On October 16, 2016, I woke up in a hotel room in Manhattan, no recollection of how I got there, and I texted the hubs the words: “I’m done.”
I had said those words a few times in the 18 months I had been negotiating moderation, bargaining my way through my drinking, certain if anyone could figure out a way to keep drinking and not have it take over her life, it would be me.
Yeah. I was wrong.
And on this Sunday morning at the historic New Yorker Hotel, a new kind of history was made.
After the hubs replied in his typical and very sweet I’ve-heard-this-before-and-I-still-love-you way, I texted him again, “No, really. I’m done.”
On October 16, 2016, I chose to enter a whole new relationship with myself and everyone I’d ever known: I committed to being FULLY PRESENT.
I chose sobriety and I chose the terrifying stillness of having to get to know myself with no buffer for my feelings. With no go-to for turning down the intensity of my life. With no filter for what it means to be fully and completely Bonnie.
For the first time in decades.
I’ve never been more frightened yet certain. I knew I needed support, so on the first sober flight I’d taken since I was a teenager, I began making a list of sober role models. People I knew were sober, and also cool. Also happy. Also imperfect. Also wonderful. Also complex. Also sane.
As soon as I got back to LA, I enrolled in Bex Weller’s Sexy Sobriety, a 90-day program with daily offerings on mindset and practical tactics and tools. Then a vault filled with treasures and ongoing access.
The *embrace* of daily, purposeful, I SEE YOU WANTING TO BE YOUR BEST SELF material not only gave me the stability I so desperately ached for but also provided the blueprint for our Self-Management for Actors offering of enoughness, Get in Gear for the Next Tier.
I’ve been a 100-day challenge junkie since 1998, when I declared, “In 100 days, I’m moving back to LA to give Hollywood one more shot.” And now I truly understood the power in 100 days of support, community, inspiration, mindset, and tools, thanks to my friend Bex.
My sobriety has changed my life in infinite ways. I had no idea it would also change the lives of actors and other storytelling creatives, in and out of showbiz. At this point, hundreds of creatives have experienced life-changing shifts thanks to Get in Gear for the Next Tier and thousands more have benefited from the deep healing journey that has been my life since that magical October morning in Manhattan.
Today I celebrate a milestone of 4-4-4-4-4-4. Four years, four months, four days, four hours, four minutes, four seconds (give or take), according to my Sober Time app. Today (and every day) I celebrate my commitment to myself. And to the world.
I’m still discovering who I’m meant to be and I would not have gotten this opportunity had alcohol remained a part of my daily life. I struggled to try and BE DONE with drinking and it just wasn’t time to be done until it finally was. On October 16, 2016, this shit got binary.
While I don’t regret that it took the time that it took, I do have sadness around the fully-present version of myself in my 20s, my 30s, the first half of my 40s that I never got to know. That no one ever got to know.
The way I make up for that now is by living full-out, unapologetic for all the parts of myself I used to feel were too much for the world, all the instincts and urges that I tamped down with booze for so long. All the ways I used alcohol to stay safe and small, secretly terrified of my fullest potential and power.
Such a shame that the most efficient way I could hide my low enoughness was through drinking… but, of course, we all find ways to stay safe and small. I’m glad I’ve recognized that my ride-or-die (vodka) was not only protecting ME; it was protecting the world from having to HEAR inconvenient me sharing truths about so much of we’re taught to feel shame around.
In the past few months, I’ve begun embracing inconvenient me and it’s a really lovely bit of evolution I’m so pleased with.
Most of all, I’m so very glad I’m fully present for my life now. It is — and I am — so worth that. We all are.
So much love,
Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.