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
The first time it happened was in Italy, 3 short months after I had stopped drinking altogether. A hot little Italian waiter (who I'd later make out with - fuck yes, Italy) and I were flirting as I ate my way through two entire pizzas. Near the end of the meal he told me he had a special treat for me, and returned with a glass of dessert wine.
It sat there. I stared at it. He stood there. He stared at me. He smiled, and did that thing with his hands that is the international symbol for "please go ahead and drink it." I blinked. Time stood still. The first thought was crap, I don't know how to say "alcoholic" in Italian. The second thought was, I wonder if I can ask him for a cappuccino instead. The third thought was not a thought at all, but that aching I get in my tummy when I am afraid I'm going to hurt someone's feelings.
Me: "Non grazie."
Me: "No bevo alcol."
Me: "No bevo alcol!"
Him: Sad face.
I smiled politely, thanked him again, and told him I'd take a cappuccino. He persisted. "Not even a little?" No. Not even a little. 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