If you’re in your first year alcohol-free, you might not know how to ask your family and friends to support your sobriety during the holidays. 

But whether or not you realize it, getting help and support from the people around you to navigate the holidays alcohol-free can be incredibly useful and will help you navigate drinking events with more ease and less stress. 

The holidays can be a time where you’ll experience the combination of triggers and social pressure to drink. 

❄️ People, places and things that may have been easy to avoid earlier in the year are suddenly front and center. 

❄️ Family members you might prefer to avoid are in your home.

❄️ You have to go to that boozy work party with your drink pushing coworkers. 

❄️ You’re traveling and can’t retreat to your bedroom or maintain your workout routine. 

❄️ Plus your mother is treating you like a 13 year old and you’re sitting through 2 hour dinners with the wine flowing.

If you’re on the alcohol-free path, staying sober during the holidays can be a delicate dance between embracing the festive spirit and safeguarding your commitment to sobriety. 

So I asked Health and Wellness Coach Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance to share all the ways your family and friends support your sobriety during the holidays.

In this episode, Casey and Elizabeth discuss:

✅ Options for different language you can use to share that you’re not drinking with your loved ones

✅ Specific asks you can make of your family and friends to support your sobriety during the holidays (not keeping wine on dinner the table, offering plenty of non-alcoholic options, planning activities that don’t revolve around alcohol)   

✅ When to utilize your personal sober toolbox to navigate difficult family dynamics

✅ Why you need to bring a getaway car to drinking events instead of being the designated driver

How to leverage social media to support your sobriety during the holidays

✅ Ways to set boundaries with family members to prioritize your coping mechanisms

✅ Ideas for how to minimize loneliness and grief if you’re single, divorced, without your kids, widowed or alone

✅ How to engage in solo activities that align with your wellness and personal growth

You can get more ideas on how to ask your family and friends to support your sobriety during the holidays with these Hello Someday Podcast episodes

How Family And Friends Can Support Your Sobriety | Hello Someday Coaching

Using Science + Kindness To Change Your Relationship with Alcohol | Hello Someday Coaching 

More resources for family and friends to understand addiction and how to support you

The Beyond Addiction Workbook for Family and Friends:Evidence-Based Skills to Help a Loved One Make Positive Change by Carrie Wilkens, PhD 

How to support your sober friends when everyone is drinking

Learn more about how to enjoy the holiday season alcohol-free with these Hello Someday Podcast episodes

Your Sober Holiday Survival Guide with Jean McCarthy of Unpickled and The Bubble Hour

How To Enjoy Your First Sober Holiday Season

A Sober Girls Guide To The Holiday Season

Holding Your Hand Through A Sober Christmas and New Year’s Eve

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

Join The Sobriety Starter Kit, the only sober coaching course designed specifically for busy women. 

My proven, step-by-step sober coaching program will teach you exactly how to stop drinking  — and how to make it the best decision of your life.

Save your seat in my FREE MASTERCLASS, 5 Secrets To Successfully Take a Break From Drinking 

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

Connect with me for free sober coaching tips, updates + videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok @hellosomedaysober.

Connect with Elizabeth Chance

Elizabeth, with over a decade’s worth of experience as a coach specializing in recovery, health, and wellness, brings a wealth of expertise to her mission. 

Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for aiding others have been the driving force behind her professional journey. In 2022, Elizabeth further fortified her knowledge by acquiring certifications in yoga training and Health and Wellness Coaching, emblematic of her unwavering pursuit of learning and empowerment.

Learn more about Elizabeth at and how she can support you at www.elizabethchance.com

Follow Elizabeth on LinkedIn, Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram

Listen and Subscribe to the Living Sober Podcast

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Your Family and Friends Can Support Your Sobriety During The Holidays with Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance


drinking, sober, family, kids, friends, love, years, feel, alcohol, walk, hard, thanksgiving, people, talking, holidays, person, put, designated driver, best friend, work, alcohol-free, navigating the holidays, trauma, self-esteem, support, sobriety, Holiday


SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance


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

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

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

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

Hi there. Today we are talking about


how your family and friends can support your sobriety during the holidays.


I know this is a big topic. For most of you navigating the holidays alcohol-free can be really challenging. A lot of times, obviously, they’re a bunch of drinking events, you get invited to a bunch of parties. There are a lot of traditions that involve alcohol. And when you’re sober, that can be really challenging. But also, a lot of times your family is staying with you or you’re going to visit your family. A lot of our families drink.


And so, understanding how they can support you, how your spouse or partner can support you, how your family can during the holidays, how you can support yourself and how you can actually ask for what you need is something you need to learn. It’s a muscle you need to build.


So, I asked my guest today, Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance to join me. You may know her. She’s a Health and Wellness Coach. She’s the host of the Busy Living Sober podcast. She quit drinking 17 years ago and started her podcast 7 years ago.


So, while she also was a part of a Washington Post article last year, on this subject about


navigating the holidays alcohol-free and getting support from the people in your life.


So, I’m really excited to have this conversation. Welcome.


Elizabeth Chance  02:58

Thank you so much, Casey for having me on. I’m so excited to be here and to help others navigate these crazy waters that are coming up.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:08

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I know I was 9 months sober. My first holiday season, I thought I had it in the back, right, I’d been through a trip to Europe, I’ve been through my birthday, I’ve been through my anniversary. And even though I had all that experience, my first holiday really tripped me up. It was harder than I expected it to be, even though I had friends and I had support and all that stuff.


So, I think this is really important to just provide. I want to give them all the tips and tricks and ideas and just things they think about and then hopefully, if you’re listening to this, you can pick and choose what works for you, depending on your situation or what you need.


Elizabeth Chance  03:56

Well, I love this question. And it was so fun. Because last year, I did do an article in the Washington Post and the author reached out to me because she said, Oh my gosh, I am you know, I’m sober. And I have to go to the holidays. How do you do it? Elizabeth? Hurt.


So, I will tell you that I am a member of a 12 step program. There were no options when I got sober on August 14, 2006. And so, have we call it in the 12 step rooms, the Bermuda Triangle, okay, because it’s Thanksgiving. It’s Christmas or Hanukkah, and it’s New Year’s. So, it’s lots of family time, as you mentioned, and what do you do? We’ve all, I’ve never really had a toolbox in my life besides the one my parents got me when I got to College, which was of course pink and it had a hammer, and it had a wrench and flyers and all these other tools. But I didn’t know what my personal toolbox was.


So, we talk. I talk a lot about my toolbox and what works for me, and everybody has different things that work for them. So, I always think prior to going anywhere, especially where there’s a lot of feelings, because let’s face it, when we sit down at that table, we know that maybe that sibling, that distant relative, they all have your number. They have your number when you were a kid, they remember these things that you wish you could have put away a long, long time ago. But they know that there’s a little issue like that’s going to come up at this table, how am I going to be able to deal with it?


Casey McGuire Davidson  05:23

Oh, my gosh, I feel like whenever I get together with my family, and my dad passed away a long time ago, so it’s usually my mother. And my sister, I immediately revert to a 13 year old girl with my older sister and my mother and like, my role in the family, which of course, when you’re 4548, like, you chafe against that you’re like, they don’t understand me, my mother takes over my house, she serves the coffee she likes, she’s got the milk she likes, like, it’s my fucking house. You know what I mean?


Elizabeth Chance  05:58

I totally know what you mean. And you’re like, and if you are like me, there were no boundaries, right? There are no boundaries, there is no place that we go, alright, we’re not going to go to that subject. We’re going to talk about it. And then there’s like a big politics thing. And we all know that everybody’s got a little thought on that. And so how do we go into there? Because we’re, we’re feeling already really vulnerable, because we just given up our thing that suit us, right? It was our answer. It was the tool. It was the only tool, give me a cocktail. Give me 47 cocktails, right? That’s how I mean, that is how I drink.


So, knowing for one, I had to figure out what I like to drink. That’s a huge thing. What is my drink that I like to have? I have always been and again, I got sober so long ago that there weren’t as many options as there are today. And today, there are so many amazing, amazing things out there. There’s so many amazing podcasts, there are so many people like you, Casey that are out there and talking about these things. And you’re not using that dreaded, a word “alcoholic” because nobody wants to be that. I never wanted to be that. I did not grow up saying I’m going to be an alcoholic and I’m going to have this like, it was so scary.


So, I’m a Pellegrino drinker, right? That’s my thing. I’ve been drinking Pellegrino, I always say to my waiter, or waitress, or wherever I’m going, I get a wineglass. I pour my Pellegrino on the wineglass, and I love the lemon. I’m a lemon girl, Madeline girl. And so, I always bring at least a cake. I bring a case with me. And it’s kind of funny because you notice when I bring it more people are drinking my drink than what they were drinking. Like we’ve met. I brought the palette read for me. Why are you taking?


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:30

Which is actually kind of nice for me. I mean, I love a couple of different things. So, I love Athletic Brewing Company Beer like that’s my sort of go-to 5-3-6 o’clock. What I have with dinner on special occasions, I love groovy Gruvi, they have a no secos 0.0 Prosecco. That’s amazing. There’s a ton of bubbly Rosé out there, that is really, really good. And I tried recently, the surely, Brute. That was amazing.


So, you know, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, like lots and lots of options, I was a red wine girl. So, I haven’t found a red wine. That is what I remember. I don’t love it. But also, it feels a little bit too close to home to me red wine in the big wine glass, like it’s just such a visceral reaction, but getting anything else I’m really happy with.


Elizabeth Chance  08:35

And that’s like the thing that there’s all these options that you just talked about. And they come in a pretty bottle, and they look pretty set up on your bar. Okay, so we have to remember that we have people that are coming to our houses, and maybe it isn’t even that you’re sober curious. Let’s say, you have a medical condition, or you’re taking some kind of pharmaceuticals that definitely cannot be taken with alcohol. And people don’t want to come up to the table and be like, Oh, by the way, I just want to let you know I have to have a colon on whatever it is that you’re taking for. You don’t tell everybody at the table. So, having that drink is so important, because it’s kind of like a pacifier. When you’re a little kid. It’s like your pinky. You’re like, I’m going to have what I want here. And I’m not going to worry about it. It looks pretty on the bar. Everybody feels comfortable with it. Nobody’s going to be offended that you brought something else everywhere. Always loves when you bring it into their house anyway.


So, that’s one with the Drake. The feelings, having people in your phone that you know, we’ll hopefully answer. Let’s just say you have at least more than one. Okay, so if you’re having one of those moments that you’re like, my sister just went there. I can feel it coming in. Like I can envision it right now. You know that feeling that comes up? You’re like, oh my gosh, the trigger was hit. The trigger was hit. Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? Excuse yourself, go into the bathroom, or go into the basement. If you’re at a hotel or if you are at an apartment building, they normally have business rooms in those places. Go hide. Go call your friend phone a friend, you know, when you would watch those shows with like Regis and you’d be like, you can’t get over you can phone a friend, phone a friend. So, you know that they’re going to answer and they’re going to listen to you. They’re not going to judge you and they’re going to say, I gotcha. I love you. I love you. I got you, Casey, you’re going to make it. You’re going to make it.


And you’re like, Okay, I can do this for another 10 minutes. I can just for another hour, hopefully. Right?


Yeah, literally having that phone a friend is so important. And having that boardroom, you know, I call my friend group. It’s kind of funny, my board members, because we want these people to support us no matter what, right? They want the best for us. So, choosing those friends wisely. Not somebody that’s going to be like, Oh my God. Wow. Wang. Wang. You don’t want somebody like that. Okay? Because that’s going to make you want to drink. Right? Like, I thought you were my friend. Wait a minute, I’m supposed to be able to vent to you and not hear oh my gosh, bro up. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:02

Yeah, I think that I’ve, I’ve definitely posted a lot of people are in sort of sober communities. I posted in sober communities when I’ve been in the middle of dinner parties going into the bathroom or at restaurants just being like, oh my god, this is what’s happening or being like, here, I am fucking rocking in, I’m not drinking. And then I also have some of my sort of real life, sober friends on sort of tech speed dial where I go, you know, put my daughter to bed and text them on Christmas Eve being like, Oh my God, my husband and mother are driving me effing crazy, cause they’re drinking red wine. So slowly, they’ve been drinking it for an hour, and I’m going to kill them. Because it’s in the table right in front of me. You know?


Elizabeth Chance  11:51

Oh, my gosh, I for one, I’ve never even thought about going to social media. Okay, that’s because now I’m dating private groups, the private, the private, it but I never even thought of that. So that’s how I’m not. I was born in 1968. So, I’m 55. You know, I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I’ve been, you know, all this stuff. And social media has never been the outlet. Because it’s always been old school. Like, I still remember having my red backbone when I was in high school and calling people with a big, long cord. So having that phone a friend or text a friend is amazing. And I’ve never even like you could go to like your group on Facebook and say, somebody’s out there. Listen, I love that. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:34

And people are available. 24/7 They want to cheer you on. They want to commiserate. I mean, I’ve had people like, post pictures of them all dressed up being like, here, I go to my first New Year’s party, not drinking and everybody’s like, Oh my god, I love that dress. You look fantastic. I mean, that kind of helps. You just sort of be like, Yep, this is going to be good.


Elizabeth Chance  12:56

It’s totally helps. That’s because it’s our self-esteem. Because we walk into this. I mean, I hate to say trauma, but some of its real trauma. And I before I got sober, and before I got, you know, all my certifications. I always thought that you have trauma, you had to been in a war, you had to be in Vietnam. Okay, that’s that you would think that’s who it is. It’s somebody from, you know, Forrest Gump like that officer Dan, right. Like he had all this drama. That was what I identified with as a trauma person. But for now, in today’s world, trauma can be something so simple is add that look, that brings you back to that time where you were like, me don’t feel uncomfortable. So having that ability to get another human no matter on what form it is in the communications. I mean, sometimes when like, social media is too much for me, I can’t stand it. It’s just too much sometimes. But if you use it in the way that you’re talking about as a support group, it’s amazing. And like that, yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:53

You get that sometimes it’s just connecting with someone who gets it, you know what I mean? Because your family and friends may completely support you in not drinking, but they might not understand that it’s hard or they may not understand they may not support you, and they may suddenly undermine you or not so suddenly.


So, knowing that you have a group of people who have your back, and that you also have the accountability of talking to them afterwards and sort of reporting it on how it went. It makes a huge difference.


Elizabeth Chance  14:31

It makes a huge difference. And I have to tell you that so when I was drinking at the end of my drinking, I wasn’t like hanging out with like the teetotaler, I’m just gonna tell you I was not I was like, Let’s go big and let’s go for going home. Okay, I was out every night and party my ass off. Even though I had three little kids. I had three babies, they were 10 I mean, were babies but 10 Eight and six. And I’m out you know being this weekend warrior and when they went to their dads and party, my thoughts so it wasn’t Like my friend group was like really psyched when I said, Hey, I’m going to go get sober. They’re like, what? What are you doing? Wait a minute, wait, you can’t change, you can’t change. That’s not cool. You’re supposed to be the man that standing there till the end of the night last call for alcohol ready to go. And then let’s go back to your house and have other party favors and party all night long, even though I was you know, 37 years old. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  15:26

I’m right there with you. So, what I mean, I love the suggestions. And let’s flip this a little bit to what your family and friends can do to support you. Because I’m also hoping that someone listening to this podcast, if they have someone who has their back if they have a spouse, or a sister, or someone a best friend, who does want to support them and doesn’t know what to say, or do, they might get that person to listen to this as well.

So, one thing, you know, just in shifting the perspective, one thing you can ask your friends and family to do, or you can bring it yourself, which I highly, highly support is, to have nonalcoholic beverage options. And that’s, you know, not assume that everyone drinks in its beer, wine, or water, you know, right.


Elizabeth Chance  16:25

And I think for family members, and I think for us, at least for me, I’m going to speak for myself, and it’s my opinion, you know, I had a lot of shame. When I was getting sober, a lot of shame, so much shame that I actually patented so we’re not ashamed. And so having the family and having you know, your spouse, your friends, really listen to you and get to the place where you can be vulnerable. Being vulnerable sometimes is really, really hard for us, right? We’re like, I’m doing this. This is about me, I want to Tierra, I want to red carpet, don’t ask me any questions, I’m going to tell you to do this. And you better do it. And if you fuck up, I’m going to be pissed at you. Right? That’s how I used to be a very much of the time. Now, did I communicate what I needed? No, I didn’t because I didn’t trust the person. So, I think like, having a real conversation with somebody that says this is the deal. We’re going to walk into the situation. And if I do maybe a wink, if I cough. If I if you see me meandering by myself over in a corner, if you could come over, and Jeff, maybe if it’s your spouse, your partner, just give me a hug. Just tell me that I’m going to be okay. Just know that you’ve got my back no matter what. I just need you to pay attention to me. So, I know I have a partner in crime when we go into certain hostile environments.


Let’s face it, we’ve got a whole team behind us. We’re like, we never leave a man down. We never leave a man behind. I’m asking you before we walk into this situation, I’m going to be vulnerable. I’m going to tell you what I need. And I’m going to be specific. Yeah, as, as hard as that is. Because being specific and giving the nod or the wink, or I’m going to walk to the bathroom. That’s the sign I need you.


But having them understand that and maybe even having them repeat it back to you like, do you understand? Do you hear what I’m saying? And they say, oh, wait a minute, I do hear what you’re saying. Let’s go and do this. And with family.


Families, the structure, as you mentioned earlier, it’s like you go back into your house and you’re 12 years old, 13 years old, you’re still a little girl, you still have those. Okay, we’re going to be Casey like, She’s a little girl. Remember what she did before when she went to Thanksgiving or Christmas. And she threw up our she did that. She had a total nightmare. And maybe even saying the family. There’s some topics that I really just have to set a firm boundary with. And they might not like it most times they don’t. Most family members are like, Wait, what are you talking about? What do you mean? I can’t talk about that. And you’re like, could you disrespect me for this one meal, it’s going to be maybe maximum 4 hours on. I know, if you’re staying at their house, having your own bedroom is huge. Or if you’re in the basement, again, somewhere in the house that you are going to be this is going to be my zone, this is my safe zone. I’m going to set it up for myself. I’m going to make sure whenever I escape, I go to that place and take a deep breath. I’m going to do whatever my coping mechanisms are. I don’t know if I’m going to tap. I don’t know if I’m going to get on my phone. Whatever it is. I’m going to take care of me when I do this.


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  19:26

Yeah. And so, one thing I would say is you can ask of your family. The first thing I would say is use whatever language you want to use. You don’t have to say I’m stopping drinking forever or I have a problem with alcohol or I’m an alcoholic or anything else. But you do need to clearly communicate to them that you are not drinking like that is critically important. Not you know, anything else. So, what I told my family in the day, I’m doing 100 Day Challenge where I’m not drinking alcohol as a health kick as a health choice or whatever. But there was a firm date that was far out, and it was non-negotiable. And so, what I would say, that you can tell your family and friends is, this is going to be hard for me. That’s what I told my husband because trust me, he knew I had tried to take breaks before – never made it.


So, you can say to them, I’m taking a longer break from alcohol, and this party is going to be hard for me, will you support me? Will you help me do this, and like you said, Tell them specifically what you need. So, it can be your best friend, it could be someone else. But if someone you know, if you’re a family or friend listening to this, just know that even if they don’t say, oh my god, I have a problem with alcohol. Or I’m stopping forever. Anyone who loves to drink and trust me, you know, if your partner loves to drink or your best friend does, if they are not drinking, just know it’s going to be hard. Like it’s going to be awkward, they’re going to crave alcohol. So, you know, like you said, right, be open if they want to leave early or take a separate car so they can leave when they want to be open to like, my husband brings me nonalcoholic drinks. If you know, I’m sitting around like he, you know, they’re like, Oh, what do you want? Or how I’ll go to the bar, and he just orders me something. Also, one thing I would say is like, you were saying on checking on someone, you could ask your wing man, your best friend, your family, and friend who knows you’re not drinking, like, don’t just look over at me and see if I’m smiley because a lot of us are people pleasers, and you don’t want to be rude, and you’re just faking it. But you might be like freaking out inside. So literally come over and whisper like how you doing? Do you want to stay for another half hour? Are you done? You know?


Elizabeth Chance  22:13

Yeah, I think I mean, I’m going to. My story’s a lot different. I sober. I was divorced. I had 3 little kids. My family was not happy that I was getting sober. Okay, well, mine was like, Oh my God, because I come from a family that I mean, I’m not going to name their names. I love them to death. But that was not like the “big thing” was getting sober.


I was changing the entire narrative of many, many years. Okay, so when I quit, I mean, I had a sibling that said to me, what do you mean, you’re quitting drinking? It’s not like jumping on trains and going into the park with your bottle in a bag. I mean, that’s what I fucking to deal with. I mean, it was not like, we’re going to have a parade like, no, what are you doing? Why aren’t you drinking? I don’t like that. You’re changing the narrative. Why are you changing this whole thing? You’re supposed to be in here with us getting fucked up just with the rest of us? And now, you’re going to sit here and try to be holier than vow and be this perfect, sober person. What the fuck? I don’t like this. I don’t like this change person. I like the drunk Elizabeth. I like that. Because I know what I’m dealing with.


I know you’re going to 47 Pack deals, you’re going to fall, you’re going to curse. People are going to get into fights, right? Because people get into fights. There’s no filter. So, for me, I had to literally, to remove myself. I didn’t go to a holiday dinner. I haven’t been to.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:36

I was going to suggest that that sounds like one thing. If your family and friends don’t support you don’t go you can claim the stomach flu, you can always claim a migraine, you can always well now COVID. Yeah, like, just, if you need to do a white lie, to get out of something that’s going to be incredibly painful and hard to move through without drinking. Don’t do it. And if you’ve always stayed with your family, but basically drink to tolerate it and get as small as possible. Try to stay somewhere else. I’m a huge fan of being like, oh my god, I’m so excited to come to DC and see you but my husband and I are really excited about staying at this hotel as getaways with the kids. So, we’re going to do that and just make it a positive is something you want to do. But don’t make you’re not asking. You know what I mean? Because then you can come you can leave you’re not waking up with your mother or your sister or your brother in your face. You’re not saying good night to them every night you have your own space.


Elizabeth Chance  24:52

That’s huge. Having your own space. Number two, I’m giving you permission 110% And some people are all by themselves. It’s reality. You’re going through a divorce. You’re coming for your kids or with their, with your ex, for this this holiday season, and you feel really lonely. And that’s huge. And it happens to a lot of Americans. Most Americans, a lot of people do not have a place to go and smacked all over this social media things are these beautiful pictures of everybody looking for.


And I’m doing air quotes, if you’re listening to this, and I am an you feel even worse, because now you’ve given up the one thing that you use to make to soothe you during these feelings. Because it’s the feelings that made me I mean, I drank because of my feelings, right? I didn’t feel like I could handle anything. And if I stopped, I’d be like Humpty Dumpty, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men working, we’ll put Elizabeth back together again.


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:43

I’m glad you’re talking about this, because this is a different experience. So, like, please, I know, a lot of people are alone during the holidays, or dealing with grief or loneliness or not with their people. So, what helped you?


Elizabeth Chance  25:59

So, for me, I, I found friends, as you mentioned, and I because I went to 12 steps, that’s what I’ve done forever, you know, and especially in the beginning, there were no options like there is today, there was no Facebook, like you’re going on a chat group and you’re going to pay a certain amount of money, you’re going to join sober Sith, or you’re going to join one of these things, which I think are tremendous. And I’m, I don’t poopoo them at all. But for me, because I had to go physically to a meeting, there was no zoom, right? So, I go to my local areas, and I went to all these different church basements, and sometimes strip malls. And we made the made friends there. And it doesn’t cost any money. And a lot of times they do these things called the outlet Don’s not to scare anybody, but they go on for 24 hours. So, you are never you can go over to one of these meetings spot anytime a day. All day long. They have food, there’s people there, you’re not alone. And that was huge for me, because I ended up having my kids will say, Mom, do you remember all those people you had our house for? I mean, the characters, the characters that I’ve invited characters that are my friends that I’ve had along the way, have been amazing. And if you are by yourself, and you know somebody else’s by yourself, say hey, do you want to go to a movie? I mean, the movies are still going on, go to the movies, go to a diner, I know things are really expensive. And I want to be like, let people know that like you’re not going to go to the fanciest restaurant as much as you might want to. Because times are tight.


Go to the diner, go to the grocery store, or go to Wawa. That’s what they have in Florida and in the Northeast and get a turkey sandwich and split it together and get it with all the fixings and maybe you guys go sit somewhere, and just hang out and talk and have real conversations. Just make sure that you’re like being by yourself sometimes can be hard, you know, it can be really hard. So, get out there put yourself in an uncomfortable place by saying Help me, I know somebody else. Do you want to go do something? Because we’re both going to be alone. Let’s do that. Because dang by yourself, sometimes it doesn’t feel good. And especially if you’re on social media seeing all these things, it makes you feel uncomfortable. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:05

And I’ve had clients who when they are alone over Thanksgiving, you know, per se, same thing divorced or kid, their kids or elsewhere. If they have the means they planned like wellness trips to Santa Fe or gone hiking near where they are or just gotten a massage or facial or something that is special for you. That gives you the opportunity to reflect and appreciate but are also aligned with health and wellness. So that’s another option. But I’ve also been adopted by you know, friends when I’ve been alone, or a lot of people have “Friendsgiving”.


And you know, when you’re not drinking, if everyone’s drinking, sometimes that’s definitely hard. But if you let them know in advance, you’re not drinking, you bring your nonalcoholic beverages. You’re upfront, you know, it can be really nice to just have that like anchor to your day, and then move on.


Elizabeth Chance  29:10

For sure. And I think that you know, the one thing I was not like, a teetotaler. Okay, so I wasn’t having one glass of wine and being pretty and having an you know, it was I might have had the most beautiful dress. I was always on the cover of, you know, all the society pages. I was doing all that. But the reality was, most people knew if you were not as drunk as I was, you knew I was drunk, because let’s face it, I spilled. I slurred I fell over. They’d be like timber. There she goes again. I was a drunk, right? I was a drunk. So, when I got sober, I told everyone, everyone it was not like, I mean, if you cannot see me, I’d be like, Yeah, I’m sober. I’m sober. I’m sober. I’m sober. I’m sober. I’m sober. I told you I’d so much shame that I literally went for the shame. just said, Alright, so everybody knows nobody can guess what’s going on with you. I quit drinking. And they’re like, as I mentioned, some people were like, what? Fuck, I do not like that.


This is changing. Some people stop talking to me. Some people were uncomfortable. The reality is, is that I feel like sometimes I’m like the Grim Reaper walking into the party. Okay, a grim reaper walking into the old age. I’m going to like, oh my god, there it is depths going to take me. But you’re like, I’m not drinking, and everyone goes, Wait a minute, I can’t invite her because she’s going to be counting or you might your drinks, right? I’ve never been wanting to do that. I love to go to parties and watch people drink. It does not bother me. I am spiritually in a place right now that I feel like I can handle it. And I have been able to for a long time.


That first year though, no, I probably couldn’t have handled it I could not have. But that first year, it’s like, Be tender to yourself. I always talk about when I first got sober. When you go to buy a plant, I’d say you’re going to like I’m going to plant a tree in my backyard. I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to have this, what’s called Java. And I hear I’m in Florida. So, palm trees, you plant the palm tree, you water it, you might give it some miracle grow. But you really take care of it, right? So, it grows big, and it grows strong. So, when a hurricane comes, events, it goes this way. Depends on who goes that way. But it always comes back and stands up straight. Figuring out what it is that makes you chip. What do you like, for a long time I was chameleon. If you wanted me to be this, I’d be that if you want me to be that I’ll be that whatever you want me to be. I’m going to be but I’m not going to be who I am. Because I have no idea who the fuck I am.


Anyway, I’ve always been what you want me to be. So, taking that time to figure out who am I? What do I like? I always say my favorite color screen. Well, my favorite color is actually orange. You know, I love bright orange. And getting to that place of going you know what? I don’t even like Turkey. I don’t even like meat. I don’t want to eat this. I just want the sides, and somebody might be like, Why aren’t you eating the meat? It’s just like, not tricky. It’s like, you know what, I’m going to own this. I’m going to own who I am. And my youngest son always says to me, you do you boo-boo. So, you know what you tell them to take care of themselves and other people. Somebody told me a long, long time ago, that what other people think about you, it’s not your business, you got to take care of you. Because you got to wake up the next morning and go, You know what, I made this my deal. I don’t want to drink anymore. I’m doing this for me. Sound about you. And if you’re offended, what can I tell you?


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:28

You know what one thing that you said that I think would be good for friends and family to understand. And that you could tell them is that on this holiday season, you’re going to need more downtime. And if it’s not someone who has your back, like your spouse or your best friend, if it’s just your in laws you’re going to see or whatever. I like to present it like, this is my vacation, too, you know. And what I’m really excited about is taken an hour every day at 5pm to go for a walk. Or this year, I’d really love to go hiking or snowshoeing or this year, I’d like to you know, I take my mother to the spa because I want to go to the spa. And that gives you two hours of like the hot tub and a massage and tea. Right. It’s a gift for her. But it’s also time when you’re not with a huge crowd talking. But or, Hey, one thing I’m really excited about is I never have time to read during work in life. I bought three novels. So, I am super excited to go to bed early with my book, like just presenting it as, here’s what I want to do. So many of us just feel like we have no control during the holidays. And, you know, when my mom was here, my first holiday I had been getting up early to work out. And you know, continuing to talk late into the evening, when I felt like a 13 year old was kind of hard. So, I would just say, Oh, I’m getting up early. I’ve been going to bed at 10 o’clock. And just do that and you can stay up in your room and watch your show. But just stating your needs up front but in a very positive way. You know.


Elizabeth Chance  34:22

Yeah, and some and you might get pushed back. That’s reality you could very easily get pushed back because they’re like wait a minute, you don’t even read what are you talking about your brain three novels? What was the last book you read? The cat ate my gym shirt. I mean, like seriously, like and so you’re like, wait a minute, no, I’m going to go read and they’re going to be like, we don’t watch this. And that is okay. Because some people might not be okay with it. And you have to be okay. That they’re not okay.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:50

And you are to me also is like that’s about them. You can put down a boundary and it is about them whether or not They accept it. Anyone who is used to you having no boundaries or caving to family pressure is not going to love it. And that’s still okay, that’s growth for you. And so, if you are a family or friend listening to this, wanting to support someone who is sober during the holidays, like when you can a ask them what they need, but also know, they’re probably going to want to stay at parties less long, they might be fine at being around alcohol at dinner, but they don’t necessarily want to stay for a late drinking event, or cocktail hour. Or if they say, Hey, I’m going to go do yoga every afternoon, or I’m going to go to bed early, just be like, okay, you know, don’t guilt them into doing something that is going to be hard for them.


Elizabeth Chance  35:51

Well, and I think a big, big thing is, is not having expectations. This is all about living in. Like we’re all trying to learn to live in the day, there’s a lot of fear going on in the world right now, we all know that we all have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow. And having this place that I, all I, want for this, if you’re only excitation is, I just want to have a really nice dinner with my family. And that’s it. And the loved ones have to know that that’s all they want. And remember that we need to be respectful to everybody else. Even though there are kids. I’ve had to learn. I have adult children now. Okay, my kids are 27, almost 21, I’ll be 26 on Friday, and then almost 24.


So, I have kids that you know, they go off to school, they come back, they think that they’re adults already, because they live in a dorm, and they can have their own hours and all the rest of that. But you have these expectations, like they’re going to come home and they’re going to want to be with you. And they’re going to want to hang out with you. And I’m going to tell you Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, if you don’t know, this is like the biggest party night of the year. And kids come home from college, and they go out till two or three in the morning. You’re like, wait a minute, this is not your fraternity or sorority house. This is our home. And you’re like I just quit drinking and what are they doing and are totally not respecting you don’t take it personally. Don’t take it personally. It’s their rite of passage. It’s what they do, being maybe like, You’re newly sober, and you’re like, I want to have this really be a great time. Go pick them up, go pick them up. So, you don’t have to call an Uber, I’m going to be waking up, I’m going to wait up for you, I’m going to wake up and I’m going to pick you up whatever time you need me to pick you up, you might get to see a show that doesn’t really, you might not be happy about let’s just be honest. But you get to at least have these times with your child. Right? That’s a huge thing. Because your kids come home, and they might I like my kids drink. It’s part of what they do. I’m not going to do push my wants and wills onto them. So like I have a bar set up in my house. It’s my kids bar with all different sorts of tequila. I had no Tito’s I thought it was tequila forever. Because they didn’t even have Tito’s when I was drinking. There’s like Tito’s here. I’m like, oh, it’s bobcat. They do what they’re going to do. And I have to know that I if they need anything from me. I’m there I gotcha. You can go do what you need to do. And I’m not going to judge you. Which is like a huge, huge, huge thing. Because I know if they have a problem one day, they can come to me and talk to me about it. And I’m not going to judge them be like Alan, we can you are? No, I’d be like, Oh, gotcha, we gotcha. What do you what can I do to help you?


Casey McGuire Davidson  38:27

I agree with that, in part. But I would also say that for a lot of people, having a bar in your home in early sobriety would be very hard. I always suggest asking the people you live with if they can, if they’re open to it if they’re supportive, to not have any alcohol in the house for at least 30 days, or certainly not have your beverage of choice. For me it was red wine. In it to this day. I’ve never had red wine in my house other than people bringing and leaving it, taking it with them. Since I quit drinking, it’s not that I would, you know, dive over the table, and drink it at this point. It’s just I don’t drink it. So why would I have it here? So, I do think I mean, if we’re talking about how your friends and family can support you. I don’t think it’s a bridge too far to say. If you’re an early sobriety, like I know you kids have always had a full bar at this house. But I’m not drinking and so we’re not going to have alcohol here. If you want to go out with your friends. That’s awesome. Feel free. You know, you can decide if you’re comfortable to serve alcohol at one special dinner. But I think it’s kind of dangerous to have it around you at all times. When you’re going to be craving it. It’s going to be hard. So, I mean, I think part of growth in boundaries and asking for support is, is literally saying some things are shifting that were always true. And that’s okay. I mean, in my mind, like, your family would support you in lots and lots of things because they love you. What do you think about that?


Elizabeth Chance  40:20

I told well, of course, I’m now I’m talking about the fact that I got so my kids were so so they were 10 years old. I mean, I remember in high school, I mean, they had a party, I went out for dinner, my kids had a party, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And you know, there was a case of beer in my yard. And I’m like, whose beer is this? What is beer doing here? Oh my gosh, because they were like 15 years old. I mean, and I’m like, what is the junior? What do you mean, somebody just dropped it off? I’m like, oh, yeah, they just dropped it off at this sober lady’s house. That’s what they did. They dropped the case of Europe with the soleus house. But for them, I mean, they were little, and I didn’t have a spouse when I got sober. So, I didn’t have anything in my house for years, and years, and years. Now, fast forward, it’s 70. It’s almost two decades, and I haven’t had a drink. So, to me, it doesn’t bother me at all.


Casey McGuire Davidson  41:08

I think I’m thinking of people in their first holiday season. So, they’re back in, like, if you’re 17 years along, I’m seven years along, you know, in terms of how your family and friends can support you in sobriety, I would suggest asking them to not have alcohol in the house. In a perfect world. Even at Christmas dinner, my husband asked me, oh, can he have my mom have red wine at Christmas dinner my first year. And it was really hard for me. I thought I’d be totally cool with it. And it really bothered me. Like I said, I was up in my daughter’s bedroom texting my best friend being like, What the actual fuck could they drink this any slower? So, the next night, I was they were like, oh, we’ll just get another bottle. And I was like, No, you’re done. Like, have a beer. Don’t drink, try my AF wine. But like, No, it’s my holiday do?


Elizabeth Chance  42:08

Well, for one, you’re very strong. And I have to say kudos to you. You are really strong. I mean, it’s amazing that you that you said yes. And then it totally bothered you. And you could go up to here and you could set some boundaries. Some people like the family that I came from, like worth big partiers. I’m again, I was divorced. So, the family was like, the biggest partiers. I mean, I’m my, my mother was Irish Catholic, right? So, I mean, I’m the meat like you look. Oh, my gosh, craziness, like home for the holidays. You remember that movie with Holly Hunter? Yeah, I mean, I was literally so it was if I had said, don’t drink, they’d be like, who? What are you better, that’s not happening, you think that we’re not going to drink while you’re here. So again, making sure if you’re going to go, if you still want to go and see everybody, stay for apps, chuck out of there. Because they’re not I mean, and you and a lot of people will not bring your own drinks day.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:01

So, bring your own drink limits the amount of time, it totally avoided.


Elizabeth Chance  43:09

Having a text message coming from a friend being like SOS. It’s like I’ve been on date before with a guy buzz before. And I’m like, hello, send a message that my kids are throwing up. I told the guy prior to the date that of course my kids are with my ex-husband. But he didn’t remember because he was too drunk. And I’m like, I got to go, the kids are throwing up. So literally having that okay, suddenly just the dog, I just need to go home, I heard my cats throwing up from my next door neighbor, I need to go, making sure you have money to leave. If you can have an Uber setup. I don’t care if you have to bicycle. If you have to take a bus and walk to a bus. If you have to train, make sure you have the money. You know, the train schedule, they change on the holidays, make sure you know when the next train is leaving. You need to have a plan. It is like walking into like an emergency situation like you always have a plan, like what are you going to do? You’re like, I have to have all these things in a row. Because I’m not going to be safe. And your safety is of the utmost importance. More than everybody else. It’s there. Because you want to be a next year. You might feel like year two, maybe not. Maybe you’re five, maybe it’ll be your 10 maybe it My point is you’re 17 I still don’t do it. Because I still don’t feel like I am ready. Right. I sometimes don’t feel like I’m ready because sometimes you come from families that are dysfunctional, and it’s just what it is. It’s not that they’re bad, right? They’re not bad people. It’s just, it’s what we’ve done generationally and it’s not comfortable, but it’s like it’s okay.


Casey McGuire Davidson  44:38

Just what I’m saying that, if you’re, if your family is really unsupportive, and you know, it will be almost impossible for you to navigate that not drinking, I would suggest not going and if that’s really hard, I would suggest limiting the amount of time that you go it is okay to Change what you’ve done before. And, you know, I used to always fly to Washington DC for Thanksgiving, it was really important to my mother. I felt extremely guilty about not going because we always had Thanksgiving at her mother’s house. All the kids, all the grandkids would come. She really wanted that tradition. And she was a widow. My dad had died. She was alone. So, I felt very guilty. Not going for Thanksgiving. I live in Seattle. But I finally you know, said hey, my husband, you know, use your reason. My husband works in a school, he has to be there Wednesday. The next Monday, Flying Cross Country, it’s really hard. Or I work in E commerce. I work all weekend, or it’s really expensive for four of us to come. Why don’t you come to us for Christmas. In any case, I stopped going at Thanksgiving with my whole family, I felt guilty. And she adjusted, she started going to my sister’s in Ohio for Thanksgiving. But you’re allowed to shift what’s always been done, and it most likely is going to be fine. You know, people adjust, especially if you give them an alternative, right? Like, oh, my family really wants to be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. But how about we do a late lunch on Christmas Day. And it’s two hours, whatever it is.


Elizabeth Chance  46:38

I think that it’s really important to acknowledge your feelings, because you just talked about a lot of feelings right there. Like I’m sure that feeling of like letting your mom down. You’re like my mom’s a widow. She’s always I have her grandchildren. She doesn’t get to see them as often. And that feeling that you’re going to have and those feelings, it’s sitting with the feeling feelings aren’t facts. And if you’re like me, I changed my plans have to write we talked about that earlier. Like as Alon, I’m just going to say as one today. I mean, I do. Some days, I might like one thing and the next day I’m like, I can’t stand that. It’s sitting through those feelings and feeling them and not letting them get you off where your being okay, it’s like, I’m going to feel this feeling. It feels really fucking uncomfortable. telling my mom, this feels so uncomfortable. I feel so badly, it feels so bad. And you don’t want to tell her that obviously, because whatever reason, but really having that feeling and going, Okay, I might even have to write down on a piece of paper, the current pose, the pros, and the cons of this, why it is important for me to be justified. Now, you don’t have to justify this to anybody else. But just yourself.


So that you again, feel okay, with the feeling that you have and going, you know what I made this decision, I feel coming on, I feel really bad about it. But I’m going to write it down on a piece of paper. I might journal about it. I might even stick it in a god box and say, God, please take away this feeling for me because it’s driving me crazy. Whatever it is, but just know that you can identify the feeling and you can sit in it and it’s not going to break you. Which is really, really important. And we think that it’s going to break us like I mentioned Humpty Dumpty, I thought if I had all these things that come rushing in, and I’d be a puddle on the floor. And instead, one day at a time, some days, one minute at a time, one second aneurysm. I go, Okay, give me another spelling.


Casey McGuire Davidson  48:39

And so, I think also like if your family and friends know that if they’re listening to this, or you can tell them just be like, hey, when I’m drinking a lot of times, you know, I don’t notice a lot of things. But I’ve noticed since I’ve stopped drinking, I need more quiet. I do get irritable, I get overwhelmed. So, I might need more time for myself. Or if you’re listening to this, like one of the things that I think people don’t realize it all that’s incredibly hard. Or at least what I’ve seen with people is family and friends will be like great, you can be the designated driver, right? Like we’re going to go wine tasting, you can be the designated driver, since you’re not drinking, or we’re going to this party great. You can be the designated driver. That is something you really should not ask a sober person to do because you are making them stay to the end of events. You’re usually if you want a designated driver drinking a ton, so you’re forcing them to stay around drunk people, which honestly are really You guys are really fucking annoying when you’re drunk. And you’re making them responsible.


I was actually at my high school reunion. 7 years sober, had been to, you know, one five years before. Love everyone. But these guys asked me Oh, will you drive us home? Will you be our designated driver? You don’t drink? I said yes, because I felt really put on the spot. But at the same time, then I was annoyed the whole time. Because I was like, I’m ready to go. Like you’re drunk. You’re dancing. That’s awesome. I had a great night, but I really don’t want to stay for two more hours to drive you guys home. And I ended up being like, Hey, are you guys cool with an Uber? Like, I’m actually done. I mean, they have money, they can take an Uber. So, I’m not asking your or assuming the person wants to be the designated driver that can really help. I personally also find that if someone’s not drinking, and I’m sure a like your family, don’t pressure people don’t tell them. It’s stupid. Don’t make them. Why are you doing this? Those questions are horrible. But the other thing that I think that family and friends maybe shouldn’t ask is, How long are you going to do this? Or are you really never going to drink again? A lot of times, that’s a ton of pressure for people and they don’t know. And they don’t want to think about it. Right? Like, are you truly never ever going to drink again? It’s much better to be like, oh, good for you. Are you feeling better? You know, what are you noticing? Since you’re not drinking? Those are questions that can start a conversation in a positive way. What do you think? I mean, what have people done that wasn’t helpful? Well,


Elizabeth Chance  51:46

I think that those all those questions, all these things that you’ve mentioned, you know, go telling people, you’re going to be their designated driver, telling people that putting yourself in situations that you know, intuitively because now when we’re when we quit drinking, we get to be who we are authentically, right. I am all about being authentic, telling the truth being a truth teller, telling my real feelings. And I, for better or for worse, it’s always been who I’ve been, I’m just not I’m telling people exactly what I think is not always the nicest thing. And especially when I was drinking, there was no filter. But having this to walk up to somebody and say, How long are you going to do? Would you walk up to somebody and say, How long are you going to be pregnant? How long? Are you going to be fat? How long?


Casey McGuire Davidson  52:34

Are you going to be a vegetarian? Are you?


Elizabeth Chance  52:36

I want to be vegetarian? Again. You’re never going to eat meat again. How long? Are you going to stay off social media? What’s wrong with you? Why are you doing it? It’s like, do get over yourself. This is about me. This isn’t about you. When I always say when somebody asks these sorts of questions, too. It is so about them. It is so not about you. It’s like, wait a minute, I have a drinking problem. Because that’s nine out of 10. People are thinking like, oh my gosh, she’s been doing this for this long. Like I’ve had more people say to me, gee, still go to those meetings? Like, are you seriously still going to those meetings? And I’m like, Does it bother you? Is it really interfere with your life? Does it bother you a lot? Because it’s like, this is about me, bro. Not about you. And that’s okay. And being supportive of your friends. Sticking with people, not all people are nice. Let’s just face it. It doesn’t just happen in elementary school. People are not nice. They say things that you’re like, did that person really say that to me? And a lot of things, especially when we’re newly sober. We are so tender. We are like, I mean, we are like babies that just have just opened our skin and we just have feelings again. And we’re like, oh my gosh, was that meant about me? What did they just say? Oh my gosh, how could they make me feel this way. Don’t let somebody make you feel any way honey, just like love yourself. Right now. That is the hardest part. It’s falling in love with yourself and accepting who you are with everything. The bumps, the lumps, the 50 extra pounds, the 40 Extra, the 40 Less pounds, whatever it is, making sure you fall in love with yourself. And that takes time. And if you put yourself in dangerous situations, it’s not going to push this thing around any faster. In fact, it might make you go oh my gosh, I can’t take it I want to pick up which is a real feeling. Yeah, and if this is what you want to do, make sure you have a plan that you are paying the taking care of you. I just it’s I and people will say You’re so selfish. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard I’m selfish you are so


Casey McGuire Davidson  54:37

I would say though, like if people in your life, including your family, actually say that shit to you or act that way. They aren’t very good friends and you’re allowed to edit the people in your life. If you are hanging out with someone and you’re like Wow, I really don’t like being around this person when I’m not drunk or drinking. The truth is you really don’t like being around that person. So, what I would say, you know, Elizabeth, people are actually talking to you in that manner. I’m hoping you’ve edited them significantly down in terms of the people you actually interact with.


Elizabeth Chance  55:23

But Oh, totally. I mean, I have a completely I mean, I’ve cleaned how many to me, it doesn’t happen. I mean, it’s happened, because how many people I mean, people come into our lives, sometimes for a reason. And they leave, you know, they come in for a reason, it’s season, and then they leave for a reason. And it’s okay. We all I the way I was where I was raising, again, my age, you know, you thought I’ve had these friends my whole life, I have to have them still. I’ve known them since I was though. If there was no, of course you don’t. But we have this guilt feeling inside of us. It’s just like saying to your mom, I’m not coming. And then you say to your friends, I’m not coming to the home, I’m not coming to the reunion. And like why we want to see you, well, I just don’t feel comfortable coming. And they might say to you, but pressure, pressure want you to come, they might deep down inside really want you to come because all they want is to be the designated driver. And that might be the real thing. But setting up what you want for you and being okay with it. Without going you know what I feel guilty is a toll. I mean, it makes us do things that we would normally never do, right? Just like alcohol and drugs. And it’s like, get into that place that you are like, Okay, this is what I want. I’ve actually taken the time, because it takes an in, in early sobriety, at least for me. It took time for me to really decipher what it was that I wanted, who I wanted to be that I no longer wanted to be a chameleon that took some time, right? It took time to be like, okay, my skin in knowing who brought me up and who didn’t. I give yourself that time. Again, be kind to yourself, make sure you have your favorite dessert.


That’s another thing. Like, you don’t want to show up at a Christmas party or a Thanksgiving party or even a Hanukkah party and go oh my god, there’s no chocolate cake. Because you can go I’ve gone to parties, many parties, when they don’t have dessert. I’m like, what is that what you don’t have dessert are getting me, you need to have dessert is a huge thing. And sometimes you can ask your friends and your family members, what is your favorite dessert. And if they’re like they didn’t, they don’t ask you bring it be like I’m going to bring brownies, I love brownies. I’m going to bring chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to bring sugar cookies, whatever it is that you like that you know, makes you feel good. Bring it. If you love marshmallows, and sweet potatoes, not my thing. But I get it. If you love it, bring it don’t assume that they’re going to bring it or even call it a cheap chance you’re going to have a sweet potato dish. And you might spend the whole night eating that’s, that’s astral all by yourself. But it’s going to soothe yourself and you’re not going to feel bad. It’ll be like, Oh, that was really good. Now you got out of here. And I feel like I got to go 110 miles. But you know, it’s whatever that soothing thing that you have inside of you that you know, make warms your heart.


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:23

Do it. Yeah. And I think the I love that I think bring, you know, bring your non alcoholic beverages bring dessert. And also, like eat something with protein before you go because hunger is a huge trigger. And a lot of times there is a whole lot of socializing is and a whole lot of time before you get your food. Especially with big groups. Like if you’re out at a restaurant, they bring the drinks menu first, then you’ve got 20 People at Bass talking, no one’s looked at the menu takes forever to order than takes forever to eat. So please, please, please don’t go in hungry and sit next to someone you actually like to talk to sit next to someone who knows you’re not drinking. Just a couple other tips like that, that I found really helpful is, you know, in terms of asking your family and friends how they can help. Don’t be the person pouring the alcohol, like BYOB is is great. I love that. But if you’re if you’re hosting, ask your spouse, ask your daughter ask your best friend to be the one like bartending and the other thing is ask them to be the one to wash and collect all the wine classes because doing that after if you’re holding wine glasses, I found that really hard. And you know you can do other stuff right? Like it’s not like you’re shirking your duties. You’re just like, Hey babe, do you mind doing all the alcohol glasses? Do you mind being the person, you know, and you don’t have to be like, it’s because I have a serious problem with alcohol, you can be like, because I love to drink. And I’m not doing that now. And it’s hard for me, you know. So identifying those things, I think helps.


Elizabeth Chance  1:00:15

So much. So, and I have to tell you, the other person that I have, during these seasons, if you’re blessed enough to have children around, kids are the best. For one. They’re so interesting. And they say the craziest things, especially two and three, four year olds, they say these things you like things when they say that, and you can be entertained by a kid for a long time. And then if the, if there’s other parents there, and you go off, and you play with the kids, read them a story, go get some toys, go get Legos actually go and engage with the kids, people will be sick, they’ll be like, I’ll go do the dishes, you got the kids, I’m psyched. I don’t have to deal with the kids. And it is really, I mean, they’re so fun. I mean, when you get sober and you’re not like, Oh my God, I want my kids to go away and play in traffic, because I’ve had such a bad hangover, or I want to get drunk, and you have somebody there that can be the person that’s playing with the kids, it’s huge. Go outside with the kids go on an adventure walk, if it’s even cold out, Put on your coat, we go with the kids walking down the street, and you feel like you got to clean up, I’ll be back, he’ll be so thrilled that you got those kids out of there, you’re going to burn off energy for them, you’re burning off your own energy and everybody’s happy. Yeah,


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:01:25

I love that. I think that’s a great place to leave this. I’m hoping anyone listening to this has gotten a ton of ideas, both of what you can do to make the holidays easier. And also, hopefully what you can ask your family and friends from chama date, or you know what you can suggest or draw boundaries around so that it’s easier for you. The one thing I will say is, in the same way that not drinking is hard but gets easier and you’re building sober muscles. If you’re a people pleaser, like I was and very concerned about everyone liking me and not feeling guilty if I felt like I was doing something that someone else wouldn’t like, advocating for yourself, establishing boundaries, and even figuring out what you want. That’s a muscle to build to its emotional growth. It will serve you for the rest of your life, it’s going to feel highly uncomfortable and scary. And that’s part of growing up to and evolving, right, you’re going to do it, you’re going to feel really uncomfortable. Do some breath work, go for a walk, go for a run, write it out, talk to your best friend, and then see what happens. Right? Totally.


Elizabeth Chance  1:02:49

People pleasing is something that can take many, many, many, many, many years to change. Yeah.

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:02:56

Yeah, it’s covering, I’m still working on it.


Elizabeth Chance  1:02:59

In there. There’s something called there’s some great melody baby books. codependents. No more all these books that are like that can teach you and give you hints. I mean, I used to read codependent no more like it’s a daily read. And I would go and be like to just write this for me, like, oh my gosh, this was totally appropriate for where I am today. And I found it so helpful. Because we are never taught to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, unless we’re on a plane about to go crash, right. That’s the only time in your life that they say put the oxygen mask on you first. But that’s something that’s so important for us to teach our kids coming up and teaching our friends and giving people allowing them the space to take care of themselves and go you know what, I want to change this, and it might not be your family that you’re going to want to go change it within the beginning. Maybe your friends are the first ones because you know friends come and go you can find some new friends and just be like, Okay, this I’m going to try this out. It doesn’t work out. Keep moving.


Family is a harder one. It’s just a harder thing because you know, we’ve we have decades of time together decades of experience decades of history. So yeah, literally being naked, just making sure that if you’re going to do something to change it, making sure you’re with a safe group, don’t go in, go into your first Thanksgiving. Going Alright, here I go. This is going to be okay. Just make sure you’ve got your tools on roll. Make sure that you’ve got what you need to do to serve you to take care of you. If that means going putting on a podcast go sit in goes if you’ve got a fav or favorite song music Yeah, really changes everything. I mean, go put on. Go in the bathroom, put on your iPods and or just your headphone and just go sit in there for 5, 10 minutes and you’re going to feel like a million bucks. It’s like you can change completely in that second and don’t let guilt eat you away. It can guilt can you wait, just identify it, and just say alright, this is a feeling I’m having a guilt. I don’t want to feel like this. What can I do to change it? What can I do in this moment that can change this guilt feeling? Well, actually, I’m taking care of me right now. My kids are really actually doing really well, at this moment. My partner’s doing really well at this moment. If you’re by yourself, and you feel guilty. Take a deep breath.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:17



Elizabeth Chance  1:05:19

Yeah, it sounds so crazy. But going outside, even if it’s cold out, I mean, where I live, it’s like 85 Most of the time, go take your shoes off, go walk outside ground yourself. Go hug a tree, hugging a tree is the craziest thing. It’s totally grounds you and walking in the grass grounds you? And it makes everything a little bit more palatable. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:39

Yeah, the other thing I would say and then and then I do want to find out where people can find you and follow you. But you brought something up. On the other side of guilt is anger, outrage, all those emotions hurt, and resentment. And so, what I would say is, if you’re in early sobriety, kind of anytime you want to make sure not to get too high or too low, right? Anger, overwhelm resentment. That’s all sort of in the red zone of high too low is depression, loneliness hurt. So, it is very normal to be around people, especially family gatherings, who really push your buttons. I mean, my husband’s great uncle, now my husband’s Uncle, you very old and old school and like to my little niece, who was eight years old, like ooh, are you sure you want another piece of cake, you don’t want to get too big. I was like, Oh, my God, my feminist, you know, whatever wants to like jump across the table with this guy. Or course he’s nine years old. Maybe I shouldn’t. But you know, anything, politics, whatever your husband gets shipped based, he pissing you off. Remind yourself that you can’t afford to get too high, too, in the red zone. It is not that what they are saying it’s not complete and total bullshit or wrong or annoying. It’s that you are taking care of you. So, try to let some stuff go and just be like, I am taking care of me. This is total bullshit. Two months from now, I will confront whoever it is two weeks from now. But in this moment, all I’m doing is taking care of me. So, try to sit away from the person who tests your boundaries, try to have different conversations, do your breathing, whatever it is, but try not to engage in something that you know is going to trigger anger and resentment and everything else.


Elizabeth Chance  1:07:52

And I want to say when there’s this, there’s an acronym, halt, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. And I say as much as you should approaching before you go, make sure that you are not exhausted. Yes. Because if we are exhausted, and somebody who’s 90 years old triggers us from across the table for us to like, literally be able to control ourselves takes energy. Okay? It takes a lot of power to go, oh my god, I’m going to sit in this chair. And I’m going to hear this move. Take a deep breath. I’m going to tell you that I am a very I I’m working on right now. Again, old, I’m old, whatever age I am, but I’ve always been I don’t know if your kids ever watch that show, Partha, it was on PBS. He was like a mouse or something. Okay, so his best friend Francie. Okay, so Francine gets angry, and her head pops off of her head it spins around and it comes back down. That’s how I react okay, I’m changed I’m working on I’m really working on it right now. Casey, like I literally I’m studying the Kabbalah I’m doing all this stuff I’ve got to get to this place where I’m going to be okay and no longer react. But when we’re first sober as again these feelings we’re having we’ve suppressed them for so long we used to get angry happy give me another guy to give me another guy. Yeah, these feelings are going to come in you’re going to get angry and you’re going to get pissed off and you can let it can ruin your whole night if you let it. Right, you can not only ruin not ruin your night, but every other bucket version that’s there because you’re like, guess what? You did it. You will push me over the edge.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:35

Yeah, and you are very sensitive and very irritable. In early sobriety. You just are you feel like you’re walking around without your outer layer of skin. So, if there is that person who starts on a topic, go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, be like I’m going to check on dinner. Go text your friend. Go be like, oh, I want to show Someone that garden Do you want to come see just avoid that person like the plague as much as possible and you’ll get through it and you


Elizabeth Chance  1:10:08

might even have to leave. You might even have to say you know what I got to be excused. You might even say, Gee your husband or your partner you know what I’m going to take the car when you’re ready call me. My stomach’s hurting, I got GI issues nobody ever wants to hear about. You can say, I have a cold. I feel like COVID is coming on.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:10:28

Or like a bad headache. Like it you know, I always you know, when whenever I want to use that or when I’m talking to clients, I’m like, Just tell them you really don’t feel well because that is true. You really don’t feel well and it’s fine you know it’s so okay busy. How can people find you how can they follow up?


Elizabeth Chance  1:10:48

Oh my gosh, you can find me. I’m pretty much everywhere. You can Google me. I’m the there’s another Elizabeth Chance to Plastic Surgeon – that’s not me.


I am Busy Living Sober. you can find me I’m on Instagram under Elizabeth Chance podcast. You go to Elizabeth underscore chance underscore podcasts are asking why that happened but it did.


My website is elizabethchance.com. e li z A b e t h chance like Pika chance.com. Everything I have is on there. You can find mocktail recipes, I do coaching. I have 390 episodes of podcasts up there. And there’s going to be more added I do bi weekly, and I’m on by myself twice a month. So, on a Wednesday, and every Monday and Wednesday, they come out at 6am and I am on iTunes Spotify everywhere that you can find a podcast. I am I’m also on YouTube. I have a YouTube channel on their busy living so busy events. So, I’m in all those places. You can find me everywhere. If you want to reach me. You can also email me at [email protected].


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:54

Perfect. That’s wonderful. And I can’t believe you do podcasts twice a week. I could never do it. It’s so much work so good for you. Alright, thank you so much.


Elizabeth Chance  1:12:05

Thank you. Thank you.



Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 



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