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20 NEW Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Drinking

If you’ve been going back and forth for a while now about whether you want to stop drinking I’m betting you’ve been asking yourself all the wrong questions.

You might spend a lot of time debating whether your drinking is “normal” or if you “really have a problem”.  You might have googled a question like “How do I know if I have a drinking problem?” or even “Am I an Alcoholic?” 

And those questions can actually keep you stuck in the drinking cycle for a long time because the questions that you typically find on an online “Am I An Alcoholic” Quiz may not match your experience, but that doesn’t mean that alcohol is making your life better. 

Questions like “How often during the past year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?” Or “Have you or has someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?” probably don’t apply to you if you’re a gray area drinker. 

And that’s OK.

The truth is that you don’t need to ask yourself if you’re an “alcoholic” or if your drinking is “bad enough”  to have to stop to change your relationship with alcohol. 

My guest today is Deb Masner, founder of the Alcohol Tipping Point and host of The Alcohol Tipping Point Podcast. 

Deb is going to take us through 20 new questions you should be asking yourself to change your drinking. 

20 NEW Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Drinking. 

  1. How would your life improve if you removed alcohol? 
  2. What are all the benefits of drinking?  
  3. What are all the benefits of not drinking?  
  4. What are the negative effects of drinking?  
  5. What are the negative effects of not drinking? 
  6. When you look at those answers which effects last longer? Drinking or not drinking? (These are from the Cost Benefit Analysis used in SMART Recovery)
  7. What discomfort do you have during a craving, when you are not acting on it? Describe in detail what exactly is uncomfortable about the experience. 
  8. What discomfort you have after a night of drinking. Describe in detail all of the uncomfortable physical and emotional sensations you have post drinking. 
  9. Look at your answers to the two questions, and ask yourself: Which discomfort would you rather have? The temporary discomfort you have while not acting on a craving, or the post-drink discomfort? Consider which lasts longer and which is more painful. 
  10. Is drinking in line with your values and vision? (Unsure? Ask yourself what’s REALLY important to you in life – will drinking help you achieve more of that?)  
  11. When you think about not drinking does it give you a sense of deep contentment or ‘rightness’, happiness and/or excitement? (If so, these are good signs that it’s an attainable goal.)  
  12. If you could be alcohol free RIGHT NOW – would you take it? (If not, why not? What issues are there?)  
  13. How is drinking affecting my overall happiness?  
  14. How is it impacting my relationships?  
  15. How is drinking alcohol getting in the way of my life?
  16. How can I take more responsibility for what I think, for what I feel and for what I do related to drinking? 
  17. How will I make today better than yesterday? 
  18. What can I do to feel my emotions instead of drinking them today? 
  19. What is one kind statement you feel comfortable saying to yourself when you need support?  
  20. If you loved yourself fully, how would you treat yourself every day? What’s one small way you can start doing that today? 

    Tune into this episode to hear Casey and Deb discuss:

    • Why the questions most people ask themselves about their drinking are the wrong ones
    • 20 new questions you should be asking yourself to change your drinking
    • Why doctors do preventative medical screenings for smokers and for diabetes, but not for alcohol consumption 
    • The problem with the message from Big Alcohol that we should “Drink Responsibly” 
    • How to manage alcohol cravings
    • How to detox safely and who needs to medically supervised
    • How drinking aligns (or does not align) with your values and vision you have for your life

        Ready to drink less + live more?

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        If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol join The Sobriety Starter Kit

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        To enroll go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com.

        Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free

        More About Deb Masner

        Deb Masner (Maaaesner) is the founder of the Alcohol Tipping Point- a place to find free resources, tools, and tips to help you change your drinking. Deb runs 30 Day Dry Months where she helps people practice not drinking. She is a Registered Nurse, Certified Health and Wellness Coach, SMART recovery facilitator and alcohol-free badass.

        To learn more about Deb and the work she does, head to www.alcoholtippingpoint.com

        To listen to the Alcohol Tipping Point Podcast go to https://www.alcoholtippingpoint.com/podcast

        Follow Deb on Instagram and Facebook

        Connect with Casey

        Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

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

        ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

        The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking, 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 podcast is for you.

        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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        READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW

        20 NEW Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Drinking

        SUMMARY KEYWORDS

        drinking, alcohol, work, questions, feel, people, cravings, day, life, deb, sobriety, sober, good, coaching, hungover, listening, stop, medical, husband, detox

        SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Deb Masner

        00:02

        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 bus, 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.

        All right, today’s a big day because I’m launching a special Summer Bonus Bundle for The Sobriety Starter Kit Course. I have been hard at work for the last few months creating the largest expansion of course content to the course since its launch, and you can get access to all five bonuses, which are worth $340 for free for the next two weeks. Summer is a great time to kick off healthy changes, and take a longer break from drinking to see how good you can feel physically, mentally and emotionally without constantly being in the cycle of deciding to moderate or not drink for a while and then saying screw it or I need it or I want it and starting drinking again. But it is so much easier to do with a step by step framework to follow and support. And this summer I really want to help you make this positive change. 

        So we’re kicking off Dry July and starting this summer with all these bonuses to The Sobriety Starter Kit. So in addition to my signature sober coaching course, that’s designed specifically for busy women to fit into your life and your schedule to teach you the framework and the strategies and the tools you need to stop drinking, you will also get access to these five new bonuses but only if you join in the next two weeks. 

        So first, you get an invitation to the live Dry July Kickoff Coaching Event with me on Sunday June 26. And if you can’t make it, it is totally okay. It will be recorded and part of your course content. But I would love to see you and meet you and coach you live. 

        Second, you will get a powerful codependency workshop on creating empowered boundaries for recovering people pleasers and it’s with my favorite codependency recovery coach Haley McGee, who’s been on the podcast twice. I’ve had a number of women I know and clients go through her Boundaries live workshop, and they’ve said it’s incredible and so helpful. 

        Third, you will also get the ultimate guide to non alcoholic beverages which I partnered with Zero Proof Nation to create. This is one of the pieces I am most excited about because it’s actually incredibly hard to find a comprehensive guide with recommendation to all the amazing brands coming out with zero proof and non alcoholic beer and wine and spirits and aperitifs. And Laura from Zero Proof Nation is putting together that ultimate guide and it’s only available with The Sobriety Starter Kit. 

        You’re also gonna get your incredible sober summer bucket list guide. I’ve gone through all the steps I work through with my clients, all the ideas and inspiration on how to look at this summer season without alcohol with excitement and curiosity and adventure. And I’ve gotten Gosh 12 of my clients

        05:00

        to send me, create for me and share their sober summer bucket list. And in reading through these, you are going to get such amazing inspiration and ideas and get really excited about how great your summer can be without drinking. 

        And after getting this request for quite a few years, I’ve finally put together my complete diary of early sobriety. What I thought and felt and did, when I cried, when I was aggravated, when I felt amazing day by day, from day one to day 100. 

        And you get all five of those bonuses for free if you join The Sobriety Starter Kit Course but only for the next two weeks. The course will offer you the sober coaching system I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price and you get lifetime access to it. So you’ll get eight step by step modules, over 60 sober coaching video lessons, resources and guides to hold your hand every step of the process. And you’ll also get that live kickoff for Dry July, the codependency workshop on boundaries, the guide to non alcoholic beverages, your sober summer bucket list guide, and my full diary of early sobriety as part of the Sober Summer Bonus Bundle. 

        So if you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com to check out all the details and sign up. And if you’re wondering what other women are saying about the course I wanted to share a few things that women who signed up for the course and worked through it have told me about it.

        07:01

        So Melissa, who is actually right now at nine months, alcohol free, wrote me and said I started The Sobriety Starter Kit Course on my 1 million or so day one, and am on Day 64 today. I can’t remember the last time I went six days without drinking, much less six weeks, four years. The idea of not drinking ever again has been looming over me as the biggest, hardest, most impossible thing. But Casey’s course breaks down that big undoable thing into manageable chunks. I loved having her voice guiding me and encouraging me every day. Her coaching taught me how to build and flex my new sober muscles and keep rolling with the super momentum. I am beyond grateful.

        07:56

        Kelly wrote me and said today is 100 days alcohol free. It feels kind of surreal. And honestly it feels like it’s been too easy. However I put that down to the kick ass Sobriety Starter Kit program. It gave me the perspective, mindset, tools, vision, support and accountability I needed to get me on my way and set me free. Thank you. 

        And Chrissy wrote me and said today, I’m on day 51. And The Sobriety Starter Kit has helped me beyond belief. Last night I went to a wedding and I didn’t drink. Same on Easter, Mother’s Day, having friends over, date nights and a million other things. I have tried all the things before and I haven’t been able to stop drinking. I went to AA many times and even tried an outpatient program 15 years ago. But with tThe Sobriety Starter Kit Course I’ve finally and happily broken free. My life is so much better now. When I was drinking, I managed to take care of my home, my husband, my job and go to yoga and spin classes. But I was becoming very sick. My emotions were all over the place. I couldn’t sleep. And I didn’t know how others could handle life because it felt like one more thing would send me over the edge. This course helped me realize that I wasn’t the problem. Alcohol was the problem. And by following every step you outlined in the course, I was able to get away from it. Thank you. 

        So I really would love you to take the chance to join the course to see if it’s the tool you need to break free from alcohol like Chrissy and Kelly and Melissa. You can sign up right now at www.sobrietystarterkit.com and get

        10:00

        access to the Summer Bonus Bundle. And if you take action right now, you’ll get access to all five of those bonuses just in time to kick off summer. This special offer is only available until June 24 for the next two weeks. So I really hope you go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com and learn about all the details, see if it’s a fit for you and sign up. And there is a seven days no questions asked money back guarantee. So if you check it out, and it’s not for you, just email me and I’ll refund your money. All right, let’s dive into the episode.

        10:42

        Hi there. In this episode, we’re going to talk about 20 questions you should ask yourself to change your drinking.

         

        10:53

        My guest is Deb Masner, she’s the founder of The Alcohol Tipping Point, a place to find free resources, tools and tips to help you change your drinking. Deb runs 30 Day dry months where she helps people practice not drinking. She’s a registered nurse, a certified health and wellness coach, a smart recovery facilitator and an alcohol free badass. 

         

        I wanted to bring Deb on and talk about this topic because I think that a lot of women when you’re thinking about not drinking are asking yourself the wrong question. I’ve heard so many stories where people kind of Google, “Am I an alcoholic?” And they take the quiz online and they’re like, Oh, I came up with, you know, 10 of X number of answers. So, you know, here’s what the quiz spit out. And you guys know that I don’t use the term alcoholic to describe myself or anyone else. If you use it, awesome. That’s great. I don’t think it’s required. But I do think that that mental framework of am I this bad? Am I in this category? And if not, I don’t need to stop drinking or I don’t want to or I’ll wait till I get to that point is really setting you up to deny yourself feeling the benefits of living alcohol free earlier. So Deb and I are going to talk about let’s ditch those questions that are on the Am I an alcoholic quiz. And let’s add some new questions that you can journal about and think about and apply to your own life. All right, Deb, welcome. 

         

        Thank you. Thank you for having me, Casey. 

         

        Yeah, I’m so excited to have you on. And so, you know, we talked a little bit about your background, but what made you come up with these questions and sort of use them as part of your work? 

         

        Well, like you said, I’m a registered nurse on the health code. So I’ve had a lot of the training and motivational interviewing and whatnot. And so what I found is just, if we can ask better questions, we’ll get better results. And like you were saying in your intro, usually, when you’re changing your drinking, because you’re focused on the problem, because it becomes like, do I have a drinking problem? Why can’t I quit drinking? Why can’t I change my drinking? Am I an alcoholic? 

         

        And all of those questions are really focusing on the problem and not the solution. So when you can train your brain to be a better thinker, and start asking better questions. And we’re talking about like questions that aren’t just like, yes, no questions like asking how?

         

        13:36

        Asking why, asking what, are those kinds of things that can just help you find better answers? Because our brain likes to solve problems. It likes to solve, like it wants to put the puzzle pieces together. It likes to have answers. It wants, it doesn’t matter what it is. So focusing on better questions is key. 

         

        One I feel like it’s that process of curiosity and introspection and like really honest, self reflection, that is a lot of time missing. Like you said, the brain likes answers. I know that I’m a really busy person, I’m a list person, I want to cross things off my list and put things into boxes, like has to be dealt with this week, has to be dealt with this month, not urgent. And it’s you know, one of the reasons I love coaching is it is very rare for a lot of women to ever sit down and take an hour or 30 minutes or whatever to think about how they’re feeling, not what they’re doing. You know what’s going on beneath. I’m stressed, I’m busy, I’m pissed off at my husband, I’m overwhelmed, you know, whatever it is, and really think about like what’s going on in their lives and and what are they doing and what’s not working and what did they want to improve and I

         

        15:00

        Feel like this list of questions really helps with that. 

         

        When you were talking about yourself, one thing I thought was super interesting is, obviously, you’re a registered nurse. And I’ve found from talking with lots and lots of women that often in the medical community, they also are trained in the framework of either your, you know, that alcoholic is not a medical term, nobody, you know, it is alcohol use disorder with mild, moderate or severe, but they’re also often in the mindset of, Oh, it doesn’t sound like you have a severe, you know, alcohol use disorder, you know, or you do so a lot of doctors will say, yeah, just cut back, or that sounds okay. And none of us tell, say truly how much we’re drinking? Or at least I didn’t, I gave the like, super standard, you know, you fill out the form, do you drink? How much and then like, two to three glasses a couple of times a week, right, which was blatantly untrue. And then doctors will be like, Okay, you should try a or just cut back, or I think you’re okay. Right. And you’re a nurse, and you’re looking at it a different way. Did you see that in the medical community too? 

         

        Well, yeah, definitely. I think that there is not a lot of addiction training. And it’s not a typical question. That’s, it may be like on your intake form, how much alcohol are you drinking? Or sometimes it’s simple as, Do you drink or not? Yes, no. And that’s it. And it never really goes into more detail. And I mean, you’re right, we don’t put a lot of focus on drinking and the effects of alcohol in our medical community, not as much as we should, as we do with tobacco. Like, I have to do a tobacco assessment on our health screening patients. 

         

        Oh, you mean, like, if they smoke, there is something you have to do? 

         

        Yeah, we’re very targeted. And do you smoke or not? And are you a former smoker or whatnot? And I’m in preventative health. That’s the kind of nursing I do right now. And we asked nothing about alcohol use. 

         

        Wow. So it’s kind of interesting. 

         

        So but I had the same experience where it was either your, you need to cut back on your drinking, or you need to go to detox. And so if you fell in the range of just drinking too much like that, you’re okay. Yeah, you’re Yeah. So I do feel like we could definitely do a better job and our medical system with how we treat your game. 

         

        Yeah. And I’ve had, I’ve had multiple clients tell me that they have finally, you know, gotten up the courage to talk to their doctors and say, I’m worried about my drinking, I’m drinking more than I want to and have been dismissed, like, don’t worry about it, keep an eye on it cut back. It doesn’t sound that bad. And that is so hard, because we know as people who are worried about our drinking, like the degree to which

         

        18:20

        how difficult that is. And then I’ve also, like, now knowing what I know now because previously I never knew this, like for, I was in, like, completely oblivious about alcohol’s impacts and effects, and then sort of worried about it, but not fully clear. I would think anyone who goes into their doctor, which are so many women, and say, I have so much anxiety, I have insomnia, I’m waking up at 3am every day. My first question now would be, how much are you drinking, honestly, and even if they say not too much, just be like, Hey, I just want you to be aware that alcohol, you know it when you drink, maybe rarely, like given out, you know, if you’re waking up at 3am, and you’re drinking at all, that’s usually it, you know, why don’t you try a period of time without it?

         

        19:11

        Yeah, I agree. I just think that we don’t see the gray area drinkers in the medical community, we see we get people who are detoxing. So in the ER, actually one of my first jobs was at the VA, and I worked on the medical surgical unit and I worked in, we would detox veterans, those would be part of our patient panel. And so we

         

        19:40

        did have those situations. I mean, I remember heavily drinking, being super hungover and doing an intake on a detox patient and go and asking them all these withdrawal questions and like my hand was shaking, and I was anxious, but I wasn’t in the hospital. I had

         

        20:00

        a job as an RN, I was married. 

         

        Were you worried at that point? 

         

        Yeah, that was back in 2004. I didn’t stop until 2020. Oh, my head years of it. So yeah, for sure. 

         

        I mean, I don’t think that’s unusual. I have to say like, in terms of the private clients I work with, I have multiple doctors, I have multiple nurses, I’ve CEOs of hospitals. So like, it is not I mean, everyone in every industry drinks a lot in our society, it’s so normalized. And even no matter what you do for work, you know, if you’re worried about your drinking, it takes a long time to come to terms with it. And also a long time to like, you know, a lot of people who work with people, you know, in the addiction field, do that, well, I’m not as bad as them. Right. So clearly, I mean, a, we don’t want to stop drinking, we just want to get a handle on it. But we’re like, sometimes that can be less helpful, you know, because you’ve got the stark comparison. 

         

        Yeah. And I think the other point I like to make about drinking in the medical community is that we, especially since I work in preventative health and wellness, so we are all about like catching prediabetes and prehypertension, and we’re looking at your cholesterol, and we’re about targeting your moderate to low risk before you get high risk, before you have a heart attack or in the hospital. We do not do that with drinking. With alcohol, you don’t get medical treatment until you’re rock bottom. And until you show up in the ER and you’ve overdosed or until you need to go till you have to go it’s no longer a choice to change your drinking, but you have to go get medically detox. So that’s partly why I’m

         

        Casey McGuire Davidson  22:08

        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 

         

        24:11

        First, I would say that like your patients and the people you work with are so lucky to have you there with this knowledge, right? Because you can obviously sort of start incorporating that or educating people where you work about like, hey, this alcohol use disorder or drinking you know, obviously has all these negative health impacts. We can catch that early too and educate people a bit about it. Like aside from where you were. What do you think could even be done to like introduce this conversation into the medical community? Like, hey, we screened for pre diabetes and we screen for pre and post impacts of smoking. How about we also screened for like, hey, if people are

         

        25:00

        drinking more than they should, which is almost everyone, like, let’s screen for, like how we can help them stay healthy. 

         

        Yeah, well, I think education. So more training or knowledge, being more cognitive of doing those screenings of taking the time. I mean, right now our medical system’s kind of broken. You know, it’s still a business. And it’s still like you only have, you know, if you’re a primary care doc, you’re a family doctor, you only have so much time with your patients for the wellness visit. So it’s just, it’s difficult, but I think if there was more education around the different options for treating overdrinking and then the different options, medication options, I mean, you can get a prescription for naltrexone, which will help with cravings and you could get that from your regular doctor, you don’t have to go to an addiction specialist. There’s so, just things like that I think would go a long way. And I think now, too, more and more research and evidence is coming out about the harmful effects of alcohol. So the World Health Organization. Yeah, so there’s more research backing that it is damaging. I think for a long time, the medical community was really promoting moderation. And so I think the tides are turning, especially in heart care and cancer care and those kinds of things. 

         

        Yeah, I mean, there’s that study, everybody cites that, like moderate drinkers are healthier than non drinkers, which, by the way, is totally bullshit, and was sponsored by alcohol companies, and has been disproven a million times. And we can go into that separately. And also, like, hopefully, as people listen to your podcast, and they listen to my podcast, and they read the studies, and more and more people are talking about this, we’re educating the patients, we’re educating the larger community about, like, hey, ask about this, or, you know, maybe doctors and nurses are listening to this podcast, and also are learning more because, you know, it’s, it’s really important, the most recent sort of scary study that I read was that, in 2020, the percent increase of alcohol related deaths went up by something like 20%, whereas the typical year on your increase is like two and a half percent. I mean, that is frightening. And I believe that was for women specifically.

         

        27:39

        Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely, it’s a health concern for sure. I mean, you don’t have to have a problem with drinking to have issues with alcohol, basically, I mean, in the same way that it’s smoking, right, like, it’s so similar in terms of the heart disease risks, the cancer risks, the if, you know, if you smoke at all, it’s an issue. Obviously, if you smoke a pack a day, it’s more of an issue, right. But, you know, just do it, knowing the risks. 

         

        Okay, we need to dive into the I know, but the last thing I wanted to say, because I find it so interesting talking to you, because you are in the medical field, you have stopped drinking, you are a coach, and you’re in preventative medicine, so I can’t help myself. But in mentioning this, so I got contacted. I don’t actually, I don’t care if they listen to this or not. I got contacted by someone in NPR pitching a guest to me, which is not that unusual. But the guest they were trying to pitch to me was the CEO of this sort of nonprofit quote unquote, called responsibility.org. And one of my big pet peeves is the way alcohol companies push that message of drink responsibly, which in my mind is sort of a cover your ass way of putting the impetus on the individual for the all the harmful effects of alcohol, which are shocking when you look at domestic violence and car accidents, as well as the physical effects and everything else.

         

        29:19

        On the individual not on the substance, right. Like nobody says smoke responsibly. There are warnings all over the packaging. And so this person was like, Hey, would love to have you interview this CEO. He, you know, this organization does so much good work and trying to prevent drunk driving and young drinking and blah, blah, blah. And I went on their website and went to the about us. And like, literally every single person on their board, and every single funder and donator was big, big alcohol, I mean, spirits companies, beer companies, wine companies, lobbying firms. And so I went back and I was like, hey,

         

        30:00

        It looks like this organization is basically created for and by the alcohol industry. What do you have to say about that? And he was like, oh, no, we do work around responsible drinking XYZ, so have not totally decided that I’m gonna have him on the podcast, it would definitely probably be a different interview than he’s expecting, or wanting.

         

        30:23

        But when you said that, like doctors preach moderation. I mean, a lot of, you know, the research into the impacts of alcohol has actually. And funding has been stopped in Congress by these lobbying organizations who donate, who don’t want you to know, and who don’t want alcohol to have to put on that package and stuff. Absolutely. I mean, it’s big money. It’s a business, and they want to keep their customers and they want to put the blame on the person and not the product. 

         

        Yeah. So we dive into this as well, is stop asking yourself the questions that big marketing, big alcohol and everyone else wants you to ask. And those questions are, am I an alcoholic, aka in this category, where I’m losing my job, I’m losing my family, I can’t function, my hands are shaking, whatever it is. And instead, ask yourselves these questions that Deb and I are going to talk about. So do you want to kick us off? Deb?

         

        31:28

        Well, I think one of the number one questions is just how would your life improve if you removed alcohol?

         

        31:37

        So really getting honest about is your life better without alcohol? And if you don’t know that, then take a break and see, that’s like my most simple question. And if it’s better without it, then there’s your answer. 

         

        Yeah. And I know that there are a whole bunch of other questions sort of that roll up under that one. How would your life improve without alcohol? Because some of the ones you’ve shared with me are, you know, really digging into what are the benefits of drinking? What are the benefits of not drinking, the negative effects of drinking, the negative effects of non drinking those all roll up into? How would your life improve if you removed alcohol, but I know that when I was drinking, I didn’t think my life, I mean, would improve at all or I was like, okay, yes, it would be cool to like lose weight, and not have hangovers. And yeah, maybe I thought those were the only benefits to not drinking, what remembering the shows I watch at night and not pretending I remember conversations with my husband, that might be too. But like, I thought that the negative effects of not drinking literally were, I will never have fun again, like so. 

         

        It is. There’s so much bias that we have that we’ve like, bought into this concept for so long. And we have so much fear around that drinking. So like, the reason I like this question as well as like, I know, you’re going to talk about the cost benefit analysis is, please, if you’re listening to this take the time to go beyond. I won’t be hungover. That’s good. But my life will suck. That’s bad. Right? So Deb, will you go into how you dig in further to that? 

         

        Yeah, so the cost benefit analysis, it sounds like we’re running a business.

         

        33:34

        But this is actually a tool from Smart Recovery. And like you said, I am a certified Smart Recovery facilitator. But basically, it’s weighing the pros and cons of either drinking or not drinking. So it’s getting more detailed. And it’s you know, I always recommend that people write these things down. So just like when you’re doing a math problem, unless you’re Rain Man, it’s hard to do it in your head, right? So there is something very helpful about the physical act of writing things down instead of keeping them in your head. So with all these questions, I always recommend writing them out. So the cost benefit analysis is basically like you can take a piece of paper and just divide it into four grids. And you’re going to really dig in, like you said, and specifically ask yourself like, what are the benefits of drinking and list all those out? And for most people, there’s a buzz there’s, you know, relaxation, less anxiety, calmness or whatnot, like, and just be honest, I mean, we wouldn’t drink if we didn’t get something out of it, right. But when you do those benefits, those are actually your list of things you need to find a replacement

         

        35:00

        For. So if you’re like, oh, it’s I’m drinking to relax, to feel more calm, to have fun. Well, that’s where you can look at your list of drinking reasons and find other ways to get to that feeling. And then same of when you’re looking at the costs of drinking, that’s where you really want to get honest about like, oh, well, there’s weight gain, I have more anxiety, I’m not sleeping as well, I’m getting in more fights. My work is shitty, you know, I’m, I’m not taking care of my kids myself. Maybe you have actual health consequences. Your blood pressure’s high, just list all of those down. And it’s just helpful to really be honest and be like, wow, like, would I pay for something like this like to have all these negative consequences in my life? Probably not. And even when we’re still in the thick of drinking, we can name some costs of drinking and some of the negative side effects. 

         

        Yeah, and one thing you said that I thought was awesome, is listing the things that what the benefits of drinking, which by the way, I could debate whether it actually reduces anxiety and all that kind, of course, that’s an ANA stimulant. But you’re right, like, what do you think the benefits are of drinking? What’s it giving you and actually using that list to figure out what are options for replacements, right? Like I talked about sober treats, but like, okay, it helps me relax, literally arrow to a bullet list of six things that might also help you relax, it helps me celebrate. All right, let’s pull it out. Six things that could often help you celebrate, I actually yesterday was talking to a client of mine who, you know, just finished up she’s music teacher, this huge, you know, concert at school, her biggest thing of the year that always signaled basically getting through the year, right, it was the big finale. And she was like, Oh, I always go out with my family and my husband to this amazing steak restaurant, and I’m just picturing this amazing red wine. And I’m picturing this vodka tonic, and she’s doing great in drinking and feeling a million times better. So she’s like, well, I’ll just have my favorite seltzer in line, and I’ll get a dessert and x, y, z. And I was like, okay, that’s debt, you know, and tell my husband, I’m not drinking, and I’ll text you before and after. And I’m like, Yeah, that’s great. Good job, way to think ahead. But also, how about completely shifting that reward? Like how about at the end of the concert, taking the day off the next day or the weekend after habit planning of, you know, a spa day where you go to one of those spots that have like, the hot steam room and the dry steam room and get a foot massage, or whatever it is, or go have breakfast by yourself in a you know, a beautiful place or go for a hike, like, you know, I’m all for like, keep the ritual, change the ingredients, but you don’t have to just do that you can actually change the ritual. And then every year after a big concert, have this huge, awesome celebration of meet a, you know what I mean? 

         

        Absolutely, you need to replace whatever benefit you were, whatever perceived benefit you got from drinking in some way. Like we all need some more joy in our life. So definitely using that list to find other ways of achieving those same goals.

         

        38:40

        Ask you real quick, sorry, when you did that cost benefit analysis what came up for you, when you were stopping drinking? 

         

        For which part? I didn’t even go through all four yet. 

         

        Oh my gosh, okay, keep going. Keep going. 

         

        I feel like we kind of do pros and cons. But there’s also so those were like just the benefits of drinking and the costs of drinking. But then on the other two squares are the benefits of not drinking and the costs of not drinking. So it’s getting you just to dig a little bit further. So like the benefits of not drinking, maybe something like

         

        39:23

        accomplishing your goals, feeling more confidence, feeling proud of yourself, sleeping better, being able to get up in the morning and do things having better work performance and better relationships, like all of those kinds of things. And then the cost of not drinking. Those are other areas that maybe are more related to like your quote unquote triggers. So maybe for you the perceived cost of not drinking might be changed relationships with your friends not fitting in. This was the one that I have a hard time coming up with

         

        40:00

        Casey because I’m like, What’s negative about not drinking? But I, you know, I think it could be not participating in social rituals or not participating in, for example, like things that are the here’s what I think of like, for example, you know, when I went to Venice, there were certainly sort of wine tours, right? or places where you go out to the wineries as an option. Now, in that case, I opted for canal tours, or I opted for, I took a walking photography tour or, you know, did a pub crawl vert of all the gelato shops with my eight year old, right, you can substitute. But I always recommend, like, if there is an activity that is completely and totally centered around alcohol, why torture yourself if you don’t drink? Now is the time to try something that doesn’t involve that at all. So, you know, the, the, you know, the negative effects of not drinking, like, yeah, probably not going to go on the wine tasting weekend. That’s yeah, that’s okay. Yeah. Those are I mean, those are good for you, because they’re gonna kind of tell you, like, what are parts of not drinking that are triggering for you? And what can you do instead? 

         

        And a lot of it is again, like Casey, it seems like FOMO, it seems like you’re missing out. But FOMO goes the other way, too. Like, yeah, you might miss out on a night at a bachelorette party. But you’re not gonna miss, you know, the next morning where you’re so hungover and can’t function the next day and whatnot. So the whole point of the cost benefit analysis is just to really ask yourself all these and ask them in different ways, these questions about benefits of drinking benefits of not drinking, and then cost of drinking cost of not drinking. And some people recommend doing one of those cost benefit analysis every day for the first 30 days, and maybe even getting really specific like before you go to a wedding, let’s say have a wedding to go to and just really writing it all out. And I think you will find that the benefits of not drinking outweigh

         

        42:33

        the reverse, basically. 

         

        Yeah. I mean, I love that. And you know, journaling, especially in early sobriety, is a really good tool to sort of document the small moments of joy. And you know, how much better your face looks without being all puffy, and your eyes aren’t watery, but also like, this was hard. And here’s what felt difficult. So you can compare that right to other things. And I’ve definitely had women in early sobriety say, you know, I was really bummed out because I wanted to have a glass of wine, or let’s be honest, a bottle at a really fancy restaurant. But the next morning, my girlfriend who drank canceled going on this epic hike in Hawaii that, you know, was one of the best experiences ever, you know, so that is a very clear cost benefit. So if you’re listening to this, I always like to encourage people to actually take action not to just like, be like, okay, good, good thought. So, you know, I am going to have all of Deb’s questions in the show notes to this episode. And this sort of exercise, what Deb’s talking about or, as I’m looking at them sort of the first six, the first six questions that you put into this. So I really encourage you, like, get out of paper, piece of paper, draw those four quadrants and actually do this, like just carve out 15 minutes after this and you know, put it in your purse or put it in your journal somewhere where you’ll see it again, but like, as you’re listening to this stuff, like, take the time, you know, you’re taking the time to listen to this take the time to actually do the activity.

         

        44:22

        Yeah, I agree. Like get it out of your head, stop thinking about it and get it down onto paper. 

         

        Yeah. So what’s next, what’s after the cost benefit? 

         

        So those are kind of what I call like awareness questions. And then I have a couple questions that are more about like when you’re in it, so they’re more about cravings. So when you are having a craving to drink, really get honest with yourself about what discomfort you’re feeling at that moment. So describe in detail like what is uncomfortable

         

        45:00

        Trouble about wanting to drink? Like, are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling?

         

        45:08

        Hungry? Are you feeling nervous? Like, what is going on in your body? As you’re feeling this craving to drink?

         

        45:18

        Yeah, yeah. And do you have recommendations of, you know, once you are aware of that, what people can do to work through those cravings? Or is this just the questions to change your drinking, just noticing what’s in your body? What’s in your mind? 

         

        Well, that’s one step. You know, like I said, awareness is key. So with cravings with discomfort, you can either basically distract yourself or you can sit with it. So one is like going towards it, and one is going away. So in the early days, when you are first quitting drinking, or changing your drinking or whatnot, usually distraction works better. So the distraction ideas are like, eating, eating is a huge one that I bring out. Because with my nursing background, too, just like when your blood sugar is low, you’re more likely to have cravings. Heavy drinkers have chronically low blood sugar anyway. So definitely make sure that you’re eating, get out of your head and into your body. So if that means like splashing cold water on your face, or doing jumping jacks, or taking a walk, like do it, phoning of friends,

         

        46:33

        talking to someone, getting on like sober Instagram, writing it out just something else, removing yourself from the situation or the environment that you’re in, chewing gum is really helpful or brushing your teeth can help with cravings. So those are kind of distractions, cravings. And then when you get better at

         

        46:59

        your mindfulness, with cravings and your awareness around cravings, you can learn more to sit with cravings, because a craving is a feeling and no feeling less. So we know that it will go away, it feels like it won’t, feels like it’s gonna kill you. But all feelings are temporary. And, and so that is comforting. And that takes practice. And so sometimes doing mindfulness activities, listening to a guided meditation can help you ride out the craving and get to the other side. 

         

        And, you know, two things that I wanted to ask you about.

         

        47:39

        The last piece is obviously, you know, cravings, definitely our feelings and you can write it out. But as a nurse, do you want to kind of talk about, you know, if you are physically addicted, that going cold turkey without medical supervision can be super dangerous. I don’t think either of us were in that category. But will you, just since you know about that detox, and you’ve talked about it will you talk a bit about like, who might need medically supervised detox? Right? 

         

        That’s a good question. I mean, people don’t realize that detoxing from alcohol can actually lead to death, you can detox from heroin and not be in danger from death as much as you are with alcohol. Part of the reason is because your neurotransmitters are so out of whack, your blood sugar is out of whack, your systems are out of whack. That’s my medical term, whack. So you do have a higher risk for seizures of fever. So the warning signs of going through withdrawal and when you need to go to the ER would be if you’re obviously starting to seize, if you have a high fever, if you have a really high heart rate. It can be confusing for people because it’s similar to having a hangover. So there can be, of course, the vomiting and nausea. There can be the shakes, the tremors, the anxiety, that kind of thing. So it’s typically more someone who’s on the severe side of the alcohol use disorder spectrum. And they have found like in the percentage of heavy drinkers,

         

        49:22

        that even within that percentage that there’s like five to 10% that would need to be medically detox. So when we’re talking about medically detoxing someone that’s making sure that you can, you’re safely withdrawing from alcohol. And honestly what we did when I worked at the VA as part of the detox unit was give people librium which is an anti anxiety med and so what I, if you work in a recommend supplements like one of the supplements that is helpful for alcohol withdrawal is GABA, which is a neurotransmitter. And it’s actually something that is found like in valium and other anti anxiety meds. But that’s what we give a higher doses of anti anxiety meds to someone when they’re medically withdrawn, as well as if needed, like IV fluids and whatnot. It just depends

         

        50:24

        how far along they are. 

         

        Yeah, and I’m glad you mentioned that because I did a podcast episode with Jolene Park, about gray area drinking, but you know, has done a bunch of research and I believe it’s her field of expertise around

         

        50:42

        working with those pieces of your body so GABA serotonin, and she’s got some sort of natural ways to, or advice of how to regulate that. So that I’ll link that one in the show notes to in case anyone wants to listen to that in thinking about stopping drinking and GABA. So anyway, just wanted to go through that because I mean,

         

        51:06

        everyone knows that I’m a huge proponent of like, stopping, drinking, taking 100 day break, going through, sort of you’re gonna want to drink you’re gonna go through withdrawal the first two weeks, but definitely, I mean, you probably know in some way if you’re worried about needing medical detox or withdrawal. So, you know, in that piece, definitely consult your doctor, but not the one that tells you not to worry.

         

        51:32

        Yeah, I don’t want to scare people. But I do feel like I have to put on my RN medical hat and just be like, Hey, this is no joke, this is a call to 911 or go to ER.

         

        51:48

        And by the way, that is a clear sign that you are poisoning your body and alcohol is really not good for you, and you would be better served without it. 

         

        Yeah, determine what you need to do to do it in a safe way. The other thing you’ve mentioned that I thought was really interesting is I agree whenever you want to drink, like my first question I asked people is, are you hungry? Because hunger is a trigger and low blood sugar definitely is a huge trigger of cravings. But you also said that people who drink too much sort of chronically have low blood sugar. And can you talk about that a little bit?

         

        52:28

        Well, what part of it is because you’re not eating regularly and not you I mean, you’re a lot of people replace food with alcohol. And so you end up having lower blood sugar because you’re not eating regularly. The other thing is a lot of the times what you’re drinking so red wine, beer, even if you’re a mixed alcohol, mixed drinks drinker, those have sugar. And so yes, those raise your blood sugar initially, but then they overall lower it. Okay.

         

        53:06

        Good, good to know. And you know, this is completely anecdotal, and from my own experience, and just talking to lots and lots of women, but I know that definitely, for me, I was always trying to lose weight, because obviously, I gained a lot of weight drinking, and it’s very hard to lose weight while drinking alcohol. And so I would, you know, very, you know, I used to log my food back in the day, and it would literally be like salmon and asparagus for dinner, six glasses of wine, which is ridiculous, but I’d be like, Oh, I’m still in my calories. And I’m very anti diet culture. Now, this was when I was

         

        53:43

        much younger and less educated about what diets do. But, you know, I agree with you in terms of like, not eating enough, and then triggering the craving to drinking and then drinking a lot, right? If you’re hungry it’s a lot easier to be like, Dude, I just want to drink and I don’t have the ability to kind of ride that out. 

         

        Oh, absolutely. Well, the other thing that happens when you drink when you’re first like ingesting the alcohol is your body stops metabolizing everything else and it goes it changes to detoxing basically changes to metabolizing the alcohol. And so that’s what your liver is focused on, your kidneys. Everything’s put on hold. So it does not. does not do you any favors as far as losing weight or digestion, or hormone regulation or anything like that. 

         

        So yeah, cool. Well, I know we’re, we’re doing the 20 questions, but I am completely taking the opportunity to leverage your experience, preventative health nurse so thank you for that but let’s keep going. Okay, so the discomfort during a craving really like identifying that

         

        55:00

        and then what you want to identify as the discomfort you have after a night of drinking. So really describing that physical feeling of being hungover or being anxious of having a queasy stomach. And then you want to look at those two questions about craving, that night when you’re experiencing the craving, and then the next day, after a night of drinking, and you want to ask yourself, what would you rather have? Like? Would you rather have that temporary discomfort when you’re not acting on a craving, or the posts drink discomfort the next day, how you feel the next day? And just considering like, which lasts longer, and which is more painful?

         

        55:47

        Yeah, I think that’s great. That’s really, that’s really important. I mean, I used to say that drinking would you know, I thought it made my life better for about two to three hours a day, which is come home from work, open the bottle of wine, you know, feel the effects, start to get all giddy, have a party on my couch. And then for the other 21 to 22 hours of every day, it would make it worse, meaning poor sleep waking up with a 3am anxiety, racing heart, bloodshot eyes, feeling irritable, craving debating. So when you talk about which discomfort is longer, meaning like temporary discomfort or craving, versus those 21 hours, you know, of making my life more painful I, you know, I kind of knew it at the time. But I would think that writing it out and really documenting it, and documenting like the next day how I felt all day would be really enlightening.

         

        56:51

        Yeah, it’s a really powerful question. I mean, it’s just like, oh, well, I guess I would choose, I would choose like the two hours of discomfort over the 22 hours of Yeah, and that tears of discomfort doesn’t last that long. It’s really your first week, two weeks, three weeks where those cravings will, you know, last a number of hours and be difficult. It really gets during even those first three weeks, significantly shorter, not every day, all that kind of stuff as you build new tools. But that’s not to say that we think it’s easy once you jot it down on paper. I mean, I was worried about my drinking for a full 10 years before I actually was able to stop completely for the last time. And Deb, you mentioned that you had the shaking hand. When was it like a long time before you finally stopped? 

         

        Yes. So that was 2004. You know, I would take breaks. When I was out of college. I was like, well, I’ll just take a month long break and then reset. And of course, I don’t have a problem. And I did that for years. But I still like there was still like I said when I worked as a nurse detoxing patients, there was still like a little voice in my head like that, you could answer these like, you’re just as bad if not worse. And then yes, so years, years, I thought about drinking I tried to moderate for years, I was looking for that magic pill to be a quote unquote, normal drinker.

         

        58:39

        Yeah, until I finally got it. No.

         

        58:43

        You’re like, I’m jotting all this down and reading it and believing it and yet not stopping. Like, we get it. We know it’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. So you know, keep adding supports, keep listening, keep working at it, because at some point, every one of us who stopped long term has had a last day one and we don’t know when that was.

         

        59:08

        And I’m so glad you pointed that out too. I mean, that is why I do what I do. Like I want to help people I want to give you some tools just like you Casey like I just here’s another tool like throw this into the mix try this maybe that question didn’t resonate with you but maybe this other one well, or maybe that group isn’t for you, but this one is or whatever. 

         

        Yeah in a way that like some people love walking in that works for them and other people love CrossFit and some people like yeah, you know, love acrobatics. I have a friend who does all this trapeze shit, I am scared of heights that would never worked for me but like, if one tool isn’t helping you one approach one mindset that doesn’t mean that something else won’t work. Just keep figuring out like you like root cause

         

        1:00:00

        So as you like individual workouts you like lifting weights, you like running, you know what I mean? Yeah, for so unique? Well, I feel like this next question is good, because it kind of talks about more of your life. And so it’s how is drinking in line with your values and vision?

         

        1:00:19

        So what you want in your life, like what are your values? Is family your values, is friendship, love, caring? Like, what are your top values? And where does drinking fit in with that? Yeah, I do a lot of core values work with when I work with, and it’s my favorite, because if you can align being alcohol free with your core values, once you boil them down to like, what really is it?

         

        1:00:51

        95% of the time drinking, it’s actually out of alignment with what you actually want to achieve in life and is preventing you from really having that. 

         

        But, you know, I love the values question. It’s not that easy to do. But you can certainly, you know, in my mind, you know, one of my goals in life was to have a really strong loving family. And one thing I always pictured was I want my kids to come home, from college, or after college and like, sit at our kitchen table and tell me all their awesome stories, and like, want to hang out with me and want to talk with me. Well, me continuing drinking about a plus of wine every night, from when my child is eight till my child is 18 is completely out of alignment with fostering that desire. Like I actually wondered, if when Hank was 18, he’d want to bring his friend’s home at 9pm because we know drinking doesn’t get better, it only gets worse.

         

        1:01:54

        So like when I look at that goal for my life and that value? Yeah. Are my kids gonna want to come home and chat with me from college? Because we have this awesome relationship? If I keep drinking? The answer’s no. Yeah. Well, same if like, you’re wanting to move up the career ladder, I mean, drinking is not gonna help you do that. I mean, or if you want to have kids, or if you’re trying to get pregnant, or if you’re looking to improve your relationship or your marriage, drinking,

         

        1:02:28

        it doesn’t add to it. So that I really liked that question, too, about values, Casey. Another question is when you think about not drinking, does it give you a sense of deep contentment or rightness?

         

        1:02:45

        Like how does it feel when you think about living alcohol free? Does that feel good? Yeah, I think that’s a good one. And also,

         

        1:02:56

        I, it’s okay, if you’re kind of deep in it, and don’t know anyone who doesn’t drink in that, how you feel when you think about living alcohol free, if that makes you scared? You know, because I think there’s such a mis

         

        1:03:17

        representation of what life is without alcohol. And I hope if you’re listening to this, that that’s starting to shift. So it is not a life of, you know, longing and deprivation and denial. It really isn’t. But if you’re thinking that right now, like, that’s okay, just know it’s not true. And if you’re in to shift that,

         

        1:03:42

        start thinking about bike rides and picnics, and you know, all the good stuff waking up Sunday mornings, Van Morrison, whatever it is.

         

        1:03:52

        Yeah, and I guess when I think about like, it was easier for me to almost reframe that to like, I, I just want to be alcohol free, as in I don’t want to think about alcohol anymore. I don’t want to think about drinking anymore. I just want this out of my life. Yeah, and that would be freedom time. 

         

        Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it absorbs so much of our mind, space and energy and hurt, space and worry and shitty self talk. Yeah, yeah. So to me that’s like, alcohol freedom, like, get this out. And then along those lines, how is drinking affecting my overall happiness?

         

        1:04:36

        And just getting honest, right?

         

        1:04:39

        Yeah, yeah. For me, I mean, I woke up every morning asking myself what the fuck is wrong with you, get it together and would like go down to the kitchen and sort of hold up if I open a second bottle bottle number two with like one eye closed to see how much was left in the bottle like that was not a happy

         

        1:05:00

        Time, and it was daily.

         

        1:05:02

        Yeah. And just being honest with yourself, let it What is happiness to you? And how was drinking affecting it? And then how is it impacting your relationships, your relationship with your partner, your kids, with your friends, your co-workers? Like, how is it impacting those relationships? 

         

        Yeah, and it can be it’s okay if there is, you know, quote unquote, a drinking highlight within there. You know, I always said that, like, drinking highlights were maybe like, 20% of my experience, but the lowlights were 80%. So, you know, impacting your relationships. We all have that idea of us in our partner on vacation, toasting Yes. But I know a lot of my experience was feeling resentment and irritation towards my husband, him feeling like I was really closed off and distant in the mornings. A lot of like, not telling him what I was thinking and feeling because I didn’t want him to know how worried I was about my drinking. What about you? What about your relationships when you were drinking?

         

        1:06:14

        Well, when I was drinking, I mean, my kids got to the point where they didn’t want me to drink anymore. And so it was difficult for them to be around me. Well, it was actually really difficult when I started talking more about changing my drinking around them, and taking breaks around them. And then as one does, I’d go back to drinking. And so that was hard for them to see. It was hard on my marriage, just really just being checked out. I was just really checked out at night, I wouldn’t remember what we talked about the next day.

         

        I wasn’t the best mother, the best wife. Not that anyone’s perfect, but just the act of simply removing that alcohol really improved my marriage, nothing else changed. We didn’t go to counseling. No. I mean, we were at a point in our marriage where I was like, too in my head, always like, just like, I don’t know if I’ll stay with him. I’ll wait till the kids are gone. Or just having this drunk dialogue in my head, just getting really annoyed at him and just resentful, and everything. Virtually went away once I stopped drinking. Yeah, we didn’t like talk about that consciously just went away. It just became easier.

         

        1:07:45

        Parenting became easier. So relationships are huge. 

         

        Yeah, and you know, just try it. If you’re wondering if that’ll happen, like, a lot of I mean, that was my experience as well. And that’s not to say there’s not a bumpy time of sort of recalibration in your relationship. But

         

        1:08:05

        you know, when women come to me, and they’re like, Yeah, my husband’s this, and my kids are this and I hate my job. And my boss is a nightmare. I’m like, Okay, let’s remove the alcohol, that may all be true. But that also may not be true. Like, let’s get rid of the drinking, and kind of see where the dust settles. And a lot of times, and I know for me, I could handle everything else so much better. And also, like, my husband was a lot more loving and kind and attentive to me when I wasn’t, you know, kind of checked out on the couch or hungover in the morning. Like, I don’t know if he always said super loving things to me, but I certainly noticed them and absorbed them more once I felt better about myself.

         

        1:08:51

        I think that’s it too. Like, it’s just, you can’t underestimate the amount of like confidence and pride that you have in finally doing something that you said you were gonna do living according to your values, like we talked about, like just that kind of shining through and it can’t help but like, rub off on other people and make them more receptive to you too. Yeah, that’s great.

         

        1:09:20

        So that’s a good lead into the next question, which is how is drinking alcohol getting in the way of my life?

         

        1:09:29

        Yeah, was it getting in the way of your life?

         

        1:09:34

        I think it just wasn’t adding anything to it. My brother, actually recently had him on my show, he quit drinking. He just celebrated his year. I know which is this great, I mean, talk about influencing other people. We influenced each other, but he had a really good description and he called drinking just like a virus. It’s not going to kill you, It’s just gonna make you just low grade shitty. Yeah, like it’s not. I mean, even maybe shaving is a bad word for it, but like, just kind of just, they’re just going through the motion where

         

        1:10:16

        I think it’s pretty accurate word. I mean, I love when you said, you know, like a low grade virus that just kind of pulls him down, I did an episode on sober celebrities, and some of the stuff that just kept coming up was, you know, some of these really famous people kind of asking, what percent of my potential do I want to live at? Like, is 50% of my potential? Okay. Or do I actually want more? And, you know, I think Bradley Cooper, I think that saying that one was John Mayer, but Bradley Cooper said, you know, I just knew that if I kept drinking, I would never live up to my potential. And that scared the shit out of me. You know, he thinks he wouldn’t have had, you know, 5% of the success he had, if he was drinking, and I think, you know, in terms of alcohol getting in the way of your life, Claire Puli, who wrote the Sober Diaries, like, expressed it in a way that that really resonated with me, because I think a lot of women listening to this may not have, quote, unquote, done things that are that bad. I mean, I didn’t feel like I, you know, I would describe it like, Oh, I’m only hurting myself. You know what I mean? Which sounds crazy. Like, I’m still a good mom, I’m still a good wife. I’m still doing, I’m not letting down my colleagues or my boss. But you are kind of operating at half power constantly, whether you’re drinking or hungover. And Claire Puli said, it wasn’t so much the things I did when I was drinking that I regret. It was all of those nights, and weeks and months slipping through my fingers.

         

        1:12:05

        Yeah, yeah. I just saw Jane Fonda quit drinking, too. Yes, yeah. Yeah. And she was like, I don’t have that much time left. And I don’t want to be at half mass. 

         

        Oh, my God, half mast. I read that too. That was the perfect description. I mean, that’s why I love coaching women who are super high achieving, despite drinking way too much and struggling with it. Because I feel like you know, you’re just navigating your life and running a marathon with a ball and chain tied to your ankle, and oh, my God, if you cut that off, you could do anything.

         

        1:12:41

        Yeah, and I think why didn’t, why it was like Pooh poohing the word shitty before is because I think a lot of people are like, but my life’s pretty good. Like, I’m married, I’m a director at work, I love this. And they’re kind of using that to justify their drinking, but also it isn’t until you remove the alcohol that you realize how much it was clouding. 

         

        Yeah, I know. I know. I think. I think you’re right. I’m actually really, really glad you said that. Because I think shitty was how I felt. And I was yeah, I just felt shitty. But my life was pretty good. And I sat there and saying, Why am I not happy? Why can I not cope with my life despite having a good job and a beautiful house and nice kids and a good husband and money? And, you know, all the things that should make me happy. I’m, you know, I’m so blessed. I’m so lucky. Why do I feel shitty? And it’s the alcohol? Absolutely. I think that’s key.

         

        1:13:50

        And like you said, if you don’t know, just take a break, see if removing it improves your life. This is a good one. How can I take more responsibility for what I think, for what I feel and for what I do related to drinking?

         

        1:14:08

        Tell me what you are thinking when you say that?

         

        1:14:13

        Well, I like the responsibility part. So you know, earlier, we were talking about alcohol and alcohol marketing, and how I’m not talking about drink responsibility or that plan for that. But what I’m saying is like, it’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility. Yeah. And so recognizing that, yes, alcohol is bad for you. Culturally, it is. It’s just integrated culturally. But ultimately, it is up to you to change your drinking. And, and it is up to you to take responsibility for that. So that’s what that means. So I

         

        1:15:00

        totally agree with that. I mean, you know, how big alcohol being shitty is totally separate, you are the only one who can decide that this is not good enough for you. And, you know, that’s not to say that you can do it alone or you don’t need support or you need to do it alone. But that is to say like, it’s, it’s up to you to reach out for help and to do things like listening to this podcast and to get educated and to do this exercise to go through these questions and to actually journal them out. Like you deserve that.

         

        1:15:36

        Yeah, one of my favorite quotes is like the inverse Spider Man quote from Mark, what does it say? He wrote The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. But the Spider Man quote is “with great power comes great responsibility.” But the inverse is with responsibility comes great power. And so that’s why I find it like so empower. 

         

        Okay, I never heard that before. And I love that. Okay, so with responsibility comes great power. Is that right? 

         

        Yes. Love it. Love it. I mean, that’s one of the reasons AA doesn’t resonate with me because I feel empowered. Like, I’m going to take responsibility for this, like, I have power over alcohol and what I choose to put in my body. Yeah, you have power by choosing not to consume it. 

         

        Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. So that’s a really good question. Um, another just great general question is, how will I make today better than yesterday? Yeah, that’s a great one. And that’s just focusing on the future. You know, we get kind of tied up, like, counting days. And oh, shoot, I slipped again, just, you know, move on. How can I make today better than yesterday? Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, the idea of just focus on today, I mean, I’m not a huge fan of one day at a time, because I feel like you get stronger every day you move away from, from drinking, and you get more tools. And so I don’t feel like you’re as vulnerable on day two as you are on day 102. But I do think that just dealing with today, and just being like, How can I take care of myself today? And what? What can I do today? You know, yesterday’s in the past? I love that. Yeah. And along those lines of how can I take care of myself as like, what can I do to feel my emotions instead of drinking at them today? 

         

        Yeah, yeah. And I think that one of the big realizations is that

         

        1:17:53

        your emotions pass and they don’t kill you. I mean, I used to drink every time I was annoyed at my husband or used to drink every time I was frustrated at work. And the first time when I wasn’t drinking, when I had this huge sort of anger, irritation, resentment, disappointment, I cried and was pissed and complained to my girlfriend, and then, you know, rage garden to my vegetable garden, and then it passed. And so we went from like five o’clock to seven o’clock. And then I was like, Oh, my God, let me sit down and watch a show. Like, I was like, this is incredible.

         

        1:18:29

        Oh, I think when you can learn to sit with your emotions, and move through them, you become so powerful, you can do anything. Because if the worst thing that’s gonna happen to you is you feel fear, or you feel anxiety. And you know, that feeling is not gonna last.

         

        1:18:51

        I mean, you can do anything, I can do anything. I can make it through any feeling and be okay. Yeah, and I usually say and I know, we have two more to go through. So we need to get through them. But the one thing I would say is that any emotion that you are trying not to feel, it’s just like a canary in a coal mine. It’s just like information that something needs to be addressed that has not been addressed yet. It’s just information that you need something that you aren’t getting, so you can feel an emotion and not stuff it down and not suppress it and just be like, Alright, what do I need that I’m not getting or what boundary do I need to put down? I mean, your feelings are clues. 

         

        Yeah. So good. So good. Well, the last two are really just about accepting yourself and learning to love yourself.

         

        1:19:45

        So one is if you loved yourself fully, how would you treat yourself every day? And what’s one small way you can start doing that today?

         

        1:19:57

        Yeah, I love and that is

         

        1:20:00

        Yeah, yeah. Because if I mean, we think about all, especially being women and all these people we take care of and our children and those that we love, and, you know, just really working on that self compassion and that accepting of ourselves as we are not as we would think we should be. I mean, that’s key. You just, you know, you can’t hate yourself out of this. Yeah, you can’t. I mean, it just doesn’t work that way. And so one small, yeah. And so then one thing along those lines, one question along those lines is, what is one kind statement you feel comfortable saying to yourself when you need support?

         

        1:20:46

        And do you have one that you use? 

         

        What I say a lot to myself is like, I’m okay. Or what I ended up doing actually, is, what I recommend for people when they’re going through a tough time is to just add, I’m okay. Or it’s okay, to the end of their statement, like I got in a fight with my husband. And I’m okay. Or I got in a fight with my husband. And that’s okay. I like it because that happens, and it just kind of softens it. 

         

        Yeah, it definitely softens it. Okay. I love that. And I think that’s the perfect place to end this. I have gotten so much out of this conversation. I love the questions. But I also love that you let me ask you some questions as a nurse as someone who has quit drinking as someone who works with people who are stopping drinking, because that also is an area that I’m super interested in. And I really appreciate you coming on and sharing that expertise.

         

        1:21:52

        Well, I appreciate you having me on I. I could talk about it all day, obviously. 

         

        Right, we have to put a time limit on it. 

         

        Yeah, that’s awesome. So you can go to my website, to this episode, and get all of those questions so you can work through them. And Deb, I know that people listening to this podcast are gonna want to follow up with you. They’re going to want to learn more about the work you do and the resources you have. So can you tell us how people can get in touch with you and follow you?

         

        1:22:23

        Yeah, thanks, Casey, I have Alcohol Tipping Point. So I have a podcast of the same name. I have a website called www.tippingpoint.com. I actually have a free resource that has 100 questions to change your drinking. And originally, we never would have gotten through all 100. So Casey, and I pared it down to 20. But I have lots of free resources there and I run dry months. I call them Alka holidays, because I do feel like it’s a gift. And it it should be joyful. There should be something positive about it. And my thing is just helping people practice not drinking. 

         

        I love that. And thank you so much. I love the work you do. Definitely have a listen to the podcast with Deb and thanks so much for coming on. 

         

        Thank you, Casey.

         

        Casey McGuire Davidson  1:23:24

         

        Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing 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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