How To Enjoy Your First Sober Holiday Season

If you’re in early sobriety or are trying to stop drinking, navigating your first sober holiday season can be a challenge. 

Why is it hard to get through your first sober holiday season?

Well, the holidays are not only a wonderful time of year but also a gauntlet of social, emotional and environmental triggers to drink. 

The holiday season brings together the unique combination of…

  • Back-to-back drinking events (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, work parties, holiday parties, gift exchanges, New Year’s Eve and more) 
  • Complicated family dynamics and constant togetherness
  • Strong memories of previous years drinking
  • Physically being surrounded by alcohol on a regular basis
  • Airports, travel, staying with family or in hotels
  • Annual traditions that can trigger perfectionism, people pleasing and difficulty saying no and setting healthy boundaries
  • Being pushed out of your sober bubble
  • Social pressure to drink
  • And (in addition to joy and gratitude) negative emotions including insecurity, resentment, overwhelm, frustration and anxiety

I was nine months sober my first holiday season and thought that I would have no problem enjoying it alcohol-free. And still I was surprised by the need to tap into sober support and plan around drinking events to maintain my sobriety.  

Kimberly Kearns, a friend and author of the sobriety memoir On the Edge of Shattered, also had a difficult time in her first sober holiday season. Kim stopped drinking right after Thanksgiving and was only 3 weeks sober going into her first sober Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  

Kim and I are going to share with you all our best tips, advice and strategies to survive your first sober holiday season. 

Tune in to hear us discuss:

  • How to start thinking of the holiday season in a new way that gets you excited about doing it alcohol-free 

  • Why it’s important to identify your expectations around the holidays + evaluate how they might impact you physically, mentally and emotionally
  • How to share that you’re not drinking this holiday season with family and friends 
  • Practical advice on how to attend + host holiday parties alcohol-free and how to make traveling, staying with family or having family members stay with you less stressful
  • How to socialize sober + reduce stress and anxiety around attending holiday gatherings

  • How to say no, modify traditions + set boundaries without feeling like you are high maintenance
  • Ideas for new holiday traditions that can make the season joyful, memorable + fulfilling without alcohol
  • What was wonderful and hard in our first sober holiday seasons

Ready to drink less + live more?

More About Kim Kearns

Kimberly Kearns is the author of a sobriety memoir, On the Edge of Shattered. She is a wife to an incredible husband and a mother to three beautiful children in Needham, Massachusetts. She tells her story of sobriety and inspires others every day on her blog and Instagram account.  Kim is the co-hosts the podcast The Weekend Sober and is a writer for the Webby Award-winning narrative podcast F*cking Sober: The First 90 Days.

Learn more about Kim Kerns at www.kimberlykearns.com

Follow Kim on Instagram @asoberandstrongmom

The Weekend Sober Podcast

Purchase her new book On the Edge of Shattered

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 1% of podcasts globally, 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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Your First Sober Holiday Season


drinking, husband, people, sober, day, mom, alcohol, wine, christmas, friends, holidays, night, hanukkah, sobriety, totally, fun, kids, feel, podcast, life


SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Kim Kearns


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 your first sober holiday season. My guest is Kim Kearns. She’s an author and she released her first book, On the Edge of Shattered, on November 1, so it will have come out just two weeks before you’re hearing this podcast. Kim and I met online, as I meet a ton of my new sober women friends. She went to Colby and I went to Bates College and if you don’t know small liberal arts colleges in the northeast, they are two of three sort of well known ones in Maine that are very similar. And so we bonded over the drinking culture at our little colleges. I played rugby at Colby and spent a good number of nights totally blacked out, I think with the Colby rugby team. 


Kim hosts a podcast. It’s called The Weekend Sober and I got to go on there to have a conversation about the fears that we have about quitting drinking. And I wanted to have Kim on the show because as you’re looking at your upcoming holiday season, as you’re looking at how you can navigate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s alcohol free, I think this is going to be a really good discussion. I quit drinking in February, so I had nine months under my belt by my first Thanksgiving and 10 months by my first Christmas and New Year’s. Whereas Kim stopped drinking just after Thanksgiving and just after her birthday in November. So hit Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s all within her first month alcohol free. And whether you are further along in your sobriety, or whether you are just getting started and only have a week or two or three under your belt as sort of the gauntlet of drinking events approaches, we want to give you the tips and tricks that you need to get through this. 


So Kim is a wife to an incredible husband, a mother to three beautiful children. She lives in Massachusetts. And she hosts, as I mentioned, the podcast The Weekend Sober and is a writer for the Webby Award winning narrative podcast Fucking Sober the First 90 Days. So Kim, you can tell us more about you. But welcome. I’m glad you’re here.



Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. And this is so funny because your intro and hearing you talk, I’m like, I listen to your podcast and it was such a savior to me in those early days in thinking about like the holidays and the beginning of my sober journey. Like I literally walked the streets of my town listening to your voice. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:15

And that’s crazy in your first holiday season. Like as you were on day one and day two and day 10. That’s so interesting in 2020, because before this podcast, I always try to get as prepped as possible. And I recorded a podcast, I think back in 2020, with Jeanne McCarthy, the host of The Bubble Hour who I absolutely adore, and she had a book on, you know, alcohol free survival of the festive season. And so we did an interview on that and that might have been right around the time that you were getting ready for your first super holiday season.



I probably listened to it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:51

Yeah, we’ll put it in the show notes of this one because it’s a great one as well, but I’m excited you’re here. And I wanted to do this episode because I know when I was quitting drinking, I took walks all around my neighborhood, listening to the bubble hour on nonstop repeat. And I know so many women do that as like a way to reset and wrap their mind around how the hell am I gonna go to my company Christmas party or the New Year’s Eve party or even sitting around my house with my kids in the lead up to Christmas or Hanukkah without drinking?



Yeah, exactly. A lot of people said to me, so I stopped drinking November 28, 2020, and everybody said to me, I can’t believe you quit drinking alcohol during the holiday season, during a pandemic. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  05:50

And everybody’s like, just wait till January. That’s what we do. Like, there’s no point, you know, it’s only three more weeks, four more weeks. Right?



Right. People are like, Why did you quit drinking during like the most fun time of year? I don’t get it. And that was exactly why I had to stop because for me, those weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, were such heavy drinking days. For me, I would just, so first of all, my birthday is November 18, so the party started November 18. And it went literally through New Year’s for me. 


So I, you know, November 28, 2020, I woke up that day, you know, in that awful shame spiral at like 4am. And I said to my husband, I said, would you know I woke him up early in the morning, and I said to him, What would you say if I asked you to help me quit drinking? And it was like a huge relief to him. Because it was almost like he’d been waiting for me to ask him, to say that, you know, he had been worried about me for a while. Because I knew that I could not keep going through the New Year, I couldn’t just, I knew I couldn’t moderate. I couldn’t slow down, I didn’t have an injury, I didn’t have the strength. 


So I knew at that point, I had hit this, like, I was just so tired of it all. And I could, I couldn’t keep it up anymore. Because the way I drank was, a lot of it was, you know, all or nothing. And for some reason, me being the town I live in, the group of friends I was hanging out with, it was just a very much a scene around here was, you know, holiday parties every weekend and, you know, events during the week. So it was a lot of drinking that I was you know, staring down like this road of heavy drinking even during the pandemic.


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:45

Oh my god, that I mean, I feel like that’s everyone, everywhere. You know what I mean?



And I think back then it was, we were gathering in people’s driveways around fire pits. So it was a lot of that kind of drinking. And even though we weren’t having like real holiday parties back then during that winter, I was still drinking a ton. So anyways, I said to my husband, I need to stop. And yeah, I chose to, I chose to get sober during the holiday season of a variant pandemic.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:14

Well, so what’s interesting is it sounded like you, I mean, God, anyone listening to this podcast knows that feeling, knows the feeling of like, waking up and being like, I can’t do this anymore. And then three days later, being like, Screw it, fuck it, this is too hard. I’m in physical withdrawal. You don’t even think that’s it but like, I just need a drink. And there are so many excuses and reasons to do that in the holidays. But what made this time different for you like on the, was it the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend? Or what? What was it like that this time actually stuck for more than three days?



That’s such a great question. So it was actually the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is so random. Nothing happened the night before. It was just, you know, home on the couch watching a movie with family. It wasn’t anything bad that occurred. But for some reason, I didn’t remember going to bed and I was with my kids. Yep. Like what? Okay, they’re whacked out with my little kids like, oh.


Casey McGuire Davidson  09:27

Okay, so that was, what age were your kids at the time?



So at the time, so two, so six, eight and nine. So I mean, I like, that was a regular occurrence at that point. You know, I was blacking out all the time. Always had been someone who blacks out since my days at Colby. But yeah, so I blacked out, woke up the next morning like, honestly, it was like one of those things where it just clicked and I read that that happens. And the fact that I finally verbalized it, I finally said it out loud to my husband, you know, because I had had these talks in my own mind a few times, like, maybe I need to cut back, maybe I need to drink a little less. And that’s when I would go a couple days and last until maybe Wednesday. And then I’d say, Fuck it, like I deserve, I deserve this drink. Like, my, my life is hard. Like, this is kind of three little kids like, this is really difficult. I deserve that glass of wine, you know?


Casey McGuire Davidson  10:27

And then you’re like, it’s no big deal. I can just drink less, like, you know, everybody drinks whatever.



Exactly. And it would last, my moderation would last a little bit. But I would always get right back into my awful pattern. You know, heavy drinking. So this time was different, because I think I voiced it out loud. I said it to my husband, I broke it out loud, said it to myself, you know, had yelled at me. I had moments in the mirror when nobody else was at home, when I would say, get it together. I cry. And I would never actually admit to myself that I had a problem. But like I said, I finally said something out loud to my husband. And I asked him to help me. That was the turning point. That’s a big moment. That was the moment. That was the moment. And I told him I said, we need to get rid of every single drop of alcohol in this house. Because that I knew, and he didn’t know, for me like what I was doing by the end and that if there was, we had this really old bottle of MacAllan, is that whiskey? I don’t even know. And I knew that I would like drink that if I could, like if there was anything left in the house. So I was like, You need to even get rid of that. You need to get rid of that weird Kaluga stuff. And he was like, seriously, you would drink that? I’m like, Yes, I would get rid of it. You know?


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:56

Yeah. And had he wanted you to stop drinking before or like my husband just wanted me to cut back, like he wanted me to get it together. I’m not sure he ever thought he wanted me to stop drinking.



Our husbands sound exactly the same. Yep. He used to say to me, Kim, why can’t you just have one? What? Why did you have to have the whole bottle? Like, why can’t, because he would go and have one beer and he wouldn’t even finish it. As we were leaving the table, I would like finish his glass. Oh, my God. I’ve done that so many times. And you know, the next day, we say, I don’t understand why. Let’s go out to dinner and just have one drink. And that was in the past year or two, we really, he’s finally understood that like I was just never able to. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to, I just physically was, I wasn’t able. And that’s something that at the time he was very angry at me about.


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:54

And he was angry that you didn’t stop, that you, that you kind of always had drunk?



Yep, that I couldn’t have just one. And he would get very frustrated with me. But now in retrospect, he’s able to look back on that and say, Yeah, you had a problem. He didn’t realize that at the time. So he just, sobriety was never on the table for him. Like he never considered me getting sober. Like he never thought that was you. Because we don’t know anybody that doesn’t.


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:23

Yeah, I mean, that was me too. I literally did not know anyone who didn’t drink. And it was such a part of my identity. And it was also part of like, I protected it so fiercely. So when you woke your husband up like he, my husband was probably annoyed of me getting drunk and passing out and not remembering shit, or whatever it was. But he had no idea how worried I was about it. Because I would never ever in my entire life tell him because I didn’t want him to know.



Yep, he had no idea how upset it made me and how much I was spiraling in those early mornings. And I remember, you know, I would lay there and watch him, like, peacefully asleep at 4am. And I would be so anxious and so upset. And I remember feeling like often very depressed at that time of day. And just like so envious that he could sleep. Like, get it you know, and little did he not know that I was in this like awful, crazy state. And then by the time he woke up at like, you know, six or seven, I’d be like, Oh, how are you? And like acting totally normal, you know, because I was able to hide it for sure like overcompensating.


Casey McGuire Davidson  14:35

Yeah. I mean, my husband would be like, How are you feeling this morning? And I’d be like, what? I’m fine.



Oh, yeah, it was that too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  14:45

What did they ask me how I’m feeling? What, I was passed out on the couch drunk? Is this the night before?



Totally, totally. And yeah, I would overcompensate and play it off and get up and go to the gym to try to prove to him that I was fine or you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  15:00

And oh, I just happen to be a person who could get drunk and pass out every day to blackout and that’s still completely functional.



But, you know, that’s how so many of our friends were. So he never, ever thought that, you know, sobriety, not drinking was an option. And I was so consumed and so worried about how it would be perceived by others. And I was worried about how people would judge me for having a drinking problem. And that was my biggest worry in the beginning, how I, what my friends would say and what others would say, what people would say. And it’s actually so funny because now I am so open about it. And I am like that sober mom in the town of Needham. Everybody knows me. I like posts on the Needham Facebook page. I have a book coming out. I have a podcast that everybody knows me is like, that’s the sober mom. And I love it. You love it. You’re not yet. Yeah. It’s me. And I want to take away the shame that people have.


Casey McGuire Davidson  16:08

Yeah, well, and the cool thing is now all the people in your area in college and your community, they’re like, Oh, I know one person who used to drink a shitload and now doesn’t, and she’s happier. Like, I can’t tell you how many people have like, signed up for my course or emailed me or whatever. On all sides of B I was drinking super problematically too. I never had a real problem, but it was just totally disconnected to who I want to be, who have messaged me and been like, oh, I started following what you were doing. And I mean, people I used to work with, people I went to college with, people I worked out with, my sober mom’s group, like, it’s just so awesome. Because like, so many of us don’t know anyone.



Totally. I, that has been one of the most gratifying parts of it is, you know, I started blogging on day one. So this is a you know, I started writing and I didn’t expect anybody to read it, because I really was doing it to hold myself accountable. Another way to make sure that I didn’t drink on day three. Yeah. And I sent the blog. As I sobbed through the entire eyebrow, I sat there and wrote and just cried and then sent in an email that’s my husband be like, don’t you need to be reading this? You are so yeah, I mean, I did not tell my husband shit until I was like, over 100 days sober about all the things. Oh, so he knew I wasn’t drinking. And he knew he needed to not buy me wine. And I told him I was on this no alcohol challenge. So I didn’t want to like, go to this brewery. But I did not tell him all my inner thoughts about like, all the things. He, yeah, I was like, an open book to him on like, day one. And I needed to be. I knew I needed to be too because I don’t think I would have done it. And yeah, exactly. It’s not for everybody. Like sometimes you just need to journal for yourself or not even drilled. Sometimes you just need to be doing this process alone.


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:11

Well, you know what, I actually had a sober coach. And I wrote her every single day. I was a member of like, the secret private Facebook groups. Why remember? Those people? Yeah, no, I see what you’re saying. Like I had, I literally have a journal of like, every single thing and thought and whatever I was saying in my first 100 days through emails to my coach, it’s just my husband wasn’t that person, I guess.



And that’s yeah, so I was on. So I started journaling on day one, or rather blogging. And oh, to follow up on my other point. But yeah. And to get messages from people saying they were already reading my blog and saying, I totally relate to what you’re saying. And then all of a sudden, the blog takes off months later, and I’m connecting with people all over the world. And that’s been really cool. 


What’s the name of your blog? 


So it used to be A Sober and Strong Mom. Yeah. A Sober and Strong Mom. Oh, that’s my instagram handle. But I just changed it to KimberlyKearns.com. But what’s been so fun is also not just connecting with people all over the world. But, you know, people from Colby and people from high school saying, you know, I haven’t stopped drinking Kim, but you’ve really made me rethink my relationship with alcohol and kind of like the way I approach it. And that has been so, so neat. And, you know, I’m not telling everybody to stop drinking. I don’t give a shit when people do. Yeah, I’m on my own path and you’re on your own path. And if you are fixing your relationship with alcohol, great. If you are going to keep drinking, great. And a lot of people have said to me, you know, with my writing with my blog, like I’ve really related to your struggle, but I relate to it in terms of my addiction with exercise or my addiction with food, and I think everybody you know has a thing.

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  20:05

Yes. That they worry about. Yeah. So you woke up, you were tired. It was for a, you were like, I’m worried about this. If I keep drinking the way I usually drink between my birthday and the new year, it’s going to be a shit show. It’s not going to be good for anyone, for me, I can’t do it. So what then, you told your husband, you started blogging? You know, it’s a couple of weeks before Hanukkah, Christmas, all the things. How did you approach this, your first hobby, no alcohol in the house and being totally honest with your husband, what else? Did you tell your friends?



Yeah. Well, I also asked Evan as my husband, I asked Evan to stop drinking with me. And because he has, like I said before, he does not have any problem with drinking, he could take it or leave it. And he was like, Sure. Let’s be done with it. He’s like, I don’t need..


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:01

Luckiest. Women listening to this are like, really? My husband would not be cool.



I know. I know. I am very lucky. And that’s awesome I was able to just say, Okay, let’s do it. So he did, he quit for six months, maybe nine months. He quit for about nine months. And it wasn’t until at nine months, I was literally like, you should have a beer at dinner with me. Like it was, like I was encouraging him to and he’s like, Are you sure? Are you sure? So that was helpful in the beginning to know when we did go out with friends that he was like he had. Yep, he had a seltzer. I had a seltzer. So that first day that we poured, we poured out all the wine, all the vodka, all the weird Kullu was in the whiskies and all the stuff, literally got rid of everything. I was like, oh, there’s some beers in the back fridge. Like I know that. Like I knew where everything was, Oh, yeah. And we got rid of it all. And then I called four girlfriends. I went on walks with a couple of them, cried my eyes out. My kids were like, what’s wrong with mom? Like they? We didn’t, I didn’t tell my kids for a little while. But they, I did tell them eventually. But that was really important for me, because I have really close girlfriends, and I value my friendships with my friends. And even though they all are pretty big drinkers, I felt like I needed them to also hold me accountable. Because we had these events coming up. We had a party, we had things going on.


Casey McGuire Davidson  22:27

What did they say? And what did you say to them?



So I said, it’s like, everybody had a different response, as you can imagine, depending on almost their relationship with alcohol.


Casey McGuire Davidson  22:41

Yeah, I feel like every single person’s response is not about you and entirely about their own relationship with alcohol. Give me a cup, get people listening to this. So it’s right after Thanksgiving, you were like, completely honest. And I think that’s interesting, because there’s so many different ways to approach this. Like, I told everyone I wasn’t drinking, and like literally nothing more, including my best friends. I was like, health kick, you know? 



Yeah. But yeah, so like, you can go any direction. Like, I know, some people say, I’m gonna take a break, and I’m just, I’m gonna do you know, six weeks without alcohol. See how I feel that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:22

You’re getting real support. If you’re honest, I just got it elsewhere, right? Like you.



And I did not. I was doing the luckiest club and sober mom squad on Zoom. And found that you had found that? 


Yeah, no, I didn’t find it before. I found it within the first 24 hours.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:44

You, would you search like, what’s the Google search term?



I don’t even remember. Like online mommy sober support. I don’t even remember. Yeah, but um, so one of my friends that I told she said that she’s like, my brother is in AA, you should definitely do something. So she helped me do some of this research. I think she sent me another. What was it called? It was some other something project or an A or No, such as an H, whatever, I’ll think of it. So she, so I told these friends. One friend was like, I’m so proud of you. That was generally the consensus that we had for you. Another friend was like, I’ve noticed that you’re really skinny and that you’re drinking too much, like because by the end, I was drinking so much and had lost a lot of weight and I was really malnourished. Which you know, some people say they’re drinking so much and they’ve gained weight and they’re heavy like I literally was..


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:44

I was. The gained weight was, like 40 pounds.



I was drinking my meals and I wasn’t eating healthy by the end that was like, like so hungover I couldn’t eat. So I drink to fix my hangover and then forget to eat meals. And so anyway, she was like, Yeah, I’ve been worried about your weight. And then, like, really her concern was in, it was just funny how people’s concerns were very different and focused on different things.


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:13

Didn’t anyone say anything when you told them that like really annoyed you or rubbed you the wrong way?



Oh, no, I mean, not really, not, nothing, like rubbed me the wrong way. But you know, I think in general, I chose to tell people in the beginning that I knew would be supportive. 


Okay, that is super smart. 


Yes, that I knew wouldn’t be super judgmental. And, you know, I chose the time to tell family members way later. And, you know, the people that I was really worried about making those kinds of comments.


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:50

So I remember telling my very best friend when I was, I mean, we were roommates when we were 15 in boarding school and she still lives very close to me. And, you know, we’re godparents to each other’s kids. And so she’s known me since before I stopped drinking, and like the entire I mean, I used to pass out at the dinner table at dinner with her, her husband and my husband, you know, like, yeah, so I was very tired. I just needed to close my eyes. My life was really hard, apparently. No, I remember going away with her, like for Fourth of July weekend, and we went on a hike. And I was like, I don’t even know who I am without drinking. And she looked at me, and like, it made me cry. She’s like, I feel like I’ve finally gotten my best friend back. And I was just like, Oh, my God, you know?



Yeah, yes, I do. Yeah, one of my very best friends from Colby, who I asked to come over that day, she sat down on my front porch, and I told her, I was like, I’m really scared, but I really need you and I need to stop drinking, and I need your support. And she was like, 100%, I got you. And this is a girl who has been there with me since we were 18 blacking out, you know. She was, yeah, like, drank heavily with me for a long time. But she was able to taper it off and not go down the road I went down, as you know, like she knew how to not. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  27:21

Oh, my God, I always used to say to my husband, like you knew who you married. And he was like, I kind of thought you’d grow out of it.



Right? Right.


Casey McGuire Davidson  27:29

So, this is interesting, because like, when you’re approaching the holiday season, you were so new, which is both incredibly hard, right? Because you’re going through those first two weeks of withdrawal, and that like literal physical sadness, and mourning, and irritability and sensitivity. And you know that, I mean, your first month of sobriety is really hard, like, physically, you know, and mentally and emotionally, whereas I stopped drinking mid February. So by the time the first holiday season rolled around for me, I was more in the like, I got this, like, I’d been to Italy, I gone through my birthday, I’d gone through my first 100 days, I told everyone I was stopping for six months, like, behind the point, the holidays rolled around, I was pretty solid in. Nobody thought I was going to drink. I’d gone to dinner, I’d gone to dinner parties, I’d had holidays. So we were in such different places. 


And I think that one of the reasons I wanted to have this conversation is to be like, it’s, my first holiday season was surprisingly difficult for me at different moments. And I did not expect it to be. I expected it to be like, I’m good. It’s no problem. And you were in such an early time. And one of the reasons I wanted to talk about this is because I know so many women listening to this, probably feel like you did and want to stop drinking, or maybe nobody wants to stop drinking, but they’re like, Fuck, I gotta stop drinking. But then they’re like, it’s impossible. It’s too hard. I’ll never make it anyway. I don’t want to be going through withdrawal during the holiday season. And I don’t want to bubble up and not go to drinking events when all these friends and families are doing these awesome things. So I’ll just wait till January and one thing I think about that is you are depriving yourself from a really really, really magical time with no headaches and hangovers and guilt and shame and regret.



Yes. 100%. Thank you. That is such a great point. And yes, you are dealing with a little bit of withdrawal and for me yeah, it was a little bit and I didn’t have to go to the hospital or do anything like that. Thank goodness. And emotionally yeah, it’s a, it’s a roller coaster. I’m so grateful that I had, you know, one more Christmas sober with them. And I didn’t wait a couple weeks to do it after. Because I have so many Christmases that were wasted being really hung over on the couch while they open gifts. We started drinking mimosas, you know 9am. And the days were often wasted. 




And I hate thinking about those. But you know, I forced myself to move through that shame and forgive myself, because I will never do that again. And I’m really happy that I had 2020 Christmas to be present while they open their presents. And that was the best gift that I could have given them that year. And don’t wait till 2023. It’s, yeah. Because it’s that short, it’s like a short term buzz that you get for your 20 minutes that’s fun at the beginning of the holiday party, and then you are and you’re hungover for the entire holiday.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:03

Yeah, what I was gonna say is when you were saying it’s just the 20-minute high for all the other stuff that goes with it. When women are approaching the holiday season and not drinking, I think it is really important to get honest about the highlights and the lowlights because, and then it’ll help you during the time because I think it’s disingenuous to say, you stop drinking, and everything is amazing. And you don’t miss out on anything. And every single thing is better than it was. Because your mind is going to be like, Wait, actually, I did really enjoy this. And I did really enjoy that. And you know what I mean? 


Yeah, but for me, I mean, I remember my first Christmas Eve not drinking, and a whole nother story about that, that I can tell later if I want to but if we have time. But I was like this kind of sucks to sit around a dinner while my mom and my husband are drinking red wine, my favorite, and I’m not, which by the way, after that night, which was totally torture, I was like, Fuck that, no red wine for you. Deal with it. Well, I was like, that was a big mistake. 


But I’m also, split screen, right? Earlier Christmas Eve, like you said, I mean, I remember one particularly bad one that, by the way, was not my bottom, you know, quote unquote, I did not stop where I drank so much on Christmas Eve. And this is probably just drinking while cooking, drinking at dinner, drinking, doing whatever. There was no big party. It was me, my kids, my husband and my mother at my house that I don’t remember going to bed. My husband could not wake me up. I was basically passed out on Christmas Eve. He could not wake me up so that when my kids, and they were super young, like, you know, one and one and seven, going down to get the stockings. I like open my eyes. You know the one, I open the pounding headache, the feeling like something died in your mouth. And I had not filled the Christmas stockings. So I had been of course, you know, as moms, you collect all the presents all year and you hide them so that your kids don’t find them? Well, the thing was, I had completely passed out and my husband didn’t know where they were. 


So I came downstairs. My stocking was full, because he’d done mine, which by the way was like the worst thing that could have happened, right? Because it was like, you know, dagger through my heart. My husband’s stocking was completely empty. Because I filled it. The kid’s stockings were like sort of a quarter full, you know. And I had all these presents hidden away that I couldn’t get because everybody was up. And just brutally hungover, so hungover and shaky and feeling like garbage and just emotionally wrecked. And the worst part was just thinking about my husband on Christmas Eve, trying to wake me up and being unable to and being like, wow, she got so drunk that like, I don’t have the presents for the kid’s stockings, right? 


So every time you’re like, Oh my God, but I’m gonna miss out on the toaster this time. It’s like, Yes. And you’re also I mean, I can’t tell you how amazing Christmas morning is when the kids start running into our rooms and I am fine. And I go downstairs and get the coffee and like, Christmas looks great. And yes, I didn’t have the glass of wine or bottle. Let’s be real the night before. But I also ate the cookies and drank the milk and I’m proud, you know?



And you know that you, you remember that you took the bite of the cookie and that you ate the carrot and that you remember that you drink the milk and you did these things rather than waking up with that paranoid feeling of like, Did I move the elf? Like I don’t know if you do the out, but like I would, you know, freak the fuck out like, oh my god, did I move the elf and then I’d run downstairs and then the elf dangling from the chandelier. I’m like, Are you fucking..


Casey McGuire Davidson  35:13

You were probably like hysterically like I am the worst mom ever.



Look at me, so much fun doing it, bring them out, you know, like let me take a picture and let me.



Oh my god, I yes, I agree. I did actually something very similar with Easter. I forgot to do the Easter hide the little mini eggs that we, that’s part of our tradition is like, hiding them in a certain area of the house and I completely forgot to do that. And yeah, there’s no way to fix that once the kids are out, right? I couldn’t.


Casey McGuire Davidson  35:49

Oh my god, I did that on, I did that on St. Patty’s Day where my son was five and he was building this huge leprechaun trap. He built it in school. And you know, they’re supposed to like put the gold coins in there. And in theory in the morning, the gold coins are gone. Well, my husband was out of town, I got drunk after putting my son to bed, of course. I’m alone with him in the home, whatever, you know, we’re safe at home. Anyway, I’m kidding. Passed out. He came into my room crying hysterically as only a little five year olds can because the leprechaun hadn’t come. And I was like hungover and my eyes were bloodshot. And I felt brutally, just so bad. Like, I was the worst mother ever. And I was trying to play it off like, oh, he must have been caught at another house. And like, I even remember when in his daycare before school care, and they had, you know, the little leprechaun feet all over the place and like, trails, and I was like, Thank God for them. But then I also like, made a joke out of it and posted it on social like hashtag mom fail. And I mean, I’m looking back, it was so sad, you know? Yep. Yep. Just emotional energy I spent on it. 



Yeah, you were trying to, that was your way of dealing with it. And, you know, and I totally had, I think back to the way I probably manage all of that as well. And the thing is, that’s what we did, like my friends, and I laughed about it. And that’s how we, that’s how we made ourselves feel better. And, you know, on holidays in the past that I would get together with other families, and we would drink pretty heavily on Christmas Day. And that’s, that’s how all the families behaved. And so that’s often how I didn’t question it in the past.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:44

Yeah. Yeah. Because it’s, it’s fun to joke. It’s accepted. It’s, so you’re doing your first Hanukkah, you’ve got your husband’s support, you’ve got your best friend’s support, you found the luckiest club, you found the supermom squad, right? You’re like, doing all the things. What were you worried about? In terms of these events? Was it family? Was it the actual dinners or what?



Yeah, you know, it was not family. It was friends, it was other friends. I had a couple close friends that understood and knew. It was, you know, the larger friend group. Yeah, it was the spouses of my friends making fun of me. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  38:28

And you were worried about them making fun of you or they didn’t like you?



Not worried about them making fun of me. Because my persona was like, you know, fun time party girl, like, you know, like, always bringing the, you know, extra bottle of wine and first one to crack the wine. The last one to leave the party, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  38:51

Oh my God, my girlfriend, who still drinks and she is awesome and whatever. But it was our joke because she used to always like, we’d make mimosas and she’d be like, orange juice just a splash for color. AKA do not give me like that was just for color.



Yeah, I mean, I, I saw that. That’s like all I knew of myself. And that’s what I worried that people knew of me. So I was really, I didn’t know what to, how people were going to perceive me and how people were going to look at me. So how I tackled that was I told my husband, we’re not doing anything. We’re not going anywhere. We’re not going you know, I just removed myself from any situation where I would feel uncomfortable. And to somebody who’s considering not drinking right now that you may be thinking that sounds awful. That sounds horrible. Like just, you know, not going to any parties like that’s, that’s not fun. But it was self preservation and I had to do that and because I really did finally I feel like I needed to stop drinking. And, you know, there was that thing I said inside me that just clicked. Unfortunately, I was so concerned with how others perceive me at the time that that’s what I needed to do.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:11

But so you skipped a lot of those parts. I mean, that’s hard. Like someone even was, was writing something the other day saying, I’m on day four haven’t been on day four in forever. I have a happy hour tomorrow night. I signed up for it before I like quit drinking. I think I’ll be fine. And I was like, Don’t go. And so that’s impossible. Like, why would you go to all the happy hours a month from now? Or whenever?



Just take away all those temptations. Like just don’t put yourself in those situations. I didn’t. I hunkered down, you know, I do everything that they tell you, you know, take your baths at night. And you know, at the five o’clock hour when the wine witch starts to call, you know, I would change my routine and I would go for a walk or get on the peloton or do something totally different that I wouldn’t normally do when I was, I used to love to drink wine while I was cooking dinner at night. And I had to do, I just had to keep changing my routines to break that habit. 




So, you know, I loved listening to the Neil Diamond Christmas album and drinking wine during the month of December. Like literally my husband would hear Neil Diamond. He’s like, Oh, the wines out. I know it. You know, it’s like, so I couldn’t listen to Neil Diamond Christmas music. I had to. So when I was prepping dinner, I would like do something totally different. I would put a podcast in or I would like chop vegetables sitting down at the kitchen table, which is something I would never do. You know, I would just, it’s like they say there’s something to that with your brain. Like breaking up? I don’t know. But yeah. You know, and it’s you know, rewiring. So that’s what I do. And part of that was not going to these Christmas parties at someone’s house. 


And what did you say to them? Brunch at this person’s house? 


My husband dealt with some of it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  42:18

Really? God, your husband’s great.



You know, he said, you know, he told them why. And eventually people just got it and knew.


Casey McGuire Davidson  42:31

He just said she’s not drinking so we’re not coming kind of thing. 





And it’s funny how some people we haven’t spoken to since then. 




Yeah. Yeah, it’s just some, some friends are really, were there and around and in our lives because of alcohol. And, yeah, you know, friendships really changed because I don’t drink anymore. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:01

A season for a reason or lifetime. The reason was we like to drink together.



Yeah, yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:09

Yeah. No, that’s good. I mean, I think that, I love the strategies you’re sharing if you’re like, super new in sobriety, if you’re like, I’m doing this, and I need to just stay away from these things, in order to not drink on day four, or day seven or day 14 or day 30. I think that if someone’s listening to this, and it’s, you know, this is coming out on November 10. It’s a couple of weeks to Thanksgiving, it’s a couple of weeks to Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years. Another thing you can think about is what I did, which was really looking, you know, at the season. 


And I have to say if you’re in my Sobriety Starter Kit course, I have a whole mini course on the holidays. A good thing to do is to try to think about the holidays in a new way to literally go out and there’s a worksheet you can do but just how do I want to feel this season? You know? Is it cozy, safe, loved, active, peaceful governance, whatever it is for you. What do I love about the season? What are the things that truly when I think about them, I’m like, I love this. And by the way, if that is a big drinking event, just get honest, like I love this, but it probably is other things as well. Who do I want to see? And what do I want to do? Like who do I want to spend time with? And then what is triggering to me? Like what is hard to get through without drinking? And once you lay that out, you can really proactively shift things in your life. 


So what’s interesting is one of the things I really didn’t like about the holiday, and I just didn’t like it, it sucked, was flying to my mother, to my sister’s for Thanksgiving. Like my mom lives in DC my sister lives in Ohio. My mom lives in the house I grew up in. It’s really small. It’s really cramped. It’s really cluttered. She hopefully will not listen to this. She’s not, she’s a packrat. No, moving on. Occasionally, I’m doing podcasts. Do you do this? And you’re like, Oh, shit. Did I say that out loud?



Or helping elicit?


Casey McGuire Davidson  45:30

Yes thank God we have so many podcasts now. I’m like, she would never have the time. No, but so it was just like, I would have to take a redeye with my family to DC, my sister, my mother, everybody would be there, we would be packed into this like little guest bedroom on a futon with like, all the papers shoved to the side. And then I would drink because I just, you know, I go home. And I turn into my 13 year old self with every slight from my mother and my sister and all of that, and then fly back on Sunday. And even my husband didn’t like it. It cost us like four grand, you know, all this stuff. And so I was like, I hate this. You know, in my own mind. I did not say that to my family. But what I did say is like, hey, you know what, it is really incredibly hard for us to come home over this weekend. I know it means a lot to you. But I’m hoping that we can shift that tradition to Christmas and come to our house. And you know, I blamed my husband, school schedule, I blamed my work schedule, I worked in E commerce, I blamed the money, whatever. 


And we stopped going and my Thanksgiving now is my favorite. It’s just my little nuclear family. We do, we go into Seattle, when it’s deserted, we go to the aquarium or on the great wheel we eat like sort of the litter out the lunch dinner at this place where they serve a full turkey dinner and then they give you all the leftovers in like plastic bag. And then we’re like in our pajamas by 6pm watching football. Like it’s my weekend, go get Christmas trees. The very next morning at this farm like that weekend is my favorite. None of it is centered around airports, alcohol, my house I grew up in and me drinking to just like go internally to my happy place, you know.



So I’m triggering. I know I was going to say that. If you have a memory like that, or if you have a part of your holiday that’s sort of triggering or upsetting to you, like create new memories. You need to not do that thing, not get on the airplane, not go home, do something totally different. For me, it’s that week in between Christmas and New Year’s so that I feel like it was like a black hole. And don’t you feel like that’s an awful week. I hated that weekend, so much during that week, because my kids are home. And my husband never had the week off. So I was home alone with them. And I would just be drunk and hungover all weekend and we would go to other friends’ home. So we would just be like hanging out at people’s houses in the evening, the kids would be playing X box in the basement and I would just be like drinking wine with the moms in the kitchen. 


And it would just be gross. And by New Year’s I’d be feeling awful. So I said to my husband, I was like we need to go away like we need to do something during that week. I don’t think we did last year. But my kids, my kids are ice hockey players so it’s like really hard to get away during their hockey season. But no, we try to do day trips and do different things. You know, that first Christmas actually we went down to Patriots Place in Foxborough where the Patriots play you know, we’re outside of Boston. And we went into this, drove through this whole lights, outdoor Christmas lights show. You know, it’s like set to music or whatever. We tried to start new little traditions like that. And you know, for me, it was like what, what is one of my favorite things about Christmas like driving around looking at Christmas lights like great. That’s going to be like a new tradition. So we started doing that like driving around town looking at Christmas lights. Trying to do new things that were Spielberg with the kids and that’s you know, like instead of sitting at home, drinking wine watching Christmas movies, you know we used to do.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:28

Yeah, I mean I love that too. I did the same thing for New Years. I mean obviously New Year’s is a big one and you know once you have kids you’re not like in your early 20s going out to the giant parties. I used to go to those in Boston too because all my friends live there after college but so for New Year’s my favorite thing, you know, in terms of that week, so we do a couple things that I you know, again like what do you love? Who do you want to spend time with, what do you enjoy doing? So on New Year’s Eve, my husband’s mother is usually in town. Our mothers sort of overlap, mom does Christmas, Linda does New Years and they mix in the middle. And we do a couple different things like one my mom reads tarot cards. And so she like reads everyone’s tarot cards in the house and gives us our readings for the new year. 


That’s so fun. 


I know, weirdly, right before I quit drinking, she gave me like, I quit in February, New Year’s right around there. She gave me a tarot card reading. And obviously, I was super, super worried about my drinking. And it was so bad. Like, it was like warning, warning, warning, like in my mind, and I was like, Fuck, this is, uh, you know, she asked you your central question, and I’m pretty sure my central question was like, shit, what about my drinking? And then it was so bad. And I was so scared. I was like, you have to do it again. Like, Nope, I don’t accept this routine, you know. And so she did it again. And it was like, maybe not quite so bad, but still scared me. And so, in the back of my mind, I was like, I’ve never had my tarot cards read this, I was just like, I gotta I gotta stop drinking. 


But so she reads her tarot cards. Usually now they’re nice. We do flying wish paper which you can order off Amazon. They’re my favorite. It’s like 15 bucks. And you get all these little tissue papers. And so each one of us gets three. And then we have three for like the universe. And we each get to write down three wishes, like, including my young daughter, including my son, my mother in law, whatever. Then you ball them up. You turn off all the lights, you put it on piece paper and you light them. And they all go kind of up into the air and my kids catch them in the air and a cup but like you, I’ll talk about your wishes for the new year. And then you light them and you let him go up. And you know, we approve, read Prosecco. And like, that’s amazing. And I make vision boards every New Year’s. And my son somehow likes birthday cake on New Year’s Eve for the new year. So like, we have a few that are fun.



Yeah, no. That’s so cool. We last year made family bracelets. We got like a bracelet making kit where everybody had to choose a word they like. 


Oh, I love that. 


Yeah, and my kids also, we had like talks about what do you want to work on this year, like goals instead of, you know, New Year’s resolutions, it was like, tension for the new year. And like my middle son, who was like having, you know, like issues with like, patience, he you know, he chose the word like patient or something like, it was really, it was great. 


What was your word? 


My word was observe because I wanted to be more observant and less judgment, like less worried about people being judgmental of me. Yeah, I want to be more observant. Yeah. And present, present in the moment. Yeah. And I feel like, so we all wore bracelets pretty consistently for a while there. We don’t wear them. I don’t have it anymore. But um, yeah, it, it was a, it was just a fun tradition. You know, just like, you know, like, like you said, yeah, that of the party.


Casey McGuire Davidson  53:12

Yeah. And like, you’re not getting drunk, but you also are like doing flying with paper and bracelets. And I gotta tell you a birthday cake is pretty cool. We like decorated it all and you know it, you can have a ton of fun without drinking and your family probably will be less annoying to you, shockingly, if you’re not drinking then if you are. And I think that like one of the things I really encourage people to do is to like actually find joy in the food and drinks that aren’t alcohol like hot chocolate bar with like, peppermint and, and marshmallows. Like, go back to the things that you’re like, This is really good from when I’m a kid or all the non alcoholic drinks. Like, don’t sit around with a glass of like tap water while everyone else is toasting. That’s just gonna suck.



Yeah, find a fun drink and take advantage of yeah, the mocktails. And if you are at a holiday party, seek out the bartender and ask. Ask them to make something fun. I’ve done that before and say I want a mocktail. And can you, can you do something cool and different? And they’ll say, What flavors do you like? Or what do you not like? And I’ll say this whole discussion? Yeah, it’s fun and that they love it because they’re like, Oh, I get to create something. That looks so fun. And they’re like, Okay, so you don’t like ginger? You like lemon? Okay.


Casey McGuire Davidson  54:41

All right. I love talking to bartenders. Like I’m always like, don’t ask the 19 year old waiter or waitress because they have no idea. I mean, you can be like, Hey, I always just go in and I’m like, Hey, I actually don’t drink alcohol. So what really fun things do you have to drink that are non alcoholic?



What’s your favorite mocktail to make?


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:03

Oh wow I love ordering non alcoholic mojitos, that is like my go to like they do the muddled raspberry shit. It’s so good.



Yeah, I, Mojito for me as well. I don’t like anything that reminds me too much of my drinking days, so I’ll just like kind of fruity. Yeah. But yeah, I think, dude, I’m always like focused on the desserts and you know if especially in early sobriety if you are having to go out and forced to go to those parties that mean you’re kind of reluctant to go to yeah get a mocktail but also like, go check out the desserts because yes, you know you’re not drinking so have a little sweet treat.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:48

And yeah, I would say a couple things. So if you are going to parties, have a wing person, which you totally did, you had your husband. Have someone there who knows you’re not drinking, if more than one person knows the better. I always text people in advance whether they text you, texting is so good, because you can keep it casual. Like if someone’s coming to my house, I’m always like, yeah, and this was before everybody knew I was like out as I don’t drink, but I’d be like, Hey, by the way, super excited for you guys to come. We’re going to have x food, whatever, non alcoholic beverages etc. If you want anything else to eat or drink, feel free to bring it right. So I’m stating that we’re basically very casually we’re not having wine on hand, BYOB, or if I’m going to someone’s house. I’m always like, by the way, I’m not drinking right now I’m on a health kick or whatever. No alcohol challenge. So excited to see you all, bring my own beverages. You know, like, you’re just like, I’m putting it out there. So that there because what you don’t want is that deer in the headlights look of like, Oh, do you want wine or beer? And everybody’s around you? And you’re like, oh, actually, no, I’ll have x and either they ask you why? Or they’re like, really? Or, and then you have like all these eyes on you. But if you tell in advance or like, you know, either there’ll be like, Oh, what’s up with this health kick? Or you know, but you’re not like, you’re not the deer in the headlights? Like that freeze moment.



Right? Totally. I think two things. I think if you’re hosting 100% you have every right to say, like we’re not drinking right now. Feel like you can tell people, they can bring their own and then just like having taken one thing.


Casey McGuire Davidson  57:35

I’m always like, by the way, I’m not drinking. Why don’t you take this with you? I’m not gonna drink this, take this way. Trust me if I was a big drinker, so I honestly was such a jerk that like if I bought two but when I get you bottles of wine and they’re just sitting on the table, I’m like, can I take those? Is that weird? I bought them. You know, like, literally this is my daresay opening these.



Why are we drinking them? Yeah, totally.


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:00

Come home. Cuz I could use another bottle tonight. Right?



Totally. Like I only have one left at home. I need that second one. Yeah, so I would say 100%. It’s fine to tell people to bring their own. 


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:13

Well, the one thing I also wanted to mention, because I had a client who was going to like her mom’s 70th birthday party. It was like a girls weekend. They were all going to wine country. And she was like three weeks sober. Right? Nightmare. nightmare. Nightmare nightmare. She made it through. She felt really good. It wasn’t easy, but it was good. The one thing though, that I highly recommended that she not do, which was of course everyone’s first suggestion was like, Oh, that’s okay. You can be our designated driver. And it’s like, Absolutely not like that is a hard no. Because what that makes you do is stay to the end. And what that makes you move around with drunk people while they’re drinking until they’re done. Right. And you’re as opposed. Yeah. 


And I was like, Well, what did everybody do? When you were drinking? She’s like, Oh, we hired a shuttle. I was like, fucking tell them to hire a damn shuttle, like you’re not hanging out at wineries for six hours while they wine taste so you can drive them around like, and so instead, she like went for a hike that day. She had a lovely lunch by herself and she met them for dinner like so if you’re going to a holiday party, don’t bring your own car, or get an Uber or tell the hosts that you might leave early. Use the kids. It’s an excuse. It is okay if your spouse or girlfriend wants to stay there later. You can drive home and they can take an Uber home but like do not promise to shepherd drunk people home from a night of boozing.



Yeah, oh my god, there’s nothing worse than that. I love leaving early. And there’s always that time, that point where you see everybody’s eyes start to change and the conversation starts to become repetitive and everyone’s in then you’re like, oh, everyone’s drunk. Okay, let me go home now. And you know, you won’t be missed because they’re just in the atmosphere. Yeah. And you want to get the hell out of there. But yeah. And to Oh, I remember I was gonna say, so when you are in those moments where somebody says to you, oh, why aren’t you drinking and like all eyes, it’s like, Record scratch, like, everyone’s looking at you and all eyes are on you. Like, you also don’t have to give a response. So you just be like, I don’t feel like it. You know, you don’t owe anybody anything until you’re comfortable to talk about it. And for me, I was really, like I had said, I wanted to tell people very early on. I started blogging, I started putting it out there because I needed to hold myself accountable. I know people that you know, like you said, you didn’t talk to your husband about it for until you said 100 days. And so I think you definitely should go into the night though, with an idea of what you want to talk to people about because you who knows, like to have that response that you get drunk, drunk people will definitely be like, Why aren’t you drinking? 


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:01:12

She’s not drinking, get her a drink. This is so good. Like, I had a client whose mother in law, she told her she wasn’t drinking, and spent the entire night like telling her how good the wine is, and basically pushing the wine glass into her hand. Same here, have a sip, and you’re like, What the actual fuck? You know, like, that’s ridiculous. But another client of mine was saying that she, you know, told some girlfriends she always drinks with, you know, neighborhood people that she wasn’t drinking when she showed up. And they were like, Oh, that sucks. Why not? Not even one, you know, whatever. And I was like, why didn’t you position that right? When he walked in as saying like, Yeah, I’m not drinking right now and oh, my God, I feel so much better. I’m sleeping better. I feel better than I’ve been running every day. I mean, that the way that people react is a lot about how you position it too, like, it’s hard to be like, Oh my God, that sucks when you just said you feel amazing. Yeah, no.



Oh, that sucks. Actually, that reminds me of one time when I tried to moderate or I had like a really bad drunken weekend. So I took like two weeks off to try to prove to my husband like I could. And I was drinking at a friend’s house with, like a girls night. And one of my girlfriends was like, and I was like, oh, yeah, I need to take some time off. I just like, it was a really bad weekend last weekend. So I was like, feeling sorry for myself. And everyone’s kind of feeling sorry for me. And she was like, Do you want us to go drink in there? Think about should we not drink around you like, like, I couldn’t be like in the same room with it. You know, that was in, that was like a year before I officially quit. But you know, it’s like, you’re absolutely right. If you own it, and you’re like, Yeah, I’m not drinking because I’m on a health kick. Or I’m taking the night off. Like, I don’t even feel better, or, you know, but like, in a way where you’re not feeling sorry for yourself. 


Yeah, you know what, even if you do feel sorry for yourself, try it out. Right, like, you know, still see what the reaction is. Because usually when I tell people that I’m doing a no alcohol challenge, or I’m not drinking, because I want to sleep better and have more energy, and XYZ is a health kick, they immediately start talking about their own health kicks, right? IE, they might say I could never do that, or oh my God, I need to do that. Or, you know, what, you know, everything in moderation or whatever it is people say, but a lot of people will be like, Oh my God, yes, I am going to cut out dairy or gluten or, you know, get a peloton or whatever, you know, who cares? Everybody wants to talk about themselves. So it very quickly shifts to their thing, but without threatening them, right? Like without being like, oh, yeah, alcohol is terrible for you, you know, which it is. But people will try to argue with you on that point.



Yes, yeah, people. It’s true. Everyone always makes it about themselves. You know? Yeah. So it always comes back to you. But yeah, I mean, it’s hard to find that confidence in the beginning to tell people that you feel good and that things are actually better without it. And, you know, even after a week, it’s hard to feel that kind of competence. And it took me a really long time to talk about it confidently, I have to say. So, yeah, hopefully, you can find that strength to at least talk about it competently with those people in your life that matter. And if you find that people are judging you and not being kind to you about it, then I mean, that speaks more to their issue with that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:58

Yeah. And it’s okay, if you are tender and more tender than you would normally be. You know, I mean, I always tell everyone, like just expect in your first couple of weeks like you are going to be irritated, sensitive, overwhelmed, annoyed, maybe even rageful, I felt a lot of rage. You know, it’s just you’ve been numb, and all these things are bubbling up to the surface and your emotional sort of stability is all over the place because of alcohol and the withdrawal of alcohol from your system. But it also, like the holidays just bring up a lot of stuff. And that’s okay, like you can get through it. 


I mean, I remember my first Christmas Eve, I’d gone to a dinner party with my mom. And, you know, my mom was with us, with my mom and my family at a friend’s house. And we were driving home and my son was like, eight years old, you know, and he was saying, he was in that age. He’s like, talking about Santa. And you know, Oh, Mom, do you think you’ve been good this year? You know, whatever it is eight year olds talk about. And I was driving because I wasn’t drinking. And I was in the driver’s seat. And I was like, Yeah, Hank, I actually do really think I’ve been good this year. Like, I’ve made a lot of changes that were hard. But I’m really proud of myself, blah, blah, blah. And we’re driving along the highway, it’s dark. And out of nowhere, my mom pipes up from the backseat, like literally interrupting the conversation and says, why wouldn’t give yourself too much credit. And like, the entire car goes silent. And I’m thinking like, I was so taken aback because in my mind, I was so clearly talking to my son about quitting drinking, like there was, in my mind, that’s what the conversation was. 




And for her to like, interrupt and being like, Dude, why are you getting so full of yourself? Like, I’m this thing that had tortured me for 10 years, you know? And it was like this stunned silence. And then my husband jumped in. Finally, of course, I’m sure it was very quickly, it felt like hours, felt like, well, actually, I think Casey should be proud of herself. She’s done a really hard thing. And it’s been a really good year. And of course, I came home and it’s Christmas Eve, and I went up to my bedroom and I started crying. Like I was just so hurt and overwhelmed. And like, I’m sure brought up all this shit from childhood and like, what the hell and you know, whatever. And then I came down and we read The Night Before Christmas, and I had my cookies and like, I was hurt and tender and whatever. But like, for once, I wasn’t mad at myself. You know what I mean? I wasn’t like, What the fuck is wrong with you get your shit together. You’re the worst mom ever. Like. It was like you’re feeling all the emotions, but I feel like sometimes when we drink, it’s so that we suppress, like the very valid hurt resentment, annoyance that we have for other people, and then we just turn it internally.



Oh, 100%. Yeah. That’s, that’s what I did. For 20 years, I drank because I had so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, I numbed myself from feeling so many, so much, which is what I write about in my book, it’s like I finally in the last two years, with the help of my therapist, started to finally process and go in realize that I was drinking and it’s funny when you said angry, mad. My therapist was like, in the first month of my spread, he was like, I think you’re kind of mad. I think you’re angry. I’m like, I’m not mad. What are you talking about? Not mad. And then I realized, yeah, I was really fucking mad. And I..


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:38

What were you mad about?



Oh, I was just mad at my parents, my, you know, like, like life, like everything that has happened to me. And you gotta read my book to find out.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:52

Well, I will wait, tell us what the name of your book is.



It’s On the Edge of Shattered, comes out on November 1. Yeah, so it’s, it’s a braided narrative. It tells the story of you know, day one starts out on day one of my sobriety, and it goes through the holidays. And, but it also, it’s a braided narrative in the sense that it goes back and talks about my childhood and some stories of things that happened to me in my past that I realized would have contributed to my drinking habits. Yeah. So there’s a lot of stories about Colby in there, stories about drinking in high school. Yeah, and things that kind of played into it, contributed too. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:40

Well, send me the link. We’ll definitely put that in the show notes. And of course, I’m totally curious because I know Colby really well. And I told you that one of my best friends from high school went to Colby so I have a feeling that it all sounds very familiar. 


Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 


So one thing I wanted to ask you about is so I’m not Jewish. I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but I know your husband does, so are there any events? I know it you know, it’s eight nights but like are there any specific drinking events around there that are difficult to navigate or that you’ve shifted what you do now versus before when you were drinking?



Um you know, we do, we light the candles every night and it’s not that big of a holiday. I think Rosh Hashanah is a little bit bigger and you know when you break the fast and Yom Kippur war and those holidays, he, we don’t. Um, I want to say that like, he probably celebrated more when he was a child, we don’t really celebrate these holidays. And I think his parents would like it if we did celebrate them a little more. The kids love lighting the candles because on Hanukkah they get a present every night.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:10:56

But it’s not as big of a drinking occasion.



In that religion, I would say they celebrate, if you will, like in Russia on Yom Kippur war. So yeah, it wouldn’t really, there was never anything like, celebratory in terms of drinking. Okay, for me, I was like, Whoa, yeah, we’re lighting candles. Let’s drink some wine. It was always a reason to drink for me. But ya know, it wasn’t very hard or triggering every night. That first season was difficult for me just simply having Christmas lights on. Yeah, having the menorah out. Well, Neil Diamond, no Neil Diamond was very triggering because it just that the festive feeling of that time of year just really reminded me of yeah, my red wine and sitting in front of the fire. 


So in terms of Hanukkah, and Christmas, and New Year’s and just that time of year, I think it’s again, like creating those new memories. And yeah, we still we still have to like the Hanukkah candles, we still, we still set up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. And you know, these, there are things in memories that are hard, because especially that day of setting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, because, you know, that’s a hard memory. For me. That was the day after. or the day after that was the day I stopped drinking. So it’s all just like, you know, yeah, there’s a lot there. But yeah, doing those things with a new fresh frame of mind.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:12:39

And one of the things I think really helps is to not just I mean, we all look back and we romanticize drinking, especially when you think about those times, right decorating the Christmas tree with wine in your hand or sitting by the fire or whatever it is. It really helps to start romanticizing sobriety and that can be everything from oh my gosh, sitting by the fire with hot chocolate or going snowshoeing with girlfriends and no hangover or, you know, getting up in the morning when the house is quiet and turning on the tree. 



I was about to say that so I used to stay up super late with wine. Yes. By the Christmas lights now. Instead, it would be getting up really early in the morning with coffee in my book and sitting with the Christmas lights. And when the whole house is quiet.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:13:33

Oh, lovely. Oh. So like when you’re going through of like, What do I love about the season? Who do I want to spend time with? What do I want to do? And then what’s hard for me? If you’re like, I love the Christmas tree. I love reading by the Christmas tree. It is really hard for me to do it at night, then that gives you information right? Then you’re like, Okay, how can I have the thing I love in a way that is not hard for me to do without drinking and just shift things a little bit, get a little creative because this season is still lovely.



Exactly. Exactly. So true.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:14:11

Well, thank you so much for being here. I love talking with you. I love talking with you on your podcast, that we can sober. I’m so glad we met. I feel like our stories are so similar. And I know so many women listening to this like have the same story, right?



Yeah, yeah, totally. All right. I’m so glad that we met. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for having me on here. It’s been fun.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:14:34

Yeah. So how do people find you? How do they follow you?



My Instagram account is @asoberandstrongmom. And you can find me on my website, KimberlyKearns.com. Yeah, and my book is, it’s exciting, my book is out on November 1. And you can find it on Amazon right now. Amazon, Barnes and Noble everywhere in it. We’ll be out on Audible audiobook in December, read it. I chose not to because I, I know I went back and forth, but I feel like I wanted a professional voice. Yeah. So we were like, I’ll turn off a book if it doesn’t sound, doesn’t sound professionally done. So yeah, I know it was though. I went back and forth.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:15:22

Okay, very cool. Well, thank you so much. And I’ll put all the links in the show notes.



Thank you so much. This has been fun. Yeah.

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:15:31


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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