How To Break Up With Booze
Have you been thinking about breaking up with booze but aren’t sure how to get started?
If you’re ready to shift your mindset about what it’s like to live alcohol-free and take a break from drinking, this episode is for you!
My guest is Alex McRobert, international yoga teacher, life and sobriety coach, and the host of The Sober Yoga Girl Podcast.
Alex became sober in 2019 and yoga played a key role in her mental health and sober journey. In 2020 she founded the Mindful Life Practice Community and Sober Curious Yoga, an online yoga community with participants from all over the world who are changing their relationship with alcohol using mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditation, community and journaling.
Today, we’re talking about how to break up with booze and live a happier and healthier life without alcohol.
In this episode, we discuss:
- How Alex realized that alcohol was controlling her decisions, experiences and happiness as she traveled and explored Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Norway, Laos and Thailand
- Why Alex decided to take a break from alcohol and the tools she used to support her in early sobriety
- How yoga can help you manage and improve your mental health
- Why quitting drinking brought Alex clarity and allowed her to follow her dream of teaching yoga full time in Bali
- One Year No Beer and other communities you can tap into for connection and support on your sobriety journey
- Alex’s first ten days sober and how she dealt with withdrawals, panic attacks, and other mental health issues
- How you can integrate the mindfulness practice of yoga to help you break up with alcohol
Ready to drink less + live more?
Join The Sobriety Starter Kit. It’s the private, on-demand sober coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.
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More About Alex McRobert
In 2021, Alex left her career as an elementary school teacher to pursue this passion full time. Alex is an authorized trainer with Yoga Teacher Central and leads 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings certified by the Yoga Alliance. She created the first ever Sober Curious Yoga Teacher Training and also coaches and mentors yoga teachers and life coaches to build their businesses.
In her free time, Alex plays the guitar, writes, and spends time with her cat, Princess.
To learn more about Alex and how she can support you on your sober or sober curious journey, head over to www.themindfullifepractice.com
Connect with Casey
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Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.
ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST
The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.
In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life.
Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
How to Breakup with Booze with Alex McRobert
drinking, sober, people, year, life, alcohol, quit, sobriety, yoga, coping mechanism, Yoga Nidra Class, Coach, podcast, super, absolutely, feel, week, kayak, wine, therapist, amazing, group
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Alex McRobert
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.
In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.
Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.
Hi there. My guest today is Alex McRoberts. She’s the host of The Sober Yoga Girl Podcast. She’s an International Yoga teacher, a life in sobriety coach, and today we’re gonna talk about breaking up with booze, both how Alex broke up with booze and how she helps people in her community, stop drinking and live happier and healthier lives without alcohol. I reached out to Alex because I thought she was super interesting online. And I love her podcast. And when we first talked, she was living in Abu Dhabi. And now I’m interviewing her.
It’s 6:00am in Bali. So really excited to talk to you. Welcome, Alex.
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, the past few months feels like a whirlwind because I think I only first met you two months ago. And since then, I made a decision to pack up and move across the world. So it’s pretty wild. But super, super nice to be chatting with you this morning.
Casey McGuire Davidson 02:22
Yeah, well, I love following your Instagram because you know, I am married with two kids in Redmond, Washington right outside of Seattle. So seeing you move from Abu Dhabi to Bali and all your adventures and the gorgeous scenery. I’m just living vicariously through your Instagram page and your videos. Oh, yeah. Well, so tell us about you.
Yeah, so I am originally Canadian. I was born and raised in Toronto. And I went to do my undergrad in teaching. So I did a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education concurrently. And during my time at university, I really struggled with my mental health and my partying. And it was a pretty normal thing in Toronto, where I was raised to drink alcohol at, you know, every occasion celebrating sadness, pretty much anything alcohol was involved. And so I didn’t think my drinking was abnormal, because it seemed to, you know, match my peers. But I was really, really struggling with my mood and my mental health from age, probably, I mean, even as young as age 15/16, I was really struggling, but especially around age 18 or 19. And so I ended up meeting a counselor or therapist who recommended that I try yoga as a coping mechanism. And that kind of set me on this journey. It was like an innate thing within me that I wanted to be a yoga teacher. But I, you know, followed the path that was sort of a bit expected of me, but a bit not. And I became a teacher, but I moved to the Middle East. And so, I was teaching in the Middle East for a long time. For six years, was also teaching yoga on the side, and was drinking really heavily partying, traveling around. And it was in 2019 that I finally decided to take, you know, a month off of drinking and, you know, that month has turned into two and a half years and now I’m here.
So, yeah, and it sounds like you’ve transformed your whole life. Right? It was your dream to be a full-time yoga teacher living in Bali, and now that’s what you’re doing.
And it’s honestly, I sometimes cannot believe that this is literally my life, because it has been a dream of mine. So since I was really young, it was my dream to teach yoga full-time. But since I came to Bali for the first time in 2017, I was like, this is the place I want to live. This is it. And it just seems so far-fetched and so unattainable, right? Because it’s like, how does one quit their job and start a business and start doing what they love and move to, you know, this random island on the other side of the world? Like, it just seems so impossible. And it’s pretty amazing how what sobriety has shown me is that anything is possible when you have a plan, and you’re committed to seeing it through, and then you just kind of let it go. It’s anything is possible, if you I mean, having that sober mindset really is, yeah, a huge part of it.
Yeah, you’ve got sort of the energy and the clarity and sort of the belief in yourself, to follow through on your dreams. And I know, when I was drinking, I just would say I was going to do things and never follow through with them and just feel really stuck and trapped. And, you know, negative about different things in my life?
Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I accomplished in my first year sober is that I wrote a memoir, which I’m still in the process of, or maybe that was my second, I think it was my second year sober. But I’m in the process of trying to get publishers for. And that book, I actually realized midway through writing it, I had this like, Yoga Nidra class where I was relaxing, and being guided through these visualizations, and all of a sudden, these words started popping out in my head. And I was like, I think I actually started writing this book, years ago, and I was able to find it on my Google Drive. And so I had actually started writing the same book, maybe four years ago, you know, starting at the same point, telling the same journey. And because I was drinking, I had obviously just kind of lost motivation and not followed through with it. And yeah, following through, that’s a huge, huge aspect of sobriety.
Casey McGuire Davidson 07:03
Yeah, absolutely. Well, so tell us about why you finally decided that you needed to break up with booze and what that was like.
Yeah, so for myself, I hit a point in 2019. Where, so over the years, my drinking was escalating. At the ending point, I was probably drinking every night, wine and beer, and on the weekend, going out and binging with my friends. And when I quit, I would find myself up at night googling how to quit drinking. And then I think my computer started sending me targeted ads. So I started getting targeted ads for one year, no beer. Do you know when you’re “no beer”?
Casey McGuire Davidson 07:53
I do? Yeah.
Yeah. So I started getting targeted ads. And what I loved about one year, no beer is that, always when I was Googling, how to quit drinking, it felt like a sacrifice, or a thing that I had to do, because I had a problem. And the way that all of the one of your stories were tooled, and we’re showing up on my feed, we’re all, you know, I gave up drinking, I was a normal person, I gave up drinking, and this is how my life got 1000 times better. And I remember seeing this and thinking, you know, I really, really have to do that, too. And so it was maybe anywhere from like six months of me looking at these ads. And that is I think one of the biggest things I have to remember about when working with people, I have to realize that it takes people a long time to be exposed to ideas, and for them to warm up to them before they’re ready to make that leap sometimes to make that change. Right. So for me, it was a long, long period of thinking about it before I actually flipped the switch and, you know, made the follow through. And so people have always asked me, you know, how did you do it that you just decided it was day one you only ever had day one, one day one you just kept going? And it’s like, well, there’s a really long period where I thought about day one, and it just wasn’t courageous enough to say, this is my day one, right? Because I am a super big. If I say I’m going to do something, then I’m going to do it. So I had to make sure I was ready to say it before I actually did it. That makes sense.
Casey McGuire Davidson 09:36
Absolutely. And I’ve seen studies where most people who have quit drinking took between like four to 10 years of sort of thinking about their drinking and worrying about their drinking and considering it before they stopped and I think for most of us, we spend a bunch of time trying to moderate right I know I did, like just sort of I just need to get it together, I’m just going to make some more rules, I’m only going to drink a couple times a week or a couple of drinks a night. And I feel like you have to go through that, to figure out that it doesn’t really work for you or that it’s exhausting, and then try a longer period of sobriety. But I love what you were saying about one year, no beer, because what I found is, yeah, it’s not so much about, oh, my god, I can’t drink because I have a problem. It’s about I am curious and excited to see what I would be like and what my life would be like, and what could happen in my life, if I kind of got rid of this thing that’s weighing me down and keeping me stuck.
Yeah, absolutely. Wow. I cannot believe it takes the average person for 10 years. I wonder it might have it probably even took me longer than I realize. You know, like, I only remember, when I started seeing the one year of your targeted ads is that being real conscious, thinking about it and shifting, but there’s probably there were probably many years beyond that, that I don’t even remember in which I was thinking about quitting to.
Casey McGuire Davidson 11:14
Wow, I vividly remember when my son was six months old. I read the book Drinking The Love Story by Carolyn Knapp. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that one of this one. Yeah. But it has this beautiful I was red wine girl glass of red wine on the cover. And a love story is completely what I sort of felt like I was having with wine. And I read that when he was six months old, I had it on my Kindle, and used to read it while drinking, of course, and then open up a bunch of other books. So it’ll be pushed down in my Kindle queue. So if my husband randomly picked it up, he wouldn’t see that I was reading it. I mean, that’s how early on I was. And I wrote myself this whole letter, you know, saying, Oh, my God, I think I have a problem with alcohol. I think I need to stop. Wow. And then four days later, I came back and amended that letter, I wrote myself and said, just kidding, I don’t ever. I mean, that was insane. And then stopped for a year when he was five, but finally stopped when he was eight. So it definitely was that long period of time of contemplating and worrying. And you know, because stopping drinking was my worst case scenario. Absolutely. And like you, it’s become the best decision of my life. best decision I’ve ever made. Biggest health change, most positive transformational change, but it’s kind of scary.
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. It’s so scary, because people are not really living out loud their sobriety. And so you don’t know that other people are doing it, you don’t know that. It’s cool. You don’t know. You have to dig and dive to find the sober world on Instagram or Facebook, like no one in my social circle was sober or posting about it. I’m sure there were some people that were on a sober journey, but it wasn’t their, you know, social media narrative. So it’s super isolating, because it’s really unknown. And it’s not talked about in our mainstream culture. I think it is becoming more talked about more and more lately, but I’m also not 100%. Sure. Because I also know that we are in our little social media, echo chambers, right?
Casey McGuire Davidson 13:33
I was gonna say that if you start following you and me and some of the people exactly on this podcast, there is an explosion of really, really cool women and people out there who quit drinking and are talking about it. But they’re probably not in your immediate social circle. Exactly. Yeah. And it’s amazing. Once you start connecting with people, they really do become friends.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so it’s just kind of like reaching out and finding that those people that resonate with you and inspire you and uplift you and keep you on committed on that path.
Yeah. And you said, I’ve listened to a couple of different things. And you said that you told a story about hitting your rock bottom, when you were on a trip with your mom. Yeah. Tell us about that. Because it was kind of amazing.
Yeah. So in my last year of drinking, I was traveling a lot. I mean, that was one of the amazing things about moving to the Middle East and spending my 20s in the Middle East is that I had a lot of opportunities to do a lot of travel, you know, I was teaching I had these vacations. And so in my last year of drinking, one of my reasons that I kept putting off sobriety was because of all the special occasions coming up, right, so I was spending Christmas backpacking around Southeast Asia and then I had a trip planned with my colleagues to Norway and then one of my best childhood friends.
In March, I was coming to Abu Dhabi with her dad for the Special Olympics. And then in March, I was traveling with my mom to Morocco. So it was one of those really intense four months where I said, you know, there’s no way I could give up drinking because it would ruin all these occasions. So when I was in Southeast Asia, it happened to be New Year’s Eve, and I was riding a slow boat, up the Mekong River, from LAO crossing the border from LAO into Thailand, which is like pretty much one of the coolest life experiences I could ever have. And I was so upset about being on this boat, and not being in like the city and being able to get drunk on New Year’s Eve that I said, you know, my New Year’s Eve is ruined. And I seriously was looking at booking a flight to Bangkok to go and party in Bangkok. And that’s how much I was addicted to alcohol. And it would have been like, 1000s of dollars to get this news in flight. And I don’t think I realized. In the end, I was able to fill up my bag with beer. And I think I drank all of my beer before, like noon on New Year’s Eve. And I don’t think I realized how much alcohol was sort of controlling my happiness and controlling my decisions at that point. And fast forward a few months later, you know, there was the Norway trip where you’re partying all the time my friend was visiting for this special occasion. We’re partying all the time. And then it’s April and my mom and I are going to Morocco. It’s the same thing. It’s like every decision is shaped by weather, I can have a drink there. You know, I don’t want to go to a restaurant because they don’t have booze. I don’t want to be in this town because they don’t have booze.
And one occasion was that it was my birthday. And it was, again, we were going up to this homestay. And we were on the High Atlas Mountains, and there was going to be no alcohol there. And I had a bottle of wine, put it in my backpack, hiked up the mountain with this wine in my backpack, said to my mom, don’t share this with anyone because it’s my birthday. And there won’t be enough, right. And so we split this bottle of red wine between the two of us. And after having half the bottle of wine, I wasn’t drunk. I was pissed off that we didn’t have any more wine. I was pissed off, I couldn’t get more drunk even though it was my birthday. And my mom had arranged this cake to come up to the homestay. And this donkey had carried this cake up his back on like up the mountain. I remember wishing like I wish that, you know, he brought wine, like cake. And it was that night when I lay in bed and I was like this is that can’t do this anymore. Like there’s got to be more to life than this. And I don’t think I was cognizant of how much my happiness is being controlled by the presence or absence of alcohol until shortly after when I quit. So again, I was like I can’t quit today because I’m still in Morocco. I still have this vacation. So I’m going to quit the day that I fly from Morocco back Java Dhabi. And so that was my day one. And so it was April 13. When I quit it was April 7. That was my birthday. It was about a week later. And yeah, I was flying back to Abu Dhabi. I was like, right, this is day one. And it was like the best decision I’ve ever made in my life probably.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:24
If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.
Yeah, I was laughing and smiling when you were talking about that. And you know, drinking half a bottle of wine and being pissed, because it’s not enough because I used to go on this kayak camping trip with a group of women every single year, and one of our first years there, we brought bottles of wine. And so stupid and dangerous. We’re climbing, you know, we kayak there, we’re climbing all over these rocks, we drop the bottle of wine and, and we’re more upset about the fact that the bottle was gone, and that we weren’t gonna have enough wine to like drink as much as we wanted to. We considered getting in our kayaks to kayak to, you know, an hour and a half to someplace where we could get wine. We did not do it. But we were just like, this suck.
And then the next year, we brought boxes of wine, right? Like just the bladders were like, this is way better. We go kayaking for two nights, and we would bring so much alcohol. It was insane. And we’re supposed to be in nature and having deep conversations and you know, mostly wouldn’t remember the end of the night. I mean, so I hear you on just, you know, the question of Do I have enough? And am I going to be stuck somewhere without alcohol, and that’s gonna suck even when you’re in the most incredible places with your favorite people. It just demonstrates how skewed your perception of what’s important is.
Yeah, absolutely. And you, you guys must have been so hungover the next day, like what was kayaking?
Casey McGuire Davidson 22:03
Like, Oh, my God. Well, I remember some of my friends saying, like, who’s gonna stay up with Casey and Holly, so they don’t fall in the fire. Because we were like, John, I see two moons up there. And, you know, I absolutely adore these women. We all sort of had kids around the same time, and they are awesome. But lo and behold, in a group of 12 women, four of us have quit drinking. And you know, a decade later, so you know, and you know, the women are marketing executives and doctors and lawyers. And you know, but drinking, drinking is a thing. And when you like to drink, it really does take over so much of your mind space and energy and heart space. And, you know, you eventually get tired of the hangovers.
Wow, I can’t believe four out of 12 I’m still I’m still like the only one in my friend group. I maybe I’m like the Pioneer. Maybe yours. They all age. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 22:55
What birthday was it when you quit? I was 27. So oh my gosh, yeah. So I quit at 40. And, you know, some of my friends who quit more recently. So yeah, give it another decade, you’ll probably have quite a few. So 27 is really young to have that realization and to change the trajectory of your life and decide it’s not working for you. So you quit. Did you end up joining one year? No beer, how did you find community?
I did exactly. So I joined one year, no beer. And that was a lifesaver at that point. Because I had no I didn’t know anyone that was sober. My uncle has been on a sober journey for a long time, ever since I could remember he had tried to quit. started drinking again. I think he did it maybe three times in my young adulthood. And he finally quit maybe probably five years ago at this point. So I had my uncle kind of as like a bit of a role model, but he’s not a very, like the type of person that you could like turn to talk about this kind of stuff, kind of like, you know, a stoic, really great role model. But um, definitely, I don’t think would have been the best support for me at that point. And so I did have him as inspiration and motivation, and you know, connecting and sharing his sober days, which was super cool. And I think, I think for the first seven days, I actually didn’t even buy into one year, no beer, just because I didn’t want anyone to see like I couldn’t even like the page one year over year, didn’t want to like any of their posts didn’t want to join their group, because I didn’t want anyone to think that I had an issue with alcohol. And it was maybe around seven days that I thought, Okay, I need to join one year, no beer, and I really didn’t want to join the Facebook group again. So I joined the slack group. They had this little slack thing, which was fine, hard to navigate, cool to see some inspirational people. And once I was in it, I was like, you know what I need to get on that group. I need to just get over My fear, which in hindsight, it just seems like the most ridiculous thing because no one else is on Facebook, looking at what groups other people are joining, you know, and fear is real.
And you could see, I also like, I joined a secret private Facebook group called BFB. I’ve talked about it, it’s the booze free brigade. And that one is really secret. Like, it’s fucking hard to find like, you have to find someone, I have a guide on my site. But someone named Elizabeth cloud, which is a, you know, pseudonym or whatever you have to friend her, then she has to message you to say, Do you want to be in? Yes, you want to be in and then you just joined in all it says, you’ve got a mutual friend with people, Elizabeth cloud, and then you’re in the bfhi. So it’s super hard to find an obscure It’s my absolute favorite place. But even when people get there, they’re afraid to pose because they’re like, what if someone else has truly, truly obscure group? And clearly, if they’re there, they also are ready to break up with booze? But yeah, you know, I think we all are like, what if anyone knew that I was trying to stop drinking this drug that is super unhealthy for me. I mean, it’s so crazy.
Yeah, yeah. And I still have it too, even with not with me. But within my community, I have people that are, you know, someone in my sober group who is like three years sober, and, you know, this amazing person, and she is, you know, afraid to tell people that she’s alcohol free. And it’s like, you know, being alcohol free has, you know, transformed your life, you’ve accomplished way more than you ever would have had you are sober. And it’s something to really be proud of. Yet, there’s still this very real fear and stigma, and I totally get it, I totally get it. But it’s one of those things where it’s a shame that there’s such a stigma, because that is what keeps people from people saying in the dark and staying with their drinking, yeah, issues is when they don’t see other people living out loud, sober, but I get why people don’t because the fear is so real, of being judged.
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:15
And well, and I feel like the more people that talk about it, the easier it’s become like your podcast, like you’re sober, Yoga girl, Instagram, you know, my podcast, it’s really opening the conversation about the fact that, hey, I’m a normal person with a great life. And I used to drink a lot. And I decided it was making me feel like garbage. So I quit. And without the stigma without, you know, and actually being happier. And you know, what’s funny is today, I got an email from someone. So I actually when I first started doing this, I was like, terrified to even put sobriety coach on my website, right? Like, in the beginning, I was like, I’m a life coach, I didn’t even want to say I was a sober coach. Everybody knew I’d quit drinking, but that to me was like, out there. And then I have this podcast, I’ve got other podcasts and I happen to put something I went to a sort of big boarding school in Connecticut, and put something in their in their annual things saying, like updates from your class, and I was like, Oh, I quit my job at L’Oréal. I’m a life and sobriety coach, and I started this podcast. And I’ve had two people that just went out like a week ago, email me and be like, I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s super inspiring. I listened to this podcast on and that’s amazing. And then someone else who had written me before and is now a year sober was like, we had emailed and she was like, Oh, my God, I went to Choate to I was two years behind you. So once you kind of open the floodgates, it’s amazing how many other people are out there who are either thinking about doing it, or have done it or would like to, but are kind of in that middle place, too.
Yeah, absolutely. And it happens more and more. Like, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I just heard the other day from someone I went to university with who has been following me since, you know, since I started talking about sobriety, which would have been two and a half years ago at this point, and just messaged me to say, Hey, this is what’s like, this is really touched me. And, you know, this is why and it’s like, wow, like, so there’s, you don’t even know sometimes who you’re resonating with or inspiring who’s watching on the sidelines for even years, you know?
Casey McGuire Davidson 29:36
Yeah. Which is really awesome. When you do take it out of the shadows and say, Hey, I quit drinking without a stigma without a label without anything else. Just you know, hey, I broke up with boots and I’m happier and I’m healthier now. Yeah, absolutely. So we talked when we first touch base about your first 10 days and how it was really hard. You talked about sort of withdrawal and panic attacks and mental health. Tell us about that, because it doesn’t last that long. But that difficult period is what keeps so many women trying to stop and then going back to it and trying to stop and sort of doing the worst part over and over again.
I completely agree with that. Yeah, the, the hardest part is, for everyone, it’s a different period of time. For some people, it’s shorter for, for some people, it’s longer. For some people, it’s less intense. For me, I have had a mood disorder since I was a teenager. And when I quit drinking, everything just got worse. And I remember on the first, at the end of the first week of sobriety, I had maybe been sober for four days had a panic attack at work about the most random thing. At the point when I was drinking, I failed to have the sense of spirituality that I have now around life, which is this, I have this sense that everything will always work out exactly as it’s meant to, and have that at this point in time. And so I’ll tell you about the thing that I had a panic attack about it ended up actually completely working out.
So, the school had us in housing and staff housing, and the housing was absolutely beautiful. But I knew that I could save a lot more money if I moved out of this accommodation and got, you know, a smaller, cheaper little place in the neighborhood around where the school was. And so I had signed this application to try and move out of the staff housing. And I found out on like, my fourth day sober that I had not been approved, and I had to stay in this staff accommodation, and I was so in debt from all my partying and all my drinking. And this felt like the end of the world that I could not move out of this apartment. And this is what triggered this panic attack. And I was sobbing. I was like hyperventilating. One of my bosses intervened, who was like, absolutely amazing, kind of grabbed me and like stayed with me and calmed me down. And I don’t think I might have told her that I was really stressed out about the accommodation thing. I definitely did not tell her that I was a few days sober.
Anyway, I look back on that whole thing. And I’m like, okay, everything always works out. Because what happened that year, the lockdown and the pandemic where we were forced to stay in our apartment forever. And I was stuck in this beautiful. And I remember being like, wow, that was really lucky. Right? That I didn’t, that application didn’t go through. And I didn’t move out of this place. Because I had planned to just kind of move into like a crappy little place where I would not be that lovely have a place to stay 24/7 for good, right.
And so when you look back on life, you’re like, everything always works out. And that’s my new attitude is like the universe is always putting this obstacle in your way for a reason. But anyway, that was what my day for panic attack was about. And the very fortunate thing about that is that we actually had someone on campus at that point, who was I think she was doing her Master’s in Counseling, she was doing a practicum. And she needed some practice counseling and my boss because she had intervened with all this was like, why don’t you go speak to this person. And I was able to then get free counseling for my first 100 days sober with this person, which was like, the biggest blessing and she actually ended up being someone who was also sober. She, I think she had around maybe a 12-year-old son, and she told me that she was she became silver when he was around one. So she had been sober for like 11 years. And it was just luck. And so definitely one of the things I tell people about sobriety is like, so I was part of one year in a year, which is amazing virtual community. But it did not give me anyone to talk to and so whether you end up with a Counselor, with a Coach. Whoever can support you through it, but I really feel that that 1-on-1 support was necessary for me to get through those 100 days.
And so anyway, yeah, so I had this panic attack, good things came out of it, even if they didn’t seem great at the time. So you know, I think I had that weekend of feeling really, really low. And whenever I was low, I would just get on the one end of your Facebook group, look at all the messages, read the stories help, like motivate myself. And then it wasn’t until the following weekend. So my second weekend sober when I just kind of woke up and all of a sudden, things are balanced out. And then I was like, wow, this is beautiful life. Being not hungover is beautiful. But it took me quite a while to get to that point.
Well, and I always tell women like your first two weeks, you’re going to be irritated. You’re going to be super sensitive. You feel like you’re walking around without your outer layer of skin because you don’t have this bubble of either being hungover which really dulls you or being true Great, so you, you know, all the it feels like everything is too sharp and too fast and sort of it’s so I mean, I felt rage, I felt anger, I felt sadness, like, all the emotions in the first two weeks. And you’re also very, you know, it is real that you are going through physical withdrawal that’s affecting your body and your mind and your emotions. So it is not unusual to have those first two weeks be really, really hard. And then kind of for the clouds to part and you to be like, oh my god, I’m sleeping well, for the first time in years. And I’m not hungover and I’m suddenly feeling better and happy. And that’s what people call the pink cloud. And it takes longer for everyone to get there are different amounts of time, but it’s there.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Casey McGuire Davidson 35:50
Yeah, I love that you add support for your first 100 days, too, because that’s what I do. As a sober Coach, I know you do that as well. But I also I was member of an online group, similar to you, and that I also had a coach who I emailed every day and had phone calls with someone who got it someone who kind of held my hand through the beginning part and all the emotions and all your fears and limiting beliefs about quitting drinking, and I agree that one on one support can be huge.
Mm hmm. Totally. I and I was just, I was super lucky that she, I ended up coming across her and also that she because I know a lot of counselors and therapists don’t share. There’s like this thing where they don’t really share what’s going on with them. And so I would have had no idea had she not chosen to share with me, you know, I went through this too. And I think, had she not and I don’t think she I think she might have not told me that the first time I talked to her, I think it might have been maybe it was something she reflected on after and thought, you know, I’m going to share this with her. And then she told me maybe the second or third session that she was also sober. And that made a massive difference was just knowing that she got it. And I think that’s one of the things about counseling that I do think it’s changing. But definitely, traditionally, there was like a barrier between the counselor and the patient, and they wouldn’t share what was going on with them. And so my counselor was amazing. But that’s one of the things I love about coaching is, you know, my clients have my support. And it’s not about me, but they have you know, my 70 podcast episodes where they get to hear my story and our stories. I think it’s Brené Brown, who says, you know, a page and your story might become someone else’s Survival Guide, right. And our stories can have huge impact. And so that is one of the real values, I think of choosing a coach is that you can really connect to their journey that can help you along yours.
Casey McGuire Davidson 37:54
What it also is judgment free, right? I mean, when you share your story, you sort of normalize and make it okay for other people to share their vulnerabilities or just wait. And so when I went to therapy, same thing, I have a therapist that I absolutely adore, but for years, I went to therapy, and they were they were kind of quiet, they would ask me questions, they would never share anything about them. And I felt really self conscious. I like they were judging me or that I didn’t want to you know, did I say the right thing? Or should I be sharing more? You know, we tend to get kind of in our own heads. So when someone Yeah. Oh, yeah, I did that too. That’s totally fine. You know, you’re kind of like,
okay, good. You know what, that’s really interesting that you bring that up, because I have never made that connection until right now that I really struggled with. I you know, I was in and out of counselors’ offices in university. And I think I was afraid sometimes to tell them the whole truth because I was afraid that they would think that, you know, they were judging me or think something is wrong with me or like I was afraid of their judgments. And I don’t feel that around coaches. I don’t feel that around my community now. And I wonder if that element of the therapeutic approach just was not working for me, you know, like, because I need someone to obviously you don’t want to a therapy session to ever become both the therapist but you want to hear comforted by like, Yeah, I had mental health struggles to you know, so that you feel like you’re not alone because I think I always felt like I was going into this room of someone who had their shit together.
Casey McGuire Davidson 39:39
And I Yeah, didn’t you know also like there’s, there’s so many code words. I mean, I went into therapist for years, and didn’t tell them how much I was drinking or expressed all the emotional turmoil that I was feeling but didn’t relate it to drinking a lot of therapists drink too. So they’ve got their own by bias and they’ve been raised in the society He that we have been as well, we’re like, right? You’re quote unquote, an alcoholic or you’re not right. So sometimes I know from talking to people, people will be like, well, therapist will be like, I don’t think you’re an alcoholic, or they’ll be like, I think that you are. And both of those are kind of really unhelpful if you’re going in there, and in the early stages of worrying about your alcohol consumption. So I mean, I think that one of the things that that’s helpful is having people normalize it right, normalize sobriety, normalize the fact that it’s addictive, and that you should experiment and try to see how you feel without it. Because there’s some real harm that comes from this substance that everybody consumes and that you don’t have to decide you’re an alcoholic to decide that drinking isn’t working for you. So that’s part of it. I mean, I remember when you said you had a mood disorder, I also have a mood disorder, and didn’t figure it out until I stopped drinking. So I quit drinking. Four months in had this huge panic attack, I want to jump out of my skin. I’m laying in my bed like tingling, just trying to make it through the hour. And I was really pissed because my mental health and anxiety was reason that I finally decided to quit drinking. And so I was like, I thought I was fixed. Like, I gave up this huge, huge thing that I loved. And I’m still dealing with this shit. But like you said, it was a gift, I finally got to go to a therapist, and I finally got on medication, I finally was able to separate what was happening with my body and my mind versus the effects of drinking and hangovers. And I never would have gotten that clarity or that help. If I hadn’t not had this mitigating factor of this drug in my system. Yeah.
Yeah, because it really, it really impacts everything. And you’re not the first person I’ve spoken to who I was speaking to another guest on the podcast, he was saying the same thing they it was when they got sober, that they discovered that they had a mental health, a mood disorder, and it’s it impacts you so much, and the consumption of booze and I think we don’t realize how much it can shift, you know, your brain chemistry and what’s going on until it’s gone.
What Not only that, you also blame yourself for all the symptoms that may or may not be caused, you know, because you have an actual issue that is treatable. You know, you wake up feeling like you can’t cope with life, you’re struggling really thin, you’re braiding yourself. You blame yourself because you’re like, Fuck, I shouldn’t drink that bottle of wine last night again, when if you remove that factor, you’re like, Okay, actually, I’m really not feeling well. And I know it’s nothing that I’ve done so I can go talk to a doctor therapist and actually get help for this. Right? Well, so tell me how do you help people in your community break up with booze? Like, I know you’re into yoga and a yoga teacher, which is amazing. You also have other tools that you use, like journaling and other things. So tell us sort of your process your formula what you think works really well.
Yeah. I think so. Being part of one interviewer was amazing for me in that it gave me some resources. It gave me inspiration, gave me community and their main tools were habit changing around you know, run a marathon train for this marathon, get this physical goal transform your life, which is fantastic, and it totally resonates with a lot of people.
For me, when I got sober I kind of made my own formula of getting really into my spirituality really into my yoga practice really into my meditation. And I found that the few things missing from one year to be or were that the spirituality and then also the one on one interaction or the real live interaction. So when you’re no beer is just a Facebook group. I did make some amazing friends out of it. But most of them have now come into my Mindful Life Practice Community and we run Sober Curious Yoga, where these are yoga practices that have a time built in for a 15 to 20-minute checklist check in. This is an opportunity for people to pick up a Talking Stick and share how they’re doing in a nonjudgmental, supportive way. And we actually have people from all over the world but it’s also super small and intimate. We cap the group’s at 10 participants which I have heard from a lot of people is really unique and really special for a sober community because a lot of people have said that they will get on calls with like 100 people on the Zoom, then they won’t share anything. And at the end, they just don’t feel connected. And so the size of the groups, anywhere between, you know, two, three to 10 people means that people, everyone gets a chance to talk, everyone gets a chance to be heard, and everyone feels safe. And that is a key part of what we offer. So the live yoga practice, and then we also do journaling. We have journal prompts, I’ve created workbooks for the first eight weeks sober. And there’s one workbook a week. And it’s kind of basically is like a yoga challenge. So I’m going to quit drinking for 30 days, do yoga for 30 days, be part of this community, do my journaling. And sometimes I work 1-on-1 with people as well, just depending on what the situation is like, if they’re looking for a bit more support. And I have found that this works really well. That being said, I think that there are so many amazing, sober communities, so many different programs out there, what works for one person might not work for another. So I just encourage everyone to try lots of different things until they find the perfect thing for them.
Casey McGuire Davidson 46:18
Yeah, I mean, I think the point is to be inspired by who could you be? And what do you want your life to be like? Yeah, once you remove alcohol, once you’re kind of not thinking about it all the time, or physically struggling with it, or kind of centering your whole life around drinking occasions. And for some people, it’s yoga, which is amazing. For some people, like I ran a 10k, that was sort of my first like, here’s what I’m going to do, I’m stopping drinking, and I have this goal. And for other people, it’s you know, I have a client who hikes all the time, like just incredible hiking, which is amazing. And it doesn’t have to be physical. I have clients who’ve taken up painting and, are painting every day and all the different things. But I think that, you know, you remove alcohol from your life, and there’s a period of just not feeling that well. And tapping in to knowing that you’re not the only one tapping into groups is so helpful. And then also like, Okay, I’ve removed this thing, what am I going to add into my life? You know, what am I going to bring into it? So, I think that’s so cool. Yeah, absolutely. It’s funny, I’m actually going on a yoga retreat in two weeks. I’m so excited in Mexico. And it’s through she recovers there another group that I’m as she recovers coach, but it’s in this villa in Mexico, right on the beach with like, 20 women, and we have morning and evening yoga on this roof and pools and sharing circles at night. And I signed up two years ago, and it got moved multiple times, of course during COVID. But now it’s two weeks away, and I literally am so excited. I don’t know what to do with myself.
Amazing. I actually remember you mentioning that the last time we talked. That’s incredible. You’re going to have such a great time.
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:13
And I’m not a Yoga Girl, but I’m going to get an only because yeah, life. I don’t know. But so I’m going to get into it this this next week. I’m excited about it.
Amazing. That’s amazing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:27
So I know you’re doing something new in January, right or a new start at the sober curious challenge or tell us about that.
Yeah, so I have found that January is a huge time for people looking to explore serve sober, curious life. I think last year, we had like 30 new members join sober curious yoga last January. So we’re expecting that again. So at the start of January, we’re going to be starting a new, sober, curious 30-Day Challenge. And if anyone is interested in joining, we can provide links for that. And at the start of January, we’re actually going to be beginning as well. Some new I also do yoga teacher trainings and I am going to be launching my advanced yoga teacher training, which is going to be focusing around yoga addiction and mental health. So I’m super excited about that. So I have those new programs coming up. And I also hope one of my reasons for moving to Bali is that I’m hoping to start live events here. So live retreats, live yoga teacher trainings, and so that will be coming up in 2022 as well. So I’m super excited about that because the Zoom world has been amazing, but I think the next level is the real life world for sober community in
Casey McGuire Davidson 49:45
Bali like the perfect place. So let me live vicariously through you for a moment. I’ve never been to Bali Will you tell me why it’s so amazing and why you love it there.
You know what it is? For me? It is this sense of It’s like this spiritual center for me. And I just always feel very in touch with myself with nature with, I don’t know how to describe it, like everyone here just seems to be living the same life, which is just like, so go with the flow so relaxed, even if they’re not Yoga people, they’re still really grounded and kind. There’s a lot of sober people. So I’m specifically in a town of Uber, which is like a jungle town. But there’s also, you know, beach towns, but the reason why I love the jungle town is this is where like the Yoga people congregate. And so there’s a lot of like-minded people, even in the COVID time, so there is a, there’s still barriers to get in for tourists. And so it’s mostly just expats here right now. And locals. And even in this time, I still feel I feel really connected to myself and to others. And so this, you know, I’ve been I’ve, when living abroad, I was very fortunate to see a lot of countries, I traveled to 35 countries. And when I became sober, I got less interested in, you know, before, when I was drinking, I wanted to travel all these places and have cool Instagrams of me, you know, in Paris and Spain, whatever. Now I’m like, I don’t really care. I don’t really feel like I need to see anything else in the world other than Bali. And I just feel so contend with if I went nowhere else in this lifetime, I would be happy just being here forever.
Casey McGuire Davidson 51:35
Oh, that’s amazing. Okay, someday I need to get there. And if you’re leaving, yes, I have to come on it. You have to come. Yeah, it would be awesome. Well, tell us how people can find you. So this podcast is coming out December 9. So perfect timing. If you’re interested in the sober, curious, 30-day challenge or anything else? Where should people go?
Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram. It’s Alex MC, Rob’s and the community that I run is called the mindful life practice. So the mindful life practice calm or the mindful life practice on Instagram. And my podcast is called sober Yoga Girl podcasts. And so if you found any of this on Instagram, found our website, I can attach I can send you Casey more direct links that people can just click on to go straight to the programs
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:26
per show. Note that Oh, anyone who’s interested, just go to this episode on my website, and you’ll find it all there. Well, thank you so much, Alex, this has been awesome.
Thank you so much for having me. It was so lovely to chat. It was my first podcast episode I’ve done in a while, like a couple of weeks. And it was definitely worth the 6am Wakeup for so.
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:50
Very cool. All right. Have a good rest of your day.
Thank you so much. We’ll speak soon.
So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more.