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
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
While this post is intended for the newly sober at Thanksgiving, it's actually a great post for ANYONE looking for a more peaceful, healthy, and flowing Thanksgiving holiday - sober or not - and is also a great post to keep in your toolbox for any high-stress social situation. 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.
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
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. Read More
One of my ultimate joys in this world is being on the cutting edge of something. Whether it's a new indie band no one has heard of or some random exotic vegetable that makes your teeth shiny or some new app that brings Philz to your door (WHY haven't they invented this), if it's hip and new and on the brink and not Google Glass, I want it.
And this is exactly how I feel about sobriety. In my opinion, the choice of sober is avant-garde.
This article, Sober And Sold-Out: Dance Club In Sweden Cuts Booze For A Night, is just one more piece in the masterpiece I see coming to fruition: a world where we drop our autopilot. A world where we look within for our confidence and our wildness. A world where we remember the hippest parties and dance until we drop from our pure and vital life force. A world without substance abuse and addiction by choice. A world worth leaving to our future generations.
If sobriety is whispering sweet nothings in your ear and you're finding yourself in a fear state, you're not alone. You're in fact in majorly good company, because to some degree, most people that drink have some fear around their relationship with it.
Here are 11 common fears people have that keep them from exploring the sober side of things, dispelled. Read More
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.
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