Get Busy Living Sober with Elizabeth Chance

Episode 142 December 06, 2023 00:51:20
Get Busy Living Sober with Elizabeth Chance
Alcohol Tipping Point
Get Busy Living Sober with Elizabeth Chance

Dec 06 2023 | 00:51:20


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance is on the show today. Elizabeth is the host of The Busy Living Sober podcast, a certified recovery and health and wellness coach, and sober for over 17 years. It was great getting to know a fellow alcohol free badass who I now call my friend. 

We chat about: 

Find Elizabeth:  

You can listen to my story on The Busy Living Sober podcast: Busy Living Sober Podcast with Deb Masner from the Alcohol Tipping Point

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you've found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol tipping point. The alcohol tipping point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck, and you can change. Let's get started. Welcome to the show, everybody. Thanks for listening to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Today I have Elizabeth Busy Chance on the show. Elizabeth is the host of the Busy Living Sober podcast. She's a certified recovery and health and wellness coach, and she has been sober for over 17 years. Awesome. Welcome to the show. [00:01:03] Speaker B: Thank you so much, Deb, for having me. I'm so excited to be on. [00:01:08] Speaker A: I'm excited, too. Do you go by busy or Elizabeth? [00:01:12] Speaker B: Well, that's a little story within itself. So my brother is eight years younger than I am, and he could never say Elizabeth, so he called me busy, and then my dad, I was blessed to have a car when I was 16, and he put vanity tags on it that said busy. So all my friends call me busy. And that's how we came from. Busy living sober, words of play on words. So you can call me Elizabeth or busy, whatever works for you. [00:01:37] Speaker A: Okay, perfect. Well, hopefully we'll be friends by the end of this. [00:01:40] Speaker B: Yes, exactly. I definitely think we will be. I can already feel the energy. [00:01:45] Speaker A: Well, I just want to hear about your story. Before we started recording, you were talking about, like, when you got sober over 17 years ago. There weren't a lot of options out there, and so I would love to hear about your experience with drinking and then how you got sober. [00:02:05] Speaker B: All right, well, this could be a little lengthy. I'm going to try and keep it surmised. So, I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and I always like to say, home of Anheuser Bush. It used to be the home of Anheuser Bush. It isn't anymore. Now it's overseas. But I came, and a nice family, but both of my grandmothers were alcoholic. And I always like to point that out because people don't always think, oh, my gosh, this is a genetic thing that comes down to. And when I decided to get sober, I learned more about that. So I knew what alcoholism was, and it was the last thing I wanted to be. Okay, but there was no solution for my grandmothers, right? It was like, they're an alcoholic, but we're not going to stop giving them drinks. We're not going to do this. We're not going to do that. Not only were they women, but we're talking about in the. Nobody had a solution. I mean, my one grandmother died when she was younger, at 68, and my other grandmother died at 93. But again, alcoholism was a part of my family that people would talk about it in such a horrible manner. It was like the worst thing to have. It's like, you might as well just have leprosy or something. Terrible, terrible, terrible. It was a terrible thing to have. So anyway, needless to say, at 13, I grew up and my parents had gone through a really tumultuous divorce and separation, and there were lots of feelings. So at 13, my friends came over on their bikes and we drank some beer. And I don't remember my first drink. I don't remember the first time I had drinks because my dad told me years ago. He's like, did you know that when you were two years old, you would walk around the table? Because my parents were of the age, there were people at parties all the time. It's so weird. I was talking to a friend about that. People don't have parties like they used to. Like, if you were going to see your friends, you have people over. Your parents had cocktail parties and nobody was going to restaurants. Everybody had a party. And I looked at drinking. I remember looking at, when I was younger, at my parents, at these parties, and my mom would have a pretty dress on and a pretty glass, and everybody be so happy, Right? There wasn't the anger and the angst that happens on a day to day life. You're at a party or at a celebration, people are so happy. So that drinking looked so much fun to me. I'm like, oh, my gosh, when I'm grown up, I'm going to put on my pretty dress and have my pretty glass, and I'm going to get to be a grown up. I can't wait to be a grown up. So at 13, which is a grown up right in the world, I started to drink and I just was like, this is it. This is my answer. And I was a weekend warrior, but I was a blackout drinker from day one. It wasn't like I ever was a tea totaler. I didn't really count drinks. I know. There's so many people that did these things, and I'm not judging them. It's like everybody's got their journey. My journey was one that I was a blackout drinker, and I blacked out drinking until the. Until I stopped drinking. It was really just my answer for a lot of things. I mean, I have three children. I have one that was born in 96, one was born in 97, and one was born in 99. So during that time, every time I got pregnant, I'd stopped drinking. It was like, not even a question. I was like, I am a vessel. I'm carrying these babies. They're the most important. Mommy doesn't drink. Mommy doesn't smoke anymore. She's not going to do any of those bad things. She's going to be a good girl. And the minute I'd give birth, I'd look to my ex husband now and say, can you go get me a bottle of champagne, please, and a pack of cigarettes? Because you could still sneak and smoke cigarettes back then in the stairwell of hospitals because I was done. It was like, I was done. I brewed this baby. The baby was cooked. The baby came out. Now it's time for Elizabeth again. It's the Elizabeth Show. I could start abusing my body again. Bring it home. So I did that. Then I ended up getting divorced. And I got divorced mainly because my husband had a drinking problem. Not me. He had the problem. He hid his. I never hid mine. Now again, I love to party. So we would have these crazy parties. I'd go to black tie funcTions. I'd be on the COVID of the society pages doing all this crazy stuff, trying to keep this shit together of life. Excuse my French. And, like, how am I going to manage? Okay, just pour me, pour me, pour me a cocktail. I also thought life was a checklist. So when you grow up, you graduate from high school, check. You go to college, check. You meet the man that you're supposed to marry, check. You have babies, check. But at the same time, I'm like, what are all these feelings? I never had a feeling. So at 37, I was divorced. I had got. Been divorced for two years. I felt like when I got divorced, I threw a grenade in the living room and shrap metal had hit everybody. So everybody was sad, everybody was crying. And I'm like, what am I going to do with these feelings? Pour me a drink. Pour me another drink. Pour me another drink. And I drank. Was drinking was my solution for all of my feelings. I did not even know what a feeling was. I was a chameleon. If you want me to be something. I'll be whatever you want me to be. What do you want me to be tonight? Do you want me to be the person that hangs out with the people that like to do drugs? Okay, I can do that. You want me to hang out with the people that like to drink a lot? I'm going to hang out with them. You want me to go to the church group? Can go to the church group and put on a good outfit and look like I match anywhere you want me to. But I didn't know who I was, so we fast forward. My grandmother passed away, and it was a big thing in our family. She was like the matriarch of our whole family. And it was really hard. And I was asked out of the grandchildren to be the one to give the eulogy. And the night before, I got really drunk, something new and different. Big deal. That's what I always did. And I'd fallen in my kitchen, sprained my ankle, and I got to the church, and if you would come up to the pulpit, I would have caught on fire at the Catholic Church because I was so hungover. And I remember going to the golf club we remember of, and I looked at the bartender, who I knew, of course, by first name, and he's like, you want me to keep them coming? And I'm like, yes, sir, please keep them coming. And I was drinking a lot right then, and I'm 37 years old, and I just bought a house. I've been divorced and renting a house, and I bought a house, and it was in walkable distance to all the bars I love to go to. Oh, and by the way, my kids could walk to school. I know that was a secondary at that point in my life, but it was like, about Mommy. And I was drinking so much that I literally looked at. I would look at above my refrigerator. I always kept my alcohol. And I'd look up there and think, gosh, I think I might need to add this to my coffee, because I'm kind of shaky. I thought that was kind of scary. And this is all in my head. I'm not telling any friends. I'm not telling anybody about this. But my sister gets married. My younger sister gets married, and she's marrying a guy who's sober. So half the people at this wedding are sober. And I, of course, had a dress that was whatever. I had this pretty dress and pretty shoes, and I got drunk. I always got drunk. That wasn't a big deal. I sang with the band. Big deal. Even though I can't sing. It wasn't like I was extraordinarily thought I was out of control. It wasn't like I said anything really horrible or anything, but the next day, a gentleman, because that always has to come by a very good looking man for me. I don't know why, but it is. And he comes up to me and he goes, you know, you have a drinking problem? And I'm like, what? Oh, my gosh. So I was living in Philadelphia at the time, and I got in the car and I drove to the beach, and I was like, am I an alcoholiday? Am I not an alcoholic? Am I an alcoholic? Am I not an alcoholic? And that thing in my head was just bouncing back and forth. And I get to the beach and somebody asked me if I want a cocktail. And I'm like, no, I'm good, thanks. And the next day, I got up in the morning and I'm like, see, I'm not an alcoholiday, because we always, and especially again, this is in 2006, the idea of an alcoholic was somebody who was either a hobo that was living on the streets with a bottle in the bag or jumping on trains or someone that's a celebrity. That's a total nightmare, right? It was like somebody that was like Charlie Sheen kind of thing, right? Like totally out of control. Not somebody who actually had a house and a car and three children that actually looked presentable and showed up to school at the right time every day and were doing their homework and all the rest of it. That's not what an alcoholic looked like. You had to be a total derelict. So I woke up the next day, and again, I'm not an alcoholic. I didn't get drunk last night, but that next night at 04:00 somebody said, do you want a drink? And I said, sure, I'd love one. I'm 05:00 somewhere in the world. And I was literally hanging out at the end of the dock of the bay. Our house was on the water and sitting there drunk with a bottle of wine, pack of smokes, a cell phone. Thank God cell phones were not like they are today. There were no cameras or anything like that. And I was all alone. And I woke up the next day and I went for a run. And I'm a runner if you knew me. Unless the police are chasing after me, and they never chase me, so I never run. I don't know why anybody finds it fun, but I get it if you do, but it's not my thing. So I went for this run on the beach. It's in New Jersey. It's in August 14 and I'm running on the beach. It's hot as anything. And I fall on my knees and I say, god, please help me. I can't drink anymore. I can't do this anymore. I cannot do this anymore. And I haven't had a drink since then. [00:11:41] Speaker A: Wow. [00:11:44] Speaker B: And I'm social. I love people. I was just actually talking to a friend earlier and I was know we were born. Like God made Adam and we're supposed to be around others, right? And I was like, I'm going to get sober. But everybody I hang out with pretty much takes to the next level. Who am I going to hang out with? What am I going to do? Where's my friends coming from? Now this is obviously pre COVID, and there was no such thing as pandemics. We didn't even know what that was. And the only place I could go was a twelve step meeting. And that was the last place I wanted to go, but it was the only place I could go to. And I didn't go to treatment. I went and I got a seat in a room in a church basement and I embraced it like nothing before in my life. I'm not a rule follower. I'm a rule breaker. So I went and I listened to these people and I listened. For the first time in my life, I asked somebody to help me, a stranger, a woman, to say, can you help me do this? And she said, yes, you're going to have to do these things. And I said, okay. And I wanted it more than I wanted to be drunk. And I did it and I continue to do it. And that is what I've been doing for over 17 years. And I made a whole that first year. And I say this because I think it's important. No matter. I think whatever way you decide to get sober, when we're drinking, it becomes such, for me, at least. I'm just going to speak for myself. This is my opinion, like, for myself. My entire way of managing anything in life was to have a drink. I didn't know how to manage anything. So when I went in there and they said, don't make any changes for the first year I did it, I really had to figure out, who is Elizabeth, who am I? Who is busy? Who is Elizabeth chance? What makes her tick? She's been what everybody else wants her to be. She's been a mom, she's been a daughter, she's been a sister, she's been a niece. She's been all these things I can titles that we have. Right. But who am I? What makes me tick? I've got to build some roots on who I am. And I always, like now I live in Florida, so there's lots of palm trees, and we have these crazy things called hurricanes. But when you plant a tree, you take care of it, you water it, you make sure there may be stakes there to help manage so that it stays straight. You might give it some miracle grow whatever you do to make this tree be really firm, because it's not a question of if there's going to be a hurricane. It's like, when is it going to come? And the hurricane comes and it blows it sideways all the way down. It might even touch the ground, but it bounces right back up. So I learned in that first year what it was like to be Elizabeth and I couldn't be what everybody else wanted me to be. And I had to really protect myself. And all those firsts that I had, like first birthdays, first Christmases, first New Year's, first Halloween, first, all those first, I sometimes didn't even go to certain situations because I knew I couldn't handle it. I will tell you, I kind of took my, as I mentioned, I used to be on all these, due to all these things and all these parties and all these things that people used to see me at. I mean, somebody actually came up to me and said, did you move? Where have you been for like, the past year? I'm like, did you go to Colorado? I was like, no, I didn't go to Colorado. Just been in church basements for pretty much the past year. Wow. [00:15:11] Speaker A: Well, congratulations to you. [00:15:14] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:15:15] Speaker A: It's so inspiring. I could relate to a lot of what you said, even just like, starting your drinking journey early and your career of drinking and giving it a job and all of that. I think it's so interesting. I like hearing from people who are long term sober, and they got sober before this whole sober curious movement. And I was the same. I did not want to be called an alcoholic, and I still don't. And I still don't use that word. I think also because it keeps people stuck, it's like, oh, either you're a quote unquote normal drinker or you're an alcoholic. And what is the view of alcoholism? Like you said, it's that derelict. It's the dramatic version that we see in the movies or it's that actual movie star. Those were like all our pictures growing up of problem drinking, basically. And so that's part of the reason why I don't use that word because I want people to get help before you hit rock bottom. That's why I'm like, okay, well, now, medical experts use alcohol use disorder, and it's on a Spectrum. And also, you can call yourself whatever you want, and it doesn't have to be your identity. And so I just was curious, like, here you are, 17 years. You're seeing the evolution of, quote unquote, like, modern recovery. What do you think about all this? [00:16:54] Speaker B: Well, for one, I love this question. Thank you so much for asking me, because it's kind of a hot topic, so it really is. And to me, it's semantics in a lot of ways. It really is. And it's like, my mission has always been to help people get sober in whatever way you do it. When I was drinking, I was very much a black and white thinker. I was thinking, it's either good or bad, right? As a person, I don't know if my parents were. I don't know if it's society, what it is, but everything always had to go into a category of being good or bad. There was no color in between, right? But with technology, with social media, we are having this ability to reach others in a way that we never could before. So whatever way somebody wants to get sober. If you want to call yourself an alcoholic, if you want to call yourself a gray area drinker, whatever you want to call yourself, if you want to call yourself a Christmas tree, we're in this world that we can call yourself whatever you want to call if that's going to help you get sober. I'm for it. 180,000,000,000% because I've been around long enough that I've seen enough people die. I've had best friends that have died because of this disease. I've had more than I want to even talk about. I mean, some of my closest friends are no longer walking on this earth. It is such a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease right now. And you mentioned that word rock bottom. Rock bottom for some, can be death. A lot of people, it is death, unfortunately, because of the stigma, because of trauma, because of whatever this person, the mental illness. When we're talking about, when you go to an insurance company, this is all covered underneath the umbrella of mental health and people today, to be able to go, I'm a sober Cis, or I am a gray area drinker, or I'm this, and I'm that. If you're getting to the end of the day, that you can be a better mom, a better spouse, a better partner, a better human being that can actually get up in the morning and look in the mirror and like themselves. I'm for it a hundred and billion percent. Because again, nobody tells us growing up. I think it's really interesting. For one, cigarettes in the world today are, like, so taboo, right? They are. If you can't even smoke in certain cities in America anymore, right? And there's all these warnings about it. There's no warnings on cigarettes. I mean, on alcohol like that. Nobody says to you, okay, by the way, it's not really great. Now, this weed thing, right? What weed does and eating these edibles and all the rest of it, where does that take you? So we don't have any messages about that, right? Because it wouldn't be good for those markets, for the money business. They tried to get Philip Morris out of the business, right? They're like, no more cigarettes. You're done. We're not having any more cigarettes because they kill you. But what about the rest of the stuff? I mean, right now, the fentanyl crisis that's going on in America right now is absolutely insanity. 300 people die a day. A day. That's like a plane going down every day in America. A plane. Like, if we had an airplane flying out of the sky and crashing into the ground and 300 people dying, wouldn't people say something about it? So I love what you guys are doing. I love it. A lot of my friend. I know other people that are totally against it. And again, if you want to be against it and you want to judge other people of the way they do it, that's on you. I will not judge anybody. How you get sober? I'm like, rock on, rock on. Do whatever you need to do, because that's what's important. At the end of the day, it's about you. Because if we can start to love ourselves, we can love others, and then maybe all this darkness that around can go away because we all love each other and love ourselves. [00:20:56] Speaker A: Yeah, that's sweet. That kind of makes me tear up. It gets sad whenever I see the debates. Like, there's only one way to recover. You shouldn't promote this or that, or you should do this or that. And it's just like, you're right. At the end of the day, it's like, what is best for you? And I like the question, instead of asking yourself, are you an alcoholic? Like, would your life be better without alcohol? And if yes, then there's your answer. And if you don't know, then you could be sober, curious and take a break and just see, like, okay, how do I feel without drinking? What am I using this for? What is it doing to my health? Just really educating yourself about it. And that's something I'm really passionate about as a nurse, too. And I'm a nurse. I work in wellness, actually. We do preventative health and we help people with pre hypertension and prediabetes. And we're all about like, okay, let's help you before you have a heart attack, before you're in a diabetic coma or ketoacidosis or whatever. We need to help people before they get to a crisis. And we don't do that with mental health and we definitely don't do it with drinking. It's like, well, if you need to be detoxed, go to the ER or the hospital and you can get help then. So I'm just really passionate about educating people. Also, you don't have to have a problem with drinking to quit drinking. You can just do it for your health. And so, yeah, I appreciate having this conversation because it's interesting to me, being in this world now and then having people who have been in long term recovery or done the Twelve step program who are, I think, actually genuinely concerned for the message that's getting out there because like you said, you've had close people to you who have died and related to drinking or even like the opioid epidemic. And so I think all of it does come out of a concern for other people. It's not always expressed that way, but I think there's like a fear there, too. [00:23:27] Speaker B: Right? If you don't do it one way, you're not going to get it if you don't do it this way. Yeah, but the problem is that we've been treated, and I don't know, again, who they are. And I'm using air quotes for people who they are in the world that think that we all are going to think the same. Everything's going to work for the same thing for all of us. I mean, the one thing about sobriety is that I know enough people and enough treatment centers that their statistics aren't very great, okay? Most of them aren't. Let's just face it. And they're in and out and in and out and in and out. So if we go and we change it and we say, okay, you know what? Not everybody's going to like meat. Not everybody likes chicken. Not everybody likes shrimp. Okay, let's just face it. That's just three food group those are just three foods, okay? There's billions of other choices. How many restaurants can we go to? So why would we think as a society of human beings that there was going to be one way to skin the cat? There can't be. And so the fact that this is out there and somebody can say, you know what? This appeals to me. This way of recovery sounds good to me. Recovery Church sounds good to me. Going to an AA meeting sounds good to me. Doing sober assist and having a community that's via Facebook works for me. I want to go to Zoom meetings. That works for me. But to think that we're so simple of a human being that our brains don't go, wait a minute, this doesn't work for me. I don't feel comfortable in this. And the fact that these people are coming out and going, you know what? This worked for me. So guess what? It might work for you. Those are pillars of society because they are taking that, even hearing the negative naysayers, because there's going to be negative naysayers for whatever you do, it doesn't matter. And if you are doing something that's worthwhile, you're definitely going to have people that don't like it. I've had an eight male and everything else in my life. Go ahead, bring it on. I don't care. You do that. I've got strong enough skin. Hello. I used to wake up in the morning and hate myself. And now today, at least, I can look in the mirror today and like myself. But during those dark times, I will pray never to feel like that. All this other stuff, who cares? It's just noise. It's just noise. So doing what you guys are doing and being out there as pillars to say to somebody, you know, what, does this appeal to you? Do you like this? Does this ring true to you? Do you hear my message? Do you like my message? Great. Come on board. We're going to bring you along. That's huge, because we are a society of people that want to learn different things. We're not like, we're sponges. Still at 55, I pray. I keep learning and searching till I die. So if you're going to put out there, I mean, in the beginning, I was like, what is this stuff? What is this sober cis and all this other stuff that was going on, maybe with a negative attitude in the beginning, but the more I've educated myself and gone and seen what they really meant and what they're meaning and their different messages, I think it's incredible. I mean, we sit here and we put these walls up and say, oh, because politically that's what they I'm doing. They again, because of whoever these imaginary people are that are sitting on this table. Maybe they're a human, I have no idea. But they think that we just go one or this, but we're not. Why do you think a smorgasborg is so great? Or a buffet? It's like they are the kings. Okay, if you want to go to a breakfast, most people love going to buffets, right? Because I might really like to have waffles and sausage and somebody might be like, I only like egg whites and turkey bacon. That's why they're so great, right? So as a society coming into this and into humanity altogether, going, you know what? If I listen to what that other person says, some of the things might relate for me, some of the things definitely might not. But I get to pick and choose what works for me today so I can have a better life, so I can be better for the people around me. [00:27:23] Speaker A: Absolutely. Well, I am curious, what are some of your top Tips for someone who is looking to change their drinking? [00:27:35] Speaker B: It's a big thing to stomach. And I want to tell somebody that's out there, and if you decide you want to do this and you mess up, keep trying. That's a huge thing. Don't ever give up because I know people. I'm just going to give an example. I know people that you would have gone to twelve step for, let's say, decades. They would go, they'd drink the night before, they'd show up in a meeting. They drink the night before, they'd show up in a meeting. And one day it clicked and they got sober. So whatever your journey is, just know that you just want to do this one day at a time. I have always, I mean, still to this day, I am sober one day at a time. I don't know what tomorrow brings. I might get up in the morning and I'm not going to drink that day just because I said to myself, please, God, please don't let me drink today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today. If we just do it one day at a time, that's a huge thing. And when we go and we think of future things, I'm going to give you another example. My daughter, whose birthday it is. So we're recording this on November 10, 2023. And my daughter's turning 26 today. And when I got sober, so that 17 years ago, however old she was, how old was she? Eight. And so when I got sober, I was like, I'm going to get sober and she's going to get married. What am I going to do at my daughter's wedding? Literally, that was a huge thought for me. What am I going to do? My daughter's 26. She's not getting married anytime soon, by the way, and she was a waste of energy, I can tell you that much. Because when the day comes, you deal with it. We sit here as a society. I'm again using myself. My problems are mostly in yesterday, my regrets of yesterday, my shame of yesterday, and my fear of what tomorrow is going to bring or next week or next year or next decade or sometime that maybe might not even happen. And I spend a lot of time focusing on that. If I can learn to live in the day, that's where the grace is. That's where the hope is, is in this moment, not in yesterday. You can't go back to yesterday. It's already gone. All you can do is learn from it. Like, that's the insanity. That's another big thing I want to talk about is if you've been doing the same thing every day and you keep going and you keep doing the same thing and you drive to work the same way, and you come home and you drive by the liquor store and you pick up the liquor, you stop at the bar and you stay with the people, the same things every day. And you're like, but I don't like this anymore. And I want to change it. Change it with the baby steps. Walk out the door and instead of going left, go right to work. Go to work right. Try not to walk by those places that you used to go to for a little bit. You might need to stay away from those friends. It doesn't mean they're bad. And you can say that it's about me. My youngest always says, mom, you do you boo boo. You do you boo boo. You take care of you. Don't go by those parties. Say, I'm just having some self care. And that's really important, is identifying what is important for you. And people are going to be let down. I'm not going to lie to you. Not everybody's going to be excited that you're getting sober. I'm going to tell you that, too. A lot of people are not going to like it. I had a lot of people who did not like it at all and people very close to me who did not like it at all. And I had to make decisions that were really tough. But again, I have three small kids. I had to do this. There was no choice. I was like, I've got to raise these children. They need a mom. I can't be the person that's going out and having, being a weekend warrior. I can't be the mom that's telling my kids in high school, don't drink. And I'm sitting here drinking all the time. I got to be what I want them to be. I've got to show them what I want them to be. I've got to be the example. And I can't be telling them because they look at you. Kids are smart. They're so smart. Like, wait a minute. You're telling me not to drink and you're driNking? That doesn't make any sense. So just owning who you are, being authentic with you and whatever that means to you, again, if this is something you want to do and it's important to you, you're going to have to have some hard conversations that aren't going to make a lot of people happy. But at the end of the day, we come into this world alone and we die alone. Just know that that's the most important thing is being true to you. [00:31:50] Speaker A: And how do you deal with other people? Do you have any specific things you can say to them or when you're socializing? You mentioned, like you were a big socializer before you quit drinking. Now I'm imagining you still are a big socializer just talking to you. Or maybe that's changed. I know a lot of people who were like, oh, yeah, I realized after I quit drinking that I'm an introvert, actually. But how do you handle social situations and other people? [00:32:22] Speaker B: So it's a great question. Again, thanks, Deb. I've always told everybody I'm sober, so since day one. And a lot of people in the twelve step group community do not like that. I went against it from day one. Everybody knew I was drunk. There was really not a question because I was kind of a blackout drinker. So I got in and out, like, not making any sense and then falling down or doing something crazy. So I told everybody, I said, I'm sober now. People that have, I don't want to necessarily say they have a problem, but people that get offended, you're not going to get invited to their parties anymore. I'm sorry. You're not? Because it's not about you as much as it's about them. We think it's about us. We think because we're so self absorbed. I mean, we're selfish and self centered at the core. That's just how we are as human beings, and we're like, oh, it's about me. They don't like me anymore. It's not they don't like you. It's not like it's nothing about your personality or anything else. It's just that you are now a threat. Okay? It's like inviting the Grim Reaper into the old age home. People in an old age home don't want to see the Grim Reaper because they know, oh, my God, that's the end. I'm going to heaven or hell, whatever, right? When you come in and you're like, I'm not drinking. They're like, wait a minute. Now I have to look at my drinking because now you're a threat again. You've brought something to the forefront that they don't want to think about. They're like, I like where I am, and that happened for me. I don't get invited to the parties I used to be invited to. I don't get going to certain places. I don't get invited anymore. I haven't been. I changed the whole demographic of everything. A lot of people will not have me around. I'm vivacious. I'm loud. I am opinionated as anything. I am passionate about my mean, last night I met two couple, and they're like, so you came here and you moved to Delray, and there's a lot of sober people here, and there's a lot of drunk people. And she was like, and so what do you do? I'm like, just so you know, I'm sober. I've been sober for 17 years. I don't drink. You're not going to see me in happy hours all the time. I don't feel comfortable in them. I just don't like it. To be honest, I'd rather cook at home and hang out with my husband. Or we go, like, tonight we're going to play golf with another couple. Then we'll go to a restaurant. Everybody there knows I don't drink, and they're totally cool with it. So I tend to find people today that are like minded that we can go out and I can be me and be my authentic self if you want me to be. Like, I used to be, like, caring about the stupid stuff in life, which I used to care about, like, what kind of handbag you have, what kind of jeans you're wearing, what kind of car you drive. I don't give it. Sorry, that's not my thing anymore. I want to talk about smarter, more intelligent things, and that's okay because I think in life, we go through cycles, right? When we're growing up, we hang out with this group of people that we're supposed to be best friends with for the rest of our lives. When we get to 55, where I am now, and I'm like, if you'Re not bringing it, I got to go. Time is a waste. And I'm in the back nine. It's not like I'm in the front nine. I am in the back nine. I wish I'd learned that earlier. We have to surround people that bring us up, not bring us down. Don't bring us the memories. Like, do you remember when you got really drunk that night and what you did and who you slept with and what you did? You're like, no, I don't want to talk about that. Okay. Is that going to make you feel good, that you can put me down so you feel up here? That's not a friend. That's an asshole. Sorry, but it truly is. It's like you want people that make you like, life is short. It's such a gift. There's lots of dark stuff in the world. Just watch the news you want to bring around people that make you feel good, that love you for who you are, not for all the other stuff, the material stuff that doesn't even matter. [00:36:09] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. I think it can be so hard for people to kind of let go of that identity and that you think like, oh, but I love these people. These are my friends. Or it can be really hard if your partner is a heavy drinker. I've seen a lot of people struggle with that. Do you have any advice for if your spouse is the one that drinks? [00:36:40] Speaker B: It's hard. It's hard. I just heard something. Do you know that married couple in America? Do you know how many minutes a day they talk to each other? Married couple? [00:36:52] Speaker A: Ten. [00:36:55] Speaker B: 3 minutes a day. 3 minutes a day. When you're married to somebody, and I know, especially in this world, like, financially, life is really tough for a lot of people, and I do not want to minimize that. And I know that we sometimes are with people that in the beginning, we thought that was going to look one way, and it doesn't look that way anymore. You can go to therapy, right? You can go get a counselor. You can talk to a counselor. But at some point, you might have to say, this isn't working. It's not working for me anymore. I love you, and it was great when it started, but right now, something has to change. I'm changing. And if you can't change with me. How are we going to move forward? So setting a boundary, I don't know if it necessarily has to be you get divorced. I mean, you might have a place that's large enough that you can have your own rooms and you cohabitate. God is mysterious and amazing, and you can pray that that person is going to change. I prayed for ten years. No, it must have been seven years. I prayed for seven years. My ex husband and I were big drinking partners. I mean, we were big. That's brought us together. We partied the same exact way. And when we got divorced, and I went and took that throttle, like, imagine a boat. And I just started drinking insanely. And then I got sober. He hadn't stopped getting sober, and we had three kids. And it was horrible. It was horrible because I knew what he was doing. Now, even if you get divorced, that person is still in your life. Especially if you have children. They're not disappearing. I'm sorry. You can say, oh, I'm going to get divorced, and imagine they disappear. They do not disappear. They are still in your life. I'm sorry, but they are. So in some ways, it might be better just to figure it out on what way you're going to deal with it. That's, like, kind of my advice. Because now, looking back, whatever, things would have been different. But they aren't. They are the way they are. But I would go and I'd scream at this person in my life that was like my coach. And I'd say, oh, my gosh, I just can't stand him. He's doing this, he's doing that, he's doing this, he's doing that. He doesn't show up for this. He just fell on his head in front of our kids. He's such an asshole. Da da da. And she'd be like, pray for him. I don't want to pray for him. I want to get a Ouija doll and stick pins in his eyes. Let's just be honest. I don't want to pray for him. She said I had to do it. And for some reason, I did it every day. I'd be like, okay, pray for him. Pray for him, pray for him. And I pray for him. Well, ten years ago, in a couple of days, actually, he had been over at my house, we caught One of my kids doing something I didn't want them doing. You can use your imagination. He was in high school and I was freaking out. He was my oldest, so of course, I went full level. Oh, my God. Nuclear guys doing this. What are we going to do? He said, I'm going to go pay a parking ticket. I'm like, okay, you have fun. So he left after we had our discussion, and I knew he was red in the face because he always was. But I didn't know that. I can't smell anymore. I've been able to smell for many years, and I couldn't smell any alcohol on him, but that's just me. So he goes to the police station to pay a parking ticket, and my phone rings, and it's him. It's 10 minutes later. I'm like, what's up? He's the only person in the world that calls me Liz. Liz. Yeah. You need to come and get me. I'm at the police station. They're going to arrest me if I get back in my car. This is the father of my kids. You guys like, these people we're married to. We came together at some point on the same level. It's my kid's dad. I get my ass in my car. I drive over there, and the policeman happened to be, like, a crew coach for my daughter as well. And he said, who is that guy? And, you know, he's an alcoholic. I said, yeah, that's my kid's dad. And he's like, if he drives that car again today, I'll arrest him for DUI. And we have camera of him walking up here. I can smell him. Said, okay, thank you so much. So I took. Take him. I get him in the car. I maybe didn't use the nicest language that one would use at all times. Let's just face it. Because I'm a volatile person, and I'm reactive, and I'm like, so here are your options, bro. Either you're going to go to treatment, or you're not going to see your kids again. And that's reality. Like, I'm not doing this anymore. This has been long enough. It's time. And he said, well, I'm going to think about it. I'm not going to think of mine. I'm like, this isn't up for fucking debate. Okay, dude, you're going. So I have friends at a certain treatment facility, and he's like, all right, I'm Going to go home, and I'm going to pack a bag. I said, what do you need? He's like, two cartons of smokes. I said, I got it, no problem. And I drove him to treatment, and he'll be sober ten years this year. And this isn't me. This is God working through me. And do we have an, ideally, relationship today? No, but my kids have two parents, so don't ever give up. While you're awake and alive, you can have hope, you can have prayer, you can get to these places that you can go, oh, my gosh, this is like the worst day of my life. And I just want to pick up a drink and this is so hard. And he's half in the bag over there and this is so uncomfortable. And it's uncomfortable, but uncomfortable doesn't last forever. Feelings don't last forever. Go into your bedroom, put on your favorite song, dancing and listening to your favorite music makes you happy. It just does. It gets your endorphins up. Go outside for a walk. If you live someplace cold, go wrap yourself up. If you've got young kids, they always love to go on an adventure, say, oh, we're going to go on. I got to go get faces. I got to get out of here. And it can only be for 10 minutes, and it'll change you. Whatever the tools are that work for you, some people might be eating a pie, eating a cake. I don't know. I don't think that's the greatest thing. But if it works for you in the beginning, do it. Don't judge yourself if it is grabbing that cigarette going, oh, my God, I have to smoke a cigarette because I feel so. I'm not saying that it's the greatest thing again, but whatever works for you in your toolbox. I thought a toolbox had to have a wrench. A hammer, nails, all these other things. My toolbox has stuff that I know that's going to work for me. I'm a big meditator now. If you had asked me when I was first getting sober if I could meditate, there's no way in hell I could have meditated today. It's one of my tools. Listening to a meditation insight timer for a minute. I mean, today you've got these things, if you have a smartphone, the calm thing. I don't have an eye watch anymore because it drove me crazy. But it would say, get up and move or you need to take a deep breath or you need to have a glass. Whatever tool it is that works for you, works for you. That didn't work for me, but other things work for me. Figure that out for you. What is your toolbox? Is it sparkly? Does it have sparkles all over it and stickers all over it? Maybe you can do that. Do whatever works for you. And there's no right or wrong. There's no good or bad. We live in the middle, baby, where the rainbows are and the pretty colors. We don't live in black or white. We live in that middle place and get there because it'll save you. [00:44:42] Speaker A: I love it so much. Good stuff you've shared. Before we wrap up, I do want to touch on shame because you mentioned the stigma and shame that has been associated with drinking. And just how do you address that? [00:45:04] Speaker B: Closing my eyes. If you're listening to this, it's a huge shame is so big. And I'm not going to lie. There are still days with 17 years that I can feel shame. It doesn't disappear. It's how you deal with the shame today. You don't let it run the show. You can acknowledge it and say, I'm feeling shame right now. What is the opposite of shame? Joy, ownership, self love, self care. It's really hard. As I mentioned, I had so much shame because remember these two grandmothers, I had had this disease and they were talked about in such a harsh way that I knew how people talked about people that were alcoholiday or heavy drinkers, whatever you want to call yourself, people that drink too much boost, we'll just call it like that. So when I was so full of it, and I mean, I was more scared to go into a twelve step meeting than I was to have a baby, buy a car, get married, do any of it, go to college, any of those things. That was the scariest thing because that was the first place that I was going to raise my hand and say who I really was, who I really am at the core. So I had so much shame that I patented, so we're not ashamed. I went and I patented that because I had so much shame. I was going to be like, no, I'm going to tell you I don't have shame, but I really have so much that it's literally overwhelming. But I'm going to tell you I don't have it. But I really do. It's so big. It's so big. It's so big. And me going out there and telling people who I am right off the bat, you can go ahead and you can judge me for my weight, you can judge me for my hair color, you can judge me for my shoes, my dress, everything else but who I am at the core. I don't drink anymore. I had a problem with alcohol. That's who I am. So if you want somebody to talk about, go ahead and talk about it right now. And then I can own it. Because now there's no secret. I'm not hiding anything from you. This is who I am. The girl last night. Never met her before in my life. Just so you know, this is who I am at my core. I'm a heavy drinker. And you see me sitting in this bar. I'm not going to be here for very long, and I'm going to be drinking a pellegrino in a wine glass with a lemon, and I'm going to be out. And that's who I am. So owning who I am, being authentic with who I am, gives me the sense of being like that. Shame's like wanting to be something I really am not. And you got to look who I am. This is who I am. Bumps, lumps, lines, weight, everything. I carry it. It's who I am. That's who I am. At my core, I'm a person who couldn't deal with a feeling for the life of me. And when they say that there's normal drinkers, the only thing that's normal is wonder bread. Okay. Wonder bread comes out of the sleeve. I think they still do make wonder bread, but it comes out of the sleeve. You can pull the wrapper out and each piece is going to look almost exactly the same, except for the head and the heel. Right. Those ones are going to be looking a little bumpy. Nobody's normal. Normal doesn't exist. Normal is bread that you buy at the grocery store. Human beings aren't normal. And human beings that think that they want to get normal, that sounds kind of boring. I want to be multigrain. Twelve grain, 30 gRain. I don't give a crap, whatever it is. And I got bumps, I got lumps. I'm sweet, I'm a little sour. I'm a little spicy, depending on the day. So it's like, bring it on and own who you are. Don't be what somebody else wants you to be. We are all perfect. In God's world. We are all perfect. And we all have different traits. Our mom has different traits. Our dad has different traits. Everybody in our family members, and we come into this thing with all these things mixed together just like a mutt dog, which mine are. Even though they have these fancy names now. They're muts. We're all muts. Embrace who you are. Look in that mirror and find out what those tools are that are going to help you. And your tools might be way different than mine, but that doesn't mean you're bad or I'm bad. We're here just to bring each other up and love each other. [00:49:11] Speaker A: Well said. So well said. Well, I want to thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm going to be on your show, the Busy Living Sober podcast. So I'm really looking forward to that. Can you let people know how they can find you? [00:49:26] Speaker B: Okay. For one, you can Google me. Elizabeth Chance. I'm not the one that is the doctor. There's an Elizabeth Chance. That's a doctor that comes up. We're, like, tagging on Google. It's kind of funny. So I'm Elizabeth [email protected]. And Elizabeth's with a Z. And Chance is just like, take a chance. So if you go to, everything's on there. All my podcasts, all my mocktails, everything to find out about me, how to reach me. If you want a coaching service, you can also do that on there. I'm on Instagram. I'm on Facebook. I'm everywhere you want to look. I'm on iTunes. I'm on Spotify. I'm on any place that you would listen to a podcast. And I just want to end by saying, thank you so much, and I can't wait till you're in the hot seat. Wink, Wink. I'm putting that out there if you're not viewing this. And, Deb, I'm excited to have you in the hot seat and just know that you are never alone. You are never alone. Don't ever think you are alone. And you can always reach out. You can email me at [email protected]. And you got this. You got this. You got this. Don't forget it. You got this. Thanks so much, Deb, for having me. [00:50:31] Speaker A: Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point Podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people, too. I want you to know I'm always here for you. So please reach out and talk to me on Instagram at alcoholiday Tipping Point. And check out my website,, for free resources and help. No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week. And until then, talk to you next. [00:51:14] Speaker B: Time you, you close.

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