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The word looks innocent enough by itself, doesn’t it?  Sort of clean and clinical.  Just seven letters…But man, it can really kick our butts!

Up there it looks more like an ingredient for a 7th grade lab experiment than a noisy, embarrassing plastic bag full of clanking bottles needing to be taken out to the trash.

False advertising, huh?

How about all the commercials that show people laughing and having a great time out drinking with their friends. They don’t show you the car accidents or all the crying  that goes on behind the scenes.

Or how about a Chardonnay called Lonely Cab Ride Home at 2:00AM? (marketed as an expensive brand that you charge for “friends”!!)

Aren’t you grateful that you don’t have to go through that anymore?

That you can see the truth about where alcohol would take you?

Alcoholics are hurt people We don’t start out with positive messages about ourselves.  So nothing we do can be good enough.  We were told (directly or indirectly) that we didn’t matter, that we didn’t have talents or a bright future.  We feel confused and unprepared.  On top of that, emotions were not usually discussed – let alone explained.  A lot of us come from places of abuse and blame.

So we grow up and we think my job isn’t good enough.  My car isn’t nice enough.  I have a dinky apartment and my friend just bought a house.  Around and around this voice scolds us, mocks us and really, torments us 24 hours a day.  We become negative and fearful and everyone around us feels bad too.  Sometimes we tell ourselves, you are just ugly and stupid.

Sound familiar? 

Hey, I know a solution for that.  A ready made cocktail in a pink bottle called Independent Girl.  Only 80 calories!

Nope.  Not falling for that anymore.  I look at the label and see Hopeless Girl.  I’m grateful that I can go to my library of books and read something to help me move forward.  That I can be alone and not feel lonely.  That I don’t have to be the life of the party.

When I feel hurt, I don’t like the feeling but I allow myself to feel it.  I used to numb the feelings out or choose one of two flavors:  Anger or Sadness.  I couldn’t control the intensity either.  They were always turned up to high.  Now I am grateful I get to choose from a variety of feelings.  Joy, Fear, Disappointment and sometimes another seven-letter word. Elation.

Because I know that I am worthy of love and praise and attention as much as anyone else.  Deep down, even on hard days, I know God sees my heart’s desire and is working on it.  I know I have something to offer and I just need to keep taking tiny steps.

I don’t have to spend money or get a man or feed my feelings with food.  (I’ll be writing more on these topics in the coming posts so check your inbox for my newsletter next Tuesday for Part 2 of this series.)

I am grateful that I stop myself when these bad habits kick in.  I can set boundaries with people and stop being abused.  If I make a mistake, I can start again and congratulate myself for being aware.  I can ask God for help.  I can turn inward for answers and not look for outside fixes.

What about you?  What positive changes have you seen in your life since you gave up drinking?

What are you grateful for?

Live Faithfully,
Mal Duane 

Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over thirty Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.

Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on




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