Spring Break, Shame and Recovery

Spring Break, Shame and Recovery

Spring is coming! I’ve always loved spring. My birthday is in March. So is my sister’s and her daughter’s, so it’s always been a fun thing to look forward to. And for some reason, spring was usually a harder semester for me than the fall. Like most students, I couldn’t wait to have Spring Break. I remember feeling pressure from other students and myself about making sure I had a super fun Spring Break—one that was worthy of bragging about. I had talked my best friend, Anna, to drive us down to Padre Island, in south Texas. My parents had forbidden me to go, but I just lied to them. Anna had not wanted to go because she was self conscious about her body in a bikini. But I begged and pleaded and so we drove the 8 hours it took to get there. Blackouts and Closets The first night we were there, out with friends, Anna had gotten into a fight with a guy at a club, and then later she and I got into a fist fight. Of course there was alcohol involved and somehow we managed to stumble our way home to sleep on the floor of a friend’s condo. The next day we were both filled with remorse and shame, so in order to escape dealing with those feelings, we went to Mexico to “shop”. After a day of margaritas and Coronas, somehow we managed to get ourselves back over the border into the US. This is where it gets a bit blurry for me. Suddenly I found myself at a party in a condo...

Tips for a Safe Spring Break

Spring Break Safety Every year the stories we hear about Spring Break get more and more nightmarish. Coeds making poor choices relating to alcohol use are at the root of most—if not all—of these incidents. We all have to stand up and speak out! Let’s talk about these tough topics and teach our kids how to be safe and smart during Spring Break!...
Celebrate Being Single

Celebrate Being Single

This is for all the single people out there I must admit, I hate those kind of radio stations…the lovey smarmy ones. I really hope I don’t come across like one of those disc jockeys. It’s especially tough if you’re single. You may already know that I talk about the tough topics that no one wants to talk about: shame, addiction, eating disorders, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol. You know, the fun stuff. Plus, I bring humor into it because I have to. Comedy helped me heal. Musical comedy helped me stay alive growing up, seriously. When I fell into stand up comedy, it helped me tremendously with my recovery on many levels. Today, in the “love” month of February, I want to talk about how our culture shames single people. That’s why I believe we should use Valentine’s Day to celebrate any kind of love: friendships, health, teachers, pets, causes, charities, communities. Valentine’s Day can be about more than just romantic love and so often the “love” that is portrayed in the media is not real. It’s made up, and pretty dysfunctional. Have you listened to love songs…to the actual words? It’s kind of funny and also frightening that as a girl growing up and singing the lyrics, I was setting myself up for a lot of therapy about my relationships with men. Celebrate Being Single So I’ve never been married and I am a straight woman. I’ve been engaged twice and I’ve been asked a few times, but, for many reasons, I’ve never actually gone down the aisle. And I cannot tell you how many people have freaked...

The Path to Sobriety in College

The Importance of Early Awareness, Support and Education One of my best friends, “Mike”, has a son who is in college. I’ve changed their names in order to protect their privacy, but for the sake of this blog, I’ll call his son, “James”. Actually, James used to be in college, but is not currently enrolled anywhere. James was a good student in a rural high school. He’d been psyched to have the “college experience” in the big city of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU is considered one of the top party schools in Virginia, and it has plenty of press to prove those bragging rights. James started out strong with 5 As and 1 B during his first semester. Then he wanted more social opportunities, so he pledged and got involved with a fraternity. He spearheaded their big charity event and eventually became President of his fraternity. They even won National Chapter of the Year. James was taking on a full load doing extra service projects, leadership seminars, volunteering, and leading his fraternity. He felt the pressure to do it all. He started mis-using Adderall, which took over his life. This led to him taking more and sleeping less and less. He was drinking on top of using the Adderall, and had two alcohol related offenses. James had fallen in with the party crowd. He drove while intoxicated and got busted. Luckily he did not hurt anyone else or himself. James’ dad was supportive through it all. They had many conversations about judgment, choices and risky behavior versus his future. After the second offense, James had to choose...

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