Creating New Habits



As I speed toward 10 months of sobriety and away from my 47th birthday, ideas of creating new habits drive at me like a horizontal rain. The words mindfulness and patience keep finding their way through the vortex of ideas, scenarios, thoughts and songs that assault me hourly.

I’m the person who refuses to budge from the warm spot on the couch because I’m comfortable even though I’ve had to pee for an hour.  I’m the person who can stay busy all day in my hoodie and sweats and accomplish absolutely nothing of significance and go to bed happy.  I’m the person who has still not quite grasped the fact that I don’t have to like to do something to do it anyway.  This is especially true when it comes to exercise and – well – anything that makes me uncomfortable.

I suppose it’s not surprising that after 19 years of heavy daily drinking, it’s taking me a moment to acclimate to life without alcohol and withdrawals (because I was either drinking or sick.  One wouldn’t think a person could get used to that … ).  I don’t miss alcohol and I certainly don’t miss withdrawal, but I thought I’d have it all in the bag by now.  I don’t. I see that there is a part to me (it’s small but loud) that is resisting creating a new life and getting out there.  It’s busy and hectic and a little chaotic and unpredictable out there.  I’ve even moved to the Oregon coast to get away from the frantic energy of the city.  But I think I got used to being unproductive.  19 years is a long time to sink into a habit and particular ways of thinking.  Today I want to be productive and disciplined, but I’m not quite sure how.



I’ve got to act my way into new behavior.

New behaviors will become second nature.

Unconscious competence!

So far, my new habits include showering and preparing my coffee at night. Those look innocent and easy enough, right?  Hell no!  I fight with myself come 8pm every night.  I’ve also had to put my vitamins in the refrigerator next to the powered vanilla creamer because that’s the only way I remember to make myself take them.  Leaving them out on the counter in front of the coffee maker wasn’t enough – all I did was push them aside. What is that?

I’m monitoring my reactions to these new habits I’m creating and it’s funny.  I’m funny.  I am clearly infringing on the personal space of the part of me that did not ask for any of this.  On the other hand – something within is yearning for new routines.  What is this crazy dichotomy?  I do not know.

Now – if I can just work myself up to tossing aside a mere 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for cardio and lifting – I’ll be able to say I have some pretty cool things in the bag!  They’re small, but they count.

How do I prevent myself from falling back into old lazy behaviors?

HALT – don’t allow myself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  I learned this in my first treatment center and it’s logical that it’d work for me (or anyone anywhere for that matter) today.



Recovery Coaching


Straight from the mouth of Wikipedia – “Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for persons with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with persons with active addictions as well as persons already in recovery.”

Coaching is not therapy and it is not sponsoring.  Clinical issues (past traumas) and 12 Step work are not addressed.  The idea behind coaching is partnership and collaboration.  It’s all about you (the client) and your agenda.  It’s about topics you’re facing in the present and it’s about goals you’d like to set, and then set out to tackle.

Coaching is an adventure, and all it requires on your part is a willingness to move from the thinking stage to the action stage.99

People might share the same path, but no two people can occupy the same space.


I welcome your questions.


A Quiet Place + Mark Twain



“I thoroughly disapprove of duels.  If a man should challange me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”  Mark Twain

New Book Review + Ken Venturi Quote

I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be. ~ Ken Venturi
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable,Informative memoir,March 20, 2012 By dori
This review is from: Saturation (Kindle Edition)

I loved this book. A Well written,discriptive,honest journey into the mind of an alcoholic.Anyone who has someone in their life that struggles with Alcoholism will get a wealth of information from this book. Now This is the type of book they should give out at Al-non.

Thanks Dori!

One Out Of Five Stars + Princess Diana

1.0 out of 5 stars A rough draft with possibilities (needs thorough editing), December 26, 2011
Miranda (Charleston WV)

If I hadn’t gotten this for free as an early reviewer I would not have finished it. I read a huge range of books, most are mediocre but a book has to be really bad for me to leave it partially finished.
The worst thing for me was that this could be a good book. The story is interesting and drinking memoirs are popular right now. A good, critical editor would have improved it, but as-is it reads like a rough draft with no editing. There are grammatical mistakes throughout the book and the writing is incredibly awkward. I read this on my Kindle and found a piece of text to highlight (for grammar, awkward wording, etc…) on a every page. There aren’t very many sentences on a Kindle page, especially given the odd formatting of this book.
Sometimes the writing is simply bad: “The mattress…had to weigh around a lot of pounds.”
But at other times it’s so poorly worded that it’s difficult to understand: “I took something that had nothing to do with me personally.” Did she steal something even though it meant nothing to her or did she become emotionally involved in something which had nothing to do with her? Of course you can figure it out from context but it never should have gotten past a halfway decent editor or 8th grade English teacher.
On one page the author writes “I needed to move to the PNW…” This is the first mention of this phrase yet she immediately uses initials. That’s quite the mistake but she compounds it a short while later with this passage “‘RJC’ She answered. …like I was supposed to know what those three letters stood for.” So the reader was supposed to automatically understand the author but when others do the same thing the author finds it offensive.
That is the other issue I had with this book – the author is extremely unlikeable. She makes snap judgements over trivialities – “Liar. He was a hair over 6’8″ and rounded up.” Estimating height to within an inch would be quite a talent. She harshly judges the behavior of other alcoholics as if it’s not an addiction and a disease while expecting her father to understand her behavior in terms of addiction (rather than a free choice). She includes odd descriptive details but does it randomly, as if she’s suddenly remembered that she should be descriptive.
I don’t think she *needs* to come off as likable, but if you’re not a sympathetic character then you need something else. Really fine writing, really good insights, or humor are good compensations (I don’t think Augusten Burroughs seems particularly likable but I love his books). This book has none of those compensations.
Again, this could be a good book. The author needs to take some writing classes, spend six months reading every decent memoir she can find and find a really tough editor who will help her improve her writing so that it reads like a finished book and not a rough draft.


Duly noted, Miranda!   And now, a quote from a wise soul:

When you are happy you can forgive a great deal.  ~ Princess Diana

Most Recent Review of Saturation on Goodreads.Com



Teresa‘s review

Oct 21, 11
5 of 5 stars
Read in October, 2011


Personal recollection of authors struggle with addiction and what its like from a first hand account of struggling through the battle of recovery and relapse. The struggles to fight the itch to keep going and not to keep letting that itch be scratched as the author describes it best. i really liked the authors description of what addiction is and the battle is to fight it day in and day it. Her description was amazing. I am sorry she had such struggles though it has mad her who she is today and without those struggles she would not be that person. I am happy she has accomplished her goal of writing a book and hope that she continues on her journey in recovery and becomes whoever and whatever she dreams of being. i also am glad her dad was able to eventually understand more than what he understood in the beginning as sometimes it is so hard for people on the outside to understand addiction. Jennifer you are a strong women and I hope you continue to be who you want to be. You did a great job writing this and inspire me as you wanted something and set the goal and though struggled to obtain it you made it. Thanks for allowing me to receive this book through smashwords.
Thanks Teresa!

The Future Is… + Rumi


The eBook version of my memoir, Saturation, is now available for $4.99 for almost all eReaders.   I’d originally listed it for $7.99.  The first 40% is free for both the paperback and eBook versions.    For the eBook version go here: or to your eReader bookstore.  For the paperback version contact me here or email

The Breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.  Don’t go back to sleep. ~ Rumi