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December 16, 2020
Free Solo: The Holidays

The first year I got sober, I spent the holidays alone here in Los Angeles. My dad worried about me. “Are you sure?” he asked nervously. “You’re just going to be…alone? Won’t you be depressed?” He comes from a huge family. Our Christmases growing up were no less than fifty people. He didn’t understand that it was easier for me to comprehend spending a holiday alone than it was to be around my huge Irish Catholic family while also trying not to drink. My sister called me and asked more bluntly, “Bridge, dad is worried you’re gonna kill yourself—are you sure you’re okay spending Christmas alone?”

“Yes! I’m fine,” I insisted. We laughed about my dad. My sister and I share our disdain for the holiday season (it’s what inspired the first Phetasy greeting card 'Holidays...are a pain in the ass.') and the idea of spending Christmas and New Years alone with no obligations to go anywhere or do anything sounded truly…magical.

This year the entire world faces either seriously minimized holiday celebrations or quite possibly, facing the holidays alone for the first time. The truth is, I was lying to my dad; faking it until I made it. The idea of spending the holidays alone was terrifying on some level. We’ve all been brainwashed by a million Budweiser commercials and Hallmark Channel movies to think that Holidays = jovial time surrounded by family. Alone = Scrooge.

Since my first mission into the great two-week abyss that is Christmas and New Years, I’ve spent many more by myself. I have a bit of experience in this department and my advice to everyone: stare into the void and embrace the solitude. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. More than ever 2020 has forced us to sit with ourselves, our significant others, and our kids with very few places to escape. It’s made some relationships and broken some. If you are here reading this, it has undoubtedly made you stronger and more resilient whether you realize it yet or not.

One of my fondest New Year’s Eve was the first year sober that I spent alone. I cooked myself a filet mignon, asparagus and potatoes. I made lists of goals for the new year and reflected on the previous one. When the clock struck midnight, I sat on my roof and listened to everyone around me celebrate and although I was completely isolated, I felt connected to the whole world. It was the best. More than anything, sitting on that roof with a little over 60 days sober, I felt the beginnings of something. Stillness. Peace. The ability to sit with myself and not want to crawl out of my skin or fill the time with travel, people, work, substances or social media.

Make no mistake, loneliness kills and I am not advocating that anyone isolate, especially if you’re depressed or struggling. In that case, by all means, reach out on social media and know you are loved. You matter. But I will say that learning how to go from loneliness to solitude has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself and it’s been in those moments of quiet, I’ve come to know my strength.

Whether you’re alone or with family, use this time to process the year. We’ve all be through a lot. Watch movies. Read books. Go for hikes. Zoom into AA meetings or family “gatherings.” Do online restorative yoga classes. Chop wood. Journal. Hibernate. Log the fuck out of social media and recover.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Bridget and the Phetasy Team

**Editor's Note: This appeared in this week's newsletter -- to get the weekly newsletter please subscribe

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Live Streamed on March 9, 2023 11:07 PM ET
Late Night Check In

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February 07, 2023
Factory Settings: MONEY!

This week on #FactorySettings @justjeren and I talk about the elephant in the room. MONEY! We talk about when we first became aware of it, how it affected our parents' divorces, how much we spent on our addiction, being dependent, financial insecurity and so much more!

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September 01, 2021
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Maggie is back! Also: The "No Complaining" challenge.

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Hello new followers, I hope I don’t disappoint you. I want this place to feel like home, where we can escape the Thunderdome and process the world. Where we can post dog pics and recipes and book recommendations. Where we support each other as we get sober, lose weight, embark on new business opportunities, creative endeavors, relationships and travels. I want this to be your oasis of sanity and laughter in an increasingly mad world. A creative outlet where you can share your spirit with us.

We might not have any control over the news cycle—but we can control our habits and attitude. It all starts with us. And hopefully a little piece of that will start here.

Only one of these is a joke.

FFS computers aren’t getting smarter. I’m putting together a document on third-party COOKIES.

Before we worry about AI, lets FIX DUCKING SPELLCHECK.

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June 5 - What is a Woman/Man?
The writing prompts are back! And since everyone is talking about "what is a woman?" I thought we should dig into our Factory Settings and find out what we learned about this stuff.

If you are a woman, what messaging did you receive about womanhood? Same question for if you are a man? What messaging did you receive about manhood? From the culture? From your parents? From your religion if you were raised with one?

The writing prompts are back! And since everyone is talking about "what is a woman?" I thought we should dig into our Factory Settings and find out what we learned about this stuff.

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April 18 -

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it.

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April 17 - Decisions, Decisions

How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

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