Sober by Southwest - Austin, TX - Saturday, 3/16!

Hear ye, hear ye! All you Austinites and SXSWers: Sober by Southwest is this Saturday, March 16th at Sans Bar in Austin, TX!

This joint effort is brought to you by Chris Marshall of Sans Bar and Tricia Lewis of Recovery Happy Hour.

Do not miss this amazing musical lineup - not to mention food trucks, arcade games, healthy and delicious spirit-free beverages, and authentic connection. Plus…I’ll be there!

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Beverage sponsors: Dry Soda, Topo Chico, and Portland Syrups!

Other SBRxSW sponsors: MSW Lounge, Clean and Sober Love Dating App, Game Flash, We are 4.

Hope to see you there! Comment below if you’ll be making an appearance!
xoxo,
Laura

Guest Blogger Beverly Sartain: Are You Doing a Purpose Bypass?

Editor’s note: Beverly is a dear friend of mine. She nudges me when I need nudging and my life honestly would not be as full without her in it. Thank you, love <3.

Editor’s note: Beverly is a dear friend of mine. She nudges me when I need nudging and my life honestly would not be as full without her in it. Thank you, love <3.


I help people use their recovery process for greater purpose and good.

But did you know that most people can't even get to living their purpose in recovery because their soul work is priority.

Truth...

You may (or may not) have heard of a spiritual bypass.

Same is true for a purpose bypass.

You can't jump into purpose work without doing your own inner work.

Well, you can...but it won't be pretty.

Been there, done that.

Part of my story is that I was always a giver. I gave in order to receive love.

As a child, I was HUGE into volunteering. It made me feel good to do good for others. I led organizations, won awards and got a lot of value from giving.


In college, I studied Psychology. Really I studied psychology so that I could better understand myself. I volunteered at a Crisis Center for several years where I would talk to people who were struggling and suicidal.

And after college, I quickly looked for next steps where I could be giving again and feeling useful and valuable.

At 24, I found myself working at a domestic violence shelter. I started off as a Residential Tech and worked my way up to Program Manager.

I was hard-working, over-responsible and over-giving.

These qualities can be good but they are a double edge sword.

As I lost myself more and more into my work, the negative aspects of the qualities came out.

I was helping women and children form healthier and happier lives outside of abuse while I was going home after work and abusing myself with destructive behaviors.

I did that on a daily basis. And the shame was overwhelming.

I was living completely out of integrity and alignment.

I was doing for others what I wasn't willing to do for myself.

And it was literally killing me inside out.


Your system will eventually provide you enough feedback where you either wake up and do it differently or you fade out and simply exist.

Clearly because of the work I do, I talk to many people who also fall into this same trap.

The trap of giving at the expense of Self. The trap of actually telling yourself that's a good thing. And the trap of feeling guilty for taking good care of yourself.

I see this same dynamic with other helping professionals: nurses, doctors, social workers, therapists, case workers, counselors, caretakers...you get the point.

Being a helping professional means you are helping yourself FIRST.

Does that resonate? Is that true for you? Honestly...

It's super easy for people who are helpers to put themselves on the back-burner and put others first.

And I lovingly challenge you to actually look at if that perspective is what's healthiest for you and those you love.

It's our duty to ourselves to make sure we are helping from the healthiest version of ourselves, from the healthiest place within us.

That means:

💌Healthy boundaries

💌Healthy self-talk

💌Healthy daily practice

I'm living proof that you can catch your codependency and unhealthy giving and turn it around.

But I'm not going to lie...

It takes a lot of work to put yourself first, stay consistent with your commitment to Self and be an example.


System is important…

  • You need to know what to look for

  • You need to know how to get through it

  • You need to have accountability to actually commit to it

I'm super lucky that Spiritual Psychology fell into my lap while I was ready to receive a new way of being.

I'm sure it didn't really just fall into my lap but was really something I intended and manifested in my life because I was ready.

Beverly showering me with love and support in one of those UNIVERSE moments at She Recovers LA.

Beverly showering me with love and support in one of those UNIVERSE moments at She Recovers LA.

Ready for something new and ready for a new way of relating to myself.

When you are ready for something more, more is provided to you.

Take a look around and look for the evidence that you are being supported.

Are you making the best use of the support?

This year is all about shedding the old while healing what’s unresolved. I'm really resonating with Healer Heal Thyself. My people are those who love to help and give to others and I'm here to help you make sure that's happening from a healthy place.

Therefore, you need to be living a healthy life and being a healthy example.

You don't have to be perfect but you need to feel really good about your life if you are going to be coaching, counseling or any other kind of helping professional to other people.

I've done this work myself and you can too.


What is it you need to clean up (both figuratively or literally) in order to be the best helper that you can be?!

What do you need to do right now to help yourself?

So if you're feeling like you need to improve some areas of your life so that you can step into your purpose work + you’d like a cool visual to help you along the way, I’m happy to send you my Helper’s Healing Roadmap.

{{Click the button above to send an email to Beverly. She’ll send you a personalized message along with the Helper’s Healing Roadmap.}}

Let me shower you with love and support for your healing journey by sending you a framework you can follow for your own healing plus those you serve.

Support is available to you now.

Your purpose-driven work is going to be much improved because of your own inner healing.

No more spiritual or purpose bypassing, my dear. It’s time to do your inner work so that you can get rid of that nasty imposter syndrome and live your potential with courage and confidence!


beverly

Beverly Sartain is a Transformational Coach for those who are ready to use their recovery to be of service to the world and live their full potential. She is the founder of Recovery Life Management and The Recovery Ripple Project.

Got Happy Hour Fatigue?

happy hour fatigue

Maybe you boozed it up over the holidays and want a liver detox and a mental reset. Maybe you notice you drink without thinking about it — if it’s a happy occasion, you drink; if it’s a somber occasion, you drink. You just drink. And you want to change. Or maybe you’re in recovery and you already get it - but you want an article to send family and friends outlining statistics (and some spirit-free recipes to boot).

We have you covered with this amazing and informative piece compiled by Healthline in collaboration with the American Liver Foundation.

Just take a peek at some of these elegant alcohol-free concoctions. Click the link below to get the full scoop on Healthline!

6 Myths About Getting Sober You Might Actually Still Believe

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by Erin Gilday

Whether you are newly sober or just sober-curious, you’re inevitably going to have ideas about what you think sobriety looks like.

These ideas about sobriety and what sobriety looks like will come at you from all angles, whether you want them to or not.

Some of these ideas will come from friends, family, acquaintances, TV shows, addiction literature, self-help groups, or the dank basement that is your subconscious. Some are even going to reach you via the wisdom of crappy internet memes or late-night Facebook posts.

Not all of these ideas are helpful. Many of them aren’t even true.

You already know that your mindset is one of your biggest assets in getting sober. And if you’re mindset is being influenced by, well...bullshit...then it’s going to be tough to stay clean.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the most unhelpful and untrue myths out there about getting sober.

Sobriety Myth #1 - You Won’t Have Any Friends

This is a biggie.

By the time your life is semi- (or fully) consumed by addiction, pretty much every aspect of your life is tied up in thinking about, acquiring, and/or using your substance of choice. This very often includes what’s left of your social life.

It’s easy to let the friendship question make you second guess your decision to get sober.

The questions start: Who will you hang out with when you get sober? What will you even do together? How do you make friends sober?

Here’s the truth: you will probably have to get new friends when you get sober but they’re going to be better friends.

The friends you used to drink or use with are probably not going to know how to support your new lifestyle. Most of them aren’t going to get it. They’re going to feel attacked and threatened by your sobriety. They’re not going to want to suddenly quit using and join you in sober friendship mode. And being around people who are still using is probably not going to work for you - especially at first.

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news: You will make new friends when you’re sober, and they’re going to actually be better friends because of it.

These friends aren’t keeping one eye on the bartender or one eye on their cell phone, waiting for that text. These friends aren’t going to disappoint you when they lie to you or steal from you or use you. These friends are going to want to hang out with you first and foremost, and not just as an afterthought.

You’re going to make new friends because now that you’re sober, you’re going to have a ton of free time to do other things: join an exercise group, take a meditation class, attend meetings (of whatever kind), volunteer, go back to school, pick up ecstatic dance or learn taekwondo.

You’re going to meet people at these things and the vast majority of them aren’t going to be addicts. A couple of them might even be your friend.    

Sobriety Myth #2 - You’ll Never Have Real Fun Again

You’re right.

You’re never going to have “fun” blacking out and waking up in your own body fluids ever again.

Addiction might not look like “fun,” especially as it progresses, but for a lot of addicts, the intention to have some “fun” (and enjoy the stress relief that goes along with it) plays a large part in using.

That intention just doesn’t usually work out for addicts.

Unfortunately, many “normal” people who use drugs and alcohol casually are able to have fun using, so it makes sense that our ideas about fun are tied up in drugs and alcohol. The mainstream version of “fun” - going out, taking a vacation, going to a party, watching the game, getting together with the girls - almost always involves substances of abuse.


You go out, you drink. It’s expected.

Here’s the truth: you will have to re-learn how to have fun without your substance of choice. Mainstream society isn’t going to really support you on this.  

It will take a little while to remember how to have fun sober. If anyone is telling you otherwise, they’re not being totally honest. It’ll take a minute, but you will remember how.

Whether it’s painting or singing or playing with legos, we’ve all had fun in our lives without substances, even if it was a long, long time ago.

You’ll get that back. The fun you have will be reliable, safe, within your control, and pure. And you’ll remember it in the morning.  


Sobriety Myth #3 - Sobriety Will Destroy Your Love Life

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(A note for couples: If your significant other is active in their addiction and they’re not willing to get sober with you, see Sobriety Myth #1. Just like the platonic friends who you use with, you’re probably going to have to get rid of addicted significant others, and that is going to put a wrecking ball through your love life for a bit. I’m sorry. It’s worth it.)

For you single people out there, I know what you’re thinking.

How will I ever date sober?

Here’s the truth: There’s a lot of catches out there who prefer sober dates.

Congratulations! You have just dramatically improved your dating pool by weeding out people who don’t value sobriety.

Yes, dating can be awkward and doing it sober makes it slightly more awkward. But you’re able to get a much better read on people when you’re sober and you’re able to spot the red flags you would have missed while using coming a mile away.

The intimacy you built with your date over dinner? You’ll know it’s real because you’re building it sober.

The decision to go home with your date? You’ll know it was a clear-headed, consensual one because you made it sober.

The adult fun you have at their house? You’ll know you were at peak performance because, yep, you did it sober.

Sobriety Myth #4 - You Won’t be Able to Handle the Stress of Life Sober

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Drugs of abuse trick us into making us think that they are helping with stress. They’re not. They’re actually altering our brain chemistry to produce more stress in the long-term.

In reality, addiction is making our stress worse and leaving us less equipped to deal with life as it comes without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Here’s the truth: Consistently dealing with stress in only one way - by using - robs us of the opportunity to learn how to deal with it in new ways.

Whether it’s mindfulness, exercise, counseling, artistic expression, music, conversations with a friend, going for a walk, doing breathing exercises, working on a fun project, or watching ASMR videos on Youtube, there are literally hundreds of ways to deal with stress that you probably haven’t tried.

Learning a new skill is tough but you can do it. You’re stronger than you think.

Sobriety Myth #5 - You’ll Have to Become a Completely Different Person

A lot of people have an idea of a “sober” person in their mind.

For some, it’s that preachy aunt who has been rabid about NA since the early 80’s. For others, it’s that dry drunk coworker who is sober now but is still a pain in the ass at staff meetings. Some people think of that “perfect angel” they know who does hours of selfless volunteering at the church thrift shop now that they are born again and sober.  

It’s no wonder some people can’t see themselves getting sober. With role models like these, who can blame them?

Here’s the truth: You can get sober and still be yourself. 100%. You’ll actually become MORE like yourself as you get sober.

There is no one way to get sober. Forget the ideas you have about what a sober person looks like. You don’t need to become someone else to get sober. Yes, you’ll learn some new tricks, but you’ll actually expand into who you really are once you let drugs and alcohol stop calling all the shots.

You’ll find that some people in early sobriety do try to “be someone else” as they try to adjust to their new identity and reality. From the outside, this can look and feel forced and it can turn sober-curious people off.

Others will be a bit too overzealous in their total adoption of group think. Whether they’re part of a religious institution or some self-help organization, these people will appear to lose of bit of their old selves in the process of getting sober. This is usually temporary and by no means universal. For some people, it works best this way. If that doesn’t work for you - skip it.

In sobriety, YOU DO YOU.

Sobriety Myth #6 - You Don’t Deserve Sobriety

You don’t hear a lot of people say this one out loud, but, boy, is this a doozy.

Being caught in the spiral of addiction sucks. You disappoint other people - but especially yourself - a lot. You have a massive amount of negative self-talk brewing on the daily. You’re sure to criticize yourself before someone else beats you to the punch.

If you’re dealing with other mental health issues - and most of us are - you might be getting an extra helping of self-loathing.

It’s easy to start feeling like you, not the drugs, are the problem.

You’re not.

Here’s the truth: We all deserve a life free of addiction. We all are capable not only of learning how to function but actually THRIVE without drugs and alcohol.

You’ve made some mistakes, sure, but don’t believe the hype. You’re a human and you’re no better or worse than the rest of us.

There’s nothing written in the stars that says your life has to be this way. You won’t always feel this way. It’s temporary. Millions of people just like you have come back from this - and worse.

Bust Your Own Myths

This list is a start, but it’s not exhaustive. There are so many other sobriety myths out there that stop people from pursuing sobriety.

If you’ve got any other myths holding you back, write them down. Sometimes just looking at them on paper is enough to realize they’re ridiculous. If that doesn’t work, share them with a friend or counselor and see if they can help bust them for you. Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need.

As you continue on your journey, I hope you keep finding more myths to bust - and surprising yourself about how awesome sobriety can be!


erin gilday

Erin Gilday is a copywriter and content marketer specializing in addiction treatment. She is a former substance abuse counselor and social worker. She loves her cat, The X-Files, classic movies and organizing for social justice. You can find her on LinkedIn.

How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

mountain peak blog title

From time to time, The Sobriety Collective will post sponsored content if relevant to our community. While TSC and yours truly (Laura, the founder) do not endorse any treatment center over another, Mountain Peak Recovery did sponsor this blog post and I believe the content will be useful to readers looking for their own treatment or help for loved ones. - L


How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

Addiction has taken over the lives of thousands of people as well as their family members who suffer in silence while watching the ones they love struggle with something that has spiraled out of control. Much like it has affected the lives of thousands of people, it may be negatively impacting your life, making you feel like much less of a person. If you are tired and believe you have hit rock bottom once and for all, you are likely looking for ways to work on becoming sober so that you can put a stop to the addiction for good and become a sober person.


Find a Recovery Center

Instead of trying to do this on your own by quitting drugs cold turkey, you should start your search for a recovery center where you can get all the help you need. Mountain Peak Recovery this post’s sponsor, is just one of may rehabilitation centers offered to people with substance use disorder who are looking to change their lives, even if it means following certain steps to make things happen. If you are looking for a light to shine through and eliminate much of the darkness you have been experiencing, this is a great recovery center to visit and stay in while focusing primarily on yourself and what you need to do to get sober.

 

Start Working on Yourself

If you decide to visit the recovery center, you will become a member of the inpatient residential treatment program where you will stay at the recovery center for a set period. The length of your stay will depend on various factors, including the severity of the addiction, the length of the waitlist for the center, and the amount of time you can afford to be away from home. In most cases, programs are available for 28-30 days, but patients may be able to stay longer if they feel like they are not ready to go back home and are still in need of some extra help.

During your time at a recovery center, you go through the detox, you start to receive counseling, and you even get to join group therapy sessions where everyone is being open about what they are going through and the challenges they have faced over the years. You will get to start working on yourself each day while learning coping mechanisms and figuring out ways to avoid drugs when you know they are not doing you any good. There are things you are going to learn how to do, such as learning to identify where certain feelings come from and determining how to take better care of yourself.

If you look forward to the day where you can say that you are sober and do not need drugs to feel good or to enjoy the life you are living, you should start looking for a recovery center to stay at for as long as you need to. While you are at the center seeking help for your addiction, you will get to learn a lot about yourself and discover new ways to grow and improve, which may include finding new hobbies to get involved in and learning to trust yourself when making decisions. Choosing to work on your sobriety is the best decision you could possibly make.