The HIP SOBRIETY STORY.
In 2012, I found myself living the life that I had dreamed I would. I lived in the big city, brunched on Sundays, had a small army of friends and my social calendar was full. I wore the right clothes, had the right apartment, maintained the right waistline, and I was at the height of my career - a Director at a hot San Francisco health tech startup.
By all accounts of what I had imagined for myself - by all accounts of what society told me I should have - I had made it.
Except, I hadn't. Because the entire thing was a show.
Behind the scenes, my life was spinning out of control. I was severely unhappy, desperately insecure, depressed and anxious, and becoming less and less able to manage life as I was "supposed" to.
I was also severely bulimic and addicted to alcohol, pot, and cigarettes.
It hadn't always been that way. I partied in college and I happy-houred my way through the first part of my career, and up until about 2010, my drinking and my other "vices" were on par with my social circle. But as my career took off and my heart broke one too many times and the pressures of managing life continued to grow, so too did my dependence on alcohol and food and pot.
In October 2012, I hit what most would call my rock bottom. I was putting away either a few bottles of wine or a few pints of Jameson most nights, binging and purging close to $1,000 of take-out food a week, and smoking as much weed and tobacco as I could get into my lungs. My behavior was becoming more erratic, my secret habits were becoming harder to keep secret, and I looked like TOTAL SHIT and was aging faster than I should have been. One day, it just became too much to keep up - I could no longer hold it together - and I decided to get help.
I addressed the alcohol addiction first. I worked in healthcare and - as I did with every health concern - I turned to my doctor. My doctor was unable to treat me, and gave me two options: I could either go to AA meetings and work the 12-steps, or find an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center.
AA was not an option for me. It was a non-starter. And when I looked into rehab, I found that my health insurance didn't cover it and it would cost me anywhere from $15,000 to $85,000 a month out of pocket. I didn't have the money for it, nor was I willing to take the time to step out of my life and away from my job for a month.
I wanted a modern, affordable, beautiful, accessible, empowering, self-directed recovery that reflected who I was as an individual - and that didn't exist. So I created what I wished for - recovery as I would have it.
And it worked.
My individualized path of recovery helped me not only kick my alcohol, cigarette, pot, and food addiction - it has given me a life beyond what I could have dreamed. Since October 2012, I've completed two yoga trainings, seemingly reversed my aging process (at 37 I look better than I did in my twenties), traveled extensively, left my job and started my own company, started a podcast, overcome severely debilitating anxiety and depression without medication, rehabilitated my relationships, and found meaning and happiness in my life.
Sobriety isn't just about quitting alcohol and drugs. It's about getting after your best life and having everything you ever dreamed of. It's about living the way other people won't live, so you can live the way most people can't.
You can do what I did. My mission is to show you how.
My goal is to provide you the same resources, tools, education, roadmaps, and inspiration that helped me navigate my own recovery. Through the free resources provided via the blog, the weekly Hip Sobriety Newsletter, the HOME podcast, my online Sobriety School (you can sign up to stay in the loop on the next one here), and self-paced digital courses.
Sobriety is not our great consequence. It is our invitation to the life we are supposed to be living. Our invitation home. I am so glad you are here, and I hope this serves you on your way.
THE HOLLY GLENN WHITAKER STORY.
I'm Holly. Professionally, I am sobriety coach and teacher, writer, speaker, co-host/co-producer of the Home Podcast, Kundalini yoga and mediation instructor, and I run this thing called Hip Sobriety. My life's mission is to fix the mess that is addiction & addiction recovery. I am just one of many who believe that we must end the stigma, shame, criminalization and marginalization; promote alternative pathways to recovery; and work together across a diverse set of belief systems, modalities, and barriers in order to do so. I deeply believe that sobriety is an inspiring, empowering, and life affirming choice, and that we are living in such a time where more and more individuals will come to decide for it.
I love photography, travel, dancing naked by myself, hot beverages, yoga and yoga pants, meditation and metaphysics, chanting in Gurmukhi, red lipstick, perfect outfits, staying up late and waking up early, walking through cities, staring up at the sky, flying in planes, and reading non-fiction. My heart is 3 times as big as I can handle most the time, I'm terrible with time management, and I want to learn to fly airplanes. I'm obsessed with Bloomberg Businessweek, social justice, design elements, Instagram, Italy, Papa Francesco, Things Oprah Does, and my hair.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME & Hip SOBRIETY.
Here is my interview on our HOME podcast which goes a bit more into my story - when I started drinking, how that progressed, what my rock bottom was, how I got well, why I left my job, why I started Hip Sobriety, and what I'm looking to accomplish. It's probably one of the more comprehensive pictures of my story, as told to my Very Best Friend, Laura McKowen.