How to Quit Drinking and Stay Sober: Making Sobriety Stick with Casey Mcguire Davidson

Episode 166 May 22, 2024 01:00:11
How to Quit Drinking and Stay Sober: Making Sobriety Stick with Casey Mcguire Davidson
Alcohol Tipping Point
How to Quit Drinking and Stay Sober: Making Sobriety Stick with Casey Mcguire Davidson

May 22 2024 | 01:00:11

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

On the show today is a return guest and friend, Casey McGuire Davidson. Casey is a Life & Sobriety Coach and the host of the Hello Someday Podcast for Sober Curious Women.  

We’re diving into real talk about making sobriety last and everything that happens after you’ve had your last drink and onward.  

We chat about: 

Find Casey: 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Masner. 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 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. [00:00:28] Speaker B: Whether you're ready to quit forever or. [00:00:30] Speaker A: A week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. [00:00:35] Speaker B: Let's get started. [00:00:44] Speaker A: Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you. I want to take a sec to invite you to the next alcoholiday. It's a monthly dry group where I help people practice not drinking. This is for you. If you feel like you're struggling, if you feel like you're stuck, if you feel like you're broken, you're never gonna get it. I want to just support you and arm you with lots of different tools to battle cravings. Work on your thinking about drinking. Be more kind and compassionate to yourself as you're doing this. You know, drinking is a habit and it's probably something you've done for years or decades. Even so, it takes a while to unwind it. And that's why I'm so passionate about focusing on practicing, not drinking, working on progress, not perfection. I love the saying focus on the direction, not perfection. And I think it's important just to have these types of groups, programs that just give you a safe place that has no shame, no judgment. A safe place where you can just learn new tools and just start unwinding the habit so that it gets easier and easier for you to drink less. [00:02:04] Speaker B: Or not at all. [00:02:05] Speaker A: I would love to have you join the next alcoholiday. It starts the first of every month. As a podcast listener, you always get 20% off by using the code love love and it is hosted on a private platform. It is a HIPAA protected platform. It's really important to me as a nurse just to have privacy and a safe place for you. And what you get is daily emails, lessons, accountability. You get lots and lots of tools to battle cravings. You get a really detailed guidebook journal to help you out during those 30 days, 31 days, whatever the length of the month is. And then you get downloadable audio meditations. Just something to go to when you're feeling a craving. We also do weekly group chats weekly group support calls led by me and another sober coach twice a week. And then there's also a private chat where you can just share with others, support others, and it's just a great place to practice not drinking. [00:03:16] Speaker B: The cost is dollar. [00:03:16] Speaker A: $89. That is so it's less than $3 a day. Plus use that lov code to get your discount. And just a little background on me. I have been a registered nurse for 20 years. I'm a board certified health coach. I'm a smart recovery certified facilitator, an addiction certified mental health professional. I'm a mindfulness instructor. And then you all know I like to call myself an alcohol free badass. I've been alcohol free for almost four and a half years now, so I would love to see you in the next group. You can sign [email protected] alcoholiday and join there. I also will link it in my show notes. Wherever you are with your drinking journey, just know that I am rooting for you, that you are not broken and you can change. [00:04:14] Speaker B: Thanks so much. Welcome back to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Today I have a return guest, Casey McGuire Davidson. I am so excited to have her on the show again and excited to meet her in real life at the Seattle sober in the city event that's in September. Check that out, people. I will put it in the show links too because Casey and I will both be there. But if you're not familiar with Casey, she is a life and sobriety coach and she's the host of the hello Someday podcast for Sober Curious Women, which is just a fantastic podcast. I've had the honor of being on Casey's show two times now, and this is her second time on my show. So welcome, Casey. [00:05:01] Speaker C: Oh, thank you. I am really excited to meet you in person as well, and excited for the event. [00:05:09] Speaker B: Yes, so much. So we were thinking what to talk about today, and what I really wanted to talk about was like, how do you stay sober in the long term? Because you've been alcohol free for eight years, is that right? Yeah, yeah. And I'm four and a half. And it's just, it's so interesting how different this journey is from like your 1st, 30 days to 100 days to that first year, the second year that it's just so much growth and transformation and your needs are different at different times. So we wanted to talk about that. But before we get started, can you share, like your journey, how you got alcohol free? [00:05:56] Speaker C: Yeah. And I think this actually applies to the topic as well in terms of how do you go from worrying about your drinking to trying to stop to finally getting some sober momentum, getting 30 days, 60 days, 100 days, six months, to how do you sustain that and not go back to drinking? Because I was always a big drinker. I mean, you know, in college, I played women rugby. I loved the keg parties. When I graduated college, I thought I was all grown up, so I was, which, by the way, I was not. So I was, like, opening a bottle of red wine in my crappy basement apartment while eating lucky charms for dinner because I did not know how to cook at all. And that I was like, oh, I'm so grown up. This is so sophisticated. But. And I would go out with my friends and drink cocktails at bars because, you know, it was the first time I could do that in a city and met my husband. And then we moved out to Seattle, and we were just deep in the sort of dual income, no kids world where we had lots of friends. We went camping a lot, we had lots of dinner parties, and then the mom wine culture, right? So it wasn't like I never drank often. Like, pretty early. I got into drinking every night, but it wasn't. I was, like, drinking a glass or two every night because I thought that's what adults did. But it wasn't to the point of consistently what they classify as binging. Right? Like, four or more drinks a night. I did that on the weekends. I did that on nights out. But as the years went by, as happens, my tolerance just went way up. And I loved drinking. So, you know, I got to the point of a bottle of wine a night. I was waking up at 03:00 a.m. I had crushing anxiety for a while. I worried about my drinking, but I did not connect it to the 03:00 a.m. Wake ups and anxiety. I just was pretty oblivious. I understood hangovers clearly, because I had them often, but I didn't know all the stuff connected to it. I was going to my psychiatrist and going like, oh, my God, I have so much anxiety because of my work, and I wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night. So she was then. I mean, of course I didn't tell her how I drank, so I was like, oh, yeah, a couple glasses of wine a couple times a week. So then she'd prescribe me antidepressants or antianxiety and ambien to sleep through the night. And, you know, it was. It was dangerous to take Ambien on a bottle of wine a night. I didn't totally realize that at the time again. But as the years went on, I was like, oh, no, this is, this is something I got to get a handle on. And I tried everything I could do to control it without actually giving it up. So I'm going to sign up for 05:30 a.m.. Workouts. I'm going to join a running club at night because then I won't drink a couple nights a week. All the rules, I'll only drink at home. I'll only drink when I'm out. I'll switch to beer. None of it worked for very long. And for very long. I mean, like over four days. So it was not like a great effort. And then finally I got to the point when my son was five that I was just really unhappy. I was unhappy at my job, I was annoyed at my husband. I felt really resentful. I felt really lonely. And I went, I picked a psychiatrist or therapist that specialized in anxiety and addiction and went in there and was like, hey, you know, my boss, my job, my husband, my anxiety, the pressure is. And I drank a bottle of wine a night, and he was like, oh, let's talk about your drinking. Which, by the way, is what I do to my coaching clients now, because I now know that if you remove that one variable, so much of your life gets better without ever doing anything else. But that was the first time I stopped drinking. So he encouraged me. This was, God, twelve years ago, maybe. So eleven or twelve, there was not much out there, and I mean, at all, except for AA. So he encouraged me to go to AAA. I joined a secret private Facebook group that I think was like one of the first ones out there. It was before a lot of the stuff existed. And I never thought I'd get to the point, but there was this cool woman in the group who was my age, who lived in Seattle, who was a lawyer, and she was four months sober, and she said, hey, I'll take you to a meeting. And I was sort of like, well, bucket list. Never thought I'd do this in my life. Let's, you know, try anything once. And everyone was very nice. I ended up going for about four months, but I had a lot of internal resistance to a lot of the practices and philosophy. And that resistance actually made me back away from thinking I had a real problem, right? Like, I, I wanted to drink again. Let's be clear. My husband didn't necessarily want me to stop. Stop. He thought by going to a twelve step program, I was being very dramatic. Like, he was like, seriously I mean, okay, I support you in anything you do, but he didn't know anything about it either. And then I got pregnant. And so if I look back objectively, I think I probably would have gone back to drinking at five months if I hadn't gotten pregnant. I was already doing that slow shuffle back, that, like, rationalization of, hey, I feel better. My drinking was situational. It was the job. My marriage is better now. I'm more balanced. Not at all connecting the fact to, I felt so much better because I wasn't drinking. But I also hadn't framed. Being alcohol free is an actual, positive, empowering step in my life. I had removed the alcohol, but not done any of the mindset work, which it gets to. How do you stay sober long term? Because there is a lot of work to do on your underlying beliefs about alcohol and the way your life is set up. You know, the way you take care of yourself, the way you shift things you're doing in order to actually enjoy being alcohol free and. And adopt it as something you're really proud of. So I did what so many people do after a period of time not drinking. For me, it was a year. Because I got pregnant with my daughter, I decided that I could have a glass or two of wine on a special night with my husband. Like a date night. First time we went out after the baby was born, just to, you know, I also had a six year old. My mother was staying with us. I was like, oh, I can have a glass of wine. Had one, immediately wanted another one, so I think I got another. Immediately wanted a third. But I was like, this will look bad. So I didn't. And then, you know, maybe a week later, I was like, ah, it's a Friday night. Will you pick up a bottle of wine, babe? I mean, in no time at all, I was back to drinking every night or five nights a week, and then back to drinking a bottle of wine a night. And it took me 22 years. No, 22 months. Sorry. It took me 22 months. I was like, I'm not that old to stop again. And the whole time, they really say that recovery ruins you for drinking, and it does. The whole time, I knew that my drinking was unsustainable, that my anxiety was because of my drinking, that the 03:00 a.m. Wake ups were because of my drinking, that my irritation and defensiveness and overwhelm was related to my drinking, and I still didn't want to stop. Like, in my mind, I very clearly was like, yeah, I'm going to have to stop. But, like, I could probably play this out for a few more years. I did not want my husband to know how much I was drinking. I did not want him to know how important it was to me. I had been to AA in the local area for, like, four months. So two years later, I was freaking going to the grocery store. I mean, this is like, no, nothing to see here, laying down my six bottle of wine at the bottom of my cart because, you know, you get that 10% discount. I'm just being financially savvy. I'm being sarcastic here. And would lay my freaking bags, my grocery bags over top of it. And when I would check out, I would look behind me to see if anyone was in the line who I had known from AA, by the way, never happened. Like, no one was ever in the line. But, like, that level of ridiculous effort and worry and, like, knowing I was doing something wrong, like, integrity is one of my core values. I feel guilty about anything, and I find it really hard to shake the fact I was living that way, much less with hangovers and all the physical effects. I wasn't enjoying drinking a ton. Like, I enjoyed it for, like, those 2 hours a night when I was having a party on my couch with a bottle of wine, you know, watching tv sometimes. Wouldn't remember it. The other 22 hours of my day, I was pretty miserable. Like, my. My life was significantly worse because I was drinking. And the second time I stopped, I was again at that point where I was worried about my mental health, where I felt like I couldn't deal with my life, where I was like, this is not going well, and it's going to get worse. No one told me I should stop drinking. My husband still blows my mind. Did not think that I needed, like, he was like, you know, if I'm opening a second bottle of wine on a weeknight, he was like, dude, what are you doing? But the week before I stopped drinking, we lived, like, 3 miles from 100 wine tasting rooms. He suggested to me that I should join the wine club of my favorite winery, which was just up the road so that I wouldn't need to go out to buy a couple of bottles of wine a couple of nights a week. And I was just like, oh, my God, listen to what you are saying. Like, how do you not think this is an issue? Because I know it's a problem, but, I mean, I never talked to him about it. I didn't want him to know. So the second time I stopped drinking, I woke up at 03:00 a.m.. I was still in this secret, private facebook group I had been in for three years. Not posting, of course, because I was totally embarrassed and didn't want anyone to know, but someone who was braver than I was posted about another day one, and all these people responded, and someone suggested a sober coach, and I went in. You know, it just, I was like, I can't do this anymore. So I went into the office, signed up with that sober coach at, like, 10:00 a.m. And just signed up for a hunter day challenge. And that was my last drink over eight years ago. The difference this time was one my illusions about it being situational. Yeah, they were gone. Like, I was like, oh, it's the alcohol. And I also knew how hard it was to get a day one to stick. Like, so hard. So the next time I got sober momentum, I was like, I am not going back to drinking. And the coach I worked with was really positive and empowering and didn't use labels and also kind of held my hand through every face so I didn't get too in my head about it. It was, all right, I'm going out to dinner with another couple. Let's figure out how to get through this. Okay. I'm really proud of myself. Oh, wow. I ran the first ten k in six years. I'm really proud of myself. Oh, my God. I'm going to Italy on vacation. I am not drinking. All the support. And then I am so proud of myself. So that was the difference. That was really long. So was that okay? [00:19:09] Speaker B: Yes, that was. I mean, I just love hearing stories and how people got to where they're at, and, I mean, there's so many similarities, and then, you know, you have your unique path and whatnot. So it was all that to say, like, the first time was really different than this last time that made it stick? Cause I think I get the question all the time from people who are like, how. How did you make it stick? [00:19:37] Speaker C: Right. [00:19:38] Speaker B: How did this time work? People wanna know that. Like, how did it work? So you mentioned, and maybe it will be helpful just to talk about the different phases of sobriety and how to approach them differently. Do you wanna kinda guide us through that? [00:19:54] Speaker C: Yeah. And, you know, jump in, too, because you've got a lot of experience doing this and, and helping people through it. But I think when you stop drinking, there are definitely different phases of the process, and you need different support at each phase of the process. The support you need doesn't really change the type of support you need and the type of community and feedback, you need changes. So in your 1st, 30 days, 40 days, 60 days, I really needed to tap into soap or support. Whether it was emailing my coach, listening to podcasts, listening to coaching audios, plugging into an online community, I needed that for an hour or two every day. I just did. There were so many beliefs about alcohol habits, fears about what people would think, self doubts as to whether I could do this. I needed to almost decondition my mind. Sort of like, brainwash myself from 20 years or entire lifetime of beliefs about how alcohol helps us. And that, quote, unquote, only those people who are, you know, seriously addicted to alcohol would ever stop. I needed to change that. And so I really needed that support every single day and taking it day by day. I mean, I signed up with my coach and I wanted to drink that night, and I was just like, oh, my God, how is this happening? That this morning at 10:00 a.m. I was like, jesus, this is a serious problem. And by 06:00 p.m. I was like, you know, for the millionth time, maybe I'll have a glass. But I didn't because I was like, I now have accountability. I've said, I'm going to do this, and someone is holding me to it. Honestly, I feel like it helped me that I am like a gold star girl and a huge people pleaser because suddenly I didn't want to let my coach down, right? Like, I wanted the pat on the head for her. And she was telling me that I needed to lower the bar. She was telling me that I needed sober treats. She was telling me that, just see how you feel. Just, this is an experiment that you. Nobody needs to drink. You know, all those messages I needed when I got to 30 days, that's kind of a tricky point because, like, somehow your mind forgets how bad you felt and how much you wanted this, and you're like, eh, I did 30 days. I'm probably good. I can moderate now. So, like, getting through that hump was really important. I signed up for 100 day challenge, and I was really focused on hitting that milestone. And as you hit that milestone, it's tricky, too, because you're so focused on it that you're like, oh, my God, my life should be perfect now. I did 100 days alcohol free, and it is probably 60% better. But life is life, right? Like, your husband's annoying, your boss is a nightmare. You blow up the kitchen with something, like, something happens, and you're like, I can't believe that everything is not fixed. And honestly, that's when the second level of work begins, right? Like, you've gotten away from the physical pull to drink. You've gotten through a lot of the first. And then it's like, okay, what do you want to add to your life so that you actually enjoy this? What. What else do you need beyond just not drinking? So I made a second commitment, and I highly recommend this to, like, okay, now I'm going to go for six months. I want to see how good I can feel at six months. Then I moved the milestone to a year and telling everyone that's what I was doing. Most people in my life saw how much healthier I was. I had. Not everyone has this, but I'd lost a lot of weight. My skin looked better. I was more calm. I was more even. So, like, no one was like, oh, you were more fun when you were drinking. Everybody was like, what are you doing? Like, even my boss was like, I'm going to do a 30 day break because you look so good. And it was funny because I was like, you have no idea what was going on and how hard it was for me. And she's like, I told my personal trainer, I'm like, sure, do it. And then at four months, I call it like the, you have these aftermath problems from drinking, right? Which is like the physical pull, the habitual pull, the irritation, the withdrawal, all the hangovers. Like, that goes away within your 1st, 30 days, usually 60 days, like that stuff. You feel a lot better. You're sleeping through the night, but then you have all these underlying problems, which is why you started drinking in the first place. I always think the question is, like, what do you not have to deal with when you drink? And that's the thing. So for me, it was. It was anxiety. Like, real anxiety that was unrelated to drinking. My. My anxiety got, like, 60% better. But then at four months, a huge trigger for me was work and layoffs and absorbing that work. You know, I worked in digital marketing in Seattle. There were always reorgs and layoffs and rumors and financial security. That was something that really triggered me, and that happened, triggered my anxiety. And I was really barely hanging on for a while. And I remember going to my doctor and saying, I cannot feel this way anymore. Like, I wanted to jump out of my own skin and I can't go back to drinking. So you have to help me. And she gave me medication, anti anxiety and sort of panic medication. And I started seeing a therapist weekly for a year, and it was amazing. I got to deal with shit that I probably should have dealt with when I was 14, you know, like, real things. But the other thing that she helped me with was I had a mood disorder that had been undiagnosed, and I never would have figured that out if I was drinking. You know, she was like, hey, you're still having these, like, cyclical four months ups and downs that shouldn't be happening. If you're on this antidepressant, anti anxiety, and they're sort of unrelated to an external trigger, and then you have a trigger, and that should by all means, you know, send you into an anxiety episode and you're not. And so we figured that out and got a medication for that. And I just am like, thank God. Like, in. I've been sober eight years. In seven years, I have not felt panicked, low anxious, and it's incredible. Like, I feel good. And we can also talk about, like, the stages of relapse, kind of emotional, mental, physical, how to watch for them. But that was sort of my first year process. And I think the. The underlying issues are different from everyone. Like, you might have a difficult marriage, you might struggle with your children. It might be work, it might be mental health, it might be family, you know, anything. But there is something that is a sort of a second level of work. [00:28:13] Speaker B: Yeah. That makes so much sense. And I think just those, like, the first week, 30 days, the first day, just even getting to the first day, like you said, just having support, having accountability, whatever that looks like for you is so, so important. Making it your priority, like, your number one priority. It's not. I know a lot of people want to get on the health kick and diet and exercise and, you know, just change their life, but really, like, this has to be your job in a way. And like you said, an hour a day. But honestly, think of how much time drinking took up and thinking about drinking. Yeah. So to unwind it at first, you really do need to put in the effort where you are doing the work, whatever that is for you, and then getting. I like how you talked about moving the goalpost in from 30 days to 100 to six months to a year. It's just. It's hard to say forever. And I think people get scared of that and actually just did a podcast, just a quick one about, you know, reframing how you think about drinking. Because one of the ways we talk about drinking is, like, breaking up with it, divorcing it, which is a really, like, negative connotation. Right. And then you were saying I needed to focus on what I was getting out of being sober and alcohol free. And I liked, think of it as, like, you're dating sobriety. You're dating it. Maybe you're engaged, you don't have to get married right away, but you're dating it. And so just like any relationship, it takes time, and you're going to have these, like, sober bucket lists or dates. Right? Your first sober concert, your first sober wedding, your first sober holiday. Like, those are all so different and just. I just kind of like that different way of navigating it, especially for people who are afraid to, like, commit and be married to it and say, forever. [00:30:30] Speaker C: Yeah. And I did an episode on romanticizing sobriety. Instead of romanticizing, I think in every. Every sober first. Right. Everything you do the first time, you're, like, really angry and you don't drink like that, doing that sliding door. What would have happened had I drank? What did happen? Because I didn't. It's not all going to be great, right? Like, you go out to dinner with your girlfriends, you don't drink, but actually do the contrast. So many of us are like, oh, it wasn't as fun. Oh, I kind of wanted to drink, and it sucked. But, like, do the actual, hey, what was good about it? Because maybe you could drive home, which is cool. Maybe you don't say anything embarrassing that you wish you hadn't said. Maybe you get to go home and actually take off your makeup and brush your teeth and sleep through the night. Maybe the next morning you get to go out for a run. So, like, yes, you missed out on that, like, friggin dopamine hit that slows your nervous system. That makes you all buzzy. Right? But you also got all this other stuff that's positive out of it and just keep doing that. Treat it with curiosity, treat it with experimentation, and look forward. And that really, really helps. [00:32:08] Speaker B: I love that romanticizing sobriety because you're right. You do get to the point where you're kind of like, well, it wasn't that bad, you know, and that's just normal, that whole fading effect bias where we. We tend to forget the negative things, so we do them again. Like childbirth. [00:32:29] Speaker C: Oh, my God. [00:32:31] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:32:31] Speaker C: I remember driving to the hospital with my husband, with my second daughter, and I was like, I forgot that I really, really, really don't like this. He was, like, laughing at me, and I was like, it's not funny. [00:32:46] Speaker B: It's your fault. [00:32:48] Speaker C: I'm scared. Yeah. [00:32:50] Speaker B: But we forget, and maybe we'll get to this. As we talk about stacking up the years of being sober. You know, I'm four and a half. You're eight years. And even now, I. I, of course, get to talk to a lot of people in the first days, and it keeps me humble and reminds me, like, ugh, this shit is hard. But. And also just to give people hope, you kind of forget about how hard it was and the bad parts once you're through them. But it's that. Oh, getting through them. The hundred days, the six months, the one year, and then one other thing. Oh, go ahead. [00:33:30] Speaker C: No, tell me. [00:33:31] Speaker B: Oh, I was just going to say, the other thing I'm glad that you shared about was when you remove the alcohol, then you're seeing, okay, what's left here, and it can uncover other problems. Just like you said, you had a mood disorder that wasn't diagnosed. I had undiagnosed migraines. I just thought. I just had wicked hangovers, right? [00:33:57] Speaker C: I just thought, we're so freaking hard on ourselves. Like, we blame the alcohol and we're mad at ourselves for drinking, and we don't want to tell anyone, so we spend years suffering. [00:34:09] Speaker B: Oh, suffer. And I thought, oh, I deserve this. I deserve to feel this kind of pain because I did this to myself. [00:34:17] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:34:17] Speaker B: So that was interesting. And then the other story I like to share for people is someone had posted on one of those Facebook groups that they had woken up. They were a couple months sober. They'd woken up, and they were having, like, just kind of anxiety and palpitations and some heart issues. And she ended up going in and turns out she was having a heart attack. But she said if I had still been drinking and I had woken up with these same symptoms, I would have just written it off as a hangover. Feeling this awful, the heart racing, all of that, the high blood pressure, like, oh, I'm just hungover. And she wouldn't have gone to the hospital, and she could have died. Honestly. [00:35:07] Speaker C: Terrifying. And, like, true. We. We are so, so hard on ourselves. And one of the best things I love about when you stop drinking is, like, we're so much nicer to ourselves. Like, I still screw up, right? Like, I still forget things, you know? My husband's still like, oh, yeah, I'm going out tonight because I've got this, like, coaching thing. And I'm like, oh, you did? And he's like, I told you, we talked about this. That used to send me into a defensive shame guilt spiral. Like, I'd just be like, oh, my God, I'm gonna have to play this off. I don't want him to know that I don't remember. I'd even be like, is he screwing with me? Like, I seriously don't remember this. I mean, that's just one. One tiny example. But now I'm like, oh, sorry. You know, like, literally water off a duck. Do not absorb it emotionally at all. Don't get defensive about it. Like, I'm just like, oh, yeah, don't remember that. I mean, it is lovely. [00:36:17] Speaker B: I agree. That memory thing is huge. And just playing it off, like, sure, sure, we talked about that, but now I know. Now my memory is like, oh, no, we didn't. I can call him out or not. Like, I will know. Or I can, like you said, like, oh, I guess I forgot. Sorry. And it's not a big deal. You're not, like, on the defense all the time. [00:36:40] Speaker C: Yeah, totally. And I even remember fairly early in sobriety, maybe I was four months in. I went into Seattle, and I went to see Brene Brown with some friends, which was so cool. She was, like, talking, and I was meeting some girlfriends before or after whatever. It was parked in this garage downtown Seattle. And after, it was a bunch of women who don't drink, which was super cool. So after the event, we went out and got, like, hot chocolate and dessert instead of, like, lots of drinks to talk about. It came back to the garage, and the garage had closed. Like, closed. Like, it was locked. And I lived, like, 30 minutes outside Seattle, and I was just like, oh, no, now if I had been drinking, I would have just eviscerated myself, right? Like, just. I don't know. You know? How could I? What's wrong with me? I'm an idiot. Blah, blah, blah. I was in such. This place of gratitude. I, like, called the number they answered. I was like, oh, my God. I am so happy that someone was there. They were four blocks away. I walked to get the key to open it, and I was just like, oh, my God, this guy is so nice. I'm really grateful. It's not that far away. I went back, got my car out. I had to return it, and I was like, I am driving home safe. I am not trying to play off that. I haven't had two or three glasses of wine. And then the guy didn't charge me, and I was like, he is so freaking nice, you know? And drove home, and it was just. It's ridiculous. I mean, talk about romanticizing sobriety. I was just like, thank God I hadn't been tricky, you know? Thank God this guy's so nice that night. It would have been a mess for days of like, anger, resentment, defensiveness, blaming others. I mean, you name it, you know? [00:38:36] Speaker B: Yeah, I think doing those sliding door moments like you talk about, like, okay, if I choose this path, this drinking path, here's what would happen. And if I choose this alcohol free path, here's what happens. And I mean, that's, that's a useful thought exercise. [00:38:54] Speaker C: Yeah, it totally is. And the other thing I was going to say was after that first year, I was sort of like, I was super proud of myself. And because I had gone back to drinking before at a year, I was not going to do that. And it was high. I still don't think about forever. I never thought about forever then, because I was like, this doesn't serve me. But I know I feel better now. I know I'm happier now. So I was like, you know what? I think I'm done. And everybody's like, oh, my God, never again. I was like, I don't know, but I think I'm done. And what I liked at that point, as opposed to when I was in a twelve step program, no shade on it, just this approach worked for me better is it didn't define me. Like, I didn't want to sit around and be like, oh, my God, I'm sober. So as big as drinking was my identity when I was drinking to the point where, like, I would enter, you know, you're getting to know someone. I literally would be like, yeah, I'm married, I have two kids, I work in marketing, I'm a red wine girl. I live in Seattle. Like, it was that big in who I thought I was, it flipped to like, hey, I'm married, I have two kids, I work in digital marketing, I don't drink, I live in Seattle. Like, it was, it was a small part of who I was, but an important one. Do you know what I mean? [00:40:24] Speaker B: Yeah, definitely. And I think I could so relate to proudly proclaiming my lushness. Just like, metaphor for, like, I'm a good time, right? I'm a lush and just like, basing who you hang out with, just having that be your whole identity. And I know that's the case for a lot of people, you know, and a lot of people who end up in the beverage industry, or it's something where they're really tied to it, it becomes like their hobby and their identity, and that can be hard to change. [00:41:06] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:41:07] Speaker B: So get us through, you kind of got us through the first year. Then what, you know, what are the other phases as we're getting into years instead of days? [00:41:19] Speaker C: I still celebrate my, like, soberversary. And I think it is. One of the best kept secrets of quitting drinking is that you basically get an entire extra birthday for the rest of your life. Like, in a good way. Like, I celebrate. [00:41:36] Speaker B: I'm like, two years sober. [00:41:38] Speaker C: You, everybody posts on social media. You get ridiculous amounts of love. I take the whole freaking day off. My family gives me cards. They bake me a cake. You know, like, it's just. I get massages. I, you know, over the years, I've done different things. I've gone to, like, a yoga retreat for women in recovery. I've gotten a tarot card reading. I've done Reiki, like, all these things on my sober bursary. So celebrating, still celebrating. Still getting that reinforcement from people in the alcohol free world because they get it. They get how huge it is. That's big. I wanted my second year to just be about joy. Like, not necessarily to be about not drinking, not to be about the work, but just like, I want to be freaking happy. And I was. I got kittens. They made me extremely happy. I went on, like, a yoga retreat with my sober besties. I was really healthy. You know, I was working out. I was proud of myself. I did, like, the wanderlust, mindful triathlon, which was, like this dance party and yoga and meditation and five k and, like, face painting. Like, I was just, like, super happy on purpose, and I was saying no to things without defensiveness. Like, my husband wanted my son to play summer ball. He was seven. It was a pain in the ass. And my husband said it was really important to him, but he played baseball and could never take him, and he went on fishing trips. And I just said to him, I was like, I want to be able to lay in a hammock and read books instead of spending 3 hours at the baseball field three times a week. And he was like, but my husband's a freaking varsity baseball coach, so, you know, he's like, nobody makes the team if they don't do XYZ. And I was like, okay, will you commit to taking him? And he's like, yeah. And I was like, that means you're not playing baseball, because, like, this is not my first rodeo. And he was like, no, I want to play baseball. I was like, if it's not important to you enough, if it's not enough in terms of being important to you, it's not enough in terms of being important to me. And that sounds so stupid, but that was three months of joy instead of obligation. And honestly, like, my son did not want to go to baseball three times a week. He was seven. Like, it wasn't the love of his life, just stuff like that. So year two, for me, was all about joy. I was still plugged in to my sober friends, right? I actually made really good sober friends through an online group, but then a group in Seattle. And I went on, like, she recovers yoga retreats, and I met more friends. So I had all my old friends who I still loved, who were still really important to me, all the people I drank with. But then I had this whole new group of friends. I felt like my world got so much bigger. So year two was actually pretty freaking awesome. Year three, for me, was all about self development. Like, I was just like, do I like my job? Do I not? Like, I was just. I was centered. I was empowered. I was like. And by the way, this was not all easy. It wasn't. During this time, my very best friend died of brain cancer. And it was a long, painful process, and I was still able to see the benefits of being sober. I was like, I am able to be there for her. I am not making this about me. I am not looking away. Even when it's really hard. My heart is going out to her and her five year old and everything. And I love her. And I'm channeling that into writing everyone she's ever known and getting these letters about her to her son in the present tense. Like, just stuff that if I was drinking, and I know this because my dad died of cancer when I was drinking, I would have made it all about me, the whole thing, how it impacted me. I would have been drinking. I would have been dramatic, you know, like, it was just better. But then I also decided to go back to coaching school. And what's shocking, and you will know this, is because I know you've done it. I could barely handle my life when I was drinking with my job, my kids, my marriage. Like, barely holding on anything would break me. Any extra requirement. And when I was sober, three years sober, I had the same job, the same kids, the same marriage, somehow went back to coaching school for nine months on nights and weekends, started my practice and was not stressed out. I mean, it's crazy. So what about you? That was year three for me. [00:46:47] Speaker B: Well, I love hearing about these different years. And so, yeah, so year one for me, just in a nutshell, was kind of about thriving, and then year two was about growth, and I loved how you were just, like, out living your life. And I have a gal in my group who is on year two, she's just like, I just want to fucking live my life, you know? [00:47:15] Speaker C: Right. [00:47:16] Speaker B: I'm out here grabbing life by the balls, and, you know, it is kind of this excitement in. [00:47:22] Speaker C: Oh, my God. [00:47:23] Speaker B: The first year. [00:47:24] Speaker C: I love that she said that because I am a vision board girl. Always have been. And also as a drinker, like, more is more. You know what I mean? If, like, one thing's good, seven things have to be better. So I had made, like, one vision board in early sobriety. Like, and by that, it was like some crappy, like, poster board I put on the inside of my pantry to, like, remind me. And then I made two, and they were nicer. They were like, you know, Xyz with quotes and images or whatever. Then my husband came home one day, and I was like, two and a half years sober, maybe, or anyway. And I had 20 friggin things on the dining room table. 20. And he was like, what are you doing? And I was like, babe, I am manifesting the shit out of life. He was like, all right, that's my girl. Like, when you were like, she's just freaking living. Like, I know that. Be late. [00:48:19] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, it's so wonderful. And then. Let's see. So year three was finally. That was last. That was a lot of change last year, actually. So, like, you were saying, like, how did I have that? I was so overwhelmed when I was drinking. Quit drinking, working full time. When I started alcohol tipping point, started doing this podcast, started doing, you know, my groups and everything while working full time and whatnot. I know, right? Not advice for everyone. Just saying. But then year three is what was all about, I guess, change and embracing change and kind of transitioning from working full time as a nurse to, like, doing more with alcohol tipping point, but then with the family and then, you know, kind of, like, settling, like, the dust settling a little bit. [00:49:16] Speaker C: And by the way, that's super brave. Like, so brave to start your business and your podcast and, like, be open not just to your friends and family, but the, like, world with your story. Like, that's courageous. So good for you. [00:49:34] Speaker B: Well, same to you for leading the way. Honestly, I was terrified. [00:49:39] Speaker C: Were you terrified? [00:49:41] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. All the things I was like, what am I? You know, it was weird how it all came along. Cause it just kind of felt like it was meant to be. But I think overcoming my drinking problem, getting sober finally, was hands down the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And with that came this confidence that I could step out, I could do other things. I could be brave if I could do this. I think you get such a boost in your self confidence and self esteem and trust in yourself. Like, you're finally trusting yourself instead of just that kind of misery of letting yourself down again and again. [00:50:30] Speaker C: You're not in this constant habit of putting on yourself. And for me, it felt like a constant habitat of failure. I felt like I had no willpower, I had no motivation for longer than x period of time. And I was like, how can everyone else handle life? How can everyone else do this where I am, like, so anxious and huge imposter syndrome? And that's like lifelong work to get through that. I mean, it just is. But you're right. Like, quitting drinking is the thing I am most proud of in life. And by the way, that was true long before I started the podcast or coaching, like, year two. I was like, I am so freaking proud of myself. Like, this is hard and this is badass. And I did feel like I could do anything if I did that. [00:51:27] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. And I mean, and I just wanted to give that back to people and let you know if you're listening, like, you're not alone. And it's possible, like, we see people all over the world who are giving up drinking, and it's just amazing. It's so amazing. [00:51:47] Speaker C: Oh, my God, Anne Hathaway, did you see that yesterday? [00:51:52] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:51:52] Speaker C: I mean, it just. Anyway, I love women who are around my age who quit drinking. I'm thinking, like, Drew Barrymore and Kelly Ripa and Anne Hathaway and whatever, and they could define it however they want to. Like, I don't think any one of those was like, oh, my God, it was a huge problem, by the way. It might have been. You know what I mean? Like, you don't have to say anything, but she just celebrated five years sober and said, you know, she did it after a five day hangover, and she took her kid to school and she was hungover, and she didn't like the way she drank. And, you know, just, it's. You are not alone if you struggle with this. Like, I think so many more women than, you know, probably in your circle struggle with this and never say anything. [00:52:40] Speaker B: Absolutely. And I think there is some statistic at the five year mark where you're kind of once, if you get to five years alcohol free, then you're considered. [00:52:56] Speaker C: Yeah, like 90%. Like, yeah. Have you heard that people who make it to five years don't go back? [00:53:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:53:04] Speaker C: I've interviewed someone who said that stat, and I think that you still like. I love atomic habits by James clear. It's so great. And he talks about how you start off with a goal based habit. Right. In my mind, that's like 30 days, 60 days, 100 days. Right? That. And you do all these things. I have three podcasts on atomic habits. I love it so much. Applied to not drinking. But the idea is you change all these things in your social circle to, like, add people in, where the behavior you want is the behavior that's celebrated. Change your physical environment to make the habit easier, all this stuff. But then he says the real magic is when it becomes an identity based habit, not outcome based. Right. So even saying forever, never again, that's outcome based. Identity is I am a person who no longer drinks alcohol because it is out of alignment with the kind of person I want to be, right. It would be weird if I drank. And that is an identity based habit. And I think over the years, that just becomes stronger and stronger where, you know, in my mind, like, I always have this weird pull to self sabotage myself. Like, it. It just is. I think I just want to rebel or be bad or screw up my life somehow. And I kind of need to resist a little bit and be like, all right, I can mess around with my life in a lot of ways. Drinking is not one of them. That one I know will drink me, drag me down. So if I want to rebel, you know, I'm going to Provence with three girlfriends in July, all of whom are sober. Like, that's a rebellion from having a ten year old and a 16 year old and a husband. Like, that's pretty fun. [00:54:57] Speaker B: Well, and just to go to that identity and the kind of rebel is, that's why I'm like, I'm an alcohol free badass, right? [00:55:06] Speaker C: Totally. [00:55:07] Speaker B: I don't. You know, I use different terminology, but one I just will never say. I'm an alcoholic. [00:55:15] Speaker C: Me neither. I don't. I could debate for twelve years whether I think I am. And I don't. I mean. I mean, ignoring the fact that's not a medical term, I just. There is something in me that doesn't want to say that, and it's so not required at all. [00:55:35] Speaker B: And I think that's important. Like, use what is helpful for you if that's an identity. Like, I'm an alcohol free badass. I'm sober. I'm a non drinker. I'm a person who takes care, care of their health. And that can simply mean I don't drink, I'm a non drinker, whatever that looks like. [00:55:56] Speaker C: And if. [00:55:57] Speaker B: If it's helpful for you to say, I'm an alcoholic, then use that. But, yeah, you get to choose. It's your identity. [00:56:06] Speaker C: I say, like, I used to drink a lot. I loved it. I quit, and I feel better. That's, like, literally my entire story. [00:56:15] Speaker B: And you don't owe anybody your story. [00:56:17] Speaker C: No. [00:56:18] Speaker B: Oh, so good. So good. So, to wrap this up now, you are eight years sober. Maybe just share what is keeping you sober now. Gosh, it's been so long. That's awesome. [00:56:32] Speaker C: Well, a couple things. And the first would be that I am still tapped in to people who also don't drink. I remember even at, like, six months, saying, texting my. My sober bestie and being like, all right, I really want to drink tonight, so, like, I need you to talk me out of it. Go, like, seriously. And she's done the same thing to me. You know, you lose your job, your marriage is struggling. Whatever it is, you just feel like screwing up your life just because, you know. So having a community is really helpful. Staying tapped into people who are still trying to get that day one and supporting them, cheering them on, it helps you. It helps them. It reminds you that drinking is not glamorous when you see 30 people coming to you on day one, feeling so bad and then seeing themselves bloom. On my seven year so reversary, I got my very first tattoo on my wrist, and it says, nqtd. Never question the decision. And I sort of wanted that. I needed that just to be like, nope, not going back. Never questioning that decision. So those are all the things that. That helped me. And you don't have to be a coach or a podcast host or anything like that, but, like, tap in to other people on this path, because it will help you. [00:58:05] Speaker B: I agree. I agree. Well, this was such an inspiring conversation. I'm so glad that we are sharing, and I got to hear more about you. How can people find you? [00:58:18] Speaker C: Yeah, the easiest place is my website. It's hellosumdaycoaching.com. I have a podcast. Deb's been on it twice. We just talked about mindfulness and sobriety, and that is the hello, someday podcast. You can find it wherever you listen. And I have a program called the Sobriety starter. Help you go, like, day one to six months and beyond. [00:58:45] Speaker B: The sobriety starter kit. [00:58:47] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:58:47] Speaker B: Yes. Love it, love it. We all need that. And then if you want to meet me and Casey Irl in real life in Seattle in September, we'll both be at the sober in the city Seattle event. So, looking forward to that, like a. [00:59:01] Speaker C: Really fun, long weekend. Lots of women, lots of activities, and just a chance to bond. [00:59:07] Speaker B: And maybe it's another, like, treat for you if you're someone who's dating sobriety or you have eight years, you're married, you're celebrating awesome. Well, thank you so much, Casey. It was just great to have you on. [00:59:24] Speaker C: Thank you. [00:59:26] Speaker A: 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. [00:59:35] Speaker B: I want you to know I'm always. [00:59:36] Speaker A: Here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on instagram at alcoholtippingpoint and check out my website, alcoholtippingpoint.com, for free resources and help. No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I'm want to encourage you to just keep practicing, keep going. I promise you are not alone and. [00:59:55] Speaker B: You are worth it. [00:59:57] Speaker A: Every day you practice not drinking is. [00:59:59] Speaker B: A day you can learn from. [01:00:00] Speaker A: I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week. And until then, talk to you next time.

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