How Do You Find Your New Identity In Sobriety?
Do you wonder who you’ll be if you stop drinking? I know I did. Finding your identity in sobriety can be scary and exciting.
For years I described myself as a “red wine girl” and drinking was essentially my favorite hobby.
I surrounded myself with other people who loved to drink so my social life, activities, favorite places, traditions and relationships were deeply intertwined with alcohol.
When I stopped drinking I didn’t know what I enjoyed without it.
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol often makes your life smaller rather than more exciting.
Over the years (and especially as I became a working mother) I had limited time and energy, and my hobbies, interests and the people I hung out with got smaller.
Over time my highlights outside of work seemed to be happy hours, date nights, “wine mom” play dates with our kids and (honestly) often just a bottle of wine on the couch.
Before kids and before my drinking really took off I used to play guitar, do triathlons, go hiking and kayaking, do yoga, Pilates and a bunch of other hobbies that fell away over time. So when I stopped drinking I needed to rediscover who I was, once my “work hard, play hard” and “wine mom” persona fell away.
Are you wondering who you might be and what you’ll do with your time and energy once you stop drinking?
How will you have fun and relax? Will you still be fun? The social organizer?
What new interests will you have once you aren’t spending all your time trying to moderate your drinking?
Maz Compton, host of the Last Drinks podcast and I are here to dig into how to find your identity in sobriety.
Maz knew she had a problem with alcohol when she couldn’t stop saying yes to it, despite having a high-powered career and success in all the externally visible areas of her life.
Once she stopped drinking Maz had to figure out who she was, her interests and identity without alcohol.
So let’s talk about how to find your identity in sobriety after you’ve taken your last drink.
Tune in to hear Casey and Maz discuss:
- How Maz knew she had an issue with alcohol
- Maz’s life before and after drinking
- How to find your identity in sobriety
- The process of self-discovery
- Tools, tips and practices to use to figure out your own post-drinking identity
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If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol join The Sobriety Starter Kit.
It’s my signature sober coaching course for busy women to help you drink less + live more.
To enroll go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com.
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More about Maz Comptom
Maz Compton is the host of Last Drinks, a podcast about how to live an awesome life without alcohol. She’s been sober since 2015 and her work is to reframe the cultural norm of alcohol in our society, explore sobriety and sober curiosity through the lens of honest engaging conversations and to empower people to redefine their relationship with alcohol.
Follow Maz on Instagram @lastdrinkspod
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Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.
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Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.
Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Finding Your Identity In Sobriety with Maz Compton
drinking, alcohol, life, job, MTV, people, year, radio, big, career, bit, realized, Casey, hosting, thought, radio station, sobriety, evolves, purpose, identity
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Maz Compton
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.
In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.
Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.
Hi there. My interview today is with radio personality, Maz Compton. She’s the host of Last Drinks, a podcast about how to live an awesome life without alcohol. She’s been sober since 2015. And her work is to reframe the cultural norm of alcohol in our society, explore sobriety and sober curiosity through the lens of honest engaging conversations and to empower people to redefine their relationship with alcohol.
I love talking with Mads. And I think you’re going to love this conversation today. Because it’s something so many women struggle or want to do once they stopped drinking, which is how to find your identity in sobriety after you’ve taken your last drink. So Maz, welcome.
Well, Casey, thank you so much. I, I love you so much. And I love what you do and what you stand for. And so, I’m really, really stoked to be here today. So, thanks for having me.
Casey McGuire Davidson 02:33
Yeah, absolutely. And so, tell us about you tell us about the podcast and life before drinking and after drinking. That is such a loaded question. I know. I know it is for all of us. Yeah.
Do we have six years for me to unpack it all. So, to back track a little bit. I’m a radio personality here in Australia. And I got into media when I was in my early 20s. It’s something I always wanted to do. So, I wrote in my diary when I was 15. I was like, oh, I want to host MTV in Australia. And MTV in Australia in the 90s wasn’t a thing we used to watch the New York feed we used to watch TRL live from New York. And like, you know, Carson Daly and the gang. And I used to watch it and I would be mesmerized.
I’m like, I’m like downtown Julie Brown days. I’m dating myself.
Okay, maybe. So, I feel like we’re taught until the mid 90s.
Okay, midnight, like to 90s. Got it.
And I remember thinking that that’s a job like, you can hang out with celebrities and be on television and go to parties and get paid money. And I wrote in my diary, I was like, I want to be on MTV and Australia. MTV did not have a local feed at the time. So, I was, and also just to like, really paint the picture. I was a late bloomer. I didn’t get boobs till I was 17. I was like the president of the environment club at school. I was not “cool”. I was not in the core brigade at all. I was a bit of a nerd. I loved studying. I was just not the person that you would picture on MTV. So that was what I decided somehow, I was going to do with my life. And then I remember telling my parents about it and my mother through a really disappointed face said well, perhaps you should get you know, a backup career. I was like, Thanks for the confidence boost mum. So, but I got what she was saying in that like, okay, that’s plan a good to have a couple of backup, you know, let’s do a Plan B, C, D, E and F, right? So, I went, and I studied Marketing and Public Relations.
And I got into PR, which was a version of organizing parties and getting paid for it. And so, in 18,19, I was working in the corporate world, and part of my job was to go out and schmooze with clients. So, we drank champagne. So, I had this real early introduction to drinking, that it was a part of my job. It’s just what I didn’t even think for a second that it was strange that on a Friday, we would have where we would like, you know, this was back in the day with fax machines, right. So, this was when we used to, like, print out like one copy of a report for a client, and like bind it together in a binding machine and laminate the front cover. And so that the big desk in the middle of our area is where we would do all of the reports for clients during the weekend. It’s where it would, it would be covered in booze bottles on a Friday afternoon. So never once did I think that that was strange or odd. I was like, I’m young, I’m working up the corporate ladder, we drink on a Friday, or a Monday or at lunch, or whenever it is, because it’s the job.
So, for a track, a couple of years through a whole big sequence of events. I got the dream job on MTV. And it’s a bit of a weird story. But I had managed to like weasel my way into a radio station because I thought this TV thing wasn’t worth working out. Like, how do you get a job in TV. So, I was like, I’ll get into radio. So, I started doing volunteer work at a radio station. And before I knew I had a job there, and I was learning to be a producer. And again, Friday afternoon, Polly, the drinks trolley gets wheeled around the radio station. And we’re all sitting at our desks like, you know, bashing out itineraries for our broadcasts for the weekend. And I’m you know, sipping back, slinging back wine and beer and whatever. And some nights we get really messy. And some, some nights you’d be at the radio station until like, three in the morning on a Saturday, because we just hadn’t left the office because we’re just all going crazy.
So, alcohol, and my career, my career aspiration and my high drive for success, all really fused together in this beautiful little determination bubble. I call it because I was a very headstrong, “go get a kid” and I’m still that, as an adult. But I have boundaries now, which I learned in later life.
So, I’m working in radio. And one of my jobs was, I don’t know if you have this over where you guys are, but like we have like street team is. So, we have the like radio station branded cars. And the cars go out to the local community and like go at the footy events and hand out drinks and free stuff. And so, one of my jobs was to drive around the station, cousin to call back to the radio station to go, Hey, we’re down here doing this. Come say hi. And I was working with this guy, Steve one day. And Steve was flicking so random. He’s flicking through a magazine because we’re handing out her magazines. And he was like, Oh, he’s like, there’s an audition to be a VJ at MTV. Isn’t that what you want to do for a job? And I was like, yeah, that’s my dream job. Also, why are you reading who magazine like you are not the demographic. But I saw this ad. And I was like, okay, so I had this little like, TV show reel that one of my friends had put together with me on a weekend ages ago, just in case I needed to, like send it to a producer one day. And so, I sent it off. And I got a call from MTV. And they’ll like, come in, and I went through the whole process. And it came down to me and this other guy, and the other guy got the job. And I was so mad. I was like, but this is my dream and my job. And what do you mean? Like, this isn’t in my diary when I’m 15 that I auditioned for the dream job and I don’t get the dream job, what the hell.
And so, at this point, I think like my drinking behavior was, I’m a bit annoyed, I’m going to go out and get wasted with my friends because I deserve to let some steam off. It wasn’t problematic, necessarily, but it was definitely a solution to issues or problems or when things weren’t going my way it was my go to. So, at this point, I’m in my mid 20s.
Alcohol is my weekend release. Alcohol is how I engage in all of my social functions. And alcohol then becomes this thing that I lean on when I’m upset. So, I didn’t get the job at MTV, right. And so that’s just pretty devastating. So, I spent about a year being pissed off and like I annoyed that the world like, angry at God and all of this junk. And then a year later, I decided I did something a bit outrageous Casey, which is not out of the blue for me. And I decided to because I was so mad still. And I decided to call the producer Matt Hines, who had told me that I didn’t get that job prior. And I rang and I left a voicemail, and I was like, Hi, Matt. My name is Maz. We met a year ago, I auditioned for that role on MTV for the show Home Buzz. I just wanted to let you know, I’m still super keen to work at MTV. I would do what I can work in the Marketing Department. I could sit on reception. Like, I just love the brand. And I just want to be around it. So, just letting you know. You know, I’m around. He called me back two days later, Casey. And he was like, man, it’s so weird that you rang me the other day because we were rewatching all of the show reels from 12 months ago, because there’s another job coming up. And we think that you’d be really good for it. Would you like to come in and audition again? And I’m like, Oh, let me check my schedule, Matt. Really busy over here. So, I was like, of course, I’ll come in. So I went back into MTV, met the guy who got the job the year before, and was very nice to him.
I was like, Hey, you stole my job. Hi. And so, I re audition. And then like a month goes by and I hear nothing. Every time my phone rings, I have a borderline heart attack. And then I think most afternoons during that time, I had a glass of wine or two to like, take the edge off. Because I’m waiting for this phone call about my destiny that’s not coming. And sitting in limbo land is, it’s not empowering. And I didn’t feel in control. So, some, like this is all on reflection. I can go all like I sat with alcohol because I could control that. And that could help me feel better about the situation. So eventually, Matt does call, it’s about a month later. And he says hey, like we need you to come back in. And I’m like, Okay, this is just my anxiety. I’m starting to have anxiety now. I’ve never had anxiety in my life. And I went okay, and so I went back in. And it was the fourth of June in 2004 at 10am. And I sat in the boardroom at MTV, in North Sydney here in Australia, at MTV headquarters, and this guy in a suit walked into the room. And I’m like, where’s Matt? Like, where’s the producer? And he was like, oh, and I’m thinking at the time, like punked is the thing, right, Ashton Kutcher is doing his punk TV show where he pumped and I’m like, this is a stitch up, like, someone’s going to jump out of the boardroom desk, or someone’s going to like, you know, come through the ceiling. And this is going to be an elaborate prank. And so, this guy, Nigel Robbins is standing there in the boardroom. And I’m like, where’s Matt, the producer, and he goes on as I am the general manager of MTV, Australia, I wanted to offer you a contract of employment. And I’m like, This is so funny, Casey, I was like, but I have a job like I work at a radio station. And he’s like, Yeah, we know. He’s like, we want to offer you the job to be the VJ and we want to launch TRL in Australia.
Oh my god. So, I’m a big manifester and vision border. And I love that. I love that story.
And my diary said I want to host TRL in Australia. Yeah, when I’m 10 years before. So, there’s a whole thing that happens. I get this job on MTV. And it is like the dream on the dream on the dream on the dream. I’m flying around the world. I’m going to all the MTV awards. I’m posting red carpets; I’m wearing high fashion. I’m interviewing celebrities. I’m going to movie premieres like I’m this girl all of a sudden, and it was amazing. And I drank so much alcohol because there was so much booze and like we had a launch party and Good Charlotte with it. And so, like we drank bit with Good Charlotte and then we went on to the Europe Music Awards and like Fergie was there and Gwen’s Tiffani, and so I’m like, we’re having champagne because we’re backstage and I have a dressing room like it was just the way from this like small town. Like not a big deal. Nerd to this like Fiji like this chick that is on MTV that people like you’re the girl from MTV, like anything The Backstreet Boys are like, You’re the girl from MTV. And I’m like, You’re the freakin Backstreet Boys like, and this is bad girl element of me that I think was so appealing to the producers of the shows, because they were like, she’s so genuine like, she’s not lost in her celeb craziness, because I could keep it together, and appreciate the people I was meeting. But I was also like, you know, and I think this is like quiet confidence that I had really spoke volumes at the time. But what I realized now Casey’s like insecurities really loud. And I drank to cope with what I didn’t realize at the time. But what I now understand to be impostor syndrome, because with this, like big ticket manifestation item ticked off, came all of this insecurity. Yeah, when am I losing my job? When is somebody younger, hotter and thinner? Taking my job? When are they going to realize, I have no television experience? Get here I am hosting television shows for a full time job. When are they going to know? Like, when is it going to be up?
Casey McGuire Davidson
Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit.
The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.
This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course
Casey McGuire Davidson 16:07
And so, I think many women can relate to that, even if they’re not, you know, obviously an MTV VJ. Like, I mean, I know I had that in the corporate world. And you know, from a very young age and insulting feeling like, When are they going to figure out that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
And look, they didn’t figure it out. Thank God, because I just like went on this epic five year, MTV Bender, of flying around the world, hosting cool TV shows, meeting celebrities, partying, and having it was the best, it was just the best. And then at one point, I remember thinking, Oh, I’m getting I’m heading towards the age of 30, which for a youth brand is like, I’m aging out of the brand, right. And well, to be fair, like, I think at the time, I probably could have stuck in there, I probably could have been on MTV for a few more years. But I’m always a fan of like, I don’t ever want to whiten up or something until they tell you to leave, you know, I always want to like get out on a high note. And so, I decided, heading towards the age of 30, that maybe I could swing back around to my radio routes, and like ended up doing like, at the time, I was like, I’d love to do the Sydney Breakfast Show, or the National drive show. They’re the two big shows that if you do those shows, at this point, we’re talking like 2010 Those shows in Australia, like the coveted radio roles, like those people become the radio heroes of the industry. And I don’t do things in hubs. So, I was like, national drive Sydney breakfast, let’s tunnel vision focus.
So, I was still hosting MTV, but the big budgets had gone away. And it was really small time. You know, I was hosting the MTV News every morning, which was great. And then the odd interview, but there was no big shows anymore. So, I in my spare time, would like duck over to the radio station that I started being a producer on. And I learnt how to like push all the buttons. And I would just like work basically for free. But I would like I taught myself how to do the, I guess the production elements of hosting a radio show, because that I felt was a skill I would need. Not as if I didn’t have that skill from TV, I could do the talking thing. But I couldn’t do the technical side. So, I did all the technical stuff. And then at the end of that year, I got offered a knight’s radio show. And I kind of had to make a call. I was like, I did for six months. I did night radio and then morning MTV News. And it was in the end, I was like scratch that I’ve had a great run on MTV, happy to say goodbye.
And so, then I just tunnel vision focus – focused on radio. So, in the background, I have a personal crisis that around this time. I’d been married for a couple of years, my marriage imploded. And I was looking down the barrel of a divorce just after my 30th birthday. So, that so we’ve got imposter syndrome that’s been simmering away for the last like five, six years on MTV. I’ve had this big career switch, and I was missing my MTV life. And then my marriage blew up in my face. So, I drank a lot at this point. And then I think my relationship with alcohol switched over to a coping mechanism. And it became something at that time that I just I just decided to do it every day because it was working for me in the sense that I thought it was good reprise and release, I thought it was helping me relax. I thought it was numbing the pain, I was feeling the shame I was feeling the failure I was looking at. At that season, and I went from this like really be high in life that I didn’t cope with very well, without alcohol to this big low in life that I decided to cope with. Using alcohol.
Yeah. So, and, and so that’s the book and alcohol use disorder, beginning for me. And then luckily, I got offered a breakfast radio show in a different city. So, I basically like, got out of my marriage situation, and moved, which was great, because I didn’t really need to deal with like the fallout of the person that I was married to who worked in the industry as well. So, it was all quite, you know, just incestuous. But I moved to a new city. But then when you think about, they say the three biggest stressors are like starting a new job or moving to a new city and going through a breakup and I’m like, tick, tick, tick.
Yeah. Oh, literally within three months. And so, I moved to this new city, I start this new job, and I go through a divorce, and I drink every day, because so many things. Still, I’m still like grieving my MTV career in a way of like, well, that was really fun. But like, now, what do I do? So, then this is the season where I really start, like having this identity crisis. And then I lean into I’m a radio girl now, because I was the MTV girl. Now I’m the radio girl, and I play that card to a tee. I end up getting the national drive show a couple of years later. And then the year after that, I got the CD Breakfast Show. So, remember before house electric, yeah, big little radio gigs. I’m like a manifester, Casey. But in the in the year that I got that national drive show 2014 I realized that my alcohol use was becoming an issue, not to the point where because people say like, so what happened? What was the catalyst and I’m like, I looked in the mirror and I hated myself. Is that not enough of a catalyst, like, I had the biggest job in radio in this country. But I felt so empty. I had 10s of 1000s of followers on Instagram. And I had a radio show that went to a million ears every single afternoon. But I didn’t feel like I had any friends. Yeah, and
Casey McGuire Davidson 22:45
I think that’s so common, like you never know, on the outside what people are feeling on the inside, regardless of what they put forward. And I think that the emotions that you were feeling are so universal, when you kind of wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and just feel angry and sad and depressed and disappointed, regardless of what’s going on in your life.
One thing that I remember, in that crucial that pivotal year of 2014 was like, I was upset with myself for not being happy. Yes, I was like, You have it all. On paper, you are living the dream, you are a dream job. manifester, you freak of nature, like you are doing the like, why aren’t you satisfied? What is wrong with you? Why are you drinking? Why do you feel unhappy? And why do you get anxious now when you go out to all these events that you need to be at? And why do you have to like pregame in order to even like get into the room. And so, I realized that it was the alcohol at that point. Because like in retrospect, I think a lot of us can be like because I even wrote myself a note being like, why am I angry? You know what I’m like, my life is really good, regardless of what scale that is. And did you know that’s kind of where alcohol takes you?
I knew something was okay. I, I knew that there had to be a better way to function in life. And so, what I realized was whatever I was doing wasn’t working. And I know because my mother drilled this into me when I was a child. She said nothing changes if nothing changes. So, if you want to change something, you have to change something. And I was like, Okay, well, what am I doing? I’m drinking all the time and that It’s not working. So, the logical thing to do is to stop drinking, and to see if anything changes. But when you’re having those thoughts, and all you do to cope with life is drink alcohol. That seems like an impossible mountain to scale. And so, the very thought of stopping drinking, like gave me panic. Like it would incite internal anguish. I’m like, What? What would I do without a drink? I don’t even know. Like, who am I? Who am I without radio? Who am I without alcohol? I’m no one. So, this is all 2014.
And then the, the most horrible thing happened, one of my friends suddenly died on the sixth of September that year. And it just rocked my world so hard. So, this was a dear friend who was also my manager at the time, Mark Byrne. And we had spent seven years crafting my radio career together. And he had said to me seven years prior, he’s like, work hard. Figure it out. And you’ll get that Sydney breakfast job, baby. He’s like, you’ve got the talent, you’ve got the skill, you’ve got the work ethic. He’s like, just like, Let’s build this together. And we did. And so, every career move I made, it was all like heading towards this big deal, Sydney breakfast radio show. And then Mark had a heart attack out of nowhere, I think, probably due to stress to be fair, and he died. And I was lost. I just like I was obviously sad. But it was deeper than that. Because Mark believed in me. And I believed Mark’s belief in me, I didn’t believe my own self-worth at the time. So, when he died, I had a real a real crisis. And I, I drank myself, silly over him and grieving and at the funeral, and it got to the October the following month, and I got offered the Sydney Breakfast Show. And I was like,
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:18
this is bittersweet. Because this this place, I’ve been heading with this person who believes in me. I just arrived at and he’s not here. And did you think this time like your drinking was impacting your work at all, because morning shows are super early?
Well, at the time said in 2014, I had the afternoon slot. Okay. So no, I did not it didn’t impact on my work, because I kept because I was so serious about my career, nothing was going to impact on my work. But outside of my work, everything was falling to pieces. So that I knew something was up. It wasn’t like, I was still high functioning. No one knew. No one had any idea that I had a drinking problem, because I did it alone. Did you live?
Always alone. Or if I was out, I knew when to take myself home. So, nobody knew something was up.
Casey McGuire Davidson 28:23
Like, drink a glass before I went out to maybe three when I was out and then another like, you know, opened a bottle of wine or had more glasses once I got home.
Correct? Absolutely. So, I hit it so well, because I was so ashamed. And because I thought it was like the thing that was helping me at this point, I still think that alcohol is like, keeping me together. And it wasn’t. So, I got offered this job in October, the big, big job, like the next big, big job. And Mark had passed away. And so, I’m dealing with feelings of grief and anguish, and loss, and sadness. And I’m drinking and I Googled one night, am I an alcoholic? Because I knew what I was doing. And it turns out I’m not. It turns out, I read the manifesto on alcoholism. And I was like, that’s not my story. Like, I don’t feel powerless under a disease. I just feel like I can’t stop drinking. That’s a different thing. And I hadn’t lost my job. I hadn’t gotten in a car and had an accident I had I’ve had so many conversations, including with, you know, psychiatrists and therapists and doctors that those quizzes that are out there are really, you know, the very, very, very severe alcohol use disorder and there’s such a spectrum where people progress down that path. So, I think It is, you know, so many people Google that. And the fact that they don’t, “qualify” keeps them drinking when, you know, they, you know, it’s almost a reason to not, I don’t want to be in that category. I’m not in that category, and therefore I don’t need to stop.
Yeah, and I think what I did, I was like, Well, I’m not that. So, what am I, because this isn’t working for me. And that’s what I landed on. Okay, I landed, or you did get to that point.
I got it.
I was like, I’m not that. But this isn’t working. So, this has to be something. So whatever label it is, is irrelevant. It’s not working for me, and then throw back to my mom. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Something’s got to change. I need to I need to change this, then how the hell do I change it. And I went on, like, for the next two months, knowing I was moving cities, again, fourth city and fourth year, moving cities again, to do another new job, a big, like the big, big job, another huge job with a huge pay packet attached to it. But all the stress, all the pressure, all the micromanagements. I just knew I had to get a handle on it. So, I, I decided at the end of the year to go, I did like a one week fitness camp thing. So, I went on a fitness camp where we didn’t drink because we like doing staying at the place. And I just and I, I was always like, I drank so much. But it always worked out. I always like managed to go for a run or run it off or whatever. So, I decided to use fitness camp and sort of kick my own ass for a week. And then at the fitness camp, I was chatting to this guy, and he had quit drinking the year prior. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, how did you do that? And he was like, I read this book. It’s by Alan Carr. It’s called How to Control alcohol. And I ordered the book online in my room that night, I got it sent to my house in Melbourne. I started reading it. And then I moved to Sydney pretty much.
And so, I decided when I was reading that book, I was going to stop drinking as an experiment for the first month of 2015 amongst moving cities and starting a new job. Because there’s never a good time. I was like it’s not a good time to quit drinking. It’s the middle of summer, I’m moving cities, I’m starting a new job, all the reasons to drink. But I realized there’s no good time. You just have to do it. And it was getting to a point where I didn’t want to like eventually to screw up my career, because it was getting to a point where maybe it would screw up my career for me. So, then I did the January of 2015. With no booze you did dry January. I did a dry Jan, and then I did a dry Feb and a dry March and an April and May. And now it’s nearly been eight years. Yeah. And what happened at the at the October of 2015. So, let’s just quickly backtrack. So, I’ve gone big ticket career items, all ticked I’ve got the big, big, big job that my manager who is no longer with me, that we crafted together like this is the life plan in its full expression. I’ve stopped drinking, I’ve managed to like, to reframe my relationship with alcohol, still do the big career, not drink booze. Figure out the booze isn’t my friend have all these paradigm shifts? I’m working out five days a week. I’m like in this epic relationship, like I’m kicking goals. And then in October 2015, we got fired from our show, out of the blue, for no reason. And it was then that I realized, I don’t know who I am. And so, the identity piece to me is like this undertone of my whole life, where I knew who I was attached to alcohol. I knew who I was attached to my career. But I had no idea who I was without those two things. And at the beginning of 2015 I stopped drinking alcohol, and I discovered a little bit about who I was and how she rolls. And now she’s actually really funny, and she’s really sweet. And even though you would say I’m an extrovert, she’s an introvert.
Casey McGuire Davidson 34:28
Oh my gosh, so many people realize that when they stopped drinking,
yeah, so when I realized this all in this quit drinking bit in 2015. I was like, Oh my gosh, like, no wonder I drank because my job has been to be this like extroverted big personality. And I actually love just being at home in my pajamas. That’s how I reset and so I learned so much about myself in 2015 while I’ve got this big Probably a piece playing out in the public guy, then I get unceremoniously sacked. And it’s all in the media. And I have all of these feelings of failure and shame come up. But I didn’t drink alcohol. Yeah, I just was like, alcohol is not going to get me my job back.
Casey McGuire Davidson 35:20
You feel I don’t help to cope with that time period because you’d already stopped drinking
100%? Well, I remember saying in about the May of 2015, I was talking to a friend at work. And she was like, Gee, you’re really taking this not drinking thing quite seriously. Do you think that you’ll ever drink again, I said, honestly, like, if the worst thing happened. And the worst thing would be like, if I got fired from this job, if the worst thing happened, like, maybe I would drink, but maybe not like, I feel like I don’t know, we’d have to wait and see, like, as if I’m going to lose my job for you know, for a track a few months, and we did for no other reason other than just radio. So, what I did in those next few months, Casey, after losing my job is I went on this big identity mission, because I was like, I don’t know who I am. Because I lost the two things that defined me. In the same year, I lost alcohol by choice, I lost my job, not by my choice. And now I don’t know who I am. And so, I guess like to kind of like hone in and tie this all together for people. What I did in like, the November of that year, is I realized that I had done stuff, because I was good at it. But I couldn’t tell you why I was doing it. Other than the fact that I was good. I drank because I was good at it. But I didn’t, I couldn’t articulate a reason why I drank. I can now but at the time, I couldn’t. Much the same with my career, like, I did radio and television, because I got offered these amazing jobs. But I didn’t know why I was doing it. And so, what I did after the career piece was like put to rest for a bit. And the alcohol has done is I figured out like, why I’m here. And like, not what I want to do, why I want to do anything. And now and I call it The Purpose Driven bit. Because I think when you have a purpose, it’s really easy to say no to things. When you don’t have a purpose. There’s no filter to put things through, you just end up saying yes. And you get overwhelmed and burnt out. Because you can’t say no, because what if that’s the thing that opens the next door that leads you to the thing?
Casey McGuire Davidson 37:48
Yeah, that I always think it’s sort of like, in my mind, what you’re talking about is like, your core values, you know, I do a bunch of core values work, like what do you care the most about, and it takes some time to do it. But I mean, I know so many women, regardless of what path they’re on, if you’re like off by five degrees in your compass, over years, you can end up pretty far away from what you actually care about. And you don’t even realize it because no matter what path you’re on, you are encouraged to continue going on that that’s how you get the kudos. Right.
100%. And I think when we look at like brands and corporations, they all have a mission statement. Yeah. So why don’t we have a mission statement for ourselves? No, because we’re all a brand these days, I think, you know, a lot of people do consider themselves a brand, which is funny. But just as a human being, it’s like, what do you stand for? And like, why are you here, and it’s up. Everyone has to take responsibility and accountability for that. Because no one else you’re not going to get it from anyone else. Because no one can love you out of something will love you into it. You have to love yourself in and out of things. So, what I realized in that, you know, that pivotal year of 2015 is, and I did a lot of journaling that year, I’m a hardcore journalist from way back, but that year, specifically I journaled a lot. And what I would do is I have seasons, like three or so weeks of journaling, and I would like right out in the morning or the middle of the night or whatever, like just bore. And then I closed the book, and then and then a few weeks later, I’d go back, and I’d read over my journal entries. And it’s like I rediscovered myself, and I realized all these amazing things about me. And I had compassion on myself. And I had gratitude for what I was learning. And then I was like, I’m kind of wise. Like how am I so smart, but I made so many dumb choices. Yeah. And then again, when I got to this, this purpose thing that was like, no one ever like no one ever said, Why are you doing something everyone just said you What do you want to do when you grew up NES? And I was like, I want to be Vijay, I want to do this. So, it’s like we ask kids when they’re six years old, like, what do you want to do? We don’t ask them what they’re passionate about.
Yeah. Like, what lights you up? Do that. And that’s how you find your why. And I don’t think I don’t think looking back, if I had figured out my why I wouldn’t have had the career that I had, I just think I would have had better boundaries about it. And I would have, it would have been more satisfying for me, because there would have been purpose that I didn’t need to fill the void with alcohol with, because I would have stood for something. And in the end, I just stood in this gap with a microphone and a light on me not really knowing what I was doing, other than just doing what everyone said I was excellent at. And so, I now come at life from a completely different approach. And I only do things that serve my mission and my purpose and my why in life, because I know who I am. And I feel like when I chose to go sober. You know how there’s this whole self-care thing going on right now, which I love for people, especially busy women. Sobriety is the self-care tool.
Yeah, I’ve realized, because when you stop drinking, you actually start caring for yourself. You also, there’s so many physical benefits, but mental health benefits that come that we do self-care things fall. But like if you just stopped drinking, that’s really just the overarching self-care bit. And out of that self-care, there comes self-love and self-worth. And it’s this beautiful little triangle in sobriety that I feel like, is like, you know, surrounds my heart. Now. It’s like the self-care, self-love, self-worth, that sobriety bought me, gives me my identity and my purpose. And now, all of my choices, everything I say yes to everything, I say no to comes out of that place. And that’s whole living. That’s wholeness. It’s not wellness, I think wellness sometimes is a bit of a sham, like that. I’m coming from a whole centered, grounded person who can love herself through all of the ups and the downs, you can show her self compassion, who can be kind to herself, who can, you know, stand up and rise up and do all the things that I want to do? Because I know why I’m doing it now.
And it took me 42 years, almost like to kind of figure it out. Because even this is nearly my eighth year of sobriety. And all this stuff is just landing. Yeah, it’s just like, it’s, I’m just getting used to operating out of this space will question
Casey McGuire Davidson 42:52
for you, if someone’s listening to this and sort of going through their own path, which is different than your path. What? What is sort of the process? Or what would you recommend that they do in terms of doing the work in terms of finding their purpose and their identity after drinking?
Yeah, I think it’s about well, what I did is I journaled a lot. And I asked myself a lot of questions about myself, like, so I like to, I have this really overactive mind. And I have these scenarios that like play out in my head that are so far-fetched and insane, but they’re real in my brain. And so, I do this thing where I asked myself, is it true? And is it really true? And I think you can apply that across a lot of things that you think you might know. So really, it’s about questioning what you think, you know. And so, it’s like to write down a statement about yourself like, I love my job, and then go do you really love your job? Or do you just love the fact that it brings you an income? And why is that important? Because you love money? Do you really love money? Why do you think you’re in it’s about like, I think it’s about finding like your top, your top level identity that you think is your identity, and then breaking it down to the very, very bare bones. And what you’ll probably land on is, oh, I am doing that out of insecurity.
Okay, well then now. Let’s, let’s attack the insecurity piece, and figure out what I’m insecure about and how I can safeguard some security strategies into my self worth. So, it is I think about like having this critical thinking lens over your own brain. That sounds really intense, but it’s called metacognition. So, metacognition is thinking about your thoughts. I do it all the time now, because we have What’s going on all the time. But if you think about your thoughts, then you can realize, Oh my God, my thoughts are entrapping me into this false sense of security, or my thoughts are leading me down this way. And that I don’t think is true for me right now, or my thoughts are creating this issue in my life that isn’t even real. So, I think like to, to come to the point of figuring out your identity, or your mission statement, or what it is you want to live out of, you got to ask yourself a lot, it’s a lot of questioning, and breaking it all down. And I know, eventually, I think you crack open, because in a good way, like in a positive way, because I think what we do, especially with drinking is suppress, suppress, suppress, and you so Pandora’s Box has to get open and get lit, and get it all out. And so, for all of the stuff you’ve suppressed and compounded and put in there, it’s got to come out. And it’s a, it’s a minefield, and it’s like, it’s deep, and it’s complex, but it’s so worth it. And when you know, it’s just the overarching thing for me is like, if you know yourself, know thyself, it’s like number one. Because when you know yourself, you can love yourself, when you love yourself, you can love others, when you love others, they can love you.
And, and so I think we get on this train of life, with the what? I’m going to do this, I’m going to be there, I’m going to get married, I’m going to have a career, and we do the what really, really well. No one teaches us about the why. But when you can underpin it all and have a foundation of why purpose identity, and it’s about what lights you up, it’s about to quote Marie Kondo. What sparks joy in your life. For her it’s chucking stuff out? She’s made an amazing career out of it. But it is, it’s what sparks joy, what lights you up? What are you passionate about? When you’ve got your why then the what is the execution, and the execution can be a million different things. It’s not just the one thing. So, I think I hope that that’s helpful for people. But it is it’s a complex process, which I think it’s, it’s easy to drink sometimes. Because you’re like, oh God, emotions, feelings, blah. It’s too hard. But like, Come on people. The best thing about being a human is feeling our feelings and like, having this emotional experience is it’s the bit in life. Like, it’s what, it’s what makes us. And if we’re not feeling our feelings, then you’re not doing the lived human experience bit. You’re just ticking boxes, and like, you’re just tunneling through life. And it’s so like, what I realized when my friend died is like, it is so short, it is so quick. We hear from blink. And if we don’t have our y down, you’re just going to spend your life doing the what bit and then get to the end and be like what, like what do I do? As opposed to getting, you know, drilling down on the why and realize that you can live every day with a huge level of satisfaction and purpose? Because you know why you’re here?
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:33
Yeah. I mean, I think in terms of like, what you’re saying and how I relate to it, is that the process of giving up drinking is so much more than like swapping out a beverage or deciding not to drink alcohol. I mean, it really is this, this tender and transformational time of giving up your best coping mechanism and what you’ve been using to push down and numb all these sort of unsolved questions in your life. And once you’ve removed that, you kind of have to go through this period of I mean, I’ll ask women and myself included, like, who am I? If I don’t drink, like what do I do for fun? How do I deal with my husband? How do I connect with him? How do I relax after a day of work? But also, what do I want? Cuz I’ve just been, you know, I think most women you know, in the beginning you drink because it’s what you do socially. It’s what you do as a college student and growing up and young 20s And then at some point, we drink to tolerate the life we’ve set up or as her only reward, and you actually have to take a look at, okay, if I drink to tolerate my life, and that you could have a very good life. That’s just overpacked or you have imposter syndrome, or you have something else, once I removed the alcohol, what else needs to change and shift? And I mean, I think that’s a universal
experience is, and I think too, like, for a lot of people, a drinking problem actually isn’t about the alcohol, it’s about your inability, and it’s not necessarily your fault. But it’s your inability to deal with the choices in life that have led you to where you are. So, we’re the sum total of all of our choices, and our risk and how we respond to the craziness that life throws us. And I think what alcohol does is alcohol keeps you reactionary, it’s like this reaction to life, it’s not a response. And alcohol, lets you cope with life not deal with life. So, the dealing bit is like, processing the emotions, grieving the loss of my friend, accepting that I’m really talented, like, that was a big thing for me, to actually sit with my feelings about how I feel about having the label of talent. And I was so uneasy about it for a long time. But again, like, this quiet confidence thing for me, is what got me on board with who I really am in all of this. And what I can do with that gift, this gift of communication that I have, you know, this my writing ability, like these wonderful tools that I’ve been given, I wasn’t using, because I was drinking, because I didn’t know how to use all of the tools. And so, I think what happens is at a really young age, we get given a drink, and that fixes is a temporary fix. And so, we just go What that will do. And what we really need to do is to arm ourselves with like a range of tools to deal with the big stuff in life, you know, and one of those tools could be talk therapy or having a counselor much like you’d have a GP or a doctor, when you don’t feel great. You go to the doctor, when you feel like you’re not coping or dealing with stuff in life, go and talk to a counselor who can give you some direction on the questions you should ask yourselves, like, counselors don’t give you the answer. They just help you find the answer, right. So, I just think, if we can have these conversations and present these other options, and these other tools, you know, and link it to everyone do the work, like your job is to know who you are. And to figure out why you’re here. That’s your job. That’s one of your most important jobs. Because when you do that, the expression that you can have any impact you can have, in other people’s lives and in the world around you is endless and so exciting.
Casey McGuire Davidson 53:00
Yeah, and I think one of the challenges for a lot of women who’ve moved up the ladder or high achieving, and all of that is that we feel like we need to have a set goal in life, we need to know what the answer is. And then work towards it, which is what you talked about. But I really encourage women, and it’s what you’ve been touching on as well to be patient. And I always think of it as sort of following defined breadcrumbs. Like it’s okay, if you don’t know, what the end goal is, or what your why is, or, or what, who you want to be like that process of discovery takes time. And you will figure it out. You will,
the will. And it’s I It’s a progressive revelation of self. Like it’s not static, you don’t just figure it out and go radio evolves, like what I’m passionate about now was really different in 2015. You know, like, when I was first going on that, like, what do I stand for? What do I want to do? It evolves but you evolve like you’re not the same as you are when you’re a teenager in your 20s your 30s and 40s Thank god like Holy smokes, I’m so glad I’ve evolved as a person, but your y evolves, as well. And so, you don’t have to figure it all out like but go on go on the self-discovery bit like go on the jet come on the journey. Come on the wild ride.
Yeah. And you’re allowed you know, a lot of us are like, well, we kind of, you know, mate, not made our bed but like we got married and people knew who we were and we’re climbing the ladder and like you’re allowed to change and evolve and in fact you should. You should
narrative at any time. It’s your story. You are the author of your story. worry, yeah, you can I change, I switched it up big time at the end of 2014. Because the narrative was, that’s Mazz. She’s the radio girl, and she drinks booze. And the story is so different now. And that was I take full responsibility and, and proudly, take responsibility for switching up that narrative, because that was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life, for sure.
Casey McGuire Davidson 55:27
Well, so I have to ask you before we wrap up, so what is your current because it will keep evolving mission and purpose and why or what, you know what your identity is now,
what I landed on at the end of 2015, is that I love helping people. And so, in 2016, I opened a gym, and I got trained as a fitness trainer and I started helping people go on their fitness and weight loss journeys, and wellness journeys, or wholeness journeys, as I like to call them. So, I did that for a few years. And so, my whole thing was about empowering people to be their best self. That was, that was then. And then I became a mom, which is by far my favorite and most fun job, and most challenging job ever. And then, ironically, Casey, I was welcomed back into the radio industry with open arms two years ago, and I am now hosting a breakfast radio show. I’m doing it out of the most genuine and beautiful centered place. And I have zero impostor syndrome. And I understand how I can use my gift every day to bring some joy into people’s lives. And that’s what I’m doing.
And then my side hustle is my podcast about sobriety. Because I think having these conversations will empower people to live their best lives and to find their best self as well. So, in all, like everything I do weaves into, I guess, that underlining identity of helping people become the best then whichever way that looks.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:09
Yeah. I love that. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show. Do you want to tell people where they can find more out about you or where to find your podcast?
There is limited information out there about me. But I can. I’m not really on social media, which is the whole, that’s a whole other podcast we can do. That’s a choice that I made. But I do have a podcast called Last Drinks, which you can find anywhere you listen to your podcasts, and we do have an Instagram account called it @lastdrinkspod on Instagram. If you want to get in touch, share your sobriety story with me. I love having conversations with people about their last drink and how they got to it and what has flourished out of it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:53
Perfect. All right. Thank you so much. Thanks, honey.
It’s so lovely chatting to you as well.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:59
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.