Category Archives: Fun

Staying Sober in College and a Summer Update!

It has been WEEKS since my past post! How the heck are you guys?? I’ve been super busy doing all sorts of fun things – celebrating my Anniversary, Leo’s birthday, TWO Death Cab for Cutie Concerts, a Jack’s Mannequin / Guster Concert,  and a weekend trip to the Hamptons. I’ll summarize in pictures down below in a bit…

The main reason I am posting today though is I got an email from a woman from the Caron Foundation today about an article in the Wall Street Journal on Sober Living at colleges across the country that I thought might interest you guys. I got sober in college, and while I’m unsure about on my opinion of giving recovering addicts/alcoholics scholarships just because they are sober, I think it is 100% AWESOME that institutions are creating a safe environments for recovering college kids on campus!

Past few weeks in review:

Death Cab for Cutie @ Williamsburg Waterfront

Main Beach @East Hampton

Guster in Central Park!

Additionally, Leo and I were able to score tickets to a super secret Death Cab concert at the Brooklyn Museum care of the Artists Den last week. They were doing a live taping for a television show (and DVD). Hense, we were dressed very smart casual and no pictures were allowed. We were standing about two rows from the stage and I am officially in love with Ben Gibbard (lead singer). Oh boyyyy!

Hope everyone’s summer is going fantastically. I will remain busy for the rest of August and September with weekend trips to New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and Rhode Island planned! Who ever said being sober isn’t fun??

What are you up to these days?

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July 4th Weekend!

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you had a spectacular Red, White and Blue weekend! I sure did!

Friday night after work I met up with A at Friday Focus – a great NA meeting on W 12th and 5th Ave. Afterwards we got pedicures at our favorite nail place: Jay Nails on 10th St. It was really great to catch up with A since we have both been so busy the past few months. Especially because she’s expecting twins! I can’t wait to welcome Baby A and Baby B into this world in a few months!

Saturday night Leo and I took the Staten Island Ferry to see a Staten Island Yankees vs. Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game!

Look how cute the stadium is! We were in the fourth row along the third baseline. Tickets range anywhere from $8 – $40 I think, but we pauid $16. They are cheaper at the Brooklyn Stadium, but the Staten Island game worked better for our schedule! Getting to Staten Island was really easy too. We took the subway down to South Ferry and then road the escalator up to the Staten Island Ferry building. We looked and looked but didn’t see any ticket booths. So I asked a police officer where we could buy tickets and the guy looked at me oddly and then said “Um, it’s free” he said. Really? Sweet! The Ferry left every 15 minutes, so we got on the next one and enjoyed the 25 minute trip with the sun and wind in our faces.

We arrived at the stadium, picked up our tickets and Will Call and headed to the concession stand. I was craving a hot dog and it was amazing. Yeah, if you haven’t noticed I’ve stopped the raw detox…it wasn’t helping as expected and I was done with depriving myself of goodies. Below was our second trip:

SO TASTY!

Leo and I then spent Sunday and Monday up in Connecticut. We ate out, saw Transformers and Pricelined a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back to the city for the night. We got a REALLY nice hotel room in Greenwich for only $55! And it was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time. I love fancy hotel beds…

Monday we played tennis, hung out at the pool and then drove home through some awful NYC traffic. Luckily we got home in time to put some burgers on the grill and enjoy Sunday night’s DVR of True Blood before the fireworks started. We couldn’t quite see the West Side fireworks from Leo’s balcony, so we climbed up this sketchy ladder to the top of his building and saw some of the show, but decided we’d have a better view of the show on the TV. Best part of the performance? Katy Perry performing her song Fireworks during the NYC fireworks- I bet she’s been waiting all year to do that! Here’s my attempt to take a picture of the festivities of the TV:

Overall it was a great weekend. I managed to get some serious relaxation in, take a practice exam, get to a meeting with A and have lots of sober fun with Leo. Still dealing with my headaches, but I’ve surrendered to the fact that I can’t fix them myself and I need to just keep doing what I’m doing to take care of myself on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite thing about July 4th?

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Bits and Pieces

Hi friends! Hope you all had a great weekend! If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out Alicia’s awesome guest post from Friday (below)!

My weekend was pretty good and my head semi-cooperated. Friday night Caron and I had our typical girls night at the movies – we saw Bad Teacher with JT and Cameron Diaz. It was…funny but not as good as expected. Also, Justin Timberlake is a horrible actor. Sigh. On Saturday I hosted a luncheon for some summer camp alumni friends of mine, went into the office for a few hours and then spent the rest of the evening with Leo. On Sunday Leo and I brought some of his guy friends out to Connecticut to play tennis and hang out by the pool. It was fun, but next time I’m definitely bringing some GIRLS with us! Also – if you missed the season premiere of True Blood last night, please watch – so glad it’s back!

Non-alcoholic Vampire Beverage

Other than that things are business as usual with me. Tonight is the last night I will chair at the Clubhouse for probably the next year while I serve as Treasurer. And in honor of my last night charing, Porsche is speaking for me! I am so grateful for having the chance of doing service for the past year but in all honesty I will not miss my last-minute speaker searchs. It will be a great adventure to serve as Treasurer for the next year – service helps me stay sober.

Still looking for some more fun guest posters! I would love for SATC to be a forum for anyone who has changed their lives and has something to say about it. Hopefully this summer will be filled with lots of fun, sober and headache-less summer activities for me to post about too. Additionally, I may start posting excerpts from my writing during high school and college when I was in over my head with depression and active addiction. I used to think my best writing came out when I was miserable…I’m not sure that’s true but some of it is heartbreaking to read now.

How was your weekend?

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Lazy Weekend + Random Items

Happy Monday friends! I saw Super 8 with Caron on Friday – it was great! Definitely a scary modern day twist on E.T. and… The Sandlot? It was scarier than I thought it would be though. The child actors were pretty phenomenal, so they will be on my watch list for the next 5-10 years.

Leo picked me up early Saturday morning and we ventured to Connecticut to watch a college golf tournament. It was really fun, despite the dreary weather. We found some future PGA stars to follow as well. When we returned to the city we proceeded to stay inside my apartment from about 3pm Saturday to 5:40pm Sunday. HAHA! Clarissa is a lazypants. I’m pretty sure we ordered three meals in a row too. For anyone who doesn’t live in a major metropolitan area, you don’t know the wonder that is SeamlessWeb.com. You get to order food to be delivered without ever having to pick up the phone. Leo and I are big fans. I think we could have used a bit more exercise but we watched a lot of sports and movies, slept well and played with Crazy and The Dark One. After months and months of studying it was nice for us both to have almost a whole weekend of doing absolutely nothing and loving it.

Crazy was happy to be lazy with us

Sunday afternoon officially ended my study-free week and I had a call with a consultant about how to prepare for my exam retake. For anyone who is new I took a graduate school entrance exam last week and did really well, but I am taking it a second time to see if I can get a smidge higher because I’m just so close it would be silly not to. Most people take the test at least twice anyway.

Finally at 5:40pm it was time for us to leave Casa de Clarissa. I had an appointment with my Sunday my ASL (“Awesome Sponsor Lady”) in Central Park to read Chapter 2 of the Big Book. Leo begrudgingly left with me since it meant he would miss the last 20 minutes of the golf on TV. It felt great to finally be outside again! ASL and I sat for about an hour in the park reading Chapter 2. We had to move spots after the first few pages in order to avoid two teenage disasters using language that’s probably illegal in 12 states.  You kiss your mother with that mouth? Yeesh! We also determined that I am not consistently performing my sponsee responsibilities on weekends. Did you know being in recovery is a 7-day a week job? Apparently my brain thinks it starts on Monday and ends on Friday, oops! Time to put more reminders on my phone!

After our time together, I went to Whole Foods to pick up some more raw treats. I’ve been bad about eating 80% raw lately with my headaches continuing despite my diet, but I know it’s better for my digestion to eat this way so I picked up some treats to get myself re-excited about eating raw. Emmy’s Chai Macaroons are my favorite! I also got a new kind of Raw Ice Cream: Mint Chip and some Blueberry Granola by Two Moms in the Raw. I had a bowl of the mint chip during Game of Thrones last night:

Tonight is the business meeting for my AA clubhouse and I am the new Treasurer. That means that I get to count all the seventh tradition money we bring in and deposit in at the bank, pay the rent and other various expenses. I’ve never counted so many one dollar bills before in my life. I think the lady at the bank might have thought I was a stripper or a drug dealer…but standing there in my business suit today I proudly explained that I am a treasurer for a club. Riiiight. I felt a sense of accomplishment when the fancy money-counting machine reported that I had counted all the bills correctly!

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Adult Field Trip!

Leo and I planned to go to the Vueve Polo Tournament on Governor’s Island on Sunday afternoon but when we got down to the ferry the line of people was so long, we decided it wasn’t going to be worth the wait. Note for next year: show up earlier! We were all dressed up with no where to go. It was overcast, but warm and we wanted to stay outside. Leo decided we should go to the Statue of Liberty instead. So we bought tickets for the passage and got in line (this one was much shorter!). We got onto the ferry after going through security where Leo almost flipped out when the guy made him take off his watch…it was funny but I’m glad he didn’t make too much of a scene…

We had a nice ride and got closer and closer to Lady Liberty herself…

When we arrived I snapped some photos of our surroundings including our ferry!

Leo and I stopped in the cafe to get some water and french fries (don’t worry raw people, the fries were for Leo)

Then we walked around the grounds and sat near her pedestal on the shore for a few hours before returning to Manhattan. It was nice to be outside together after studying for the past five months!

What was the last field trip you took?

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Long Weekend and Death Cab!

Sorry for the brief haitus here at SATC. I took a four day weekend to head up to the wonderful land that is New England to study for our big exams and enjoy some sunshine. Look! Flowers!

Ok, I know they aren’t super beautiful or anything, but I wasn’t taking many pictures inside our study cave. Leo and I had fun, despite spending 80% of the time reading books and taking practice exams. We managed a fun trip to Wal-Mart where we found out that Fruity Pebbles are Gluten Free. Amazing! Now if they were only sugarfree, preservative free, and not cooked maybe I could each them too.

We also took few trips to his parents country club golf course and made lots of homemades fresh fruit smoothies! Such a cheaper way to go than buying them at the carts here in NYC…but…I am lazy when I live here. That means Clarissa doesn’t make her own smoothies. Yet.

Getting back to work a day late was incredibly stressful for me, but luckily I made it out in time to see Death Cab for Cutie at Bowery Ballroom with Leo!! I bought our tickets months and months ago and have been counting down the days until the concert arrived! Last night we both left work and met at Bowery. Ticketmaster did not send out tickets for this event so that they could not be sold on the secondary market (i.e.  Stubhub, Craigslist, etc.). While I found this odd, I realized it was really nice to be at a concert with 100% true fans!

We got to the concert in time to catch the opening band: The Lonely Forest. They were really good! I downloaded a few of their tunes this morning before work and am currently jamming on my ipod.

Finally, around 10pm Death Cab came on!! My pictures are all blurry because the bouncer was insisting no flash…and he was really friggin big so I did not argue. Here’s a blurry one of Ben Gibbard and the rest of the band:

Leo and I were about half way back in the crowd on the first floor. Bowery is so small that we were SO close to the stage! The accoustics were amazing and we walked out without any residual hearing loss. Unfortunately we didn’t stay until the end of the concert because it was getting late and both of us have important exams on Saturday, but we will see them again on Leo’s birthday in August when they come to play in Brooklyn!

I had a ton of fun being sober at the concert last night. There was a wafting of marijuana when DCFC came on and apparently it was coming from a few guys standing nearby us. YUCK! Luckily I was enjoying the music so much I stopped noticing it. Ben Gibbard (the lead singer) is sober himself, so I felt very connected during the whole show! He’s not in AA, but hey – he knows how to have fun sober, so he’s a perfect example for SATC! It was a really nice break from stress and studying to just listen to amazing music and enjoy myself last night. It was definitely necessary!

What’s the last concert you went to?

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Steps to Sobriety

Last night I met up with ASL or (My nickname for: my new Awesome Sponsor Lady) on the Upper East Side to read the Big Book. We met at this huge Starbucks. I’m not sure why ‘Bucks are bigger on the East Side, but hopefully without offending the West Side (the love of my life) I will say: I liked it.

Unfortunately all the seating was taken so we were forced to go outside. Luckily there was a nice area with benches across the street, so we sat outside for an hour and a half and read The Doctor’s Opinion and Chapter 1: Bill’s Story. It’s funny that I am reading these things for the first time…and to think of all those years of me whining and saying “I don’t like the AA literature, so I’ll stick with NA thank you very much” without even reading AA literature! Stubborn right? It turns out I just wasn’t ready to hear it. Today I am ready. Today when the text goes on and on about the effects of alcohol and getting “wet brain” etc, I can understand it. I can identify even though I never got the shakes from alcohol. I think my mind automatically replaces the words alcohol with drugs and alcoholism with addiction. Alcohol is a drug, by the way, so I’m being inclusive when I say drugs. To me, today, the words are synonymous and that is A-OK.

I even got my first First Step assignment! I am so grateful to meet with ASL every week now, it’s a nice routine I’m starting to get that hang of. And even though I feel like I have a million things on my plate right now in addition to all my healthcare appointments, it is good to have sponsor assignments everyday to remind me to put my recovery first.

In other random-SATC news…the new Death Cab for Cutie album is available for free streaming on NPR! I’ve already fallen in love with a number of the songs, it is more upbeat than their last album, Narrow Stairs, and I read in an article that it is likely due to the fact that since Narrow Stairs, the lead singer got married and got SOBER! Ben Gibbard said in a SPIN article, “Quitting had been such a positive change in my life. Nothing was going to make me want to go back to that. But I want to qualify that. I’m not, like, walking around with a chip in my pocket. I don’t have a sponsor. I don’t go to AA. It’s not like that.”

So, it looks like dear old Ben didn’t get sober in AA but I’m still psyched that he’s sober!

What step are you on today?

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Mini Golf in NYC!

FunDay MonDay! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I spent most of mine studying since my exam is 2 weeks away, but I did have time for some fun along the way.

Friday night, Caron, her hubby, our friend P and I went to see Thor in 3D. The graphics were good, Natalie Portman and some of the dialogue was amusing, but I have to say the story wasn’t really as developed as I would have expected. I wouldn’t want for it to come out on Netflix though, because you would miss out on a 3D viewing. The best part about the movie was the Girl vs Guy fight that broke out a couple rows behind us because of the “kicking of a chair.” It was pretty epic. Luckily they simmered down before I had to go find management to get them to SHUT UP! They were ruining the movie, but what they were yelling at each other was pretty hilarious.

Saturday night Leo and I went out to dinner and then we decided to walk around a bit since we were both pretty full. Leo had seen a mini golf place that was being set up on one of the piers down near Battery Park months ago, so we walked down there to see if it had opened yet. It was open, score! And it was only $5 per person to play 1 round, awesome! Next to the Mini Golf Course was a skate park and beach volleyball courts. We had a pretty nice view of NJ too…

The course was 18 holes, some were short, but overall it was good fun. I even got a hole-in-one. Leo was not amused, although he beat me by 11 points!

Check out this hole on the back nine – you had to hit the ball so that it passed over that teeny tiny bridge! Leo made it since he’s a golf stud. My ball ended up in the water. Luckily it was shallow so I was able to scoop it out.

Here’s a view of Battery Park. Prettyyyy.

Another shot of the course. It was pretty small compared to the ones you see down in Florida, but for NYC it was sufficient!

At least it had a fountain!

Sunday was spent studying and hanging out at Leo’s club. I can’t wait til all this studying is overrrrrrrr. Hope you all had fantastic weekends. Tonight I’m meeting with my sponsor for Big Book Reading Take 2. I feel like I’m really taking care of myself these days, it’s a lot of work though!

Do you like to play mini golf?

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Today i-is Friday, Friday

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today

Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after…wards

Please tell me you have all seen the Rebecca Black “Friday” Youtube video. It’s pretty ridiculous, but helpful if you forget the order of the days of the week. For anyone who is still confused: TODAY IS FRIDAY!

Tonight Caron, her Husband!!! and I are going to see Thor. In 3D. WOOOO!!

They are leaving on their honeymoon tomorrow and even though I know it will be amazing, I am going to miss them like crazy! Bestfriend-withdrawal is not one of my favorite things. But since I have all of YOU, I think I will make it through. I have already decided we’re seeing The Hangover II when they return 🙂

My new sponsor, let’s call her “Awesome Sponsor Lady” or ASL for short, has suggested I get to 4 meetings a week for the time being. I’ve been hitting maybe 2 or 3, so it’s time to do some research on good meetings after 9pm or early mornings – any NYC suggestions welcome in the comments! I usually stick to my neighborhood, but I am open to traveling as long as it’s not way downtown or way uptown. I am also supposed to call one person with less time and one person with more time than me everyday, so newcomers: I’m coming to find you!

Staying sober one day at a time is easier than it was years ago…but dealing with the rest of life can be a difficult daily task. Stress, headaches, snuffy nose, eating 80% raw vegan, work, relationships, family drama, worrying about my future…it’s a lot. But I know that because I am sober I have a network of people to help me through all of it. Today I am grateful for my sober family, because they let me know one day at a time, that I don’t have to do everything on my own. I was alone when I used. I wasn’t a party girl in the end- I was a “stay-at-home” addict. I just hid in my room, used and drank. Sometimes I would drink in bed, in the dark until I fell asleep – the way some people drink warm milk. It was a sad existance filled with empty bottles and cans and baggies every morning. Today, I live differently. Today, I brush my teeth before I go to bed. And even on the worst days where everything seems to be going wrong, I know that I still have a chance at life. I still have a chance to become a better person, to be a better friend, to learn how not to live in fear. If I pick up a drink or a drug, I have no chance, no choice.

So today, FRIDAY, I choose life.

What do you choose today?

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Service Keeps Me Sober

It’s a dreary Tuesday here in New York City, kids. I left my apartment prepared with my Hunter Boots and ‘Brella though, thank goodness. Despite the weather Tuesdays are beoming my favorite day of the week! Why? Because Acupuncture is on Tuesday nights! Hopefully it will help get rid of this raging headache I have.

On to the main topic of today: I have a new service position! I am the treasurer for the clubhouse meeting I chair at. I will not chair for the next year, but rather take on treasury duties. For those of you who don’t know, AA works like any other organization except no one is “in charge.” People take on service positions that reflect certain responsibilities to the group. At the clubhouse, we have a Secretary, Literature Chair, Overall Chair, Treasurer and every night of the week we have two co-chairs to run the meetings. So although the Overall Chair of the 10:30 clubhouse meeting runs the business meetings we have each week, she is not “the boss.” Her service position helps keep all of the group members on track to keep the meeting running and carry the message to the newcomers. It’s pretty cool actually that no one is in charge as addicts/alcoholics tend to rebell against authority….surprising, I know.

As the Treasurer I am responsible for collecting all the 7th Tradition money, paying the rent for the space we use, and paying for any group expenses (including flowers and cupcakes for our Anniversary meeting). It’s a perfect role for me since I work with money for a living. For the “normies” out there the 7th Tradition states that “we are to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” That means that we pass a basket at a certain point in the meeting for people to put in a dollar or two to help pay for our expenses. We don’t want any money from anyone who is not in AA, so that we don’t end up straying from our primary purpose which is to help the alcoholic who still suffers. NA works the exact same way. I would imagine most 12 step programs do. We don’t accept government money, or corporite donations, or anything. We are fully self supporting. Which basically means that the service we offer to the newcomer is FREE!! Think about all that money you spend on therapy when you could get better in a 12 step program for FREE! When I was a newcomer, I just put in the basket whatever change I had and if I didn’t have any money, no one minded. I was always told “We need you more than we need your money.”

And the money we collect mainly goes to rent (it’s steep in this city!). We also buy literature as a group and offer it to the newcomer for free and old timers pay whatever it costs. For instance, I bought my very first AA Big Book last night for $8 at the clubhouse. That book was originally bought with the groups money and I am repaying them. It’s an easier way to get literature compared to going to a recovery bookstore or amazon.com! We also host an Annversary meeting on the last day of every month and we buy small cupcakes and flowers for the celebrants – usually about $30 or less each month. If we have left over money we donate it to NY Intergroup – which is the larger organization that helps to keep all the NYC meetings in tact.

Being of service to others is an important part of staying sober and helping others to stay sober. Most of us in active addiction/alcoholism were incredibly selfish people and we only cared about ourselves. To do service in AA or NA is to take the opposite action. Whether it be making coffee or supplying a meeting with cookies, chairing a meeting, accepting when a chairperson asks you to speak, answering a 12 step call or simply showing up and talking to a daycounter. We are here to serve others and in turn we  slowly grow into better people. Being of service also helps you to get out of your own head. When a newcomer calls me or asks me if I would get coffee with her, I always accept. Not only does it make me feel good to help someone else, it allows me an hour where I don’t have to think about the million things going on in my own life.

I have gotten many emails from people struggling with sobriety who have stumbled across my blog and thank me for being of service with my words. I never imagined when I started SATC that I would be able to help so many people so far away. It is such a blessing to be sober today and to give away what I have been given.

What service positions do you have today?

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