I am beyond elated to bring you Kelly Fitzgerald, known to the recovery/blogging community as The Sober Señorita. This gal is on fire and I'm so happy we've not only connected, but become friends. Without further adieu...
Hi, my name is Kelly, also known as the Sober Señorita, and I am an alcoholic. It’s crazy how I ended up where I am today. Every time I tell my story it’s kind of like an out-of-body experience. I just can’t believe it’s mine and that I am where I am. It was a long time coming – my sobriety. To help you understand how I got where I am today I’ve outlined what my life was like before, what it’s like now and how I pass on my message of recovery to the world.
What It Was Like Before
I was always known as the social butterfly growing up. I wanted to be in the action, go where the party was, and hang with the popular kids. Drinking made me a part of the in-crowd and I took to it quite easily. I like how it made me feel. I craved the attention got when I drank and was outgoing. I couldn’t wait to go off to college, live on my own and party, and I did just that. College is where the binge drinking and blackouts began and became my new normal. I was at every party and hosted some of the biggest ones. Once college ended I had no clue what to do with my life and I didn’t want the party to end. I applied for a job working Spring Break in some of the biggest party cities in the world. I was hired and went off to Cancun in the spring of 2008. Cancun was a continuous party and I reveled in it. I met a lot of people who liked to party and drink in the same ways I did. It was the perfect place for me. Returning back to the US after Spring Break I was lost again. Having the geographical solution, I moved again, this time to a summer beach town: Ocean City, Maryland. I continued the party there. It was a period of 4 months where I drank every single day. After the summer and jobs ended and everyone left, I was looking for my next escape. I made a plan to work Spring Break again in Cancun and I was off to the races. I worked Spring Break in Cancun in 2009 and it was crazier than the first year. I decided while I was there that I wanted to live in Cancun full time and after traveling home after Spring Break I returned for good in May 2009. For the next 4 years my drinking and drugging got completely out of control. I was blacking out, suffering from nasty hangovers, making emotionally and physically risky decisions when it came to men, and missing work. Deep down I was avoiding any real world that was going on outside around me. I was filled with shame, disgust, guilt, and self hate. I never tried to commit suicide, but I did not care what happened to me when I drank, and if death was in the plans – so be it. My life was a vicious cycle of regret and shame. I drank to forget and the drinking caused more pain.
What It’s Like Now
On May 7 I celebrated 2 years clean and sober and I can’t even believe that this is my life. I wake up every day feeling relieved that I am not hungover, wondering what happened the night before, or with those old feelings of guilt and self-loathing. I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams, taking each day as it comes, and being present in the moment. I finally have the skills I need to deal with life on life’s terms. I am more aware, grateful, and humbled than I have ever been in my life. Being sober does not stop bad things from happening, but it allows me to deal with them in a healthy and constructive way. Alcohol is no longer my solution to feeling mad, sad, happy, angry, stressed, or overwhelmed. Today I understand life is about balance, self-care, and finding the happiness in every moment. Leaving drugs and alcohol behind for a life in recovery was the best decision I’ve ever made. It has positively impacted my life in every way possible. I am finally becoming the person I was destined to be. I am finally able to be a good sister, daughter, girlfriend, and friend. My program of recovery includes several areas. I try and address the mind, body, and spirit, and have explored several types of recovery paths. I attend 12 step meetings, meditate, exercise daily, and make sure I receive 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. I’ve read the SMART recovery book. I’ve attended Buddhism classes and I write my blog to keep me sane. Recovery is a process and I enjoy the ups and downs of watching myself and others grow.
My Message to the World
Eight months into my sobriety I started my blog, The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. It started out as a blog designed to detail my life as an American girl living abroad in Mexico, but I knew I wanted to include sober in the name to denote my new lifestyle. It wasn’t until May of 2014 that I wrote an entire post about living sober, my One Year Without Alcohol blog. It went viral and that was my sign from the universe that I had a gift for sharing my story. I continued to write about sobriety and that continues to be the main topic of my blog today. A silly project I started just for fun has now become my message to the world. I firmly believe I was given a voice to spread the messages of self-love and sobriety. My goal is to share my story, what has worked and what hasn’t for me in terms of recovery, and to let others who may still be suffering know that there is life after booze, and a way out. I want everyone to know that addiction does not discriminate and affects people regardless of race, age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Through my blog I hope to break the stigma of alcoholism and addiction and pass on the message of hope, strength, and love. I will continue to live my truth and encourage others to do the same. We only get one life and we should all be out there living it, regardless of the hands we’ve been dealt.