Tough cookies

I have another post up on The Fix, so please check it out when you have a moment.

Writing for a larger audience has been a humbling experience. It’s taken me well outside my comfort zone into one of excitement but self-doubt. I may have taken the sweet, easy cocoon of blogging for granted. I don’t anymore.

Thank you for reading and for your comments. Thank you for the posts you write and for the comments you leave on other blogs. Sometimes I’m just lurking along and read something that helps me in a way I wasn’t looking for. Sometimes I’ll feel bothered by something I read and chip away at why only to uncover something new to work on. This sounds like it might be exhausting, but it’s not. Overall, it’s refreshing and affirming. It’s concrete, irrefutable proof of the hope found in connection.

I was just trying to think what else to write about and oh yeah, I celebrated 3 years sober last Saturday!  So that happened. I took the train into Philly with my family and we walked around a comic show and visited the market to get cookies as big as my head. I did have a drinking pang at the end of the day when I was feeling overdone and worn out. I took pictures of graffiti from the train and thought about the head-sized cookie in my purse. It passed.

photo (8)
dont get snotty – unless you have a cold or are doing a cleanse

The very next day I started a 10 day cleanse. The cookie thing, see, it’s a (first world) problem again. This will be my third formal attempt at cookie wrangling. Think what you want, but I’m no quitter. Unless we’re talking about booze and cigarettes.

I’m in the middle of the cleanse. The first few days I felt terrible. Today I feel a little better. It’s like my first week sober all over again. I haven’t run all week because of weird pains and lethargy. I have enjoyed vigorous walks. Why did I ever stop walking? I can’t remember. I notice more things when I slow down and walk. I notice how vibrant and lush everything seems, even the air. I see teenaged geese waddle by in their full-sized bodies and fuzzy brown feathers. I smell dill in the woods or something in the wild that dill smells like.

This is one snapshot in time. I am happy to be alive. I’m grateful for the release and support I’ve found in writing….for the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. I’m even grateful for the cookies because they tasted good and taught me that I can’t conquer everything. I’m a tougher cookie than I knew I could be.


26 thoughts on “Tough cookies

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  1. 3 years! Congratulations! I know what you mean about the cookies. I’ve been much better about my sugar intake this week, but I caved last night and had an ice cream cone and a spoonful of peanut butter this morning. What cleanse are you doing? The 21 Day Sugar Detox is great. I’ve also done a Juice Cleanse (Pressed Juicery) that made me feel like I starving to death. Literally. Good luck. 🙂


    1. I’ve met a few lucky souls who didn’t struggle with sugar in recovery, but what you’ve described sounds completely normal. It does come and go and I’ve definitely seen improvement. I think that’s come more from the healthy habits I’ve introduced, so if you already have some, you’re off to a good start. The cleanse is an herbal liver and digestive thing (similar to one sold at Trader Joe’s). Honestly, the cleaner eating and drinking copious amounts of water is probably helping the most. I’m intrigued by the 21 day sugar detox and will keep that info in my back pocket. Will skip death by starvation juice cleanse. Thanks!


  2. Happy 3 years!
    That is awesome and surreal,each in its turn.
    Yay! 3 years and REALLY? I haven’t had a drink in 3 years when I used to not go one day?
    It’s all amazing.
    Can’t wait to read the FIX article

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your help with it. I’d be lost without you, my dear. I’d say one day we’ll beat cookies, but that sounds like a mess of crumbs and waste of deliciousness.


  3. Congrats on 3 years – that’s fantastic. And the fix piece too – you’re famous (with Mrs. D)! Oh I knew her when…

    I am at a good place with the cookies. Sometimes I have one too many, other times I go for fruit. I can almost say that I have learned to moderate sugar. A new hurdle.

    I am very excited for you on your sobriety, which is a fantastic one. You’re a real inspiration to me and to so many of the others in these here parts. A real treat…gassed up or not 🙂




    1. There was another time I was writing about sugar struggle (no way! gasp!) and you wrote something comforting about finding the ability to moderate sugar. And I pulled out of the downward plunge for awhile. Throughout this struggle, I’ve learned healthier habits which don’t necessarily cancel out the sugar binges, but if I were to put them in place more consistently it might get me to moderation. Thanks as always for your friendship and wisdom.


  4. Congratulations on 3 years!! I appreciate what you write about writing. I have come to find the broader world rather cathartic. I have very much enjoyed engaging with other people in recovery. I have learned a lot. That food stuff is really still very tricky to me. I was listening to an OA podcast today where the speaker was talking about how for some being on a food plan can be like being an addict restricting. I try to tell myself on food – everything in moderation – but I know with booze and pills, that never worked for me.

    What I really do enjoy is having to think about these things today. It is a challenge but what comes out the other side is certainly worth the effort.

    Enjoy life into your fourth year of recovery!


    1. Thanks, Robert! With alcohol or cigarettes, I could give them up completely and feel better than ever. Food is trickier, huh. It’s hard seeing the parallels to alcohol addiction and yet I don’t believe they need to be handled the same black-and-white way. It’s a work in progress, good to know I’m not alone.


    1. There’s a great market in downtown Philly where you can get a decent cheesesteak, sure, but you can also get a killer schnitzel BLT or maybe indian or sushi or crepes are your thing. On our way to the oversized cookie place, we pass a chocolatier that displays edible ears and hearts and even a chocolate covered onion. It’s a magical place, obviously, but it does exist in this city and maybe even in one near you.


      1. did you know that philly cheesesteaks used to be one of my sons (the older one) his favorite sandwich when he was about ten – he thought they were/are the best thing ever and while that has waned – someday we would like to have authentic ones from Philly. and the two close by cities on our list to visit are Philly and Chicago – hmmmm
        and the cookies and chocolate goodies sound cool – but one complaint – K- we need some pics – just a few????


  5. Congratulations Kristen! Good luck with your cleanse and keep taking care of yourself. That’s really what it’s all about for me – finding that sweet spot of self care where I’m not constantly denying myself but not harming myself either. I’m going to hop over and read that post now!


  6. congrats – hurray and yeah babay – 3 years.

    and hope the cleanse is going well. What one did you decided to do? so curious…
    Please email me if you ever have any questions or if you just want to hear my experience with some over the years – because I have stuff to share – let me tell ya. and as a matter of fact, I have been meaning to share more with you and I am not sure where we left off! argh.

    but whew – just keep in mind that if you ever feel bad it is called “die off” and it is very natural and just part of it. Also, I drink lots of green tea – made nice and strong – cause it can help keep the liver and kidneys clean as we cleanse.

    Also, remember things take time – some people take years cleansing because it is years of gunk they are undoing – but it does take time – and especially herbs – they can work slow – and in fact – some people that need to heal of major gunk inside – well sometimes they use other things in conjunction with herbs. But I heard that craving the yeast in beer may have a strong candida connection – anyhow….

    one amazing thing I recently discovered is MSM

    not to be confused with MMS – but if you do nothing else – try MSM – and get a good quality one – like from NOW foods….
    What is MSM? MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a form of biologically available sulfur, naturally occurring in extremely tiny amounts in plants…
    this stuff has changed my life – and you start taking it slowly – and the first week it could give you gas and cramps – and some bathroom trips immediately – but it tapers off and well, this MSM is a potent thing that will balance you inside – it reduces inflammation and so that is why it is sometimes promoted with Glucosamine-and-Chondroitin – but I heard the trace amounts in those “mixes” are not enough to be effective – and by the way – with some herbal cleanses – many times you have to up the amount for them to work…. check out dr. hulda clark info – purdy good stuff.

    anyhow, the MSM also breaks apart and yeast or parasites int he body because it breaks down their protein chains and all this amazing stuff – and MSM is not toxic – and well, this is just an educational share and is not meant to treat or diagnose – ha ha -and so seriously – email me if you want a few more tidbits from my cleansing story. ❤


  7. Hey K – I also forgot to say how much I liked the graffiti art – for a few reasons – the up view – and art -a nd the message – Iike the message as-is – cause in life it is just nice to be alive and real – but we do not have to “get snotty” – ha! but your added part was THE BEST!!!
    “dont get snotty – unless you have a cold or are doing a cleanse”


  8. Great job on 3 years! So inspiring every time I see someone else who is in it for the long haul. Now, a cookie dropping a craving? That is a new one! You may be on to something! 🙂 thanks for the courage to continue sobriety, blogging, breathing, walking and eating cookies! Life is good.


  9. Happy 3 years my friend!

    I wish I remembered to celebrate with you personally, let’s try to get together this summer to do just that.

    I am honored and humbled to know someone who is writing to a larger audience, I sit in awe of your literary prowess! Great article on The Fix, great post here, and good job on the cleanse. You are my hero!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. First of all, congrats on three years! That is truly awesome. Secondly, what’s with the nitrous? I had that once at the dentist when I was a teenager and needed a tooth pulled. I have never been offered it since. I didn’t think it was around anymore?

    As for sugar . . . that’s a tough one, too. I work that one for all I’m worth, and feel so much better for it. Still. It’s an ongoing struggle.


  11. Sending belated birthday love. I thought about you much on the 21, but never managed to make it to your page to congratulate you.No matter how you slice it, it’s a big deal to have another year under your belt. Your writing is always heartfelt and thought-provoking for me. So thank you for sharing the journey of all-things-recovery.


  12. Hey Kristen!
    I’m such a cheater…I actually just read your latest on sugar and backed up to read Tough Cookie. Why am I craving chocolate chips so suddenly?? Tee! Hee!

    Loved this piece and am so inspired by your leap to write for a larger audience. I’m right there with you on the practice of combing through and reading others. 99.9% of the time I find something that gets me through, inspires me or sends me digging deeper. In fact, I finally have you in my e-mail notifications because I know I’ll learn or laugh or smile when I read what you have to say.

    I love that train to Philly…I’ve done it by myself a few times and always learn something new. Thanks for sharing the graffiti picture…makes me yearn for a solo ride again.


  13. Congrats on 3 years! That is super rad 🙂 Yay you! I’m also very impressed you’re doing a cleanse. Even tho I’ve got quite the inner-hippy, I just can’t bring myself to do one. Or give up sugar. You’re a stronger woman than I! Hugs and congrats again!


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