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for adult children of alcoholics

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Saving Your Fancy Skincare for Fancy Face Days

I caught myself doing a weird thing last night while washing my face.

Backstory: I’ve started taking much better care of my skin. That’s how it goes when you start taking care of your inside. You start to prioritize all kinds of care. Realizing you are worth it. And so I’ve been learning all about the multi-step Korean beauty process of double cleansing, toner, essence, serum, oil. Morning and night.

It has become a wonderful ritual for myself. A time to look myself in the mirror, see myself, honor myself, lovingly take care of me. And my skin has never looked better. I feel amazing.

I’ve even gotten so into it that I recently bought several new items to try – sometimes swapping them for the original line of skincare I bought. Just to see if they did more for my skin. Had any extra, cool benefits.

When I travel, I always take the same kit with me as I’ve noticed the original line of skincare works best on my skin. I look amazing when I use all those products in the right order.

I recently got back from a trip. Haven’t unpacked my “best” skincare yet and so have been using the backup stuff. And noticing that my skin doesn’t look as amazing as it does when I use the best stuff.

And this is what popped into my head last night: “I’ll just keep using this backup stuff and save to best skincare for special occasions. I don’t need to look great all the time. No need to waste it.”

THIS IS A THING I SAID TO MYSELF.

It’s ok to have my FACE be for special occasions? Uh uh. No. Not even a little bit ok.

I share this with you because that’s how #ACoA healing works. We start taking care of ourselves, doing what feels good. And even in the taking care, those awful judgy voices sneak in. It’s my drunk mom calling me fat, or unworthy of an award I just got at school. It’s her telling me I should put more blush on before I leave the house because I look like a ghost. These comments still live in my body and creep in unexpectedly.

GOOD NEWS: I caught myself. Reminded myself of what’s true. And you can too.

And of course: I used the good skincare this morning! Because I am ever so worthy.

When You Miss Your Alcoholic Mother While Shopping at Target

If you’ve spent any time with me, you know I’m a bit of a sneaker head. I have custom adidas for my various Bay Area teams (Warriors! Niners! Giants!) and I’ve been known to spend more than a few hours designing Nike Air Force 1s on their site. And along the way, I realized that I really prefer the look of my shoes without socks. I’m short. I have good ankles. And the shoes look better without socks. Period. And so for most of my life, I’ve worn my sneakers without socks. Which, you know, isn’t the loveliest feeling. Or the loveliest smelling.

And then a funny thing happened while waiting in line at Target a month ago: I found no-show half-socks that give you all the cleanliness and good feelings of socks without the look of socks. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS UNTIL FEBRUARY? My life is forever changed. I have purchased all the colors and patterns and feel so proud every time I put them on and every time I take my now-not-smelly fancy sneakers off.

But then I got sad. Really sad. Because it reminded me again of how many things I still don’t know. Girl things. Lady things. How to be a woman things. My alcoholic mother was too involved with alcohol and her own ish to give me any guidance – on tampons, on makeup, on basic hygiene, on work, on family, on life, really. And the not knowing sneaks up on me in weird moments where I discover no-show socks. Would she have known to tell me all those years ago about these magical socks? Probably not. But I know that ache. That specific realization that you were not mothered the way other girls were. And it still hurts, all these years later. Even amid the potent joy of life-altering sock discoveries.

Why Nature Makes Us Feel So Much Better

You often hear me say “nature heals.” You often see me post about “nature time” in my feed and in my stories. There’s a reason. Nature does actually heal us in a profound way. It’s why I’ve made time spent in nature an integral part of our events and our soon to be launched Change of Air guide. After another weekend of hiking that felt ever so good, I thought it would be powerful to re-share with you exactly HOW nature heals:

“Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life — dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers — is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There’s something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART. According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to “look here!” before telling us to instead “look over there!” These demands are draining — and they’re also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they’re still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we’d like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources.”

Ready to plan your next outdoor adventure yet? Even a short nature walk daily can be transformative. I’ve linked this entire article from The Atlantic in our bio. I hope you’ll read and see for yourself how necessary nature is to our healing. It has been a savior for me and that’s why it’s a key part of everything we do.