I had my last drink on January 27th, 2016. I was on vacation, alone, in Hawaii. That next morning I was done with it. It was an interesting vacation after that, crying on the beach every day. This decision came after at least two years of agonizing and thinking and justifying my relationship with alcohol. This came after years of using, first, self-mutilation (cutting) and eventually alcohol to help me deal with feelings. I was 35 years old and I was about to learn how to really be a human for the first time.
As I began finding my path and my people in the recovery space, things got easier. I was able to deal with how I felt as it was happening. I was able to hold my boundaries and take care of myself. There was one thing missing for me though, the stories of other queer people.
Ever since if first came out in 1997 I was always been drawn to the stories of other lesbians and queer people. I watched Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom, even before she (or I) came out because I could tell she was like me. I went to Hudson News in the mall in order to buy Curve Magazine whenever a new issue was out. I rented every lesbian video from my local video store. I couldn’t get enough! I’m still this way, I’ve seen every lesbian film on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I read books about lesbians and by queer writers. I enjoy queer art and people and music and all of it! I have a longing to see myself reflected back to me in art and culture and stories.
I also have a longing to see myself reflected back to me in my recovery. Substance abuse is super prevalent in the LGBT community but when I look for stories from other queer people they are hard, if not impossible, to find. In May of 2017 I went to a women’s recovery event in New York. The event itself was fantastic and I was able to meet so many people I had only previously known online but, I felt like an outsider. It was a very white, straight, cis event and I just didn’t feel like I had strong sense of belonging there. That very day I put a reminder in my phone. The reminder simply said “I know what I have to do.” I have to create a community for LGBT people in ALL forms of recovery so we have space to share our stories and support each other.
That’s what this is. Well, it’s the beginning anyway.
I am here to share my story but I also welcome you to share as well. If you identify as part of the queer or trans community and if you are in any sort of recovery at all (alcohol, drugs, disordered eating, sexual abuse/trauma, mental health, codependency, love addiction, anxiety, etc.), feel free to contact me at LGBTteetotaler@gmail.com if you’re interested in having your story or art shared on this site.
This is not about just one of us, it’s about all of us.
I love you. You are not alone.