Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Enjoy Being a Girl and a Proud Drunk

I even enjoy faxing shit. And looking damn good doing it.

I do.  I enjoy being a girl.  In all this fancy pants glory and beautiful flippant bouffanty sparkly shiny goodness.  I enjoy dressing up and wearing make up and heels and jewelry and wearing dresses practically every day.

Two performances and songs that are regularly sung and danced out in my head and by my body are these two below:

HOWEVER, being a girl is about way more than just the pretty and the frou frou.
I have a mind.  A good one at that.  Being a woman, I have a heart that is rich and deep and wounded and vulnerable, no matter how much I try to protect it. 

Being a woman means a lot of things, but to me it means being gentle and tough, it means walking through fear with grace and dignity. 

I celebrate stereotypical femininity.  That word is LOADED with expectation and even negativity.  Feminine.  I proudly hoist my girls up so they look the best they can, and I perch upon heels so that my legs look even better in that skirt. I do this because I love it.  No one forces me, and if they did, you can bet your ass I would do the opposite.  That's how I roll, yo.  That's feminine of me, right?

The essence of a tormented woman is here in The Original Joanie Holloway.  Being a woman is a big responsibility.  We have to show to the world we are more than what we are packaged in, and yet, it is so much fun to be wrapped in a pretty package.  The play is the thing.  The balance between being a smart, capable woman and the way the world will treat you if you look a certain way.  I didn't make the rules, but I also don't have to contribute to the ongoing figurative slaughter of women and girls who don't fit the lipstick and heels picture of what a woman "should be".  I'm not one for feminist preaching, but damn it feels good to say and do whatever the hell I want, and for that I am thankful.  

Most people go through life never haing to deal with AA or getting sober or any of this stuff*.  I was a low bottom drunk.  I lost everything.  Starting with my self respect and dignity and ending with material things like jobs, relationships, homes, family, cats, cars. 

Being a drunk woman is SO not pretty.

 You know what they say - getting sober is like playing that old country record backwards, you get your truck back, your job back, your wife back, your dog back. You don't usually get back the same shit you lost, but well, you get the point. Your life gets better.

For a woman to be able to walk into AA meetings these days and not be ostracised like it used to be is a huge gift.  We are still outnumbered in meetings. By a lot.  But it takes courage to walk in and say "yes, I'm a woman and I'm an alcoholic".  It gives other women the courage to do the same thing.  There are so many women out there who are hiding it right now and will never get help because they are ashamed.  That breaks my heart.  I speak out here and wherever else I can to say, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  To be a woman and to be a drunk is about the ugliest combination we can be when we are using.  But to be a woman in recovery, is well, beautiful.  

Sobriety is a gift that we need to be especially careful how we handle.  People are watching.  It's astounding how many men and women have come to me from reading this blog and the page and are still struggling or just getting sober or know people who are desperately trying to get it.  I don't take that lightly.  And I'm so grateful for the help you have given me and the courage to keep talking about it.  You help me stay sober. 

Men and women who walk into AA and get better are my heroes.  Period.  It means they want to fight for a good life, they do not just want to quit drinking and be miserably dry.  People who are trying to get better - trying to BE better are my heroes. If you want to write me, please do.  I am no expert on anything but jackassery, but I can try to help guide you to the right place. 

All of this is to say, YES, we are women.  YES, we are pretty, angry, sad, awkward, grungy, strong, spazzy and so vulnerable, even when we would never admit it. 

When I stopped showing how fucking strong I could be is when I finally got and stayed sober.  I could drink tomorrow and throw that all away.  But I hope I make the right choice for me and ask for help.  Strength in vulnerability.  There's a novel idea. 

*I'm not one of those people who thinks because I am a drunk that everyone is.  I'm surrounded by people in my life who drink like normal people and never have a problem.  More power to them!


  1. Being sober rocks my ass! You are all to right about women in AA. We carry so much shame and guilt...but sobriety is the shit! It's something else to live a truthful, happy, loving life.
    Scrubs, sweats, pj's, dresses, heels, flats, etc...being a woman makes me giddy inside every single day;)

    You are so amazeballz my dear. Keep up the great work and being a good example;)~

  2. Beautiful. I am grateful to know you!

  3. Hey,you know what? I adore you. I love your strength and the feminine stuff,too.

  4. How am I supposed to keep up my tough girl facade when your post is making me cry at my desk? You are one of MY AA heroes. A strong, confident women in recovery who hasn't forgotten where she came from and is doing whatever it takes to not go back there. The fact that you are open and honest enough to share this with all of us is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

    Last night's topic was Step-12 and what we are doing personally to carry the message. You, my dear, have all of the love that this recovering drunk can give to you.

    Now...back to the jackassery. ;-)

  5. I love you. I've told you that before, but I feel the need to tell you again. You are awesome, and I am so happy to have gotten to know you....

    Now come down here and help me with these girl clothes for this weekend, dammit!!!


  6. And seriously...NO ONE can rock the kickass heels and red lips like you can!

  7. I absolutely adore you. Thank you.

  8. Your favorite spinning instructor loves the fucking shit out of you. Thank you for this. It is precisely what I needed today.

  9. You Rock! Love your honesty, genuine truth, and vulnerability. Being a woman is tough..I Thank God for you!

  10. This may be the perfect post. You lured us in by showing us your pretty, and then you kept us interested by being all real and shit. I love seeing pics of my bloggy loves. It's like reading through US magazine.

  11. When I stopped showing how fucking strong I could be is when I finally got and stayed sober.

    Holy shit. You nailed this.

    Also, I haven't ever met you face to face, but I love you. A lot.

    Rock on shining that light. ♥

  12. Excellent. I have a shit-ton of respect for you. "Strength in vulnerability." Perfect! I'm going to add that to my repertoire along with my policy that there's power in letting go. Wait, that's not really two different statements. Great minds and all that, yay!

    Also, ditto what Deb said. Remember ditto machines? Stupid Xerox made fossils outta those things. Fossils are cool. Fossilized poop is called coprolite. Boobies.

  13. You are a sexy, feminine rock star, and I am so blessed to know you! Keep being awesome!

  14. You are amazing. Never forget that. <3

  15. Much respect, lady. Much respect. We've walked some similar sidewalks, it seems, except in a different order. I've dropped the smokes, had the baby after 7 rounds of IVF, lost the job, and now trying to stop the wine. Much respect.

  16. friends think I'm crazy cause I will bust out with the westside story songs.