Living Happily Ever AFTER Alcohol-Free with Nicole Pietrandrea Hough

Episode 163 May 01, 2024 00:39:26
Living Happily Ever AFTER Alcohol-Free with Nicole Pietrandrea Hough
Alcohol Tipping Point
Living Happily Ever AFTER Alcohol-Free with Nicole Pietrandrea Hough

May 01 2024 | 00:39:26

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Nicole Pietrandrea Hough is the founder and editor-in-chief of AFTER Alcohol-Free magazine and the founder of MocktailQuest.com, a search engine for all things alcohol-free. In 2020 she realized alcohol was not serving her or leading her to the life she wanted to create. Nicole set out on a journey to figure out what things would look like alcohol-free and has been sober since December 2020. 

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Find Nicole and AFTER Alcohol-Free magazine:  http://aftermagazine.com  
IG: http://instagram.com/after_af_mag 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol tipping point. The alcohol tipping point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. [00:00:35] Speaker B: Let's get started. [00:00:38] 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 going to 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. [00:01:57] Speaker B: Or not at all. [00:01:59] Speaker A: I would. 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. The cost is $89 us dollars. 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 member 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. [00:04:07] Speaker B: Thanks so much. Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Today my guest is Nicole Petrandria Hoff, and she is the founder and editor in chief of after Alcohol Free magazine. And she's also the founder of Mocktelquest.com, which is a search engine for all things alcohol free. In 2020, Nicole realized alcohol wasn't serving her anymore, and she set out on a journey to figure out what things would look like being alcohol free. And she has been sober since December 2020. So congratulations and welcome to the show. [00:04:47] Speaker C: Thank you so much. It's so nice to be here, and I love talking about all of this, so I'm happy to chat with you. [00:04:53] Speaker B: Yay. Well, tell us a little bit about just what you do and where you're located and just a little intro for us. [00:05:04] Speaker C: Sure. So, as you said already, I am the founder and editor in chief of After Alcohol Free magazine. So I founded the magazine in 2022, and it was a whole new venture for me, a new industry. But I just felt called to do this after giving up alcohol. And I wanted to share the stories of the people I had met and the industry that I could see was booming and starting to grow. It's grown even more since then. And now we've just published our 6th issue. Our 6th quarterly issue came out a couple weeks ago. [00:05:36] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:05:36] Speaker C: And I'm based in New Jersey, but my writers and team are all over the place, all over the country. [00:05:42] Speaker B: Oh, that was really cool. Well, I want to get into the magazine. But first, I just want to hear a little bit about your experience with drinking and then how you got to the point where you were like, I'm done. [00:05:56] Speaker C: Sure. [00:05:57] Speaker B: Yes. [00:05:58] Speaker C: I mean, it goes way back. It goes back. And I didn't realize how far back it went until I got sober. I think I started to piece all the pieces together, like, oh, this was a problem. And that was a problem looking back. But it was a problem before I knew it was. So I started drinking at 14, just in some kid's basement. I had a beer, the way it starts for so many of us, and I just remember thinking, like, oh, I feel like I fit in, you know, I feel like, oh, I'm doing. No one's looking at me because everyone's doing this, and we're all. It's part of a crowd now. And I had moved from a different town in elementary school, and it was a tough transition, and it was the relief. And looking back, I'm like, that wasn't good. That was not a good start, you know, that I had this emotional connection to it so quickly, but nothing really terrible happened. You know, just sort of normal high school, college drinking. And then when I became a mother, I would say I fell very quickly into the mommy wine culture that I didn't know that term then, but that was what was happening around me. And looking back, I'm like, I did not grow up like that. My mother didn't drink at all. But that culture was really becoming very ubiquitous at that time. And I just. I had a conversation with Anne Johnston last week, who wrote her book in 2005, I think, which is when my older daughter was born. And that was when she had noticed that big alcohol was marketing to women very deliberately. And, of course, I didn't know any of that then. So I was drinking a lot of wine and drinking at book club and doing what so many women do. And again, it didn't snowball right then, but it did sort of become an emotional crutch. I had a marriage that wasn't working out, and once my marriage dissolved, then it became a problem. So I was drinking a lot of gin, and it was kind of in celebration of having time to myself for the first time in 15 years and room to think. But I was like, I'm going to make a martini. That was my first instinct when the house was quiet for the first time. And it kind of just. It took the place of that inner search that needed to happen at that moment that should have probably happened, but I didn't know how to do that then? Because there was this void, and I filled it with what I was already doing, which was drinking. And then at that point, I think I was physically addicted to alcohol, and I haven't actually talked about that that much. It's taken me a while to sort out that story. What are the inflection points of that story? How many years was that? Three years like that, where that became an issue. And then I gave up alcohol for nine months before the last time. And then during the pandemic, I started drinking again. And then the difference between how great I had felt and then how I was feeling now that I started again, thinking, oh, I'm sure I'm fine now. It was so vast. And I just remember I was sitting at my kitchen table with my martini. It's a martini if you put olives in it, it's not just gin. And I thought, I don't want to feel like this. I don't want to do this. I'm getting older. My body wasn't metabolizing the alcohol very well, and I stopped. So I feel very fortunate that I was able to stop. I didn't really. I didn't feel like aa was right for me. I didn't know any other options, and I did it on my own, luckily, medically fine. And I kind of struggled through the first couple months. And now. And then it went well, apparently. [00:09:32] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:09:32] Speaker C: So here I am. [00:09:34] Speaker B: Wow. And I can relate to that because I had my first daughter in 2006. [00:09:41] Speaker C: Oh, wow. [00:09:42] Speaker B: Yeah. And my second one in 2009. And, man, I was into mommy wine culture. I was like, sign me up. Yes, exactly. [00:09:52] Speaker C: It was just fun. And it was connection, too. You know, I was having a conversation. That's funny. My younger one was born in 2007, so we're on a very similar. We're of a similar era, and our kids are of a similar age, so it's interesting to watch them now, too. But I was talking to someone the other day saying, now I see again, it's all clear in hindsight, but the loneliness that is involved in being a parent of young kids. When you really need community and you really need support and you really need. It could be government services or local services or family. I had some of that, but that's what is being addressed with alcohol. Alcohol is the band aid for those things that we don't really have. You know, we need time to say, like, let me actually take care of myself. Instead, we're saying, I'm drinking a glass of wine, and that's my me time. [00:10:46] Speaker B: And that's I remember saying, like, I was loving drinking because I had to physically be there, but I could mentally check and. Yeah. And I thought of it as a treat, too. And, like, I thought that it was making my life easier and better, but, you know, now I know. Like, it was making it so much harder. [00:11:12] Speaker C: Right, right. That's my biggest regret. And I would say, you know, I look back, I don't know if I use the term alcoholic or alcohol use disorder. I think that applies more. But if. Whatever term it is, I was high functioning in that term, you know, like, I never missed a meeting. I never missed a kid's performance. I was always there with them, dancing, but I was so tired, and I felt so awful, and I wasn't as mentally present as I wish I had been. [00:11:39] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. I feel that way, too, because I've been. You know, my daughter's in high school. She'll be a senior this year. Is your daughter graduating this year, or. [00:11:50] Speaker C: My older one's finishing up her freshman year in college. Oh, gosh. [00:11:54] Speaker B: Okay, so you're ahead of me. Yeah. But all the feels. All the feels like. But all that to say, like, it's hard to be a mom. [00:12:04] Speaker C: It is hard to be a mom. And I don't think. I think people are talking about that more now. And then there's, like, ruby Warrington and people who are even saying, you know, it's okay not to have kids, which wasn't a message we were delivered, and. But back then, I feel like, oh, my God. Like, maybe there's something wrong with me because no one told me it's supposed to be. No one told me how hard it is. And everyone kind of made it seem like, well, it's supposed to be easy. Like, if you're a good mom, it's easy. You know, it doesn't. You really shame each other, too. [00:12:35] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. Well, what do you think? So, you did nine months before, and were you just kind of white knuckling it then and doing it on your own, too? [00:12:49] Speaker C: I was. Okay. I don't know if I recommend this, but that is what I did. And I was actually away with my kids. We went to a water park for a weekend. So that was September 2019, I think. And I was so sick, and I thought I had a flu. But looking back, I'm like, I probably had withdrawal symptoms because I was like, I'm not going to bring any wine or anything with me for this weekend and with my kids, and it was just the three of us, and, oh, I was really not doing well. [00:13:19] Speaker B: And I think about that a lot in what we're taught or what we're trying to prove. Like, I don't need any help. I'm strong. I'm a strong mom. I got this. I like to do stuff on my own. I mean, I was just thinking about. Even before we started recording, Nicole, we were. Well, we were talking. I was like, I do all my podcast editing, and you're like, I like to do all my stuff, too. Like, no wonder we struggled so long. [00:13:48] Speaker C: It's true. [00:13:49] Speaker B: It's hard to ask for help. [00:13:51] Speaker C: It's very hard. I have to catch myself, and we'll talk, like, when we talk about the magazine, too, but I'm like, I would just do it all myself. I don't even think to ask for help. And I'm learning to accept more help, and I'm seeing how much more gets done when I do ask for help or allow help. [00:14:07] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, what do you think was helpful to keep you stopped this last time? Like, what? What. What are some things that were helpful for you that maybe would help someone else who is listening? [00:14:20] Speaker C: Yeah, it's a good question. So I think, first of all, like I already said, but, like, seeing the difference and knowing the difference, how bad I felt, how good I felt, how bad I felt again, you know, made me, like, I don't want to go back there ever again. But actually, what I think the bigger thing for me, and I think it translates to for everybody, is that in the interim, during the pandemic, I had started this cooking live stream, which was like a dream of mine. I always wanted to teach cooking, and I wanted to have a show, and I just did it. And I thought I was terrified. I didn't want to be on camera. I was like, oh, I have this squeaky voice. And I did it. And then it became. It was a lot of work. So I was like, I can't do this when I'm tired. I can't think straight, and I'm answering questions live, and I'm tired. And I didn't want it to be like that. It's not so much the show itself, but it was the purpose. I had a purpose. I had a goal. I had something to fill that void. And so that has continued and sort of accidentally. But if I were being more intentional, if someone starting out and can be intentional about it, I think finding, like, it could be small, but knowing why you're doing it and then finding a mission or a purpose or just something you love, it could be working out. It could be drawing. It could be anything. But that fills that void, because if you're just giving up that one thing and not replacing it with anything, you're going to always want that one thing. You know? That's what I think one of the challenges is. [00:15:52] Speaker B: And you also have so much time on your hands, too, right? [00:15:56] Speaker C: Every night you're kind of like, now what? I would have been having a glass of wine or I would have been having a drink. And then you have to write, there's a lot of hours in the day. For me, it was a lot of productivity because then I started making mocktail videos and then I started the magazine. But I also have to be careful that I'm not replacing alcohol with workaholism. It doesn't become a compulsion, which, when I think about it, I'm like, no, it's not. But it's something I love and I'm passionate about. But being intentional is important. [00:16:32] Speaker B: In that case, how did parenting change for you when you got sober? [00:16:39] Speaker C: Oh, my gosh. I mean, I hope I don't start crying, because I think parenting, it became so much easier, like we said, and my kids are older, you know, that it does become easier at that point also. But I think they would agree, or maybe not, I don't know. But I think our connection became so much stronger. I'm able to kind of just appreciate them. I don't feel this, like, urge to kind of push it, like, push anyone in any direction. It all just became so much easier and much better. Connection. Many more moments of joy. [00:17:15] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:17:16] Speaker C: It's just much easier to be present for them. It really changed the whole picture, but in very subtle, small ways. We always had dinner every night, but now we laugh a little bit more and it's just much nicer. Yeah. [00:17:28] Speaker B: Yeah, I bet. And I think that it's important for our kids to see that we're not perfect and we can make changes and we can grow and evolve. I mean, I know that for my situation, I still struggle with guilt about just missing out. [00:17:52] Speaker C: I feel like even though, like you. [00:17:54] Speaker B: Said, you know, I still showed up. You still showed up. But there is a part of their childhood growing up where it wasn't fully present. And so it's kind of like being okay with that, letting that go and just being as present as I can right now and for the rest of their years. [00:18:18] Speaker C: Right. I struggle with that, too. I do. I feel like I had some depression and anxiety going on, you know, that my marriage with their dad wasn't working. I was drinking at night you know, it wasn't. It wasn't terrible, but it could. It could have been better. And, you know, if I just. I look back and I'm like, if I could just go to one more ballet recital and really appreciate it and not sit there feeling not good, not healthy and tired and wanting to go home, I would love that. I would love that so much. Talk to them about it. Not too much, but a little bit. I feel so much happier now. And it's also really challenging with teenagers. I try not to hit them over the head with the alcohol message because they'll just go the other way, and I hope they'll see the example, but they also have to forge their own path. [00:19:08] Speaker B: How do you handle that with your kid? Kids and teenage drinking? I'm just curious. [00:19:14] Speaker C: Carefully. I don't put my foot down about it, which actually, my parents did put their foot down about it. They were like, absolutely not. And of course, what did I do? I went right out and did it every chance I got. And I had a close relationship with my parents, but a teenager is going to do the opposite of what they're told. So, you know, my older one, because she was coming through high school during COVID there weren't as many opportunities. And I look back and I'm like, oh, I was partying so much more than this in high school, which was a good thing. But then what happens? We all know, like, you get to college and you go crazy because you didn't really tap the waters in high school, which is not what she's doing, but what was I gonna say? Like, so she is streaking a little bit. I hope she doesn't mind that I share that, but I think I just talked to her about specifically, like, why? Like, paying attention to, why are you drinking? So if you're drinking and you're hearing a voice in your head that says, I'm so much funnier when I'm drinking, or people like me so much more when I'm drinking or I'm sexier or I'm this or I'm that, then that's the red flag, you know? And, of course, safety. And we talk about fentanyl, but, like. But that red flag is really. That's that. When you're using alcohol as a crutch and you might not realize it, and society tells us you're more fun. I mean, when I stop drinking, more than one person said, oh, you were so much more fun when you stopped drinking. And I was 47. I mean, that never goes away. [00:20:41] Speaker B: You will always tend to get those people. And they're not really like your true friends though, right? They're not really your people if they're not supportive and if they don't like. [00:20:56] Speaker C: Who you are as a sober person. [00:20:59] Speaker B: Yeah. What's up with that? Well, I appreciate you sharing about your daughters and your perspective there. What would you say are some of the challenges of being alcohol free? [00:21:15] Speaker C: For me, that social piece was the biggest challenge. In the beginning. I wouldn't say it is anymore, but in the beginning it took me a while. And especially so this was a little over three years ago, there weren't as many products on the market, alcohol free beverages, and people weren't quite as aware. There's still a lot of room for growth, but it's proving. And I used to go to parties with this one can in my bag and just try to find a glass of ice and I didn't want anyone to know. And a lot of people did act very strange about it and they would hide there. They'd be like, oh, should I hide this from you? Do you want me to go in another room? And I'm like, no, I just want to have a conversation with you. But that to me was the biggest challenge. Feeling left out and trying to navigate the social aspect of it. And at this point, I mean, things have changed quite a bit and I don't go to as many things as I used to and I don't really want to. And I went to one on Saturday and it was lovely and I had a great time and I left at eleven and went to bed. I feel great. I just, I feel like it's, I have a whole different routine and I love to go to bed early, which actually might scare some people off of this, but like, that is the truth. [00:22:33] Speaker B: Well, it's interesting what you enjoy doing socially and realizing like, gosh, I was probably just drinking to tolerate this event. I don't really like this kind of situation, whatever it is, just like hanging out and only drinking and there's like nothing. You're not doing anything else, just people standing around drinking. Like it can get kind of boring, right? [00:23:02] Speaker C: Well, it's definitely boring when you're not drinking, when you're the one not drinking. [00:23:06] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:23:07] Speaker C: I think back to it. I'm like, we would stay up so late because everything becomes mildly hilarious when you're drunk, so. Or when you're three or four drinks in and it just takes on a life of its own where everyone really should have gone home a couple hours earlier. [00:23:24] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. So socializing was more challenging at first. It's better now. What were some other challenges or challenges. [00:23:34] Speaker C: Now in terms of staying sober? I don't really feel challenges now, and I'm very grateful for that. Yeah, I'm very, very grateful. And I realize that's not the case for everybody. So I want to honor, you know, that it is not easy, and there are people who have cravings for a long time, and. But I feel. I do feel like I found an alcohol free wine that I really like. It tastes like real wine, but I shouldn't say I don't like the word real wine. It tastes like, you know, wine with alcohol in it. Alcohol free beverages are also real beverages. But it was triggering, and that was the first time I felt triggered by an alcohol free beverage because it reminded me of how I used to feel, and I so, so deeply don't want to go back there. And that was a reminder to me. [00:24:25] Speaker B: I thought, it's just really hopeful for people who are listening. Like, you know what? Like, your challenges were, it was a little awkward socially at the beginning, and now it's like, it's just you. It's just you just don't drink. And that it's really not challenging anymore, because in those first days, weeks, months, it's like, is it always going to be this hard? [00:24:49] Speaker C: Right? [00:24:50] Speaker B: And it's like, no, no, it's going to be great. Exactly. [00:24:56] Speaker C: Yeah, I will say, I mean, going back to the very early days, like you said, it was physically challenging. Like, you have to get over that hump. And it takes 3456 weeks for the alcohol to leave your system, for your brain to readjust, for your nervous system to readjust. And then I think that that's the first step. And then that continues to happen for a long time before you reach another science. Before. But I don't know all the exact statistics, but it takes a long time to reach a new equilibrium. It doesn't happen. That's why dry January people, a lot of people this year were starting to say, it's not really long enough. It's not long enough to see the true benefit of what could happen and what will happen over time. So you have to give yourself, that is one of my bigger pieces of advice, is you have to give yourself grace. Give yourself time. And don't say, oh, it's been two weeks, and I'm still craving alcohol. This isn't going to work. [00:25:48] Speaker B: It takes time. Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. And then, so, on the opposite side, what would you say are some of the joys of being alcohol free? [00:26:01] Speaker C: Oh, it's like everything. And I don't mean to wax poetic about it, but it's something I could. I mean, even on a bad day, I wake up. There aren't that many bad days, but I wake up and I'm like. I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel optimistic, I feel happy to be in my room, even if it's not perfect. You know, it's like I just. My whole outlook has changed. And I think, actually, the all encompassing thought for that is that I am able to feel joy. And whereas before, you know, they say, like, Brene Brown was the first one to say it, really, like, you can't just selectively numb your emotions. So if you're using alcohol to numb your bad emotions, you're also numbing your good emotions, which is what was happening to me. And I feel joy now. And I feel like I'll. I spontaneously. I've spontaneous laughter that I didn't have before. You know, things are nice, and I really love that. [00:26:53] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. Well said. And it's enjoying the simple things, just the day to day things. [00:27:00] Speaker C: That's true. That's true. It sounds kind of cliche, right? But it's really true. [00:27:06] Speaker B: How did you get to where you were? You were doing your online cooking show, and I don't know what else you were doing, like, for your regular job. And then you start this after magazine and the mocktail quest. Tell us how you got to there. [00:27:23] Speaker C: Yeah, so I do have. I did have. I still do actually have another job. I've been doing kitchen and bathroom design for 23 years, design and renovation, which I've loved. That was, I guess, in my early thirties. I was like, I want to do this. I made a career switch, and it's been wonderful. And now I'm about. I'm a couple of weeks away from retiring from that job to focus 100% on the magazine. Thank goodness, because the magazine really is a full time job. But, yeah, so in the. From 2020, when I stopped drinking, to 2022, when I started the magazine, I, like, I think I said before, I was making some mocktail videos, and I realized not as good at making mocktails as I am at making food. So I was looking for other people to work with me on mocktail videos. And my main feeling, though, was that I didn't want other people to feel like I did in those initial couple of weeks when it really was tough and I felt alone. And I've talked to other people since who have said this, too, like, you feel like you're the only one and it's like, logically, of course, you're not the only one. Like, we've all. We all know of aa, and we all know this has an issue, but you feel in the moment, like, you're the only one who's ever had to give up alcohol and who can you talk to or turn to? And I didn't want other people to feel that way. And then when I met. I met a lot of really wonderful people in the sober community on Instagram and a lot of content creators and event leaders and all these people. And I thought, people. People need to know about this. This is amazing. So I was like, how can we tell their stories? And I came up with the idea of a magazine, and specifically a print magazine, because I thought, if we're going to create change, it needs to be out there in the physical world where someone else can see it. So people said, oh, print is dead. And I was like, yeah, but look at this. Alcohol free world is growing so rapidly. I think that will cancel each other out. And, yeah. So I set out to create this print magazine, and I think yesterday was the fifth time. Someone had said to me, your magazine was on my coffee table, and someone saw it and they were inspired by it, and now they want to learn about alcohol free and examine their drinking. I'm like, that is exactly what I pictured, exactly what I hoped would happen, that it would be sitting in someone's house on a coffee table and inspire someone. [00:29:49] Speaker B: Well, I want to hear more about how this came about, but I will say my special treat to myself is I have a subscription to People magazine, and I love to just read it in the bath. And I like a physical magazine, and it's probably showing our age or my age like this. I just don't want to read it on my phone. I want, like, a beautiful, colorful thing I can hold in my hand. [00:30:18] Speaker C: Yes, I agree with that. I love a magazine. I think we're not alone. A lot of people have said that to me because if you're looking at it on your phone, you're not really taking a moment to relax. If you're thumbing through pages and looking in the bath, I mean, that's lovely. That's so nice. It gives you that moment of peace. [00:30:38] Speaker B: Yeah. So, I mean, how did you go? I mean, how does one go about starting the magazine? That's amazing. [00:30:45] Speaker C: It's funny because I don't want to lose. Thank you, first of all. But I don't want to lose touch with how unsure I was. And back then, I googled how do you start a magazine? And then it was pretty amazing, actually. They say when you commit to a path, the staircase makes itself known. That type of analogy. And people came out of the woodwork. I made a mock up cover. I put it on instagram, and I was like, this is what we're doing. And people were like, let me write for you. I want to tell my story. The first one came together. I had an eight month. The first one had an eight month lead time. And then I was like, oh, my gosh, now I have eight weeks to do the next one. And now we're ahead. We're already working on winter. But, yeah, people came out of the woodwork with their stories, and I think there are just so many more people every day that have stories to tell and advice to give and coaches and people who are doing amazing things. And I also just kind of serendipitously met some people in the magazine industry who were kind enough to explain a lot about the ins and outs of the advertising and how does that work? And printing references to printers and things like that. That was lucky. That was lucky. [00:31:57] Speaker B: So tell us about this magazine. Like, if I were to get a subscription to it, what would I be reading? Like, what is it? [00:32:05] Speaker C: Our original tagline was the magazine for non drinkers, the soap, or curious, and anyone examining their relationship with alcohol. So it's not, you know, it's called after the AF, and after is for alcohol free. And then the concept is your best life begins after saying goodbye to alcohol. It's content around that. It's all alcohol free content. But I guess we include, you know, sober, curious and anyone who's examining their relationship, because that's just such an important group in addition to sober and non drinkers. But it's that. That's that group that's saying, I don't feel good, and what do I do? And is there anyone out there that feels the way I feel? You know, those are the ones that can, that kind of need this information the most. And the information we include is things we all have something about alcohol free beverage world, including, you know, here's some products in a category. This, this past issue for spring, we did lavender and then three products that include lavender and had some beautiful lavender recipes as well for mocktails. And then we told someone's story of a relapse in recovery this spring. That was beautiful. And a couple articles about compassion. But we write about things like boundary setting and things you would go through with a coach or telling your own story. We had two pieces on writing your story or journaling in this past one. So it's a combination of things meant to kind of shepherd you into this process, which I think happens pretty naturally, which is that you give up alcohol, you become sober, and then this journey begins of finding yourself again. [00:33:38] Speaker B: Yeah, lovely. I think, you know, a lot of people are so into reading quitlet or they're into podcasts. So it makes sense that, like, oh, I can get this, like, seasonal magazine and read about other people's stories and get tips and, you know, have some kind of drink alternative options. So, yeah, it totally makes sense there would be people who want this kind of magazine. [00:34:10] Speaker C: Thank you. It's true. And I think what's exciting to me is people see themselves in that. There were even two of our ads had pictures of people at events and things, and then those people happened to be subscribers, and they were like, I'm in your magazine. I opened it up, and there I was. People are very excited to be part of it and to share it and share their own journeys. [00:34:35] Speaker B: I was just thinking, nicole, I was like, oh, my gosh, maybe I could be in this magazine. [00:34:41] Speaker C: I've never been to the magazine. [00:34:43] Speaker B: Like, how cool would that be? Okay, so how is the reception? You know, like you mentioned, so much has changed in the last, even just three years. What a great time to change your drinking, to be sober. Curious. Like, what have you seen change, and what do you think still needs to change, just surrounding around alcohol use and sobriety? [00:35:10] Speaker C: Yeah, that's such a good question because it really has picked up a lot in the two years or three years that I've been sober. In two years that I've been working on the magazine, the amount of growth is staggering. So the amount of new alcohol free beverage companies and products, I should have looked up statistics, but, I mean, I think it's like 300% growth or something like that. Bottle shops, I mean, they're more opening all the time. You know, people who are, I think they said 47% of us adults indicated interest in dry January this year. With a little bit of concern. Like, I feel like maybe I drink too much and my wife drinks too much, and they're thinking about it. They're a little bit more open to the idea. And what I'm observing, actually, is also that the rising cannabis is kind of replacing that a little bit. It's maybe making the transition easier for people. And I don't do that. I don't personally, but they'll say, oh, I cut back to two drinks a week, and then we'll smoke pot on the weekend or something like that. I don't know where that falls. It depends on how you're using it. It depends on your physical reaction to it and all that. But that is part of the picture that I see happening. [00:36:22] Speaker B: I think the big change we're seeing is more and more bigger. Like health organizations, mainstream publications are coming out with just new research, new facts, or even old facts, honestly, about how harmful alcohol is to our health, and then, you know, highlighting more stories about sober people or sober curiosity or whatnot. [00:36:52] Speaker C: Right. [00:36:53] Speaker B: Well, is there anything else you want. [00:36:56] Speaker A: To share with people who are listening. [00:36:58] Speaker B: That you haven't shared yet? [00:37:00] Speaker C: What do I think? I think, I mean, we've covered so much, but I do think if anyone's struggling with alcohol, I want them. I always want people to know that there's hope and there's another world out there for you. I think that's an important message to always kind of fit in to the conversation. And, you know, in terms of change, I don't think this is going to go back to the pendulum is moving and it's not going to go back to where it was. I think the culture is moving in this direction, and I think that's a good thing. So if someone's feeling like, oh, my friends won't understand, or that's going to change. And, you know, I personally, my community has just grown and expanded and maybe shifted a little bit, but there's none of, it's as bad as anyone is going to tell you or might have in the past told you it would be. [00:37:50] Speaker B: It's really not about what you're giving up. It's what you're getting, what you're gaining. [00:37:56] Speaker C: Yes. Well said. [00:37:58] Speaker B: Well, how can someone find you and find your magazine? [00:38:02] Speaker C: So we have a website. It's aftermagazine.com and we're on Instagram after AF for alcoholfree mag. Yeah. And we so on our website, we have subscription options for print and for digital. We have a monthly. Digital is our lowest entry option. That makes it easy to see. We have an online flipbook that's the same as the print magazine. [00:38:27] Speaker B: Well, wonderful. Thank you so much. I'm so glad that you started this and that there is a magazine out there and I'm glad that we got a chat. [00:38:36] Speaker C: Thank you. I'm so glad, too. It was great chatting with you. [00:38:41] 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. I want you to know I'm always 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 want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week and until then, talk to you next time.

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