Erin's Journals

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Just a thought… The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page (where you can also scroll down to catch Monday’s Facebook Live about our AMA Waterways European river cruise with Mike Cooper and me next spring!) or here on YouTube.

Here we are, coming to the end of the first half of 2021 and heading into what we HOPE is a new year, all over again. But today is also a day for cake and celebration in our home.

It’s two years today since I said, “Okay, no more” to the endless bottle of wine or vodka that chilled in the fridge or freezer. Since I said good-bye to the icy deliciousness of a frozen Margarita or the salty perfection of a dirty Martini. Ah, I make it sound so enticing. But in reality, it’s two years since I got my life back.

Now, you may recall, either from here, or if you’ve read Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy, that I had 10 years’ sobriety until I left radio and moved out west to answer to no one and just see if I had an off-switch for my drinking. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t.)

It was two years ago this coming month that I checked myself into rehab and did six really tough weeks, getting into my head this one big message: I had to fire myself as CEO of my life, because I was doing a terrible job at it. Imagine having to set aside an ego and admit that?

But since I did, look what’s happened. You’re here. I’m okay to be on camera without that constantly tired face that accompanies drinking and poor REM-deprived sleep. Thank you.

I’m hosting my own dream podcast (Drift) – an idea that would come to me late at night because I wasn’t falling into bed in a comfortably numb stupor every night. I am able to take on project after project (often to Rob’s chagrin; he was hoping this “reWirement” was going to mean a lot more “us” time, but didn’t imagine that “us” would be a production team) and doing two other podcasts.

Most importantly, though, we have our family here. Our grandchildren and their parents live within a six-minute drive of us, because we were able to step up and be there for them when they needed us. The joy, the fulfillment, the busy-ness and the immense satisfaction that we find in our days and even those nights when I can’t sleep for ideas pounding at me…they’re all thanks to sobriety.

I know that this past year-and-a-half, a lot of people have slid into heavier drinking; it’s called by some the other pandemic. And liver disease among younger Canadians is off the charts. If you think you might have a problem, then you probably do, and I’m just saying that online AA meetings are 24/7 around the world. I went to one in New York City a few weeks ago, online of course.

They’re fantastic and you can Google one if you’re the least bit curious. No strings. Just stories. No driving, no makeup, no nerves, no nothing. You just log on, camera on or off, sit and listen to how sobriety has changed people’s lives – one hour, one day at a time. I just happen to have two years of them now. And counting. And I am, oh, so grateful.

Be safe and I’ll be back with you on Monday. And again, if you’re on Facebook, do be sure to watch our Facebook Live event from Monday. We have a gorgeous AMASerena River Cruise all ready to go next May 30 to June 6 and ships are selling out like crazy, but we really, really want it to be just our group. So watch the video and you should get all the answers you need and, hopefully, Mike Cooper and I will see you after being cooped up – we’ll get you Erin and Cooped up in 2022!

Rob WhiteheadWednesday, June 30, 2021