Pod Interviewed by Mei-Li
Hello, and welcome back to the I'll call tipping point podcast. I am your host, Debbie Masner. Registered nurse health coach and AFBA. Remember that stands for alcohol free Bad-ass so feel free to call yourself an AFBA, spread the word. It's just like a new. Phrase that we're using to be proud of being alcohol-free AFBA.
I wanted to share this episode that I actually recorded with my friend, Dr. Mei-Li Hennan in Boise because she also hosts a podcast called recovery plus podcast. And we have been on each other's podcasts and I just really liked the interview I had and conversation I had with her on her show that I thought I would release it on my show so that you can listen and learn a little bit more about me if you want. And I'll call it tipping point and where I'm coming from.
And then also just thank you. Because this is coming out before Thanksgiving. I just want to thank you all for listening. I, if this is your first time or you're 80 at time or whatever, I really, really appreciate you listening to the show. This is one of the most meaningful things that I have ever done in my life. Definitely quitting drinking.
Was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But also now that I'm on the other side and I'm able to help other people, it's just one of the most. Powerful and amazing and beautiful things that I have. Had the honor of doing so. I want to thank you so much for listening. I have much awe and gratitude for you all. If you are changing your drinking, like high five.
I salute you. I am so proud of you. It is worth it. And I just want you to know that you matter and that you are going to be okay and things are going to be okay. And you don't have to be perfect. You can practice, not drinking. And that is okay. So I hope you enjoy this interview with Dr. Maylee Henan I will also link to my podcast.
That I had with her on the show. Where she shares her expertise as an addiction specialist, a PhD trained specialist. And if you want to leave a review, that will be fantastic. Or really just share the show or reach out to me. You can email [email protected]
I would love to hear from you.
I would love to hear how you're doing on your journey. If you have any questions or if you have any topics that you want me to talk about on the show. Please reach out. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving. Hug your loved ones. And I will talk to you next week. Yeah, whenever you're
Mei-Li: test, test, test. Okay. Hi Deb. Thank you for
Deb: being here. Oh my gosh. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited to be back in the studio, downtown Boise, where I started. I love it.
Mei-Li: I think it's great. It's nice to have have you here in real time, so thank you. So let's just get started.
I'm ready. What was life like before being alcohol
Deb: free? Okay. Life was like, Let me think back. . Let's see. So I, I would describe myself as like a gray area drinker, like super high functioning. I had young kids. I was working, I was going to the gym, I was volunteering, you know, like things on the outside were fine.
But I, I always knew, like I had, I had some issues with drinking, right? All the, you know, I started way back in junior high. From the moment I started I was just like, I really love drinking and I considered myself a lush, and I was kind of reflecting back on it and just, you know, as you're reflecting back and putting pieces together, I remember taking a psychology class in high school.
I went to Moscow High School, and so we were near University of Idaho, so we were able to take college classes our senior year. And I took a psychology class and I took an addiction class and I remember I wrote a paper on is Alcoholism, that's what it was called back then Cuz I'm old , but is alcoholism a disease or not?
And, and using like the old gel theory of disease and all of that. And I honestly can't remember. What I ended up deciding, but even back then, I was like, Yeah, I'm, I'm interested in this, I'm interested in myself. I was always looking like, do I have a problem? Am I an alcoholic? Like, is that me? And then, you know, not fitting feeling like I fit that criteria.
And so then like drinking all throughout College u University of Idaho is like a big party school. Mm-hmm. I, when I used to brag about it, I'm like, I learned how to drink in Moscow and growing up and going to U of I and doing cake stands and all that. And then, you know, moving to Boise, Idaho and then just being like, Okay, I'm gonna take a break.
I'm gonna do like these dry months. And because I was able to do that, I was like, I'm fine. You know, , I'm good. Yeah. And also everyone around me was drinking. . That was just kind of the culture that I grew up in. But, you know, I, I would purposely surround myself with other drinkers too. So for me, having a bottle of wine and night was kind of the norm for a lot of people, although now I'm like, that's really not normal.
Right. . So I, it's, it's just interesting thinking about life before. I just would say it was, I just kind of had this low grade feeling, shitty, feeling hungover trying to rein it in, trying to find that magic pill of moderation and being a, quote unquote normal drinker and never finding it, and then just feeling really alone.
Really alone. Like, I just felt like a, a. It, it didn't resonate with me. And inpatient rehab, I'm like, Well, I don't need that. Like I'm, I'm still going to my job and picking up my kids and being
Mei-Li: responsible. All of that.
Deb: Yeah. All of that. And so it just kept me stuck. So, so life before with drinking was some fun times with drinking, Right.
But also, Really feeling alone, feeling full of shame and just feeling like I was broken and there was something wrong with me. Mm-hmm. . So that was life before. And
Mei-Li: what helps you stay
Deb: alcohol free? Okay, so now that I am sober, I would say I, I think the whole process that I went through to change my drinking.
Really helps me stay alcohol free because I, I had to go through it. Like, you go through the stages of grief. Oh, right. And so I consider it like a relationship with alcohol. Like at first it was my buddy and it was fun and I, I got a lot out of it, a lot of joy. Right. And then I realized like, oh, this is a toxic relationship and I need to.
To break up or let's take a break. We would take lots of breaks. , but, but just like the stages of grief. That's what I went through. You know, I went through to denial. Like, I was like, I don't have a, I can't have a problem, but I'm very functioning. And then I went through bargaining, and bargaining for me was like, Okay, I'm gonna make rules around it.
I'm gonna moderate, I'm gonna take breaks. I'm gonna, you know, just. I can do this, we can work on this, We can have an okay relationship, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And then I, I had sadness and really like feeling alone and feeling left out and like, why, why is this, why can't I drink like other people, you know?
And just sadness, like, I'm missing out and how come everyone else can do this? And I can't just. So going through that process and then going through anger. Mm-hmm. and I really when I was changing my drinking, I, I, I did finally find where I could fit in, kind of in this gray area, sober curious world, where it was about just changing your views about alcohol and instead of blaming the person it was, Put it all on alcohol.
So it, so then like it became anger at alcohol. Like this is a fucking poison. Mm-hmm. and it makes you feel shitty. It's shit for your health. Mm-hmm. . So just recognizing that and feeling anger like, God, I've been duped. Right. I've been gaslit. We all have, Society has. Which was actually a very helpful stage to go through.
Mm-hmm. , because it took a lot of the shame away from me. But then I got to acceptance and for acceptance for me was accepting like, yes, alcohol is shit. Mm-hmm. . Yes, I have a problem. It's my shit and it's my thing and it's my responsibility. So I had to like, marry those two concepts and then I could come to a place where I was like, I'm done.
Like I'm just done. And then find meaning. So that, that extra stage of grief that got added finding meaning from it all. I find extreme meaning in what I'm doing now in helping other people change their relationship to alcohol and just. And getting rid of the desire to drink. Right. It just, it's not like white knuckling it anymore.
It's just like, Yeah, we're divorced. That was a shitty relationship. I learned a lot from it. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But now we're divorced and now I feel like I can help other people go through that process too. That's then
Mei-Li: I'm really like how you put that model in this relationship. So you're divorced from alcohol.
And how does the desire to not have that relationship, how do you, how did you actually get to the desire to say, Fuck that? Not only are we over, but how do you take away the desire?
Deb: Oh, that's a good question. I mean, that's what I think is part of the process of going through the stages of change and going through the grieving process.
But I think learning more about alcohol. Mm-hmm. , I think educating yourself to really what it is. And how it affects your body. And then understanding like, okay, this is how, what happens with depression and anxiety when you drink? Okay, this is how it increases your risk of cancer. This is how it increases heart disease.
This is what it does to your liver. Because I think for me, I mean, I'm a nurse. , you are , and I was in denial. I mean, I think everyone was, and we've reached moderation Sure. In the medical community. And so I was all along with it. And I mean, except for, for me, I'm like, is a bottle of wine a night or more moderation?
Mei-Li: one bottle versus two moderation. Right.
Deb: Yeah. Yeah. So I really felt like educating myself about what alcohol really was, really took , the desire away from it. It was like, why would I wanna drink that? Because it's shit, right? And so that was really helpful for getting rid of that desire. Huh.
And so just kind of changing your beliefs around alcohol as well, like Okay. Does it, does it really relax me? And then learning, like maybe in the moment it relaxes you, but in the long term, you know, it's also a stimulant and it's also gonna amp up your anxiety. And so just kind of flipping the script on a lot of the views that I previously had about alcohol, Really helps get rid of the desire, right?
Mei-Li: you came from normalizing and choosing to be in there to then realizing based on just facts science as a nurse, the physiology, the chemistry, the impacts and the symptoms of extensive chronic use scared the shit outta you, it sounds like, or at least gave you like a jarring reality it sounds like.
Like, wow, that's.
Mei-Li: for sure. Why would I want to do that? Yeah. And so how would you describe that relationship with alcohol today?
Deb: Oh, I like that question. Okay, so now I would say meh, , I love it.
Mei-Li: Not fuck that, but nah, like, well,
Deb: it's become more neutral uhhuh, so it was where I was really angry at it. It was really charged everything about it and the situations that people were in around it.
Really emotional and charged, and now that charge is neutral. . Which is fantastic, right? That's how you wanna feel. Just kind of, eh, I could take it or leave. Like I would be okay if you all were drinking just 10 o'clock in the morning. Oh, it's noon somewhere. But you know what I mean? Like it just became, it just it doesn't have the effect that it did before.
Mei-Li: you had to go through all those dangers of, of loss and then get angry about it. And now it sounds like you're empowered to. Mm-hmm. , you have the desire to not want to do it is stronger than like, how would you describe a craving? When was the last time you had one of those? Well,
Deb: I'm not gonna say that I like, don't have craving.
Sure, sure. I'm not sometimes like I could really use a drink right now. . Absolutely. Sure. But I, I can allow myself to feel that way. It, I think what, removing alcohol for me really. , was it a a way for me to then be able to feel all my feelings?
Mei-Li: Well, that can
Deb: be terrifying. Yeah. I mean, yeah. You know,
Mei-Li: why would people wanna do that?
Right. In our work, we know that a lot of people don't wanna feel, Oh, all of that. It is gnarly. Mm-hmm. , but, But being alcohol free allows you the permission to do so. So why would. What helps you say it's okay to do that for yourself?
Deb: I think now perspective, I think practice. I, you know, my big thing is I help people practice not drinking because it's, it's a skill and you're learning other new skills, so you're learning other new skills, like, okay, instead of feeling anxious and drinking at it, how can I allow that uncomfortable feeling without numbing it or escaping from?
And so that for me has been a skill to learn.
Mei-Li: So embracing the suck
Deb: in some ways. Yeah. You said that.
Mei-Li: Yeah. Right. So, And knowing that you're not gonna die. Yes. Right, Right. Mm-hmm. , Because I think a lot of people that you and I have worked with, you know, similarly, are so afraid to be uncom. Isn't, isn't using and drinking to get relief because it's worked.
It worked really effectively until it didn't. Mm-hmm. . Right. And so let's talk about practicing not drinking, cuz you now have what's called alcohol tipping point. Tell me about how that came about.
Deb: Alcohol tipping point. Well, I, I knew, so I, I've been a nurse for like eight 19 years now, and I've been a, a health coach for seven years and so I, I knew always that I wanted to bring that.
To helping other people in some way. I also have my degree in psychology and originally, like way back in the day I was like, I wanna be a counselor. But then I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do nursing. And then health coaching came about and I'm like, Okay, that's like a combo, right? Mm-hmm. . So I looked up to people who had changed their relationship with alcohol and were helping other people, and I.
I can do that. Mm-hmm. , I want to do that because I don't want anyone else to feel as stuck and alone as I did. And so at first I was just like, Okay, I'm, I'm just gonna make a website and I'm gonna compile resources. Wow. And then Speak Studios opened up, Shout out to Fake or now it's SB Studios, right?
For Boise. Go Boise. And they had an opportunity to do a podcast, and I love podcasts. I didn't wanna do it myself. , Everyone wants to listen to one. Yeah, I'd love to listen to one. But they had like a great deal when they open. And so I was like, Okay, I, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna do a pod. I'm gonna put myself out there because once you've like, get sober and give up, you know, that was so, that's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life is quit drinking.
Hands down. But with that has come confidence. And I'm like, Sure. Oh, if I can fucking quit drinking right? I can do a podcast , right? I'm in the park. I can put myself out there. So that's what I started doing. I started putting myself out there and then I, I had my website, I. Do Instagram and start to my Instagram, My daughter, my 13 year old's like, Hey mommy, you are so cringy.
And I'm like, That's okay. I'm gonna, I'm gonna bring humor to it. You're so cringy. I'm gonna cringe. If I'm making a 13 year old cringe, then I'm like, My job is done. . Well done . Anyway, so then I Decided like, Oh, you know what? It was dry July was it last year? 2021. I'm like, You know what would be fun?
I'm gonna do a dry group. . And so that's how I started the alcohol. Mm-hmm. , and I call it alcohol because I think that there is so much joy in giving up, drinking. There's so much joy on the other side of it. You know, you talked about people really being scared, like mm-hmm. , what will my life be like without alcohol?
And I've found. It's fucking amazing, right? So I call an alcohol a day because it's, it's not about what you're depriving yourself of. It's like it's a gift to you and it's what you're giving yourself and how much better your life can be. So I started that and then I started doing some coaching and mm-hmm.
I'm still working as a nurse . I'm still doing that. But yeah, that's how it came about. And how did the name come about? Oh, Alcohol Tipping Point. So I, during the pandemic, as I was puzzling , getting out my little jigs spa puzzles listening to audio books, I've got into a Malcolm Gladwell phase.
Mm-hmm. and Malcolm Gladwell wrote the tipping. And so he was talking about like, everything has a tipping point. I mean, even the pandemic had a tipping point, right? So I just thought, wow, that perfectly describes my journey with alcohol and a lot of other people's where it just got to the point where it was taking more than it was giving.
But also the tipping point can go the other way where you're, you're giving up alcohol and, and. All of a sudden like, Okay, now I'm getting more out of being alcohol free than drinking. So yeah, that's where alcohol tipping point came from. And then it, the abbreviations atp. And so shout out to science again, like ATP is oh, I can't even remember what it stands for.
Something long and scientific. Mm-hmm. . But it's energy. Basically it's the energy for yourselves. And so I was just like, Okay, wow.
Mei-Li: Let's. That's fucking cool. Tell me, talk, walk me through a little bit about these sober months and alcohols, like, who is this for and how, how do you help them through like deciding to like do that?
Yeah, I'd be curious, Sober curious, is this movement that's been around for a bit, you know, and holidays for you, you're helping people kind of figure out how that path looks like. So what would, what does that do? How does that happen for
Deb: someone? Well, I, I would say it be for anyone who's curious, like for anyone who is.
What would my life be like without drinking? And also maybe I'm not ready to divorce it, completely. Right, right. We're, I just need a break. But I, I, I've been trying to take breaks and I get like, a couple days in or I just never get through the whole month or I just, and then I give up and then, so I just wanted to create like a safe space mm-hmm.
To have some tools and resources to practice not drinking. and you don't have to be perfect. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. .
Mei-Li: Right. So what does practice not drinking look like? Give me an example
Deb: of that. Practice not drink Well, like, for example, I'm gonna practice not drinking today. I mean, I still like use like, Okay, just for today, I'm not gonna drink.
Right. So practicing not drinking looks like, what are other ways I can manage my cravings? Can I incorporate some mindfulness? Okay. What, how, you know, What should I do? What should I know about sleep and drinking? And then what are some other ways I can help manage my sleep? And then I, I talk a lot about food.
I mean, not extensively in the 30 days, but, So for these 30 days, you get content every day. Mm-hmm. , and it will talk about how alcohol affects your liver. It will talk about how it affects your sleep, how it affects depression and anxiety. And so going back to when you were asking like, Well, how did you.
Get rid of the desire and the education component. Like, okay, I wanna give you some facts about alcohol. Mm-hmm. . And then I also wanna give you some of the tools to practice not drinking. So how can you write out a craving? How can you sit with uncomfortable feelings? Right? What are some ways you can do that?
And so some of that might be the mindfulness, the deep breathing those kinds of things. And then a lot of it is a lot of thought work. Because we do get stuck in these like shame spirals. Sure. And, and just feeling like we're a bad person. And so I really like to separate, I like to say data, not drama a lot.
Mm-hmm. , I wish, Oh, I loved that. I wish I had come up with it , but I heard it from Primal Potential podcast, Uhhuh. And basically it's like, how can we take. The drama away from the data, Like talking about how do you feel about alcohol right now it's meth. Mm-hmm. . So to me, data, not drama means like, Okay, I'm gonna be really scientific about this.
Sure. And just be like, To, you know, if I drank last night, I'm just gonna be really scientific about it, and I'm just gonna be like, Okay. I consumed one bottle, 750 milliliters of ethanol containing liquid. And that's it, period. The drama that we add to everything is, are the thoughts about it. Right? And they're not, right.
Yeah. And they're not, they're not necessarily, they're not facts. So just getting, and, and it's just a different way of thinking about things, but it's just so that you get out of that shame spiral. and, and don't tie in all the, Okay, I drank last night. I said I wasn't gonna drink. I, I must have a problem.
I'm a terrible person. Oh my God, what's going on? I'm never gonna quit. I'm broken. Like, that's the drama. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So, So those are, Just some of the things we do in the group. And then we have weekly meetings twice a week and we have like a group feed and it's just, it's all private. So it, it's just like a nice way, nice safe way to take a break from drinking.
Mei-Li: I think that's great because on your website there's also different ways of, of. Making these really tasty drinks that are non-alcoholic. Oh yeah. Tell me about that. . Tell me about mocktails and, and, and then they have a follow up question
Deb: about that. Okay. So I found, well one of the things I like to do when anyone's changing any behavior is how can we make it more fun?
Right. And so mocktails to me are a way to make it more fun. But also what I've found, and especially changing my drinking, is it was, it was a habit. It was a ritual. And so if you can do the same things you always did, like, Okay, I'm gonna get home from work and instead of pouring myself a glass of wine, I'm gonna make a mocktail, or I'm gonna drink an NA beer, or whatever.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So, Replacing the booze with something else which can be really effective when you're, when you're changing behavior. And so mocktails are just, they're just fun, alcohol free drinks, and you could experiment with them.
Mei-Li: And I think, I mean, it could be really fun too. Right. So there's, there's this debate a little bit that mocktails could be triggering.
What are your thoughts about
Deb: that? Well, I think if it's trigger and, and I, I totally, one of the, one of my philosophies. Is, I'm never gonna tell you what to do. Sure. I'm gonna present you with all these choices and options and you do what's right for you. And so if that is triggering for you, you don't have to do it.
Mm-hmm. , it just, it's an option. Right. And, and same with the na beer. For me personally, I found it really helpful and not triggering Sure Uhhuh, but I do think that some people do try find them triggering and that's okay.
Mei-Li: Sure. So I think the biggest takeaway right now is that you can actually have a choice.
Mm. Right. And making these choices, whenever you're stopping something, it feels like you're giving up something, right. So there's always this push and pull in some ways, like, I'm gonna miss out, like you were saying earlier on, you know, I'm gonna miss out socially. How do I, how do I. . If I'm doing this dry month and I'm being social, how can I protect myself?
What would you say? Just that.
Deb: Well, I, I think again, that's what's helpful for you, right? So for some people maybe don't, maybe you're not gonna go to those events. Mm-hmm. . And then for other people, maybe you're gonna go and you're gonna rock a red solo cup and you're gonna put. Whatever you want in it.
Mm-hmm. , but not alcohol, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So I, I think it depends on your situation and how comfortable you feel. Sure,
Mei-Li: Sure. And there's different levels of addiction. In some ways. Right. And so how, how would you talk about that with someone who is considering, if they're a binge drinker and they're like, I'm listening to this and maybe I could drink less, what would you say to someone about
Well, I always have to put my nursing hat on, right? And just be like, Okay, if you have a, if you're physically dependent, To alcohol, there is real danger in withdrawal. You know, it is the only substance that you death. Could be a result of withdrawing as, as, you know, like absolutely same like heroin. Yeah.
You're gonna feel like shit and you're gonna feel like you wanna die, but you don't. Yeah. And so there is that risk. So consult with your doctor if, if you need to. Mm-hmm. . But I think if you're a binge drinker, You want to try it, then I, I welcome anyone who wants to change their drinking. Like, I liked when you were on my show and you were like, what would you say to someone?
Who is wanting to change their drinking. You said good for you. Absolutely.
Mei-Li: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there's always different shades of gray. Like you said, there's, there's gray drinking and I, I love the idea and what you're doing about what kind of relationship do you want? With alcohol and understanding your why.
Mm-hmm. and data, not drama. I love that. I think that's super smart because you're drinking a carcinogen. Is that right? Yeah,
Deb: it, yeah, it's a carcinogen. It's a poison, right?
Mei-Li: Gross. And yet here, people do it all the time.
when you are working in a group. I think that's awesome. And so do you do individual work or do you do more group or do
Deb: you little? I do. I do do one on one coaching. I'd, Yeah, definitely. Because in my job now, so I work as a nurse for corporate health and wellness and do preventative health screenings and we do preventative care and des chronic disease management and, and I do health coaching as well.
And so yes, I do. So then I kind of bring that to my one-on-one coaching for alcohol tipping point too.
Mei-Li: Excellent. Throughout this period, what would you say the biggest impact Covid had on the folks that you worked with? Also in the hospitals or at your work and also through alcohol tipping point?
Deb: Well, if I was just gonna say like personal impact for people was that isolation and that lack of connection. So I have found that people in the. Just love being in a group and having connection, and they're just really, Really looking for their people, their tribe, their people, and people that get it.
Cuz not everybody gets it. Mm-hmm. . And so I would say that's big. And, and so then in, in my work at the hospital too, I've, I've had a lot of people that are just like, I'm lonely. Mm, mm-hmm. or I, I don't, you know, I, I'd like to have more friends. I want more of a social life. I want more of that. So I've noticed that.
And then, you know, we do know statistically now the rates of, of drinking and liver disease have gone up since the pandemic as well. But also mental health has took a huge hit as well too in depression and anxiety. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. .
Mei-Li: Do you work with young people or, or.
Deb: Adults, Well, my population is, so I do corporate health and wellness, so we work with employers and their employees.
I see, Okay. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . That's a good question. Yeah. So we work with like teachers and healthcare workers and we have like a factory we work with, so we have some like blue collar workers. Yeah. So the working adult.
Mei-Li: Awesome. And so what do you think the biggest. Challenge for someone who is so curious these days based on your experience?
Deb: I, I think the biggest challenge is finding people that get it. I think, you know, like I was talking about before, you know, when you fall, you, when you fall into like an extreme, there's a lot of help for you in the extreme area. Mm-hmm. , and then there's the quote. Normal drinker, although I really don't know that that exists.
Right, right. But it's the in between where it's hard to figure out where you fit in and who, like I said, like who your people are and who gets it. Mm-hmm. , I feel like that is a big challenge for people. And then I think the other biggest challenge and challenge for everybody is just stress and anxiety and managing that without drinking.
Mei-Li: Yes, especially at the tail end, hopefully at of the pandemic. And what is next for alcohol tipping point and for you? I
Deb: do, You're gonna ask of you did . Cause you're, you are like, go get 'em girl. Come on. I am so excited. So I'm gonna do we have our first retreat and just again, talking about connection mm-hmm.
and People wanting to get together with other like-minded people. So I'm looking to do more retreats and I, I think other people are, are wanting to get out there now too, you know? Mm-hmm. , if you are sober or sober curious or alcohol free or whatever, you're like, Okay, what's next? Right? How can I go experience life with a group of like-minded people?
Here we are in Idaho. Mm-hmm. , and I'm like, Oh my gosh, my. Thought my latest rabbit hole, like I would love to do like a dry river rafting trip retreat. Awesome. Yeah.
Mei-Li: Awesome. And when are you targeting
Deb: that? Next summer? I'm looking at that, Yeah. Within the next couple summers. So I'm, I'm looking to do that.
I'm looking to have more fun. Like I said, it's like, okay, how can we make this more fun? This doesn't have to, Awful, Right? Like it can be great, you know, I didn't just get sober to get sober. Like I wanna get out there and live. So I have that, I'm gonna do a, a mindfulness course cuz I've found like mindfulness and, and teach more about it.
Mm-hmm. because I've found that the concepts of mindfulness have been so helpful for me and for other people. It's something that I've been teaching in our hospital as well to healthcare workers who really need it right now. And then looking into a membership for our continued friends that join.
Shout out to you all if you're listening. Awesome. I love you all so much. And then, yeah, keep running those alcohols because I think they're so important. I just think people need a, a place to go to if they want to take a break just in a, in a soft. Supporting environment.
Mei-Li: I think that's so beautiful because there's so much shit that swirls around the terms addiction and are you being sober and what's it like to be in recovery?
You avoid those, that, those words, which I think is really amazing because it's alcohol free, which can mean, I mean, just that, Does that mean being sober? Well, it depends on who you. Yes. And being in recovery. So what do you think about those Lang tho those terms?
Deb: Yeah, those, I, I just think language is so interesting and powerful and I get why people wanna choose how they identify themselves.
So I, I don't use the term alcoholic. I also recognize that like the medical community isn't using the term, you know, it's alcohol use disorder mm-hmm. , and it runs from mild to moderate to severe. Right. Because I think that alcoholic is, is such a loaded term, just like addict. I was just gonna use that word.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's, I mean, we don't do that with other medical conditions. Like if Sure don't, because yeah, I work with people who have high blood pressure and I'm not like, you're a high blood pressure. I don't even know what it would be. I will say like people with diabetes, we did used to use the term diabetic and.
Purposefully get away from that cuz that's not just who you are. But I think it's a really personal thing. So for some people it's helpful to call them an ad, call themselves an addict, or call themselves an alcoholic and, and that's helpful for them. For me, I choose like a alcohol free. I'm good with the term sober.
I think a lot of people in. Kind of newer realm of modern recovery. Right. Or using the word recovery, . I think a lot of people don't even like to use the term sober. I, I, I kind of, I like it. I mm-hmm. . I just feel like it's a nice, soft word and I'm okay with it. Oh, recovery. So that's another interesting word too.
Mm-hmm. . Cause I. I would never introduce myself as someone in recovery, Uhhuh. But I also think because there's a stigma attached to it, like, Oh, that must mean you are in treatment. You are inpatient or whatever. Mm-hmm. . And, but you know, the more I read about it, I'm like, but it is a very empowering word as well, you know, about transformation and healing.
Right? And so that's when I'm still like, hmm, what do I think about the word recovery? So I'm still like pondering
Mei-Li: it. It's an interesting thing because as over time, things change and, and I think the biggest thing we wanna do in this world, in our worlds is really to reduce that stigma. And it starts with ourselves.
Like you use gentle words like, well, I like. Alcohol free, badass , right? I think that's empowering, right? Alcohol free, sober, whatever you choose that you can identify, that helps you stay in this, in this process of wellbeing, right? And self discovery and transformation. So beyond. Alcohol tipping point. What else is there for you?
What, what would you ideally want when you do all these kinds of, these adventures and rafting? What else is, what else would you like to see happen for you in this world? In
Deb: the world of alcohol freedom.
Mei-Li: Alcohol freedom. Oh I dig that. Alcohol
Deb: freedom. I know, I was just thinking like, can we call it like a realm or a land or
We just made a world like a Star Wars world. Why not?
Deb: I'm gonna wanna think about that cuz I like word puns. In this world. Oh gosh, I just think I'm really. I'm passionate about educating especially coming from healthcare. So I really wanna get the facts out about alcohol and its effects on your health and just, you know, reiterating some things that have come out like from the World Health Organization, the American Heart Federation, that like no amount of alcohol is safe for.
Right. I mean, the American Cancer Society is like none,
Mei-Li: like zero. Yeah. Like one glass a day.
Deb: Still bad. Exactly, and I, so I'm really passionate about changing that messaging, which is slowly changing. You know, it's, it, I, I guess it's kind of like with smoking, I mean, doctors used to smoke and
Mei-Li: Yep. They sure do.
Yeah, I get that one.
Deb: Yes. Yeah. So, so really, because I think with that becomes, it becomes more of a health and wellness conversation. Then something is wrong with you. Oh, yeah. And, and so that, that is important to me. It's also important to me to, for people to know, like, you don't have to have a drinking problem to have to quit drinking.
Mei-Li: important. Yeah. And you don't have to experience shame to want to stop. Right. You know, and you can do less. But the sober curious is really about. Practicing not drinking. Yeah. And it is a practice, right? It's not a perfect Yep. Which is really important because we wanna avoid shame and guilt and all that other bullshit that comes around with that effort and that process, right?
Deb: Yeah. Yeah. One of the things I I like to say is like if someone goes from like drinking 26 days a month to three days a month, that's something that should be celebrated and not shamed to. I mean this, this idea of perfectionism really keeps people stuck. So I'm, If you are cutting back, good for you.
If you are taking breaks, good for you. If you're giving it up, good for you. Like, I mean, Good for you. That's
Mei-Li: great. Right? I mean, all of these things are a win. Mm-hmm. , right? If you are thinking about it, you know, the stages of change and motivational interviewing in terms of I'm contemplating, I'm in the pre contemplative stage, or I'm taking action or maintaining.
You just have to start where you are. And if you're beginning to explore or question like, like you did at the beginning, like, is this good for me? , you know, and it's just asking the question, do I wanna feel better? Mm-hmm. , instead of waking up feeling like dog shit, you know, first of all, it's like feeling better.
Second of all is how do I wanna feel better, more, right? And what can I do to replace the desire or the craving to do something that's actually not good for me? There's a lot to navigate. Mm-hmm. , you know, and so for alcohol tipping point and for you to offer these resources, I think that's amazing. How can people reach you?
Deb: Well, I have a website, alcohol tipping point.com. I'm on Instagram. It's Alcohol Tipping Point and I have a podcast. Yes. Alcohol Tipping Point and yeah, and, and it's just me. So it's a one woman show, . Yeah. Feel free to like email me. It's Deb Alcohol tipping Point dot. Yeah, so many ways, and I have a lot of free resources too.
I have a 10 day break that's free. Mm-hmm. Like a free dry guide. I have mocktail recipe. I love it. Yeah, so I just, I wanna, I want you to be successful. I don't care how you do it, what you do if you give it up forever. Or a day or a week or a month or whatever. Like, I, I just, I'm rooting for you.
Mei-Li: I love that.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you being here, and thank you again.
Deb: Thank you for having
Mei-Li: me. Awesome, awesome. Awesome.