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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The Hip Sobriety Manifesto. Listicle Style, In 7 Parts.

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

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5 Things I'm afraid to admit.

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. 

 

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12 Fabulous Things About Sobriety.

Spoiler Alert: Sobriety is Fabulous.

It's the biggest secret to my success quitting. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The skinny jeans at the end of the diet. 

If you are thinking about leaving the drink behind, and are worried that you're also leaving behind a best friend, a social life and gaining a new stigma, here are 12 ways to help you reframe it into your fabulous adventure.

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