Okay, so I finally started vlogging and I'm super stoked about it. For one, because I adore the word vlog. It makes me want to say things like Bob Loblaw's Web Blog. But also because I think it's a really great way to connect even more and to share the many wonderful tools I have learned on my path to sobriety with you. Things like guided meditations, kundalini goodness, chants, breathwork, yoga, tapping, and so much more.
As I was recording myself this morning for this first one and thinking of what content to share, it reminded me that in the beginning of this journey - way back when - I had recorded myself on my iPhone, documenting me as I drank my last drink and capturing the after effects of a 5 day bender. I recorded myself the days and weeks and months after, too, the return to health and vitality caught on film. I had wanted to record my progress, to not only remember how it was done and where I came from, but for a greater point. For this blog.
So here are days -14, 44, and 667. On video. Read More
51 days ago today, I gulped down my last $6 quad latte. (Yes. I said quad.)
It wasn't an easy decision to come to. Coffee has been my best friend, my lover, my everything since I can remember - since high school times. And it's become even more important to me since I stopped drinking alcohol. It's been my special drink, my little privilege. One of my last fucking vices like sexting and saying really bad words a lot.
But somewhere along the way, because it was so important, because it was one of my last vices, it became a terribly unhealthy relationship.
Here is how, and why, I quit. 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
One of the biggest parts of my healing, one of the biggest blessings I have found on this path, is the art of understanding that all that came before today was simply there to bring me to today - exactly. Is the art of understanding that these perceived blocks on my path and these perceived faults in my journey, were really JUST THE PATH, were really JUST THE JOURNEY. It cannot be broken down into good or bad, dissected into failures and losses and the good stuff. It just is. And coming to terms with the fact that it just is, has freed me of my past, freed me of my pain, freed me to be here now reap the reward and the lessons of those perceived failings.
Here are five big things I could regret and feel a ton of shame around, that I have instead accepted as just part of the beautiful package that is our unfolding. 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
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. 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.
In the past five weeks: I killed my cat, overdrew my checking by some $15,000, STUPIDLY saw that guy that treats my like crap yet again (surprise, he treated me like crap, yet again), gained ten pounds (it's muscle?), commenced my fifth month of couch surfing, a boy in my yoga teacher training yelled at me in Starbucks that he doesn't like me because I'm a drama queen who never stops crying, the girl leasing my apartment broke the antique table that took me two years to find, all my plants died, and my mom dropped my brand new computer - the one I failed to buy insurance for - on a tile floor. Read More
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. Read More
In that case, obvious. I asked, and lightning struck. But lightning doesn’t always strike. Actually, most of the time it doesn’t. Asking for guidance and seeing it when it comes is more often than not a much subtler thing. The first time it happened to me, it was much less dramatic, and much harder to see. Read More
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