Four years ago, I looked for any excuse to grab a drink with friends (and didn’t stop til I blacked out). I kept my weed pen on me at all times and sucked on it like a baby’s security blanket all day.
So how is it that this Lion’s Gate 8/8/23 portal marks my fourth year of being stone-cold sober? How could a person who was so heavily reliant on these substances to simply get through the day, or to deal with any emotional difficulty, quit drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana cold turkey?
It began with my journey inward—during an accidental pregnancy.
Unbeknownst to me, I became pregnant (at Palm Springs Pride, of all places) about three months after I decided to stop drinking alcohol. I had still been smoking weed, but the moment I found out, I dropped that habit instantly as well.
Sharing my body with another living being jump started my journey back into myself. Though early sobriety was often uncomfortable, difficult and sometimes terrifying, it was still one of the greatest gifts I will ever experience as a living soul on this planet.
At last I could begin to peel back all the layers of my conditioning. The world we live in had convinced me that my feelings, my intuition, my womanhood and my humanity were burdens, shame-filled and simply wrong.
And if you’re reading this, my guess is that you feel very deeply, like I do.
I did not know a way to process, experience and feel my feelings in a healthy way. Those behaviors had not been modeled for me, so I turned to substances in a vain attempt to obliterate them.
Going out dancing, relaxing with friends at home, conducting photo shoots for my business, festivals, parties, farmers markets, going on hikes or just waking my dogs—every outing eventually became an excuse to imbibe.
My intuition told me that I needed to quit, long before I gathered the courage to make the leap. I vaguely recall attending a Padres baseball game at Petco Park with my now ex boyfriend and his family. This was back during my alcoholic days were reaching fever pitch. His mother was in attendance, and she didn’t like me one bit. To cope with her rejection, I got shitfaced. I started grabbing fries from his cousin’s basket, slurring, “Are you gonna finish these?” thinking it was funny. My ex got understandably upset with me, so I ran off to the bathroom.
The game was still going, so the bathrooms were fairly empty and quiet. Alone in that stall, through my drunken haze I realized that I might have a serious problem.
But my brain was terrified of quitting. So I shoved that quiet little inner knowing down with more booze, and kept on.
Eventually the inner knowing got louder and louder. My body begged and screamed for me to quit. I experienced huge memory gaps with increasing frequency every time I drank, which became terrifying. I finally decided to quit after I blacked out at the Ocean Beach Farmer’s market and came to inside a vehicle without knowing where I was, or how I got there. Thank goodness nothing worse had happened to me.
Finally, enough was enough. I texted my partner the next morning and told him I was done drinking, for good.
I first committed to 90 days of sobriety, because forever is a long time and can be too overwhelming for people in the throes of early addiction.
That first year, I dove inward. I went to therapy every two weeks, had messy sessions with lots of crying, mourning, releasing. I was often exhausted after. At last I had a safe space where the entire purpose was simply to FEEL MY FEELINGS.
I devoured self help books. I questioned everything about my belief systems, my upbringing and the world we live in. (Don’t worry, I don’t believe the world is flat.) I drank lots of water. I started eating healthier. I took care of my body and exercised.
I cast aside the belief that because my life had been mostly awesome, I had nothing to be upset about. With the help of my amazing therapist, who reminded me of Anne Hathaway with her wide sympathetic and expressive eyes, I returned home to myself.
It makes me emotional to relive this story, but I didn’t realize how all my conditioning and intergenerational trauma had literally convinced me that I hated myself—that I was not worthy of good things, or a happy life, that I was doomed to suffer through this existence and struggle til the day I die.
What a waste of such a beautiful gift.
Through messy as fuck shadow work, self reflection, learning, therapy and the support of my real friends, I have deftly cast these false stories aside. My feelings are a blessing. They are sacred messengers that work hand in hand with my intuition and inner knowing.
I am sacred, you are sacred, we are all sacred, worthy of happiness and abundance and good things.
Have you honored your feelings—and your truth—today?