the recovery movement wasn't made for my communities. we dream too big, we grow, we are to expansive for the containers that were created by older cis-het white men. my first sponsor gave me the best advice— learn to live among the rest of the world + not just in these [aa] rooms. how incredibly important that was for me to hear at the age of 22. i took that advice to heart. i did as much of the work as possible in a short amount of time + then, i didn't stop. what kept me going back to aa was the guilt + shame that the program had engrained in me which were the exact feelings that led me to drink in the first place + the same feelings that led me to get sober. so then why was i letting this cycle continue?
that is how i became an aa runaway, i outgrew the program. (thank you andrés for the term)
throughout my journey i craved conextion with other young, sober, (qti)bipoc.
and what i've learned on this sober journey— if you don't see it or can't find it, create it. that is exactly what i've been doing my entire sober journey. from young people in aa meetings, to a collegiate recovery community at my undergrad campus, to la conextion. every creation has kept me sober + every creation has led me to this beautiful point: working 1:1 with sober +/or sober curious qtibipoc with the mindset that healing does not equal sobriety + sobriety does not equal abstinence. everyone conexts to healing in their own way. yes we need community to heal, however each individual has a very personal + unique healing journey.
what works for me is abstinence. i was abstinent for 7.5 years before thinking "i wonder what it would be like to have a drink as an adult with a developed brain". so i tried it. a drink with dinner here + there. sips of friends drinks when we would go out dancing. the difference— the mindful relationship. after experimenting, i recommitted to abstinence because i realized that alcohol didn't add anything to my life.
my journey is my journey. your journey is your journey.
my sobriety is my sobriety. your sobriety is your sobriety.
my definition of sober is my definition of sober. your definition of sober is your definition of sober.
over the past year, la conextion has been co-creating a qtibipoc specific sobriety group with la espiritista (pronouns: they/goddexx). this sobriety group is like none other. we wanted to imagine a space where 12-steps + aa was not centered. this group has held so many stories, experiences, conextions, healing, + growth. every week i'm in awe at the vulnerability, strength, and resilience that my communities share in this space. it brings me so much joy + puts me in all the feels.
while witnessing + listening to the stories shared i realized that one hour meetings once a week didn't seem like enough time. that is the long of why this work exists. i will continue (co)creating. to stay sober, to dream, to heal myself + my communities. ✨