Overcoming Overdrinking with Lindsay Sutherland Boal

Episode 167 May 29, 2024 00:50:36
Overcoming Overdrinking with Lindsay Sutherland Boal
Alcohol Tipping Point
Overcoming Overdrinking with Lindsay Sutherland Boal

May 29 2024 | 00:50:36


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

On the show today is Lindsay Sutherland Boal Founder of SHE WALKS CANADA and the Uncovery App. In 2021, Lindsay founded She Walks Canada as a movement to engage and empower sober and sober-curious women changing their relationship with alcohol. Lindsay is proudly living an alcohol-free life. Additionally, Lindsay is an executive at Urban Outline Building Group, an athlete, mother, wife, friend, sister, mentor, public speaker, former podcast host and producer of The COVID Chronicles Canada, professional opera singer, and actor on stage and television. 

We talk about:  

Find Lindsay: www.shewalkscanada.com_   

Ready to change your drinking? Join the next Alcohol Tipping Point Alcoholiday! Monthly dry group to help you take a break from drinking with online support and tools. Find out more here: https://www.alcoholtippingpoint.com/alcoholiday Use code: LOVE to save 20%     

Find Alcohol Tipping Point at:     

Free resources from Alcohol Tipping Point:     

**Please leave a review and subscribe so you can help support the show**     

***Another way to support the show- buy me a coffee! Click here to easily and safely buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/tippingpoint     

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] 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 the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. Let's get started. 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. 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 or not at all. 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 mean, 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 lovie code to get your discount. And just a little background on me. I have been a registered nurse for 20 years. I'm a board certified health coach. I'm a smart recovery certified facilitator, an addiction certified mental health professional. I'm a mindfulness instructor. And then you all know I like to call myself an alcohol free badass. I've been alcohol free for almost four and a half years now, so I would love to see you in the next group. You can sign [email protected] alcoholiday and join there. I also will link it in my show notes. Wherever you are with your drinking journey, just know that I am rooting for you, that you are not broken and you can change. Thanks so much. Welcome back to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. On the show Today is Lindsey Sutherland bowl, founder of she walks Canada and the Uncovery Method Life coaching in 2021. Lindsey founded she walks Canada as a movement to engage and empower sober and sober curious women changing their relationship with alcohol. Additionally, Lindsay is an executive at Urban outline building group, an athlete, mother, wife, friend, sister, mentor, public speaker, former podcast host and producer of the COVID Chronicles Canada, a professional opera singer and actor on stage in television. Wow, Lindsey, welcome. Welcome to the show. [00:05:03] Speaker B: Thank you for having me. [00:05:05] Speaker A: I wanted to read your background just because you encompass so many different things and you've had so many different roles and labels and, you know, and, and showing like, you could be a mother, a wife, a singer, an actor, a sister, all of that, and still have an issue with drinking. Right? It can happen to anyone. So I was wondering if you would just share a little bit about your story and your experience with drinking. [00:05:38] Speaker B: Well, sure. First of all, I think it's important what you just said about how women show up in the world and still have a negative relationship with alcohol because so many of us think we're not bad enough. So our problem can't be bad enough. And so we don't seek any help because we're not as bad as the caricature that we've been conditioned to believe is what an alcoholic is, right? And so we just keep plodding along in our lives, sweeping our emotions under the rug every night. And then we realize one day that we're living a life we never came here to live and wondering why. [00:06:17] Speaker A: Mm hmm. [00:06:18] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:06:19] Speaker A: So true. So true. And like you said, the character in tvs, in fiction books, and all of that, it's always, quote unquote, the alcoholic, the drunk, you know, mom, the evil mom, the bad mom, you know, and just, that's why I'm, like, so passionate about having people share their stories. And just like, you know, it's alcohol use disorder and it's on a spectrum, and it can be mild to moderate to severe. Or a lot of women and men are just giving up drinking because they recognize, like, oh, this actually is shit for my health, so maybe I shouldn't be drinking this toxic substance, right? [00:07:06] Speaker B: And even, you know, and I'm so glad that it's classified as a disorder because it really does reflect the spectrum of the severity of the issue, as you just mentioned. But it also reflects the spectrum of supports that are required to deal with this health issue, because not everybody who is, like, at a stage one mild is going to require the intervention of somebody who's at a severe. And not only that, everybody's situation is completely unique. So for me, for example, I mean, and it depends who you ask, because there's, for some of the medical community, there's eleven markers for alcohol use disorder. But then I've also read that there's 17 markers. So it really just depends, you know, who you're asking. But let's just go with eleven for a second. And with the eleven markers, I hit seven of them. So I would have been considered severe. But at the time, I was the vice president of urban outline. Mother, a wife. I was taking my 10 zero year old grandmother to church every Sunday. You know, I was active in the community, and I had just returned from working overseas in an 18 month contract. Like, I was not underperforming, but I was unbelievably so full of shame and guilt and no one knew, not even my husband. [00:08:19] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, I think that's really common. And I think we keep it that way too. We really hide it well. [00:08:26] Speaker B: We do. And there's a lot of, there's a lot of. Not too long ago, it seemed as though everything I saw on social media was how to spot an alcoholic. And I'm like, you've got to be kidding. Curvy. You're now talking about women. Like, especially when we're talking about women, it is a far more nuanced conversation than just talking about alcoholism, for example. Like, the reason why it is so hard, in my opinion. And of course, I'm not a nurse like you are, but I am paying attention. And to me, it seems as though it is so hard to treat and diagnose because it is hidden in nature. There's no way that a woman is going to show up who is, you know, over performing in every single other area of her life, raise her hand and say, but I'm morally flawed. Like, that's not going to happen. [00:09:08] Speaker A: And I think just taking the morality out of it, I think that's where I'm really passionate about just being from the healthcare world. Like, this isn't a morality discussion. This can be a health and wellness discussion. But to your point, even when I did do my little mini cries for help or mention to someone like, hey, I think I have a problem, they would be like, you're fine. You're fine. Like, you have your job, you are taking care of your kids, you're still married, you haven't had any duis, you know, checking all the boxes. [00:09:48] Speaker B: Like, what kind of the benchmark is that? Right? Because I've had this conversation many times, all the things that we say to ourselves to justify how not bad our drinking is. Like, I haven't. I haven't. My drinking can't be that bad because I haven't got a DUI. Honest to God, I said that to myself more times than I care to admit. And now that, you know, I'm thriving in the alcohol free living space, it's. I'm no longer embarrassed by saying that because I dealt with it and I'm doing something about it, I'm proactive about it and helping other women do the same thing. But there's so many women that had so many negotiating factors. Well, I can't be that bad yet. So it hasn't happened. So, ah, I'm good to go. But why are we waiting to hit that benchmark? Why are we waiting to hit rock bottom? Rock enough. Will do. [00:10:32] Speaker A: Rock enough. Ooh, I like that. Yeah. Well, what? When did you realize that drinking was causing problems in your life? [00:10:45] Speaker B: Long before I did anything about it. Like so many of us. Right? Like, I don't know anybody who, you know, had a drinking problem for a month. Like, we have a drinking problem for a considerable amount of time. And I was talking with Ann Dose at Johnston, the author of drink the intimate relationship between women and alcohol. And I believe it was in her book, or perhaps she was referring to drinking a love story, I can't remember, but it was in a discussion with her where she mentioned that the average woman has a toxic relationship with alcohol for about twelve years before they do something about it. And I thought, oh, geez, I fit right smack in the middle of that stat, you know, like. And so I quit drinking. January 24, 2020. That was my first day. I didn't drink, and I knew that I had lost the most valuable thing to me at the time in 2013. [00:11:37] Speaker A: Can you tell more about that? [00:11:40] Speaker B: Sure. So that's when I was a performing artist, and I had a very important job singing. I was on a gig. I was working. And the most extraordinary sequence of events led to a once in a lifetime opportunity of. I don't even know how to say it. It was like a caravan of work opportunities that came as a result of this gig that I had done. And it was like, it was the kind of caravan that it is. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Like, that just doesn't happen to regular people. But at that time, I was so arrogant. I believed that I was. I deserved it, of course. But then I was so obnoxious and so drunk at that after party that I lost every single one of those gigs. [00:12:30] Speaker A: Wow. [00:12:31] Speaker B: And so I never really sang after that. [00:12:35] Speaker A: And even now you don't sing? [00:12:37] Speaker B: No. [00:12:39] Speaker A: Oh, gosh. And that was 2013, you said. [00:12:43] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:12:44] Speaker A: And then what happened? You know, how did you get to the point where you were like, okay, I'm. I'm ready to be done with alcohol? [00:12:54] Speaker B: Well, as your bio that you read of mine sort of alludes to, I'm fortunate that I've been able to chameleon my way through work opportunities. Right. And reinvent myself several times. And I had to do that out of necessity. And so my opera career ended, and so then I went to film school, and then I started working in television film after that. And then I found myself working in China after that. And then I came back and did some different work here. And then I had a baby, and then I totally delved into the mummy wine culture fiasco. So I never had, as I mentioned, I never had a rock bottom, but I had a rock enough because I knew that the life that I was meant to be leading was nowhere near the life that I was walking through every day. [00:13:50] Speaker A: Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think that that's such a good point because there's not always a tipping point, excuse the pun, or a rock bottom. But you do. You just get to where, like, alcohol is taking more than it's giving. You're feeling, you know, you're just feeling not like yourself. You're under a fog, a funk. You're feeling like crap. And a lot of it is attributed to the alcohol, to the drinking. [00:14:20] Speaker B: Yeah, but it's a very scary place to be, though, because so many of us, women who are drinking a bottle of wine a night or whatever your frequency and consumption is, for me, it was a bottle of wine a night. But when we're doing that, we're doing it for a reason, and the majority of us are doing it for relief of some kind. And if we take out that relief, what's left? And what woman wants to put up her hand to deal with that? But as we know, for those of us who are able to get to the other side of overdrinking, and I would like to note that this was the 7th time that I tried. When we get to the other side of overdrinking, we realize that everything that we ever wanted for ourselves is not only available, but we surpass it. We end up living these lives that are so filled with presence and joy and connection and purpose and life and vitality, none of those things were on my radar. And now I can't imagine my life without them. [00:15:25] Speaker A: Yeah, it's interesting. I always kind of thought of it as, oh, well, alcohol's my treat. I deserve it. It's a reward. And breaking up with it, like you said it was like, this is my relief. Like, what am I going to do without it? Like, I'm just raw dogging life now. That's hard. Can be hard. Yeah. [00:15:49] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's so funny because I'm often one of the blessings, as I'm sure you've experienced as well. You know that when we, the longer that we live our lives without alcohol and lean into the process, the morability we have to gain clarity. And so our emotional literacy really advances, our emotional intelligence really advances. And so we're able to ask the questions we actually want the answers to, not the questions that we're actually asking when we know we have a drinking problem. So, for example, Google is not the place to go. Google does not know if you have a drinking problem. Yet. How many of us go to Google and say, do I have a drinking problem? Or what are the markers of an alcoholic? Or whatever we put into the search engine? And it's so funny because so many people would say, well, how do you get sober? How do you go out with your girlfriends on a Friday night and not have a drink? How do you celebrate New Year's? How do you go on a vacation with your husband? How do you experience life without alcohol? And as people who are on the other side of that, it's so wild because we can't imagine life with alcohol. But when you're in it, it feels like we're going to have a less than experience if we quit drinking. But of course, we learn that it's the ultimate level up. [00:17:10] Speaker A: Well, what made it stick this last time, then? [00:17:13] Speaker B: Oh, God, a couple things. First of all, it was I had found women who were strangers to me who were navigating the same path. And it was in the sharing of our common situation. Even though our stories are quite different from each other, our themes were absolutely the same. I didn't feel like I was, like, beyond repairable. I realized that there was other people out there that were just like me that I admired. I thought they were doing great things, you know, but they, too, had this issue. So it was, number one was finding community. Number two was I started walking every day. And my first day that I was sober, I went for a walk for about half a mile, and I felt like such a superstar because I'm like, I did something good for my body. I'm like, oh, my God, I'm such a hero. But the longer I stayed without alcohol, the longer I was able to walk. And I found that, metaphorically, physically, all the things you learn how to walk through, you learn how to walk around, to walk over, walk with, you know, all the things. And it was through that process that I was able to make it stick. And so she walks Canada is my answer to. It was my invitation, really, to other women, so they didn't have to feel they had to walk alone like I did. [00:18:38] Speaker A: Well, that's beautifully said. So the connection, the movement, and just this idea of walking and all the analogies that come with it, I'm so glad that you shared that. Well, then what is she walks Canada? And tell us about that and how you form that and then what its purpose is. [00:19:03] Speaker B: Yeah. So she walks Canada is a movement to engage and empower sober and sober curious women changing their relationship with alcohol. Globally, 46% of our participation is american. So we have people that are walking with us and a lot of people that join our meetings as well. And so for 100 days of every year, we actually go on a walk, you know, and when we launched in 2022 in Canada, the COVID restrictions were quite tough, and so we chose to have a virtual walk. So everybody walked from where they were and then logged together on the website. So we had these collective goals, and our first collective goal was to walk across Canada once. And that's a pretty big pretty big distance. Anyways, we ended up walking across Canada three times in six months. And then the second year, we said, well, where next? We went a long distance. And so we decided we would try to walk circumnavigate the globe. And we did that too. And we did that in 94 days, six days ahead of schedule. And so this year we're like, okay, I think it's time that we're ready to walk in person and take you to the street, so to speak. And so with this 100 day idea, I said, God, I would just love to have 50 walks across North America. That, to me, would be a real success. In this 100 days, it's 50 walks. We're halfway through, and I think we've had 248 across North America with 42 walk leaders. And they happen on Sundays at ten or two. So you can go to shewalkscanada.com, to the community walks page and see if there's a walk in your area. So that's what we offer for the walking. But then year round, we have group coaching led by professional, certified coaches, and our entire platform is free. [00:20:46] Speaker A: Oh, that's so cool. And is it only for women, then? [00:20:50] Speaker B: Yes. People who identify as women or people who identify as female? [00:20:55] Speaker A: Yeah. And why did you feel that was important? [00:21:01] Speaker B: It's so funny. I get asked this quite a bit, and every time I get asked, it's a bit of a different answer. But generally, there's something very special when you get women together. There's a very different vibe. That's one thing. Another thing is that many of us have drinking related dependencies in response to traumas that are associated with men. And I wanted to create a space where women felt they didn't have to protect themselves in this vulnerable type of discussion. Ed and I just like women a lot, so I want to spend my time with women. I am inspired. If I look at all the people in my life, I've tended always to be the most inspired by women, the most comforted by women, and been able to help most women. [00:21:52] Speaker A: Yeah, well, thank you for answering that. I was just curious. And it kind of goes back to, like, finding your people, finding people who get it, who understand what it's like to struggle with drinking, and then on top of that, understand what it's like to be a woman in this world. [00:22:13] Speaker B: Yes. I don't know. I've had a lot of conversations with myself about this. Like, if we were to look. Because a while ago, I said, just look since 2015. Like, just the world events that have happened since 2015 for women, you know, that have impacted women. And it doesn't matter where you stand on the side of the debate, it doesn't matter. But there's been so many instances that have impacted women since 2015. So, for example, the Trump presidency, whether you were for Trump or against Trump, I think everybody had a response to that. The hash metoo movement. Right, Covid. Right. And in Canada, truth and reconciliation. Like, there have been some significant things that have happened since 2015. And even if you go back to the nineties, you know, and Doucet Justin, again, to speak of her books, she talks about the prinking of the market and how the alcohol market and how. I would probably want to fact check this, but I believe I'm accurate here. She talks about there was a label that recognized that an entire gender was underperforming. This is in the nineties. And so then that created chick drinks. And so over a two year period of time, they saw a 66% increase in alcohol sales. Okay, so let's just take a look at how old that rate that those women were then. So that was, let's just say twenties. Right? And so if we fast forward to now, how old are those women? They're our age. Right? And so we wonder why that we've got such a significant problem with alcohol. We've been living with it as a primary sense of our engagement, our social circle, our having fun, our going to school and getting an education, our motherhood. I mean, it's pushed down our throats. You know, I remember here in Toronto, there was somebody sent me a picture of a wine store here in Toronto where the marketing label on top of the wine said, mommy's teacher's assistant during COVID like, can't get away from it. [00:24:28] Speaker A: Yeah, it's so interesting. I've seen that graph, too. Like, there's a graph of wine cells from the nineties to the two thousands, and it's almost like. And you can just see it skyrocket when they started promoting it towards women and the whole heart health thing. But anyway, you see the skyrocketing sales of wine, and then you could almost, like, overlay the same graph of women with alcohol related problems. [00:25:00] Speaker B: Oh, sure. [00:25:00] Speaker A: That has just skyrocketed. [00:25:02] Speaker B: Yeah. Yes. [00:25:04] Speaker A: And I think it's interesting too. Like, and I don't know the history of Canada. Did Canada ever have prohibition? [00:25:12] Speaker B: They must have, because I say that because when we bought this house, my husband opened up the walls to renovate because it hadn't been renovated in several years. If I had a bunch of booze in the walls. Oh, that's. [00:25:26] Speaker A: Yeah. Like, why would they hide that? [00:25:28] Speaker B: Yeah. And, like, it was. It was strange for me because I'm sober right at the time. You know, I was sober at the time. I am sober. But do you know what I mean? I was like, this is so weird that I'm moving into a house that has alcohol in the drywall. So I'm hoping it isn't else. I hope it's not in this room. It doesn't matter. Even if it is. [00:25:48] Speaker A: It's like a. It's literally an evil spirit. [00:25:51] Speaker B: It's an evil spirit. [00:25:53] Speaker A: What I was gonna say is prohibition, you know, that in America, at least, was driven by women, and women who. It also corresponded with the drive for women's right to vote, like, all in the twenties. But it's interesting, like, women were driving that, and women were, you know, we were mad. We were mothers against drunk driving. And then, you know, then we started joining the drinking, and now that it's gotten out of control, it's causing problems. You're seeing the women who are now being the driving force behind sober curious movement, you know, changing our conversations about alcohol and how that affects us now. It's women that are leading the conversations in that area. [00:26:46] Speaker B: It's also women that are leading all of the major conversations in every avenue of our lives. [00:26:52] Speaker A: Yeah. We are strong, proud women. And even if you're a man and you're listening to this, it's like, of course you have women in your lives, and how can you support them? And, you know, it's just good to hear other perspectives and how other people just live and navigate in the world. Well, let's see. So, the other thing you've done is you've founded uncovery method life coaching, and. [00:27:25] Speaker B: Let me. Let me. Yeah. Okay. [00:27:27] Speaker A: You're in the process of it. [00:27:29] Speaker B: Okay. Well, something actually a little bit different than that. So I have created an app. It's called the uncovery app, and it's a woman centric app. It's an empowerment app through the lens of alcohol free living, and it's only for women, and it will be released later this month. I'm pretty excited about it. It is very exciting. And the purpose of the app is to engage women about their relationship with alcohol. As we've already alluded to today, the women who are a part of this cohort that was announced last year are surpassing men in emergency room visits, hospital stays, and early death related substance use. It's women that are in this category, and so these are smart women. Women do not need another stat that alcohol is not safe. We know that. But we are still drinking a bottle of wine a night. And so my app is not about stats, and my app is not about the. This is what happens in the worst case scenario, because, as, again, we've already talked about, we are still functioning at a very high level in so many capacities, except the one that is us. Right. And so the purpose of the app is to engage women about their relationship with alcohol, which is an unrequited relationship. We have a relationship with it, but it does not have a relationship with us. And so we've got to reconnect to ourselves. So it's the relationship with ourselves. And I talk about sober curiosity, sobriety, and what I believe is the ultimate destination, which is alcohol free living. So it's complete freedom from booze. Like, we don't think about it. It's like, we'd never do it. We would never risk the life that we've built for ourselves. And sure, you know, life still happens, but we're able to deal with it in a way that is. That is in complete alignment with how we want to live our lives. So how do we build boundaries? How do we take care of our self care? What are our core values and principles? Only 10% of people actually can identify in one sentence what their core values are. And 8% or, sorry, 80% of that 10% have values that they adopted by their gender, by their families, by their culture, not uniquely by them. What would we be able to accomplish if we led our lives in alignment with what we know to be true for ourselves with complete clarity and capacity? That is the purpose of the uncovery app. [00:29:59] Speaker A: Yeah, it sounds very powerful and insightful. [00:30:03] Speaker B: I hope so. [00:30:05] Speaker A: What are your values? [00:30:07] Speaker B: Truth, love, courage, trust, and freedom. [00:30:11] Speaker A: That kind of, like, really encompasses that alcohol free living that you talk about. [00:30:17] Speaker B: Yeah, and it's funny because, like, it. Because it took me a long time to figure out what my values were, because I didn't. I couldn't tell you when I was drinking what my values are. This would be me. Family, honesty. Like, that would have been me. Right, but. And while those things, you know, are obviously important, I needed to figure out for myself, apart from everything else, apart from my family, apart from my culture, apart from my nationality, whatever. Apart from all of that. What do I believe to be true? What do I believe to be important? And so, for me, I had to get radically accountable in my drinking, and that was the truth. Part of my value system is, like, I need to look at the mirror and say, lindsey, the problem is you. The problem is you. And once I was able to actually say, the problem is you, I put myself in the position to say, the solution is you. Right. And so it's from there that we. That we find ourselves. And there's just nothing more rewarding than being able to show up in any situation and know that you're going to be true to yourself, and it's all going to be okay. [00:31:26] Speaker A: Yeah. And I think what's really hard when you're first changing your drinking, whether you're sober curious and you're just trying to take a break or you know that you're done with drinking, it's that letting yourself down again and again when you go back to drinking and, you know, there's a morning Lindsey, and Debbie, at least there was a morning Debbie that was like, okay, this is the day. I'm not going to drink today. And then there was an evening Debbie that was like, well, fuck it. Might as well drink. You know, like. And you just feel, like, so disconnected from yourself and who you are. [00:32:09] Speaker B: Yeah, it's terrible because, as you say, you know what you want. You know, at 10:00 in the morning is different than what you are able to give yourself at 05:00 at night. And this is the thing, is that quitting drinking has nothing to do with discipline and willpower. It has nothing to do with discipline, nothing to do with willpower, nothing to do with morals, nothing. But yet we beat ourselves up, saying, if only I was stronger. If only I had more discipline. If only I could be more capable. It just has nothing to do with that. [00:32:45] Speaker A: Well, what is your advice for someone who, you know, they are struggling, they're stuck, and they get, like, the big picture of things. Like. And like you pointed out, like, hopefully by now people know alcohol is crap for you. But what are some of your top tips for someone who's thinking about quitting drinking? [00:33:12] Speaker B: So, for someone who is thinking about it, I would say being sober curious. So I just want to define what that is. [00:33:20] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:33:20] Speaker B: Yeah. So maybe if I can just define what those three phases are. Okay, so I believe there's. There's three parts to overcoming over drinking. There's sober curiosity, sobriety, and alcohol free. Living. Sober curiosity is when you say, okay, girl, our drinking is not working for us right now. And what is so great about that is it means that you are curious about another way to live your life. You did not say that you're going to shut the party down. What you said is, I am going to explore other opportunities and what that means. So sober curiosity is the active phase of pursuing knowledge to understand another possible lifestyle choice. That's what sober curiosity is. It could be listening to podcasts, it could be reading books. It could be going to a coaching call. Like, that's all sober curiosity. And you also don't need to raise your hand and say, hey, everybody, I'm sober curious. Like, no, it's a personal journey then. And I have found the majority of people who are serious about changing their relationship with alcohol are usually sober curious for, like, somewhere like three to three months to a year. It just depends. Everybody's different. But somebody who's sober curious for two years, you know, piss their kid off the pot, right? And so forth. People who are going into sobriety, that is a multi year long process of personal development for the purposes of building a life you don't need to numb out from. And so that is things like building boundaries, building a solid self care situation, building a support team. We begin to welcome in new people into our lives who are reflections of who we're becoming. It's quite a beautiful place to be. And there are some challenging times. There's no doubt about it, because life still happens whether we drink or not. We're just choosing to live very present. And sometimes that feels amazing, and sometimes that feels hard. So that's what sobriety is all about. Now, some people choose to stay in that phase, and it's a lifestyle, you know, it's a very active pursuit of, I'm not drinking today, and that's great, but I don't believe everybody needs or wants to stay there. I believe the ultimate destination is alcohol free living, and that's when you get to reap the rewards of the life that you've built. So, alcohol. So sorry. Sobriety is building a life that you don't need to numb out from. Alcohol free living is building a life you don't need to be sober from. It's when you can move forward. You've done it. You've done enough personal development that you have boundaries. You can live in alignment with how you want to experience your life. You're at no risk of drinking, and you've built a life that makes you proud. And sure, there's still going to be some challenging times and all that, but there's no longer the need to choose every day not to drink, because it's just not on the radar. So those are the three, what I call the three phases of sober curiosity or of the sober journey. So, to answer your question, what are the ten tips or this? A couple tips? [00:36:44] Speaker A: Yeah, that'd be great. [00:36:46] Speaker B: I think if you're sober curious, know that that's a great place to be like, because you haven't necessarily committed to not drinking yet, but you are saying, hey, you know what? We all know that no amount of alcohol is say, okay, I got it, but I just need a bit of space because, holy crap, this is going to be a big change for me. So that's a beautiful place to be. So allow yourself the time. You've got to find a community. I think that's the most important thing is find a community. And if you want it to be with just women, or you want it to be with just men, or you want something co ed, whatever, but find people you can talk to that are not your friends, that are not your family, because you'll end up saying things that you need to get off your chest, that you would never say to other people for fear that they would not respond in a judgment free way. So community is everything. Get your body moving, quitlet podcasts, whatever is going to help you. Communities, everything. [00:37:38] Speaker A: Thank you for sharing that. And I appreciate the different stages of the journey. And I think a question I get from a lot of people is, like, kind of reminds me of your middle journey of sobriety. Like, am I going to have to always go to meetings? Am I going to have to always be talking about sobriety? Am I going to have to always have this be my thing? I just want to live my life and just be alcohol free. [00:38:10] Speaker B: Right. And that's a great question. I'm so glad that you brought that up. And the answer is you. Do you? For me, I think I stopped going to meetings. I don't know, maybe a year and a bit after I stopped drinking, but then I started she walks Canada, and I was facilitating meetings. So I'm going to meetings all the time, but that's because I'm facilitating them. This is totally different. But I think what's really important is that, and it's really quite a modern approach to learning to overcome over drinking, is that I believe in evolution. We evolve. Everything that grows changes. We all know that, and we have to allow ourselves the freedom to evolve through that process. Like, for example, if I stayed the woman I was when I was 21, I would never be able to call myself a mother. And that was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, you know? And so if I didn't become a mother, I hope that one day I might be a grandmother, you know, but if I never became a mother, I evolved into that. I would never give myself the opportunities that come later. And so we have to allow ourselves to evolve. And as we evolve, our needs change. Like, what we needed when we were 21 is totally different than what we need when we're 40, which is totally different than what we need when we're 60. So our support systems should evolve as we do. And so if you don't need to know, you don't need to go to a meeting. But I do think we need to have people in our circle that get us. But as I'm sure you would understand, this, too. Like, I have found this to be the case. People that we go to meetings with who we haven't talked to for two years, I could phone up any one of those women on a dime and say, hey, it's Lindsey. And they would stop what they were doing, you know, and they would make time. Like, it's. It's like seeing a friend you haven't seen for forever. You know, you build these relationships, so those have to. The relationships have to stay, but you don't have to work on recovery every day. It's exhausting, and I don't. I don't need it. You know, there's a bunch of us that don't need it. Right? [00:40:09] Speaker A: Yeah. And I think that is the true alcohol freedom. I think that's where we want to be. You know, you hear so many people say, I just don't want to think about drinking anymore. [00:40:20] Speaker B: I don't want to. Go ahead. [00:40:22] Speaker A: I don't want to think about drinking, and I don't want to think about not drinking. [00:40:26] Speaker B: Yeah, right. And, like, I had. I have this conversation, too, you know, like, for the uncovery app, the whole. The content is geared around overcoming over drinking, for sure. And the majority of the content is around the sober curiosity and sobriety phases, because I recognize that women who get to the alcohol free living phase do not need nearly the kind of support that we're talking about, for example, right now. And so the 510 year game plan of the Uncover app is that it encompasses all of women's wellness and empowerment. Because my goal in the work that I do right now with sobriety is that I am completely redundant and have to close up shop. That's my goal, is that we don't need to be having these conversations. Like, I hope. I hope that my daughter, when she's my age, will be sitting around saying, can you believe that Debbie and Lindsey, they had to sit around and have these conversations about drinking and how that was totally against the grain. And they needed support system. They need podcasts, they needed books. They needed a whole genre of literature to be able to get past this shameful thing that is totally terrible for your health that nobody does anymore. [00:41:37] Speaker A: Do you see it becoming, like, smoking? [00:41:40] Speaker B: Yes, 100%. [00:41:42] Speaker A: And Canada was one of the countries that changed their guidelines for their recommendations about alcohol. [00:41:51] Speaker B: Yes, I remember it like it was yesterday. So I do a lot of national press, right? And a lot of press, a lot of podcasts, all this kind of stuff. So when those guidelines came out, maybe five minutes after it hit the news waves, I got together with my executive team. I'm like, okay, guys, you got a problem? There's gonna be one of three responses here from our community. There's gonna be, oh, okay, you know what? Maybe these are the super curious people. Okay, message received. I hear you. Time to stop. And then off they go. And then there's gonna be the people that are in alcohol freely and saying, see? Gotcha. Great, I'm glad I'm here already. But then there's those people that just know they have a problem, and they're like, I'm screwed. I don't know how we're going to. I can't just stop, you know? And off they go to the liquor store and buy two bottles of wine. It's gone by 08:00 p.m. like those were going to be the responses. And so when those guidelines came out, and sure enough, I was interviewed about my response to that, and I do not believe moderation is possible for people who have had a problematic relationship. I just don't think so. I recognize that there are a lot of people who can easily fit within those guidelines, and that's not a problem. And they drink two glasses per week with no problem, and that's it. You know, small glasses, and they can do that. That's fine. And so, to each their own. But alcohol isn't safe. Why are we pushing it anyway? And it's not possible to moderate for those that have a problematic relationship. [00:43:26] Speaker A: Yeah, I'm curious to see what the United States comes out with, because I think that maybe this year we will be releasing the new nutritional guidelines, and I'm curious to see where alcohol is going to fall in those now. [00:43:44] Speaker B: Well, I mean, like, it's not just Canada that's saying no amount of alcohol is safe, right? So. And I was actually. It's funny because usually, you know, whatever happens in the United States happens in Canada three months later. Right. Like, it's kind of a running joke. Right. But, but Canada does have a bit of a, they're pretty on top of things in the health department, you know, so I wasn't surprised that they, that they came out with that. I'm so glad they did. But they hadn't released any studies about that in eleven years. So I'm grateful that they are talking about it and I'm grateful that the narrative is so loud and clear that no amount of alcohol is safe. There are zero health benefits. [00:44:21] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. As your resident nurse, I agree. One thing, when you were talking about just being in that sobriety phase that I notice a lot of people have, especially in the newish, you know, when you're actually not drinking, you're in that active phase of practicing being alcohol free. A lot of people have fear and anxiety about the future. And what, what is your advice for that? You know, they're afraid, like they're going to go back to drinking. They're afraid, you know, they're anxious about it. They're anxious about future events. They're future tripping, all of that. What is, what is your take on that? [00:45:06] Speaker B: Well, a couple things. You don't manifest what you want. You manifest what you are. And it's a mindset. And for me, 24 hours after not having a drink, I remember I woke up 06:00 a.m. my eyes bing. And I said, I'm a non alcoholic who says that to themselves when they wake up first thing in the morning. But that's what I said. And it became like a mindset. And so to, so for one thing, I could not think two days in front of me about not drinking. I couldn't think. I couldn't. I just needed to focus on what was right in front of me. And so just focus on what's right in front of you. Deal with whatever's coming up when it happens. Number one, don't, don't think about that. But it's so funny how many people get to about ten months, eleven months, and they're like, I'm never drinking again. You know, because we, we really have seen so many benefits. We just wouldn't risk it. So just lean in. And I would say that it sounds like a long time right now, but in retrospect, it's really not. For so many people, the magic really starts to happen at six months, you know, where the dust settles. And then it's just, it's like everything just starts to open up. So if we can just get to six months, magical things really do start to happen for so many of us. [00:46:21] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, what do you think? You want to share with people that you haven't shared yet? During our conversation, I never thought that. [00:46:32] Speaker B: I would be able to leave alcohol behind. I really didn't. I thought it was going to be my future because I couldn't, because I tried so many times before and I failed every time before. But it's not about failure. It's about getting back up. And I never thought. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to live a better life than what I thought I lost. Do you know what I mean? I thought I lost everything when I lost my career. And then I realized that everything I ever wanted myself, for myself, was in the steps that were before me. [00:47:15] Speaker A: Wow. Yeah. I kind of felt that way, too. Like, I felt the same, you know, that I was never going to get this thing, that I was just going to be stuck in this loop of drinking, and I couldn't imagine my future without alcohol. And then having arrived here with perspective, it's like, oh, now the past makes a little more sense. And I feel like I had to go through all of that, all those shitty parts, all those growing parts, all those learning parts to get to where I am now. And I feel like where I am now is where I meant to be. It's just. And it sounds so cheesy, you know? It's like, things don't happen to you, they happen for you. And you're right. Like it is. I'm sure people get tired of hearing, like, it's so much better on the other side. Come join us. But, I mean, it's just. It's true. It really is. It's just, it's. Everything is just a little easier, brighter, better, clearer, you know? It's like taking a sparkle pill. [00:48:33] Speaker B: Yeah. And we remember it exactly. And we remember when we tucked our kids in at night. We remember the way they smell. We remember the feeling we have when we wake up in the morning because we're not fighting through shame. We remember last year when we walked by that same lilac bush. We remember the connections we make along the way. We remember who we've always been. But for the first time. [00:49:08] Speaker A: That is beautiful. Well, tell us how someone can find you. [00:49:13] Speaker B: So the uncoveryapp.com comma get on the waitlist. The app is launching. We don't have a date just yet, but it's late May, early June, something like that. June. So get on the waitlist. If you can get access to the waitlist, I'm offering a cheaper price. That you can lock in. I think it's $9.99 us per month, which is crazy. So theuncoveryapp.com online on Instagram at shewawks Canada and at the Uncovery app for sure. [00:49:37] Speaker A: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Bravo to you and all you're doing. Really appreciate you and glad that we got to connect. [00:49:46] Speaker B: I'm so glad you have made time for me. Thank you. [00:49:51] 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.

Other Episodes

Episode 21

August 04, 2021 00:12:46
Episode Cover

Practice Not Perfection When it Comes to Quit Drinking

Why being perfect doesn’t help you quit drinking. Not drinking is a new habit and new habits take practice.   Want to learn how to...


Episode 131

September 20, 2023 00:53:55
Episode Cover

From ADHD and Alcohol to Balance and Wellness with Yoga Therapist & Ayurvedic Counselor Maya Semans

Maya Semans is a Level Three Optimal State Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT, & Integrative Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor. She specializes in embodied mental health practices and...


Episode 98

February 01, 2023 00:45:53
Episode Cover

Intoxicating Lies: Meg Geisewite’s Journey to Freedom from Gray Area Drinking

Meg Geisewite is on the show to share her story.  Meg is an ordinary mom who found herself trapped in the mommy wine culture....