonated with you. I think there are so many of us who are going through our own struggles (whatever they might be) & we often put ourselves on the low end of the priority list of who gets taken care of. Here’s hoping that the new year brings better health & happiness to us all!

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