No. 9 - Maria Gregg, Navigating Sobriety as a Millennial
What is your occupation?
I am a Financial Analyst at a Marketing Solutions Agency
What are your hobbies?
I like to run, try different workout studios in Dallas, hang out with my husband and dogs, and do all that I can to smash the patriarchy.
What is a quote you live by?
“Nevertheless, she persisted”
What’s your favorite way to celebrate?
I love a cute mocktail on a rooftop patio
What inspired your recovery journey?
Alcoholism runs in my family – I’ve witnessed what addiction can do to even the smartest of people. I struggle with anxiety and depression and so alcohol was only adding fuel to an already lit fire. 95% of the time when I would drink things would be okay – I’d maybe do some stupid stuff, wake up with crippling anxiety, but my life wasn’t upside down. That other 5% was a different story. I finally realized it is not worth juggling fire because I knew someday it was going to send everything in my life up in flames. I spent awhile toying with the idea of going sober, but I was always super fearful of the social aspect – what would I drink, who would I hang out with, what would I do for fun? Like many people I built a life that associated a good time with alcohol, so I was beyond scared to think of a life without it. BUT – at the end of the day I was more scared of what was going to happen to me, my family, and my life if I didn’t stop drinking.
What’s the typical response people have when you tell them you don’t drink?
“Oh cool!” Sometimes people will ask why, but I’ve realized everyone is so invested in their own stuff that it isn’t that big of a deal.
What’s the most unique thing someone has said to you after you told them you don’t drink?
“If you don’t drink.. how do you do brunch?”
How has your life changed since your decision to go alcohol-free?
I always say.. when I was drinking it constantly felt like I was drowning and for the first time in the last 5 or so years, I can breathe again. I have been able to have relationships with people that are built on real substance and a foundation besides blacking out together – this isn’t to say I haven’t lost friends, but our friendship was solely drinking, so how good was it really? I am able to wake up every single morning with a clear head and able to live each day with the fullest of intentions. One of the harder parts: I’ve thought a lot about how my drinking affected people that I care about – my parents, husband, friends, etc. I have thought a lot about incidents where I’ve put my life and other’s lives at risk. However, one of the biggest things that have changed -- I’ve realized my worth. I built such an image around being the blackout queen party girl, and now I’m like damn, I am so much MORE than that. I have so much MORE to offer the world.
What’s your go-to celebration drink when you’re able to make it yourself?
I honestly usually just celebrate with sparkling water in a cold glass with a lime.
What do you drink at social gatherings?
At a restaurant, I’ll pick the cutest cocktail on the menu and ask if they can make it alcohol-free. If I need a little caffeine I’ll drink a Celsius, but my other go-to is flavored sparkling water.
How do you feel when you can’t find a drink you like?
I am a sucker for a Diet Coke, so I am usually able to get that, but if not I’m also a big fan of lemon water.
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