Refashioning My Life After Loss

“I honestly don’t think I can stop drinking…”

These are the words that I told my therapist on July 16th 2015. It was the day after my second birthday without my mother and to say I was hungover would be an understatement.

I was so ashamed of my behavior, my behavior the past two years actually, that I honestly felt like if I didn’t get a grip on this grief soon I would surely spiral out of control.

“Do you think you need to go to AA?” My therapist asked.

“I don’t know…” I replied.

“I don’t think you do she said. But if you really think you can’t stop drinking then it couldn’t hurt.”

The silence was so thick after this exchange that while I could’ve cried I truly didn’t have the strength due to my hangover induced splitting headache.


Then, in attempt to break the silence, my therapist jumped subject and said, “Oh, how did your birthday dress that you were making turnout by the way?”

“A disaster!” I said.

See, for some strange reason, I felt like I could make my birthday dress. I saw a look that I loved at Urban Outfitters but after trying it on I wasn’t willing to spend the triple digit price they were asking for. So just like that, off to the Fashion District I went. I dusted off my 1940’s singer that I got at an estate sale six years ago and went to work.

Well for like five minutes. One, the machine was so old that I didn’t have the right accessories to sew a zigzag stitch (necessary for the material I randomly bought simply because it was on sale). Two, speaking of those accessories, they are now considered vintage and therefore cost more than buying a newer modern machine (which is what I did). And three, every time I looked at my sewing machine the memory of my mother’s last trip to New York kept resurfacing. She taught me how to make curtains for my first apartment in the city on that machine, so it made me sad. She would surely be able to help me with my “Project Runway – The Birthday Edition” dress if she were here.


It was too much to process and after several failed attempts I gave up. I ended up wearing that triple digit dress from Urban Outfitters and vowed to at least try and relearn how to sew. That way next year I may be able to actually make my own dress.

So I told all this to my therapist and once I finished my throat hurt so bad from holding back the tears, my head was about to explode and my session was up.

“Well, what should our goal for this week be then Robbie?” my therapist asked before I bolted out the door.

“I’m going to figure out if I am an alcoholic or not.” I said already halfway out the door.

And off I went. Back to my apartment where I slept most of the day. Mini naps chased with Google searches. “How do you know if you are an alcoholic or not?” filled my Google search history.

I read so many articles that while my hangover was going away my head was spinning with the possibility of having an addiction.

“I’m just going to take this one day at a time.” I resolved. “I know I’m not going to drink tonight, and I’m going to try hard not to drink tomorrow.”

And I didn’t. For 3o days.

Geez, I still can’t believe it…

However the craziest part is that I didn’t set out to give up drinking for that long. I literally took it one day at a time and found that one stitch at a time I knew the answer to that question I began my therapy session with on July 16th.

I can stop drinking.

Therefore I am not addicted to alcohol.


However I am addicted to refashioning my life after the loss of my mother.

There are so many gems she left me and I am so grateful for the 31 years that we did share. So to honor the years to come, the lessons learned and the memories captured I give you “Georgia’s Gems!”

Oh. P.S. The two piece look shown is the first thing I made. The fabric reminded me of my mother’s first wedding ring that I inherited on my 18th birthday. It is my favorite piece of jewelry so I couldn’t stop staring at this print in the fabric store three days after my birthday. I had no idea what I could make with it and considered leaving the store without it. That was until a little voice said…

“Just go for it. You will figure it out.”

And guess what, I did.


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