“Addiction is one of the most common experiences people will face, yet is still one of the taboo things to be discussed openly. Thank fuck for writer Tawny Lara, who speaks with an infectious candour that’d make Keith Richards blush. Lara contributes to the Huffington Post and is the founder of SobrieTea Party. Throughout her writing, Lara muses about her experiences regarding alcoholism, dating, anxiety, therapy, and more.“
I’m dating for the first time in awhile. Actually, for the first time ever. When I was drinking, my idea of dating was getting wasted at parties, hooking up with someone, then when the hook ups happened more then once…I had a boyfriend. Sometimes the relationship was real. Sometimes it was delusional, existing solely in my head.
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.
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.
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:
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.