On May 7, 2013 I was on a plane flying back to Cancun where I lived at the time, from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Minutes before I had made a heartbreaking decision for myself. I decided that I would not be drinking again, until further notice. My mom had listened to me crying in the Punta Cana airport, full of distress and questioning my worth as a person. What the fuck was wrong with me? I was so sick of not being able to control my drinking. I was so sick of feeling like crap afterward. I was sick of feeling paranoid that everyone was mad at me for something I did or said while wasted. I was sick of ruining relationship after relationship. I wanted these feelings to leave me and I knew in order to do that I had to cut alcohol out of my life.
During those first weeks of my sobriety, I had no idea where to turn. No one I knew was talking about recovery or sobriety in the ways they are now. I lived in a foreign country and didn’t know where to turn. I did what a lot of people do, I reached out to a few people online who I knew were sober and asked them for advice. Then I turned to what everyone does now - I went to Google and I searched, “is it possible to have fun and live sober?” I searched the internet for answers to all of my questions. Can I be sober and not be an alcoholic? Am I an alcoholic? Can you still party and be sober? Are there young people who are sober? What I found and was told was mostly about AA and the 12 steps. I found Sober Nation, The Fix and AfterParty Magazine whose websites had articles from real people in recovery, talking about their lives, their triumphs, and their setbacks. There was information on these sites about rehab and treatment centers, but those concepts were scary to me. Was I bad enough to go to rehab? How would I explain that to people? How would I pay for it?
The resources were scarce and the messages I received pushed two main recovery pathways: treatment and AA. If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know my recovery has always been a mix of different things: a ton of literature, a stint in AA, fitness, helping others, yoga, meditation, therapy and writing. What I’ve learned since getting sober is that recovery isn’t one size fits all. Some people need many pathways and every person needs choices.
This is why the Bloom Club was born. Carly Benson and I met by chance, but it felt like a divine intervention - maybe it was both? We were two young women talking about our lives in sobriety online. We had no idea our relationship would morph into a close friendship and then into a business partnership, but we both have the same ideas and goals. We thought, what can we give our people that we wanted for ourselves in early sobriety, or even before we got sober?
We wished we had a private, supportive community that offered classes or lectures on topics we were curious about. We wanted a recovery pathway that offered an alternative to rigid 12 step models, something that came without stigma and offered an inclusive, inviting environment where we could explore and learn about ourselves and our sobriety. This what we had in mind when we created the Bloom Club for all of you.
The Bloom Club is for:
Anyone who is sober-curious.
Wondering what life without alcohol is like.
Former party people who are sick of the party life.
People who are determined to quit drinking, but haven’t found a path that works for them.
Anyone who is already sober looking to deepen their sobriety.
People who are open to self-development in areas including but not limited to: self-love, acceptance, forgiveness, emotional intelligence, spirituality, self-care, holistic living, mindfulness and accountability.
Anyone looking for a community of people who are also living alcohol-free or trying to.
I am proud of the Bloom Club, our growth, and the classes we teach, people we help, and community we are cultivating. We are constantly evolving, looking for new topics to address, or new ways we can help our members. I often receive messages from people looking for help or advice and I believe the Bloom Club can benefit all of you too. Recently we lowered our price to $47/month to make our community more affordable for all those who wish to try it.
In a world where asking for help with a substance use disorder is considered taboo, we hope that providing more options for those who are struggling or just desire a life beyond alcohol, will help people find peace.
To learn more about The Bloom Club or to sign up please visit TheBloomClub.com. If you have questions about The Bloom Club, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.