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.
Comfort zones…the enemy of most people in the self-help world. The way some people talk about comfort zones, you’d think they were akin to the plague. I’m going to do something bold here. I’m going to talk about the beautiful importance of staying inside your comfort zone. Yes, you read that correctly.
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.
I brought my blog to life by hosting a SobrieTea Party PARTY at Pure Leaf Tea House. This unique Sunday Funday gave sober folks and sober allies an alcohol-free alternative to “Boozy Brunch” or “Bottomless Mimosas”. So what does a group of New Yorkers partying sober look like? Check out this slideshow.
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.
One of the many things I love about being sober in New York City is getting to experience fun new places like Pure Leaf TeaHouse in SoHo (on the corner of Greene & Spring). This trendy spot offers tasty tea drinks, a serene ambiance, and unique tea blends exclusive to its location.
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.
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.
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:
I’ve been sober for 500 days, y’all! It feels surreal sometimes. There are moments when I still feel like that 20-something party girl who was dancing on bars and taking body shots off of strangers. I have moments where I ask myself, “Am I really a sober blogger?!?!”. Yes I am! And I fucking love it. While recovery has its ups and downs, I’m grateful for it every single day. These 500 days have been full of happiness, heartbreak, anger, new adventures, and personal growth. Here’s 5 of my recent favorites memories in my first 500 Days of Sobriety: