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 been compiling 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:
As much as I love New York City, I love getting away from it, too. A few weeks ago, I traded 30 degrees on the East Coast for 80 degrees in Mexico. I even set a sassy auto-reply for my email account: “Soaking up the sun and binge drinking virgin cocktails in Mexico.” And binge drink virgin cocktails, I did. I drank my weight in Mexican Coke and limonadas – no hangovers, no blackouts.
I started seeing a therapist in August 2016 when I was 9 months sober. I was prepared to be Goldilocks and shop around, looking for the therapist that was juuuuuust right. I lucked out and found “the one” on my first try; I’ve seen her every Wednesday ever since.
The first 9 months of my sobriety, or as I like to call it, BT (before therapy), I talked about what I was going through to anyone who was willing to listen. That was usually my therapy-advocating roommate. She listened to me, gave excellent advice, and found graciaous ways to sneak in the whole “you should see a therapist” message. I’d get annoyed, then after the 100th time, it finally sunk in. I realized that my neuroses weren’t so cute after all. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw circa season two of Sex and the City.
Back in my party girl days (years, actually), I went to a few concerts. Dozens. More like hundreds. I loved getting drunk and singing along with my favourite bands and musicians. I’d think to myself “OMG! Mick Jagger is like, right there!” Or when I was stoned, I’d think “Man… I’m breathing the same air as Dylan.”
While my passion has always been rock n’ roll, my taste in live music has ranged from bubblegum pop to intense hip hop. There was just something about being around live music that made me alive. And by “alive,” I mean “intoxicated.” I’d drink before, during, and after each concert. Since the lines for drinks were so long, I’d often order two beers at once, proudly “double fisting.”
As I continue into my second year of sobriety, I decided to follow my passion of personal growth. I chopped my hair off, enrolled in Spanish classes and sketch writing classes, and even went on a couple of dates (that’s a pretty big deal for me, but more on that next time).
This week continued down the path of new experiences when I took my first improv class. I’ve flirted with the idea of improv for awhile now, but the thought of emitting that amount of vulnerability scared me to death. I used to hide my vulnerability by binge drinking a ton of whiskey, but this year, I’ve decided to face it head on. I found a class at The People’s Improv Theater called ‘Improv Your Public Speaking.’ I hesitated, but finally signed up for the February 13th class as a Galentine’s Day gift to myself.