By Kendra Holliday | December 28, 2018
Last year, I announced that I’m an alcoholic. But after all the research I’ve done, I’ve decided I don’t care for the word “alcoholic.”
Instead, I’ve accepted the fact that I have alcohol addiction.
From the book, Alcohol Explained, by William Porter:
“What has been learned can never be unlearned. Alcohol addiction is created when the subconscious mind knows that the one cure for the ill effects of alcohol can be remedied by more alcohol.”
In other words, you can turn a cucumber into a pickle, but a pickle can never become a cucumber again.
So, some of us are cucumbers, and some of us are pickles. There are a lot more pickles out there than you think! Sadly, I am a pickle. 🙁
I believe that anyone can become addicted to alcohol. My setup was the perfect storm – I’ve been self-employed for the past three years, so I had a flexible schedule. I hang out with drinkers. I love social drinking, but I also took to stress drinking due to family problems, and if you do that, you get addicted faster. Also, I’m a woman, and female bodies handle alcohol differently. For instance, even though no amount of alcohol is safe to consume, if you’re going to imbibe in moderation, the recommended amount for women is nine drinks a week, versus fourteen drinks for men.
I also learned that adding alcohol on top of my menopause symptoms was like putting gasoline on a fire.
So, here I am. I know I should quit drinking permanently, but I’m still messing around with it. I stop drinking for a set amount of time – say, 30 days or 90 days, and then try moderating, which turns into daily drinking. I can’t moderate. I’ve tried. I can easily down 4-8 drinks A DAY. Yikes!
Well, not this month! I’m celebrating Drycember by sharing a gift every day. I’m also SUPER excited about a new concept happening here in St Louis – there’s a dive bar that is AF (alcohol free) every Sat night! It’s called Pop’s Blue Moon. I’ve been once so far, and can’t wait to go again.
For now, please enjoy my Drycember gifts, I’ve listed them below!
My partner Matthew has been getting me these tea calendars for years. The creator is BlueMoonstone on Etsy. I love traditions! Every morning, I take a pic of the tea and send it to him. Pineapple, Earl Grey, Strawberry Cheesecake, Ginger, Spearmint… mmm!
Drycember first gift: a tea advent calendar! 🎄 pic.twitter.com/e6fhkY1ku0— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 1, 2018
I looove tiny things, and Leafcutter Designs makes the cuuutest tiny letters and packages! I ordered a set of tiny letters that are from famous historical figures, and each letter contains a coordinating vintage postage stamp. For instance, Clara Barton is writing to her friend Nancy Fitts, and the stamp features a nurse. They include a magnifying loupe – the attention to detail is amazing!
Drycember gift 2: A teeny, tiny letter with a vintage stamp inside. Can you see who it’s from? ✉️🔬 pic.twitter.com/GWRSZGBRGg— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 2, 2018
One of my best friends from childhood (first grade!) is heavily involved with an organization called Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children. Earlier this year, she went to Nepal and hand selected many items for a fundraising bazaar. I got these two gorgeous scarves – I still haven’t unwound them! The Ganesh banner is hanging in my dining room.
Drycember gift 3: colorful scarves from Nepal. I don’t want to unwind them! pic.twitter.com/AX5EOarOeB— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 3, 2018
A couple years ago, I went to New York City to learn Urban Tantra with Barbara Carrellas. I learned about tantra awakening rituals, and so much more! I wrote about a solo experience I had, which was amazing, but I haven’t done it nearly enough! It’s easy to stray away from great tools and resources – just like all my fabulous fancy sex toys I have and never use! So I was very excited to learn that Barbara offers a guided meditation for breath and energy orgasms – I snatched it up, and so should you! It’s a loving gift to yourself. Every time I do it, it’s different, but I always cry and tingle all over. It feels out of this world, a delicious escape, a natural high.
I love fruit, and pears are beautiful! My friend Kassi gave it to me – she’s a licensed sex therapist and we collaborate often. She’s so kind and compassionate.
Drycember gift 5: my friend got one of those fancy fruit baskets, & gave me a pear 🍐 pic.twitter.com/FyTZ0BeVrZ— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 5, 2018
My sister and I are like bookends – I had my mom’s uterus first, and she had it last! We are sooo different, but share subtle similarities. I favor a natural look, whereas she resembles a technicolor apocalypse! See what I mean??
Drycember gift 6: bracelet my sister gave me pic.twitter.com/dUUxp4ILPE— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 6, 2018
Drycember gift 7: this incredible new book featuring women working in an American brothel, circa 1892. @capnmarrrrk gave me heads up. They look like ME, right down to their hairy underarms. 😍 pic.twitter.com/ZCn5dpC5JB— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 7, 2018
See this woman Bev Scheutz? I have SUCH an intellectual crush on her! I’ve seen her speak, & was so impressed, I booked her to speak on history of sex work for @sexpositiveSTL Sun Dec 16, 2pm in Brown Lounge in Brown Hall, Wash U. FREE & FASCINATING! pic.twitter.com/KvrVpUYhWj— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 3, 2018
I looove taking baths – it’s such a luxury! This bath bomb is especially perfect for me – another gift from my baby sis. She’s so good to me! I gave her some super soft cozy socks.
Drycember gift 8: witch’s brew bath bomb in a cauldron, all warm & cinnamon scented. pic.twitter.com/QSkOR9sET7— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 8, 2018
I can’t say enough good things about my partner, Matthew. For 10 years, he’s been supportive of my endeavors. So many men in my past tried to hold me back. Confident and mature, he is a stalwart boulder in the middle of my little burbling creek of moodiness.
Drycember gift 9: My King. When I first met him, he intimidated me. I thought he was going to be mean to me. Our love story reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, except he doesn’t need to be domesticated in order to treat me like his Queen. pic.twitter.com/CKdr39nNPf— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 9, 2018
It’s crazy how much Pokemon GO is a part of my daily self-care routine. I love the subculture, the camaraderie, the motivation to get out there and accomplish satisfying goals. It encourages me to explore new areas and landmarks. I like listening to podcasts and audio books as I play. The last week of October, I walked 35 miles!
Drycember gift 10: Pokemon GO. I’ve been playing almost daily since July 2016. Close to level 38! pic.twitter.com/fGyFt7jBnS— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 10, 2018
I’ve been experimenting with lots of AF (alcohol free) drinks. These bitters are fun to mix with tonic and club.
Drycember gift 11: bitters for my mocktails. The juniper extract is made with Aloha, not alcohol! pic.twitter.com/T70yaOCAmR— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 11, 2018
I love collecting local art, and someone gave me this great piece by Nancy Spurlock. She creates a wide variety of beautiful art, from jewelry to paintings. I like rotating it and seeing different things – a tree with a moon behind it, a swirling lake, a planet…
Drycember gift 12: New art, painted on a drum head. pic.twitter.com/z4IFbOjKJ0— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 12, 2018
The other day I had my niece over to play. We baked cookies and visited a historic log cabin decorated for Christmas. It was a festive day! It’s so nice sharing quality time with kids. I miss my daughter.
Drycember gift 13: baking cookies with my niece. Peanut butter topped with half a Lindt chocolate truffle. pic.twitter.com/vseCQqWdES— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 13, 2018
On an ideal day, I’ll have a dawn walk, a day walk, and a dusk walk. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. Thanks to my flexible schedule, I manage to meet that goal most days. It’s nice having new walking shoes. They aren’t my style, but they’re comfy and get the job done!
Drycember gift 14: new walking shoes. Wore holes in the last pair. Walking off all those cookies! 😋 pic.twitter.com/41IWAjttoB— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 14, 2018
Another yearly tradition – my partner gets me a tiny glass animal from a fancy gift shop full of fragile pretty things. I like thinking of him in that place – just like a bull in a china shop! He’s gotten me mice, butterfly, a puppy…
Drycember gift 15: a tiny glass bear from my big bear! 🐻❤️ pic.twitter.com/8FCyPADQuG— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 15, 2018
My friend David Wraith recommended I get a subscription to Headspace. It’s one of my coping tools. I listen to it almost every day. It features series that cover grief, cravings, mindfulness, and so much more. Recently, they added Sleepcasts that take you on soothing little journeys as you drift away… oh and by the way, the main narrator of the meditations is named Andy.
Drycember gift 16: Headspace app. A very soothing tool, especially during time of stress & sleeplessness. Listening to the Coping with Cravings pack. pic.twitter.com/hIJaYVsJrd— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 16, 2018
Another tiny thing! This time, a pet dragon. Symbolic for me since I am obsessed with Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and my daughter is Year of the Dragon.
Drycember gift 17: a tiny pet dragon. My daughter is Year of the Dragon. 🐉 pic.twitter.com/YQv0YjE5j9— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 17, 2018
More bath stuff. My sister is really big on baths – I love them, too. She finds them very healing and therapeutic. Water is female energy, and a bath can be womb-like…
Drycember gift 18: another bath gift from my sister. It’s very goddess life to bathe in rose petals. 🌹 pic.twitter.com/lla124cQtN— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 18, 2018
My friend is so funny! I texted him these pics and he was instantly intrigued! Here’s the thing – last week I saw John Waters live. He’s one of my heroes – he gets to say the most shocking things! For instance, he suggested a new sex act called “The Snowman”, where you give someone a facial and they go outside and let it freeze on their face. Oh dear! He’s always talking about abortions and poppers – I’ve had an abortion, but I’ve never had poppers, so I thought I would get some. I learned that you do NOT ask for them by the slang term.
Drycember gift 19: my friend sent me a box of Hanukkah cookies, days after the holiday. I added the poppers. pic.twitter.com/LujdQDv8jp— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 19, 2018
Caring for my parents has become a full-time project manager job. I visit them several times a week, take them to doctor appointments, buy them things, arrange for repairs – forget trouble shooting, this is trouble shitting! This summer, I had to help them spend down half their life savings in two weeks so they could become eligible for Medicaid and receive home health services.
The first company we chose was TERRIBLE – they didn’t show up half the time. So we switched to another agency, and the woman they got is WONDERFUL. She is a good Christian woman. I gave her a holiday bonus (of course she gets paid a low hourly rate), and in return, she gave me this CD. I actually like Christmas music! My favorite one is “Silent Night.”
Drycember gift 20: my mom’s home health caregiver gave me this Christmas CD; this is her pastor’s wife 🎁 pic.twitter.com/LPA6lZGG5C— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 20, 2018
I’ve been enjoying some days off and time to replenish my precious female energy. I’m a sentimental person – did any of you watch this in grade school? I love children’s books as well.
Drycember gift 21: a delicious day off, taking a nostalgic trip… 🛶 pic.twitter.com/F63H3Q3qBd— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 21, 2018
Since I’ve had more time this month, I’ve been able to blog again! I wrote a funny post about my butthole. And then, my friend gave me this book:
Drycember gift 22: speaking of assholes… 😩😂 pic.twitter.com/mPbcqvhqxw— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 22, 2018
I was so grossed out by his face on the cover, I tore it off and replaced it with a woman’s face from a catalog. I wish I took a pic of it before I passed it on to someone at a White Elephant gift exchange. Oh well, good riddance!
Check out the gift I got at that exchange! What a score!
Drycember gift 23: a new card game that nicely captures my career. pic.twitter.com/JCyvygV8sd— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 23, 2018
It’s so crazy I get paid to do what some people turn into a game!
Aww, look – I got a tiny tea set from a friend. I set it up in front of my collection of Little Golden Books.
Drycember gift 24: a tiny tea set! pic.twitter.com/DF9DJ1WVO6— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 24, 2018
Another trip down memory lane…
Drycember gift 25: warm childhood memories, such as visiting my grandpa’s A-frame cabin on a lake. He built the cabin himself, including the central fireplace. He called it “Bonnie Dune.” pic.twitter.com/bzWCwrT2Va— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 25, 2018
Here’s a great personal development book:
It felt so good to eat this. I added a little balsamic vinegar.
Drycember gift 27: my friend gave me this brilliant bowl of fresh veggies. After a stressful family meeting on Christmas Eve, I spent Christmas Day blissfully by myself, eating this goodness. 🥒🌶 pic.twitter.com/bU7SGiKVPi— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 27, 2018
This book took my breath away. It captures the true story of a girl who grows up with a family maid, and when that maid takes ill, the girl, now an adult, takes care of her until she dies. As someone familiar with the caregiver role and unconditional love, it hit me in the gut. Plus, there’s so much bird and moon symbolism, which I am all about.
Drycember gift 28: a powerful book of poetry by Jane Ellen Ibur, 2019 St. Louis Poet Laureate. pic.twitter.com/dQlJtnMWKS— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 28, 2018
Since I already ate my veggies, I treated myself to dessert…
Drycember gift 29: Someone gave me these mammoth nuts. This is what I did with them. I put them in my mouth! 😛 pic.twitter.com/zIsDjxAFr2— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 29, 2018
And then I took a gamble…
Drycember gift 30: thanks to the lucky coin, I won $25! 🤑 pic.twitter.com/KVBvVssCVY— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 30, 2018
and ended the month with this!
Drycember gift 31: a client surprised me with this Cowboy Ethics sign. He even got it in my color – burgundy! Good guidelines to keep in mind for 2019. https://t.co/wE6mmpHLJL pic.twitter.com/HjsBL400AG— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) December 31, 2018
It complements my post on Cowboy Ethics beautifully. Filled with gratitude and goodness,I’m ready to saddle up for 2019!
Speaking of cowboy ethics…I made one of my dreams come true ’bout clomping around wearing nothin’ but cowboy boots. 🤠 pic.twitter.com/S0xx6W59cK— Kendra Holliday 😻 (@TBK365) January 1, 2019