How to Successfully Navigate and Master 90 Days Alcohol-Free with Courtney Andersen

Episode 130 September 13, 2023 00:51:34
How to Successfully Navigate and Master 90 Days Alcohol-Free with Courtney Andersen
Alcohol Tipping Point
How to Successfully Navigate and Master 90 Days Alcohol-Free with Courtney Andersen

Sep 13 2023 | 00:51:34


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Today's episode is about learning how to thrive without drinking. Our focus is on the pivotal 90-day period, whether you're taking a break from drinking or fully committing to a life without it. Joining us is Courtney Andersen. Courtney is the Founder of National Sober Day, Host of the Sober Vibes podcast, a sober coach, and author. She just published the book, Sober Vibes: How to Thrive in Your First 90 Days of Sobriety.  

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Episode Transcript

pod courtney anderson Thanks for tuning into this episode of that Alcohol Tipping Point. Today I have Courtney Anderson. Courtney is the founder of national sober day. She's the host of the sober vibes podcast. I was actually recently a guest on her show, talking about alcohol in your health. She is a sober coach and she is now an author. She has a new book out called Sober vibes: How to thrive in your first 90 days of sobriety. And she just celebrated 11 years of being an alcohol free. Bad-ass. I really hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Courtney. Deb: Well, Courtney, I'm so glad to have you as a guest on my show. I was Honor to be on your show. I think it came out like a month or two ago, just talking about alcohol and your health. And I'm glad to have you here. And especially at this time, because you just had like two special things happen. One is you are celebrating 11 years. of being sober, alcohol free. And then the other is you gave birth to a book. You have a book out now. So I want to congratulate you on both Courtney: of those. Well, thank you. And thank you for having me on your show. We had a great conversation on the Sober Vibes podcast and that episode did very well because You know, the health aspect of it all. People don't want to hear about it, but it's the truth of what alcohol does to your body. Yes, I had an amazing week. I was on a natural high all last week. I don't think it's just a moment of time that I will never forget. And how that book came out to the same week I turned 11. Was just, it was just meant to be because that book was actually supposed to come out in the spring and then it got pushed back because I needed a two week extension when I was writing it. Yeah, well, Deb: I mean, it just sounds perfect. It was perfect. I mean, so congratulations. Thank you. Well, can you share a little bit about who you are and and your drinking journey? Courtney: Sure. So I am a sober coach and a podcast host and. An author now that I can put behind my name, which is amazing. And my journey started on August 18th of 2012 when I quit drinking alcohol for good. I started drinking at 19. And it was really just love at first sip. You know, I didn't, I didn't drink a lot in high school cause I never wanted I alcoholism and mental health issues ran in my family. So I never wanted to become one of those. And that is what I became when I had started my relationship with alcohol. So from 19 to 29, it was, as I described, a very toxic love affair. You know, and at 25 years old, I knew then I was going to have to give up drinking one day, I just didn't know how or when or what it was going to look like or what the plan was. I just knew in my soul I was going to be a person who lived without alcohol. Deb: And, and so you discovered this young, only after like a decade of drinking, which I am like so impressed by because I felt like I spent decade, spent a couple decades drinking and then I spent a lot of time trying to Unwind the habit. How did you quit Courtney: drinking? So from 25 to 29, I really tried the moderation game. I tried putting limitations on my drinking. I tried policing my drinking restrictions, all of that, but it all led me back to the same spot, you know, and then finally. On when I woke up on August 18th, I had worked my last bar shift as I was transitioning into the medical field full time. And. That was the last night and I woke up to my rescue cat missing a second time after a night of me drinking and my boyfriend at the time, he was like, look, you can continue on doing what you want to do with drinking. He was like, I'm not going to stick around for this anymore. He was like, it's too much. So for three days, I sat in my hangover and. I said to the universe, if Fiona is found, I will give up alcohol. And that is what I have done because she was found in that boyfriend is now my husband. So it worked out, but I'm just happy to that Fiona was found because I wouldn't be able to have lived with myself if I lost my, if she never came home. You know, I mean, she was a rescue cat who loses their rescue cat twice. Deb: Yeah. Oh, wow. Wow. So, I mean, back then. It's so amazing to me how much things have changed in the last 11 years. There wasn't really all this sober curiosity and all these alternative approaches to changing your drinking. So how did you do it? Courtney: So at that time I went into AA for the first couple of weeks of my sobriety. It was overwhelming to me. I did not connect with God. I, my anxiety was at a high listening to somebody's. Telling me that they had 10 years, 20 years of sobriety was like, it was too much. I stopped doing that. And I really white knuckled it. And what I did though, every morning was I woke up every morning and said, I'm grateful for another day of not drinking. And I really had at the forefront that drinking was not going to be the answer anymore to my life. And then as the years went on, I went back to AA, participated. I went back to therapy. I hired my own coaches year three. I really, I really dove into personal development and I owe a lot to my recovery and sobriety to personal, to personal development, because when you get sober, you are like a newborn in this adult. Body, right? You're this newborn in this 30 year old body and life is a, it's different and you really have to rebuild yourself of healing from the past, healing from the past in your drinking days and what happened then, and really, really rebuilding who you're going to be now in this life. So I owe a lot to personal development. I don't believe that there's one way to recover. I believe that you get these, these hits of support when you need them throughout your journey. Yeah, Deb: I totally agree. There's definitely not one way to quit, one way to recover one label, any of that. So then how did you decide, this is your first book, and you chose... to write about your first 90 days. And what made you decide to focus on that time? Courtney: Well, a lot of women that I do one on one coaching with is all about the first 90 days. You know, so that's really, I, I do help women quit drinking alcohol and support them in that transformation. So, and also too, There's wasn't a lot, there's not a lot of books out there that really focus on that timeframe. And because so many people want to future trip and be like, all right, let me go like a year, right? Like, let me go a year. And then that becomes overwhelming and you really do have to break it down into little attainable goals. So those 90 days, it's just so crucial for everybody to really get that solid foundation in those first 90 days to keep the wheels. Turning and moving forward. Deb: Yeah, I, I agree. And I think as I haven't read your book yet, but I was wondering, would this be helpful for someone who's not sure if they want to completely quit drinking, but they they're taking a break because, you know, I run the 30 day alcohol holidays and we focus on taking a break for a month. And then a lot of people want to Do it longer and there's that magical 90 days or 100 days number that gets thrown out. They're still not ready to commit to longer. So I'm just curious about your thoughts around Courtney: that. I do believe so. I mean, I had a previous client. She is now three years sober and she got my book and she read it and she was like, I needed this because she was like, I always believed that you need to go back to the beginning to remember. And I was like, well, you do, you absolutely do if you're choosing a road of long term sobriety, you know? So I think it's very easy for people to forget how they felt when they gave up drinking or even if they're sober curious because they're sober curious for a reason. Doesn't have no, but not everybody has this like, and that's the whole thing. It's a spectrum of rock bottoms. And I truly do believe that a rock bottom, whether you like the term or not, but it's a rock bottom is a moment where you have with alcohol, where you're like. It's that decision to be like, I'm no longer going to do this dance anymore with the substance. It keeps showing me who it is and how I react to it. So, so yes, I do believe that this book, because it's a different perspective, and it really tailors to the reader's personal journey. We're not all doing what your uncle Tom did 30 years ago when they got sober or even what your neighbor Sally is currently doing because we are all different people. So with the journal prompts and going through it, it really tailors to you of what speaks to you and what vibes with you and your own personal journey without alcohol. Deb: So how do you know it's the right time to quit drinking? Courtney: Are you good and tired of what alcohol keeps doing to you? You know, that's, that's really how you have to, you have to decide, like, are you done? Are you done getting your hand burned on the stove is what I like to tell people, like, and if you're done with that, then it's time for you to move on. You're never going to have this last goodbye. Nobody has a quote unquote last drink. You don't know when that last drink is going to happen until it happens because you woke up the next morning to be like, I just. Don't want to live in this cycle anymore. And I am a true believer that with people who already are past the point and have a troublesome, problematic relationship with alcohol, there was no going back to moderate it. It's a very, very, very small percentage of people who can do that. But I guarantee you those people who try to do that eventually somewhere will lead back to why they stopped in the first place. Mm hmm. Yeah, I mean, it's just a poison and it truly changes your brain chemistry as you know. Yeah, and Deb: that's why I think this 90 days is so good too. I mean, you can make a lot of positive health changes in 30 days, but 90 days is really a good. Amount of time to like, that's when you could get your liver function tests improve. And, you know, we recommend three months between checking your cholesterol levels and your brain chemistry and really starting to heal your brain and your dopamine neurotransmitters and all that. So, and to just like create this habit. Courtney: Well, and to you after 60 days, you get to a point when you're on that 60 day road and your old drinking self, I won't call it your addiction because it's all different for people, but there's this old drinking self that will come out and try to convince you that you did not have a problem. And like, Oh, look at me. I made it to 60 days. I can do this. And that's why you have to keep pushing forward because there is and self sabotage will come up for people because you don't understand, you know, you, you think to yourself, like, I don't deserve to feel this, this good, a lot of limiting beliefs come up and at 60 days, there's a lot of self sabotage. So that's why you have to keep pushing through to the 90 days to really settle into this huge lifestyle change. Cause that's what it is. Deb: Oh, it totally is. So let's kind of walk through getting someone ready to do the 90 days. So they're beginning like what are some things you can do before you start? Courtney: I always first and foremost, always talk to your doctor about alcohol. Withdrawal and detox. I don't know where everybody is at. Nobody knows where everybody is at with their drinking. You know, I was one of those people where, when I was asked how many drinks you had on a week, I would be like two would actually be like 25, 30. So please talk with your doctor about quitting drinking alcohol, which withdrawals in detox. So once you hit that step, then the next one is to quit drinking that day. Like to keep saying to yourself, well, I have a wedding next weekend. I'll quit after that. Or like, I have this trip coming up. I'll quit after that. There's no good time to, to quit drinking other than today, because that is what we have is today. And you need to just stop drinking alcohol. Another one, I say to people too, of getting in the, getting the process going. Is to clean out your kitchen, clean out the stock of the alcohol in your house, because if you're still having it right in front of yourself, you're, it's, it's such, it's, it's a trigger and it's, it, why out of sight, out of mind, right? And if you live with somebody who still drinks, just ask them to put it somewhere where you cannot see it because that you are taking this serious and go from there, even to with organizing your kitchen. You know, don't be like, I'm just going to donate this all. I'll just wait. Or if I have a party down the road, like just get rid of it and give it to your sister in law, give it to your parents, give it to a neighbor. Like, here you go. Here's my stock of booze because it's just temptation. Actually, I say, I want to say it's just temptation in front of your face. Also to like all the drinking paraphernalia, get rid of that too. If you want to keep a couple of koozies you are attached to that you got in Myrtle beach back 10 years ago. Cool. But like, get rid of this stuff because you no longer need it. For me though, I did keep at least two wine glasses because I do believe it's okay to drink from pretty glasses. It's like that didn't bother me. Right. So clean up the kitchen, clean out the house of, of alcohol, hide it, talk with your doctor and just start today. That is the best thing that you can do for yourself when getting ready to quit drinking alcohol. And Deb: then what, what's your advice for people? You know, it's those first few weeks where the cravings are the worst. So what's some of your best advice for cravings? Courtney: People have to understand that cravings last about 7 to 20 minutes, right? So during that time, I do believe it's best that you prepare yourself with having something to do, whether that's like crushing water, whether that's going just for a little 10 minute walk, whether you want to brush your teeth, you want to suck on a sucker, you want to chew gum, you want to start crafting and working with your hands or concentrating and building a puzzle. I always scream into a pillow if you need to, but like you have to keep yourself busy during that. Sometimes you're not going to remember to do all of these things and you just have to bite down and go through it. So many people are so scared of like, I'm scared of these cravings. Well, the cravings are going to come because you've been drinking for 10, 20 years. This is not just get, you don't just quit drinking alcohol and like, like rainbows and, and butterflies start appearing in your world. You have to get through some hard. things, you're going to be triggered. Sometimes triggers are not all bad things. They teach you lessons and T and remember like, Oh, I don't want to do this again. Or I don't want to be living in in that, that same space. So sometimes you just gotta, you gotta just hunker down and ride out the wave of cravings. Yeah, Deb: I agree and I think also I talk about just setting yourself up for biological success. So making sure you're hydrate making sure you eat number 1, yes. Keeping your blood sugar sugar levels. Study and making sure you're hydrated. And then I think distraction is really helpful in those first few weeks before you can learn to sit with the uncomfortable feeling of a craving. And, and you're so right. Like craving's not going to kill you, but the drink might. Courtney: Yeah, well, and that's why you have to and I totally agree with you the same thing of like keep your blood sugar steady because that's that's a huge one for people to because then you know when your blood sugar drops down and increases that anxiety and then a lot of that then people will be like why am I feeling anxious and then anxiety scares people because they don't know what they're feeling and it's like keep your blood sugar and hydration and And yeah, triggers aren't going to kill you. The cravings aren't going to kill you, but you have to take a pause. And this is where meditation started. The sooner you start meditating, the better for you to mentally just take a pause and breathe through it and keep telling yourself like this is going to pass. This is not going to be how you're feeling in these first couple of weeks. You're not going to feel like that forever and ever. That's not, that's not going to be the whole feeling of your whole sobriety existence. Deb: Yeah. No feeling is final. Courtney: Right, exactly. So you just have to not. not constantly be scared. And I almost believe that when people are like, I'm just scared of this, I'm just scared of this. It's like, well, that is still your excuse to continue to allow drinking. So it's, you really have to, if nothing changes, then you didn't quit drinking. So, ride the wave out. Deb: And then what is your advice for handling setbacks? Courtney: My advice for handling setbacks is to learn from the setbacks. There's no shame in it. When there's such a high percentage of people who do have setbacks, bumps in the road, relapses, it happens. It's part of the sobriety and recovery. Quote unquote game, right? So instead of sitting there or being around people who are shaming you for it, get yourself a supportive group of people who are going to say it is okay. It is okay, but you need to get back on the wagon here and move forward and learn from that setback. What were you doing? Were you putting yourself into a bar when you were only two weeks sober? Were, did you not, you know, did you find support? Were you not around a support group when it came down to your sobriety? Where Did it lead you? Did you not take the pause before you had that drink? Did you not play out a tape of what your future self would have felt like if you would have drank? Like, what went on during that relapse or that bump in the road? Deb: And then I'm just curious, everyone is so different about this, but would you start your day count over again? Or would you let that person decide? Or like, what are your thoughts about that? Courtney: So this is how I feel about it. Not everybody, how their brain works is a day counter and not, and then there, so then there's day counters. I like day counting. I don't look at my phone every day anymore, but it was like once a week, I'll look at my app and I'm like, cool. But I was a day counter for a very long time because my brain works that way. So I have said to, to people that I have worked with to other, you know, people I have not to on my podcast, do what works best for you. And that's where I'm saying, like, sometimes with the shame game of where it can feel very shameful if, if somebody went 60 days, 90 days, and then had a setback and was told to start their number over, like. That seems like a lot because I don't, nobody should ever forget the time they had before their setback. You still had that period of time. I always have women who come to me who are who get to the point of chronic setbacks and then they're, they've done it all. And then they're ready to come to me and I'm like, listen, You had two years of sobriety at one point, you can't forget that you've done this, you had 17 days of sobriety at one point, you can continue to do this, like you just have to get past the point of what is causing that setback and what you're doing during that time, because there's something there that you have to work on to push forward. And a lot of self sabotage is usually there. Deb: Well, yeah, tell me more about the self sabotage and how we do it and how we. Avoid it. Courtney: Yeah, so with the self sabotage a lot of people their stories people tell themselves along the way That's why just you know, there's why my book is the way it is of with the journal prompts It's like helping people through these beliefs because of whatever happened to you growing up You know everybody's situation or whatever happened to you in your drinking days There was something along in the way that you were conditioned not to feel good. So when you do Give up drinking. There is no longer this chaos that continues to follow you. And then that is why sometimes sobriety can feel very boring to people because they're no longer living in a chaotic cycle. Right? And then it feels extremely uncomfortable and you're not used to this. I'll just say like silence, right? You're just not used to the silence and life is going pretty good. And you're like, you know what? I'm going to mess this up today. Let's go drinking. I don't deserve to feel this good. This feels awkward to me. This feels uncomfortable and you have to really dig deep into the underlayers of why do you believe that you do not deserve to feel good? And going back to the chaos, a person might've been born into chaos and that is all that they know. So it's going to take a couple of times for them to start feeling like, you know, what? This actually doesn't feel good to be a part of people's drama anymore because you have clarity and you're doing good things for yourself and there's self love involved. And so when you get sucked into a family drama or your mom shows up on your doorstep with all of her BS and you're like, Oh my God, I've been subscribing to this stuff for years and this is very chaotic and I do not like how this feels anymore. And that's why people have to give themselves time. You have to give yourself time. Yeah, it's so Deb: it's this uncomfortableness. I've heard it referred to as the river of misery also. So going from like one identity to another, and you're crossing this river, whatever, or the obstacle course, like Claire Pooley talks about where it's, it is really uncomfortable. And there's. Yes, there's the pull from the back, you know, from the past and even though your cave, let's say was was uncomfortable and toxic. It was familiar. And so this now is unfamiliar. It's uncertain. And that doesn't feel as safe and And like you said, uncovering some of those beliefs, what are, what are some other questions you could ask yourself to uncover those beliefs or avoid this self sabotage? Courtney: Yeah, well, the question is always, I, I always ask people go back to where this belief came from. And it's so interesting because sometimes people get the belief from teachers from back when they were young kids, like if a teacher embarrassed them in front of the class, right? Right. Like I, I had this happen with with the person I coached last summer, where I'm like, at what point did you feel like you weren't enough? And he was in this classroom and the teacher. Consistently embarrassed him, right? So it was like every day living in that embarrassment. So it could be either that, or your parents, you know, said to you at one point of your life, like that, I don't know that they didn't think what you did was good enough. So you have to go back to find out like where the little you was traumatized at one point. With whatever the story may be, you know, and it's just so interesting of how many people have stories like that of, it just seems so petty as an adult, but looking back, it really did scar the younger you. So, yeah, so go, go back to look at that and then how can you change? The story because a lot of this comes from reparenting and talking to your younger self and getting to the layer of that, like how can adult Courtney go back to a time where she was embarrassed in elementary school and protect her. So. It's a lot deeper, but you really have to do that type of work or just say to your younger self, you are safe. You are safe. I I did a podcast episode with a woman who has a picture of her younger self on her, on her desk. I think like her five year old self and she every day, and she's in recovery for like 10 years. She still looks at that picture of herself and it was like, you are safe. Cause that's what sometimes you have to do. Deb: Yeah, that's so comforting. Just those words. I, I, I think that's kind of where affirmations could come into like, I am okay. I say that to myself all the time. I am okay. You are okay. Courtney: Oh, yeah, especially anytime you're going through anxiety. That's a good one. Like, I am safe. I'm exactly where I need to be right now. And you do, there's a lot more, again, besides just quitting drinking, there's so much under the layer for a lot of people with it. That's the type of work when you when you hear people be like you gotta do the work. It's stuff like this to start really Reparenting yourself, getting, you know, stop hanging out in places that are going to be triggering to you in that sense, and just start focusing on you and not everybody else, because then a lot of people pleasing comes in and, and all of that, so you re you really do have to put yourself first and make sure. That you're taking care of and it's not selfish because a lot of people then to it's like, well, that's selfish. I'm taking away time for my kids. It's like, not really your kids need the best version of you. So, if you just need to get up 10 minutes earlier, just to write 3 things you're grateful for and read, like, 5 minutes of personal development, that's all you need. Just taking care of yourself like that is enough and not drinking each day. Deb: Yeah, and I think it can be both. You, you can still take care of other people and take care of yourself. It doesn't, it doesn't mean you're like, okay, I'm done with the kids. Right, right, right. Put out a bowl of cereal and they'll be fine. Courtney: Right. Yeah. The kids aren't getting neglected if you're choosing just like five minutes, you know, I mean, the perfect example this morning, I, I actually overslept and Got up with my son, which I always get up before him and I gave him his milk and I actually just put on like 10 minutes of some morning or some, a little cartoon for him. And I'm like, I'm not going to feel bad for this. I want to get this done. It's fine. Turn the TV off after I got my stuff done and moved on with our day. Yeah. That made me feel good for mine because what I do in the morning time is part of my sobriety that I respect. And I know that it helps me. To continue on this path with long term sobriety and Deb: what else helps you with long term sobriety? Courtney: Well meditation, my gratitude journal and personal development. And then I have to say a practice I did and I put it in the book to a practice that I have done for a very long time since the beginning is I, I don't do it. Like I did those first couple of years, like I don't need it every Sunday, like I used to, but I always took myself back to a moment in my drinking where it wasn't good. Right. And that could even been to if I had like a three day hangover, if no mess fell out, but I just drink so much that. I gave myself alcohol poisoning and had like three, four day hangover. And I allowed myself to remember that. And when you remember that, you don't ever want to go back there. So I think that that is huge for people to do. It's like you can't keep forgetting about what happened to you in your drinking days and how alcohol made you feel. I know it's very easy to do, especially too, if you come from family dynamics where stuff is swept under the rug. But it's not the case anymore for you. And to keep moving forward, you have to check back in with the past. That doesn't mean that you're living in it. It's just simple little tips like that of just remembering it for two minutes and being like, Oh, I'm glad I'm not there. So, I mean, on my 11th birthday that morning I remembered waking up 11 years ago with my best friend telling me I lost my cat. And it just keeps me continuously motivated to never want to pick up a drink again. Deb: Yeah, and I think you're associating the alcohol in it with something that's negative, which, which you want, because for so long we've associated drinking with being so positive, so it's like really tipping the scales so that alcohol and drinking is, is really painful, negative, being alcohol free and sober is really positive and motivating. Courtney: Yes, absolutely. And that's what you got to do. You got to, you just got to keep associating stuff like that together. I mean, even too, if, if you're quitting drinking and your kids are older, like, look at their little faces now, and it's like, I am so, I'm going to be present for you in At the age of 15 and up, you know, but, and then remember to yourself, like I, I'm going to be present now because I wasn't present for the first 15 years, or I can't really remember those first couple of years because of that haze of motherhood and then drinking on top of it. Like I don't want to keep living that way. I want to cherish these moments with my children from now going forward. I get a lot because you know, I had, I was 80 and pregnant. I'm kidding, but Deb: geriatric pregnancy. Courtney: I had I just turned 38 when I delivered and I was like a month away from being 39. Okay. So, but I get from women all the time where they're like, and women who stopped drinking and they're like, you are so fortunate to be sober with your kid. Now, because I was not, you know, either the best that I could be, or I just don't remember some of those moments. Like, so it's very, when you hear that, because you should take what other people are saying, not listening to everything, but take what these women are saying and the fact of like how fortunate you are to quit drinking as a mom. And not being in that state as a mother anymore. That's still near and dear to my heart when women say that to me now, where it's just like, okay, going to keep going, keep taking motherhood without alcohol. Deb: Yeah. I mean, and it's true. Like you are so fortunate that you quit when you were 29. But I also think for people who are older and I have a lot of women Who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s who are quitting drinking and it's just like it's never too late. Courtney: No, not at all. Never because it's, it's you taking control of your life and being like, you know, I'm just not going to live how I was living. I agree with you 100%. It's never too late to quit drinking. Well, Deb: what you know, we're talking about the first 90 days, and a lot of people are drinking because of anxiety or stress. So what are some ways that we can cope without drinking when we feel the anxiety and stress? Courtney: Well, you've probably have said it many, many times on this podcast, but if you continue to drink, you're going to continue to make your anxiety worse. And that's where you're not going to get out of that cycle. Same thing with depression. So ways to cope without alcohol. There's many, you know, just going for a walk, just going for a walk. And if you're feeling anxious, go for a walk and then DM me after a 30 minute walk and tell me how you feel. Because not, there's not enough credit and walking and what 30, 20 minutes to 30 minutes can do for you because I'm not rage walking. Sometimes it's my favorite. I get my son in a stroller. I'm like, we're going. So walking, definitely getting back into meditation breath work. Journaling, you could go in your kitchen and bake. If you are not a baker, then go in your kitchen and cook. Because you know, there's always either your baker or your chef, right? So, those are healthy ways to cope without alcohol. A healthy way to cope without alcohol, again, is to scream in your pillow or have a ugly cry. But going back to the fact of just taking the pause and remembering, like, If I reach for that drink because I had a bad day, what is that going to solve other than I'm hurting myself? So really you have to find something healthy to replace that unhealthy habit. Calling a friend and, and talking to somebody, if a support group, you know, whether it's an online community or you go to in person meetings, reaching out. And just even posting, let's say on an online community posting and being like, I'm struggling today. I really want to drink. I had a bad day. What are some ways that I can cope without alcohol right now and let the kindness of strangers and people who have been in your shoe and currently on your shoe help you. But when you don't say anything and you don't speak up, then nobody's ever going to be able to help you. Right? So there's just so many ways. To cope without alcohol. You just have to do it and keep going and know that by drinking it's not, it's not gonna help anything. It's not gonna help your bad day. It's not gonna bring back a loved one who passed away. It's not going to help your financial situation. It's, it's, it's not gonna help. You know, when your kid tells you he or she hates you, it's, it just fuels to the fire. Deb: Yeah, I agree. It's, it's so difficult though, because it's that short term gratification versus the long term. And I mean, alcohol, I mean, it does help you quickly feel better inside, but the long term effects are just so much worse. And that, that is like, really the struggle for a lot of people. Courtney: Yeah, but in, in, in this process, you have to get very uncomfortable some days to be comfortable in the long game of this. And if you just get through those moments, especially early on through the uncomfortableness, it, I can't even tell you, it's like. You keep having to think of today and how that's going to affect you a year or two down the road. You know, it might take you a month to two to three months for you to level out after you quit drinking and give your anxiety medication a fair shot. If you're on anxiety medications or antidepressants, because a lot of people drinking on them, as I'm sure, again, you have said many times on the show, it's you're not. You're not allowing these medications to help you. You're not allowing your nervous system to get even and, and see what it's all about. Like, honestly, I had to, I got anxiety when I quit drinking, right? This anxiety came up, but I, I understood that it was more social. And also too, it was around my cycle. And if I wasn't... Sober and in that clear space to understand and be tuned in with my body, I would have never where I'm like, okay, I can work around this. I can know that my anxiety is that an all time high a day before I start my period. Right? But if you don't recognize that and you're not in tuned and you don't have that clarity, you're never going to understand how your body fully works. Deb: Well, I'm glad you brought up socializing and the anxiety. What, what are some tips as far as socializing when you're alcohol free? Courtney: So I I, I made up this thing called the 60 minute rule and it's the, it's perfection because it allows you to, if you're comfortable and how you feel that day to go to an event, stay for an hour, 60 minutes, and then exit stage left an hour is plenty of time where you're quote unquote, not rude. And, and not for you go and mingle and then you leave feeling very good about yourself, you, your state of being is not in anxiety because you stayed too long past what your body was telling you when it was time to leave, right? Like, so when. When these events happen, it's like the drinking increases that can heighten your senses around people drunk. And then you, if you stay past that time of your uncomfortableness, you end up feeling bad about yourself and crying in a car. And I write that in the book because that happened to me many times until I finally like was like, I don't have to stay this long at these places anymore. It had me being here. Like for the guest, they don't care. Any, or I'm sorry, at the host of a party, any host of the party wants everybody to stay as long as possible because it's their party. It has nothing to do about you. It's all about them. So like you don't have to sit there and continue to be very uncomfortable in social situations. Also too, And again, if, if mocktails and NAs help you through your process, go for it. If they do trigger you, I always say to people, then don't use them. You don't have to, you know, you can simply go up to a bartender and just be like, can you just put some soda water and a splash of cranberry juice with a lime on the side and make it look like I'm drinking. And people, and if somebody asks you, are you drinking that you can, and you're not comfortable yet to tell, to say, no, yeah, I'm drinking vodka soda. It's okay, like it's okay to tell what little white lies in this socialization because not everybody deserves to hear your story. Because it's a lot of expectation that if you go into the social events and like, Oh my God, they're going to react. A lot of people don't care and you not drinking will make some of these people feel uncomfortable and then their reaction actually might disappoint you. So like. And I say that in the best possible way because some people are pricks. So like, you don't have to sit there and, and dump your whole side of your story out until you're good and comfortable. So, so 60 minute rule, mocktails, NAs, if they don't trigger you and go. And if you're feeling good after 60 minutes and you're like, I'm actually feeling good, stay 30 minutes and then readjust how you're feeling after that. Deb: I love that. I love that 60 minute rule. Thank you. Thank you. And then doing an Irish exit. Courtney: Yes. And that, yes, I, I always say like, say goodbye to the, to the person throwing the party and then just leave because by the time you, you start saying goodbyes to people, there's another hour you're going to be met with. Why are you leaving? We're having such a good time. And then it adds in an extra layer of anxiety to then it feel like you have to explain to people why you're leaving. And then, you know, then it's like, should I tell them I quit drinking? Like, no, no, no, no. Just goodbye to the host. See you later. You're out. Exit stage left. Deb: Yeah. And I appreciated you saying like, you don't owe everyone your story. Courtney: No, and that's where sometimes you just have to again could take the pause and sit down and be quiet. And when I say sit down and be quiet, it's like that, like over explaining yourself to people who aren't worth your story. They're just not. It's not. It's just not because again, you don't want to end up being disappointed by somebody's reaction because you're not there, especially so early on in sobriety. You're not there quite yet to understand that. It's not a you problem. It's a them problem. Because in early sobriety, we're so heightened. Our emotions are heightened. Our sensations are heightened. Everything is heightened. So I just, I don't ever want anybody to take anything personally and think it's them. And it's not, it's not, it's the other person. That's Deb: really good advice. Well, I feel like we've talked about a lot for the first 90 days. What do you think? You haven't shared yet? Like top tips for those thriving in the first 90 days. Let's Courtney: see. What have I not talked about? Oh, I, I always do. In the book too, I talk about grieving your old drinking self and that identity that you once had, it was yourself and that relationship with alcohol. So, you know, I go through the grieving process and how that can look with somebody's journey. And even if you don't experience in the first three months, it will eventually come down the road because grief waits for nobody. And it sounds silly because you would be like, wow. I'm going to grieve a substance. Yes. Because of the emotional dependence we put into one substance to bring us happiness, joy, sadness, anger, socialization. Like there's so much. dependence on emotional level that we put into one substance, you will be surprised on how it plays out in your, in your path. Whether that's even two, you get sober and you, and you start getting angry because you start seeing shirts around target or or Facebook ads are marketed to you about, you know, it's wine, it's wine o'clock somewhere, or, you know, I, I'm a better mother Booze, when you start seeing that kind of stuff, it's very easy to get angry because you understand that alcohol sold you a big lie. Deb: Yeah. Well, I agree. I mean, it is a relationship that you had with alcohol, with drinking and it, it did give you something. It was kind of your friend and, and then you're breaking up with it. And you do go through all those stages of grief, definitely. And they're normal. Courtney: Oh, yeah. And they're normal. And then also to like the thought of, you know, you might miss alcohol, but it does not mean that you want it back in your life. And it does not mean because you miss alcohol, you are going to act upon it, you know, and I, I write about that in my situation of, of how I felt like that in the beginning and the first couple of years and, and had people jumping down my throat where it's like, I'm just expressing a feeling. I'm not on the edge here, like in my car, sitting in front of a liquor store with a bottle to my mouth. I'm just simply saying like, yeah, there's times that I miss it. Like when the weather turns, I always think even to this day, like fall's coming like, oh yeah. You know IPA in the fall time, right? Like, or a margarita in the summer, but it does not mean that I'm going to go. Back. I mean, it's an association that just sometimes you will never get rid of. Also too, when it becomes cold, I always think about cigarettes. Like, oh, smoking would sound really good right now, but I'm not going to go buy a pack of cigarettes. So Deb: were you a smoker too? Courtney: Yes. I quit. I quit drinking. And then six weeks later, my grandmother passed away. And then my grandma always said, Courtney, when are you going to stop smoking cigarettes? Because my grandfather, her husband. died of lung cancer. So I wrote her a note and put it in her casket and told her I would never smoke cigarettes again when I landed back in Michigan because I needed that last cigarette after that flight and I haven't touched them. Wow. There's only one woman I could keep my word to about cigarettes and that is Jerry. Deb: Which do you think was harder to quit? The smoking or the drinking? Courtney: Oh, God. I talked about that too in the book. And honestly, to me, I think cigarettes was very, very hard. And I was so emotionally charged because it was like, I quit drinking. Six weeks later, my grandma passed away. Which she lived a great life, you know, died at 82. So she lived a long life and then quitting drinking or quitting smoking. There was so much emotions fueled in such a short period of time. And I say that in the book, like if you just want to pick one at a time, just do one at a time. Yeah, because it's a lot of pressure then you put back onto yourself and I just I don't believe in the pressure anymore and the overwhelm and that kind of stuff can lead people to a setback. Yeah, I Deb: agree. I always tell people, you know, because people are like, well, I'm going to quit drinking. I'm going to do hard 75 or whatever. I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to die and I'm going to run a marathon. It's like, okay. Let's just focus on removing the Courtney: alcohol. And I was stuck on that. It was every Monday. It was every Monday, you know, for a very long time, I'm going to quit drinking. I'm going to lose 70 pounds and I'm going to clean up my finances, you know, and stop spending money like a jerk. And then it like. It just never happened because that's a lot like you got you really do have to take one thing at a time for some people it works to completely cut off everything for others. It just it take it takes a minute. Deb: Agreed. I mean, that just goes back to like, we're all unique and you need to find what works for you and all that good stuff. Okay, well now you have this book out, what are your plans for the future? Courtney: Well, obviously to still promote my book and keep that, that trucking. And I don't know, I don't know what my futures are. I really just try to live in the present moment. You know, I mean, I got, I got my, my coaching business going and sober vibes, and I hope to write another book down the road, but I just really, I'm enjoying this moment. And again, my son's about to be too. So I just, I'm going to keep trucking right along and see what, what is meant for me. Deb: I love that. Well, how can someone find you and find your Courtney: book? Yeah. So I hang out on all of these social media platforms. I have, I party most on Instagram, so you can find me at. Sober vibes on Instagram. And then there is my website, Courtney recovered. com. All of my information is on there, or you can Google me. Sober vibes, Courtney Anderson. And then my book is on wherever books are sold. So Amazon and Barnes and Noble are the two major ones. That's so Deb: awesome. Yeah, I encourage people to get it. It's called sober vibes. How to thrive in your first 90 days of sobriety. So super helpful. Love that you put that out there and I'm so glad that we got to connect Courtney: me too. Thank you for having me on. Thank Deb: you.

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