Congrats to guitarist Nita Strauss, who marked five years of sobriety on Saturday (Sept. 5) with a post detailing her journey. Strauss has seen her career take off over the last decade, serving as Alice Cooper‘s guitarist and releasing her own solo work.
“If you would have asked anyone who knew me before if someday I’d be celebrating 5 years of sobriety, they would have laughed (and maybe spilled a drink on you in the process),” stated Strauss in her posting. “I thought I needed a drink for just about everything. To be confident onstage. To be social after shows. To celebrate. To mourn. To take the edge off frustration or the sting out of a bad day. To relax and laugh at lunch with girlfriends, or watch football with the guys on Sundays.”
She adds, “I was terrified that my life was going to change, that without alcohol I wouldn’t be ME anymore, that I would lose my circle of friends, and my onstage charisma, and become someone else. ALL those things happened… but not in the way I thought they would.”
Strauss explains, “Change came first in my relationship, in the form of less fighting and drama, and more productivity, peace and love. Thank you @thejoshv for being the catalyst to the best thing I ever did for myself. I love you. The ME that I was before would have stayed up until 6 am at the bar or in the bus front lounge. The ME that I became would rather get up at 6 and get to the gym before starting the day.”
“My busy circle of friends was almost immediately reduced to a core 3. I’ve learned that when it comes to friendships, quality is ALWAYS better than quantity. If your friends have no interest in spending time with you after you make a change for the better, they weren’t your real friends,” says Strauss.
The guitarist recalls her first show sober coming in front of 15,000 people. ”I felt like a scarecrow someone had propped up on stage to scare birds. Nothing felt natural. I was going through the motions, with this absurd idea running through my head ‘everyone is looking at me. Everyone knows.’ I went out by the bus to talk to fans afterward, and do you know what they said? ‘Wow you were so great! Where do you get all that energy? You add so much to Alice’s band! ALL of that insecurity, ALL the fears, ALL the doubt was in my head. Those are your demons that make you think you need them.”
She concludes, stating, “I’m content to sit at the bar, order a soda water with lime and watch the game now. I wouldn’t trade back to my old life for anything.”
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