Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I’ll be chatting to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
Lisa runs The Sober Hipster, a website aimed at empowering women in their journey of recovery and creativity. She has been a fantastic support to me via Instagram, given that she lives 4336 miles miles away from me (yep I just googled it). I’m excited to share her story here, she’s doing really cool entrepreneurial stuff with The Sober Hipster and I’m inspired by her daily.
Read on for her not drinking diary …
Name: Lisa Schmidt (The Sober Hipster)
Location: Orlando, Fl
1.What led you to think differently about drinking?
My perspective on drinking changed when my life depended on it. In the fall (my fall) of 2013, I entered an intensive outpatient program for trauma counselling. One of the conditions of being in the program was no alcohol or drug use.
I’d never even considered dealing with my shit sober; however, I quickly learned it was the only way to truly find healing and change my life.
2.How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
I would describe my relationship with alcohol like a crazy ex-lover. I never want to go back.
3.What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is dealing with pain and loss sober. I didn’t think it was possible to face the death of someone you love without numbing the pain with alcohol.
4.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
That there’s more to having fun and socialising than drinking. Before sobriety, having a good time always included drinking. Always. I didn’t think I was fun to be around without it. I’ve learned the opposite is actually true.
5. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
I usually wake up anywhere between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM and spend an hour or so practicing self-care, which could mean journaling, working on an art therapy project, reading, meditating, etc. Most of my ideas come to me during the night. Then I go back to bed and sleep for another couple of hours before getting up to go to my job as a corporate paralegal.
6. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Yes. I always make time to slow down now, I was a workaholic before getting sober, I never stopped. My calendar was always full. Now I give myself permission to do nothing. I even take a nap sometimes!
7. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free & not drinking) at the weekend?
My favourite thing to do on the weekend is spend time with my wife and family. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing. It’s just amazing to be fully present and engaged (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs) with the people you love the most.
8. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
I’m working on progress, not perfection. I’ve always based my self-worth on my performance and beat myself up for making mistakes. I’m still learning that I’m good enough. I don’t have to do anything to earn it. I just am.
9. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
I’m obsessed with the new business I’ve started, The Sober Hipster and empowering women in their journey of recovery and creativity. When I’m giving back and in service to others my life is always better.
10. And finally, thinking differently about alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
Try to do life one day at a time. Ask yourself, what is the next right thing and do that. Soon one day will turn into a week and then a month and then a year.