Outside The Rooms. Hip Sobriety & Alcoholics Anonymous: A 9 Part Series.

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.

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How I overcame 43 Fears Paralyzing Fears.

We often don't realize how many fears we have, or how much we allow these fears to run our lives. Because they are uncomfortable. Because they are FEARS. Because it's just so much more comfortable not going there. Because what can we do with them anyway?

What I discovered that day and what remains to be true is this: What we don't own, owns us. And if we want to live a fearless, empowered, free, happy life, we must start owning our shit. Because you don't slay dragons by pretending they aren't in the cave.

Here is a list of fears from my first fear cleanse in January 2013. I share it today for a  few reasons. First, to assure you that you're not more fucked up than I was. Second, to illustrate how severely possible great change is when we are ready to do the work.

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CBS's #14Day challenge: 10 Tips To Support Your Alcohol Cleanse.

An alcohol cleanse is a low pressure way to not only examine how substances may be negatively impacting your life, but also a great way to explore the benefits of sobriety without the long-term commitment. While I recommend doing it for 30 to 40 days to reap real benefits, CBS's #14Days On The Wagon challenge - a call for America to experience life without alcohol for 14 days (October 6 - 19) while learning about addiction and recovery from the experts - is a perfect opportunity to try an alcohol cleanse in the company of a societal movement.

If you are interested in taking up the challenge, are thinking about planning your own alcohol cleanse, or are already in sobriety and just looking for ways to fortify non-drinking you, here are 10 tips to help you make the most of the experience.

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