For the past almost year I have drafted and trashed about one thousand posts on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the 12-steps, each time telling myself that the point of this site is to provide more options and not to criticize the ones that exist, and further to steer clear of that nasty AA debate trap - leave it to sites like The Fix to tackle and keep this site to the meat of Hip Sobriety's mission which is to offer readers a place to explore paths to sobriety in a positive, optimistic, hopeful, beautiful, modern space minus the rhetoric and minus the infighting. To empower and build and to leave each to their own devices and own conclusions (with a lot of my loud opinion thrown in, of course.)
But time and again it comes up, and time and again, I find myself searching for the right thing to do and the right words to say. Because while my experience in AA was a shit-show and my resulting opinion of its efficacy - both from those first-hand accounts and the amount of time spent researching it over the past few years - is less than dismal, I strongly believe that arguing whether or not AA works distracts us from the real problem at hand. Read More
This piece should be called irony. Because the thing I am most nervous to make a statement about is the exact opposite of the one I was afraid to as I began this journey.
Years ago I was terrified of the stir I would create and rejection I would face if I ever had to admit that I couldn't control my drinking. Admitting I was an alcoholic seemed to be the most terrifying thing I'd have to do. And now on this side of things, a non-drinker who not only refuses the alcoholic label and identity or that it is an "incurable disease" and thinks the word should be put to death, I find myself quietly skirting the issue entirely, terrified.
The funny thing about terror though, is that it normally shows you where you must go.
And oh, here I go. Read More
A year or so ago I was out to cock- and mock-tails with a friend when out of no where the placebo effect of my virgin whatever washed over me. Possessed not-drunk drunk, I looked him square in the face.
Me. "Want to know something I've never told anyone?" Read More
When I turned to the Healthcare system as a patient - the same system I had dedicated my life to fixing - and discovered first hand how ill equipped (not equipped?) it was to guide me out of a condition that was CLEARLY impacting my health - alcohol addiction and drug addiction - I set out to not only fix myself, but to fix the problem in general.
Only holy shit...it's not a problem. It's an epidemic. Addiction is A $225 BILLION dollar a year epidemic, and alcohol abuse alone is the 4th leading cause of preventable death (1 in 10 of us will die from our drinking habits).
So I did what a lot of people do when they don't like what the market offers - I went out and created my dream model. While Hip Sobriety in no way desires to go after the whole pie, what it does aim to fix and bring awareness to the parts of the problem that significantly impacted my own personal experience. The parts that would have made my life so much easier if they existed not only when I was in the throws of addiction, but much earlier on, when alcohol and drugs first started to deter me from what I wanted to achieve in this life. My dream is to create something for Holly of 2012, so that the Holly's of 2014 and beyond never have to face what I did again.
With that...here are 7 Essential Aims of Hip Sobriety**.
**Hip Sobriety is a severe Type A whose obsessed with Listicles. Read More
If sobriety is whispering sweet nothings in your ear and you're finding yourself in a fear state, you're not alone. You're in fact in majorly good company, because to some degree, most people that drink have some fear around their relationship with it.
Here are 11 common fears people have that keep them from exploring the sober side of things, dispelled. Read More
It's funny the things that we are afraid to admit.
I have no problem telling people about my sex life (or lack thereof), my poop habits, my deepest insecurities. Let's talk about how much coffee and pastry I consume, how much I struggle with not ending every sentence with the word fuck, or how terrified I am every day I sit down to work on Hip Sobriety. I have this eye fungus from my mascara that won't go away. Sometimes I'm too lazy to brush my teeth. I still text ex-boyfriends and tell them I miss snuggling with them. I look at my ass in mirrors way too much. I don't have health insurance.
I shamelessly and unapologetically admit all. Weellll, mostly all. Okay fine. All except for how I really feel about addiction, sobriety, recovery, relapse, AA, stigmatization, 12 steps, that I fiercely reject the label addict...
So you know, all. All except the risky things. All except the reasons I started Hip Sobriety in the first place.
What we won’t investigate, what we will all fail to do, is question what we did as a society. We will – undoubtedly – completely fail to acknowledge that we still treat addiction as a private matter, a choice of the abuser (see Matthew Perry’s recent interview with Peter Hitchens (“people don’t want to stop”, said Hitchens)), a shame, and an anonymous affair. We will not question that our best “treatment” option is offered in basements and was developed before the break-out of World War II. We will scream “how could he have not been helped!” and cry a thousand tears for this tragedy, and yet we will not examine or question our own personal relationship to substances, or the addictive habits of those who are closest to us.
We will say “he needlessly suffered alone”, and we will totally fail to draw the correlation that addiction and recovery are inherently meant to be suffered and worked alone. From my perspective, Philip Seymour Hoffman had a disease that is encouraged to be treated alone and anonymously. So Philip Seymour Hoffman died alone and had it not been for his star, it most certainly would have been anonymously. Read More