Drinking and Parenting with Mom of Eight Amy Liz Harrison

Episode 68 June 29, 2022 00:46:34
Drinking and Parenting with Mom of Eight Amy Liz Harrison
Alcohol Tipping Point
Drinking and Parenting with Mom of Eight Amy Liz Harrison

Jun 29 2022 | 00:46:34


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Amy Liz Harrison joins the show. She’s a mother of eight who has been sober since 2011. She is also the author of Eternally Expecting: A Mom of Eight Gets Sober and Gives Birth to a Whole New Life...Her Own, Eternally Awkward: A Future Mom of Eight Reflects on Mysteries of Anxiety, ADHD and Coming of Age in the 80s, and the host of the new podcast, Eternally Amy.  

We chat about: 

Find Amy: 



Eternally Expecting: A Mom of Eight Gets Sober and Gives Birth to a Whole New Life...Her Own 

Eternally Awkward: A Future Mom of Eight Reflects on Mysteries of Anxiety, ADHD and Coming of Age in the 80s 


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Episode Transcript

pod amy harrison mother of 8 deb: Welcome back to the alcohol tipping point podcast. I am your host, Deb Masner. I am a registered nurse health coach and alcohol free badass. And today on the show, I have Amy Liz Harrison. She is a mother of eight who has been sober since 2011. She's also the author of two books that I know of. I think you have another one too, but one book's called. Eternally expecting a mom of eight gets sober and gives birth to a whole new life, her own. And then another book called eternally awkward, a future mom of eight reflects on mysteries of anxiety, ADHD, and coming of age in the eighties. And Amy is also the host of the new podcast, eternally Amy, a mom of eight's journey from jail to joy, which I had the honor of being a guest on. So thank you, Amy, amy: for coming on my show. It is such a pleasure. Thanks for having me. deb: Well, how'd I do in the intro? What, what would you add to who you are and what you do? amy: You know what? I think you checked all the boxes and then some, so thank you so much. That was super complete. deb: Yeah. You're welcome. I mean, obviously what stood out to me is that you're a mom of eight Is that what you end up leading with a lot? Just that's your like amy: bomb. Yeah. In fact, it's a little bit of a conversation stopper. Usually kind of people will sort of look at me like, is she kidding? Is she serious? What's going on here? And they kind of don't know what to make of it. And what are their ages? So my oldest will be 21 this summer. What? And then I have a 20 year old and a 17 year old, 16 year old. And then we were done with that first batch. And then I have a seven year old and a six year old, a five year old and a four year old, six, five. Oh deb: my goodness. But that's amazing. amy: Okay. Yeah. Eight one of 'em is, did I say eight? I think it said seven. So one is. deb: I'm I'm just impressed that you could keep track of all that. amy: Well, I don't do an excellent job, but I try, so thank you very much. well, deb: wow. So, so tell me your experience with drinking and getting sober. amy: Yeah. Well, so I started out basically as what people would probably refer to as a normal drinker. You know, I grew up happy childhood for all intents and purposes, except that I felt differently from other kids. I felt like I was missing maybe some insulation. I felt a little bit more sensitive. Things tended to affect me more. And, you know, I didn't drink over any of that, but I just definitely felt kind of raw. And so later when I had my first drink and it was something that I actually remembered as being, yeah, I think that was the first time I ever drank anything and felt a little bit tipsy that was in my senior year of college. And so save for the. Random Bartles in James, the occasional fruity kind of cocktail that I would have going out with colleagues or friends during college. You know, I really didn't have experience with alcohol and I wasn't really involved in any kind of parties or anything that. Expose me to that drink. And so when I had that first significant like, oh, I remember this as being my first drink. It was at Thanksgiving, as I said, college, my senior year. And I just remember feeling warm, fuzzy, connected, just. Having this experience of true comradery with my family members and just everything was funny, you know, that whole thing. And I remembered that as being like very fun, significantly fun, and I really didn't start drinking a alcoholically until much later. So fast forward to I get married. We moved to Seattle. I had been teaching 10th grade English for a couple years in California. And when we moved to Seattle as I was pregnant with my first baby, and when I became a mom, that was pretty shocking. That was a watershed seminal. Time period as it is for most parents. But that was when I really felt exposed at an amplified level. Like I really now feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. You know, here's this baby and I'm a stay at home mom at this point and just really felt like I lost my identity. I just really didn't know who I was anymore. I wasn't teaching. I wasn't kind of the cool young person in the classroom now. I was changing diapers and trying to figure out. What is this baby's crying cues and how do I know what they are? And why is it that other moms in the little mommy and me group tend to know what those cues are? And I mean, everything, every little detail was just a little bit It was overwhelming and it also was challenging my self-esteem. And so bit by bit, I really got to that point of. Gosh, it would be so nice not to feel this way anymore. and we went to church, we were very involved there and I think part of me had an expectation that somehow that was going to. Cure everything or make me feel better. And it just, it didn't. And I can't explain why that is except for, I think what happened to me was I was very much relying on. Checking boxes at church and thinking that there was gonna be a Santa Claus, God, who just came and said, well, you've done all these things. You've checked the boxes on the report card. Now you're gonna feel better. not realizing that not only did I have some postpartum depression, but I really didn't have any specific active tools. Chiefly getting honest with somebody and really saying I'm in a tough spot. I'm hurting here. I'm not feeling good about my life and myself. And that was my pride. And it was fear also. I think I was just very much afraid that. If I couldn't parent well, and my child was not flourishing. And that's from my own definition, not in a physical sense, but that, you know, the world was gonna come tumbling down and I just really needed to talk it through. And I wasn't getting honest. And so slowly as I started to get to know more people, you know, I'd go to the once a month. Book club have a glass of wine there. Glass of wine over time, turned into play dates in the front yard with the neighbors and drinking wine and having these wine and cheese parties and whatnot. And I'll tell you that made me feel so good. Not only physically, but I felt connected. I felt like a grown up. I felt like for the first time in a long time I belonged somewhere and I loved the way alcohol made me feel. It just took that little edge off and. Became really focused on that feeling. And slowly that turned into, gosh, you know, the kids are down for a nap. I think what I'm gonna do is pour a glass of wine, sounded like such a grown up thing to do. And so I'd pour that glass of wine and then it became two glasses of wine. And then by the time I'd go outside in the afternoon with the neighbor. I had had like two and a half glasses of wine already. And it just, it perpetuated as the progression of alcoholism does. And so basically one day I realized. Wow. I really I'm doing this every day, every afternoon. And I was looking forward to it. And if we traveled or if we were going to be out of our environment, it was like, where am I going to get that drink? So I started like plotting and planning, where I was going to find that sense of ease and comfort and that sense of relief. And. Pretty soon I realized, I don't think I can actually stop. I think maybe this is controlling me and I'm not controlling it, but, you know, I told nobody because this to me was my answer. It was my solution. Alcohol was the one thing that really made me feel. Better physically for a short time, but it was kind of starting to cause me some problems. I fell down the stairs. I broke my leg. I mean it was causing like some, I was starting to have some consequences and I just told myself, you know, I rationalized everything away and I just said, you know, I've got these four. Sorry, these four little kids. This is just I'm. I'm just overwhelmed. This is, this is okay. I'll I'll just really rope it in. You know, at a later date, like a T B D later date, and I continued to do that and I continued to spiral out of control. And so eventually my kind of undoing was when I was like, man, I gotta, I gotta go see a doctor. Right. A doctor will cure me. And, and I love doctors by the way, this is not any kind of a slam on doctors. And here's the problem with that is I went to see my psychiatrist. And I wasn't honest and he can only do so much, right. He can only help me with what I have given him. And, you know, I'm like totally minimizing how much I was drinking and, you know, trying to blame this, that, and the other thing for. Anytime. He mentioned anything at all related to alcohol consumption, and I really tried to deflect. So, you know, I mean, he did what he could to help me. He could tell I had anxiety that wasn't a secret. and so I was given Xanax and that was the real, that was the beginning of the end for me, was drinking on top of Xanax, which specifically on the bottle it says, do not do. And I did it anyway, and I just. I just became a mental mess, a physical mess. I mean, just a hot mess in not a good sense, you know, and my husband said, you know what? I love you very much. And I think that you have. An abuse problem with this alcohol. And I'd like for you to go to seek some help and get away from this and I'll watch the kids. And I was so resistant to that and really could not imagine my life without alcohol at that point. And so I was, I just told him, no, I'm not going. And he said, well, you're going to have to go, but how about this? And he bargained with me that I could just go for my postpartum depression, you know, I didn't have to address any other issues. And that got me on the plane. And so I went down there. I went to California and really was. Very shocked at the entire the entire education of what alcohol does to one's body and mind. And, and really also my spirit was broken. So what it can do to a person's spiritually over time, and I totally identified, but. I didn't want to admit that to my core, because I thought if I admitted to my core, I'm gonna have to choose a life of abstinence from alcohol. And I was not. At all entertaining that idea at that point. And so I kind of just listened to what all the people were saying at rehab, the other clients. And then I parroted that stuff back to my case manager and she felt pretty confident in my lies and. She let me go with well wishes. And I had the coin out ceremony. If you know what that is, the whole nine yards where they wish you well. And I went straight to the airport and I drank and drank all the way home and reasoned in my own head that I could control it now, cuz I'd had a break. I'd had 28 days off. And my husband picked me up from the airport and here I am drunk, fresh out of rehab. And, you know, I think he was like, what happened? What's you know, I mean, he was trying to give me the benefit of the doubt, but. Was, I mean, he was just confused. Did not understand at all what was going on. Hadn't been to any 12 step meetings or family education type things that taught him. Hey, you know, if this happens, You know, here are some options. And so he really didn't know what to do with me. So he just trusted what I was saying and what I was telling him was that I can control it now. It's fine. I've got it. Nailed. I can drink like a lady and two weeks later I was pulled over. I. After I had picked up my kids from school pulled over on like the main drag, the main artery through town, right. When all the schools were getting out. And so moms with kids everywhere, and here I am doing the sobriety walk, the line test on the side of the road with my kids in the car. And even saying that now 11 years plus later, looking back on, on that, although I know it was me, it feels like it was somebody else, even though yeah, even though the memory of it is so sharp and vivid, I think that's one of the gifts of being. Sober is that I'm not that person anymore. And that's a relief, but you know, it's, that's a huge thing. Like you're not, well, if you're willing to drive under the influence. With your kids in the car. I mean, period at all. End of story. But also with your kids in the car, that's just really, and I did not recognize that as, at all, as like, this is a real sign of trouble, like wake up, you know? And so that night lying in king county jail. That was the worst night of my life. And that was when. Again, another watershed seminal turning point for me was I realized I can't I'm powerless over this. I can't control it. And that was where I just admitted to my innermost self. That for me, I say alcoholic, but you can call substance use disorder. That I was an alcoholic and that I really was going to have to try. To get better if I wanted to keep my family and alcohol was not an option for me anymore. And I wrestled with that, even though I was in that jail cell, you know, you would think, gosh, can you get much lower , but you know, that's how powerful it can be. And so I really got to this point, I'm gonna just call it, surrender where I thought, all right. Even if I fail, I have to try. And so I went back to rehab and this time I listened, I listened. I not only identified, but I admitted that I identified. From my entire soul. And that made a huge difference because I knew that this was life or death for me. At that point, I knew that it was life or death for my family unit, as I knew it. And I had to take it that seriously. And so I did, and I built my whole. New life around eliminating alcohol. And, you know, it was, it was hard. It was brutal at the very beginning, so difficult, right. Just giving up the entire safety blanket and safety net of what I thought was working for me. Which was drinking and it clearly wasn't, but in my mind, I still clung to the idea a little bit, like, well, maybe someday. And it's just that weird mental twist, you know, they say obsession of the mind and that alcoholism centers in the mind. And that I totally identify with is true for me. And. I had to surrender to the process, follow directions for me, as I mentioned, I did 12 step recovery, got a sponsor, and I'll tell you the most important part of all of that for me, was doing. A fourth step, which is basically a personal inventory. It's a, you know, sorting through all of the junk from my past and looking at my motives, what was my part in things where I was, you know, had resentments and I really had to get to the root of why I drank to escape. And I had to look at that pride, you know, that I didn't want to admit. That I was in fear of being a bad mom and, you know, ironically, here I am now, it's like, okay, well, I've got this DUI for driving drunk with kids in the car. So , I mean, Yeah, it's just kind of this, this strange, like that came true. You know, my fear actually came to fruition because I wasn't treating my mental health and because I was afraid to admit it. So I had to look at all of those motives and I had to you know, just sort through all of that, whether it's with a counselor or a sponsor or. Or on your own with any kind of a whatever book or program or methodology. And really for me, that was a major shift, like, Hmm. I am in control of some things. And what I'm control of in this, you know, giant universe called life is I'm con in control of my actions. And my choices and my reactions. And so I started to build this toolbox of how to relate to other people and how to build myself spiritually and how to start to love myself. When I felt like I was pretty unlovable. And over time after doing that, my relationships started healing and my marriage started healing. And then I, you know made my amends to my kids and wrote them letters and sat down with them and, you know, poured my heart out to them. And they were still young and super forgiving and all of that. But. You know, the beauty of the entire situation is this thing is like snowballing for me, like this recovery thing, it just keeps freaking getting better and not to sound like I'm not trying to sound like, Ooh, oh, I'm Pollyanna. Everything's perfect. It's not that at all. It's that I can now. Face life on life's terms without escaping. And that's huge. I mean, I can be uncomfortable and know that I'm going to survive it and also know that it's okay. I mean, Really what's the worst that can happen. I'm gonna be uncomfortable or be embarrassed in a situation like these are not, these are normal human experiences and that it's okay. And as a result, my kids have now seen me recover out loud. And so. They now can see like, oh, well this is okay. You know, I tripped and fell on the graduation stage or whatever I'm going to survive it. And so that's been a benefit as well. So really what has happened is this whole kind of shift in reframing. Where my past has now kind of turned into my greatest asset. It's provided connection and talking points with my kids and with my friends that I never ever thought was possible. So one of the things that I always say is that the opposite for me of addiction is love and connection. And I feel I have that now it's such a. An unbelievably rich level. And that's my story. deb: Oh, well, well said, and I I'm so happy for you and love that, you know, here it is 11 years later and you're still just sharing your story and helping other people and just like your life is so much better. amy: Yeah, thank you so much. Definitely night and day, right. deb: And you kinda I'm, I'm curious cuz you had your four kids and, and the older ones and went through addiction and recovery and then you had your four kids totally sober, like. Can you explain, share the difference between just being a mom at those different times and, and for moms who are listening? I mean, I know that for me, being a mother too, was like one of the hardest things I've ever done and my drinking really amped up during early motherhood. And it just can be such a. Confusing lost lonely time. It's supposed to be a wonderful time, but it it's so many emotions. So can you kind of speak to motherhood and yeah. amy: For sure. So yeah, that definitely happened to me. I definitely was, you know, comparing my insides to everybody else's outsides at that point and just like, oh, you know, these everybody's baby is on this perfect napping schedule and. And feeling like a failure in society doesn't really help us with that, you know, as moms too much, it, it, it it's, stardy, I feel like we're turning a corner for sure. Which is great, especially in that it's more acceptable now to talk about like, Hey, I'm not loving this. So when I had my second four set of kids, I mean, I was freaking out. I had a surprise fifth pregnancy. And I remember calling my sponsor, who was on a road trip through the entire country. And she's like on speaker phone with her husband and her four boys in the car. And I was like, I just gotta talk this out. I have to talk this out. And she said to me, you get to do this differently this time. And I thought. You know, I guess she's right. And so I did, I got help. I got a nanny. That's what that looked like for me, but maybe for other moms, it's swapping with a friend and building in some mental health you know, wellness time for each of you or whatever it looks like. And that was huge in thinking. Wait a minute. No, this isn't gonna be a repeat of the first time I can do it differently. And I feel like I needed somebody to give me that permission. And that's what I did. And I started to make choices around. You know, working smarter, not harder for my mental health and in my mothering, for example, I am not a fan of cooking. I don't like it. I wish I did. Maybe later in life, I will, when I have more time, but I thought that's something else I can do. I can hand that off and, you know, either have a meal delivery service or I can, whatever, buy things and freeze them that are pre-made whatever. But looking at things from a different angle and giving yourself permission to make a change and to do things differently, I think is one of the biggest things, or at least it was for me. deb: Yeah. So, so just asking for help, that's huge. And letting go of expectations and delegating and choose your battles. And like, for me, I hate to clean . So that would be one yep. To delegate. What about, you know, there's a lot of like regret and guilt and having drink when the kids were younger. How do you manage that? amy: Funny, you know, I used to really, that's such a good question, cuz I used to really feel. I really felt it like kind of like a knife in my stomach. And I think because I've made so many deposits in my kids and husband's life since that time, I don't really struggle with that at all anymore. But again, that's because I have really made a conscious effort to honor my kids' process with that. You know, I, at the very beginning, I told them, Hey, you know, maybe we should go get evaluated for some therapy, get you guys in counseling, whatever. So you can process this well. And my personal therapist kind of stepped in at that point and said, you know, what, how about you? Not. Something, that's not there. Like, wait until you see signs and here are the signs. And you know, when you see those signs, then get them into therapy and counseling. But maybe it's not the best thing for you to perpetuate. How about you just work on you and work on living differently and making different choices? And I was like, okay, I guess I should follow directions. Cuz my best thinking got me here. so. So I did. And so they all have been able to get through those past things with like, it, it, it almost is like, oh, that mom like, oh yeah, no, it's fine. Like, that's what they'll say to me, which is huge. I mean, to me, I just can't even fathom that. I think that's, it's just unbelievable, but. Again, they've also seen me recover out loud. And so they've seen that process of me going through all those ups and downs and going to meetings every day to try and maintain, you know, it's like a living men's to them really. And then, you know, for me, Sponsoring other women and taking them through the steps. And, and so all these things are you know, it's just a little more confidence that they get that, oh, I'm not gonna see that old version of you again, am I, as long as you keep, you know, healthy and keep putting deposits toward your wellness mom, I don't know if that answers it, but deb: that does. And I, I like this concept of deposits. Can you speak to that a little bit more? amy: Mm-hmm . So I think for me, it's just contributing to like, it's like gardening, right? It's planting the seeds that I want to plant in order to reap what I want to reap out of the harvest. And so. That's spending time with my kids. It's also letting go and detaching when necessary. And that's tough for me sometimes, but really giving them that space and allowing them to You know, walk into their young adulthood in healthy ways and be supportive, but have that open dialogue of what do you need from me? What do you need me to back off on? And, and really, that's not a relationship that I ever kind of had with my parents. And. In a way, you know, my tendency is to think like, oh, well that shows weakness. And it's like, the total opposite has happened. For some reason they look at me as like this strong woke person and it just cracks me up because, you know, I'm like, so you guys are aware that I'm like, terrified that you're gonna wake up one day and realize I have no idea what I'm doing. Like I've been winging this from day one, you know? And. Think it's such a funny concept, but, but making those communication deposits, you know, grabbing them when available to go, just run to the drug store with me and, you know, connect and have that. Like, how was your day today? How did this test really go? How did you feel about it and get current and know what's going on in their lives? All of those are deposit. deb: Yeah, I like that. Thank you for sharing. Sure. One of your books is about ADHD and your experience with it. Can you talk about that? And then the connection with alcohol use, if you've found that there was one, I'd love to hear more about ADHD. amy: Yeah. So for me, you know, growing up in generation X especially as a female. It wasn't really a thing that they thought, you know, that this was anything that females were associated with because it was such a a boy, it was like for hyperactive boys, right. That was a D D it was all brand new. And so for me, I remember very clearly in the second grade copying off of my neighbor's paper, because I wasn't understanding the math concept. And of course math is kind of a, if you miss like a concept in math that's not good. Right? Cuz it just builds on each other. And I found myself really starting to adopt this feeling of like. I think I might be dumb or I'm stupid. And, and having kids, you know, I grew up in the Silicon valley, so I was run a lot of kids who had very high powered parents and very, very intellectual parents. And Having that sort of self appraisal, like reiterated by my friends. Not that I, not that they called me dumb or anything, but they were all in the gifted and talented program. Right. And, and so it was obvious that I wasn't a part of that wasn't in those special groups with them. And so what happened is over the span of my education. I really adopted this sense of I'm defective kind of a thing I don't learn as well, or as effectively, or as efficiently as everybody else. And so then it just turned into this negative self appraisal, which was then, you know, confirmed as it reflected. Was reflected basically by my grades. And I would get in trouble not often, but when I did it was for impulsive behavior. And so, and I mean just silly things like, you know, One time we pushed over this backstop on the field and there was a kid hanging under the backstop, like help, help with his like knees stuck in the little diamond shape, you know, chain links. And I thought it was hilarious. So I'm standing out there laughing, all these people are laughing and, you know, I mean, Today that would not fly. I mean, you, you were supposed to have more empathy for people than to stand there and laugh. And so those types of impulsivity demonstrated in my life, you know? Oh, like, yes, that's another sign of ADHD, which of course, I didn't know at the time. And so being diagnosed at midlife and this is like, Still kind of fresh. This is we're talking like five years ago. I was diagnosed. At first it felt sort of like a, oh yeah, another failure. Like, I mean, cuz that was my tendency. It's this weird shame spiral. That's like, oh, well now I'm afraid. I'm going to miss an appointment or be late or whatever. So that's a little bit of like this anxiety brewing and then that will spiral into, oh yeah. This always happens to me. I'm always that person and that will fuel the depression that has been kind of low lying. And so, in a sense, it's like I'll have flare. In a sense, and they're not physical flareups per se, except for the physical, you know, symptoms of anxiety. But I'll, I'll turn into this, like, All of a sudden I'm in this like a head spin and I'll need to snap myself out of it. And one thing that I will do just to share a little tool on that is just to, when I see myself doing it, I have to watch my thoughts. And I'll have to stop and I'll just have to go, all right, this isn't true. You're going down the pathway and I see that and it's okay. But you know, I'll need to snap out of it. Some somehow, sometimes I'll just walk outside and I'll put my feet on the earth and I'll just take a couple deep breaths. And that helps a lot. So how it relates to my alcoholism. It's funny. I've asked myself this question, like where does alcoholism end and ADHD begin or vice versa. And the answer is, I don't know. And what I've come to terms with is to me, it doesn't matter because it's all recovery to me. Right. So if I'm treating my ADHD and I'm treating my alcoholism, I mean, I don't even really sometimes feel like labeling all these things is the best thing for me, except that I've learned to now take those labels and find them very empowering. And so when I am. Working towards those recoveries and the positive things in my life. That's super empowering. And that's when I really feel like my joy is sparked and I feel strong as a result. And I don't feel like that person who's, you know, just a victim of life or a victim of their schedule or can't keep this, that, and the other thing. deb: Yeah, thank you for sharing your experience with ADHD. I, I had some thoughts as you were talking, and one is like, I, I like the concept, you know, instead of things happen to you, they happen for you. Mm-hmm and I just feel like that's a useful tool to kind of switch it around. But then when you were talking about labels and empowering, I noticed like you use eternally. In a lot of your titles, what's the importance of eternally. amy: So. Eternally means it's kind of a, a goal for me to just keep this up. It's okay. For me to be eternally awkward. As I mentioned earlier about being embarrassed and stuff. That's okay. I'd rather be eternally awkward than eternally escaping and trying to get outta my feelings. Right. And eternally expecting while obviously I'm not going to be expecting more children throughout my lifetime. I mean, Lord willing. So what it is though is expecting that. When I put my efforts toward this recovery, that I am going to get something out of it, but not just me, it's about me, but it's not about me. It's about the people who I rub shoulders with every day. Right. So that I don't do things like get super impatient in line at the grocery store and just, you know, make a rude comment or, you know, I, I want to be. An empathetic kind contributor to society. That's who I wanna be. So I have to sow toward that. And so expecting that if I do that work, I will get that result that I will, you know, learn to have a mole, a more wholehearted experience with those around me. deb: Yeah. And then your podcast is called eternally. Amy amy: mm-hmm . Yeah. So that's the. Series of the books is called eternally Amy it's, it's the series title. And so my friend came up with that, actually that name eternally Amy, and said, you know, this just seems fitting. It's just you, it's all these things, the awkwardness and the, you know, anticipatory outlook on life. And so that's where that came from. deb: Yeah. I like that. Well, what advice do you have for anyone who's listening right now? And, and they're struggling with their alcohol use? Uh, amy: So hard, right? I try not to dispense advice per se, because I think we're also individual, but I would say this is that. You know, the first step really truly is to be honest with yourself, right? Like that's the big thing. And I think for me, if someone would have told me, look, this feels terrifying right now, the idea of quitting or even quitting temporarily as you and I talked about when we did my podcast It just seems insurmountable, right? It seems so overwhelming. But if somebody would've said, you know what, give it a try. You might be super surprised how amazing you will feel and how great your life is going to get. I mean, I just didn't believe that life without alcohol could be fun or fulfilling or enjoyable. and now it's weird because I don't even think of alcohol as any kind of an option for me. Like I don't, I don't want to drink as a solution to any of my problems anymore because, you know, I wanna be present for my life and I wanna remember these experiences. And so I would say, yeah, you know, to be truly honest with yourself and also. To value yourself enough to say, because I didn't at that time, but to say, you know what, maybe I'm worth taking a break from alcohol for it. Maybe I am. And if you can't process it with somebody safe, maybe write about it, maybe journal or whatever it is that can really get below the surface. That's what I would encourage people to do. And then, you know, following that path of honesty, doors start opening. Right. And, and we have to make effort, right? Like we have to do the action, but a lot of times once we start doing that again, goodness, kind of starts to snowball, even though it's super difficult. And you start seeing light at the end of the tunnel. deb: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Well, what do you see for your future? amy: Well, I have a couple of children's books that I'm writing that will come out Uhhuh Yeah. And that will be fun. And you know what? I, I'm not sure other than that past that I do know that there's one more eternally book. That will be coming out later, but I'm not ready to write it yet. And so I'm taking this detour and doing the children's books, which I'm super excited about. Wonderful. deb: Okay. Well, how can people find you? amy: Yeah. So on Instagram and you know, the social media platforms, I'm at Amy, Liz Harrison. And then my website is Amy Liz harrison.com. Okay, deb: well, thank you. Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your story and just your you're so inspiring and your kids are lucky to have you and, and just grateful for you. And I can tell, like it keeps getting better, right? I, I. Love that message. Yeah. And so thank amy: you very much. Well, you're more than welcome. That's beyond generous of you to say, I really appreciate your words and it's been a joy. So thanks Deb.

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