If you love drinking like I did, I know it’s almost impossible to imagine that you could be happier sober.

Before I stopped drinking I imagined that my life without alcohol would be lonely, boring and depressing. 

I thought that I would always want to drink, feel constantly deprived, that date nights with my husband would be less fun, parenting my kids would be more stressful and dinners out with colleagues would be awkward. 

I’m glad to tell you that I was dead wrong.

I am so much happier sober than I ever was in my drinking days.

🎙️So, if you’re scared of an alcohol-free life, listen to this conversation with

Madeline Forrest Campbell, host of the Happiest Sober Podcast.

We will share with you all the reasons why you should jump into sobriety and get excited about what lies ahead for you, because it’s going to be good! 

In getting ready for our conversation I asked the women in my Sobriety Starter Kit Course Community to share all the things they’re happier about since they stopped drinking. 

In no particular order, from a wide range of women in their own words, here are 110 reasons we’re happier sober 

110 reasons you'll be happier sober

💖 I am fully present and can FEEL all the feels. I love little things like taking a bubble bath, the smell of honeysuckle shower oil and the taste of Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.

💖 Waking up every day to clarity, feeling great, focused and happier than I have been in a very long time.

💖 Losing wine weight is amazing. I’m down nearly 15 lbs since this journey began. Going shopping in my closet for clothes I haven’t worn in a decade, and shopping for new clothes that I look forward to wearing and feeling so good in my own skin!

💖 Peace. That’s the biggest gift. Not waking up at 3 or 4 am every morning, mind racing, knowing that I was harming myself by drinking every night, wondering when it would all implode.

💖 Physically, I wake up feeling full of energy and enjoy taking care of myself by eating well, drinking water, moving my body, and getting enough sleep.

💖 Emotionally, I feel much more connected and present with my husband and children.

💖 Mentally, the anxiety that I’ve struggled with for years has decreased exponentially.

💖 I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time. Instead of feeling scared I feel positive about my future. I have hope again.

💖 Kindness. I’m nicer to myself. The little voice in my head isn’t so nasty anymore.

💖 Balance. If I want an ice cream, I have an ice cream. If I want to go to bed early, I go to bed early. If I don’t want to workout, I sit on the couch. I don’t need to go so hard, to prove I’ve got it together.

💖 I love having more space in my life, a pause to breathe, notice what I’ve just done and appreciate it is an absolute gift. I’m no longer frantically filling any empty space with unnecessary busyness (or a couch party for one).

💖 I’m not poisoning myself on a daily basis and then wondering why I feel so overwhelmed.

💖 I feel more creative and inspired and have the time and energy to pursue new hobbies

💖 I trust myself again.

💖 I like myself again.

💖 I’ve made so many more friends since I’ve stopped drinking and have deeper and more fulfilling relationships with them – full of laughter and adventures.

💖 I don’t have red wine teeth in pictures.

💖 The recycling is so much lighter! I’m no longer worried about how many wine bottles are filling up the bin. 

💖 I’m no longer living in a cycle of failure, constantly saying I’m going to do something and then quitting on myself. I do what I say I’m going to do. It’s beautiful!

💖 I’m saving so much money! My grocery bill has shrunk and going out to dinner is not a huge expense anymore. 

💖 I sleep like a baby—I no longer toss and turn all night.

💖 Better sex!

💖 Better skin care routine

💖 Better relationships

💖 I’m calmer and more focused

💖 I’m more present with my kids and genuinely enjoy them

💖 I now notice and appreciate the small things that are beautiful in life: sunshine, hugs, good meals, walks

💖 I feel so much better physically. My blood pressure is down. I’m stronger and fitter. I no longer need to take my ulcer medication.

💖 I remember everything. It’s wonderful to actually KNOW what I said last night, what I watched last night, what I did last night. 

💖 No more hangovers, headaches or waking up feeling shaky and sick

💖 Reading and journaling: two lost artful activities that I have not done in a few decades

💖 I have journals from my 20’s even into my 30’s. I always found writing to be such a release for me, but I had forgotten. And if I was drinking at the end of the night, I probably wouldn’t even make sense, or be able to read my writing. 

💖 I was never a big reader, but I’ve read 12 books in 97 days! And loved every single one of them

💖 Eating dinner with my husband and going to bed at the same time, instead of him leaving me passed out on the couch. He is happier and that makes me happier.

💖 Enjoying mom/daughter time and family time when my daughter was here for a month, doing things like a puzzle, going to lunch, getting our nails done… finding the time to just be still with her, watch a show or a movie… (In the past, I would always have to be doing something else, claiming I never had time)

Sugar Cravings After Quitting Alcohol - Gelato Crawl In Venice With My Son at 4 Months Alcohol-Free instead of getting a carafe of wine

🍦 I don’t really feel self-conscious about myself in group settings anymore.
🍦 I don’t attend things that I don’t want to, or I leave them when I’m ready to.
🍦 I don’t hate my body and I’m not constantly trying to fix it or wage war against it
🍦 I take better care of myself both generally and when I really need extra care (tired, emotional, sick).
🍦 I never have to worry about whether I’m OK to drive my car at night
🍦 I feel even keeled.
🍦 I don’t feel like I’m crawling out of my skin all the time, desperately trying to fix all the areas of my life.
🍦 I don’t feel guilty anymore.
My wine bloat is gone (hallelujah!).
🍦 I’m so much more patient and organized.
🍦 Anxiety feels lessened and it’s more obvious what’s causing it
🍦 I don’t feel like I’m digging myself out of a hole on Mondays or getting back on track
My skin looks better (face and body)
🍦 I go to bed on time on the weekends which helps me sleep so much better at the beginning of the week
🍦 I sleep so much better
🍦 No more hangovers (those got increasingly worse for me over the years) or blackouts
🍦 No more waking up with shame or panic, trying to piece the night before together
🍦 No more having to navigate thru repairing after dumb fights about nothing that I didn’t really remember
🍦 I feel (vs always feeling number out or mildly discontent)
🍦 I have a lot more brain space to think or not think vs planning drinking
Every day gets a little better
🍦 I’m happier and more present with my kids
🍦 I’m happier because I feel no shame daily
🍦 I’m just happier in my own skin i can sit and just be in the moment which i struggled with before
🍦 I have so much less anxiety
🍦 I’m moving my body more which makes me way happier
🍦 I’m eating better- smoothies in the mornings , no gross Burger King runs
I’m happier in my body, less IBS and bloating
🍦 No edgy paranoid social anxiety at school pick up
🍦 I have less social anxiety in group/ party settings
🍦 I’m happier with all the small things – kids laughter, a nice big glass of diet coke with lemon through a straw, sunshine and spring flowers poking through, quiet time with a good book.
🍦 I feel actual pride in myself. I’m no longer giving up on myself.
🍦 I have the freedom to speak my truth.
🍦 I live my life vibrantly and fully
🍦 I’m a better and happier version of myself than when I was drinking

I’m no longer depressed, deeply unhappy and sick of my own shit
⭐ I can trust myself now. Before I made promises so many mornings that I wouldn’t drink that night, that I would take a break, and by 6pm I was stopping at the store for more alcohol.
⭐ My whole life is centered around me, what I want and need, instead of my plans, schedule and finances being centered around drinking.
Concerts and comedy shows are so much better! I’m not constantly in line for drinks or going to the bathroom. I am fully present and remember everything!
⭐ Sober travel is wonderful. I’m exploring and experiencing so much more than I ever did when I was drinking or hungover.
⭐ I am learning to put myself first.
⭐ I am learning boundaries.
I am consistent with anything I want to be consistent with.
I have lost unnecessary bloat. I am losing weight.
I naturally eat healthier.
My sleep is AMAZING!
My emotions are calmer and more stable. I can trust my reactions to things.
⭐ Pooping is so much better!
My bedtime routine makes me so happy. Instead of passing out on the couch I take a bath, take care of my skin, brush my teeth, diffuse essential oils, read and listen to a sleep meditation. It’s lovely.
My eyes are bright and clear, not bloodshot and watery.
My relationship with my husband has vastly improved.
My relationship to myself has vastly improved.
⭐ I no longer tell myself what a piece of shit I am.
⭐ I back myself and care for myself.
⭐ I have HOPE.
I am learning to enjoy the journey, to enjoy the present, instead of racing through everything to get to the next drink.
I have my life back. I am now in control of my life whereas before, alcohol was in control.
I am much more grounded, it takes less to shake me whether it be a busy work schedule or a tantruming toddler.
The way I see myself has completely transformed– I used to hide myself, I avoided attention by any means possible, now I am ready to show up and have much more confidence.
I have a much healthier relationship with myself– self compassion, care, nourishment, exercise.
I’m a better friend, daughter and sister. I listen and am more present in my relationships.
No more panic attacks!
⭐ Feel like my high school self again. I’m curious and interested in life.
No more Sunday scaries. I am rested after the weekend and can look ahead to the week knowing I can handle it.
I no longer wake up with random bruises.
⭐ I’m proud of who I am and proud of what I’ve accomplished in quitting drinking.
⭐ Waking up not hating myself for drinking too much is wonderful. I have my self-respect back.
⭐ I’m so much more productive at work – I don’t feel fatigued or brain foggy even after working all day.
⭐ I feel a sense of inner peace and contentment that I never had before.
⭐ I love that I’m modeling healthy coping behavior and self-care for my kids. I’m taking better care of myself and showing them that the solution isn’t in a bottle of wine.

The best books for women quitting drinking and going alcohol-free from my bookshelf. Featuring Quit Like A Woman by Holly Whitaker.

📚 I set goals for myself and actually follow through on them.
📚 I don’t carry around feelings of guilt and shame anymore.
📚 I handle conflicts in my relationships much more effectively.
📚 It’s so much less stressful to keep on top of everything. My life feels manageable now.
📚 I surround myself with positive people who lift me up and no longer tolerate negative and toxic relationships.

Sober Curious? Here are 110 reasons that you'll be happier sober.

3 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More

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Connect with Madeline Forrest Campbell 

Madeline Forrest Campbell hosts the Happiest Sober Podcast, and hosts sober trips around the world – going to costa rica + upcoming trip to Croatia. She got sober in November 2020 after a decade of gray area drinking and discovered that life is so much happier for her without alcohol in it. Now she’s passionate about sharing that message and inspiring others on their sober journeys.

Follow the Happiest Sober Podcast on Instagram @happiestsober

Learn more about Madeline at  www.happiestsober.com

Join Madeline’s community: The Happiest Sober Hub

Learn more about Madeline’s Sober Croatia Trip www.trovatrip.com/trip/europe/croatia/croatia-with-madeline-forrest-may-2024

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

To find out more about Casey and her coaching programs, head over to www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol-free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this is the best sobriety podcast for you.

A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 0.5% of podcasts globally with over 1 million downloads, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

In each episode, Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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Could You Be Happier Sober? With Madeline Forrest Campbell



drinking, sober, sobriety, early sobriety, quit drinking, happier, love, feel, life, talking, wake, drunk, alcohol, people, feeling, year, good, husband, remember, stopped, couch, kids, alcohol-free, happier sober, sober treats, Quit Lit, boundaries


SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Madeline Forrest Campbell


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.


Hi there. Today, we are talking about


being happier sober.


And I know before I quit drinking, I imagined that my life without alcohol would just suck that it would be all about deprivation and isolation and constant craving. And I was a 16 year old who got my car keys taken away.


And since I’ve stopped drinking, I have been amazed at how much happier I’ve been.


But it’s not just me. Everyone I know who’s gotten away from the drinking cycle and move past early sobriety is so much happier than they were when they were drinking.


And you can’t realize until you get away from being so close to drinking and trying to stop drinking. The amount of impact alcohol is having on your life from your dopamine levels to your relationship to your sleep and self-confidence and your skin and everything else.


So today, my guest is Madeline Forrest Campbell. She hosts The Happiest Sober podcast, so I thought she’d be the perfect guest to talk about why we’re happier sober.


Madeline hosts sober trips around the world. She’s been to Costa Rica, and has an upcoming trip to Croatia, which is one of my favorite places to travel.


Madeline got sober in November 2020. After a decade of gray area drinking and discovered that life is so much happier for her without alcohol in it. And she’s passionate about sharing that message and inspiring others on their sober journey.


So, Madeline welcome.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  03:13

Hi. Thanks for having me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:15

Yeah, I’m so excited for you to be here. And we were having a lot of fun before we jumped on the recording, talking about all things sober travel and Croatia but also about the things we’re happy about since we got sober.

Madeline Forrest Campbell  03:34

Yeah, I love that you said to like,


once you get past early sobriety, you discover how much happier it is


because I feel like when you’re in those early days, you’re like, if you heard someone say, I’m so much happier sober. You would feel like what the hell? I’m struggling. This is hard. But it’s like once you push past those days, that’s when you really get to see it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:54

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, people will say to me, like, I’m happier when I drink. I’m nicer when I’m drinking. I’m better with my kids. I’m more patient when I drink. And they say, I don’t like being sober. And the truth is that they’ve never gotten past the withdrawal and early sobriety period, right?


You don’t hate life alcohol-free. You hate withdrawal from alcohol. And, you know, just so everybody knows alcohol has such an impact on hormones in your brain in your body that when you’re drinking and you stop, you are less happy because your dopamine levels are suppressed because you were drinking, and your cortisol level was raised which is your stress hormone because you were drinking, and your serotonin is suppressed which is your mood regulation because you were drinking it, so we are talking about, get past the crappy part – early sobriety. People start to feel better even 3 weeks in, you know around 20 days, 30 days. And once you get there, you will be amazed at how much better your life is.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  05:06

100%. It’s not sobriety that like sucks, and it’s hard. It’s the early days that do so once you hang in there through them. It’s so beyond worth it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  05:14

Yeah. And if you’re listening to us, and you don’t believe us, and you’re like, You’re full of shit, that is totally okay. I always thought that people who are like, Oh my god, I love alcohol free life. I’m like, shut up. You didn’t love drinking as much as I did. But almost everyone says, I was telling Madeline that earlier today, I jumped into my sobriety starter kit, membership group. And I said, Hey, I’m recording this podcast. Will you guys, tell me what you’re happier about since you quit drinking? And I got like, 100 different things from 25 women. I mean, too many to talk about on this podcast, but we will try to touch on them. So don’t take it from me. Don’t take it from Madeline. Everybody agrees?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  06:05

Yeah. 100% It’s so funny. I remember. So, my mom is 40 years sober. And I remember like being in the early days and talking to her and being like, how am I ever going to, like go sit on a patio, in the sun and like, not drink like, it’s going to be so depressing. And she was like Maddie, you just have no idea. Like, you’re going to love it so much. And I felt so irritated. I was like, she just doesn’t remember how fun it was. And when I started, like going out sober. I was like, Oh, you’re right.


Casey McGuire Davidson  06:37

But before we jump in, tell us about why you decided to stop drinking like a little bit about your path.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  06:44

Yeah, so I had sort of an interesting upbringing as it relates to alcohol. So, like I just said, my mom is 40 years sober. So, she’s been sober my whole life. And when she and my dad got married, he was sober as well. And then when I was 8, he relapsed. And then they separated. And he was like, pretty absent from my sister, in my life, as we were growing up. Kind of in and out of rehab. So, alcohol was a very big topic of conversation.


In my house, my mom was very open with us. It was very, like you have alcoholic genes. And so, we weren’t allowed to drink like in high school, and none of my sisters and I, we all had such a healthy respect for that rule. So, none of us drank until we were allowed to. And I definitely kind of went into it with a lot of like, a lot of knowledge with that very top of mind. But when I started drinking, one thing that happened for me, the very first time I ever got drunk was that I woke up with terrible anxiety, which was not something I ever struggled with before. But as my drinking career kind of went on, like, it definitely was progressive.


For me, I wasn’t someone who necessarily looked like I had a problem from the outside. Like, I was like, when I was drunk, I was like, a pretty good natured drunk. I was, like, fun down to party, but I definitely didn’t have much of an off switch. I definitely drink too much. But it was 100% like the internal consequences, like I didn’t really have external consequences. But as time went on, like, I hit, I just hit this point. It was actually during COVID were in lockdown. I started my drinking ramped up, I started drinking pretty much every day, because there was nothing else to do it felt like, and like the toll it was taking on my mental health. Like I was waking up with rippling anxiety every day. And so, I just hit a point where I woke up and was like, I cannot stand to feel this way anymore.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:42

Yeah, I mean, that resonates so much with me, because yeah, my anxiety. I mean, I, I kind of deal with anxiety on an ongoing basis. But my anxiety when I was drinking was off the charts like I Yeah, you know, I don’t know anyone who drinks a lot, who has not experienced those 2am 3am wakeups where your heart is pounding in your mind is racing. And you know, it is literally the worst thing in the world.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  09:12

Yeah, it is the worst feeling. I was actually just reminiscing with my sister the other day because during like COVID times, I was only seeing my sisters and so we would have nights where it was just the three of us drinking and we weren’t even talking to anybody else. And even still, I would wake up and spiral and it couldn’t shake the anxiety and we were reminiscing on the fact that they used to like I would drunkenly pass out on the couch, and they would leave me a little note and be like, we had a good night. Everything is fine. We love you. You have nothing to worry about because that’s how bad it was. It was a lot for them to deal with. I guess my brain chemistry with it. It just wrecked me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  09:49

Were they worried about you when they were like writing you note?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  09:54

I think for sure one of them made a comment at one point at Throw. We drank where she was like, this is like, this is a little ridiculous. If you’re going to suffer this much, like, maybe it’s not even worth it. But to me like, it felt so unthinkable. And it’s it sounds funny saying it out loud because when I’m describing all the horrible consequences in the morning, it seems so obvious, but like, I loved drinking, I believed it was like, my joy in life, it was the thing I got excited to do. And so, it felt really unthinkable. And I just had to hit that point where like, the negatives, finally I could acknowledge, like, Okay, this is outweighing anything I’m getting from it. And I kind of actually stumbled on sober Instagram. And I heard people talk about it in a different way for the first time because I would whenever I would wander about my drinking, I would always ask myself, like, Am I an alcoholic? And like, I didn’t know if I fit that label. And then, when I kind of heard people saying, like, well, there’s a spectrum and like, you don’t have to hit a rock bottom, before you decide to make a change that like really clicked for me. And I was like, Well, I know that this is making me suffer. I know, it’s problematic. I know. It’s not heading anywhere. Good. So may as well get ahead of it now then put off the inevitable.


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:10

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, you know, what’s funny is when you were talking about all the negative consequences and the internal consequences, because I didn’t have any external ones, either. Yeah.


But I was talking to my husband, I finally had him on the podcast and interviewed him in our marriage and our kids in our life, you know, drinking and not drinking, because we’ve been together since we were like, 23 years old. We met at our first job at a College. And I was sort of describing to them to the first time like, waking up and being like, What the fuck is wrong with me and feeling like shit with this, like anxiety about how I’m going to get through the day, and then going downstairs to get my coffee. And if I had opened a second bottle, sort of holding it up with one eye open to see like, is there two thirds left in the bottle? Or is there like 1/3 just to gauge how horrible my day was going to be. And then like going up to put on makeup and hating putting on eyeliner on my bloodshot eyes and just feeling like garbage and shaky. And he was like, I was like, but it was my favorite thing. And he was like that. Yeah, pretty crap reward. He was like, tell her what she’s won for her favorite.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  12:31

And so, because your consequences were also like, internal, did your husband have any idea? You were struggling the way that you were?


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:39

Not? No. I mean, he never told me to stop drinking. He definitely, you know, when I was opening a second bottle of wine on a Tuesday night, was a little bit like, What the hell are you doing? I’d be like, what? I was so defensive. What? I’ve had a hard day, I just want one more. He knew, you know that I was a bottle of wine a night girl, he didn’t know that fairly often, I would have more. He didn’t like it when I passed out on the couch, and he couldn’t wake me up, you know, but he didn’t actually want me to stop drinking. He wanted me to like, occasionally drink or like have a glass of wine. When I told him I was doing 100 days without alcohol. He was like, really? Okay, you know, and then afterwards, when I finished it, I told him that I was going to go for 100 Day days, 186 months alcohol-free.


And we were going to Italy. Like, within that time period, Italy, and Croatia, we are going to Venice or God, going to Venice, and taking a boat to Croatia. And he was like, Are you seriously not going to drink in Italy? He wasn’t completely on board.


And at the same time, when we talk about being happier sober and let’s get into it. He could see all the good changes in me. He said that I seemed much happier that my mood was much more even that our house was a lot more peaceful, that fewer things set me off. I mean, I was running and working out. I lost a ton of weight. He’s like, Well, you seem happy, and you look good. So, you know, there were so many benefits.


I just wasn’t willing to trade everything that I gained to go back to that life just because, you know, there were some drinking highlight.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  14:43

Yeah, I totally, totally relate to that. Like when I think back to my early days, the thing that kept me going was all the negatives of drinking. Like I was like, I don’t want to be hungover. I don’t want to be anxious anymore. I don’t want to wake up hating myself like all of that. But then, with more time it became all the positives of sobriety that kept me Going and like those became my why of like, oh my God, my life’s actually so much better. And just like you like, I don’t want to lose that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  15:06

Yeah, absolutely.


Well, should we just go into and share all the reasons that we’re happier sober and that other people we’ve seen have told us that they’re happier sober?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  15:20

Yes. Do you want me to start? Okay, start.


So, I feel like well, I feel like we need to talk about mornings, first and foremost.


Like, oh my god, I woke up on the reg. So anxious, hating myself, texting people to be like, Did I do anything bad last night? Even if I remembered my whole night I will be paranoid like there. What if there are things I forget that I did like just like all of that, waking up feeling just low lower than low. And then the contrast of waking up sober and like having total peace of mind, remembering everything I did, having no anxiety like having the whole day ahead of me like, oh my god, I love love, love my mornings. Yeah,


Casey McGuire Davidson  16:05

you know, it is amazing. The ticker tape, the space you have in your mind, when you’re not drinking, not only you’re not debating, or thinking about or rationalizing or struggling against cravings in terms of drinking, but you wake up, and instead of my first thought being what the fuck is wrong with me Get your shit together? Oh, my God, my days going to be horrible. How am I going to cope? Is my husband mad at me? You know, because I would pass out on the couch sometimes. And so, I would wake up at 3 in the morning on the couch and have to come upstairs, and like, open the door to our bedroom. And the next morning, I was like, Oh my God, he’s going to be so mad at me. You know? And he’d be like, are you feeling? What? I’m fine. What?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  16:57

I can feel this physically as you’re describing it. Yes. Like, when you’re sober.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:02

When you sleep through the night sleep is incredible. But in the morning, I didn’t literally just roll over and get up. And sometimes I’m tired. And sometimes I’m excited about coffee. And sometimes I’m going to work out but like, I haven’t woken up and asked myself What the fuck is wrong with me in a year, which is pretty cool. Right?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  17:27

When the total extreme is your norm. Oh my god, I used to fall asleep on the couch drunk all the time. And like that feeling of seeing people the next day and being nervous because you don’t know if they’re mad at you and trying to like gauge like, hi, like, what’s their reaction kind of be like, Oh my god, I could so relate to that. So yeah, being just total freedom from that. Sometimes I almost forget. Because now like, it’s so normal for me to wake up without a hangover. But every now and then I’ll have like a dream or something where I drink. And it just like reminds me like, oh my god, that was really my normal life and like, Thank God, thank God, I’m not doing that anymore.


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:06

Yeah, so sleep is incredible. Sober seat, sleep so much happier with that. And waking up in the morning without the anxiety and the guilt and the defensiveness. And, you know, try not to meet people’s eyes. I mean, it’s, that is lovely. That makes me very happy.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  18:32

Feel so much better. Yes, Your Honor of yours. Now.


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:38

Another one, I mentioned it a little bit, but my husband told me at 30 days, I asked him what he noticed. And he said, You know, I was a little worried he was going to say, well, not in so many words, but you’re kind of boring. And in looking back, me passing out on the couch and not remembering TV shows probably wasn’t very exciting for him, either, you know. Cause I wouldn’t be like having a party with by myself with my bottle of wine, you know, on the couch. But what he said to me was that our house was a lot more peaceful than I would come home. And you know, when I was working, it felt like everything was drama, or an escalation. Or, you know, this person did this and oh my god, I got this assignment, and this is happening, and my boss is doing XYZ. And now that I look back, I think one my nervous system was shot so like, any straw was going to break my back because I was just strung so thin on no sleep and losing hours every night. But I also think I was sort of gearing up to give myself a reason to drink, right?


You’re like, oh my god, I deserve this wine. Yeah, I earned. I stopped drinking. I come home and he’d be like, how was your day? And I’d be like, Oh, it’s fine. And he’s like, it was fine. And I’m like, Yeah, we had a long meeting on this project. And I walked to Starbucks with this coworker. And yeah, it was fine. And he just was like, What is? But our home life was so much more drama, free, and peaceful. And it was my mood.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  20:27

Interesting. Yeah. Well, it’s like, we get so accustomed to like the chaos of it. All right. And I used to do the same thing. If I had a stressful day at work. I would like any inconvenience happened, my mind would be like, well, I deserve a glass of wine tonight. And that would keep me going through the day.


So yeah, just being able to like, handle life’s stressors, so much better. And like really that like peace and calm and being able to be more level headed about things.


Casey McGuire Davidson  20:56

Yeah. And one of my clients told me that her husband also said that she’s much more calm and steady, that he could see that things didn’t bog her down as much. And just not feeling overwhelmed by life and feeling more capable of handling things is incredible. And of course, it makes perfect sense, right? You’re not losing three hours every night, not sleeping, and then feeling ill in the morning.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  21:30

Yeah, oh my god. It’s so true. It’s just like, when I look back on like, how I used to get through the day, especially when I first quit drinking and then like, I started having like, really stressful work days, I would constantly be like, how do you manage this hungover? Like, I really used to do all of this. feeling terrible and hungover. And like, really, the way I managed it was I would just be like, plotting the next drink in my brain. But yeah, I really being able to just be like being able to take things as they come and deal with them and much, much healthier ways.


Casey McGuire Davidson  22:03

Yeah, absolutely. What else for you?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  22:08

Okay, okay. I put here, being proud of who I am. Like something that really I noticed when I first quit drinking was like, once I was able to make it stick, it became something I was so proud of, like, I felt so accomplished. And every morning every like, hard day I got through every event that felt scary. Even if I had those feelings of like discomfort or nerves, or like, this is going to suck, this is going to be hard, I will come away, like, holy shit, I am so proud of myself. And when I compare it to waking up full of like, self-loathing, shame over who I was, and the things that I would say and do, like sobriety really, I feel has given me something to, like, always feel proud of, and it’s made me into a person that I can feel proud to be. And that really fueled me early on when I started feeling that. I never wanted to lose that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:04

Yeah, no, that resonates with me so much. Because I think when we’re drinking, we get in such a habit of quitting on ourselves, right? I don’t know anyone who truly struggles with, okay, I’m not going to drink until the weekend, or I’m going to take a break, or I’m going to just have two glasses. And then we keep failing. And just to when you say being proud of yourself, and that confidence that you can count on yourself. And follow through is pretty awesome.


I remember I was, gosh, I quit in February. So, February to March, March, April. So, 2 months sober. My son’s birthday is April 24. So, I was about 2 months over, and I was going to run my first 10k in like 6 years. Wow. And I was training for it. I joined a you know, Couch to 10k group. And it was the morning of his birthday. I woke up early. It was drizzly in Seattle, I went by myself, no one was running with me. My family didn’t come. And my only goal was to not walk. I was like, I’m going to run the whole thing. And I remember crossing the finish line, and was almost in tears because I was like, I am a person who does what I say I’m going to do now.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  24:36

Yeah, I love that. That resonates so much. And even what you said really struck me of like when we’re drinking, we get used to quitting on ourselves. Like that’s just such a beautiful example of the ways that we can actually show up for ourselves in sobriety and like be someone that we can, we can rely on that we’re going to follow through the things that we want to do. I love that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:58

Yeah, it’s just so You aren’t in this cycle of failure anymore.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  25:06

So good. What’s, what’s your next one?


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:11

Oh my gosh. Okay, this one is shallow, but awesome. I mentioned that I hated putting on eyeliner, because my eyes were bloodshot. And I swear to God, they looked yellow. Like, I think a lot of us have taken those selfies when we look like total crap, sort of does shame us into not drinking. But just being able to put on my makeup. Not hate looking into the mirror. My daughter was two. So, she was in the car seat behind me. So, I’m talking to her looking in my rearview mirror, not hating how I look. And my skin looked so much better. And my face was so much less puffy. So, looking in the mirror and not thinking I look terrible, and being like, Oh, I actually look kind of good. I mean, that’s pretty awesome.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  26:09

Yeah, oh my gosh, it’s so true. I felt like when I got sober, I didn’t necessarily notice the changes that much. It’s more so when I look back on photos of myself. I did a year in Australia when I was 24. And that year was the heaviest party I’ve ever had. I drank almost every day. Lots of like, highs and lows that year. But when I see, Oh my god, I used to drunk Snapchat. Like that was my thing. I would get wasted, Snapchat everyone I knew drunk videos of me like, talking to the camera. That I would wake up and be mortified and like snapshots disappear when you send them.


So sometimes I would wake up and see who I snapchatted and be like, I have no idea what I sent them but drunk me used to save a lot of them. I guess to torture me with the next day. So, I get all the time on Snapchat. It will be like a memory pop up like 5 years ago today and it’s like a video of like drunk me and Australia and when I see myself it’s like jarring. Like there’s a difference. There’s no light in your eyes or skins more dull. Like, it really does. It’s pretty shocking, kind of to see the comparison.


Casey McGuire Davidson  27:22

Oh, yeah. And where in Australia did you go?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  27:25

I did. I did 6 months in Sydney and then a few months in Cannes and a few months in Melbourne, but I like lived and worked bartended and then would like travel around. It was just like the little Working Holiday there with my sister.


Casey McGuire Davidson  27:41

Okay, I get you and that’s really fun. I went to the University of Melbourne when I was in junior fun, and my parents lived in Canberra. So, we traveled a lot and went to Sydney, and you know, the Great Barrier Reef and yeah, all over. Oh, that’s so fun. And I drank a shitload during that time. I have to say, there was no inner internet, but there was no social media. There were no videos, there was no sharing my college or early Yeah, I didn’t get a cell phone. Tie was 25 and it was like a flip phone. Okay, I’m 48 so I’m way older than you. Thank God. Thank God. I you know, it’s, uh,


Madeline Forrest Campbell  28:32

you and I used to wake up after drinking. I would like once I like, you know, would realize where I was. I would like lunch for my phone in a panic be like, Instagram. Did I post anything Snapchat? Who would I send open my text open? Like, I like all the apps, you’d be like, did I embarrass myself that I post anything? Like, the worst?


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:51

Yeah. Yeah. Just knowing what you did. And being proud of it. Like, if you were bad at someone, you can legitimately be like, Yes, I was angry. You know, it wasn’t that it was this drunken fuel drama shit. Yeah, and that’s the thing too, right?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  29:09

It’s like, we’re still going to be imperfect and like, get upset sometimes. But at least like, even if you’re saying something through anger, you still at least have like a filter. Whereas like, drunk me would say things that sobered me would never say and like at least when you’re having a hard conversation or something with clarity of mind, you can still like think through things or how you want to phrase things and stuff and yeah, yeah, true.


Casey McGuire Davidson  29:36

So that’s another thing. So I am, I do not like conflict. I am generally like me to be green, nice person. And sometimes when I was drunk, I would get in a fight with my husband. And I think you know, I was expressing fairly legitimate unhappiness with things that were going on in our lives. Now. Have to be fair, we had a two year old and an eight year old. And I don’t know anyone with like toddlers who isn’t unhappy with some division of labor the way stuff is going, but I would be fighting with him. And I could not follow my train of thought I could not sort of communicate rationally. Why I was angry. And that was, I mean, one they don’t people don’t take you seriously when you’re drunk. So, you’re like, yeah, no, I’m genuinely upset. And then I remember one morning that I had gone to sleep with my, you know, five year old son, because I was mad at my husband. And he came in on a Tuesday showered with a cup of coffee for me leaving for work as I like, rolled over feeling like garbage. And he was like, I don’t understand what’s going on. I don’t understand why we’re fighting. I told you that I wouldn’t do XYZ anymore. And I didn’t remember what the fight was. Like, can you win that first? I felt like a peace hit. What was I doing? Like cuddling my son? Because I was angry at my I mean, all this shit, that is just not okay. But I couldn’t even remember what he said he wouldn’t do. And of course, I couldn’t ask him to be like, Hey, I was totally blacked out. What was the thing you had happened?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  31:28

Right? Oh, my God. Yes. I remember one time specifically getting in a drunk fight with my sister. We were standing in a pizza bar. And I was livid with her. And then I woke up in the morning, and I still felt angry at her. And then I remember like saying something to her. And then her being like, Well, you were so mean to me last night, Maddie, like you said this, this, and this. And I couldn’t. I couldn’t I didn’t have the memory. So, I couldn’t be like, No, this was my version of how it happened. So even that, being like, you’re always going to remember everything that you say? And do you’ll always remember your version of events, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:07

Yeah, yeah. So those are a lot of sort of negative things that are no longer happening when you stop drinking, which, by the way, eliminate 60 70% of the negative things in your life, you will definitely be happier. But let’s talk about some of the good stuff that you get to do and get to experience because you’re not drinking.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  32:35

Okay, this is like a small silly one that I’m going to start with. But I Rican love being able to drive whenever I want. Like, not having to ever worry in the morning, am I going to what I blow over right now from last night like having the total freedom of like, if I’m ever in a situation I don’t want to be in, I can drive myself home and just being like being it. I remember southern times in my earlier drinking days when I would start drinking being like, Oh, now like, now I’m drinking like, now I’m here. Now I can’t get in the car. I want to go anywhere. And just like having that total freedom of any day or night. And so, we’re to drive. It’s something that brings me such joy. I love driving. I love going on drives and listening to music. It’s like a happy place for me. So being able to do that whenever I want is like a little. It’s like a fun, like small joy of sobriety for me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  33:23

Yeah, I totally feel that. I mean, I know when I drive home, I spend a lot of time being like, Am I okay to drive? Yeah, and just driving on the highway and knowing that if I got pulled over, I’d be totally cool. Justin is pretty awesome. And I’m always proud of myself, and we go to concerts. At this winery. I happen to live 3 miles away from 100 winery tasting rooms. Is that crazy? Like, let’s be clear. I’m sure that’s why I moved here. But we go to a concert at this winery. And when we’re walking to our car, and when we’re driving home, I tell my husband I’m like, all the people are fucking drunk. You know that. Like, yeah, it’s tricky to done. And so, I’m a little smug, which I enjoy. I’m like, oh, yeah, these people are all drunk.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  34:17

Yes, I love being smug in the car. I am dying ever since I got sober. I’ve been dying to pass a freakin’ DUI checkpoint. I’ll be driving on a holiday, and I’ll be like, come on Ask me if I’ve been drinking so I can say no it’s been my dream.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:33

I don’t know if I’m going to say I hope that happens for you know, Kitty, but no, I want it.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  34:37

I don’t want to get pulled over. I just want to go through one of those points where they like where they’re at stopping everybody and asking them.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:44

Yeah, yeah. One of the things I love is I used to feel sort of doomed like this, this low grade. Worry about that I was going to screw up my marriage in my life and my job and you know, because I was drinking, and so it would be my fault. And not only has that Doom gone away, but I am so much more optimistic than I ever was. And it appears in really small ways. I just, you know, assume the best intentions of other people.


I remember walking to work when I was a couple of months sober. Walking in. And I used to walk in and think like, I hate my life, my boss is so tough, whatever. And I was walking through the parking lot, and all these birds just took off. And I was just like, I love my life. And that just pure joy was something that I hadn’t experienced in a really long time.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit.


The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 


Madeline Forrest Campbell  35:58

I love that. I love that so much. I feel like optimism for your life rather than do like, it’s also that sense of like, I can trust myself now that I love so much. Like I used to always have like, low grade anxiety before drinking, because that would be like, Well, I don’t know, I’m giving up control here. Like, I don’t know what’s going to happen or what I might, you know, do, or say. And again, I didn’t usually I didn’t really get too much trouble everyone I was drinking but like, when you are you know that you’re not in full control. So, to be able to really trust yourself, really does feel that sense of like optimism, knowing that you’re in control of your life now.


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:37

And one of the women in my group said that she was just happier with all the small things. So, kids laughter and, you know, Diet Coke with a lemon through a straw and sunshine and spring flowers and quiet time with a good book. Like, all these things that are beautiful and joyful, that you never really appreciate.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  37:02

Yeah, that’s such a big one for me, that I talk a lot about is that when I was drinking, I found my joy in drinking or I relied on drinking for what like I believed it gave me and that was the thing I looked forward to. And I started realizing like wow, like things that used to bring me joy on their own. I now find joy because I drink while I do them like hanging out by the pool in the summer. I used to love to do that. And then as I got older, it was like, oh, let’s have drinks by the pool. And it wasn’t the pool. I was excited for now it was the drinks. And so, something that I loved so much is like was discovering and sobriety like finding joy in life again, in the things that I was doing in those small moments and having like coffee in the morning or going on a walk or like nature, like all of that really just being like I can feel a natural high and a natural sense of happiness from living life without needing the drink for it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:58

Yeah. Alright, let’s see what else for you. Okay.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  38:01

Oh, okay. And you mentioned this actually, but going to concert sober is such a joy for me. I love music. I started when I got sober. I started going to so many concerts and I just find my 2. Okay, 2 of my favorite things to do. I’m going to actually do. I’ll do two and one here are concerts and comedy shows because I feel like concert they both like music. And laughter both gives such a good like natural high.


So, I find like whenever now I’m at a concert. I’m like so in the moment and it gives me such a good high and I’m always just like, oh my god, I’m so glad to be present for this. And whenever I look around and see people drinking, I’m like, man like this is like a once in a lifetime show seeing like you’re an artists that you love playing live for you. And like it’s just such a good time to be in the moment. And when I look back on the fact that I used to drink I’m like, Oh my God, you leave it to go get in the line and like to go use the bathroom or like paying all that money for tickets and like seeing a show and then not really remembering it after. Like, for me concerts are such a gratitude moment. I leave on such a high and I just like I think there’s such a cool experience to do sober.


And comedy shows like something I really feel in sobriety is like, I just appreciate laughing so much. Like I feel like I laugh easier and it’s something I’m so much more conscious of is just like wanting to laugh. Like, it sounds so silly, but I love going out to comedy shows and like it’s just such a good, natural high and it always just makes me feel so like oh man. I’m so glad to be sober and like be present for this and just enjoying life.


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:47

And I love that you said that because those sorts of two specific things are events that if you’re drinking you can’t imagine doing sober or Yeah, imagine they yes so hard, and you will be missing out by not drinking. But I remember going to a concert of one of my favorite singers with my best friend. And we were singing, and we were having the best time, and we are on this natural high. And all these women in front of us were so drunk, like they came up to me thinking, hugging me thinking, we talked before, I’m like we’ve never met. And they kept getting up to get more drinks, or to go and bathroom. Like we’re saying, I was like, You’re missing the entire thing.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  40:38

Yes, I know. I always notice it too. Whenever I’m at a show. I’m like, man, like, and I used to do it too. So, it’s not in a judgy way. But I’m like, what a wasted opportunity, no pun intended to be at a concert of like an artist that you love and to be drinking through it and missing it. And like not remembering it the next day, or I remember like drinking and going out to comedy shows. And then like the next day being like, oh, like, I know, there was one thing they said that was really funny. I wish I could remember it. Like, you know what I mean? Just really being able to remember, those are like the good fun times in our life. And I want to remember them. I don’t want to drink and forget things or have it be like a fuzzy memory. So that always makes me grateful.


Casey McGuire Davidson  41:17

Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I’m a lot happier with is I take care of myself so much better, not just because I’m not drinking. But if I’m tired, I’ll take a nap. If I’m frustrated. I’ll take time for myself. If I need help, I will ask someone to help. I’ll put down a boundary I’ll schedule a time for me to see my girlfriend’s like, I used to do none of that. Because I think I felt guilty that I was drinking so much that I wanted to overcompensate so that no one would say anything. You know, like, Hey, I’m still doing all the things. I’m holding everything together. I wouldn’t nap on a Sunday. Because I think that my husband would be like, Oh my God, she’s so hungover. She’s useless. As opposed to me just being like, you know what, I’m really tired. I’m going to go take a nap. And no guilt and no defensiveness.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  42:23

Oh, so good. I totally relate something that was such a big deal for me when I got sober is I never used to get ready for bed. Like you said, I used to pass out on the couch all the time. I would wake up in the morning makeup still on teeth, not brush like all of that. And when I got sober, I started taking so much pride in like my bedtime routine, which seems so small, but it was really me just being like, I’m going to take care of myself in a way that drunk me could not and like it became something that made me feel really like good. I’m taking care of me. And there’s so many ways that you get to do that. When you’re sobered that for sure. Like I would never I never went for walks when I was drinking. I never went for walks, and I love going for a walk. Like it’s all those little things that yeah, we just don’t prioritize it when we’re hungover. Like, counting down to drinking.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:14

Yeah, and I love the you mentioned you take so much better care of your skin. Like just so many women mentioned to me that they do this nighttime skin routine, or they take a bath or a hot shower. I put on essential oils and asleep meditation. I mean, I used to not brush my teeth. A lot of the time. Yeah, definitely sleeping my makeup. And you know you wake up with that now with that you’re just like, oh God, we’re feeling terrible like today’s alcohol.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  43:42

So like so thirsty, dehydrated. Oh my god. What?


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:49

My sober treats when I stopped drinking with like, all new bedding. And these turquoise side lamps, like just making it this beautiful space and actually reading books in bed before I fell asleep. I mean, I had stopped. That’s another thing. Okay, I had stopped reading in the evenings like I would only read during the day on vacations. And now I just read actual books because you know, I don’t have to close when I to concentrate.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  44:20

Yeah. Oh my god. Okay. And that even reminds me like just being able to have new rituals for ourselves. Like the bedtime one is one but like really like I remember. Even in my drinking days, I like loved reading like self-help books. And I would always be like, oh, I want to start like having this morning routine and this nighttime routine. And I do still struggle to keep a consistent morning routine. But like being able to actually do things because like if I woke up hungover if I went to bed drunk, it was out of the question like it was hopeless. So really being able to, like be mindful of the new of like creating new kind of rituals and habits for ourselves. And sobriety is so good too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  44:59

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of my favorite times of the day and Happy Places is coming down stairs when the rest of my house is asleep, both my kids, my husband, and just having a cup of coffee, you know, on the couch in the quiet with my cats. I’m just like, This is so lovely. Yeah.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  45:23

I love it. So Good Mornings are the best. Yeah.


Is it? Is it me now? Sure.


Okay. Um, I’ll say like, friendships. And this is something actually that one of my members of my community mentioned recently was like, forgetting things that you and your friends talked about. And like a friend sharing like, you know, like a serious thing. And then not remembering it properly the next day. That was something that I really came to appreciate when I first got sober was like, Oh, my God, I go and like, sit down for a catch up with one of my friends. And I remember everything they told me and I’m present for them. And I’m showing up for them as a better version of me, because I remember in my drinking days, always having to ask them the same things like knowing like, oh, wait, what was this again, like knowing they’ve told me but not remembering. And so really just kind of that like, actual real connection of knowing that you’re a better friend and you know, whatever, friend, sister, or daughter or significant other like, showing up and being present for people and remembering everything you talk about, and just knowing that you’re a more like, reliable person for them and sobriety?


Casey McGuire Davidson  46:37

Yeah. I totally agree with that. I mean, when I was drinking there, certainly some times where in my group of girlfriends, I shared some news about like, my best friend that she told me, that wasn’t even gossipy or bad, but it wasn’t my news to share. She was going to share it. And, you know, just saying things that weren’t right. You know what I mean? Like that. Talking too much. Oversharing. That was one thing. And also, like, my girlfriend, and I would. Our husbands always took care of us. Like, we were the big drinkers, and we would be like, hey, love me, don’t judge me, whatever. But we would get together with random people be like, Oh, my God, we’re buying a boat. We’re going in on a boat. We’re going to do this. And it was just so ridiculous. And the next morning, I’m like, obviously, we’re not buying a boat, like, but you know, I don’t know. I just felt like I was talking shit. All the time. That was just not legitimate.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  47:48

Yeah, like lack of a filter to right, like sharing things that you should. But I know it’s so funny. Like when I used to, like drink with my girlfriends. I thought that was like, bonding. I was bonded with them if we were drinking together, and it’s not really until I started spending time with my friends sober that I was like, No, this sexual connection like this is actual bonding, because so much of like, drunk bonding. I don’t know what the hell even talked about. It was probably a lot of nonsense, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  48:16

Yeah, totally. And the other thing that I love is, I’ve found that looking back a lot of my friendships when I was drinking, were fairly shallow, even with the people who are still my best friends. You know, we talked about our work and our kids and our husbands and our next vacations. And once I started sharing, just being open with, Hey, I stopped drinking, and I struggled with it. And here’s what I’m doing now. And you don’t have to share anything with anyone if you’re not ready. But I found that all of my relationships got a lot deeper, because then my friends would share stuff with me, not even about drinking, but like, Hey, I’m really worried about my kid, or I’m struggling in my marriage, or this, you know, I don’t know what I’m doing with my job. And I’m really upset about it, like this stuff we would gloss over.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  49:17

Yeah, when you’re drinking, it’s so much more surface level stuff. And then when you’re sober and you’re more willing to be like, authentic and open and vulnerable. That creates real connection and then that like makes the other person safe to do the same.


Yeah. Okay. Traveling sober is so much better.


And this was one that when I went drinking, it was 2020 so I couldn’t even think about traveling anytime soon. But that was one of the things that was like, I don’t know how I’m going to do that. Because up until then, traveling was so like, intertwined with drinking in my mind, like I will go on a trip and Like, the activity of the trip was drinking, and I was like, I don’t know how it’s going to be fun any other way. And traveling sober has been like the greatest joy of my life, because I’m actually there doing things like being present, I’m going to remember it, I’m going to get to have my whole day because I’m not hung over for it. And, you know, when I look back, like, using Australia as an example, again, because I was drinking so heavily that year, I cringe at all the things I didn’t do, because I was drinking the whole year, like, there were times where I had plans to go do a sightseeing thing or two to go do this, like coastal walk, and then was kind of like, alright, I could just like duck in and get drunk. And like, I thought I was living my best life by doing it that way. And now I’m just like, That is insane. You’re in a different part of the world. Like, I now go, and I’m, I’m not only doing the things but here’s the thing, too, is that when I would, I’m not saying I didn’t ever do the things drinking or sightseeing and stuff. But in my head, the fun started when I drank. So even if I was doing the sightseeing, I will kind of be like mentally rushing through it. Because that would be like, okay, like once, like, let’s do this, we can check it off and say that we did it and then I’m really mentally excited to go drink. So like when I’m actually doing things, I’m fully they’re fully present not like, you know, rushing through it so that I can go start drinking. Like it’s just totally changed the game and made it so much better. And like it’s just made it. It’s something that like, it’s an experience I’m always so grateful for.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:37

Yeah, totally. I mean, I remember when I first stopped drinking, I was on like day 16. And I talked to my sober coach, and said, Okay, I’m really worried about this trip to Venice and Croatia, because I was going to go when I was 4 months. And she was like, okay, when is that? And I was like, 4 months from now. And she was like, Alright, let’s talk about that, and 3 and a half.


But what she said to me is you are going to love sober travel. She said, I wish I could do every trip. I’ve done drunk sober.


And she is so right. And one of my clients, when you were saying about what you didn’t do or missed out on, she went to Hawaii with a girlfriend. You know, within our first 6 months, and we did the whole let’s game plan this out, and how are you going to do it? Her girlfriend was still drinking, but like, what are you going to say? What are you going to do? How are you going to handle cravings? What are you going to drink instead? And she said one night, you know, they were sitting at dinner her girlfriend was having these margaritas? She said, I did kind of wish I could have one. Like, that was a little hard. But the next morning, they were supposed to go on this hike up this volcano. And her friend was just like, You know what, I’m not going to go, I’m just tired, I’m going to sleep in. And so, she went on the hike alone. And she said, it was just one of the highlights of her life. Like she was so proud and felt all the emotions in the view was incredible. And she was like, I would have missed out on this for… Yeah, you know, margaritas, which I’ve had a million times. Mm hmm.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  53:21

Yeah. Oh, my God, I love that it’s so true. There was so much that I missed. And that’s always something when I’m on a trip now that I love doing the things and like, it’s the best.


Casey McGuire Davidson  53:34

One of the things that I like is, I mean, there is this, this time between when your whole life is filled with drinking and recovering from drinking and debating and planning. And then what I call, not yet, which is this full, beautiful life that you get to experience once you your thoughts and body aren’t dominated by alcohol.


But there’s this empty time when you get to experiment, and you get to filter in new things. And see if there are things you’re still interested in, like things you’d liked in high school, things you enjoyed as a kid. So, I took backup in sobriety guitar, which I hadn’t done in 15 years. I started taking lessons again, and I’ve actually performed onstage at this coffee shop. Jammed twice. I am not good. But it was totally something I was really nervous about that was incredibly fun. You know, you think that you do more of that when you’re drinking but you don’t I never would have practiced for as long as I needed to, you know, I would have been sitting around with buy wine.


I mean, like, I could do it, but it’ll probably be. I won’t be good. You know, like you just you get to do new things.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  54:59

I love that. I play guitar as well. We ever get to meet in person, we’ll have to have a little jam session. That will be super fun.


Yeah, but oh my god, getting to rediscover hobbies and stuff and like, that’s so cool you played on stage and that’s one of mine that I had here too actually was facing fears in sobriety, like there’s something about like, not relying on liquid courage anymore. I’m sure if you were going to get on stage in you’re drinking days, it would have been like, let me get a few drinks in me, and then I’ll have to do this.


And, you know, for me a really, really, really big one is I have a fear of flying. And when I got sober, I even said to my mom, we’re talking and again, it’s 2020. So, I don’t have to think about traveling anytime soon, because I couldn’t. But I was like, okay, like, because for 10 years, I just would get drunk to get on planes. I was like, I found my coping mechanism. This is what I’ll just do forever. I’ll just always get drunk at the airport before I have to get on a plane. And this is my solution. And so when I when I realized I had to get sober. I said to my mom, I was like, okay, but sliding. I’m like, can I be a sober person who only drinks when they fly? I’m like, that will be my one exception. Because I don’t really well right now. Right? But that’s how like unfathomable it was to me to get on a plane sober. I was just like, it felt impossible. And now, I think I’ve been on like, I’ve lost count. I think the last I counted was like 1617 flights in sobriety. And yes, it’s scary. But it’s also empowering, because I’m doing it sober. And what I’ve realized is that, you know, all those times I drank to fly, I was never actually letting myself make progress on getting over my fear, because I was just numbing it. But I actually have made so much progress.


So, my fear of flying because I’m actually facing it by like, feeling the fear of doing it. And then like, feeling that like, accomplished feeling after so I’m still a work in progress, but it’s gotten a lot easier. Like I’m like, I feel like I’m downgrading myself. At first, I was terrified that I was scared. Now I’m calling myself an anxious flyer, like, it’s just getting to face fears, build up real courage and do things that we once believed weren’t possible, because when we get sober, we’re doing something that we once believed was impossible. And then that gets like translate into other aspects of life, too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  57:22

Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I wanted to read something that one somewhat,


a woman in my group said, in terms of rediscovering hobbies, she said, reading and journaling to last artful activities that I haven’t done in a few decades. She said she had journals from her 20s and 30s and are always found writing to be such a relief, but she’d forgotten. And she was never a big reader, but she was 97 days sober today, which is awesome. And she said she’s read 12 books in 97 days. So, she’s like, I guess I’m a reader now. And both books and you know, 3 months.


That’s incredible. I love that.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  58:10

Oh my god. Yeah, getting to like reconnect to those things is so cool. I also read more than I ever read in my early days, being sober. Like, I was devouring all the Quit Lit. But that’s so yeah, it is really cool to get to pick back up hobbies and things that things that we do genuinely love, but we just kind of like disconnected from when, when drinking becomes takes up more and more space in our lives.

Casey McGuire Davidson  58:33

Yeah, absolutely. Someone else said, just waking up every day to feel clarity, feeling great, focused, and happier than she’s been for a long time.


So, what stood out for me in that which we haven’t talked about yet, is being focused. Like losing that brain fog or feeling like you’re operating, you know, in third gear, not fifth on a highway, just like your gears are not going as quickly as they need to.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  59:08

Mm hmm. It’s like you’re just operating at such a lower Love Ball. When you’re under that like fog. 100% is like you can only give you can only give this percent this much percent when you’re when you’re living in that state and being able to Yeah, I feel like you can like live up to your full potential focus operate at a higher level. Such a good feeling. Yeah,


Casey McGuire Davidson  59:31

Yeah, absolutely. The other thing that someone told me I had to mention is


sober sex is better than drunk sex.


And I know it’s something that a lot of women are worried about when they stopped drinking, if that’s how they you know, get in the mood with their husband or gear up for it or you feel less self-conscious in their bodies. But when you think about what you feel and what you experience and what you remember sober sex for real is way better than drunk sex? Yeah,


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:00:08

I was newly single when I got sober. And like when I was going into the dating world, I was like, I don’t know how in the hell I’m going to date without drinking. I don’t know how I was like, I don’t remember the last time I ever hooked up with someone for the first time, with no alcohol in my system, like that felt so just scary and just like foreign to me, because like alcohol was just always a part of always a part of hookups. But it really is. It’s just one of those things. It’s like, I feel like with so many things in sobriety, it feels scary. But you don’t know how much better it’s going to be until you just do it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:43

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I found that my relationship with my husband is so much better than it was when I was drinking. We, you know, never had a bad relationship. But I didn’t realize how much I didn’t tell him of what was in my head. Because at first I didn’t, I desperately didn’t want him to know how worried I was about my drinking. Because I didn’t want to stop. And I thought if he knew that I was going to have to stop, then, or he’d be watching me for the rest of my life, or, you know, would comment on it. But in the mornings, I was very irritable, and very standoffish. I actually didn’t want him to look at me too closely. And I was afraid that he was mad at me or judging me. And so, I just was very sort of Curt with him. In the morning, we were a lot less loving. And I was much more emotionally up and down. So, I feel like we talk to each other much more, we’re much more emotionally connected. And because of that, we’re nicer to each other. I remember him like I was just unloading the dishwasher. Couple months in and he was like, you’re really good mom. And whether he had said that to me before. And I didn’t believe it. It was just like, I was like, Oh, wow. Oh, sweet.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:02:11

I love that. Yeah, the relationships improved. So much. And I love that. And I will say to like, if anyone who’s listening is single, like, and I totally agree I’m, I’m now in a relationship. It’s kind of newer. It’s been it’s been it’s been since last summer. But when I got sober, I was single. And I was very in the dating world as a sober single person, which felt so scary.


And so, just like, how am I going to navigate this? But as like, you know, having the example of like a long term relationship getting better. Like if you’re in the dating world, what I found was, at first I was like, how am I going to date sober? And then once I started dating sober, I was like, how did I ever drink on dates? Because I will go out with people and like, you’re seeing everything. Clearly, you’re not ignoring red flags anymore. I went on so many dates where I was, like, I knew after a first date, like, Nope, this isn’t the right fit. But I also knew if I was drinking on this date, I probably would have hooked up with him or I probably would have like, seen him again. And so, really like, even though it might feel a lot more uncomfortable to date sober, because you don’t have that like social lubricant anymore. You really have the clarity and presence to evaluate whether someone’s right for you. And my standards got so much higher in sobriety as well for dating.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:34

Yeah, I love that. And I’ve heard that a lot that you just yet when you’re drinking, you either don’t notice red flags, or you dismiss red flags. Yes. And, you know, once you’re sober, you’re like, wait a minute, that didn’t feel right, you know?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:03:52

Yeah, really gives you so much clarity, even like my kind of long term relationship I had before I got sober. Like, looking back, I did see red flags on the second and third date, but I was kind of like, like, I’m having fun, whatever. Like, we’ll just see where it goes, You know what I mean? And then I dated him for a long time, and it turned out pretty toxic. So, it’s funny now, like, you know, when I when I got back into dating sober, like, I would see a red flag on the first or second date, and I was just like, No, no, no, I’m not going to waste time.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:24

Yeah, and I think that’s something not only in terms of dating, but with friendships. Yeah. You no longer spend time or as much time with people who bring you down or who gossip around other people or who are toxic or who just, you know, you feel drained after being with them rather than being lifted up. I think you just have a lot less tolerance for it because you’re fully present. You feel all your feelings, and you kind of start to edit your circle to more positive people who you genuinely love and who love you.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:05:08

Yeah, you’re just like in a different state, like energetically. And I feel like you only want to spend time with people who kind of like align with the newer version of you for sure.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:18

Yeah, I did want to mention kids, because you know, quitting drinking, whether you have kids who are older teenagers or young kids, is something that people worry about, right. And I have to say that my son, he was 8, when I quit drinking, was a big reason that I decided to stop. I mean, I mostly stopped, because I felt like garbage. And I wanted to feel better. And I felt like I can’t live this way anymore. But I also thought, okay, 10 years from now, knowing the way drinking goes, that it just gets worse. So, if I’m hanging out on the couch once a week, or not remembering stuff. And it only gets worse. I thought, when he’s a teen, is he going to want to bring his friend’s home at night? Like, is he going to be embarrassed? Are we going to have a bad relationship? And I desperately didn’t want that. I wanted my kids to be the ones who come home from College and tell me all their stories. And you know, we have great conversations. And so, I stopped drinking. And we’re very, very close. And he’s really proud of me. And that means so much to me, like I haven’t drank in 8 years. And I’m not passing out on the couch, and I’m not slurring. And I mean, I’m not hungover in the morning, like 15 year olds, 16 year olds, they noticed that.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:06:50

Yeah, I love that that got me like a little emotional, because my mom’s sober. And I didn’t realize how lucky I was for that until I got a little bit older. Until I started going to people’s houses where their parents were drunk or drinking. I became aware of like, how, how lucky I was. And I always think like, Oh, my God, that’s the best thing anyone can do for their kids, because I feel so. So beyond lucky that I grew up with a sober mom. And that is motivation for me as well. Like, I want kids someday. And I always knew even in my drinking days, it’s funny. And my sisters feel this way too, that like all of us growing up with a sober mom, it wasn’t lost on any of us that we were lucky for that. And so, all of us always knew, I didn’t want to drink when I have kids. Like that was always a line. That was an expiration date I had for myself, because I felt so lucky for it. And so that’s something that makes me feel grateful that I did it before I had kids.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:07:52

Because, yeah, and even women I work with who have older kids like high schoolers, they mentioned even in early sobriety that they’re having deeper conversations with them, that their kids are talking to them about stuff that they might not have wanted to before, because they would have dismissed it or not been present or just, you know, moving too quickly. And just being present with them, and not missing those moments or those conversations is really precious.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:08:26

Yeah. I love that one. That’s so good.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:31

Yeah, and even I mean, I thought that like, parenting would be so much harder if you weren’t drinking, especially a toddler with the tantrums and the constant requests and the constant needy, it’s really physically and emotionally difficult. And I found parenting my 2-year-old, actually a lot easier, sober than when I was drinking. I mean, there is nothing worse than waking up to a screaming kid when you’ve got a hangover. But also, just my patience was better. I was less on edge.


But I also secondly asked for more time for myself, better boundaries. I was more willing to be like, Oh, my husband’s doing something I have this thing I want to do. I’m going to hire a babysitter, you know, because I need and deserve this time, versus just being resentful over it.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:09:30

Yeah. Oh, that’s so good. That makes so much sense. And it’s such a shame that alcohol is so heavily marketed towards moms as like the solution to make parenting easier when like everything you just said makes so much sense of the fact that it really just would make it harder.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:50

Yeah, absolutely. Anything else you want to share?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:09:56

Yeah. Should we do one more?


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:58



Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:09:59

I’ll do 2-in-1 because one of them’s quick. I enjoy being out in nature so much more now, which I think I didn’t really care much for my drinking days. But now I love being out in nature, especially I’ve been spending time in Colorado. I’ve learned that actually love going on hikes and stuff, which drunk we couldn’t care less about.


And then the other one, I’ll say, is really like the appreciation of the fact that I get to keep my memories, and specifically my memories of like special events and like holidays and things like that. Because those are the things that when I first quit drinking felt like, oh, my God, I have to celebrate my birthday sober, I have to go to weddings, sober, I have to do all these things sober. And now, I’m like, those are the days that I would want to drink for the least. Like, why do I want to, like risk forgetting those things? Those are like the happiest days, especially, you know, like, I’m not married. I was like, how am I going to do my wedding day? So, we’re and now I’m like, oh, never want to drink for my wedding day. Like, I want to remember it, I want to be present for it. So, all the things that I thought would be hardest to do sober are the things I’m most grateful to do sober because I’m like, the important big days that our world associates most with drinking. I like the special happy days that I want to make sure I’m present for and I want to keep all my memories of them the next day, so that that brings me a lot of happiness.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:21

I love both of those. And I didn’t know you didn’t love being in nature, when you were drinking because I’m on your Instagram and I see all the beautiful.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:11:33

I didn’t like actively hate nature, it just like wasn’t and I’m still not like super outdoorsy, I don’t go camping. I like my comforts. But it just wasn’t something that I was conscious about spending a lot of time doing. Whereas like, for instance, this Saturday, like my boyfriend’s off work and we’re saying like, Oh, like let’s find a new height to go on. And like, that never would have been what I would say let’s do on a Saturday in my drink, guys. It just wasn’t as big of a priority for sure.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:12:00

Yeah. Well, if it’s okay with you for mine, I’m just going to read through some of the things oh my gosh, yeah. People said just you know, cause I think they’re really great. So, I’m just going to read them quickly. And this is from like, eight different women what they’ve told me.


I love it. Oh, I am fully present and can feel all the fields. We’ve seen wine wait is amazing. I’m she’s down nearly 15 pounds. And she said going shopping in her closet for clothes. She hasn’t worn in a decade and shopping for new clothes that she looks forward to wearing and feels good in is pretty incredible. eating dinner with my husband and going to bed at the same time. Instead of him leaving me passed out on the couch. I know he’s happier. And that makes me happier. Enjoying mom and daughter time doing things like puzzles, going to lunch getting her nails done, finding the time to just be still with her. In the past, she would have been doing something else claiming she never had time. Another woman said peace. That’s the biggest gift. Not waking up at three or 4am mind racing. Kindness. We didn’t talk about that. That’s a good rule. And I’m so much nicer to myself. The little voice in my head. It’s so nasty.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:13:29

Thou that’s so good. It’s so true. Yes. I love that. You mentioned that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:13:34

Yeah, uh, yeah. Someone else said the space between things that she used to frantically fill with unnecessary busy busyness. Just the stillness of your mind, of your life. Having a pause to breathe. Noticing what you’re doing and appreciating it. And just have a moment to settle before the next thing. I think that’s the calm and the absence of chaos that we were talking about.


Yeah. Another one just received the big list. I love this right? is less anxiety, better sleep, better skincare routine, better relationships, more present with my kids and genuinely enjoy them. Another one I trust myself again. I’m not mean to myself. I don’t have that red wine teeth in pictures. So instead, I don’t feel self-conscious about myself in group settings anymore. I don’t attend things I don’t want to do. I don’t hate my body. I’m not constantly trying to fix it. I take better care of myself when I need extra care like tired, emotional, sick. I feel more even keeled. I don’t feel like crawling out of my skin all the time.

Sleep, you know, happier, more present with the kids happier that she doesn’t have shame daily, moving her body more, which makes her a lot happier, less bloat. Eating better just naturally know, edgy, paranoid social anxiety. I mean, pride, just not giving up on herself. There are so many things.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:15:30

Yeah, like you, so many things that were just said, like the confidence in yourself that we didn’t even touched on how much more confident you become like not doing things you don’t want to do. Like, we’ve talked for well over an hour, and we’ve just like scratched the surface of like, all the things we could go into.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:15:48

Yeah, I love it.

So, if anyone is listening to this, and they’re worried that their life will suck if they stopped drinking, or that they won’t be able to go out with friends, or how will they get that liquid confidence. I hope coming away from this, we’ve at least inspired you to give sobriety a chance to get through that first three weeks that first month, because I could list 100 things that I’m happier about now that I’m sober.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:16:22

Yeah. Oh, same. I know life does not end it feels like it’s going to end but it’s just like life as you know, it might be ending but it’s going to be replaced with like a much, much better version.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:16:34

Yeah, like the beginning of the rest of your life.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:16:39

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I know. So like, Oh, my life will never be the same if I quit drinking. And now I look back and I’m like, I was right. But in a great way.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:16:49

Exactly. I mean, I can’t believe you, like, lead these trips to Costa Rica and Croatia and, you know, started your podcast and my life has changed completely since when I was drinking. So, if people want to find you follow you, tell us where they can do that. Tell us anything exciting you’re working on?


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:17:12

Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram @happiestsober. You can also head to my website, happiestsober.com. I have like a newsletter, and I have my community. They are the happiest sober hub. My podcast is happiest sober podcasts on all platforms. And then I host sober trips. So, my next one is to Croatia. I’m not sure when this episode is coming out. But signup is open until the end of March. And the trip is in May. And then I’ll be planning the next one after that. So, stay tuned.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:17:41

You’re going to have the best time and crush Oh, say thank you. Thank you so much for coming on.


Madeline Forrest Campbell  1:17:48

Thank you for having me. This is so fun.


Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday podcast.

If you’re interested in learning more about me, the work I do, and access free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol. Please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it. And join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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