Day 188-Day 201

When I started this blog seven months ago, I told myself I would never write about what I now find myself writing about.

I decided this topic was just too personal and I would save it for my diary. Lucky for you people, I don’t keep a diary.

What’s the “it” I’m referring to? Well, it. Doing it. Getting frisky. Making whoopie. S-E-X.

Editor’s Note: I realize that a majority of my readers knew me when I was in diapers. If my talking about sex makes you uncomfortable, now is the time to hit the back button and return to your Facebook newsfeed for more appropriate entertainment.

I’m choosing to write about this particular subject now because, well, it’s come up a lot, and it’s come up a lot because there has been an undeniable and surprising change in this particular department for me.

It all started with a harmless and hysterical text message.

I was partaking in some witty text banter with one of my gal pals a few weeks ago. This lady has been around me a lot during my sobriety and knew me fairly well before my sobriety, and one of her favorite past times is busting my balls (no pun intended). We went through our usual back and forth, and then, somehow, my sex life entered the conversation. My clever friend summed up this particular topic perfectly by sending me a GIF of a tumbleweed rolling through the desert.

It’s funny because it’s true.

My sobriety has dramatically changed my sex life, and that really, really surprised me.

Now, to clarify (mainly because I’m 98% sure my mother did not take the editor’s advice above), I would consider my sexual history to be pretty average for a 20-something living in Los Angeles for the past nine years. I’ve fallen in love and made mistakes and tried different things, all on the journey to figuring out what I want for myself and a partner.

That being said, I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I have been doing something wrong. Why else would I be experiencing the longest dry spell I’ve ever had during my year of sobriety? That seemed like too much of a coincidence to ignore.

So, I put my one semester as a journalism major at UMASS, Amherst to use, and I did some investigating. I started asking my close friends some questions.

Editor’s Note: Thank you friends for humoring me and being so honest with me. I really appreciate all of the conversations I had and I promise to never pry into your personal business ever again.

I was hoping these friends would give me consistent answers. I was hoping to discover some direct relationship between alcohol and sex. I didn’t get what I was hoping for, but I got so much more. Not being able to develop a clear and proven correlation, I knew the answers I wanted weren’t going to come from my friends or anyone else for that matter. The answers I was looking for had to come from me.

I asked myself some pretty tough questions, and gave myself some even tougher answers.

“Why do you think you’re having less sex now that you are sober?”
– Well, I was using sex the way I was using alcohol. Not always, but definitely in the last year or two, since I got out of my last serious relationship.

“Can you clarify that?”
– Um, yeah. My dad told me once that, when I was baby, the only time I would really cry, I mean wail, was when I wanted to be held. That need translated into my adult life in different ways. I think I’ve always been afraid to be alone, and when my last relationship ended, I was the most alone I had ever been in my life. I was living alone for the first time ever, single for the first time in years, and I hated that feeling.

“So, how did you cope?”
– Not very well. I became more social. I surrounded myself with friends and guys as much as possible. And I started drinking a lot more.

“And what would happen when you drank?”
– It was a lot easier for me to send a guy that 2am “what are you doing?” text. I was more apt to say yes to the guy at the bar asking me if I “needed a ride home”. I made some choices that I probably wouldn’t have made sober.

“How did that effect you emotionally?”
– Honestly, it didn’t. I wouldn’t let it. That’s what I mean when I say I was using sex and alcohol the same way. I was using both of these things to numb myself from a reality I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to feel alone, so sex became a bandaid. Alcohol made it all easier. If I texted a guy or asked someone out while under the influence, I wasn’t afraid of being rejected. When the guy answered my text or said yes to my proposition, I wasn’t worried about the consequences of my actions because my inhibitions were lowered.

“And now? How has this year been so different?”
– In every way. I experienced sober intimacy this year for the first time, probably ever in my adult life, and it was terrifying, in the best way possible. There was a lot of anxiety that came with that, but also so many positives. I’m so aware of myself, my emotions, my sexuality now, and I think I’m starting to understand sex the way it’s meant to be understood. It’s not a crutch or a bandaid or a temporary fix. It’s something really, really awesome that I need to respect. Of course, it can be fun and exciting, and it should be, but it should never be reckless.

And, well, that’s what I was being, reckless.

I want to close this by stating that no matter how reckless I was or how many mornings I woke up thinking “Oh no, what’d I do last night” (don’t worry, Mom, there weren’t too many of those), I don’t regret a single thing.

I don’t believe in regret. I think everything happens for a reason. I think every intimate moment I’ve had, both under the influence and sober, has led me to the very place I find myself now; 12a.m. on day 201 of my sobriety, falling asleep alone, and feeling pretty good about it.

Day 162-187.5

I am officially halfway through my year of sobriety (which means the year is half over, can you believe it?)

I was talking to someone the other day and told them that the last six months have been the worst six months I’ve ever experienced. I reflected on that later and decided that was a poor choice of words. The last 187.5 days haven’t been “the worst”, but they’ve been really, really hard.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I made this promise to myself (and the entire internet). I thought the hardest part would be resisting the urge to buy a bottle of wine on a hot summer day or saying no to a cute guy offering me a beer at a party.

Man, was I WAY off.

The hardest part has been getting to know myself. That sounds negative, and I’m not going to lie, for a while it was. I started focusing on what I didn’t have and what I couldn’t do and I felt really sorry for myself. I was miserable.

Then something shifted inside of me. I made a conscious choice to focus only on the good stuff. I started learning about meditation and what it means to focus on positive, higher vibrations. (It sounds totally hippy-dippy, I know, but it works). So, in the spirit of good vibrations, let’s re-cap all the good stuff from the last 187.5 days of my sobriety.

JANUARY: I was surprised at how easily I swung into my sobriety. I was happily overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I recieved from my friends and family and even people I hadn’t spoken to in years. (For the record, I’m still in awe of all of you and can’t thank you enough for your encouragement.) I took a lot of bubble baths in January. I started running. I finally went to Dunkin Donuts (the only one in LA). I pulled off a 500 person, $60k event at the hotel (my biggest event ever). I became a vegetarian. I went on a sober date. I watched all ten seasons of Friends. I decided it was time to live with someone again and made plans to move in with a roommate. I used a crockpot for the first time. I baked A LOT. I found creative ways to fill up my new found free time. I realized that I was no longer the girl texting “pre-game at my place” and was now the girl looking for a hiking buddy on the weekends.

FEBRUARY: I got laid off (which was actually a HUGE blessing in disguise). Me and Dusty started the “who wore it better” photo series. I spent time with my mom and Grammy. I started taking Warner to the puppy park more regularily. I read a lot. I let myself sleep in. I did the hard side of Runyon every day. I shot a scene that I had been wanting to put on film for a long time. I spent more time with my sister and her friends. I watched almost all the movies nominated for Oscars and actually knew what I was talking about at an Oscar party. I decided that my blog didn’t just have to be about not drinking, but that all of the lessons I was learning during this unique time in my life were totally sharable, and I became less afraid to share everything that was happening.

MARCH: I moved. I painted a room all by myself. I built an Ikea dresser. I fell for someone for the first time in a long time. I became addicted to frozen custard. I auditioned for the Actor’s Studio (and got a callback!). I swam in the ocean. I became best friends with a 4 year old mini-me. I had lunch with my senior prom date. I auditioned for three series regular roles on two different pilots. I tried non-alcoholic beer. I went to a “Macbeth” table read and got to work with some amazing actors. I stopped noticing that I wasn’t drinking in social situations. Being sober at a party or at a bar with friends started to feel normal.

APRIL: I celebrated my birthday. I watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. I went to Cinderella at The Ahmanson to see my senior prom date star as Prince Charming. I served at church during Easter services. A film I was in won a college Emmy. I started a new acting class. I got new headshots, which led to so many more auditions. I got to be there when one of my favorite people got his big acting break. I finally came to terms with the fact that, as cheesy as it sounds, dreams do come true. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to go all in and really believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish.

MAY: I became addicted to night hikes. I celebrated Mother’s Day with my three favorite women. I let go of an old friend and understood that sometimes people out-grow friendships, and that’s ok. I went to Disneyland. I found peace in saying goodbye to my Grampy. May was the hardest, and lonliest month, but I came out of it so much better. I spent a lot of time looking inward for comfort and solace and finding those things for myself, in myself, was eye opening. I felt my independence for the first time.

JUNE: I learned about the Law of Attraction. I spent a lot of time with my best friend. I made s’mores. I went to a Dodger’s game. I celebrated my sister’s 30th birthday (with a quincineaera-themed party). I completed a 30-day butt squat challenge. I had the biggest audition of my career thus far. I picked up writing a screenplay my dad and I started last year. I took my 4 year old mini-me to the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long at the Hollywood Bowl and watched her eyes light up, seeing a movie on a big screen for the first time. I started meditating daily. I made a lot of spiritual discoveries in June. I feel like I’m getting a grasp on what I want my life to become. I started to visualize my life 6 months, a year, ten years from now with a new set of eyes and found new excitement and inspiration in what I saw.

Since we’re only a few days into July, there isn’t much to talk about yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be another good month full of new discoveries and epiphanies. In fact, I think the next 187.5 days are going to be full of all that good stuff. From here on out…. positive vibes only, guys.