gAy A: A Queer Sober Podcast

Let Go and Let God ft. Sarah

August 27, 2022 Steve Bennet-Martin Season 1 Episode 99
gAy A: A Queer Sober Podcast
Let Go and Let God ft. Sarah
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Steve welcomes Sarah to share their experience, strength, and hope with you, along with advice on getting and staying sober.

Thank you for listening. Please join our Patreon family for the post-show, along with more exclusive content at www.Patreon.com/gAyApodcast

Follow Sarah on Instagram @SarahMFerro to donate to her marathon run for High Watch Recovery Center, and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast

If you are interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show, or just saying hi, please e-mail me at gayapodcast@gmail.com



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Steve:

Hi everyone. And welcome to gAy A. A podcast about sobriety for the L G B T plus community and our allies. I'm your host, Steve Bennet-Martin. I am an alcoholic and I'm grateful for the choice of being able to play and fully follow video games. Now that I'm sober. As of this recording, I am 444 days sober, and today we're welcoming a guest to share their experience, wisdom and hope with you. Welcome to the show, Sarah. Hi,

Sarah:

great to be here. Yes.

Steve:

Why don't you introduce yourself to our listeners? Tell us a little bit more about you.

Sarah:

Oh sure. I am Sarah. And I am a little over a year. Sober celebrated that on May 11th of this year. And yeah, I'm a mom of three children. And I live in Connecticut just about an hour or so from New York city. And you know, I'm just happy to be a sober mom and you know, it's, it's been, you know, ups and downs, but I will say that getting past that year, Has truly been the the light at the end of the tunnel. I think that I was looking for and I'm really in a really happy place. I did have the great fortune of attending a wonderful, wonderful rehab. And I'll just give a big plug to them. Actually this is, if you don't mind, I'd love to plug them because. I'm they're called high watch recovery center. Some listeners might know them they're up in Connecticut and the reason I wanna plug them, and this is kind of timely is that I'm going to be running the Berlin marathon actually in in a month that I'm raising money for them. So maybe at the end of it will send people to my Instagram. But I'm raising money and I'm, I'm close to my goal of $3,000. So raising money for them running in Berlin on September 25th. So. Which is such a great program that I was so fortunate to go to. And so you know, not everybody goes that route, but I did. And and truly saved, you know, my life to a certain extent and just made me such a better person and better mom and. Human. And and I'm here to hear, talk about it today.

Steve:

Excellent. And I'll be sure to put all this type of all that information in the show notes as well for people, but what are some of your favorite hobbies or things to do in sobriety?

Sarah:

Oh boy. Well, you know, exercise is definitely a great, great thing. You know, I. Anxiety definitely was something that I struggled with, but I learned that I was probably overly anxious because of my drinking. That was one of the, one of the things that that the drinking caused, I think a lot of, of my anxiety. So that, that was a big part of it. But now you know, exercises is, is amazing part of my recovery, but in addition to that you. I, I do have a little bit of a problem shopping for books because I tend to find so many amazing books. I love to read and I tend to not finish the books and then order another book. But that is part of my ritual. I have this kind of morning ritual and I, and I write in my journal and, and there's a lot of readings. You know, in, in the program you get recommended a lot of books. Mm-hmm And so I tend that, so that that's something that But I think I need to sort of curb a little bit so I can finish one book before I go onto the next. But but that's definitely a peaceful ritual at least that I try to do. But I do absolutely stay very busy with my children. And and so, you know, we have a beach very close to us. And so we do, we do lots of outdoor things which, which is a huge blessing and taking advantage of this great weather right now. But, but yeah, I mean, that's, that's definitely it and I will really just stress. I mean, You know, in sobriety, it's really about assessing the company that you keep and, you know, and that's one of the hardest things to make, you know, decisions over your former life of as a drinker versus now. And you know, some of your behaviors are, are going to, I don't know, turn people away. And and that's just gonna naturally. You know, help you, if you're gonna be around people that are gonna continue to drink and they might not even just be comfortable being around you, but I just, you know, found new a lot of new people just by, by going to meetings. And so that changed even just my social life and the things that I did and things that I wouldn't have thought would be enjoyable. You know, one of my main issues was being afraid of people not wanting to spend time with me and I wouldn't be as fun. And. You just, you know, you, you just learn by doing and that sort of thing. So a big thing also for me was I got divorced. And so that was sort of, I had no choice, but to make new friends and sort of start all over. So it was a double whammy, so new sober friends, but also just, you know, new, new friends in general. And so. That I think was sort of just trial by fire and and it was probably the best time to do it, so, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So a whole new world, whole new world.

Steve:

Yes. Well, with your whole new world now, why don't we go back in time a little bit and tell us like what it was like and what happened.

Sarah:

Okay. I mean, I think, you know, just by giving you the date with one year at May 11th, you can kind of do the math and see where we all were a year before, which was, you know, pretty much COVID time. And so I think a lot of people. It's funny, cuz we I've met a lot of people with like the same date or the same timeframe celebrating their year, May 28th. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. cause, cause we, a lot of us hit rock bottom around that same time. And you know, I mean, not to say that that's just when it started. Of course. But. You know, the, the drinking for me, obviously, you know, I'm 44. Yes, 44. You know, my drinking began well before my twenties and I just, you know, it's always been a coping mechanism. Absolutely always been a coping mechanism. And during COVID I actually even called my doctor and I had said, I'm not gonna survive this without me. Like as soon as it happened, even I made jokes about it. Like I think on Instagram, even about the I've never been medicated, but now is gonna be the time. And the doctor had asked me even do you drink? And I said, what do you mean? Do I drink? I'm of course I drink. So she had prescribed me Prozac, because that was a medication you could have with alcohol, or it would be semi. Okay. So she gave me a dose of Prozac and then I continued to drink wine or whatever at home. And. But sorry, outside, but the but, so I knew, so I, I was admitting right there that I was self, I was gonna be self-medicating with alcohol. No doubt, but I just continued you know, to cope and I, I made excuses for myself, but similar to what we say in the program sort of is that we drink when we're bored. We drink when we're happy we drink when we're. You know, cleaning the house, whatever we find any reason to drink, you know, when you're an alcoholic. So my reason is it's COVID and we're all, we're all upset. We're all depressed. We all have nowhere to go. The bars are closed, so we might as well make a party at home. So of, of course I found a reason to drink. And then on top of that, I was separating from my wife of 13 years. So that's even more of a reason to drink. And eventually when I, you know, And moved out and, you know, that was all happening. You know, and, and, and you start to get in touch with emotions and, you know, everything like that. You're dealing with with more, you know, mental health issues of, of, of, of, you know, you're dealing with. So you're pouring gasoline, you know, on top of, of other issues. So basically the conclusion is drinking. Helping it's, you know, your, your situation. So, you know, you, you're just, just piling on that's all you're doing, you're just piling on. So I think what was happening in our world is that everybody needed help. It was, I wasn't special. That's really what was happening in our, in our world at that time. So I was reaching out, I was calling therapists. I, I was trying to get help. I think everyone was maxed out. I was calling therapists. I was calling psychiatrists. I was, but I didn't stop drinking. I was just thinking, I was just trying to go the medication route. And then a certain night I, I drank and I drank way too much and I just, I just went over the edge. I, I had gotten a text message that really triggered me. And I lost, I just, I just lost it. And I ended up, you know, It was a real cry for help kind of night. And it was one of those moments where I just, I just said, I, I need help and I need to enter a program. And there's no, there's no other way. There's just no other way. I'm sick of just waiting for a doctor to call me back. I'm sick of just going about this. I mean, this is dire, this is just dire. So, so it. It was a, just, I asked for help. I got the help. I entered a program. I, I left my kids. Like I left my kids. This was like, you know, this was serious. And and it was hard to explain it to them. It was really hard to explain it to 'em and you know, we called it mom camp and, and we said like, oh, you know, she's going away to be a better mom. And we, you know, we tried to come up with all these different scenarios and and the interesting thing is that. They'd never been away from me. And they had actually, there were, there's a lot of, you know, kids in this area that, that go away to like sleepaway camps and that kind of thing. Or they were young that they hadn't even done that themselves, so they couldn't process it. But what was interesting was the advice that they had given me was you do this now, so you don't have to. because there were, there were women there watching their children graduate high school on YouTube. Mm-hmm there were people there that were missing weddings, like big things, you know, my children were in. Were they still in fourth grade or, yeah, it was maybe fourth grade. So it wasn't anything. It was still their last few days of school, but but you know, to them, they were, you know, why aren't you here and all this, but It was, it was like, you do this now, so you don't miss big things or you don't end up in their lives at all. You know? And so it was just, it was, it, it was it just, and it's 30 days, you know, it was basically 30 days and, and it just, it goes by, and, and you, and you come home and, and you are, you're better bomb. That's, that's the idea. Anyway. And, and I did that and. I'll tell you when I came home and they there's a saying, they call it white nuzzling and being home as a single parent was probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. You know, to just be walking back in. It was very it's so funny that the movie Shahan redemption, it's very much like that where you're just like, I wanna go back. I wanna go back. Cause you felt very safe and everything. And so to come back home and be a parent of three kids, I mean, and being like, even at a pool without a drink, like what, like where's my drink. And being with my kids, like, I don't know how to do that. And so like drinking diet Cokes, like I couldn't get enough diet Cokes. You know, and I know a lot of people that drink smoke and stuff, and like, I don't smoke. It's like, what do I have? Like, what can I do? And so that's why I think I just am loving this summer so much

Steve:

I mean, it must have been really hard coming back, how would you say things have changed over the past year?

Sarah:

Yes. So over the past year, it was about finding a sponsor because one of the hardest things was asking or imagining that somebody would actually wanna. Me on mm-hmm that whole concept was foreign to me be because like, I, I, I, I kind of understood that when someone's your sponsor that serves them as well, that it, it it's for them too, but it just. Blew my mind, because that seems like such a responsibility and so much time that I was so afraid to ask and like, would you be my sponsor? And so anytime someone would raise their hand at a meeting that they were willing to sponsor, I'm like, eh, I don't really know you, how would I do that? So it took me a really long time. So that's really what I think. Took took me a while to really embrace the program. And I'm, I'm still like, I'm only on the four step and that's really where people get stuck anyway. And I'm, I'm still struggling a little with it, but but I did eventually go to a friend who sort of was like my sponsor broker and he's like, okay, we're gonna get you one. I know some people and like, and He did. He found me this awesome. She's younger than me, but totally like my speed and really gets me and but really pushes me. And that I think that really made the whole program click for me because it's true. You find somebody who you want, what they have, but our lives are very we've lived very similar lives and can, you know, continue to sort of speak the same language and but it just, it just took me some time. That's all. And, and I still continue. And then through her, I've made friends in my neighborhood and and that's really helped. It's just helped tremendously from a social standpoint. You know, cuz for me, yeah, granted with COVID I did drink at home like everybody else, but alcohol for me was a big social piece. And, you know, and, you know, talking from the sexuality side, like it's what got me into the world of the LGBT community in New York city. It's like, it was out there was, that was the point. You know, that's why I drank I to meet people, you know, and to be the life of the party and to be out and about. So a, a, and fellowship and connecting and all that. It it's, it would be very depressing. I was part of this program and didn't meet people, you know, and stayed home. You know, I would want to, it would be, it's only natural for me to take this program and wanna turn it into a social experience. You

Steve:

know? Oh yeah, I agree. I value the relationships I built in sobriety so much. And some of the people I've known, you know, obviously like less than a year, or like around a little over a year now for some of them. And it's just amazing how much closer we are than some people I've known like years and years or decades.

Sarah:

Oh my, yeah. I mean, we speak the same language in, in so many ways. And, and, and that's why I was saying like this intersection between being gay and being sober. Those are two worlds that we both ex that we both live in, that we, we just pick up, everyone just kind of picks up at the same place. So easily.

Steve:

Yeah. I mean, how, how would you say your relationship with being in the L G community has changed since getting sober?

Sarah:

Yeah, I mean, I. Still like, for instance, I haven't done a pride, like a New York. Well, I haven't done New York pride and I'm actually fine. Like the FOMO, like the, like the pride FOMO is gone, which is probably good because all these years it's been this terrible sense of FOMO of, I have to be at every party I have to be seen, or I have to see them or something. And it's such a relief that that's gone. Mm-hmm because It's like a, a burden, it's a burden to have to feel like I have to be a part of everything all the time. And be involved. I, so that that's gone, but I will say that the community is very important to me still though. So for like because I am so close to New York, I would always still do it. But what I also have is a local community that does a lot and there. So much to get involved in here on a level that's more about the youth and more about giving back. So it doesn't feel like it's about the party and the alcohol it's about community and awareness and I'm also a performer. So I sing. And so I've been able to, to do give back in that way. So this pride was phenomenal for me because the other part about alcohol that I don't really. I should be celebrating more. Is that alcohol actually hinders my, my voice. So all those years that I was in my twenties and I had actually moved to New York city with with my vocal, you know, with, with the theater and doing, doing shows. And I was, I was like, wrecking my voice. So now it's like, I'm older and I'm not fo as focused on that as much, you. But I do sing. And so now I don't have to worry about losing my voice because I was out the night before. So then this pride as a perfect example, I sang at every pride event that we had. So I sang locally. One, two, yeah. I sang at four different, you know, pride events and didn't, didn't have to worry about being drunk. and embarrassing myself. And I didn't have to worry about being hungover. And I didn't have to worry about losing my voice because I was at a club and screaming. And so that's, that's huge, you know? And I definitely squandered countless opportunities over the years because of, of my drinking and stuff. So. So that's wonderful from the community standpoint. But, and then, you know, and then the AA community is wonderful too here because there's designated meetings. You know, that we have here just for the LGBT community, that our, that our community centers hold that's, that's just very special that, you know, you can only talk about certain things there that you wouldn't, you know, normally talk about in a regular. You know, AA meeting.

Steve:

Yeah. I definitely appreciate it. It's been amazing to find that subsection, when so much of our drinking beforehand was like going out to gay bars or lesbian bars, or like doing things centering around alcohol, that there is this beautiful recovery community that I, it. Seems to be growing, like even over the past year, the amount of like, yeah. Sober meetings and sober accounts and sober, like celebrities are talking out about their recovery. More like drag community is. So it's been really inspiring over the last year. Like seeing and hearing more about the community that we get to have here.

Sarah:

Oh, it's, it's amazing. And and I think like even when I was younger, going out and I heard about sober. You know, people in the community, obviously I didn't wanna hear about it cause I was too busy drinking, but but I it's, it's actually funny. I got a message from somebody last night who was sober when I was in my twenties and I always remembered them being sober. And I just like, huh, that's kind of cool. And they reached out to me last night, even just to say, it's like, amazing. Keep going. It's great. And I was. oh my gosh, who would've known that I would be sober one day. And and here you are reaching out to me, patting me on the back. You know, like 20 years later and now I'm, I'm sober as well, but, you know, we had to go through what we had to go through for, for whatever, for whatever reasons I obviously, but and, and it's, it's an interesting place to be in that. You know, I, I think also, you know, the company that I kept, I do look back and wonder, because I've said to myself, how did I end up in rehab? Like, I look around at the people that I doesn't mean they shouldn't be, but like, I do wonder sometimes like the friends that I had and the friends that are kind of still around and all it. Wait, like they all Dr. You know, like, I guess, you know, I, I made the decision to do it for myself and everyone has to come to that decision, I suppose, themselves. But it's like, how did I, why was I the only one out of everybody?

Steve:

Yeah. Right. I hear you,

Sarah:

you know, but but anyway, I, I think also too, you know, I came to the conclusion as well, because, you know, I, I also the be being a parent and, you know, I. Maybe it would've been different. I think, I think for me it was just like the three things happened. I think it was, it was like COVID, you know, the, the end of, and my relationship. And also just, I have three I'm responsible for three young lives and it's just those three things together. And it's just like something had to, to give, you know, something had to happen. And I had to make sure I was going to be okay. And you know, and, and I, I knew, like I said before, I couldn't, I couldn't just do it on my own. I could, I couldn't just go to Amazon and get a book for that one. So yeah.

Steve:

definitely takes a lot, so, yeah. Excellent. Now in recovery, we generally love our steps, traditions and our sayings. Do you have a favorite mantra or quote or lyric that you like to try and live by?

Sarah:

I, you know, I love so many of 'em. Obviously we, you know, one day at a time gets really tiring, but it's, it's definitely the best I think. But I really love let go and let God I try to stay as close to like, You know, step three and higher power be, I did grow, I actually did grow up quite religious a little tidbit. I grew up Mormon which is a whole nother podcast. So I'll save that. But but, but yeah, let go and let God, I, I truly believe in it because that's the other part is the letting go. But, but there, but there is, I Tru you know, there is, there is the, there is a greater. And I think in a lot of cases, like it's, it's so much is beyond us. And we're not, we're not like the puppet masters here at all, you know that there is another, there is something greater beyond all of us. If we just sort of let go to it, but, but I do, I love let go and let God or live and let live those two, just really kind of just, just help me just sort of sit and breathe and just breathe it.

Steve:

Yeah, definitely.

Sarah:

the end of the day. Yes. The end

of

Steve:

the day. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for talking. I can't wait to talk more in our post show, but for listeners that are gonna stop at the end of this episode is there an Instagram where they can find you and maybe help with your fundraiser? Do you wanna give a little plug?

Sarah:

Oh yes. Yes. Yes. I oh my gosh. I don't know. Let's see. I'm I say I'm just Sarah M Farrow, S a R a H M Farrow, F E R R O at on Instagram. Okay. So, and it's, it should be a public page and the link in my bio should show you where you can go and yeah, any donation, like five bucks, whatever. I just have to get to 3000, but and it'll all go to high watch to their They have a scholarship fund or just a fund for anyone who can't afford to go, who, who could really, really use it. So, and it helped me so it could help a lot of

Steve:

people. So, all right. Well, as soon as that'll be in the show notes, you can just scroll up and click on over. I'd also like to encourage you to join our patron family today, where you can head over for our post show. We're gonna jump more into your experiences in sobriety. Meanwhile, if you're interested in sharing your story you can email me at GAA podcast, gmail.com or find me on Instagram GAA podcast. And lastly, be sure to follow us wherever you're listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Thursday. And until next time stay sober friends

and.