I’m a lawyer and teacher from North Carolina. I write about sobriety, mental health, running, and more.

Happy New Year!

I normally write my newsletter on Mondays, but I couldn’t wait to share my latest news with you: I’ve just launched a YouTube channel about sobriety.

The first video went up today, and I hope that you will all be the among the first to watch it: Why I Got Sober Instead of “Cutting Back”

I’ve been thinking about starting a YouTube channel for nearly a year, but I kept letting my anxiety get in the way. You might notice that I’m very nervous in this first video. Ultimately though, the only way to grow is to challenge ourselves. …

This well-intended phrase isn’t helping anyone get sober.

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Photo by Joao Tzanno on Unsplash

Ever since I quit drinking, I’ve loved reading other people’s sobriety stories. Early on in my sobriety, they provided the motivation, inspiration, and guidance that I needed to keep going. These days, I read them simply to take joy in my fellow recovering alcoholics’ successes.

As much as I love these stories, I do have one pet peeve: the phrase “If I can do it, you can too.”

Although most writers mean for it to be a source of hope, it can easily come off as condescending. …

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I could do to help new writers grow on Medium.

There are already thousands of great posts about how to succeed here. However, in my opinion, nothing beats personalized feedback. So, that’s exactly what I’m offering, for free.

On Friday, January 15th, at 6:00 PM EST (tomorrow/today depending on when you’re reading this), I’m going to host a livestream on my YouTube channel in which I provide personalized advice about how to grow on Medium.

For anyone who wants it, I’ll take a look at your Medium profile and stories, then give you clear, honest feedback. …

My alcoholism left me jaded, but I eventually found reasons for optimism.

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Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

My first attempt to get sober came at a very young age. I was 22, just one year out of college, but my drinking habit had already consumed my life.

I lived alone in a small apartment, getting by on freelance work that I did from home. I rarely stepped outside in those days, aside from regular trips to the grocery store to restock on beer and cigarettes.

I made these trips often, because I was tearing through beer more quickly than at any other point in my life. I’d start drinking the moment that I woke up, and wouldn’t stop until it was time for bed. …

High stress levels are a surprisingly great reason to give sobriety a try.

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Dry January is an annual event in which participants give up all alcohol for the month. Dry January is most popular in the United Kingdom, where it originated, but each year it spreads further throughout the world.

A poll by Morning Consult found that 13% of Americans are participating this year (up from 11% last year). This number is particularly impressive because the poll also discovered that 73% had never heard of Dry January. This means that nearly half of Americans who have heard of the event chose to participate.

Why is it so popular? For some participants, it’s about starting the new year off healthy. For others, it’s a chance to explore what sobriety is like as they consider making the leap to quitting alcohol altogether. This year, about half of American participants said it was because they had been drinking too much due to Covid. …

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ll check out my most recent Medium post: Why Anthony Hopkins Has Stayed Sober for 45 Years

I always find it interesting to learn about why other people quit drinking. Actor Anthony Hopkins recently uploaded a short video celebrating 45 years sober, and I thought it was very inspiring. You can read my full thoughts (and find a link to the video) here.

YouTube News

I’ve also just uploaded a new video about sobriety: What Do Alcohol Cravings Feel Like? This video combines two topics I’ve written about before: how cravings feel and why they are so difficult to resist. …

The famous actor has an important message for the new year.

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Anthony Hopkins. Photo by Elena Torre, edited by Wikimedia user LeeGer. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Life or Death?

Shortly before the new year, world-famous actor Anthony Hopkins posted a short video to Twitter celebrating his 45th year sober. His message included words of hope for fellow alcoholics as well as anyone who has struggled throughout the past year.

Hopkins acknowledged that it had “been a tough year, full of grief and sadness for many many many people,” but hoped that his own story could encourage others to “keep fighting.”

45 years ago, Hopkins had been in a destructive state, “drinking himself to death,” when he experienced a sudden wake up call. …

Heavy drinking was damaging my health and I didn’t even notice.

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Heavy drinking is notoriously unhealthy. It’s well known that alcohol abuse can cause liver damage. It also increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and strokes. In the United States alone, excessive drinking causes 95,000 deaths per year. (Source)

However, alcohol also causes many health problems that aren’t nearly so obvious or life threatening. I used to be a daily, heavy drinker. At the time, I believed that because I had never ended up in the hospital from drinking, alcohol must not have had any impact on my health.

The truth is that although I was lucky enough to escape the most serious health problems associated with excessive drinking, my habit still damaged my health in many subtler ways. I never ended up in the hospital, but I still have to acknowledge that alcohol led me to an unhealthy lifestyle. …

I felt too insecure about my writing to share it with the world.

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Filled With Insecurities

When I started blogging two years ago, I struggled with feelings of insecurity. I knew that I could write well in academic contexts, but I wasn’t sure whether that skill would translate to the internet. I worried that my writing would be too dry, or that I’d come across as too weird.

The first few blog posts that I wrote were a challenge. I overedited each sentence as I went, trying to get everything just perfect. I worried about the content too: I had chosen to write about my sobriety and wondered whether I was oversharing.

When I hit “publish,” I was excited but also cringing. I was absolutely terrified of how people would respond, and I seriously considered deleting each post as soon as I made it. …

To protect my sobriety, I had to stop doing these three things.

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I struggled to quit drinking. My sobriety was initially a start-and-stop process. One day I’d swear off alcohol for good, the next I’d find a way to talk myself back into drinking.

With each relapse, I was tempted to throw in the towel. Every time that I failed to quit drinking, I became further convinced that it would be impossible for me to ever make my sobriety last.

Despite these feelings, I kept trying to quit, and I did my best to learn from past relapses instead of beating myself up over them. …

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