Ro Bataille is a tattoo artist and the founder of Cherry Bomb Studio, a tattoo and piercing studio in New York City. We first connected with Ro when she reached out about making Psychedelic Water available as a non-alcoholic option at Cherry Bomb's grand opening event. We've been able to provide drinks for a couple other events at the studio since, all of which have been a blast. Ro is sober and we recently had the chance to chat with her about how her journey to sobriety led her to where she is today.
What’s your history with alcohol?
I've had a problematic relationship with alcohol since I was 15. I identify as an alcoholic; my drinking was unhinged from the beginning.
What led to you deciding to change your relationship with alcohol?
In 2019, I was working a high-stress job and ultimately succumbed to alcohol to deal with (escape) my emotions. I began drinking during the day at work, boundaries I had never crossed.
A few things came together, ultimately leading to me voluntarily attending a rehabilitation program in Florida.Every year, our office closes for two weeks at the end of December. Our client would launch a massive campaign once we returned to the office. With this looming over my head, I took the two weeks vacation to drown myself in alcohol.
During this break, a family member was at the same rehab I attended. I went to visit them and realized I needed help. That day I called my boss to let them know I wouldn't return.
What did you hope to get out of altering your use of alcohol?
I hoped to get my life back; everything was in shambles then. I had isolated myself from my partner and my friends. I was basically drinking alone in my basement apartment every day. It was dark.
Has choosing to be more mindful about your drinking had an effect on your life? If so, how?
I know it's a cliche, but I have received many gifts of sobriety. My relationship with my partner is stronger than ever. I was able to reconnect with my father and brother while I was in rehab.I don't go out much, so some friendships have disappeared. The people who stuck by me are real af, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Additionally, I'm my own boss now and own a tattoo & piercing shop in NYC. I don't say things I'll later regret in a blackout. I feel healthier and wake up refreshed.
Do you ever feel pressured to drink by other people? What do you do in those sorts of situations?
I actually don't. Typically when I tell people I don't drink, they take it at face value and ask me if I want something else. I've met many new people who want to include me even if I don't drink—they accept my personality and want to know me for me.
What do you do in situations where drinking is expected, like parties? How do you deal with people questioning why you’re not drinking?
I tend to avoid situations where drinking is expected, but now that I have alternatives, I'm more apt to go out! When I'm there, I either bring an alcohol alternative like Psychedelic Water or fun mixers to make mocktails.
I'm typically honest when people ask me why I'm not drinking. My go-to is, "I love alcohol too much. I drank too much in the past and ruined it for myself," to add a little humor and avoid awkwardness.