This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately. - Eli WieselRead More
When I started HIp Sobriety last summer, the intention was to create a website not just dedicated to blogging about addiction recovery, but a space that would become a haven to anyone looking for an alternative, positive, empowering roadmap out of addiction. My vision was resources and tools, online classes, e-books, coaching, bootcamps, video blogs, and of course, a written blog. The blog for me was originally a place to air my dirt or my angst or my truth. I didn't quite care about how well it hit or how well written the pieces were, I simply cared that I was getting something out of me and on to paper and out to the world.
Somewhere along the way, the innocence was lost. Because somewhere along the way, I started to receive feedback, and started to consume that feedback.Read More
As I was moving through my own recovery, working with multiple therapists and coaches, I kept encountering a practice that I completely resisted: going back to where the memory started, to "undo" it or "recreate" it. It felt formulaic, and not unlike the part in Law & Order when they bring in the Asian psychologist and he gets the child to play with a Barbie and all of the sudden the child remembers her brother killed her auntie.
It would go down something like this. I'd tell coach/therapist/doctor of a block or a terror I had, they'd ask me to close my eyes and go back to the first time I felt this way, and my answer of "always" didn't satisfy them. So I'd fish in my mind and normally end up pulling a memory that would make them happy and stop asking me to go back in time. Sometimes I would lie just to get them to stop.Read More
A little less than a year ago, I got what I would describe as the WORST email someone in recovery from substance abuse could get.
"Dear Holly, You are fucked up. You will always be fucked up. And you can't yoga your way out of how fucked up you are. You may have fooled all your other friends and the people you work with and surround yourself with, but I know the truth."Read More
I had my last last drink on April 13, 2013.
There is no way to describe what has happened in those months since. As far as I'm concerned, my life can be cut up into two boxes. The life before I learned what it meant to not drink, and the life after. The former a slow progression through a tolerable life with a severe longing for something more and a clear sense of never having or being enough. The latter not just the escape from that…the latter truly the having of things that I had always assumed were just not for me.
What unfolded was something beyond my wildest dreams. What unfolded was what happens when you decide for you and only you, and when you clear the space to make YOU happen.
Whatever benefits alcohol seems to provide I assure you they are trite in comparison to the possibilities of the life that stands beyond. Saying goodbye to the junk was saying goodbye to the life I had accepted as good enough and hello to a life that continues to unfold in magical, reality defying ways.
If you are looking for a little inspiration of what is on the other side...read these 19 things I have done in 19 months.
Quitting drinking for me was not so much about quitting drinking. It was about doing something I never thought possible. It was about doing away with a set of negotiations and compromises and limiting beliefs that stood in the way of so many fucking doors. A doing away that would lead to more and more doing aways. A success that would lead to more and more success. A realized bullshit fear that would lead me to realize all the other bullshit fears that stood in the way of going after it ALL.
I read this essay by Debbie Millman when I was new to sobriety and standing on the edge of THAT life, the one that I had always longed to have, the one that I felt was for someone else or maybe, just maybe, was really meant to be mine. And it is a piece I continue to come back to again and again when I forget what I am capable of.
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.
On this eve of my 35th birthday and eve of the anniversary of the birth of my niece (+we share a birthday), I sit alone in my apartment feeling far far from alone, snuggled up on my couch with my blind meowing cat, post strenuous yoga class, looking over the lilac purple twilight as it hugs down around the San Francisco skyline tighter, repeating over and over in my mind the question my yoga instructor asked in class this morning.
“What are you fighting for?”Read More