EP 45: Naked Life Story: Holly Glenn Whitaker

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Holly Glenn Whitaker is the founder of Hip Sobriety and co-host of HOME podcast. She shares her story of multiple addictions and her journey to recovery that uncovered a passion to help others find the same freedom she found. Holly and Annie touch on everything from eating disorders to how borderline personality disorders relate to drinking too much.


Today I’m joined by Holly Glenn Whitaker, founder of Hip Sobriety, please go to HipSobriety.com and read her writing. Her blog was one of the first things I ever read. And then out of the blue I was on my phone one night in bed, just feeling like uncertain about everything, I put this book into the world, I didn’t know what I was doing and you messaged me and you said, ‘Hey, I love your book’ and I probably could have fallen out of my bed. Like you? You love my book? Oh my god. Like life is complete. It was amazing, but thank you for being here.

My Story

I saw Gaby Bernstein talk for the first time in January 2013 when I was trying to quit drinking. It was such a full circle moment from where I was to where I am now. My story is I started drinking when I was 15. I never had a terribly off the rails relationship with it. Obviously, I drank, I binge drank. Probably, I was in the 30 percent of people that are excessive binge drinkers. I thought it was a necessary part of life. We are supposed to be able to tolerate this thing. In 2010, I broke up with the person I thought I was going to marry and that was a shock to the system.


I threw myself into my work. At the time, I got in a relationship with someone that was above me at work. I lost this anchoring thing, this anchoring hope. I was 30 and I lost this anchoring hope that I was going to have a family. So, I just threw myself into the one thing I was really good at, which was my profession, my career. When I started dating somebody that was involved in that whole work thing, I lost myself. I had, I had lost myself from a really young age.

Out of Sorts

I had never felt comfortable in my skin. Since I was very young, I’d had an eating disorder. This period of time I had unhealthy coping mechanisms. I didn’t know what the point was of life. I didn’t understand why I was here. It felt like I was going through the motions and my drinking got so out of control because I was working nonstop. All I did was work, come home, drink in the evenings and smoke pot and spliffs in the evenings. I’d do that until I couldn’t turn myself off.

Out of Control

I didn’t know how to stop the chaos. I would do that until I incapacitated myself. Then I would go to sleep, wake up and start over. It was this very sick stuck ground hog day. I didn’t know how to stop it and get out of it.
My Drinking was everything. It was an eating disorder, my drinking, my Pot, I was severely addicted to pot. I was six figures in debt. It was just like a sh*t show and I didn’t know how to stop it and how to get out of it. In 2012 I had this moment where I hit my knees and was just like, please make this stop. I was in such pain. A lot of that is also because I, I didn’t know how to keep my life and get out of it.


After reading Allen Carr’s book, I invested my life into recovering from alcohol addiction and pot addiction and food addiction. That first key point was just this realization that we don’t need this. We don’t actually have to do this thing.

Hip Sobriety

At that point I ended up doing a ton of reading and pouring myself into healing. Hip Sobriety was born from that. It came from realizing that I needed to learn how to process pain and process emotions. That was huge and hard for me. Learning to stop using alcohol and drugs to numb myself was the biggest challenge.

Keep Listening

Listen to the complete podcast to hear more from Holly Whitaker, the woman behind Hip Sobriety, and how mental illness, alcohol and drinking too much are all interrelated.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License