What the actual fuck happened to this year?
It seems like it was just yesterday and January was 75 day long and now, I’m putting out the last We’re Here, We’re Queer of 2018!
I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who have been reading and contributing to WHWQ over the past 10 months. I’m really excited about what 2019 holds for this feature and LGBTteetotaler as a whole.
Enough of my blabbering – you’re really here to check out Alexis’ story, who celebrated her one year Soberversary earlier this month!
Today, October 27, 2018, I have 327 days sober from alcohol. My sober date is December 4, 2017. I always like to joke that the best time to get sober is right before you are invited to what seems like a million holiday parties.
I had no huge bottom, although, there were definitely a lot of little bottoms that got me into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I am from Long Island, NY and lived here for a good portion of my life. I never really fit in anywhere. I kind of blended in, but not enough to not be bullied. Whether it was because of my weight, or what I wore, I always had this feeling of not being good enough. A feeling of being different. That is a feeling I tried to drink away (of course when eating stopped doing the job in the coping department) and never succeeded in chasing it away. The summer before I started college, I came to terms with being a lesbian. I decided that once I went to college, I was going to live out loud and be myself and rah rah! Well, let’s just say everyone wasn’t as excited about me being gay as I was. My mom had a hard time accepting my being a lesbian. She would bring up how I mentioned how hot guys were and not realize that I was lying. I am grateful that she now is very accepting of me. I knew she had turned a corner when she said “I just want you to meet a nice Jewish girl.” Another thing about coming out is that I present as more feminine, even though I really don’t care for labels. It makes it hard to identify with a group and feel like you belong. It just adds to the theme of not belonging and not feeling okay in my own skin.
In 2010, I moved to Arlington, VA. While I had a lot of scary drinking experiences in NY prior to moving, Virginia is where my drinking took off. You know that they sell wine in grocery stores down there. And that’s what it became for me; a grocery. I would relish in staying home and drinking wine while watching romantic comedies, or bad reality shows, or documentaries and just not having to actually connect with people. That wouldn’t stop me from drunk texting/calling people I never would call sober. I felt like I deserved it after a hard day of work. That’s what society teaches us, right? “You survived a day on earth; drink a couple of glasses of wine to take the edge off.” Alcohol gave me license to feel comfortable in my skin and that is something I never truly felt before. It helped me talk to girls, in hopes they would think I was outgoing and not see my awkward side. Who was I kidding? All of my sides are awkward. I embrace that now.
I would throw parties and buy every liquor under the guise that I’m Jewish – everyone needs to be happy, full, and drunk. I would be a bad host if I didn’t, right? Well the reality is that not even a quarter of what I bought would be drank but it would be gone in under 2 weeks. Eventually I became dependent on it. It took a while for me to get tired of living that way. I knew that it wasn’t the real me. I know I have an addictive personality and poor coping skills.
Thankfully a relationship I was in lead me back to NY, where my psychiatrist I was seeing confronted me about my drinking. If I didn’t get help, she would have to refer me to an Addiction specialist, and something about that really got to me. I decided to go to a meeting. I figured it was about time, as I had asked friends I knew in AA if I should be going (that should have been my first clue). For some reason I had no expectations, and I’m glad. I’m glad I had my mind opened enough just a little to listen to them, and when they said keep coming back, I did.
Today, I feel like I truly am on a path to being who I was always meant to be. To me, drinking was the symptom and I am the problem. There are a lot (a LOT) of phrases in AA, but this quote summarizes how I feel to a T: “I always felt like a black sheep, until I came to AA and found the rest of my herd.” I finally felt like I belonged, and without even saying a word, everyone understood me. I feel that way when I look on Instagram and see posts from people in recovery. It doesn’t matter how you get there, but you’re here. And we’re here with you. You are not alone.
Alexis is a funny gay lady from Long Island who has dipped her toe into stand up and anxious to get back in. You can find out what she’s up to by following her on Instagram: @shapattacks