Featured

Imposter Syndrome Got Me Like…

Is it a coincidence that I haven’t written a blog post since being diagnosed with ADHD back in February? Probably not, but that’s not what I am here to talk about something. Today I wanted to write about something everybody, adhd or not, gets to experience from time to time, imposter syndrome. If you haven’t experienced this, I’d like to know where you get your confidence from, and if you have or liked to know what the heck I’m talking about continue reading below!

According to the first result I pulled up on google (lol) “Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence (how fancy!), involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience and accomplishments. To counter these feelings, you might end up working harder and holding yourself to ever higher standards”. So in summary, it’s a mind fuck of your own creation. Do you ever feel like a phony? A fraud? That you don’t belong where you are? Guess what!?!?! Maybe its true (jk) or maybe you’re just experiencing imposter syndrome.

So this is all sounds pretty general, and I’m sure it’s possible to feel any or all of these things at a certain point without it falling into the realm of imposter syndrome. The biggest problem with imposter syndrome though is that the experience of doing well at something does nothing to change your beliefs.

Recently I found out that imposter syndrome and adhd is a common pairing (along with adhd and anxiety…. and adhd and substance abuse… welp guess that makes sense). For me, I recognize that my struggles with executive functioning (i.e staying organized, planning multi- tasking ect) often times make me feel like a failure. Is there something going on in your life you can identify that makes you feel this way? It’s important to remember that “The Real You” is full of amazing qualities too.

This can hard when in the thick of some serious negative self talk, but here are some ways to help combat falling into the trap of imposter syndrome.

  • Separate feelings from fact
  • Develop a healthy response to failure and mistake making
  • Know the signs
  • Be authentically you
  • Give it Name
  • Get comfortable with saying “I don’t know”
  • Track and Measure your successes
  • Practice self love, grace and kindness
  • Know you’re not alone

Imposter syndrome can make you feel inadequate. Practice some of the tips above and see how they work! My biggest bit of advice however, is just to acknowledge it and learn more about yourself and how it affects you. If you’re lying to yourself out of dear or shame, you’re lying to everyone else too. When you embrace yourself, how can you be considered an imposter?

What to Drink when you’re not drinking… during quarantine

So I’ve actually been meaning to write a similar post (sans quarantine) ever since I quit drinking… 11 months. Clearly undertaking something so difficult for me has done nothing to improve my procrastination so here we are.

Anyhow, it’s no secret that due to covid-19 most of us non-essentials are stuck at home for the perpetual future To say it has been a stressful time an understatement. In my last post, I wrote about some of the coping mechanisms I have tried to use to manage my anxiety during this time. And I am aware that for a lot of people it has been drinking. I mean why not (take that statement with a grain of salt)? Most of us are not working and if we are on the front lines the stress is immeasurable. Alcohol can help ease our nerves and allows us to open up and laugh…when all we feel like doing is crying.

I understand. And to be honest this pandemic has been the ultimate test of my sobriety. I’d be lying if I told ya I  didn’t have a craving for a hard one to get me through this hard time. But atlas… I will not go down that rabbit hole because if I do… well (see earlier posts).

That’s me though.  I know a lot of people are able to enjoy alcohol responsibly and that’s great (I’m also slightly jealous!). However, if you’re looking to switch it up or concerned about your immune system (cause yea….alchohol will wreak havoc on that…sorry). Maybe you’re just a little sober curious. If so you’ve come to the right place! Below I’ll go over some of my favorite alcohol alternatives and how to purchase said beverages during quarantine. And yes … I have more in my tool belt than just Diet Coke and La Croix so do not worry my carbonated hating friends!

A good ol’ fashioned mocktail! 

Have a lot of juice at your house? With all this extra time on your hands, it is the perfect time to experiment, plus they are lots of fun to make! If I am hosting or attending a party I love to mix up a unique mocktail. It helps me feel like part of the festivities plus it serves as a tasty mixer for anybody looking for something a little bit more spiked.

Heres a link to one of my warm-weather favorites, Coconut Lavender-Lemonade!

Coconut Lavender Lemonade

Speaking of mocktails… if you’re a fan of playing with flavors and really want to step up your mocktail game I suggest…

Seedlip ” The World’s First Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirits” and inspiration for this post.

I’d be lying if I told you if I knew anything that went into creating this tasty gem. What I do know os I can make a kick-ass virgin Moscow mule with it and that it comes in 3 flavors with really cute bottles that have animals on them (who doesn’t love majestic animals?). It has a distinct but slight earthy taste and comes in a captain morgan esque- spice flavor, a “garden” flavor which I’d assume would be good for bloody mary’s (admittedly not my favorite flavor) and grove which has more of a citrus taste.

They are still shipping nationwide during everything. I suggest looking at their site for some cool recipe ideas and to learn more about them!

Seedlip Drinks

Ok so at this point you may be thinking, mocktails are cool and all Kristen but I need something to mellow me out during all this. Well, you my friend are in luck! So the following could be considered a little controversial in the sober community, but for me, I find them totally fine and fantastic alternatives to alcohol when I need to relax. Honestly, sobriety is so personal and it is my belief that if I find CBD beneficial it is no big deal. Again that is just me but I just figured I’d start with that disclaimer and also totally give away my next drink.

Recess or other CBD infused drinks

By now we’ve all been inundated with the hype surrounding CBD. There is just about “CBD infused” everything…everywhere. Did you know you can buy ridiculously overpriced cbd activewear? I’m getting track now though.  Recess is probably my favorite on the market to bring to a party. They come in pretty pastel cans (can you tell I am a sucker for marketing?) and you feel cool sipping them. They are sparkingly seltzer that come in 3 flavors, Blackberry Chai,  Peach Ginger and Pomengratente Hibiscus. 10 out of 10 would recommend if you’re looking to relax without the hangover.

Learn more at Take A Recess

Now onto my fave and what I am sipping in my feature photo…

Kava

Who doesn’t love a little natural relaxation? For centuries this calming South Pacific root has been brewed in teas but is only just starting to gain popularity in the United States. Kava has been used for centuries by Pacific Islanders due to its sedative and euphoric properties. Kava has been used to treat insomnia, migraines, and hailed as a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medicines. Ummm… count me in!

Please, please note though that I highly suggest doing your research before you decide Kava is right for you. I would not suggest drinking alcohol with it or having if you regularly take benzos for anxiety (as it is already a sedative). What’s the point of feeling relaxed and euphoric if you’re just going to sleep through it?

We have a few Kava bars in my area which is great for a non-drinking gal like myself. I actually held my 32nd (ew) birthday at a Kava Bar! I had so much fun and was so appreciative of all my friends for going on an alternative night out on the town with me. There are many places you can get kava…you can even order it on Amazon! One of the Kava bars by me is even offering curbside no-contact pickup.

So there ya have it, folks, some of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy whether I am  Zoom chatting during quarantine or out celebrating with friends (once its ok to do so, of course).

I hope you found this helpful or at the very least interesting. I never want to come off as like an alcohol shamer because honestly, that’s a personal choice and as long as it’s not causing problems for you I say go for it! If you are looking to cut back feel free to reach out for me advise or try some of these drinks. I have a few more alternatives that I use so if you’re interested in learning more shoot me a dm.

Stay safe everyone!

❤ Sweeney

Sweenbrioty

Last Thursday I quietly celebrated a huge personal milestone. There were no champagne corks to be popped and no shots to be had though. This wasn’t the type of milestone you celebrated that way for because Thursday, Nov. 21st marked 6 months of abstaining from alcohol. Full disclosure, I did gleefully eat my weight in Froyo.

I have a strange relationship with this newfound sobriety. Part of me wants to scream on top of rooftops, proudly declaring to anybody who will listen, that I don’t drink anymore. The other part of me wants to shrivel up and hide in shame and pretend I never had a problem with alcohol, to begin with.

A few days into my sobriety or a few days before (I cannot recall) I wrote a post finally admitting that I had a problem with alcohol.  I kept it up a few days but did not share the post to any of my social media accounts.  Then after mulling over it agonizingly a couple days, I changed the post to private. I have not reread the post since. I’m actually sort of afraid to. I was in such a different headspace than I am in now and it’s hard to bring myself to relive that shame.  “Shame”…. there’s that word again, it haunts me.

It’s kind of weird how open I am about my struggles with anxiety, but I am also more secretive about my struggle with alcohol. I feel like there are so many more negative connotations with being an alcoholic and at the end of the day is it really a stigma…or is it just the reality of it?

I was a really shitty person when I drank and the severity of my drinking isn’t something I usually openly ever shareabout…maybe it should be…. maybe it shouldn’t. Just trust me, it was bad. Like shakes in the morning, drinking pints of vodka straight bad. Anxiety is hard enough. Now imagine having an anxiety disorder while withdrawing. That was my reality.  I cringe when I think about my behavior in the past decade (yup…decade, wow) due to drinking.

But whats a newly 6-month sober girl supposed to do, get down on herself 24/7 because of the past? I’m not saying I don’t reflect because I do but for my sanity, it is so much healthier for me to look at the present and future. So now that I’ve opened pandora’s box and shared this post I definitely plan on sprinkling in posts about sobriety here and there. I can’t change my past but I can learn from it. and hopefully, I can help others struggling to be less afraid to open up.

❤ Sweeney

From being THAT girl @ the bar to becoming THAT girl that DOESN’T DRINK (@ the bar).

So I’ve been told when you’re trying to cut out drinking from your life that it is a good idea to also cut ties with the friends you drink with. Theoretically, I completely understand this, but I’m sorry but…hell no. Do you know how long it fricken takes me to find a group of people that I can be completely comfortable around? Sure it has been tough, but I am willing to put myself in that difficult position to maintain important friendships. Not to mention, I also have a major FOMO complex. There are, however, definitely acquaintances of mine that I only feel comfortable around if I am drinking/drunk…. they can go. To be honest, acquaintances are the vain of my existence anyway​. So if I’ve hung out with you at a bar or party in the past month, congratulations….I must really like you!

It has been a strange experience going from binge drinker to non-drinker. Some of the changes have been really enjoyable, for instance helllllo no hangovers! And not gonna lie, it is pretty cool to remember your whole evening. When I go out now I put much more emphasis as to why I’m leaving the comfort of my couch and Netflix​. Whether it is to watch your band play or celebrate your birthday, I am actually going out to support and be there for you. Before any excuse to drink was a reason to go out and the occasion always played second fiddle. I was a very selfish drinker and I really didn’t care about anything other than when I was going to get my next drink. It feels good to actually be present. It is also reallllllly funny to watch my boyfriend get wasted which, after over 10 years of dating, I have rarely seen because he’d always have to be in charge of taking care of my drunk ass.

Now for the downside… it’s really hard. Imagine wanting nothing more than relaxing with a nice cold beer, preferably a microbrew​ (because I’m pretentious like that) but not being able to have one AND THEN subjecting yourself to several hours of being surrounded by said micro-brew. Ugh, honestly it is the literal worst. It is a craving like none other. I have found that my anxiety lessons a bit once I put any form of beverage in my hand. If I am at a brunch type of event, chamomile tea helps to calm my nerves and relax me. If I am going out at night I will usually stick to water or if I want to get really wild a diet coke/ sugar-free​ energy drink. Also… lots and lots of kudzu​ (and occasionally kava)root. I’m actually going to make a post soon about supplements and which ones I take for a more natural mood support, so stay tuned!

Another pitfall? Having to explain (over & over) why you aren’t drinking. Sometimes people do not even ask but I feel compelled to tell them just because I assume they are wondering (even if they probably aren’t). If my anxiety makes me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb than not drinking at a bar makes me feel like I am naked and painted hot pink. My friends are completely fine with it though and very supportive. If you are going through something similar and your “friends” make you feel weird about it, that’s when I fully support the idea of cutting ties.

The only other challenge I’ve come across so far is answering the question “So how long are you doing this for?”. Word of advice, do not ask somebody who’s​ struggling with drinking that because ​IDK hopefully forever? In my head that is like trying to calculate how long it is going to take me to fail. Could I learn how to drink in moderation and start partaking again? Maybe….but probably not. Will I ever just say f*ck it and start drinking again? I honestly can’t answer that. For now, ​it’s safe to say the “Sween Machine” is in a coma. It’s possible she’ll stay asleep indefinitely. It is also (hopefully significantly less) equally possible she’ll wake up. Instead of worrying about when that may or may not happen, I am just going to continue to enjoy my new found clarity.

❤ Sweeney