5 YEARS

today marks 5 years of being sober. i didn’t go to meetings, i

didn’t go to therapy, i didn’t become religious. i just had an

epiphany exactly 5 years ago today that alcohol, or any other

substance for that matter, was preventing me from being the best

possible, most productive, most successful version of myself.

a lot of people ask me 1) for my story and 2) for advice, and this

year i’ll elaborate a little more than i did the year before. 

let’s start with the story:

1. i drank a lot in college [go, badgers] and was just feeling tired

from that life. 

2. i didn’t know what i wanted to do with my life/career and felt

like drinking every night was preventing me from figuring out my

career path. i was an art major, which doesn’t exactly set you up

for success…

3. i interned at an art gallery in chelsea when i was 22. at one of

our gallery parties, i noticed that one of the gallery owners wasn’t

drinking. while i was sipping wine, slowly losing my ability to

communicate with others, i just sat there observing the stark

contrast between my boss and his patrons around him. he was

composed, level-headed, stoic while others were drunk, rambunctious,

obnoxious, sloppy. i admired my boss and his composure and success.

i wanted to be like him—a badass boss…not a grown adult who makes

a fool out of herself when she’s had one too many. edit: not

everyone is an obnoxious drunk. some people know their limits. that

night, a handful of the people went overboard and made themselves

look very dumb, which is why this moment had such an impact on me.

4. i was forgetting my nights. why live in the best city in the

world if you don’t even remember what you’re doing?!! i wanted to

have memories… not blurry nights with no recollection of all of

the “fun” i was having.

5. i joined an a cappella group — yes, that led to sobriety. i had

significantly more fun singing soberly every sunday night than

whatever partying i was doing the night before. the last drink i had

was at an a cappella retreat/sleepover in hoboken (lol). i blacked

out and barely remembered our first retreat. i regretted how much i

drank and how little i remembered. the next morning i was like…

fuck this. i’m never drinking ever again.

okay now for my advice:

1. if you don’t want to drink, but still want to go out and have

fun, do the things you’d normally do for fun and drink seltzer. go

out and dance. do karaoke. go out for dinner. go to a concert, a

rave, a music festival, a birthday party, WHATEVER. just drink

seltzer. most of the time no one even fucking notices.

2. change your mindset: it’s not the alcohol loosening you up, it’s

the amount of time it takes to drink one drink. i challenge you to

go to a party and rather than grabbing a beer, grab a cup of water.

by the time you’re done drinking the water, you’ll feel comfortable,

happy, chill etc.

3. social pressure? be firm. tell your friends that you don’t want

to drink anymore. say you’re over it. smile when you say this;

you’re happy about this decision and are excited to have fun sober

[which is way more fun than being drunk, might i add]. if they’re

still pushing it/whining, then dump them. you don’t need people in

your life who don’t support you wholeheartedly.

4. find a sober hobby. mine is a cappella. maybe take a cooking

class, pottery, improv, dance. just make sure you commit and do it

weekly, and preferably form a community and deep friendships around

it.

what’s changed:

well, everything.

1. better relationships. with both friends and partners. when you’re
sober, you’re more aware. you feel more. you see more. you care
more. also, better sex. i can’t imagine having drunk sex (sorry
dad). everything is just better.

2. my career. i didn’t have a career before i quit drinking. i was
lost and so confused as to how i could become successful doing what
i love. how was i supposed to turn an art degree into a career? i
took to instagram. i put all of the energy i used to put into
partying into creating content, sharing that with the world,
building a brand, and meeting tons of people… all through an app.
next thing you know, i’m art directing branded videos at POPSUGAR
and then a full time producer. 

3. my happiness. i’m fucking happy. i feel great. i’m productive.
i’m never hung over. i’m healthy. right now, everything feels just
right.

this post is ridiculously long, so i’ll leave it at that. feel free
to ask me any questions. i love you all. 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. kinny
    January 19, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    Simple and wise. Love.

  2. Nicole De Hoyos
    January 24, 2018 / 7:25 am

    Thank you for this. You inspire

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