As our first installment of our Recovery Stories series, we talk with Tawny from Sobrietea Party about her decision to choose sobriety, how it changed her life and relationships, and how it ultimately lead her down a path of self-discovery she would never have imagined.
How long have you been in recovery/sober?
I’ve been sober since November 30th, 2015. About a month later, I started digging into the recovery side of sobriety.
When you decided to quit drinking, what was that moment like for you?
Terrifying. It still is at times. Before I decided to stop drinking, I wondered how I would have fun, have sex, connect with others, or travel…without drinking. Saying that I’ll never drink again sounds so scary. I really do have to take it one day at a time.
Were your friends and family supportive of your decision to stop drinking?
Absolutely. I’m lucky to have my support system. I don’t know where I’d be without their love and support. I have a few people in my life who don’t really “get it”, and our relationships have changed. Some people don’t understand (or care to learn about) the link between addiction or the importance of mental health and that’s OK.
Quitting any addictive substance is life changing. In what way, if you could pick just one, did your life change the most?
Quitting drinking increased my productivity level. I was subconsciously sabotaging my life by prioritizing partying, blacking out, and making the same mistakes over and over. I was in such a vicious cycle of self-destruction – and I thought I was happy. Now, I’m writing and meditating daily, working towards a promotion at my job, and training for a half marathon. I’m happy.
What were your major sources of inspiration or motivation when you first started your sobriety journey?
My future self. I knew that I wasn’t living my life in the best way that I could. I finally realized that if I wanted to leave a lasting impact on the world, I’d have to sober up to get shit done. Early on in this journey, Gabby Bernstein was a big influence. She was the first person in the public eye that I saw as sober, cool, and relatable. Now, I align myself with the teachings of Brene Brown, MC Yogi, and Seane Corn.
Do you have any advice for those who might be considering quitting or taking that first step to getting help?
Write about it in a journal. And be honest with yourself. Write everything that you’re feeling, everything that you’re afraid to feel, and everything you can’t say out loud. If even the smallest part of you thinks you might have a problem with addiction, it’s worth looking into. Tell someone you trust. If you don’t have someone you trust, email me. Life is so freaking wonderful. I want you to be awake and actually, LIVE it!
How has having Sobrietea Party contributed to your recovery/sobriety?
My blog holds me accountable. When I first started SobrieTeaParty.com, my only plan was to treat it like a public journal. I hoped maybe a few people would read it and feel inspired. Now, 8 months later, my blog has turned into a community of people across the nation that have a space to contribute their stories. It’s a place where people can come to read about addiction, eating disorders, and now even trichotillomania. It took me a few months of soul searching to really understand how my fascination with binge drinking was my way of self-medicating depression and anxiety. I plan to continue to explore the world of mental health and break the stigmas associated with it.
Want to submit your stories of recovery? By sharing your stories of recovery, you can contribute to a powerful conversation that needs to happen and inspire others to speak up, too. We would love to hear from you! Check out our submission guidelines to get started now.