gAy A: The Queer Sober Hero Show

Acceptance is the Answer ft. Crescent

February 23, 2023 Steve Bennet-Martin Season 1 Episode 126
Acceptance is the Answer ft. Crescent
gAy A: The Queer Sober Hero Show
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gAy A: The Queer Sober Hero Show
Acceptance is the Answer ft. Crescent
Feb 23, 2023 Season 1 Episode 126
Steve Bennet-Martin

Send us a Text Message.

Steve welcomes Crescent 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

Find Crescent on Instagram @crescent_diamond_coach and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast

Also check out her website- https://crescent-diamond.com/

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 

Until next time, stay sober friends!

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Steve welcomes Crescent 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

Find Crescent on Instagram @crescent_diamond_coach and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast

Also check out her website- https://crescent-diamond.com/

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 

Until next time, stay sober friends!

Support the Show.

Steve:

Hi everyone and welcome to Gay a, a podcast about sobriety for the LGBTQ plus community and our allies. I'm your host, Steve Bennet-martin. I am an alcoholic and I'm grateful for my dog, Remy. And yes, I've used him in an intro before, but I've been doing this over a hundred times and it bears repeating. So as of this recording, I am 599 days sober, and today we're welcoming a guest to share their experience, wisdom, and hope with you. Welcome CREs.

Crescent:

Hi, great to be here.

Steve:

Excellent to have you. Why don't you introduce yourself to the listeners.

Crescent:

Sure. My name is Crescent Diamond and I use she, her pronouns. I am queer, bisexual, lesbian. Kind of use all of those identifiers and I've been sober from alcohol for 12 years and three months. I've been sober from weed for. Over 13 years. So yeah, happy to be on here. I am a filmmaker and I'm also a life and recovery coach and career coach. And so I'm kind of like, have two careers now, which is really fun. I'm in the Bay Area, California.

Steve:

Oh, very nice. And what are some of your favorite hobbies or things to do that you've maybe found or rediscovered in sobriety?

Crescent:

Yeah, I mean, I don't have a, I'm a person that maybe doesn't have a lot of hobbies, but I, I've always loved dancing, like dancing at clubs, dancing at parties. And thankfully I was able to find a way to continue doing that even though I might be one of the only sober people at the club. My partner was just remarking about how, you know, that can be hard to. Be the first person on the dance floor and not really care what people think. So I love dancing. I love yoga, tarot biking, hiking. Really love watching tv. Mm-hmm. hard to admit, but true Yes. And film. But you know, it's kind of the golden age of television right now, so I'm pretty into it. And I also really like to paint even though I'm. So great at it. I, I do enjoy it. Oh, and probably my, the time, the thing that I spend the most time with is my dog cappuccino, who is an elderly chihuahua and he is very sweet and also kind of a daredevil. So Yeah, he takes up a lot of my time and love

Steve:

I can understand that with, with my dog as well. We're getting ready to, to go on a little couple's retreat for the weekend and we're bringing him with us and it's like we have to make sure everywhere we go the dog can go or that the dog will be happy cuz we don't want the dog met on our vacation

Crescent:

Yeah, it's very much like having a child. Not as hard, but, but close. Yeah. Yeah.

Steve:

Excellent. And why don't we dive into a little bit about what your journey. alcohol and marijuana and addiction was like,

Crescent:

sure. Let's see. Yeah, I mean, I, I kind of, my primary addiction is definitely weed. But I soon found out that there are other things that I was addicted to. I started smoking weed when I was like 13 probably, and also drinking around that time. And I just always had a really low tolerance for alcohol. So I would get drunk, like, you know, easily with like two drinks. And. I, I wanted to quit smoking weed. I didn't really like, have a drink, quote, unquote drinking problem. But I really wanted to stop smoking weed probably in my twenties and thirties. I was you know, smoking every day. It was a problem because I would you know, smoke before work or I was also struggling with depression for quite a while, and I was in therapy and my therapist was like, you know, you're not going to get any recovery in your depression if you don't stop smoking weed. Hmm. And I really just couldn't do it on my own. I, all my friends smoke weed. They sold it. It was just like a part of our lives, like intrinsic part of my life. And So she, oh, and also around that time I was in graduate school, which was great. And I was just finished my first year and I got this amazing fellowship to pay for my remaining years of graduate school. I went to graduate school for film and it's very expensive, you know, and all the equipment and all this, and it was, Gonna pay for everything plus my, you know, living expenses. And I knew that if I got, you know, arrested, it was illegal at the time. If I got arrested or if I got caught driving and smoking weed, which I did all the time, then I would lose this. Like, the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me really was getting this fellowship. So that was a big motivator. and I also had just had gone through a breakup and I was realizing I'm not gonna be able to process this breakup in a way that will really be healing if I'm just, you know, smoking weed all the time. And so my therapist actually told me about a 12 step group for marijuana addiction. And I went and pretty quickly I was able to stop. And I worked the steps and I had a sponsor. And you know, I think the biggest gift for me besides. You know, getting sober was that I gained a spiritual life. I gained a spirituality that was all my own. And about a year into recovery in that program, I realized that I was like, Acting out in dating and relationships and sex and that that was also tied to using alcohol because I couldn't use weed anymore. And so I would like, you know, come home from school or work and be like, wanna take the edge off. And so then I would think, oh, I can have a drink. And I never did that before. When I was smoking weed, I never drank on my own or anything like that. And I knew that my father had been an addict and an alcoholic. I wasn't raised by him, but I did have that information and so I was like, oh, I probably am an alcoholic as well. And then I also noticed in when I was dating at the time, you know, they tell you not to date in your first year of recovery. I did not listen to that. Mm-hmm. should have. And it was when online dating kind of first started, and so I was like, oh, like let me try this. Right? And so then I would meet people. I was dating men and women at the time, and I would meet people and then I would like jump into a relationship, like within like, you know, a week or two weeks or whatever. and jump in into bed. And then I would realize, oh, I don't really like know these people. I don't really like these people. Like, what am I doing? Like I would, you know, sometimes even disassociate, like be like, you know, having sex and then be like, where am I? What's going on? And so I realized that part of that pattern was that I would drink in order to be okay with dating people that I didn't really know or sleeping with people that I didn't really know. So it's like dangerous on like many fronts, right? Like especially being a woman, it's dangerous to be like you know, sleeping with people that you don't know. I mean, no judgment against it at all, but like for me, it didn't feel safe, really. And then, you know, knowing that like the only way I was able to kind of do this was through drinking. I was like, okay, you know, and oh, and I saw this pattern the most when I was working my step four in my first program. I was like, oh, I have a problem with relationships and dating. and like if I don't like alcohol that much, like maybe I should just quit because it's clearly a problem in my life and, and I could be addicted to anything. That's the kind of person I am and I don't want to become, like, I don't wanna have a bottom with alcohol. So I was able to stop drinking about a year after I quit smoking weed. and I got into a program for sex and Love addiction, and that was like a graduate level Mm-hmm. 12 step program. And really what I learned the most in that program was about learning to love myself. I learned a lot about co-dependency and I learned a lot about boundaries and. Figuring out what my boundaries were, what they need to be what kind of relationships do I want. And I was single for the first time in my life for like three years. Almost three years. Yeah. Which was hard in the beginning. Because I really was kind of addicted to being in relationships, but it really got so much easier and better and I really enjoyed it. After a while, and I know that I couldn't have done that work if I had been like smoking weed or drinking, like I could not have been present and had those boundaries and known like, oh, this is how I'm feeling. This is what I want. This feels good. This doesn't feel good. Like, I don't like this person. You know? And I, I think for me, like in the beginning of recovery, that was one of the biggest like issues, was that I knew that I wasn't being present with myself and with other people. That I was like partly checked out a lot of the time, and so that I couldn't. really express myself, express my needs. I was staying in relationships that were super unhealthy. That didn't feel good, and the way that I was able to stay in them was by like being high, you know, or being drunk. Mm-hmm. So I think, you know, as far as, so then what happened, you know, I did that program. I also later. You know, it's been 13 years. I, I later got into programs around money and debt and food and you know, I've just got a lot of recovery from 12 step programs. I also did a lot of therapy coaching and you know, continue to try to. do work in recovery. But I, I have to say it is a little harder after a while and I really applaud people who just like continue to go to meetings every week and do service. I think doing service was so helpful for me, especially in the beginning, like I was a secretary of meetings for years and years. I really encourage people to do that because it does like, keep you coming back. You know, I was a sponsor many times. And being a sponsor is so helpful because you can like, because it forces you to show up for somebody. And in a way it kind of reminds you, well, it reminds you of what it was like, but also teaches you about why you wanna stay sober and kind of holds you accountable because, oh, if you, you know, drink or go out, then you can't sponsor this person. So you're letting them down, right? And somebody who you have this intimate relationship with also. I think it really teaches us how to have relationships. It's a really good example of like a relationship and boundaries and you know, hopefully your sponsor is a really good example for you. Yeah, so you know what it's like now is there's just so much freedom in terms of, I'm not struggling with this. on a daily basis. I think, you know, the one thing I do struggle with is sugar, but even that, like when I quit sugar, which I am addicted to for like a week, I stop struggling with it. So, you know, so much of it is like getting through the kind of withdrawal period of when it's a substance. And then the rest of it is about like, how do I rebuild my life or rethink my life? In a way that it makes me wanna stay sober because I wanna be able to show up for these things because I wanna have these kinds of relationships because I wanna do this work. I want the life that I have, right? And I wanna keep it. And I know that if I go out, it's gonna get messed up. I'm gonna lose it, you know, one way or another. Things are gonna get bad. And so that's keeps me motivated to. Because I can see what my life was before and what it's like now. And also like continuing to go to meetings and hearing people's stories. It reminds me, oh yeah, I was like that. Oh yeah. I don't wanna go through that again, because I know as soon as I pick up, like it's gonna be like starting from scratch. but also as they say, it's a progressive disease. And I believe it, it's like life gets harder as you get older. It gets more complicated. Yeah. You have more things to deal with. And so of course, like you're, it's gonna be harder to quit again. So yeah, that's kind of where I'm at

Steve:

now. Yeah. And with all the, the knowledge and benefits of working so many different programs, what would you say are some of your favorite parts of being?

Crescent:

I think my favorite part of being sober is the quality of my relationships. I really feel like I can be there for other people that I can enjoy my time with them, but also I can. be really clear about what am I feeling and thinking. And I can express that and I can have boundaries, and I can be, I can have choices about who I spend my time with and who I give my energy to. And I'm not just kind of like going with whatever's happening. And I really feel like my relat. are the most important thing to me. Maybe my health might be second. And, and in that sense, my health is better at 45 than I was at 25. Mm-hmm. because I'm able to take care of myself and because I take care of myself so much better than I did. Right? So it's a freeze up all this energy and focus and money and time to do the things that you love, to take care of yourself to be there for other people. Yeah, so I would say that's my, my favorite part,

Steve:

Excellent. And looking back, how do you feel your queerness played a role in your addiction or vice versa?

Crescent:

I don't know that my queerness played a part in my addiction. Yeah. I, I don't think, I don't think it did. Mm-hmm. And I'm not sure that it did in recovery, except that I really I would say that how my queerness has helped me in my recovery is that I've been able to find meetings that are that have like a queer focus or that have queer people in them. And I just relate so much more to people who have a similar experience, who have a similar point of view and politics and like you know, I think people who understand queer identities and sexualities. Like kind of concede some of the flaws in let's say 12 step programs or literature, and yet they're still like part of it and still showing up and making it their own. And you know, just the leadership and the love of. you know, people within the queer community at meetings is really wonderful and I'm seeing that grow, especially with Zoom meetings. In the last three years, I've just, I feel like the queer meetings may be stronger. I'm not sure. And it's just great that you can go to meetings anywhere in the world. so people who are in more isolated places can find like queer elders or people in recovery that they can get support from. And, you know, I see as role models. And I really hope, like one of my dreams and hopes is that we can have more spaces in our communities that are queer, that are not bars and not centered around alcohol. So that's something that I would like to be part of and that I hope to see more of. I used to produce events with my friends that were like, you know, pretty queer you know, music events and dance parties and things like that. But I would like to see more just different kinds of community centers or places for queers to work together that are not centered around. Alcohol and

Steve:

drugs. I would love that too. And what are some practices that you use in your daily life to help keep you sober?

Crescent:

Yeah. I think definitely journaling helps me stay connected with myself. Yoga, meditation, and really like being in my body because I think before I got sober, I was really detached from my body. I was really kind of like a walking head. Mm-hmm. And now it's like, what can I do to connect with my body? I've learned some different kinds of energy techniques that help me connect with my body. And then I think really Just staying connected with my friends and people in recovery. You know, I'm in a relationship right now and I notice it's a pretty new relationship. I notice that I. Attend when I get into a partnership that I maybe don't reach out to my friends as much and I don't hang out with them as much, and I don't have those like deep conversations. And so this time around, I'm just really trying to make sure that I stay in touch with them on that deep level because that's, those are the people I feel like I can really spill everything to you and kind of admit if, you know, I'm feeling like a little wobbly or Yeah, so those, I would say those three things.

Steve:

Yeah, for sure. And generally, no matter how we get sober, we generally have like a favorite quote or two that we like to try and live by or something that really sticks from us from one of our pieces of literature. Do you have any favorites that you

Crescent:

use? Yeah. I mean, for me, always, at least from 12 Step is the the part in the big book. I think it's in a story where he says, acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today. Mm-hmm. and I really, that's sort of the basis of my spirituality is this ra radical acceptance of life on life's terms of reality. And so I really try to, you know, figure out what is reality and then work on accepting it. And the work of Byron Katie, she does she has many books and talks and, and one of them is loving what is, and that work really helped me find this kind of radical acceptance and a way to get there when I don't feel like I can accept things as they are. Yeah.

Steve:

Excellent. Well, thank you for sharing that. And any last words of wisdom or advice?

Crescent:

Yeah, I mean, there's so many different things I could say, but I guess I think it's really important to Know that being uncomfortable is how it's supposed to feel when you get sober. It's really so much about doing things that feel uncomfortable that go against what your brain is telling you to do, and to sort of just get used to that like feeling. Because for me, that feeling of uncomfortable being uncomfortable and doing kind of what doesn't quite feel. Right is how I've actually been successful in many areas of my life, not just recovery. So yeah, I think that's, and also continue to, you know, go to meetings. If you don't find a meeting that you like, just keep. Going to different meetings and finding one where you really connect with people.

Steve:

Yeah. Excellent. Words of advice. And how would our listeners find or reach out to you if they wanted to give you some feedback or Thank you for this episode?

Crescent:

Yeah, they can go to my website queer recovery coach.com. they can message me on Instagram at Crescent underscore diamond underscore coach or on Facebook at Crescent Diamond. And I'm also on TikTok at Crescent Diamond. So lots of ways, but if you wanna you know, send me an email, you can, from my.

Steve:

Perfect. I'll be sure to add those all to the show notes. Awesome. Thank you. Thank, thank you very much, Kristin. It was a pleasure getting to know you better. And thank you listeners for tuning into another episode of Gay, a podcast. You can head on over to our Paton page to continue on with the post show. We're about to record at patreon.com/gaya podcast. Meanwhile, if you're interested in sharing your story, I'm an email away@gaypodcastgmail.com or on Instagram at GA podcast. And follow us wherever your listening so you can get these new episodes when they come out every. Until next time, stay sober friends.

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