Hi, My Name Is Colleen. 
And I'm not an alcoholic.
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When life became limited by my growing dependence on alcohol, I started to fantasize about quitting. I even gave imaginary TED talks about my escape from what felt like a nightmare. The visualizations were hopeful and fleeting. I was exhausted by the 24-hour cycle of detox-to-retox. But as I poured a drink each night, and hoped maybe tomorrow would be different, I longed for change.

One morning, my attempt to outrun a hangover was interrupted. Without consulting my brain, my hand had used my phone to search-and-dial the AA hotline. I guess my body decided it was sick of my shit. Minutes later, standing in the middle of a country road, I was in an online 12-step meeting. Camera off. Heart open. Tears streaming down my face. My resistance faded as I uttered the passwords: “My name is Colleen, and I’m an alcoholic.”

I spent the next year doing all the things expected of sober people–attending meetings, working the steps and following the rules. I internalized the conventional beliefs about alcoholism and recovery and trusted what I was told. Honestly, avoiding alcohol was pretty easy because I felt so much better without it. It was figuring out what "not drinking" meant about me as a person that seemed complicated.

Because it felt ridiculous to refer to myself an an alcoholic after I quit drinking.

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Radical Responsibility
As children, we're taught to control our behavior at the expense of our emotions. Keep your chin up. Don't cry. Smile. When someone asks how you are, say, "I'm fine." Even if you're not. Especially when you're not.
And that's how we come to feel like an empty shell of a broken person. Invisible. Disconnected. Because we're more concerned with how we appear in the world than how we feel in our bodies. So we use alcohol. Food. Career. Kids. Drugs. Drama. To avoid the feelings in our bodies. And to run ourselves ragged. Because the excuse of not having the energy or time to take care of ourselves is acceptable. Even rewarded
The irony is that ignoring our needs makes them stronger. We become victims of circumstance, passive aggressive communication specialists and beholden to subconscious urges.
[Spoiler Alert] If you are not actively managing your emotional needs, they are managing you.
Emotional Intelligence
Emotions have a purpose—they are the pathway to divine wisdom. Your potential expands with the ability to feel your feelings without numbing, buffering, avoiding or trying to escape.
What might be possible for you if you weren’t afraid to feel the full spectrum of human emotion? What if you stopped waiting for permission, approval and appreciation from those around you? You could do, try and become whatever you want!
Emotional resilience is a skill that's fairly easy to learn and begins with the desire to rise above the reactive patterns that keep you stuck.
Challenging unconscious beliefs about your relationship to yourself, leaning into discomfort and learning how to process emotional distress allow you to become a more calm, clear and confident version of yourself.
Recover With Colleen
Colleen founded Recover with Colleen after realizing that being “sober” is not a good goal. Identifying as a drinker or a non-drinker keeps you stuck–there’s so much more to life! 
Colleen helps women bypass the stigma and drama that society associates with sobriety by focusing on what’s really important—our relationship with ourselves. She combines emotional intelligence, positive psychology and coaching to support women as they step into their own power to design the next chapter of their lives.
Colleen Kachmann is a recovery-certified Master Coach and author of Life Off the Label: A Handbook for Creating Your Own Brand of Health and Happiness.She holds a MS in health coaching, a BS in education and a women’s functional and integrative medicine professional certificate.
Copyright 2022 Recover With Colleen