When “Trying on Sobriety” is Offensive

((This blog post was written for people that I call Sober Tourists: People that typically don’t identify as addicts or substance abusers, but are curious about being sober. They try it for awhile until they get bored. Then they claim that they can relate to the struggles of people in recovery because they celebrated Dry January or completed Whole 30.))

Strangers frequently reach out to me asking for suggestions on how to get through 30ish days without drinking. I don’t think they realize that my sobriety doesn’t have an end point. It’s fine that someone who probably doesn’t have issues with substance abuse, is “trying on sobriety” for a little while, but why are you asking me, someone who does struggle with substance abuse, for advice? I can’t be your cheerleader for 30 days just so you can celebrate day 31 by posting photos of mimosas on Instagram.

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Why I’m Not an Alcoholic

Hi. I’m Tawny. And I’m not an alcoholic. I’m not powerless over alcohol. I don’t have an incurable disease. I don’t subscribe to any of society’s blanket labels for people who choose to live a sober lifestyle. So if I’m not those things…what am I? Well, like I said. I’m Tawny. I’m powerFULL. I’m a writer. I love music and tattoos and boys and political discussions that ruffle feathers. I used to abuse substances to avoid dealing with reality. I was a party girl who danced on bars, driving (and living) recklessly. I didn’t think much about anything; I just did everything. At age 29, I realized that I wasn’t living up to my full potential. Alcohol was wasting my time and money. So, I’m Tawny…and I’m sober.

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When Sobriety Sucks

Sobriety can be hard. Like, really hard. To me, a life of sobriety has meant a lifestyle of being awake. All. The. Time. It’s fucking exhausting. I’m tired. Meditation and yoga help to an extent. Quality time with friends and family can be relaxing. Work outs release endorphins. But those solutions are all temporary. When I’m alone on the train ride home, alone in my bed, or alone with my thoughts, anxious feelings that I chose to momentarily ignore manage to get all of my attention. I’m beginning to think that life may be a series of temporary events to get me through to the next one.

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Sober in the City: KITH Treats Cereal Bar in NoHo

New York City may be one of the craziest cities in the world, but it’s also full of sober-friendly activities. This week I got to check out a cereal bar meets sneaker store meets fashion hub meets Nike museum. Yes, in NYC, all of these things can exist under one roof. At the Kith x Nike collaboration in NoHo (Broadway & Bleecker), you can check out some vintage sneakers, buy custom Nikes or high-end fashion pieces, and…eat cereal! Several different types of cereal are served in three different ways: bowl, milkshake, or ice cream. There’s also an assortment of milk options.

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Notes to Self

Over the last few months, I’ve compiled a list of “notes to self” in my phone while sitting on the subway. I wrote these reminders for my own sanity. They help me calm down when I feel a spiral of self-loathing coming on. This list isn’t always pretty, but it’s grounded in a reality that I’ve learned to accept. Call them mantras. Call them affirmations. Call them maybe.

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Why Audioslave’s “Doesn’t Remind Me” is My Sobriety Anthem

Like many rock fans, I’ve liked Audioslave’s song “Doesn’t Remind Me” since it came out in 2005. The lyrics didn’t fully resonate with me until I heard it again last fall – AKA one year sober. In the song, Chris Cornell sings about finding pleasure in mundane activities to avoid thinking about the heavier things in life. I can definitely relate. For me, a life of sobriety means being tuned into reality more than I’ve ever been before – and it sucks sometimes.

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How Working at Lululemon Helps Me Stay Sober

Lululemon was my first job outside of a bar or restaurant. When I was hired, I was 28 years old, fresh out of college, and had just moved from my hometown of Waco, Texas to The Woodlands in North Houston. I’ve proudly been rocking my high-end yoga pants for nearly three years now – both in The Woodlands and New York City. This job has been a consistent support system for my sobriety and my coworkers have been some of my most enthusiastic cheerleaders. Here’s how the unique work culture has played a key part in my recovery:

Click here to read the full article at WorkItHealth.com