Tracy is an inspiration to me with their LGBTteetotaler blog and community and providing a space for sober LGBTQIA folks to gather and learn from each other. As someone who very much falls under the “B,” I appreciate Tracy’s efforts to mainstream discussions on queerness and sobriety. It took me a long time to dig deep and accept myself for all of who I am, and to understand that there’s a spectrum of sexuality and gender just like there’s a spectrum of sobriety. Massive props to Tracy for their pioneering efforts.
Name: Tracy Murphy
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Recovery date (turning point for substance use and/or mental health challenges): 1/28/2016
I write about the intersection of queerness and sobriety for The Temper and on my own blog. I'm also committed to sharing the stories of other queer and trans folks in all kinds of recovery because it's important to me that people are able to see themselves reflected back to them in all forms and phases of recovery. (I'm always looking for contributors so, if you're interested, get my email address below and contact me!) I also love crafting and art. I block print my own wrapping paper, make my own watercolor greeting cards, do origami and I've recently gotten into needle felting. Oh! I juggle too!
And topless selfies!*
If applicable to your story, drug of choice: Alcohol
Recovery story in a nutshell:
I'm not an alcoholic but I was headed there.
In the summer of 2015 I stopped drinking because I was sick of thinking about it; of waking up disappointed that I hadn't been able to keep myself from drinking the night before, of promising that night would be different, of the same cycle repeating itself the next morning.
And the next. And the next.
My partner at the time had stopped drinking in the fall of 2013 so, it seemed like an option for me too. Though I stopped, I didn't ever do any of the work needed to make it stick. After my ex and I broke up that fall, I eventually started drinking again and made some bad decisions - namely, hooking up with a married lady.
My drinking escalated slightly after this and, after her husband confronted me about it in January, I knew something had to change. I took some time off of work the following week and booked a last minute trip to Hawaii; I was going to Forgetting Sarah Marshall my life.
I told myself I wasn't going to drink on this trip but, of course, on my first night there I was in a bar getting food and I saw that they had Sam Adams on tap. It was a beer I rarely had since moving to Portland, OR two years prior and one of my favorites. I only had a couple but, the next morning I felt like shit.
It was that moment where I told myself I was done. I knew I wasn't an alcoholic but I also knew that it wasn't going to take long before I got there. I texted two close friends immediately to let them know I was done for good and there began my sobriety journey.
The first three months or so were hell because I was using pure willpower to keep myself from drinking. I knew it was unsustainable but, in my search for support, I had a hard time finding something that felt like a fit for me as a queer human.
In April of 2016 I found Hip Sobriety School - a school, founded by Holly Whitaker, that teaches you how to live life without alcohol. I immediately signed up for the spring session and never looked back. Holly and HSS taught me how to begin to reclaim my humanity and it changed my life.
Sobriety has been the hardest, most rewarding thing I've ever done. I feel like a completely different person than who I was just a few years ago and I'm so fucking thankful every single day.