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by Erin Bates August 08, 2020
For the second iteration of our “My Grüvi Story” series, we meet Steph Strine- a member of the Marine Corps & a yoga teacher based in San Diego, who now lives a sober lifestyle. Read on to learn more about her story:
I grew up in a very strict home; both of my parents were former Army officers and the majority of my family is in the service or has served. I was so busy as a young girl doing tons of extra curricular activities (competitive soccer, track & field, piano, swimming, Girl Scouts, you name it), that I really didn’t have time to drink.
That being said, the “cool” people in my high school were drinking- I wanted to fit in too and I thought that meant drinking. I remember lying to my parents a lot about where I was so that I could go and drink in the woods with my friends on the weekend.
That pattern continued on into college. I decided to play soccer at the United States Naval Academy, so the military structure that I had during my childhood was also mirrored throughout my four years at college. I didn’t turn 21 until my senior year and so I was constantly asking older friends to buy me alcohol or just hanging out with people who drank.
When I wasn’t playing soccer or doing school things, I was finding ways to party. I was never a one and done kind of gal; I frequently blacked out and drank way more than I intended to, which caused me and a lot of my immediate circle a lot of harm. No matter what happened, I never thought that my drinking was the problem- it was always something or someone that “made me” drink that way. For someone who is highly disciplined in the majority of things I do, I was extremely undisciplined with my drinking.
Yes, of course at times drinking was fun and I enjoyed it. But there came a time for me where it stopped being fun and became a necessity to do anything. It was a huge crutch for me when I went out, and I thought it really helped me open up. Turns out, it was actually doing the exact opposite.
My drinking got worse over the years and I became a daily drinker. A couple glasses of wine turned into a couple bottles, and during this whole time I was still performing at a very high activity level. I was teaching a minimum of four yoga classes a week, plus juggling a full-time job in the military , doing my own personal workouts and taking care of my new puppy, Decker. I had so many things going on, but the one constant was always alcohol.
In June of 2018, I had a personal crucible that led me to the rooms of AA. I haven’t looked back since. I put the drink down and my life today is nothing short of a miracle. Being sober and in recovery is the best thing that has ever happened to me!
In early sobriety, I avoided any mocktails or non alcoholic beers. I was too scared that it would bring me close to drinking alcohol again. After realizing the “why’s” behind my drinking, and continuing to do a lot of self-work in therapy, treatment and recovery, I came to a place where I knew I still wanted to be social and enjoy non alcoholic drinks as a part of my life in sobriety.
For some of my friends, that’s not the case, which is totally fine! I think whatever anyone chooses to do is their own personal business. I wanted to feel comfortable when I was out and about and being social, but I also wanted to maintain my sobriety and enjoy the life that I had worked hard to create.
Probably one of the best things that happened to me this last year was finding Grüvi! A friend of mine who lives in Encinitas shared on her story a mocktail she made with Grüvi’s Prosecco (my FAVE) and I obviously asked her all about it. I had tried other non alcoholic sparkling wines and almost all of them were way too sugary (I’d rather just drink sparkling water or kombucha).
I ordered a sample pack of Grüvi and was hooked from the moment I opened the package. I was never a big beer drinker in my pre-sobriety life, but I have tried all of Grüvi’s line and love all of the options. I have taught an IG live with Grüvi, and feel connected to their mission and purpose, and love the community that they created & that I have shared with so many friends!
Today, I can rely on Grüvi to make me feel confident in my sobriety and also comfortable in social situations, whether I know everyone or not. The packaging is so rad & everyone is curious what I am drinking when I bring it places! I love how light, crisp, and refreshing every drink is. I usually save my Grüvi for special occasions where I can celebrate myself & life!
To me, Grüvi means inclusivity. I love how this company breeds a vibe of love, community, and cohesion. At the end of the day, we all just want to feel included & Grüvi makes me feel that way.
I am currently two years sober now (just celebrated on 6/16!), and am also finishing up an eight year career in the Marine Corps where I served as a Manpower Officer for three different tours, all across the globe. I also am a certified yoga instructor & personal trainer; I taught at CorePower Yoga for four years as a Sculpt/HotPower Fusion/C2 instructor and currently am a trainer at Barry’s in San Diego. I have two mini labradoodles named Decker & Calvin who are my entire world! I love traveling, spending time with friends and family, being outside and active, and helping others to see how perfectly imperfect they are & how powerful that is!
As I look back on my journey and my life today, I never knew the amount of freedom that would come with putting down the drink. It’s been the hardest thing I have ever done (and I am a Marine!) but it’s been the most worthwhile. I wouldn’t trade a day in my addiction for the life that I have today as a woman in recovery.
Favorite thing about living an alcohol-free life?
Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I have wanted to go since I was little!
Grüviest song on your playlist?
“What’s Love Got to do with it” by Kygo ft Tina Turner
Any advice to someone curious about going alcohol-free?
I thought that my life was over and that life wouldn’t be fun if I wasn’t drinking. To me, drinking = fun and fun = drinking. My experience in sobriety has been the exact opposite. I have gone to concerts, music festivals like Coachella, been in multiple weddings, gone on dates, vacationed, walked through tough life events and have stayed sober through it all. I have the best life today because I live an alcohol free life!