Blog and New Album Updates

Blog, 3 years alcohol free October 14th 2022  

Today Friday, October 14th marks my 3 years without alcohol. I clearly remember that I had been thinking about giving it up for months before and took the time to evaluate my habits and how they were linked to my emotions.  I had been through some traumatic experiences along with the compound effect of insecurity & imposter syndrome it was clear that alcohol was not the best idea when I was in much need of some healing. I realized how much it held me back in my musical life as well.  

Luckily my musical sister and friend Vanessa (Goodnight Sunrise)  had posted on Facebook how she just celebrated her soberaversary of one year and shared her story. I was so inspired that I reached out to her. She called me right away and we talked about our experiences. She told me how she came to the decision and set a date to give it up so I did the same thing and picked October 14th.  I had one last hurrah on the 13th by going out and getting good and drunk, woke up hungover for the last time!  

Since that day I have constantly affirmed that I made the right decision because I have seen such an improvement in all facets of my life from my emotional, financial and professional life. When I look back I know that my relationship with drinking wasn’t a problem till it was. Although I didn’t fit the description of a textbook alcoholic it was progressing to a point where I could see it was a form of alcohol abuse that had been building up. Previously I spent time with other people who drank, a lot, and probably stayed in that environment because of some co-dependency and not properly dealing with my trauma. I knew it was time to take it all on and get myself back to a place where I was being my fully authentic self but to do that I had to FEEL all the feelings.   

As a bonus to kicking that habit, within three months of giving up alcohol I managed to kick my smoking habit. It was so associated with drinking/being drunk. I would not smoke through the week sometimes and then come the weekend if I was having a few, I’d convince myself that it was ok if I was drinking then it led back to full-time smoking so when I removed the catalyst I wasn’t tempted to smoke.  I was staying out way too late, had spent time with questionable people and on top of that, the money I would spend on drinks wasn’t serving my financial goals. When you look at how much one night out costs with drinks and cigarettes I’d drop $50 to $100 and not have an issue with it at the moment but yet claimed I couldn’t “afford” certain things.  

I can’t finish this blog without telling you the truth about how it affected my music career. If you are not familiar with my industry as a musician, well we have a lifestyle that is associated with it that defiantly involves booze.  We play in bars, have liquor and brewery sponsorships, free drinks all the time, etc.  These are not bad things it's just the way it is. I honestly didn’t drink much when I performed. I’d have a sip or two but that was it.  It was more so after and including being at some of our conferences where I’d be there for a few days and exhaust myself from staying up late and partying with various people. That would mess me up if I had meetings and showcases.  There was one year in particular that I think I stayed up till 5 am and fell asleep in someone else's hotel room and because I had barely any sleep, was dehydrated and smoked most of the night…..I sounded like garbage…at my SHOWCASE!  

I was embarrassed, disappointed, and frustrated yet carried on for a few more years, and guess who hasn’t showcased at that conference since?  Is it connected? I’m not sure but regardless if anyone from the industry was in that room that night I don't blame them for not jumping at the opportunity to work with me. 

I finally woke up and realized all of these things…I was mad at myself because I have two kids who deserved better than that. It was time to step up and put my family first and to do that I had to get myself to a healthier headspace!  

So that being said, I feel like I have had to work twice as hard to get back to the real level of my ability as a creator and with my most recent work, I know that none of it would have been possible without kicking the booze habit. I have had a lot of personal successes this year and want to keep the momentum going so you likely won't see me picking up a drink for a very long time if ever unless its a delish Libra non-alcoholic beer or mocktail!  I drink a lot of sparkling water and coffee anyway.  

If you are an artist on the East Coast there is an incredible peer support program through ECMA Wellness that meets bi-weekly you can attend and it is a safe space if you are looking to reduce your usage or give it up completely and Unison Benevolent Fund has resources for you free of charge as well and also please reach out to me directly if you ever have questions or want some encouragement of your own and I would be more than happy to personally be there for you.  (contact link below!)



Area 506 Recap and what's on deck!  

Here we are a few days into August and I am just very much unwinding from an incredible July. It was SOOO busy with music for me with some stellar shows! My heart is super happy with my band and all the humans who came to see us. I had a bit of a line up change in early June but ended up with a serious upgrade as fans are saying! 

I had 3 great shows lined up so especially for these I welcomed a bassist Chuck Teed, Keys player Huey Lord and also Amanda Doucet who is now doing beautiful backup vocals and percussion. They have been a wonderful addition to my lineup as they are joyful and professional so I'll use them whenever they can be on stage with me!  

Most recently with this new dream team, we played AREA 506 and honestly it was all fantastic. My band backing me up was amazing and it was one of my favorite performances to date!  

These Humans are super photogenic and its impossible to take a bad photo of them haha. I f you missed it well there have been loads of photos and videos from the weekend and See more photos and I’m LOVEING all the great posts from our set and the whole festival.  

Here are two of my favorite photos (so many tho)!!!  Check it out and let me know if you were there in the crowd!  All of these from Mathieu Savidant at AREA 506 because um ya he's incredible. 📸✌️

So now what's up? 

You can find me solo acoustic at the following festivals and events!  

(Tonight) August 4th 
Saint John NB 
Night Market Saint John 
6:00PM - 9:00PM  

Saturday August 13th   
Alma NB 
Rising Tide Trails & Tunes: Women in Song at the Molly Kool Centre 
7:00pm - 8:00PM 

Saturday August 25th  
Moncton NB 
Patio Fest - St. James Gate 
5:00PM - 7:00PM  

I hope to see you around this month!  

Love - JR 

P.S. I’m loving the spins on my music and the sweet playlist adds keep em coming! for all streaming links (or simply search “Jaclyn Reinhart” on your favorite platform.  


Post Show Thank YOU! 

Thank you all so much for making the "Not So Late Show with Jaclyn Reinhart & the Fire Signs" happen. RE-play will be ready in about a week for ticket holders. 

As an added bonus  we have a group called "Exclusive Content - Jaclyn Reinhart & the Fire Signs" set up for supporters and I'll launch the online watch party. Some bought tickets and couldn't make it so I want to make sure you get what you paid for! 

This was the 1st time that I put on a ticketed event myself! So huge thank you to Side Door 

With 55 tickets sold (online and in person) it blew my mind and a live studio audience of 50 plus crew, and online audience of I don't know how many but my god I'm so grateful!! 

We got so busy there's a bunch more prizes to give away so please be sure to look out for the emails that I'll be sending this week. Plus lots of great photos that will be shared on FB 

I have a long list of people to thank! 

Mike Rogers 
The Fire Signs 
Kortnie Nicoles 
Sebastian Doucet 
Andrew Mott 
Matt Douthright 
MDR Studios 
James Morrison 
The Sanctuary Theatre 
Ryan Brown 
Hannah Martin 
Peter Doyle 
Nick Miller 
Ian Estey 
Andrew MacRae 
Aux Productions 
Jessica Rhaye Design 
Mayday Fine Print 
Victoria Clark 
Rhonda Cusack 
Tish Byrne 
Kaitlyn Doughty 
Naomi Eatmon 
Ashley Bird 
Sarah Jamer 
Sebastian Cook 
Tara Danahy 
Morgana Sharp 
Amanda Doucet 
Colin Ferris 


Coast Tire & Auto Service 
The Bridge Radio 
Champlain Auto Body 
Mayday Fine Print 
Port City Fitness 
Atlantic Canada Cooks 
Lilly & Alex Shoe Shoppe 
Sabian Cymbals 
Laura Gatien & Associates 
Fiddling Ferns 
Quality Block Barbour Shop 
Heartbreak Boutique 
Gig & Groove 
Dr. Anna Isaacs 
Majestic Nails by Morgana 
Judy Mitchel Real Estate 
Together Design 
Element 5 Spa 
CAA Atlantic 
Eighty-Three Bar Arcade 
Pure Bliss Spa 
Punch Lines Comedy Club 
Kings Own Reserve Beard Oil 
The Feel Good Store 
Slocum & Ferris 
Jim Gilberts Wheels & Deals 
Jeff Alpaugh Custom 
Simply Stylish SJ 
At the Lake Spa 

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. 

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada and FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) invests funds from Canada's private radio broadcasters 

We recognize the support of the Government of New Brunswick and Music·Musique NB. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick et de Music·Musique NB. 



A solution to missing out on Social Media Posts 

Let's face it, social media is an amazing tool but also very throttled by the algorithm, cluttered with ads, memes and there is only so much room in a news feeds and FYPs for information along with notifications for invites that we end up ignoring or checking after the event has passed!!! Oh no :(

To help to make sure that those of you who enjoy my music and updates I am inviting you to join my email list and start a contest to help encourage you to share your email with me!!! 

Yeah, I know some will say email is not the way to go but honestly I check my emails hourly, and even if I don't read it right away, it's there until I do something about it!   

This way you have information direct to you not combating all the other social media noise! You can reply to me at any time if you have questions or want to say hi AND there is no obligation to stay signed up if you wish to unsubscribe.   

My goal for the month is to discover 100 people who want to be a part of my music community and ultimately over the coming year if I can connect with 1000 people through my email list then that will be a great accomplishment. 

So I am inviting you to sign up for emails at and your name/email will be entered to win. 

It's simple just sign up for my email updates on live performances & live streams, new music, new merch, blog post updates, and more. 

Entries from January 24 - February 24th will be put into a draw!   

*Win a signed copy of  “Sleep with Ghosts”  
*Private online performance  
(approx 20 mins) Zoom or FB 

How to enter:  
*Sign up for email list  
*Reply to my email (current subscribers)  
*Share this link or social media post with hashtag #SleepwithGhosts 

Just for signing up, you will also receive a free download of my song “Takes a Little Time” 

At the end of the contest, I’ll draw two email addresses one from my current subscribers and one from the new contacts as of January 13th.  I’ll contact the winners and post the results on my socials.  

Thank you in advance and good luck!! 



Another one for the books - Farewell to 2021 

I feel like every year I say "well that was one for the books". This year was no different.  To take inventory of my year here is the breakdown.  

  • Started a band (The Fire Signs) 
  • Started a long-term relationship 
  • Started a new full-time job with an amazing company 
  • FINALLY finished & released my EP "Sleep with Ghosts" 
  • Released my very first ever Music Video! (Rearview - Check it on YouTube)
  • Had one child turn 18!  (Yes I'm that old)  
  • Had approx 30 performances despite COVID both solo and band!  
  • Did my very first mini-tour in Ontario both solo and with my band 
  • Ended long-term relationship (three weeks before Christmas) 
  • Received a raise for 2022 
  • Took my first two-week vacation ever 
  • Was awarded funding from the Govt. of NB/Music NB for the MID Program for recording, professional development, and touring 
  • Celebrated two years alcohol-free! 
  • Was awarded the SOCAN Foundation Professional DevelopmentGrant 
  • Paid off expenses for EP 
  • Worked with some incredible Co-Writers for new material  
  • Bought more cute dresses!!!! 

Let's talk about this, shall we?  

Funny, I can barely remember how I felt this time last year but this was the first year that felt like I could actually thrive after years of really just cleaning up messes and surviving. That might be the biggest gift I've ever given myself. I worked really hard over the past few years so it's very satisfying to know that it is paying off and I am seeing so much growth.  

The Relationship

I started 2021 single but then by February, I had finally taken the chance to open my heart again to another person after a long time of being single. It had been something I was so scared to do because I had been so broken in the past along with all the half-assed dates I had been on. He made me laugh and I was so excited to spend time with him.  We had a great honeymoon phase. 

I had to learn to open up and trust a bit more but also to stand my ground on what I truly want in a partner.  He was a safe place for me to heal for a while kind of like relationship rehab. Honestly, it was uncomfortable at times working through some triggers because we had such different communication styles and it caused a lot of friction.  

In early December...I made the tough decision to end it. Now I'm grieving what we had and what I was hoping to build with this person. I'm really sad with this broken heart at Christmas but my little bandaged heart just needs to catch up to my mind because I know I made the right decision. I still gave him the duck socks I ordered from amazon because they were funny. Although he has not acknowledged me at all since....that's just who I am and felt like it was the thing to do.  

The rest of the longer story of us will likely make its way into a new record because it still feels unresolved but I really did (or do) love him.   

Before I move on from my failed relationship actually if I think back to years ago. This year I celebrated two years alcohol-free.  You see old drinking Jaclyn would have got drunk, swiped tinder, and tried to get over it by not dealing with the hurt and disappointment. The fact that I've got through a fairly significant breakup right before Christmas and have no inclination to drink is a huge win for me.  I finally feel in control of it yet still have zero desire to sip OR date!!!!   

Now let's move on to much better things. I had one heck of a great year really and I wanna tell you more.  

The Job 

For a long time, I didn't feel like I should talk about the fact that I had to do anything other than music to survive. It was a pressure that I can't even explain. I wasn't trying to look the part of a full-time musician but I just didn't make it public.  The reality is that to make it a full-time job is just too risky for someone like me who is a single mom with two kids. 

So COVID kind of blessed me with no other option than to leave self-employment and find another source of income that would support my family and my creative endeavors.  

I'm happy and feel supported as a human and I have the vacation time that allows me to still perform music. So none of that will change any time soon. Music will always be a part of my only grow up once and it goes fast so I'm happy to be there for them in this way but also get to pursue my passion.  It's a good balance!  

It feels so great to be in this position and I have very grateful for the opportunity. (Shout out to BFF for the encouragement and reference)  

The Music 


It's been five years since I released any music. So this year was a huge deal for me. It was time-consuming, expensive, and stressful but it was all worth it. Having some pretty amazing people on the record was beautiful and I'm proud of it.  It got some attention from a few press outlets, 3 of my songs were added to really cool playlists on Spotify like the EH! List by Exclaim Magazine, it was voted favorite October Release on Americana Highways so now I'm on their "New Americana" playlist plus for the first time ever, I released a music video for Rearview, and it's at over 5000 views!  Check it out!  


As far as funding goes I had some incredible support through the MID Program and am so grateful for the support of the Government of NB & Music New Brunswick. I was able to take my band to Toronto, cover a bit more of the expenses for the record, and take advantage of some professional development by working with mentors that have helped me define my goals and more.  I also was awarded a Professional Development grant through the songwriter's mothership in Canada the SOCAN Foundation!  I am so glad these programs are available for us artists because without them it would take much longer to achieve my goals or I'd need to take a second job that could take away more of my creative time.  

Speaking of now that the album is out and the new year is upon us...I'm going to be diving into more writing, co-writing more...then...more writing. The Fire Signs and I are looking to start creating together and will be playing more shows in 2022 both with myself as a solo artist and also as a unit. I CANT wait!  


I'm not done shopping but not worried about it. Mostly I enjoy the whole scene of the holidays with lots of great movies, food, and company. My kids and I love making hot chocolate and curling up on our big comfy corner couch and I can't wait to see them open presents on Christmas morning!  

To wrap it up 

There were some pretty major changes in my life that made for a remarable year and I am so grateful I was finally able to reap the seeds I had sewn over the years and actually enjoy the ride.   

I'm heading into the New Year with NO resolutions because I don't do that.  I like to see it from the angle of a renewed outlook on what I want to achieve in 2022.  I'm open to the possibilities in life and love. 

I hope you can reflect on the good stuff you experienced this year, learn from your mistakes, and heal from the hurt. 

All the best to you and yours in the new year. 


Jaclyn Reinhart  

You can listen to my podcast version of this blog too!

#Behindthemusic - Saint John String Quartet 


“Sleep with Ghosts” is not only is this the name of my newly released 5 song EP it is the Title Track of the record. I wrote it with Tyler Lombard while I was in Toronto during a session at SOCAN Music the songwriters mothership, back in 2018. From the moment we started this song I knew it was special and became the theme for the whole record. 

I had always felt like this track deserved strings but didn't plan it in pre-production because it really didn’t fit in my budget. After we laid down bed tracks I just had this ongoing feeling that I should try and make that happen so I reached out to Christopher Buckley of the world-class Saint John String Quartet. He consulted with the other members David Adams, Sonja Adams & Danielle Sametz who all agreed to take on the project. My recording engineer, John McLaggan who is also an incredibly gifted artist/musician etc. agreed to write the arrangement and so we scheduled them to come in to perform. 

That day will always be near and dear to me because I’ll never forget how I felt listening to them perform on one of MY songs (and Tylers). I still get emotional because it's such an honor and even if no one else ever heard this song I would be fulfilled because this was captured for my own personal happiness. BUT it deserves to be heard because they sound INCREDIBLE!!! Please take a few moments of your time to listen. 

Thank you to the members of the SJSQ for being a part of my musical journey. I am so grateful for your involvement. 



For all streaming platforms visit


JR Ontario Tour debrief 

I am now home from five days in Ontario, 3 gigs, and 817.7kms in a rental car! 

This was my first out-of-province tour with two solo shows and a full band performance too. 

What a whirlwind! 

My band flew in for one show!  It was our third gig ever and an absolute highlight performance for me. 


It was an incredible way to celebrate the release of my brand new EP Sleep With Ghosts "Sleep with Ghosts" 

Thank you to Kortni, Sebastian, and Andrew for your dedication and hard work to present my music as if it was your own and looking stellar while doing it. #stagecandy what a great team we have created. I love our band The Fire Signs! 

Many months ago, when the opportunity came up to perform in Toronto I took it. There was no way to know what might happen financially to fund the trip along with covid and traveling. I took the chance but not without help! 

First off, it wouldn't have happened without Sebastian Cook The BEAT Network  I have been working with him as my consultant and also he's the one who booked this mini-tour for me along with many other tasks. He is an industry Swiss Army knife! He does everything and does it with the artist in mind! Your hard work has been very appreciated. A big shout out for being my merch girl, roadie, working doors, promoting and selling tickets, travel buddy, and food companion! Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs at times and I didn't want to stop eating haha. I'm so lucky to be working with you and keep building out my career path with your guidance! 

Also, I am so grateful for the opportunity to perform with Suzie Vinnick Music. Thank you for sharing the stage with me, it has been a blessing. 

If you don't know her well she is top-notch as a performer and an overall beautiful human being. Every moment spent with her was like having a big sister to look up to. She is so thoughtful and caring. I see why so many people love her because she emits a warmth that I'll never forget. Also a big thank you to James, Suzie's sweet hubby! Thanks for taking some videos of the shows, I can't wait to see the footage. 

Nicole Léger is always amazing and such an important part of this tour. Her grant guidance and support are always appreciated. 

This was also made possible with financial support from the Government of New Brunswick and Music / Musique NB

through the MID Program. Thank you for investing in me and I hope that I did you proud in Ontario



A big thanks to my co-writers Tyler and Kim Williams Music for coming out to the show. It was amazing to perform Sleep with Ghosts and Rearview to you with my band! I'm so proud of these songs and they would have never been the same without you!! 

I am happy to have got to meet my publicist Jason Schneider who came to the show too. It was fantastic to have him see what I do live! 

Jason has been working hard on my release and I'm grateful for all the press and media attention he's been able to help me with! 

Thank you to all who came out to the show, buying albums, and for grooving along to my music! 

I did have a day to unwind in London before heading home.  From there I drove out to grand bend to visit some friends and just happened to meet a Brewery ow er who books live music at Bad Ape Brewing.  I tasted some hot sweet apple Cider and bought some delish artisan chorizo, hot sauce, and kombucha. 

Although I was all packed and ready to go last night feeling proud of myself I had made a mistake.  When I got to airport security.....the kombucha (along with my water and craft sodas from Anderson Craft Ales) didn't make it because apparently, I should have packed it in my checked baggage. I hope airport security gets to enjoy them and the lesson learned to read all the info when you check-in. 

Regardless the place looks like a great stop when I'm one to the area again and I'll just drink it before I fly or check it. 

In London, I took myself put on a date to Waldos Bistro.  I met two very hilarious men who made me laugh the entire time.  They were like Statler and Waldorf from the muppets.  Here's a selfie. 

Also big thanks to all who contributed to my fundraising campaign for my Tour Top-up!! 

Your support means so much and is helping cover costs on this trip. Thank you for $600 to go towards expenses not covered by my grant for hotels, flights, rentals, and transportation (25%). 

My goal is $1000 and I hit $600 last Tuesday. I'll keep it open until November 1st if you'd like to help out! Or email for e transfers since that seems to be the preferred method. 

I will have a special private video viewing and exclusive trip content on my website after I close the fundraising campaign on Nov 1st. 

Thank you to the venues Heartwood Concert Hall the Supermarket and Anderson Craft Ales for having me! 

I can't wait for more shows and to come back to Ontario! 

Please check out my new EP when you have a chance! 

Here are some photos were taken by the wonderful Cassandra Popescu. She captured some great shots of my band from our show at the Supermarket in Toronto on Saturday night.

When I look in my "Rearview"   

I have so many great things to reflect on in the creation of my upcoming EP "Sleep with Ghosts" Now that I have released the first single "Rearview" I can talk about it a little more openly!!! 

This album and song in particular came to life when I needed it! I almost gave up on recording and pursuing music professionally in early 2020 but one person, in particular, pulled me out of it and I'm forever grateful for her advice, support, and guidance to take the next steps. You see I went through a really, really rough patch and wasn't sure I could recover emotionally or financially for a long time. This was right before the pandemic struck! I had to decide my artistic future to push forward to leave it in my Rearview.... but I chose music.  

What a time to start recording an album when we weren't allowed to breathe in the same room as other humans we didn't live with! I launched a crowdfunding campaign on Feb 24th and 3 weeks in we got shut down. I managed to complete the project and raised 107% of my goal thankfully. I had some pretty amazing people behind me! Now I can finally show you all the work that went into this! The team I built around me helped me grow exponentially on so many levels and some are still helping me on this path.  

Everything that happened along the road to making these 5 songs seemed to come together in just the way that served them well. John McLaggan helped me create the sound I was looking for and suggested some incredible musicians to work with. From my long-time friends and even bounced some tracks down to Nashville to bring together the songs in my new Americana Roots Rock vibe that well flirts with country a bit...I dunno maybe it's because I wear a hat now. I just hope Sheryl Crow and Tom Petty would approve!  

I'll speak to Rearview for this entry. This song came to life because I needed to fill a spot that I didn't want to leave empty. I reached out to a co-writer I had met through the Songwriters Association of Canada's Master Class during the lockdowns. Kim Williams and I had a chance to write together and became friends pretty quickly. We had been talking about doing more writing more together but I didn't think it would be for this record because I already had the songs picked...or so I thought. I ended up dropping a song that was intended for the record so I reached out to her to work with me she gladly obliged!  

When we first started talking about writing together we started a folder. She dropped in a list of potential titles. Rearview popped right out to me!  We had both been in some less than desirable relationship situations and had a cathartic discussion about that then started writing this track. 

We worked so well together and it turned into one of my absolute favorite songs that I've written/co-written. It's about the moment you find the sense of confidence to put an unhealthy relationship behind you and begin the healing process. I think we have all been there and know when it's time to move on, it just takes a little time. 

Now "Rearview" is beginning its journey as it has been officially released to the world for potential listeners who need to hear what we have to say. I have already made it onto some pretty sweet playlists so far like Exclaim!'s "Eh, List" debuting at #47, Canadas Music Incubators "CMI Supported" and more. I am very interested to see how it progresses. 

I hope you will take a few moments to check it out. Please hop onto your favorite streaming platforms to start playing and adding this brand new track to one of your playlists, share on socials and tag me @jaclynreinhartmusic or just tell a friend if you like what you hear! 

More music coming at you soon! 



Self Love and Style - Podcast 

Over the past few years, the theme of my life has been on a radical self-love and acceptance journey as Amanda Hanson of calls it. I worked with Amanda for helping me style my new album photoshoot and stage.

The one thing that shocked me was how connected our self-expression through our clothes are with our past and beliefs. She helped me move past some limiting beliefs about my wardrobe and helped me to express myself more authentically through my attire. That included me sharing my story with her.

Recently we teamed up for a crossover episode to release it on both of our platforms to talk a bit about my personal experience leading up to us working together.

You can watch the video below or choose your platform from one of the links!

The Essence of Jaclyn Podcast - Listen on Spotify, Apple music and more! 

Women Disrupted Podcast

More on Amanda Hanson

She is a mom of two that always has a “healthy” stock of bacon in her kitchen. She also has a slight addiction to red lipstick. As a Style Coach, she has worked with hundreds of women who cut through the BS and shut down their negative self-talk. She shows women how to redefine their "beauty standards" so that they can fully embrace the body they are in. Amanda helps women unapologetically express who they are in their clothes and wants to challenge societal beliefs about body image so that it is a safer and shame-free world for the women of now and future generations.

You can find her many free tips and videos on Instagram at and FB: @simplystylishInc If you want her to dive into your closet, then check out her services at

Here is our episode and please drop a comment if you enjoyed or if you have anything you'd like to add to our discussion.  

Keep loving yourself - You are worth it!

<3 Jaclyn 

My year without alcohol - A reflection  

Grateful to live alcohol freeMy year without alcohol  

Today is my one year soberiversary.  Let me tell you more and how I came to this lifestyle change.  This is only a slice of the story intended to bring you up to speed of my experience and what triggered this decision. I thank you for taking the time to read and hope that if anything it helps you find your own strength to make a much needed change no matter what that is.   

Leading up to my decision to abstain from alcohol, I took a few months to really dig into my habits after a very traumatic experience. I noticed what I was doing, who I was spending time with and how I felt after drinking. I was liking it less and less all the time.  The hangovers, wasted money, late nights, questionable sexual partners and after parties were far too common in my life. But why? For the most part, I had a good life with my kids, fully self employed, had what I thought were good friends and I had my “Shit together”....... But did I?  

 It kept crossing my mind. So let me share with you one reflection after going out was this.  I wasn’t sad or celebrating anything. It was just a Friday night with nothing to do. I had a bottle of wine at home and then got the urge to be around people so I cabbed uptown to a bar, had two drinks and was hit on by an ugly weird guy so I left and went to get food of course. It was two slices of pizza and a poutine. The next day I woke up, hungover feeling like absolute trash. I noticed a bunch of food left over and also checked my bank account. I had over tipped the cabbie by mistake by $12.99 and when I did the running total of the night with cigarettes included it added up to about $80!  What the hell?  I did this a few times a month and not to mention the random nights at home that I’d be sipping while hanging with friends or writing grants or songs so add 10-20 per night when that happened.  Something hit me after those calculations.  I realized that when my kids asked for something that was say, $15.00 I’d say “oh no I can’t afford that”  But somehow I made myself afford a night of NOTHING for $80?  I felt like the worst parent ever and a liar.  That's not me!! Also I was starting to have far more fuzzy nights where I couldn’t remember what had happened and wondered why I hurt. Friends would tell me how I fell down because I drank too much and I was getting increasingly emotional during those times. That wasn’t a good thing at all. Something needed to change.   

I am hard pressed to label myself as an alcoholic but if I’m being honest I did experience alcohol abuse and habits that were costing me in more ways than money.  

Over the summer and early fall I was digging into what was really happening.  Although it seemed harmless because I didn’t drink every day and my bills were paid but my underlying issues were presenting themselves far too often.  In the past 25 years since I started indulging in alcohol I had mostly been a happy social drinker, party girl and the bubbly outgoing fun social butterfly to drink with. Not afraid of anything after a few drinks and was totally a YES girl. It was rare that I lost my shit or didn’t remember anything (Except for that time that I drank 3 shots of Absinthe at Jessy and Pete's Christmas party and had no clue what was happening!). Mostly I was a good time.  

Looking back I’d say over the past 8 years a compounded problem was  creeping up on me.  It was the people I surrounded myself with, bad habits and unhealed trauma that were keeping me in a holding pattern. As I looked back at who I spent the most time with, how I spent that time and the situations that caused me pain I realized that I had some major healing to do.  Two toxic emotionally abusive relationships, my dad almost dying, toxic codependent friendships and self sabotage needed some healing attention.   

The months leading up to quitting drinking were important to see the holding pattern I was in.  Then one day I was on facebook and saw a post from my musician friend Vanessa whom I met in 2018 in the hotel we were both staying at after our shows for Canada Day in Fredericton.  Well on October 8th  of 2019 she posted about her “Soberiversary” and I immediately messaged her and asked how she did it and told her I had been really thinking about cutting it from my life.  She called me and we had a great chat about our experiences.  Especially being musicians and exposed to so much alcohol over the years!  Our convo became the one thing that helped me to pick a date and give it up.  I chose Thanksgiving as my date.  October 14th to be exact. She was so excited for me.  It was incredible. I didn’t have any friends who were excited for me not to drink! Wow!   

So over the next week I mentally prepped to give it up.  I went to Fredericton for the weekend and spent time with family and friends for the holiday weekend.  Then when I came back on Sunday I planned to get drunk…..this was going to be my last hurra for a while. There was an open mic at McGills so that's where I was going to go get silly and sing songs.  We closed the bar, I went to an afterparty and at 4am it was time to go home. I called a cab, crawled into bed and slept.  I woke up with a gross hangover and felt every single part of it.  The headache, the tired sluggish feeling, the craving crappy food, the overall BLAH!  I wanted to because I needed to really take note of how I DIDN”T want to feel.   

When I made the decision I honestly didn’t know if I’d give it up for a week, a month, a year or forever.  Now here I am one year later with ZERO desire to drink again.  I have no good reason to.  I really dug into my healing though lots of counseling, life coaching and self help. I took care of my physical and mental health better than I ever had in my life.  I also quit smoking 3 months after giving up drinking.  My vocal health is so much better and some of my voice issues corrected themselves since.  My musical life over all has improved over all too and I’ve been focusing on my new record so much!  I’ve lost weight, look better and feel better now than I have in years.  

I no longer crave a weekend so I can drink wine. When I'm upset, I don’t need drinks to “Get though”. No need for prosecco to celebrate anything because I’m happy with my sparkling water.  Most of all no bad decisions based on alcohol and false confidence.   

So will I drink again?  Who knows but as I sit here today reflecting on just how good my life is now, I can not formulate any reason why it makes sense in my life when I am completely and truly happy without it.  

This next year will be more focused on forgiveness. Something that I struggle with.  Forgiving those people that hurt me. I also need to work on forgiving myself for putting myself in harmful situations and trusting the wrong people. That was a past version of myself that I still love and have compassion for.  She did what she thought was right at the time, she wasn’t informed and I can’t be mad at her for loving and trusting the wrong people. Now this version knows better, is stronger, happier and is proud of herself.   

This wasn’t an easy thing to write. It is only a mere slice of my story but I wanted to share the important parts of my journey.  Vanessa was open about her path and that led me down mine so please reach out if you are in need of an ear!  

Much Love,