Money Don’t Mean a Thing When it Comes to My Sobriety
(Photo Credit: Andy Kropa)
It’s the horror of all horrors, and it’s happening to me: It looks we’re going to have to give up cable. And our cleaning lady. Even worse, I think I’m going to have to wait out the winter without getting my hair highlighted, which as a beauty writer is as shameful as not taking a shower.
Because right now, I’m pretty effing broke.
When I left the world of glossy mags almost three years ago, I wasn’t a fool — I knew I was giving up a pretty sweet paycheck, along with a host of cool perks. But I had just spent two weeks watching my dad die, and was so run down and emotionally spent, I really didn’t care.
Suddenly, stressing over the factual accuracy of a lipstick price or a lotion ingredient seemed insane to me. And my dad was always the one who told me to do what you love (he was a writer, too), and to take serious chances when you need to. Otherwise, you might never get there.
So I took a serious chance. With some security via my savings and a modest inheritance, I leapt into the world of freelancing and haven’t looked back.
But, as I’m sure all you fellow freelancers out there know, every day is a hustle.
One month you may have so many projects that you’re practically working all day, seven days a week, and the next, you find yourself dumping coins into TD Bank’s Penny Arcade and having enough time to watch four and a half seasons of Breaking Bad. (That actually worked out well for me — I got all caught up and watched last Sunday’s finale with the rest of the world. Man did they nail that ending. That’s what I call closure, bitch!)
And oh yeah, there was all that rehab, which took me out of my money-earning real life for five months total. Part of me assumed it would work like jury duty, but once I sobered up and left the detox unit, I realized this was just one of my many alcohol-soaked, nonsensical assumptions.
So I’ve taken some big hits financially over the past year and a half, and it sucks, I won’t lie.
But there’s good news. Really good news, in fact:
I’m no longer that spiritually bankrupt soul that I was two years ago at this time.
In fact, in a non-monetary sense, I’m pretty wealthy. I have the love and regained respect of my husband, family and friends. I have a body that’s free from a once very serious physical dependence upon alcohol. I have a mind that’s clearer than it’s been in years, an awesome new column and website to write for ….. I could go on and on. But most importantly, I have my sobriety, which you just can’t put a price tag on.
I even have a tangible piece of treasure — my one-year anniversary coin. And, God willing, I’ll get another one this December, when I celebrate two years of being booze-free.
So really, I’m the richest I’ve ever been. And if that means I’ll have to stream The Walking Dead, let my highlights grow out and wash my own tub, so be it. I’m one lucky sober lady.
Grown out highlights = ombre. Streaming shows = “on your own watch.” 🙂 Congrats on all, great piece!
we miss you like hell out here in ladymagland, but i am so, so happy for you. do what you do, my friend.
Get it, girl. You’re making sacrifices now, but they will pay off in spades. There is absolutely no price tag for good health, solid relationships and being able to take that risk. Once again, you are my hero! Great seeing you today xo
Susan, I am loving your posts. You are kicking ass–and really, you are on the money, always, even if not ‘in’ the money. We gave up cable in June and have lived well off streaming Netflix and (shh) you can still get a TWC signal until they catch up with you (for us it was 3 mos) by plugging the coax into the back and letting your TV search for signal…. Our free ride is over, but maybe it’s your turn… xoxo
I love that coin. I can just imagine having it in your pocket and rubbing it like a worry stone to help you remember who you are. Better than a doubloon.
I love your writing (find it through your FB posts!), Susan!! You are always inspiring with them…and with helpful beauty tips! I miss working with you, but glad you are happy doing what makes you happy!
Kristin @ KEEN Digital Summit
I love this! And as someone who left the “stable” (snort) magazine world just a couple years before you did, I will tell you: It does get better…and easier…and more lucrative (financially).
I have a treasure trove of 24 hours coins….sadly, no one-years. No one-months either, but that’s because I was away from the rooms for a while. I have stayed sober for months at a time.
Anyway, nice post. I commend you for your honestly and you do look happy. I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy, which is why I don’t know if quitting drinking is really what I need to do. Perhaps I just need to turn my life around in other ways.
You go, girl. Your raw honesty is refreshing. Switchel on me soon!
Loving your columns every week! I hope to be half the writer you are someday. I’ve thought about freelance, but haven’t really had many paying opportunities come my way yet.
I have to ask, do you ever use coconut oil as a beauty product? I started using it for my ruddy skin (rosacea) and I’m loving it! Great as a face moisturizer too.
Can’t wait to see your next story! Enjoy your week!
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