Finding friends who are on the same sobriety journey as you can be hard. 

But we’re here to help!

In this episode my sober bestie, Ingrid Miller, and I will talk about why finding support from people who have been where you are now and who are going through what you’re going through, in this “quitting drinking thing” is so important to your success.

No matter how much your friends and family love you and support you –  they don’t know how you feel in this process.

My guest in this episode is Ingrid. She’s a friend I met 4+ years ago when I was first quitting drinking, the owner of the cutest book store in Seahurst Washington and an all around badass of a human being. I met Ingrid in a secret Facebook group at the beginning of my sober journey, 4 years ago. 

Together we discuss how we met and the challenges we faced when trying to find a community of women who were going through or had been through the same things we were experiencing on our sobriety journey. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to find the support you need – including a number of our favorite online and in person sober groups for busy women quitting drinking.
  • How to get over the fears you have about joining sober groups.
  • Why finding your people in sobriety makes the process of quitting drinking and creating a life you love without alcohol so much easier (and more fun).
  • Why your spouse, partner, mom or best friend might not be the best person to hold your hand through this process. 
  • How you might feel in your first 90 days and why you need women who have “been there and done that” to get you through to the good stuff. 

Connect with Ingrid Miller

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

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.


How To Find Friends In Sobriety With Ingrid Miller


drinking, sobriety, friends, facebook groups, littermates, besties

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Ingrid Miller

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.

Hi there. I’m so excited you’re here for this episode of the podcast. In this episode, I am bringing on my very favorite friend that I’ve met since quitting drinking, my sober bestie Ingrid Miller. And the episode is about how to find friends or how to find your people in sobriety. Because I know one of the worries that so many people have when quitting drinking is that their social life is going to be over. They’re going to be incredibly lonely, possibly that there are no cool people who have quit drinking. I know that was a big one of mine.

So, Ingrid and I met almost four and a half years ago, when we were both in very early sobriety. I think Ingrid might have been about a week sober and I was about two months since I quit drinking. She is over the last few years and has become my sober bestie.

And sometimes we call each other sober littermates. And we actually have other littermates. It’s a random way of describing people who quit drinking right around the same time that you did.

Ingrid is so much fun. She grew up in New York. She moved all over the place after college, jumping from, she says “internet job to boyfriend to internet job”. And she settled in the Seattle area 15 years ago. She’s a VP for a technology company in the Seattle area. But she also had many dreams of being an Opera Singer, a Broadway musical star, a political investigative journalist, a fat activist, a multi size clothing designer and maker, a professional writer and a bookstore owner. And that is one of my favorite things about Ingrid and honestly about so many women I’ve met in sobriety is that there are so many dreams we have there so much we want to do and can do in our lives. And honestly, once you quit drinking, you realize how unproductive you’ve been, how stuck you’ve been and honestly the world just opens up, and you can do anything you want to and sort of everything like Ingrid and I always joke about like what, you know, we both actually worked full time jobs and had other passion projects on the same on the side. So for me it was Coaching. For Ingrid, she always had a dream of being a bookstore owner and after quitting drinking, she started the cutest and most awesome bookstore in Burien, Washington and I adore it. I love the vibe. I love the lights. I love talking to Ingrid. It’s called Three Trees Books, and they have an awesome website. So I’m gonna put that in the show notes because you absolutely have to check it out. And if you live in or visit Seattle, you have to stop by.

So, Ingrid, I am so excited for this episode. I adore you. I adore our friendship and I’m so excited. You’re here.

Ingrid: Yay, me too. Thank you, Casey. What a badass intro. I love it.

Casey: Well, you can tell you’re one of my favorite people. And I don’t know how I would have done the last four years without you. It certainly would not have been as fun.

Ingrid: No, I definitely wouldn’t be sober right now. There’s no doubt about it. And even to this day, I lean on you. And they all, like, kind of contribute to staying sober really, right? As any friendship. Cool. Yeah, then..

Casey: because when you’re drinking and someone gets it, I mean, I know a lot of the people listening to this will understand. Even your best friends who’ve known you since high school or your spouse or people you’re really close to, they don’t understand what you need and what you’re going through. They just don’t because they haven’t been there.

Ingrid: No. And they never will unless they go through it themselves, but like, that’s okay. We don’t, we don’t have to have them be fat for us. Well, yeah,

Casey: I mean, you can have different people you lean on for sober support, but it is god it’s so helpful to find people who do get it.

Ingrid: And who genuinely want to be friends…with right, like, and I think that’s the root of the fear is that I think we have this notion before getting sober that also, where people are like that or that they’re all believing in the same, you know, I don’t know, script. Yeah, how to stay sober. And so it can feel extra daunting in the beginning if you don’t feel like you’re a fit for certain really traditional quitting drinking modalities, for example, that you’re not going to find your people. And yeah, but you will. Yeah, it’s not quite as simple as you know, going to a meeting.

Casey: Absolutely. And that’s what I want to talk about in this episode. Because, you know, when I quit drinking, the first time (I have done it twice), and then I went back to drinking. When I quit drinking the first time, I did not know a single other person who either had quit drinking or struggled with this or was sober. I mean, I thought people who were sober were like, alcoholics pregnant or totally lame. Like that was, that was my opinion. I mean, it is 100% different now. I think that people who’ve quit drinking and especially women who have quit drinking are the coolest. Hopefully we’ll talk about that a little bit too. But there are a lot of fears even as we grow up like I quit drinking this time when I was 40. It is freaking hard to make great friends when you’re 40 like, you think people are busy everybody has their friends from high school and college and work, like I remember being sort of terrified the first time I texted you because I was like, Oh, this is… this is a big step in Friendship.

Ingrid: Yeah, it is. It’s a cliff you jump off. And you know what I was thinking before getting on this call. I was thinking about, like, you know, what would be a tip or trick which I’m sure we’ll get to at some point in the conversation, but I realized that that feeling doesn’t really change. Like I have you locked in, which God thank god right like, but there are other really cool women. You know, who I’d love to maybe be better friends with and the silver community but no Every time I go to like, you know, initiate or send a text or whatever, it’s still hard. It’s always hard. It’s a risk. Yeah. And, but the nice thing about silver women is that we all understand why. Right? Like, why like that baseline reason why I’m reaching out is you’re one of my people. So, you know, you’ve got that baseline covered. And from there, we have to figure out if we gel, I mean, it’s like dating. I don’t know. It’s weird.

Casey: It is kind of like dating and that’s an all friendships. The cool thing I think about people who have quit drinking or on the path, is that they’re real and they’ve done some work and there’s so much you know, you have to be vulnerable and open and have some self awareness to do this. So I always when I get to know people, which we’re going to talk about how..how to do that more and more because I feel like now I know. I’m sure I don’t every sober woman in Seattle. Possibly every sober woman. Who hasn’t gone through a 12 step program. Because I know I’m not in those circles. But um, but it gets easier. I remember meeting some cool women and just, you know, after seeing them a few times being like, Hey, I really like you. Can we be friends and hang out? Cuz that’s kind of my jam. And they’re like, yes. At least I think they are. Right?

Ingrid: Yeah, yeah. So of course, they are.

Casey: Of course there. So to start, let’s talk about how we found each other. We met on a secret Facebook group, which sounds weird. But where we initially connected is one of my favorites I’ve mentioned before, it’s called the Booze Free Brigade. And we’ll talk about it a bit and other groups and..and in my show notes, I’ll put some information on how to find it, but we met there. So my question for you is, how the heck did you find that place to start with?

Ingrid: So I don’t have a great answer. Because I don’t exactly remember. I was probably drunk.

Casey: But like, classy drunk, right?

Ingrid: But my vague memory of my path to getting to the BFB was I think I started actually the first website sobriety website that I really remember landing on was the She Recover site. And I thought to myself one day, I’ll you know, go to salt spring island with the silver people, and I bookmarked it. And somehow, whether it was related to I can’t remember if it was, this is terrible. I could go on for an hour with lots of guesses. But I think I went to Belle Robertson’s Tired Of Thinking About Drinking website as I googled exactly those words, and then somehow ended up on Jean’s Blog.

Casey: Jean McCarthy Unpickled and she’s the host of The Bubbler, which is an amazing Podcast.

Ingrid: It is amazing. And on her blog, I believe she had a link to the yahoo email group for the BFB. And so my intro to the BFB was not on Facebook, I actually emailed. I was in the email listserv thing. And there were a couple of people that did end up translating into the Facebook group that I remember I won’t name them obviously, but like, but once I discovered the Facebook group, I was like, bye bye email list. I’m out of here! And so that’s how I ended up in the Facebook group because someone told me the secret knock to get in. And,and that was that. From there… and I quit, I think two or three times, for like, a week or two at a time on the BFB and then finally, met you.

Casey: And that’s awesome and wonderful. One of the reasons I wanted to ask that is because I also found that group through a convoluted way. And I said in my first episode of this podcast that one of the reasons I started it, and one of my main goals is to help women listening stop stumbling around in the dark. And you know, God, I honestly my heart goes out to people who don’t know about all these amazing resources that are out there. Because I barely know how I find…found them. And it took me years and God to get some shortcuts, and to be like, here’s the list of all the cool places that you might want to go. And so I’m gonna put them in the show notes. But I remember the way I found it, which is crazy, is I had my first son, he’s 12 now so that tells you how long I’d been worried about my drinking. And there was.. I was, you know, oh my god, I’m gonna have a kid and my social life will be over. I’m a cool mom, whatever the hell that meant. My life is about more than my child and my infant. And there was an author. Her name was Stephanie Wilder Taylor, and she wrote a bunch of books called like, Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and a bunch of other ones like that, like naptime is the new happy hour. So she was a big author, funny comedian, author in the mommy drinking wine culture, which, when I was 32, and had my son I was all about like, I was like, total, you know, mommy playdates with wine at three in the afternoon. And then I went to work one day and I was downstairs getting coffee and breakfast in the cafe. And they had New York Times there. And I vividly remember seeing it was somehow on the front page. It said, I pulled it up a heroin for cocktail moms sober up, and it was about her. And I was just like, oh my god, I bought the article, because clearly I was somewhat worried about my drinking. And I went to her blog and I read what she said about quitting drinking. And it kind of blew my mind. And I saved that. And she had a blog called don’t get drunk Fridays. And I will link to the New York Times article and all that in the show notes, but, but she had all this information there. And that’s how I found the BFB because I feel like she was one of the first quote unquote founders of the group. But that is, again, like a lot of random stumbling around in the dark of what I call divine breadcrumbs that somehow led me to this group that inspired me. Like somehow seen the New York Times article what?

It really is. Yes, and yeah, it stuck with you.

Ingrid: And it’s stuck with you. That’s the amazing thing. It doesn’t really go away. It’s that whisper that sticks with you.

Casey: And you know, and it does…It takes what it takes, right? I mean it. Nobody like is like, oh, maybe I drink so much. I think I’m gonna quit drinking for the rest of my life. I mean if you do, you might, you know, you might not be one of us.

Ingrid: Well, no but like, you know, I think there’s something about like if you’re willing to follow those breadcrumbs at some point that whisper has probably become a roar right? Like it’s no longer a whisper, but like God, if you’re out there listening and you have a whisper, follow the whisper. Because it will be a lot easier. Yeah. before it becomes a roar, and and you’ll open up a whole world. Yes. Casey said.

Casey: Yeah. And I thought that might well. Actually before I say that I wanted to ask you, because I know when I joined the BSB, I was terrified. I remember sitting in my office at work, sort of almost shaking. posting on there for the first time checking 17 times to make sure it was in the private group. And then going back to my public Facebook with all my friends and co workers and family and hitting refresh like 10 times terrified that it was going to pop up on my public page. And you know, and then after I posted, God, I got like 30, 40 responses from women who were just, “Oh my god, your stories are just like mine”. You know. “Stay close. You’ve got this”, like personal outreach and they seemed awesome. These women seem like they seemed, “just like me”. So I want to ask you, what are some things you would tell people who are scared to connect online?

Ingrid: Gosh, I mean, in terms of the privacy stuff, secret groups are really, really secret. So you really don’t have to worry about that. It’s worthwhile to go look at like the member directory and make sure that your cousin Bob isn’t in the group. If If you’re worried about that, but um, but they are truly secret in the sense that that stuff won’t show up. So I wouldn’t worry about that. But I, I think that I mean, gosh, it’s always scary that there’s nothing I can say that’s gonna make it less scary. I don’t think. But in the beginning you need it. That’s all. Yeah. Like there’s no, there’s no replacement for getting very specific advice. Getting lots of people who are at the exact same date count that that’s to me what’s magical, like I went to a few meetings. I won’t get into details. When I was in early sobriety, and 12 step recovery meeting and they were great, but like there was no there is something really powerful about the crowd. I know this is gonna sound strange, but when you have those sheer numbers of this private group, which isn’t huge, but it’s big enough that you and it’s generally dominated by earlier and sobriety people, right? So you’re going to get people in the early, first 30 days for 60 days. And having that camaraderie is magical. And you don’t get that when you’re talking to a sponsor who’s five years sober, right? I mean, I know I have four years sober. I really couldn’t tell you what day 13 felt like I really can’t. But I swear to God, I was obsessed with it back on day 14, or day 25 when I was remembering way back to day 14, right like it the days was so, so long, and so rife with weird, unpredictable things, right? And they’re not quite as unpredictable. When you get, you know, 20 different women within your day count saying, Oh my gosh, I was really stressed out last week to week two, for whatever reason, or, or I remember Casey, I got to remember my theory about the 60 to 90 which I continue to post.

Ingrid: So tell me that because I actually have some clients who just hit day 60 And 70 and I’m like, Wait Ingrid had something about this.

Casey: I decided there was some biological or chemical process that happens in alcohol recovery days 60 to 70 days 60 to 80 is really the day range and 90 days when you sort of break out of it like that three month mark but 60 to 80 was the most like anxiety riddled days that I had in the whole.. whole kit and caboodle. Like in the very very beginning it was just hard right and when it was hard in that first week, mostly what I did was like, eat a pint of ice cream and go to bed at five or six or seven at night, right? :ike that was my routine because I just had to escape my life and power through because otherwise I knew I wasn’t gonna make it. I kept not making it if I tried to live my normal life in the first week. So Fine, I got through that but Day 60, 80 I was literally jittery, like, physically jittery. I had to and I’m not an exerciser, I had to go for like two hour walks with the bubble hour podcast playing in my ear – just to work off the energy. And I was a little bit panicked and what kept coming up for me were the sort of forever thoughts… the,
I don’t know.

It just didn’t feel purely mental. It felt also physiological. And so I kept asking absolutely anybody who would listen to me on the BFB like, do you guys feel the same way? And I sort of, we were, like, could handle the exact same feeling as them. You know, the littermates. And now every time I see something like that on BFB, if I go in and take a look, I always, you know, post “Yep. 60 to 80 days range. It’s terrible.” And I see, you know, I tagged all my littermates who had the same feeling. But like, it’s possible that I was just a little bit obsessive about day counting and what it meant and what phases we go through. But the truth of the matter is, the support was valuable. Like just having someone say, Nope, I don’t feel that way on day 69 or whatever.

Casey: Well, or a lot of people saying yes, I do feel that way, which is one of the best pieces of it like, and I tell my clients sometimes I’m like, trust the process, like just stay the course. There’s so much space between no longer which is when you’re drinking, and not yet which is when it gets really good. And that’s what some of that understanding, you know, of course, this is not scientific, but under, you know, from coaching, lots of women’s there are peaks and valleys and there are when your anxiety peaks, or when you start being like, Oh my god, I can’t do this forever. I’ve done this for two months, three months, and I don’t feel better yet. And a, you’re forgetting how bad you felt when you were drinking and you do feel better. But, of course, like the novelty has worn off the pink cloud has faded. And yet, it’s so helpful to hear to be honest about how you’re feeling. And to have 6, 7, 20 people say, hold on, like it gets better get to this date. And by the way, Here are seven things you can do right now. And so just for to let you guys know, Ingrid has an awesome blog. It’s called Total fatty and there she has two posts that I always link to which is what to expect or you know what you might feel Day 0 to 30 and then 60 Plus, and she again, like mind or littermates, and just everything that she saw commonalities, and it’s super helpful. In my.. I have a 30 page guide. The Sober Guide To Quitting Drinking, and it has 30 tips for your first 30 days and I pulled with permission a good part of English information on those early days because it’s so helpful to know what to expect on day 4 and day 5 and day 12. Just so you can be like, Oh, I’m feeling like, I’m rageful and irritated and he’d be like, yep. right on track.

Ingrid: You’re good. I think it was 30 or 60 day post and then I wrote the second one. I also write a list of things you shouldn’t do. Tell your spouse about your marriages or your you know, partnership is over, whatever. You know, don’t don’t quit your job, don’t like it’s just a list of things that I know will come up for you in those that 30 day range. Because they did for me like I questioned absolutely everything in my life. When I finally felt enough. Normal I guess after the early days, I thought about being cured, which is why the 60, 80 Days was so tough, right? Because, right, you know, two months in, you sort of feel a little bit done, and you’re not done.

But, uh, but so I felt cured. But I also felt like I was questioning literally all the fundamentals of my life and what I was doing where I live.

Casey: Yeah, I think you called it..you’re obsessed about why you started drinking. Like, I have all these theories and want to go to your therapist and want to like post post a, you know, a novel. Yeah, your childhood right?

Ingrid: Yeah, hold on. Just hold on. Do it. Right. So yeah, just don’t do it a day.

Casey: Yeah, but if you have a sober bestie you can talk at nauseum about your theories on your child. I remember.. Okay, and then we need to go up but I remember we had the funniest conversation on text or maybe it was the BFB about Cabbage Patch dolls in childhood. I’m dating myself, but everybody was like talking about Cabbage Patch dolls. And I was like, Yeah, my mother would never get me a cabbage patch doll. And then I just thought it was so funny. I’m like, it’s probably, it’s probably why I drank. All the people who drink too much would think that’s hysterical. And Ingrid.. you..your mother had randomly… this is weird… shipped you at age 40, 2 Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Ingrid: It was before my 40th birthday. Okay. And I’m child free, right. So my mother decided I needed my babies back…on my 40th Birthday. So I had 2 Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Casey: Yeah. And so you gave them. My favorite..is she gifted them? We went out to dinner in Seattle at this great sushi restaurant and she..in the restaurant, gifted me for my daughter. Who was three? Maybe at the time she gifted me her Cabbage Patch dolls. And of course Lyla, like was like, “‘eh”, cuz she’s into Barbies or whatever, but I loved them.

Ingrid: Okay, I’m sorry. No, come back on that.

Casey: She… I’m sorry. No, she loves them.

Ingrid: I set you up.

Casey: We’re gonna edit this out.

Ingrid: No you’re not. You admitted it publicly. Off the record, okay.

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, 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.


Casey: Okay, I blame her. So, we’re gonna Okay, we’re going back to the tips about people who are scared about going online. So let’s, I’m gonna, we talked about how much it helps to realize you’re not alone and how great it is to find other people who get it. How useful it is to see people who are further along from you feeling really good and telling you that it’s normal. And it’s part of the process and that it’ll pass to find kindness that you didn’t even know was out there. I mean, you know, we have so much negative self talk and we have so much we berate ourselves when we wake up with yet another hangover I used to be like, What the fuck is wrong with me, you know all the things and to find people who are like you deserve in this was total Ingrid, you deserve an effing tiara for four months. You deserve a parade. You got through your office happy hour, you know, without a drink like you know, high five days done gold gold star, I mean people who are kind of who get it and will cheer you along, as opposed to people who are like, yeah, you went two weeks looking, you know, what do you want to know about?

Ingrid: It’s common first, spouses in particular to downplay you know, the day count thing. Right like that, so you don’t even want to bring it up with mine. Like, I wasn’t gonna tell him it was 3 weeks. Let’s have a party.

Casey:I know but you’re there, you’re like 21.

Ingrid: I think Casey.. Just to your credit, but the tiara thing really came. It was inspired by you. Like you were, you were super passionate about rewards, right? Like never feeling deprived. And that’s the best tip that I give to people is straight from you, which it says never, ever let a celebration pass you by you because, you know, the key thing that will drive us back to drinking is feeling deprived. You know, and the second second thing will be feeling lonely, right so that’s what this whole podcast interview is about. But the first thing is feeling deprived and do you feel like your life is somehow less good? Cuz you don’t have drinking In a, you don’t like really do the work to prop up the notion of it being better at the beginning, right? Because eventually it’s just naturally a lot better. But in the beginning, you really need to do that work. You need to plan those celebrations. You need to give yourself treats, you have to reward yourself, you have to have, you know, reach out to get people to tell you, you’re doing a good job. I mean, it’s a vulnerable place to be, but it’s important, like it’s critical.

Casey: And it’s important to tell people when you’re struggling because that’s when you need them to prop you up or to say, I don’t even know why I’m doing this. It feels like it’s not worth it. And, you know, trust us, as much as we’re really grateful that we quit drinking, and I love it. Obviously. If I was there, I was like, You know what, this sucks. And I used to have a face to have a cartoon meme that I loved that I used to post in the group when people were like, I’m over this and it’s someone above, at the top of the cliff with someone hanging off the edge and they’re like hanging on by their fingernails and the person at the top is like hang on it gets better. The person hanging on is like F.U. I just whenever everyone’s struggling I like randomly post that. That cracks me up. The other thing that I wanted to say is just remember that everyone in these groups is there for the exact same reason. So they are women just like you. They don’t necessarily, they haven’t necessarily hit bottom, they don’t all go to 12 step meetings. Some do and they are amazing too and they have incredible insight. I, you know, support anything that works for you. But they don’t, all and they have kids, and they have spouses or they don’t. They’re career women. You know, they’re not all drama like they really are like you and you can find friends there. I have so many people who found their littermates and like go on vacation spots together, like, not kidding. And, and it’s really awesome. A lot of them, you know, people are scared to join because they don’t want to label themselves an alcoholic by the way you don’t have to at all. You just have to want to go without drinking for a while or think you might or be curious about it and have not been successful on your own. And you might be afraid to join because you’re not sure you’re ready to stop drinking and you don’t want to join and fail. And dude, almost everyone on there has joined and failed and they get it, right? So you’re never going to get to where you want to be. If you don’t do something different. And this is a really cool, you know, take it from us. It’s really cool.

Ingrid: Yeah, it really is.

Casey: So Ingrid going back to the tiara and celebrations thing you mentioned. One of the best things that I think you did for us in the beginning, you know, once we got to know each other, was having dinner parties and brunches, and you know, you brought out the tiaras like somehow we showed up at a restaurant and you would like 2 tiaras and we like rotated the tiaras for…

Ingrid: It wasn’t just us. It’s not that weird

Casey: But you know, you got rainbow unicorn piñatas that were like mascots and…
Okay, you guys may be listening and thinking You don’t sound cool. But it was. Um, and I remember like so I was sort of early sobriety. Unlike Ingrid, I live 30 minutes outside Seattle. You know, in a Microsoft suburb. I have a really nice house, but it is not hip. You know, I have two kids, I’m married, you know, whatever. What that means is I don’t go out to hip diners, and dinner parties in downtown all the time. And so Ingrid had this apartment that overlook the sound like right on the sound at overlook the Seattle great wheel. It was beautiful. It was right in the middle of the city. And she invited us over a bunch of sober women or women who were quitting drinking to her apartment for a dinner party and like cooked up a storm and it was amazing.

Ingrid: Dinner party is way harder than brunch. And I highly recommend you do brunch. Don’t do dinner party. Because people arrive and there’s no cocktail hour, right? Like, I had this ridiculously elaborate mocktail thing set up for everybody. I’d spent way too much money on like things to mix. Nobody really cared. They just wanted to look…. Do you remember this?

Casey: I remember. Totally different. Like, oh my god, this is so cool and sophisticated and fun without drinking. So I go both ways. Yes. I love sober brunches. They are amazing Ingrid hosts one for our Seattle she recovers group or or folks who want to pretty much once a month and they are the highlight of my month that we do book club and just like I feel like it’s constantly growing. 30 women and amazing food and the conversation never ends. But your dinner parties made me feel like I was cooler in sobriety than I was at as a mom after work sitting on my couch with my bottle of wine and my three year old, you know, for me.

Ingrid: Yeah, well, you know, I might need to do more of those. I got shocked out of not doing dinner parties because I was so anxious. I felt so anxious not being able to I guess lubricate my night right? Like give people things to hold and do before the meal. And then I was so embarrassed by my lasagna that I made that mistake. Terrible so, I think you know, we all think it’s just a whole it’s like the prom dress thing, right? Like I was saying y’all think people are looking at us but they don’t really care at all. So that I had so much fun though. Like just meeting the people that were at like dinner party and it I thought that was really cool too. So yeah, I mean being… so prior to quitting drinking, that was absolutely my, my social mo it was holding. I would…would have said to botched, you know, parties, and you know, the more wine than anybody could drink. Yeah, I would actually buy magnums. You know, those enormous bottles of wine. And I would buy those and put them in the middle of the table and like, I would need help pouring from it because it was so huge and but it was a abundance, right. I wanted people to consume… over consume.

Yeah and eat as much as you want like always over overdid it. And…and then I would also thank you for reminding me of this. I would put loose bowls of cigarettes out and lighters because I noticed because I used to be a smoker too. I noticed that whenever I had a big debauch dinner party everybody would start smoking problems so I tried to get ahead of that problem. And put it out there for all the problem solver.

Casey: Now, she like, she in would bring her lacroix and she brought my favorite this groovy Prosecco that’s 100% Prosecco zero percent alcohol I adore it. So she still is like, what can I do to go over the top? I mean, but you know, I thought that you recreated that sober social circle to mirror the drinking fun.

Ingrid: I was trying to…yeah, I wanted to get my life back, I felt a little of my identity.
But the truth is the trappings that I had built up over my drinking life of, you know, over abundance, I mean, so much of that was kind of me compensating for fear, right? Like I was afraid. People wouldn’t like me. So I needed to give them really fancy nice wine, right? I mean, it’s that fundamental, very childish anxiety that I held on to probably and stunted myself in terms of my own growth as a human. I was still thinking like a 17 year old at age 30, 39, right, like hosting these ridiculous dinner parties to get people to like me or whatever. And I think what I realized pretty quickly was that it’s, it’s just about the people. And I just happen to still like to eat a lot and drink a lot of Lacroix. So I always want other people that never Feel like it will run out and that’ll never change ever. But the proving myself piece has basically gone away and that’s one of the incredible gifts of sobriety. It’s something you can’t you can’t manufacture the maturity, which sounds really dull and boring, but the maturity your soul I mean I can’t even a better way to articulate it where you just no longer give a fuck. As you know if people like you as much as you used to, right it’s just not as important so that the fear over making new friends does subside you know that anxiety and reaching out to someone like if they don’t like me, I guess that’s okay. Right like, I’ll live, I’ll live, I’ll survive. I’ve survived for years. I think about it as one of the biggest gifts.

Casey: Yeah, and I you know, honestly, one of my huge fears and I hear this a lot from others was that my life would shrink when I quit drinking like I could never go. It would be really hard to go to football parties or Super Bowl parties. or dinner parties or to host it in our party because I, like you, you know, it’s like we need two bottles of wine per person because that’s kind of what I want, right? Like when people would come over for dinner and bring one bottle for four people I’d be like, Who are you? Like, this is ridiculous. So I never wanted that to happen. So I would just bring you know, in my generous self, bring my bottles of wine to share because I had plenty, but I thought that my life would be so limited. And what I want to tell people listening to this and women is that I was 100% wrong. My life got so much bigger. If you know, obviously in the beginning you need to bubble up and you feel like you’re walking around without your outer layer of skin and you’re figuring out how to navigate every speed bump and pothole, how to do everything the first time. So there is no doubt that it is hard. And that is where the online secret Facebook groups and finding your people and your littermates will really help you. But once you get through that really hard part, your fears are not true. My life got you know, honestly when I was drinking, I was at home on the couch with my bottle of wine. My life was really small. I actually left restaurants like I drank a little before limited what I drank there because I had to drive home so I would leave to come home to drink more. So once I quit drinking, I, you know, my life got so much bigger and I also credit you. You went on one of those She Recovers’ Salt Spring Yoga Retreats, which are amazing. They’re the best thing ever. And you went the first year I did not. We both have the same birthday which is weird. And I went on a camping trip with my lifetime friends, you know, and our families. And it was both of our birthdays. You had an amazing birthday. I had one that was filled with a crying 2 and a half year old, and nobody got me presents, and you’re packing up the kit. I just really unspoiled. Like, I was just, this kind of sucks. And you just came back, lit up from inside. So the next year, we went together we slept in a yurt so we were your roomies. We did yoga. We talked. We went swimming in this incredible lake in salt spring Island because we went to the farmers market. We went paddleboarding and we laughed like crazy. I fell off the paddleboard myself figured like laughter did try to help me up even though everybody else did.

Ingrid: Yeah. Bestie.

Casey: I just remember that. I mean, I might have to go back and be quiet. But I would never have taken five days away. For my family spent the money taking vacation days that weren’t like with Mike I mean, it was amazing. So my life in after quitting drinking, I just feel so justified and self care. It’s necessary. It helps me stay healthy and stay sober and all that, but I’m also worth it and I don’t mind spending money because I used to spend so much money on alcohol. Yeah,

Ingrid: You know that you’re reminding me that, um, that She Recovers retreat. That as I said earlier on the first website I ever found that made me actually want to get sober was that one that she recovers? Yeah, sweet thing. And when I finally quit, when I thought it was for good, which it ended up being for now, you know. I went back online and they were completely sold out, which they almost always are. So whoever’s out there in the podcast sphere and you’re looking it up, like, you’re gonna be bummed. They’re almost always sold out. I guess it’s COVID-19. So, whatever. Yeah, you’re talking 2021 now, but they were totally sold out. I emailed them to get on a waitlist and I ended up getting in at the last minute and so I, I didn’t have any expectation of getting in there but I when I got in, Casey, that was scary going there with absolutely no buddy, and not a soul. And Casey, it was scary.

Casey: You’re so brave.

Ingrid: And I don’t even do yoga. I actually wrote like several emails to them in advance being like, are you sure but you don’t need to know. You? I was so worried about not being anyway. Um, and then Casey, you actually introduced me to someone you knew? Who from the BFB I think, right? Yeah, yeah.

Casey: Yeah. Kelly, who’s also a recovery coach. Yep. So I’ll put her info in there too. She’s amazing.

Ingrid: Yeah, as well. And she and you introduced us so she was my only friend before we went up.

Casey: you guys came over to my house and we sat on the back deck and talked and yeah,

Ingrid: That’s the cool thing about women who quit drinking you feel like you know each
other and Kelly, I think was two years sober at the time. Yeah, I just was like, Whoa, that’s amazing. Like I was in awe. And yeah,

Casey: Because you were like three months at that time. Four months? Yeah.

Ingrid: Yeah, maybe even a little less. I don’t know. Yeah, but uh, but that was also a corner turning thing for me like meeting you in the She Recovers’ retreat people, because I made some good friends at that retreat. And just the fact of it, right like that we’re all in this together. And it’s incredibly important, and we’re all worth that investment and time and that was enough to sort of keep me going for a while.

Casey: Yeah, And the other thing, you know, I want to say is, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up all your friends that you’ve had your whole life or that you’ve established. It doesn’t. But it does help to realize that you don’t have to do this alone. It is so much easier if you don’t eat. People who’ve quit drinking are cool and fun. I promise you. They’re not terrifying. They’re not lame, they’re not extra drama. You know, in the same way that like anywhere in life, you’ll find people who are your people and who aren’t. But your people are out there. They really are. And there are a lot of other groups that are awesome ways to find friends and sobriety and it’s not just the BFB. There is She Recovers Together, which is a private group for all women. There is a group called the Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. That is based off the Katherine Great book. I mean, there’s so many. There’s The Tempest group. Ingrid and I both did hip sobriety school which is now the tempest, online sobriety school, but they have, you know, community and meetups and it’s a great way to make connections. So in the same way that you know, you go to work and some people are your people and you light up when you see them and other people are negative and you don’t want to hang out with them or they just have super different interests. That’s true in sobriety as well, but it is worth it. To find your people. I encourage you to take the leap. I mentioned I will put a ton of resources in the show notes of this episode because I don’t want you to be stumbling around in the dark the way I was or I don’t want you to not find these amazing resources that are gonna make your life without alcohol so much better and will inspire you and will remind you that life without drinking does not suck. You know, get away from the wine bottle, put it down, figure out that your life can be bigger and brighter and better when you don’t have hangovers and headaches and wake up at 3am with the sweats and you know, panic attacks or whatever.

Ingrid: Amen.

Casey: Cool. So right at the end, I want to talk to you about your bookstore because it’s my favorite. So I know you sell online, and I love the books you’ve curated. It’s a tiny bookstore, so tell us about it.

Ingrid: Sure, um, it’s a 240 square foot bookstore, which if you have any sense of those things, it’s quite quite small..

Casey: like a New York studio apartment or something?

Ingrid: Smaller. Yep. It’s, it’s actually designed to be and this is going to not sound awesome, but a highly curated airport bookstore. So the idea being like, you know, in the airport bookstore, it’s super easy like, they just have the best sellers up there. And then like a couple of other, I don’t know, business books, because it’s all this Yeah, boilers that want to buy them. My books are supposed to be designed around, like what I think are the best of the crop of best sellers, and then sort of one or two of each genre, really. So it’s like these tiny little pods for each different category. And then, you know, the biggest turnover is in our hearts, best selling category, the paperbacks, and hard covers, and nonfiction and fiction. And so it makes for a lovely space, right? Because I look around and I see all my best friends.

Yeah. For the older books, and then the newer books, I look around and I’m like, Oh, I really want to read that. Right. And so it’s definitely Ingrid’s bookstore. So if we have very different tastes, you may not find what you’re looking for. But what we’re discovering is, I will I’m learning the neighborhood, right? I’m learning what people read and love and Learning to order the books that I think people will want. So that’s been fun, and we’ve only been open a year. So I don’t really know very and you also have.

Casey: an awesome Quizlet session.

Ingrid: Right? We do we have an out I would say an outsize, Quizlet Yeah. And if people for the size of the bookstore.

Casey: Does everyone know who what that is? It’s novels, biographies, autobiographies, just just fiction that is about drinking and not drinking and life without drinking. And you know, a lot of them are a lot of women on the path, and they’re getting better and better and better.

Ingrid: They are, they’re so great. And there’s so many I actually don’t have all my favorites at the bookstore. But actually, I have a, I actually met a woman who came into the bookstore, who asked me for books for handling anxiety. Did I tell you the story, Casey, I messed up now. And I said, Oh, I’m so sorry. have anxiety. I’ve dealt with that myself. Can I just recommend something like Why don’t you start by quitting drinking? I don’t know. I don’t even know if you drink. I have no idea. But if you drink, I highly recommend you cut it out because this isn’t about addiction or anything else. It just it makes you feel anxious and you may not realize there’s a connection. And she was like hello bookseller. Like Who do you think you are? And I was like, No, no, sir. I have no idea what you’re what you’re drinking are obviously like, I’m not judging you. I’m just making the suggestion and then I you know, I pulled a couple of anxiety you know, meditation books and stuff like that off the shelf and then I handed her a couple Quizlet and I was like, just in case you’re thinking about it, like, go sit over there. And I swear to you, I had no idea if that whether or not she had any kind of drinking issue, right? She could have been a non drinker for all I know. Turns out, she started questioning her drinking after that conversation because of the level of anxiety she was dealing with. And then she found it kind of hard to cut, cut the drinking out. And then she came back to the bookstore and bought all the Quizlet like literally every book that I had to sell. Then she came back and told me how much he loved one book versus other rows. Right? We have a good conversation, and now she’s coming down my brunches.
It’s the best feeling in the world. I love it!

Casey: Yes. I love that. I love that. Although I would say okay, when I was drinking, I had no idea that my anxiety was tied to my drinking. I thought that drinking was helping me with my anxiety, which is so common. So if you think that I swear to God, it doesn’t. There’s tons of research on this but you know, drinking is like pouring lighter fuel on your anxiety. But we’re also like there was a T-shirt I got. I think it was from back in the day with Hollywood and Laura McCowan it says feminists, sober buzzkill. You know what I’m talking to people like my husband occasionally I’ll be like, and then, you know, he, you know, someone said this and I said, Oh, it was at his basketball game. He’s a principal at a school and they were doing some cancer fundraiser and like, six of the gift baskets had wine in them, right? Because that’s what everybody wants to buy. And I was like, that’s sort of ironic considering the research around breast cancer and alcohol. And he was like, You are such a buzzkill. Like, your God and He is so supportive of me, but he’s just killing me.

Ingrid: describe quitting drinking to random people, I swear to God, but I felt safe doing it in that situation because there’s absolutely no background right? I had no idea. Like I couldn’t be possibly judging her personally because I have no idea like how to drink so that was a lucky break. I got to get up on my my anxiety booth pedestal.

Casey: and it’s, it’s, I do feel like it’s the question of like, why don’t we talk about this? Why don’t people talk about this, like, in terms of some 12 step, you know, it’s all about being anonymous, which is great for new people who are scared about it. And that’s also why private face group Facebook groups are great. You know, honestly, like when you go to the VFP, the only thing you can see you sort of friend, a woman with a name, she’s not a real person, and the only thing you can see is that if someone’s in it, you have a mutual friend. So nobody else knows that you’re like connected to these people because you’re in this group. It just says, Oh, you know, you have a mutual friend. But in addition to that, like anxiety and drinking, I mean, everyone talks about everything else gluten and you know, sugar addiction or whatever, but You know, hey, you’re feeling depressed or anxious, have you thought about quitting drinking because that can change so much without it. And then by the way, if you’re having trouble with it, quitting, there are resources to support you in that. And a lot of it is mindset and a lot of it is habit. And by the way, it’s addictive and all the things but you know, we don’t so I love that you’re openly sharing your story and that’s why I do it too, because we never talked about this and there are so many women out there thinking that something is wrong with them and also just not making the connection between how they physically and feel in terms of mental health and what they think is holding them together which is quiet or whatever. Okay, so we’re gonna if you’re if you’re in Seattle, visit Ingrid’s bookstore, you know once the quarantines over, this is in the cook we’re recording during COVID 19. It is incredible if you’re in the Seattle area connect with us because we absolutely love meeting other cool sober women in our local area.

Ingrid: Yeah, we’ll get you invited to the brunch as soon as we can run.

Casey: Yeah. And the book club. Shockingly, unlike wine drinking book clubs, most people read the book you’re not required to, but I would never read the book when I was drinking. So that’s pretty cool.

Ingrid: Yeah, you really don’t have to read the book.

Casey: Yeah. So in the what’s the bookstore URL?

Ingrid: https://www.threetreesbooks.com/ . And it’s three number. It’s the word spelled out.

Casey: Yeah, it is really, really cool and in our store, not to pump it but I actually adore it. It has the coolest curated linen, aprons and cards and these tiny, happy Buddhas like that are sort of like some weird sobriety talisman that might not be true.

Ingrid: Oh, I think I would call it after it sobriety talisman. Yep. And the company is the suburban monk. Yeah. And we met the owner of that company through hip sobriety.

Yes. And she’s not to out her anything but I think she’s pretty open. These little kids are adorable. They smile constantly. I’ve broken many of them into the smile even when they lose their arm.

Casey: And they’re different ones for different like green is for abundance and silver is for restarts or whatever and yeah, Ingrid just has a you know, amazing jewelry and just really cute i love your style like pretty much I want to be you when I when I don’t have two children.

Ingrid: But, you have two children Casey, God willing.

Casey: So we need to wrap it up. But I truly, truly appreciate you being on here.

Ingrid: I really loved it. It was really fun. I didn’t even get to say like the time that you saved my life.

Casey: Oh, okay. Tell us.

Ingrid: I was working in Oakland, California, extremely lonely. My husband had a spill in Seattle. And I was living, I don’t know, two weeks out of every month down there, if not more, in some terrible room rental and this terrible part of it. And I was just miserable. And I really, really wanted to just give up and go back to drinking and smoking. Frankly, I wanted all I wanted to just sit nobody would have known. My husband never would have known. At least not while I was there, assuming. So both right before I went to the store, I called Casey or texted you I can’t remember but we ended up talking and Casey said to me like it was almost textbook so Court stuff, right? It was like, why would you do that? Through the drink? Right? Like get through, walk me through all of it just like a good coach would or a good friend would..

Casey: And what happens after the bottle? Like what about tomorrow and the next day? And you know,

Ingrid: yeah, and honestly, God, I was like, This is so such BS I like, in the moment I wasn’t grateful. I wasn’t, I was like, Oh,

I guess you’re right. I guess I’ll wait another 10 minutes and see how I feel right? And the next day, of course, I was so grateful. Cuz I made it through that day. And that was it. That was like one of the worst bumps in my whole path. And all it took was that one phone call to just kind of set me up slightly askew from the tracks that I had laid out for myself

Casey: And which is why you need to establish those friendships before that happens so you have someone who you genuinely like to call. I mean, I remember sitting up putting my daughter to sleep when I was in, you know, two or three months sober. And I had a had a really hard time at work and was having like my first post, post quitting anxiety attack, I guess I was at four months. And I came up, and I really wanted to drink and I texted you and said, I really want to drink. So you have to talk me out of it. Like I just, I there was no doubt in my mind that I didn’t want to start over and go back but I was like, so do what you need to do. And it worked. And I needed that and now, you know, thank God, I didn’t get to four months and start drinking again. And I could be here two years later desperately trying to get a day one to stick. I mean, I know how that is. So you have that moment are when you need support, but also when you you grow, you know, I think of it as a bicep curl like you are building your sober muscle that will jump you to to the next level, just as you don’t drink in that moment.

Ingrid: It really is it’s step level growth. Yeah, you go through that hard thing. And then boom, you’re at this new higher level of like a video game. It is it’s like a video game and and you can’t get to those next levels until you go through the hard. Yeah, hard wobbly. I would say wobbly times, right?

Casey: Yeah. And they will come there is no, uh, you know, I always tell my clients who are trying to quit drinking, like, if you email me and you tell me, I’m cool. I’m good. I haven’t even thought about drinking at all. In the first 36 days. I’ll be like, okay, you’re lying. I don’t believe you at all. Because, you know, it’s just not true. So I was like, Don’t tell me that cuz that I can’t help you. If you’re, you know, you would be the unicorn. Oh, yeah. So you will have those hard moments and it’s like you get a you know, a new high score when you move past that.

Ingrid: and every holiday, every birthday, it’s literally another like giant muscle being slapped onto you. Absolutely. When you get rid of those things, and then then you don’t feel it at all later. It’s kind of amazing.

Casey:. And you’re proud of yourself.

Ingrid: Yeah. And and I think something that one of the wiser people on BFB posted, Bridgette, I love her. She was a big help to me. You can, you really are bad. We’re all really bad at predicting how we’re going to feel. If yes, we really have no idea. We think we know. But we have no idea and that’s because it’s entirely based on how you felt in the past. So this whole idea of forever and ever that I know I’m going to be miserable in the future. No, you don’t. And and No, you can’t. You can’t know that. So you can let go of the future tripping mental health. Yeah, no one’s been able to fully do it.

Casey: And that’s something that is so helpful about coaching with anyone is the idea of we all have these assumptions based on past experiences and these limiting beliefs as well as this inner critic voice. And it really does help to question that and to step back and say what’s different this time and and is everything you’re believing… Is that really true? And also, you know, I often tell people like you’ve been drinking your whole life, your whole adult life, like you know what drinking feels like, you know, the good and the bad and by the time you’re ready to quit drinking, there’s there’s more hangovers and headaches and anxiety and all the things there’s more bad. But you don’t know what a period of sobriety like 100 days will feel like, especially if you dive in to resources and support and people. So why not give you give yourself that gift of knowing how you’ll feel and guess what, if you hate it, go back to drinking after 100 days, betting you won’t, especially if you get support, especially if you say, God, I want to see how good my life can feel when I’m not walking around with this weight tied to my ankle. So what you were saying about predicting how you’re gonna feel, just give yourself the chance to see. Yeah, and don’t give up in the first two weeks because they are going to suck.

Ingrid: Like, dude. Yeah, it’s really bizarre. It’s like having the flu. Yeah, apparently, I don’t know a better way in describing it.. No. cuz you don’t actually feel physically sick that way. But it’s, it’s,
yeah, you’re just leveled.

Casey: Like, okay, so if.. if you want to know how you’re gonna feel, go to hellosomedaycoaching.com I’m not hyping this, but I’ve got you know, it’s 30 pages about how you’re gonna feel it’s got all these tips to get you through four days and six days in 12 days and how you’re going to feel like you’re going to have the flu so you can sign up for my sober girls guide. You will get it sent to you in the email it honestly is really, really helpful. So it is good.

Ingrid: Okay, so now you can wrap up.

Casey: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’re awesome. And I’m hoping this will be really helpful for people.

Ingrid: Me too. You’re awesome.

Casey: Thanks, friend.


So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more. 

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. 



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 Free 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking – 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free, 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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