Are your core beliefs and patterns holding you back in life?
We all have our own personal brand of nonsense – self sabotage, blame, people pleasing, control issues, or drinking too much.
We all have things we’re doing that are standing in the way of our health, happiness and success. Learn to get out of your own way, to identify the nonsense in your life, and how to move past the big ones.
My guest is Meredith Atwood. She’s a former attorney, a podcaster and a motivational speaker. She is a sobriety advocate, and the founder of Grateful Sobriety. She’s also a four time Ironman triathlete.
In this episode, you’ll learn
- How to identify what’s working in your life and what’s not
- How to deal with the underlying reasons that drive you to drink
- What bad habits drive you to make the decisions you do in life and how to change them
- Why you need to make a list of all the nonsense in your life and how to deal with them
- How to get over yourself and get on with your life
Meredith is the author of a best selling triathlon book Triathlon for the Every Woman, in addition to her new book, The Year of No Nonsense: How to Get Over Yourself and On with Your Life. She’s the host of the iTunes Top 50 fitness podcast, “The Same 24 Hours.”
She has been featured in The Boston Globe, The New York Post, the Seattle Times and dozens of online publications. Meredith is a contributing writer to Psychology Today online, Triathlete Magazine and Women’s Running. She is a USA Weightlifting Level II, USA Triathlon Level I, and Precision Nutrition Level I Coach.
Links and Resources Mentioned
Connect with Meredith Atwood
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/swimbikemom
The Same 24 Hours Podcast www.Same24HoursPodcast.com
Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson
Listen to more podcast episodes to drink less + live more.
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.
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 Sober Girl’s 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 Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode.
I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
How To Get Over Yourself And On With Your Life With Meredith Atwood
Truth onion, The Year Of No Nonsense, mess, peeling back the onion, sticky notes, quitting drinking, sabotaging yourself, Iron Man Race, wake up, post-it, get your shit together, clarity, sober, process, keep trying, inner voice, whisper, roar, doomed, dry drunk, make peace, solve, work through, trauma, history, mess, habits, emotional, roadmap, journey, sobriety, uncovering, layers, shit show, autopilot, repeat, kind to yourself, creating space for yourself, opportunity, give, internal power, change, Cul De Sac, values, script, gratitude, tool, sober, learning, habit
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Meredith Atwood
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.
Well, hi there. I’m excited to bring you a conversation today with Meredith Atwood.
She recently wrote a book, The Year Of No Nonsense: How To Get Over Yourself And On With Your Life. Meredith and I actually quit drinking right around the same time, four and a half years ago. Meredith is a really inspirational woman. She’s a former Attorney, a podcaster and a motivational speaker. She’s also a four time Ironman triathlete. She’s the author of a best selling triathlon book, Triathlon For Every Woman in addition to her new book, The Year Of No Nonsense: How To Get Over Yourself And On With Your Life.
Her podcast is called The Same 24 Hours. And it’s all about how we all have the same 24 hours, but it’s what we do in those hours that makes the difference in our health, our happiness and our success. She’s had guests on there, including Gretchen Rubin, Tony Hawk, Bob Harper, Laura MacAllan Sara, Hezbollah, and more. And she is a really inspirational woman. She’s a former attorney. And she’s also a podcast host, a speaker and a writer.
Meredith’s journey started with her husband leaving her a note on the counter one morning that read, you need to get your shit together. She was tired, hung over, overweight, a mess, and had a lot of work to do on herself. Not all at once, but eventually, Meredith began to peel back the layers of what she calls in her book, the truth onion, leading to the publication of The Year Of No Nonsense. In this book that we’re going to talk about today, she addresses how she truly began to get to the root of her suffering. And on the path to change. I think you’re going to love Meredith. So let’s bring her on.
Well, Meredith, I am so excited. You’re here. I absolutely loved your book, The Year Of No Nonsense. So as we get started, will you just tell us a little bit about the book?
Yeah. Hi, Casey. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. So The Year Of No Nonsense was a book that I started to write, that I thought was gonna be a fun, like, really exciting, funny book. And it is a really great book, but it took a different turn when I started living, the things that I set forth in the book. So it started as an experiment because in 2017, I kind of looked around and I thought, Oh my gosh, my life is a yard sale. I’m just a mess. Everything is crazy. I’m fighting on social media, like everything that I was taking part in, just kind of jumped out at me as being nonsense. And I thought, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna have a year of no nonsense. I’m gonna do this experiment, what will my life be like if I get rid of all of my nonsense? And so what I learned during that experiment and during the writing of the book is that nonsense is a light hearted word for some deep stuff. And I learned that we all have our own personal brands of nonsense that we have things we’re doing that are standing in the way of our health and happiness and success. And that is the definition of nonsense. So to have a year of none of it is sort of impossible. But the book is about how to learn to get out of your own way to identify the nonsense in your life, and how to kind of move past the big ones especially.
Yeah, I mean, I love where you talk about the types of nonsense as being self-sabotage, blame, people pleasing, control issue scarcity, unworthiness in decisiveness. I mean, I resonate. And I think a lot of women do with almost all of those, right? Especially, I mean, scarcity versus abundance, making decisions out of your fears, which I raised my hand on for a long time versus your hopes and dreams. Yeah,
Yeah. Well, and that’s what’s interesting. So we all have common brands of nonsense like we all can relate to being a people pleaser. I mean, not everyone. There are people that come into the world and they don’t care what other people think. And I envy them. I am very much. But there are things that we all sort of have in common, like the vast majority of women are people pleasers. And we learned that from a very young age, we learned that women especially are best loved if they’re pretty cute, quiet and doing what everyone wants and so we get our praise. Very early in that realm and so naturally, we grow up to be adults who are trying to make everyone happy, often at our own expense. And so that’s definitely a type of nonsense and it’s really the book’s goal is to help you identify the things that are really standing in the way of your health and happiness and success because we’re all gonna do people pleasing to an extent. But full blown people pleasers have some really tough hurdles to get over because they typically don’t put themselves even on the map. You know, like, never like don’t even think about putting yourself first people pleasers true hardcore people pleasers aren’t even considering themselves in most decisions, because they gain most of their worth and value from making other people happy at whatever cost. And so that’s a big one though. And I think if there was any comment on the book that I heard all the time, it was the part about people pleasing. So to me That.. that says like, Oh, yeah, I was dangling a nerve right there. Absolutely. And I think
I’m a Life Coach and I work with women who are quitting drinking. And almost all the women I work with are some combination of sort of people pleaser, overachiever, which can be sort of two sides of the same coin. And I think one of the most difficult things that they find, in quitting drinking is actually advocating for themselves, because they sort of built up their life in a way that they feel like they need to drink to tolerate their business, their schedule, their responsibilities, because they are not taking care of themselves and the only way they can check out is to drink or that’s what they think.
Right And that’s, that’s part of the the habits are the lies that we begin to tell ourselves Yes, totally. Me 100% and, and I always tell the story that when I was at my worst, I had everything. I was wanted, I had everything I asked for I had the successful six figure lawyer job I had a house in the burbs, I had two kids and a lizard, I had a husband, I had a SUV, and I had a Louis Vuitton sitting in the seat next to me. And that sounds like the life that many people want. And so I don’t want to poopoo that life, if that’s, you know, because what you want you on if you go get it, and you’re happy with it great. But the point was, I had worked and design my life to be that, and I had to drink to blackout every night to survive. And I look back on that. And that is so interesting. I mean, very interesting, because of so many of the, the non so much of the nonsense I had interwoven in that life.
I mean, I think you’re completely right. And one of the reasons I loved your book and I love your story is that it is so much like mine and I know it’s so much like so many words. Women who find themselves in this trap of nightly drinking to numb out to, you know, quote unquote fall asleep on the couch, which for me was passing out. My husband couldn’t wake me up.
Right, falling asleep, me.
Just fell asleep. Just the defensiveness and the resentments. And then my life is so hard. I mean, I had the same life, right? I was an executive in digital marketing to kids, a successful job, great vacations, you know, so busy, so stressed, and drinking a bottle plus of wine at night, right? Yeah. And one of the things that motivated me when I was wanting to quit drinking Was I too, had everything and was deeply unhappy and couldn’t figure out why I thought it was my job. My husband wasn’t as supportive as he needed to be. My life was hard. And part of the unraveling and I want to ask you about this because you made two lists, and I did something very similar. I put up my, in my vanity, sort of, inside. This sign that said, “Create a life that feels good on the inside. Not just one that looks good on the outside” because inside my life felt like shit.
Yeah, I’m glad you can cuss good.
I was. One of my big questions was, “is nonsense the word that you really used or was it?”
Well, so funny. So nonsense was always the word I used, however the subtitle of the book…The first subtitle was supposed to be, how to… Oh gosh, I don’t even remember. But I had the word bullshit and the time. Yeah, yeah. And I fought against it because I felt like the cuss words in the title were too trendy at the time. I knew that it wasn’t bullshit with a bleep out either. Yeah, the word bullshit was in the title. And I was just like, I feel like that’s a barrier. Like let’s just not put it in the title. And my publisher fought me back and forth. They’re like, it’s on there. That’s the subtitle and I was like, well, crap. Well, then Wells Martin target decided they wanted the book but they wouldn’t buy it with that title. Yeah. And I was like, sweet. I’m getting my way but no nonsense. You can totally add. You can strike out nonsense and put bullshit same thing nonsense is bullshit.
I had a year of Joseph crap
No beer of no bullshit. It’s like it doesn’t feel like I don’t know. I want this book to feel kitschy because it’s not a catchy subject. This is very serious, like nonsense is very serious.
When I do love your subtitle it’s how to get over yourself and on with your life and a lot of what you dive into in this book and I love that you have checkpoints it is working with your inner core beliefs that are sabotaging yourself. It’s you know, you talk about peeling back the truth onion, and what’s really holding you back. So I think that you know getting over yourself and on with your life really is what this book enables women to do. I know you know the women who listen to this podcast are sober, curious, trying to quit drinking in early sobriety or sort of happily sober and trying to unravel maybe what’s underneath that, that led to them drinking in the first place. I know your book is not all about quitting drinking but that was sort of your underlying issue that you needed to deal with first. I loved your husband’s sticky note. They really gave you a kick in the ass. So can you tell the listeners about that?
Yeah, so this was about 2014. So I was I always like in this year to you know, in would drink if anyone has been drinking for a really long time or you’re sober you have a year or a couple a period in your life where you can probably look back on and say that was the darkest, you know, and I and and you can go straight to it. So this was the darkest for me. This was the darkest time of my life. I had finished an Iron Man Race, which is a really long track life and I drank like a fish. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. And I developed diverticulitis, which is a Inflammatory Bowel condition, and I got shingles. And so this all happened right after this Iron Man. I just fell apart like, physically, emotionally. I was also very drunk. And all the time like I drank at least two balls one at night. That was my deal. So anyway, one, like, even all during my drinking, I always did what I was supposed to do. Like, I got up and got my kids to school. Like, no matter what I may have looked like my mom always says, Who shot Lizzie, but like, I looked terrible, but I always did my job.
And so one morning, my alarm went off. And I distinctly remember turning it off, rolling over and being like, I don’t give a shit. I don’t and in the book I talk about like, if anyone had come to my house and said they’re like Oprah’s here. I’d be like, I don’t care if I like her. You know, like it was literally like, I don’t care. And then I rolled over and went back to sleep, so a couple hours later I woke up and it was like that scary kind of wake up or you don’t know where you are what happened and you’re like, sweating. It was that kind of wake up. I went downstairs, no one was there. So I assumed you know, the kids got to school somehow. I don’t know how they were like four and five. I didn’t know how they got to school. As soon as my husband got in there and yes, everyone was gone. And I looked on the counter in the kitchen and the pizza boxes, the ice cream container, the empty wine bottles and credit card bills were lined up on the counter like a parade. Like someone, I was like them, they’re someone to put in there and I was like, I don’t remember doing that. And next to the unpaid credit card bills was a post-it note from my husband’s like, Scientific smarty pants handwriting and it said you need to get your shit together. And that was all it said. And I like, looked around. I was like, this for me, like, who is this for, you know? Do you know who I am? Do you know what I do for you? Do you know what I look like on paper? Like everything that started running through my head was like my resume. Like, I do everything for you, and these kids in this house…
And so, that’s why I joined because I have no time. I have so many responsibilities. And I you know, yeah, yeah, you got it. And you’re, you’re the reason.
You know? And so, I get my phone out to text him. The angriest long, longest, like mean emoji text ever with the knife in the gun and the call to kill. You know, I start texting him. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a poster board with blue ink on or purple ink on it that my first grader had. It was her science fair project. And I had told her the night before. Yes, maybe I will get up with you and help you finish it. Because I couldn’t be bothered to finish it the night before because it was time to drink. You know? And so, I said I was going to get up and help her. I didn’t show up to get, I didn’t get up and I didn’t even show up, to tell her why I couldn’t help her. You know, it was one of those moments and I thought, oh boy, this is me. Whoops, this mess is me. And the interesting thing about that was, um, yeah, 2014 I did not get sober until December 2015. And so, what I like to tell people when they say, because I just went cold turkey stone cold, sober. I didn’t…I didn’t do anything. I just quit drinking. And that was that. But what people say, well, must be nice to just quit drinking and it be that easy. I had this sticky note apocalypse happen in 2014. It took me a year to come to the date that stuck. Yeah, you know, and so I always tell people, even that first step, when you’re like, I’ve got to change something. I don’t know what it is. I’m going to quit or you quit for a month and you go back and you quit and you go back and you quit. You are not failing, you are gaining, you’re gaining momentum. You’re getting legs under you. You’re having the courage to try. And so I tried for a year and then it continued like anyone who is on the sober side of things will predict it well for you, it continued to get worse. And so I went on. I did two Iron Man’s the next year, but I was more tired. Everything felt heavier, the darkness continued, and I woke up one day.
And actually, I was sitting in a Target parking lot. This was the turning point. I was sitting in the Target parking lot, and I heard a voice. You always gotta love when you hear a voice. And it was like from deep within me, God, whoever me, my former self, I don’t know. But the voice was very clear and it said something like, you are going to be dead in one year. And it was… it was not like an audible voice, but it was a feeling, it was a state but that was the statement I heard. It was, you will be dead in one year. And I believed it because of the way I was feeling. And also, everyday, I drove home from work, there was a tree at the bottom of this huge hill. And almost everyday I drove home, I thought I could just drive myself into this tree. That was like my daily dialogue.
Yeah. Well, I didn’t. I miss… I hear you. And I actually don’t talk about this that much. But, you know, I also had a moment of clarity. It was also probably two or three years before I quit drinking. I, my husband, was out of town. I had a five year old son, and I finally quit drinking. Did about a year sober, in between, but I finally quit drinking when he was eight.
And I woke up, you know, with him crying, screaming coming to my room, just distraught. And he had spent a bunch of time in kindergarten building this leprechaun track, it was St. Patty’s Day, and had it in his playroom with the little gold coins and the leprechaun was supposed to come and collect the coins. And I drank a bottle of half a wine night out and woke up with a hangover, a screaming headache, and the most beautiful five year old low, redheaded boy. He’s so sweet just crying because the leprechaun hadn’t come. And I was just like, you know, dagger through my heart. What the fuck is wrong with me? All these things went to his, you know, before school and of course, they had a trap that the leprechaun, you know the little footprints, the green footprints and I was like, oh Hank, it’s because he was caught here. And I just was like, I’m such an asshole. Like, I’m such an asshole and then kept, you know, how to… you’re sober. Not right after that.
So women listening to this who are like, I had this moment of clarity and I still can’t get my shit together. You are not a horrible person. It is just part of the process. Keep trying. Yeah, but I wanted to read. Also, don’t discount that voice. Oh, don’t discount that voice. That’s your inner voice telling you like, when you hear the whisper, it’s gonna become a roar. But I also, like, when I quit, it was finally, because I felt doomed. And I was terrified that I was gonna fuck up my life and fuck up my family’s life and my kids and it was gonna be my fault. I mean, I used to sit at work and you know, hung over and like my go to reaction. I’m not sure I meant it. But like, was I want to shoot myself. Like, that was the thought. And it was. It was like how and by the way for your sober I never hear the words. I want to shoot myself in the
house. Thank you. I don’t drive into trees. I don’t want to drive into trees
like that. That just doesn’t pop into your head.
So you’re now I might want to drive other people into trees sometimes.
Oh, yeah. And I have crappy days where I’m like, this sucks. But I don’t… six times a day I think I want to shoot. Right. Right focus like a roadmap. I mean, it truly takes people through the process of identifying what’s working in your life and identifying what’s not.
I love that you, at the end, to be sharper, chapter, have checklists to really help women work through some of this stuff. So tell me how you decided. I know in the beginning it starts where you are. And then you take women through the process, but what was your goal? And how did you sort of figure out those steps?
I didn’t figure out the steps until I started looking at my life, like, Where did I come from? Because it wasn’t like along the way, like I’m gonna do these steps. But when I look back on like, my journaling, and on like, how far I have come because this journey really dates back 10 years, like I, I was in 2010. I was about 250 pounds overweight and I had two kids under two and I was a practicing Attorney. And it started there, with moving my body like, I went to a gym and I started doing triathlons. I was still 220 pounds, like I know and I’m to this day sitting here. I’m 191, so I’m still like, I didn’t like get there and everything was great. My life is amazing. Like that. Never happened. Not part of the story. But I did start with moving my body and I made a ton of progress. I made all these changes. I was very full of myself, I thought I hadn’t felt solved at all, but I was very full of myself. I mean, ego is part of my problem, like I’m very like, that is one of my deadly sins, for sure is ego. But I was very full of myself, I at least admit it and own it now, you know, but I didn’t own it then. And I just, I was very full of myself, and I thought I had just figured so much out, but I was still drinking, you know, and I was still an even, even now four and a half years sober. I realized that sometimes and then a lot of the past several years, I’ve just been a dry drunk. So all of that is like, I quit drinking and you think that’s gonna solve your life. You really do because that is the biggest bleeder and you should absolutely quit drinking because it will stop the bleeding, but it’s just the beginning. And so what are the cons?
The dry drunk? I know that concept but for anyone listening who hasn’t heard that, tell me what you mean by that.
So I had not someone called me a dry drunk online a couple years ago, and I looked it up and I got really pissed off because it basically means you just quit drinking, but you’re still a shitty person. Like that’s the summary. You’ve not dealt with any of the stuff that made you drink in the first place. And I got really offended. I wrote a blog post about why that person was an asshole. And I went on about my life well, ring in like, a few years ago, and most recently, two months ago. I realized, Oh, yeah, I totally wasn’t dry drunk. That sucks. Because I had not dealt with the childhood stuff. I had not dealt with my trauma. I had not dealt with the wounds that kept me okay, sure, I don’t drink but I still bite my nails. And I still go to the kitchen sometimes and think you know what, I could just start cutting myself and I think I have this thought loop that addicts have. That is what I’ve come back to is like, Oh, I’m an addict. I have, I really should have worked the 12 steps, I should have gone to a like, Oh, this is all news. But when I look back on the process, like how did I come to the nonsense? How did I come to this process? It’s because I had to learn from my mistakes. I had to learn in the process that took me to the point where I started writing The Year Of No Nonsense in 2018, 2019. And now it’s out. But now I’ve changed even more. And I’m like, I have another book, I have another idea. Because this concept of dry drunk is yours when you don’t establish or when you don’t recognize what’s causing you to drink in the first place. And you don’t make peace, solve, work through your trauma, your history, your all of it. You can’t actually be fully sober, you’re not emotionally sober, you’re just, you’re just dry, you’re still a drunk, and you’re still you know, having these bad behaviors that cause you pain.
And so actually, coming up with The Year Of No Nonsense process, was about me looking at how I got to the point I did when I wrote the book and I had come very, very far. Like, if you knew me in college like when I was 22, I was a mess. Like just a mess. Like I would drink so much and smoke cigarettes, and getting in fights with people and eating to whoppers a large fry and you know, cheese sticks and like, just horrible, disgusting habits. And so when you pair that next Oh, here’s Meredith, that was, the Iron Man. Yeah, I had done great. But I still had further to go because I was not dealing with the emotional stuff behind it. And so The Year Of No Nonsense is really a roadmap for taking this sobriety journey. Whether or not you’re a drinker, because I promise you as a human, whether you drink or not, you have some really bad habits. And you have some stuff that is standing in your way. And so that’s why the term addict gets a bad rap. Because people are like, well, I don’t drink or do drugs. No, but you cheat on your husband and you shop all day long. You know, you got your stuff.
Yeah. Like, everyone has their stuff, right
And one of the reasons that that, you know, I love that you talk about peeling back the truth and he and I talked about it like uncovering the layers because the reason we start drinking is it works for a while, right? It is a maladaptive coping strategy, but it is a coping strategy. It does numb us out, it does shut off our mind, it does take down our inhibitions. And then once you stop drinking, because invariably if you drink enough, it doesn’t work for you, right? We we know that and it is addictive and it’ll take you down a path but there’s all the things underneath that The reason that drinking appealed to you so much in the first place, so you do like, you know, peeling back the layers, the onions, getting to the heart of it, like once you stop that behavior, you need to do that work.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And it’s always gonna be there too. And I think that is an interesting and very true statement, you know, just because you quit drinking and you’re many years sober. The vigilance that it requires to get through every day will shift, but it’s always there. I mean, it’s always the desire to cope, to numb out with whatever mechanism you can. And it’s not until you start to turn, the blame and the identification of the problems inward and you understand that happiness, which is a loaded term, but you understand that your happiness and your health and all of this comes from you and not from people around you, not from your job, not from anything external can you develop the resolve to be able to withstand the desire to numb out and then you can start to create the life you want. And then you don’t want to numb out. You know, you get a better job and you like the person you’re living with and everything gets better. But it can’t start with a numbing out. You can’t get anywhere with that behavior. And so that’s like in the book I talk about how if drinking is your one nonsense thing, because I say we all have one big bleeder right now, and if it is drinking, get rid of that one, get like triage, the big bleeder and then start to deal with your shitty career, the husband you hate, then deal with the rest of it. But you’re going to get the most bang for your buck if you just quit drinking. And I know that sounds easier said than done, right? Because I know exactly what I’ve been doing.
Yeah, it takes a long time. But that’s a whole another podcast, which I have a bunch of.. on how to actually do that work. Right, right. Yeah. So when you said in terms of I think you were writing about editing your nonsense and you talked about what’s different now, you know even once you sort of cut the… stop the bleeding and do some of this work you said I have, I have less of hangovers, less of frenemies or toxic people who suck your energy. You don’t forget or fail to take your kids to school. The notes on the counter are friendlier. You know, good thing not all the time. Not all the time. More sleep, more patience, more drive and time. Presence with your family makes you feel more alive and purposeful, insane. That is definitely how I feel, too, and, and what I liked is, you kind of change. You said you change your definition of what you’re seeking to embrace sort of contentment and peace you know, versus Happiness. And I thought that was interesting because we all want to be happy. Right?
Right, right. Yeah, happiness is what I talked about in the book, how there’s five laws that were being told. And one of them, I believe, is the lie of happiness that we are told, or we pick it up somewhere along the way that…that is the goal, that we want to be happy. And happiness that we’re seeking is exactly what is causing us to numb out because we, it’s bliss, the idea of happiness is bliss is like that great feeling when you love someone so much and or you’re a Disney World, although I don’t like Disney. So that’s not bliss for me, but a lot of people like Disney. And you know, it’s those moments that you can look back on and be like, Oh my gosh, I was so happy. But we’re seeking that day to day and we’re expecting it from our partners, our children. Like why don’t you make me happy? Why doesn’t this job make me happy? When really it’s a lie. We can’t have that kind of joy every single moment of every single day. We can have peace, we can have contentment, we can be grateful. And that’s a different level. And so a lot of times I think that addicts are seeking that happiness all the time. Like, why isn’t my life happy? Why isn’t it at this level? Well, if it’s not going to be that I’m just going to numb so I mean, the opposite of happiness. I don’t think it’s sadness. I think it’s numbness. It’s just like, dead, you know? And so that’s what I talk about as being alive. Just if we can just let go of the expectation of happiness and look more at how can I be more present, more content and do things that feel good? Like, you know, if it’s sometimes, just feels good to do nothing, you know, it feels good to just go for a walk and that’s it. Is that happiness? Is that bliss? No, probably not. But it’s still good.
One more thing, when you talk about numbing, you know, we want to be happy all the time, but we also want to not feel any negative emotions. So when you numb out those you numb out the good stuff too. You’re just not able to feel content without having that alcohol in your system. I mean, I find the hardest thing with myself and with women when they’re quitting drinking is being bored like we’re so used to the minute we feel bored doing something to change that mood. We’re so not used to being angry without drinking at another person. We’re so not used to being lonely or being sad. I mean, of course when you drink a lot of times you get those emotions out but a lot of times you barely remember it. Yeah,
I was fun drinking until I wasn’t and that anger came out and I blacked out.
I know. It’s because you know, so some people are like, I just feel, so I’m just bored and I’m like, yeah, be bored or try to think of something else to entertain you. Like it’s experimentation sitting through human emotions without going to a substance.
Yeah, and I wish I could remember it just happened to me yesterday, but I can’t remember what triggered it. But it was something… Oh, I know what it was. It was my son. So when he was a toddler, he used to walk up to us and he would turn around and back into us and sit down like a… like a pickup truck. This beep beep… backups.. Sit down.
And last night, he’s 12. I was sitting in the living room knitting, because that’s what you do when you’re sober. You do things like knit and draw, and like you do things to keep your mind busy. I was knitting and he comes over.. 12 years old and he stands in front of me and he backs up and sits down on me. And I just had so much freakin joy from him doing that. And then he sat in my lap for like a half an hour and we talked about when he was a baby when he was born. And the reason that and everyone may say oh, well yeah, of course that would make you happy but Meredith from four years ago. would not have felt that level of joy from that little moment. It’s the contrast from the fact that I feel boredom now. And I feel real anger like in a sober way and I feel sadness and depression and anxiety in this COVID world and everything that’s going on that I can feel real joy from my heart for you know that i and that is just an example that I you know, before I’d be like, Why are you sitting on me? I’m doing some, are you sitting on me? I’m knitting, I know, I’m drinking. I’m drinking. I’m drinking..
Yes, just different.
It’s and I think that’s the biggest thing is you learn what those moments of joy, how very real they are, their true joy or it would have just been like a moment it wouldn’t have been a joyful moment. Ya know, and I think that’s the… that’s the contrast. I feel.
Well, my son’s 12, too, and he’s 4 inches taller than me, so I can get how you would feel. Just absolute joy at that. I mean, I remember when I was 4 months sober, maybe even earlier, maybe 2. Suddenly, on a Tuesday, I was walking in my office and I live in the Seattle area. Mount Rainier was out and the sky was blue and the birds were… the birds were singing, and it was like 8:00 a.m. And I thought to myself, as opposed to earlier, when my thoughts would be, I want to shoot myself, I actually was like walking. It just popped into me. I love my life. I’m happy. This is beautiful. And like just that quickly after giving up that substance, to feel that, you know, and it wasn’t just that I didn’t have a headache, and I wasn’t hung over. And it was just this feeling of joy. And it was amazing because I was like, I have not felt that in a really long time. Right?
Right. And for me, it was… it was so long, like 18 years since I had felt that kind of joy and… and to feel real joy. And knowing, Yeah, same thing. It’s just, it’s so.. it’s almost scary, I think especially newly sober. Because you think oh gosh, well, when’s the shoe gonna drop? Yeah, this can you know, and so that’s why I like to encourage like, we’re not seeking that happiness. We’re seeking contentment, a world we can live in or we don’t have to numb. Yes, happiness is scary too. It’s scary for people that are newly sober, this can’t last. This is not going to happen. I’m going to screw this up. Someone’s gonna screw it up. You know, there’s that… there’s a lot of growth to do newly sober and that’s why it’s so hard. That’s absolutely why it’s so hard.
Yeah. And also, I mean, one of the things that I think is one of the best parts of sobriety but you also talk about it in your book is just the absence of waking up with that, like shitty inner critic voice in your head like berating yourself. You know, Why can’t I get it together? Why did I do this to myself? Again, what is wrong with me – just the evil voice. And you talk about how, you know, the mind, for a lot of us, is a battlefield. And we are so much crueler to ourselves than we would be to anyone else, but also dismantling some of those core beliefs that just pepper us a million times a day with a million, you know, the death of 1000 cuts. Can you talk a little bit about that and about that work?
Yeah. So we all have core beliefs. These are things that we develop from a very young age. They shape us, they become part of who we are. And many, many times we didn’t pick them. It’s something we’ve heard, it’s something that someone said to us. Oh, you’re so stupid. You’ll never be good at math, you know, fourth grade teacher. While you have such a pretty face, implying the rest of you, not so much, you know, or you’re put on a diet at age 11. So you think you’re never you know, your body is a mess. So all of these things get interwoven into our lives, they become part of our belief system. And so when we do the things that impact that, and we do them repetitively, and they cause us harm, then it’s just it digs it deeper. You hear the voice of that inner critic of that, that belief that said, Oh, you’re so stupid. Oh, that’s the voice that comes up when you screw us, “screw up”. And so we have to learn to target those core beliefs to identify them. Most of us don’t even know what they are. We are on what I call the shit show autopilot. Yeah, and everything is a shit show. And we’re doing it just on repeat. And so step one of any of these processes is awareness. You have to get your head out of the sand and you have to see. And that’s hard because that’s what we’ve been avoiding. If you’re drinking, you’re avoiding, seeing you don’t want to say, you want to just change.
Some people are like, I can’t. I can’t go there because I think it’ll break me. I don’t think I can look at that.
Yeah. Right. And that’s what we tell ourselves like that’s a core belief. The core belief is your broken or close to it. And along with the I can’t go there belief is a belief that you are weak. Yeah. And so you can for everything you say, I can’t do this because… go to the “because” and so, in that same “it”, because it will break me. Okay, we’ll dig a little bit deeper on that. What does it really mean? Because I am weak. Why do you think you’re weak? Well, because my parents told me I was weak. Well, why did they tell you are weak? Because I did this.
Well, why dig it down to the very core thing that happened to you in your childhood? And look, we don’t do that without a therapist. Don’t do it if you’ve got trauma, but that is the truth. There is something if you think you can’t do it because it will break you, it’s because you think you’re weak and can’t handle it. And so you need the support of someone, whether it’s a therapist, a coach, to hold your hand while you do it because you’re not going to break, because that’s going to free when you get to the reason to the core of your truth. And as I call it, your free when you can look, whatever it is that you think you can’t look at, when you can look that in the eye, whatever it is, whoever it is, whenever it happened, you can then begin to heal until then, you’re just covering it with a bandaid, you’re just continuing to not deal and we have to deal and yes, it will suck. It will suck it will suck bad. But the other side of it does not suck.
And it’s worth it. And you know one of the things I figured out after I stopped drinking was, I was never clear enough to separate what was something I needed to deal with, versus me drinking. I was so mad at myself for drinking too much or being hungover or not being able to deal with my drinking or wanting to whatever it was, I could never separate like, Oh, no, this is genuine anxiety. And it’s here for a reason. And yes, I might be, you know, overreacting to this trigger, but it’s because this happened in my past, and you got to get clear to deal with it. And then you’re finally able to move on with your life in a way that you’re actually kind to yourself.
Right, right. And I don’t think that happens right away. I am still the meanest person in the world to myself. I mean, that’s gonna take a lifetime of work. And that’s another thing, I kind of rage on the self care industry, about this whole idea that you just wake up and love yourself. I think that is the biggest line of bullshit ever. Wouldn’t that be nice? Oh, you mean I just had to start loving myself like, Oh, well, thanks for telling me. It’s not that easy, but you’re right. We have to clear the screen-base in order to be able to love ourselves. And the more we show ourselves that we have this ability to stick to our promise of not drinking and to get up to go for a walk or whatever it is that we’re trying to accomplish, the more we build that muscle, and the more room we have for the self love and the self care and so it doesn’t start there. I don’t believe, I mean, maybe there are really smarter people that say it does. But I couldn’t do it.
I think what helps is, you know, there’s this phrase that like your bottom is whenever you stop digging, and I think the issue is you don’t turn it completely around right away. And you know, I agree with you. It’s a process, like, you sort of cut out some of you know, you you talk about in the book cut out the bad, would you, you know, that’s an ongoing process of editing your life and growing and learning. And yet, at least you’re not digging yourself deeper. At least you’re reaching out for new tools. new sources of support and being honest, to give yourself the opportunity to feel better. Right?
Right. Exactly. It’s about creating space for yourself.
Yeah, yeah. So if someone’s listening to this, and they’re not sure where to even start, right, they’re in a painful place, or just a dissatisfied place or a defense, whatever. They’re scared of leaving their job yet they’re not happy. They have a mean boss. They’re drinking too much. They’re having issues in their relationship. They’re feeling anxiety, they feel like they hate their body, whatever it is, where do they start?
Yeah, I think step one is admitting all of those things. Because I think sometimes we know them, or we’re running it on a loop in our head. But we haven’t pulled our head out of the sand to actually put pen to paper and be like, this is what’s making me miserable. And then I think you have to see the truth about your role in it. And what you’re doing is contributing to that list you hate. And a lot of times when you get down and dirty honest with it, a lot of what is keeping you stuck and sad and all the people that you’re hating on. It’s.. it starts with you. Like, it really does. There’s something on that list that you have control over, and you’re choosing to not have control over it. And so, I work with Lauren Zander with the Handel Group. She’s my Life Coach and what I like the name of her book is Maybe It’s You. And it means, just that maybe, everything you hate in your life is you and a lot of what The Year Of No Nonsense incorporates is this – is how to get over yourself and on with your life. This is not how to complain about XY and Z like this is what you do. This is your responsibility and so on. You can’t fix anything until you see. Yeah, the “see the whole picture”.
And so I know, like, weight was always my struggle, it’s still like, I guess if I had a struggle, I’d still say add weight, whatever. I care less and less about it every day. But people that are overweight especially and they don’t want to be Look, there’s body positives, who are like be whatever way you want to be. Love yourself, and people are good with that. I’m not talking to you. There are people that are overweight and don’t want to be. So if you fall into that camp, the first thing you have to do is look at yourself in the mirror, and potentially gather some scale data. I don’t care if you weigh or not. But you have to see, you have to be like, Okay, I’m 10 dress sizes bigger than I’ve ever been. And I’m not happy here. But I’m going to look at myself and I’m going to take in this information. And now, what am I going to do about it? And I think so often we don’t want to think about taking that information, because it sucks. It sucks to admit, oh my gosh, one I’ve gotten this far down a path. I’m not happy I did this to myself. Literally. We don’t want that data. But that is exactly the data that sets you free because then you can look at it and say, Okay, here’s my roadmap. Yeah, I want to change this and so that’s the first step and that’s why I think people put my book in the freezer like Joey on Friends. They’re like, No thanks. Chapter Two: goodbye.
Well, or they don’t want to give up the stories. I mean, I know a lot of us go to that sort of victim mode. That kind of your, like, use all the excuses as to why we have changed. My job is so hard, I am the only person taking care of my kids. I have no support, my spouse drinks. I wouldn’t be able to take time for myself if I wanted to, I’m so tired. You know, you know, and that applies to drinking too. Like I can’t go. I can’t stop drinking this week because I’m going to a party and everybody there drinks. They’ll think I’m weird or I don’t have the energy to supervise my son’s playdate if I don’t drink, like whatever it is. And the truth is that if you ever want to dig yourself out of the hole, you know, you have to give up some of those excuses and change what you can and just be willing to take the first step. And maybe that’s just reaching out for help.
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, exactly. And I think you have the “another” layer of that is to accept the truth about the world, which is: there will always be another party, there will always be another holiday, another event, another weekend. There’s always a Monday that you can start again. Hey, I’ll start on Monday. Like this is what everyone does and why We stay stuck. Because if you’re going to live your life, according to the party that’s coming this weekend, there’s always going to be one of those, there’s always going to be a reason why you don’t do what you say you want to do. And so at some point, you have to look at that and say, Okay, I’m done and the party, whatever, like, it doesn’t matter. It has to be about you and you have to take your power back. You have to, I mean, addiction, says you’re powerless over alcohol, your life’s become unmanageable. And I agree, that we have to surrender a lot of our ideas and notions about the world. But I also want to emphasize that the change you want, it can come from surrender and from your own internal power. I think they can exist together. And a funny story: when I quit drinking, I had been a year sober and our neighbors didn’t know I quit drinking, and we went to a Cul De Sac Party, and it was Halloween and I had. So I Oh, one of my tips for being a sober person in a drinking world is to take a huge tumbler filled with soda water and lime wherever you go and they assume you’re drinking, and then you can avoid the question. If you don’t, I don’t mind telling people I’m sober but some people do. And so I had my big tumbler full of soda water, and my neighbor and I was.. I was in a good mood. I was having a great time and my neighbor’s like, boy, you sure are drunk. Like, I’m just drunk. I just high on life of air. I’m having a good time. But, you know, I can always use the excuses. There’s the Cul De Sac party, there’s this and all they think of me and that I always respond, people don’t care. Stop worrying that they do not care. Let them drink on their second drink. They’ll forget you’re not drinking. Like they don’t care. They’re there to get their drink on. They don’t care what you’re doing. Yeah. And if they do, if they make it their business to ridicule you, you need new friends.
And that’s all about them. That’s all about their relationship with alcohol, their right or threatening something in them. I mean, my favorite quote is like, stop worrying about what other people think. Most people don’t even know what they think of themselves.
Yeah. And if you’re going around with this constant, you know, voice in your head, this constant chatter, so are they, I mean, the more I talk to women, honestly, the more I see that we all are struggling, right? And we all have this inner voice and you know, you’re so busy listening to yourself, you can barely tell what the person across from you is thinking. Right?
Right. You have to become your own moral compass. And that’s hard because most of us don’t don’t know what we think and we don’t know what we believe. We don’t know what our values are. But you have to start with taking an inventory of where you are and what you believe in and what are you made of and it’s scary and it’s shitty. Like myself, lists were terrible. I was like, Oh, no, this is not going well. Yeah. And that’s okay. Because you know what? It’s not going well. Yeah, right now, you know, if you’re at the point where you’re like, I have to make a list. I don’t. I can’t look at who I am, like you’re already not doing well. And look,
just start where you are, like my list in the beginning was in… I was trying to quit drinking or like at that point, I might have just been like, I’m overweight and unhappy and something needs to change. I kind of knew it was my drinking, but I wasn’t able or willing to say like, I’m never going to drink again. And my thing was, I was like, make a list of things that you do every day. Make a list of things that make you happy, compare the list and start adjusting. And the things I did every day was like, I loved your daily schedule, because it was the same as mine. The one you wrote in my book, it was your book, it was like, wake up with a headache and a hangover, try to pull myself together. Go to the bus stop, take my kid to school, drive into work, drive thru at Starbucks, sit in meetings, eat lunch at my desk, five o’clock, 5:36 rush to daycare pickup, come home, drink a bottle of wine, try to get my daughter to bed as quickly as humanly possible to keep drinking, fall asleep on the couch, “come up to bed” at two in the morning with my husband having closed the door. When he went to bed, which in my mind was just like, cringe worthy moment of opening the door whether it was at one, two or three, and then wake up the next morning and repeat.
And you know, I couldn’t start with I knew that wasn’t making me happy. But I had to start with things like, don’t eat lunch at your desk and listen to music and go for walks and workout in the morning and maybe don’t drink two or three days a week. And you know, I know drinking was at the core of my issues, but It was probably I mean, this was years in the making, but it was probably about six or eight weeks before I was able to get my last day one after that. So I just smiled. I mean, I had that sign up. And every single day, I was like, what makes me happy? You know?
Yeah. And it’s just all you’re doing with that is disrupting the pattern. Yeah, you’re disrupting the shit show autopilot. The second you stand up and say I want to do one thing different today. And you know, whether it’s I’m going to drink a lot of water, or I’m going to go get some sunshine like that disrupts a pattern. And if you don’t know where to start, just disrupt your pattern, whatever it is.
When I coach people, I have them take 10 minutes in the morning to do something and it depends on the person. But they wake up and they do this for 10 minutes, whether it’s meditating, journaling, reading, whatever we talk through it. That disrupts a pattern, because most of us that are drinking or on the autopilot, do not. We wake up and we shoot out the bed. And then the day is on us. And the day is happening to us. When we start the day, 10 minutes purposefully, doing whatever, we are laying down the state and we’re like, this is my day. I’m in charge of this day and it changes your whole thing because all of a sudden, life is not happening.
The Tony Robbins’ “Life is not happening to us. It’s happening for us.”
And so when you focus on that, it’s like, oh, my gosh, I have opportunity and all of a sudden, the day is brighter and you feel like maybe I won’t have that stone Starbucks, maybe I’ll just get a coffee. And I’ll, you know, eat something healthy for myself. Not because I’m trying to shrink myself but because it’s the right thing to do. To take care of myself.
You have agency, maybe that toxic person at the office comes over to gossip and spew negativity and blame and resentment and maybe you’re like, you know what, I kind of got to go right now. And you go talk to someone who’s positive and just realizing that you have the option. ability to do that. And, you know, taking stock of like, what makes you feel drained in your life versus what makes you feel positive and energized.
And chances are if you’re in like the darkness, if you’re in the dark hole that is, you know, the life of someone drinking too much and hating themselves and hating their life, it’s going to feel like you have to take this major stance and major overhaul and that I love if you can pull it off, but most people can’t pull that off. And so you have to take the little wins where you can get them and those little wins pay huge dividends.
James Clears’ book Atomic Habits is a great book because it talks about how I mean he has all the research to back it up, but you just change something 1% and then you take that 1% over the course of 10 years and all of a sudden you don’t you’re not overweight anymore if that was your problem, or you’ve gotten a job you want. I mean, I have a promise and consequence I set for myself. Everything. The day that I make two career tasks, so I email someone about a podcast, I email, I do and ask, I do two of them every day. And I don’t hear back from 97%. But every day, I’m moving myself forward. And it’s like that 1% thing. I just do those two, two careers every day I do 10 minutes of meditation, I do. But then over the course, and I also do 15 minutes of Spanish a day because I want to learn a language. I’ve had this core belief that I can’t learn a language. And so I do Duolingo for 15 minutes every day. And I have fun with it, because it’s like a game. But today, I looked, I logged on and I’m on day 58. I’ve been doing Spanish every day for 58 days. And I’m like, awesome. Oh my gosh. And I started taking a quiz today. And I’m like, I actually know some Spanish. And it’s 15 minutes a day.
Yeah. And so we’re making it into this. I gotta do all this stuff. I gotta do it right now. I gotta change my entire life. And I love that I’m all about that life. I’ve done it a couple times, but you will change your life by changing a couple things.
Yeah, and I think quitting drinking is your biggest dividend, you’re going to get a huge reward from that pretty quickly. But even if you still aren’t sure, try something else. You know, try being done drinking every night by 9:30. Nothing after 9:30 and then, after 9:30 you drink water, and see how you feel. I mean, just that is an atomic habit. Because eventually, either that or you’re just gonna start drinking at lunch.
I was gonna call I’ve never had, like, I drink until it’s gone. or right. Like, there’s no but it’s an experiment.
Yes. The thing too if you believe that and this is the truth, like if you’re an addict or an addict, and that’s not gonna work for you. Yeah, it was like, on point because, but it’s going to tell you a lot about yourself. It’s going to tell you that Oh, in order to get all your drink on, you’re now starting at 4:30. Do you really think you don’t have a drinking problem? Like any experiment, you do that. You can’t stick to and you can’t get a benefit from. It’s going to tell you the truth.
Yeah. And so if you’re hard headed, and you’re having a problem, and you think you can moderate, try that experiment.
Yeah. And most of us have tried it for like, a decade. I mean, I made every rule in the book. But I truly love your thoughts, you know, I always think you can’t hate yourself. Well, and I loved when you talked about even that moment of clarity in the post-it note and the science project, and then that wasn’t your moment that you were able to stop. But it was your moment when you were able to start doing something differently and seeing your part in it and starting to have urgency. So, I mean, I feel like I’m a list maker. You mentioned you’re a list maker, too. And to this day, I kind of write down all the things that I’ve done or accomplished to make me happy, to take care of myself, to move my business forward. You know, just because you’ve got to be proud of yourself at every step along the way and realize how much you are accomplishing, even if you’re not at your end goal yet.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
You got to see the baby steps you got to see.
Yeah, there’s just all this pressure to fix it. And you know what, we’re never going to get there. We’re never going to get to this destination. We think we’re headed toward it. We just have to live each day and do the best we can every day one day at a time truly. And you know, I think sometimes we get paralyzed by that. If I can’t fix this completely right now, I might as well not bother. And that’s not true.
This “all or nothing”. I actually spoke to a client earlier today. She said, “Why do I have to be “all or nothing”? I said because you chose that you have long ago and the core belief system you chose, I am all or nothing. And I said you gotta quit choosing that, just be you. You’re not all or nothing because that allows you to be really high or be really low. And it also allows you to why bother? Because if I’m not all in, what do I even bother about? So that’s what this process is about is examining what beliefs do you have? Do you have this belief that you have to have a huge goal in order to train for anything like I coach a lot of athletes so ones that do like long distance triathlons, or marathons are like, well, I don’t have a race because COVID so Screw it. I’m like what? Like, no Get your ass outside and run like yeah, it doesn’t matter like but that’s where we get bogged down then if we don’t have this hairy goal or this big purpose, or we’re not blowing up our life and making massive changes, why bother and we have to get out of that all or nothing mentality except for drinking. Do not drink. No drinking. But yeah, I think that we will, we will do exactly what we are looking for. So if we’re looking for failure, like, Oh, you always do that. Well, yeah, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. So we have to start looking for the successes and looking for the ways we are getting it right.
And there’s a script, you talk about that you’ve been reading the same crappy script for years. And you need to flip the script and and replace some of those negative core beliefs and inner critic voice with something new.
Yeah, but yeah, I’ve been reading the same script. My friend Susan, years ago, I was complaining. We have this very small group of us in a Facebook group, like moms of all ages, and there’s very few of us. And so I was reading from my script. I didn’t know I was reading. I was just telling my story about how is a stressed overweight mom, lawyer and she’s like, Man, what are you gonna quit reading that script? And I was like, I was just telling you, I thought you’re my friend, you know, like I was just telling you a story. And she was like, You have been saying this for two years. And I’ve known you for two years. And she really called me out on it. And she said, If you continue to read from that script, that will be the role you play forever. You will be the overweight lawyer, mama, too stressed out and hates her husband and all this. Yeah, stop, stop that script, tear it up. And so that was actually a precursor to the sticky note.
So I had this friend tell me this like in 2013 2014, beginning of 2014. And so it was all like that perfect storm of timing like oh my gosh, I have to change this script. I have to and I’m still working on it. And the Handel Group with Lauren Zander is my coach. She talks about the inner dialogue and like what are we saying in recent times, I realized that my script is I hate everyone. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I’m on a hate loop. So my current script is reading from a list of things I hate And then I look for evidence as to why I hate them. So, for example, oh my gosh, my husband’s such an idiot, I hate him so much. And like, this is terrible, but I’ve told him about it. So it’s not like it’s, it’s, it’s just what I’m thinking inside my head. I’m not consciously doing it, but then he’ll do something. And I’ll be like, well, there it is. That’s why I hate him. And it’s something stupid, like he didn’t make coffee. And so on. But I’m looking for it, because my internal dialogue is saying that right?
And so we have to get in our own head and replace it with God, I love this man. He cares for me. He puts up with my crap. And then when he forgets to make the coffee, it’s more like, you know what, I’m going to go make the coffee because he takes good care of me. Yeah. And…and it changes everything. And you can apply that to every part of your life. But yeah, there’s a script, you’re running and you’re reading. So what is it? What is it saying? So you write your
script and you just flip to the other side and try to focus on that or
I don’t think so. I think you have to literally tear up your script. Write a new one. Because I think we can smell our own bullshit. So if it’s like, Oh, I love this man, I think that and I look, I do love my husband, he’s just always the example I come to. But when I’m on the hate loop, I can just turn and be like, nevermind. I love this, like, because that feels like a lie. Instead, I change it so I can change it to gratitude. Like I’m so lucky to live where I live. Um, so this is actually a pretty rockin house, even though its ceilings are six feet tall and it’s a shoe box. You know, I can look at it.
I love gratitude. It is like such a great tool.
All right. I forget who I was talking to. Recently, but they said it was on a podcast or shoot, I can’t remember. But she said, You know, I’m just thinking, Oh, it was Janine Roth, she said just be grateful for the chair you’re sitting in. I’m thankful for this chair. I’m thankful for the socks on my feet. I’m you know, if you’ve gotten nothing to say, start thinking about the things you can count and count them like, even as silly as it seems to be thankful for your silverware. Yeah. But it’s there and that stop that stops the hate loop for me.
Yeah, but you didn’t, it does change the channel in your head. I mean it. Yeah, it does. I remember when I was, you know, six months, eight months sober I had been working on gratitude. And I went out to see Brené Brown speak in downtown Seattle. I went out with a bunch of women who don’t drink. Instead, we went to dinner before. We did not get drunk. We decided to go for a coffee and dessert afterwards. And I came out and my car had gotten locked into the garage like I, you know, the garage close I didn’t even see the sign and so in normal Casey world, I would have been like, Oh my god, I’m so stupid. What the fuck? Why didn’t they put the sign bigger? I can’t believe this. You know, I probably would have drank. So I would have been like not wanting to interact with anyone as I get my car out not wanting to call my husband, I would have blamed it on, like, drinking or something.
Instead, I was like, okay, there’s a sign here. So I called the number. I was grateful. First, I was grateful I was sober. Then I was grateful that there was a sign with a phone number. I was grateful. So when picked up, I was grateful that it was only three blocks away. The guy gave me the past, I drove out to give it to him, and he didn’t even charge me because he was like, it happens, you know, then I was grateful. He didn’t charge me. And yeah, you know that. I mean, it was as opposed to being like, my life sucks. This is horrible. This always happens to me. This is bullshit. Like blame, defensiveness, it was just and that was because I practiced that gratitude. It was getting to be a muscle that I was used to using.
Right, right. Absolutely. And it is. Life is a muscle. That’s what I’m learning. We got to lift it. We got to lift weights, like weights.
Well, you love lifting weights, right? That’s what you do. And I love that. Yeah. So I know at the end you love to give a challenge to women listening to this. So, yeah, give us one.
Yeah. Okay, so here is your challenge audience with regard to nonsense. So I want you for two weeks to look at every person, place or thing or situation, every decision you have to make and ask this simple question. Is this nonsense? Yes or no? And so a lot of people say, Well, what is nonsense? How do I know what nonsense is? Oh, you know, you know, because there’s a feeling in your stomach. There’s a virus, there’s this shrugging, like, Oh my gosh, you know what nonsense is? And so part of this challenge is beginning to name and identify and see the things in your life that are nonsense. So when you’re pouring a fifth glass of wine, I want you to go is this nonsense and really answer it. If you’re pouring your first glass of wine and you’ve made a commitment to be sober, I want you to stop for a minute and ask what you’re about to do if that’s nonsense, because you said you’ve stated goals, you’ve stated you’re going to be sober. Why are you doing this? Is it nonsense? Yes or no. And a lot of this practice is going to identify the things that you’ve got to change. And you don’t have to change them, right? This hot, fresh second, but you’re going to know and you’re going to look at it and you’re going to have this nice little small crate of things in your life that are not nonsense, and they’re going to be small. And you’re gonna be like, wow, I have a lot. I have a garage full of nonsense that I’ve identified these two weeks. But what isn’t nonsense is right here in this little box that I’ve made. Like making a mental box of the things that are important to you that are not nonsense, and that is where your energy should go and go forward. That helps you flip the script. Because you go. This is what I care about. It’s right here. In front of me, and the garage full of nonsense tells you what you can start to get rid of and what you can start to work on. And so it’s a fun challenge because it’s like, once you see it, you can’t unsee it, you’re like, Oh my gosh, that woman really is nonsense. And I really need to do something about my friendship with her. Oh, my gosh, this habit, why am I still doing this? This is nonsense, and it’ll start to wake you up. So a lot of us are just not awake, to the autopilot. We’re on autopilot. We got to get off it. And so that challenge helps kind of wake you up. And it’s a lot of fun too, because then you can start to laugh about it like oh my gosh, that person is so much nonsense.
Well, and what what helps me to on page 20 of your book it is the types of nonsense and I kind of read him at the beginning but in my mind, you know, when you’re talking about pouring that fifth class of wine or that first glass of wine, you know, in my mind that self sabotage when you are super mad at your husband or something else that happened you know, that’s blame you know you have this list people pleasing control issues like is you’re trying to micromanage other people in your life to your standards is that you know control issues or nonsense or your own feeling of unworthiness or your excuses or you’re in decisiveness so in my mind, like the list helps you because otherwise you’re like, my entire job is bullshit. And my boss is motionless in this meeting bullshit and be like, okay, that’s easy to be like throw the baby out with the bathwater. But if you have someone in the meeting who’s talking down to you and undermining you, like, that is, I always think bullshit, but that is nonsense, right? Yeah. If you have a habit that is just self sabotaging, you know when you’re doing it, that is nonsense, right? And so, just, I mean, I really like the list because you can look around into this I’ve got stuff that, you know, I’m undermining myself, I’m hanging out with people who may not be seeing the best in me who are seeing the worst. I’m frustrated over trying to control things that I don’t need to control.
Yeah. And also what the inquiry list is super helpful. But what the next inquiry is, after you’ve got your pile of nonsense is where does this come from? And what does it mean? Where did I get it until like when you said, you know, this person who’s always talking down to me at work, that the next inquiry is okay, what am I going to do about it? And why does this trigger me? Yeah, where did I end and what am I saying to myself about what this person is saying to me? Am I so upset because I feel that they’re saying is what they’re saying is true? And oh my gosh, is that actually true? What if it is, you know, it’s this whole brain explosion? Yeah. Which it’s really fun, I promise. But it allows you to take back some of that power that you probably don’t even realize You’ve given up at some point.
Yeah. And I think that’s a great place to leave this because I feel like your book is all about taking back your power and getting to what’s underneath, you know, when you’re feeling stuck. And, you know, the fact that your life may not be where you want it to be right now. I mean, how to get over yourself and on with your life. You know, your book really does help people do that. And I feel like that’s what so many of us need. So thank you so much. I really appreciate you.
I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I appreciate this conversation. It was a lot of fun.
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.