If you’re taking a break from drinking or quitting alcohol completely, how do you navigate friendships in sobriety that were created in bars and cemented bonding over bottles of wine?
Most women I know have a lot of fears around how their friendships and social groups might change when they stop drinking. And that makes sense when all your friends drink or your partner is your drinking buddy.
Maybe you go on annual trips with a big group of friends where the booze is flowing all weekend or the dinner table is filled with wine bottles when you get together with your girlfriends.
Maybe your entire family drinks and holidays include endless toasts and cocktail hours.
When you think of stopping drinking, it’s normal to wonder what will happen to your friendships and your social life.
Here are the questions most women ask themselves about friendships when they stop drinking…
- Will I lose all my friends?
- Will it be impossible to hang out with my friends when everyone gets together and is drinking?
- Will I stop getting invited to things?
- Will my partner think I’m boring if I’m no longer their drinking buddy?
- Will I sit around at parties feeling isolated and deprived?
- Will people feel awkward around me if I tell them I stopped drinking?
- What will people say about me? Will they think I have a drinking problem if I stop?
- How will I ever find friends who don’t drink and understand what I’m going through?
I asked my friend Kim Kearns, co-host of The Weekend Sober Podcast, author of On the Edge of Shattered: A Mother’s Experience of Discovering Freedom Through Sobriety and founder of Sober in the Suburbs, a social community outside of Boston, MA to join me to talk about how to navigate old and new friendships in sobriety.
We’ll break down for you exactly how we navigate friendships in sobriety so you can approach your relationships with more ease and less anxiety.
In this episode, Kim and I dive into:
- The fears we had about how quitting drinking would impact our friendships
- What we told our friends when we stopped drinking
- How our husbands reacted when they lost their drinking buddies
- The most helpful things our friends did and said when we stopped drinking
- Which friendships grew deeper and which ones faded away
- How our marriages changed and grew in sobriety
- What we told our kids about stopping drinking
- How we found new friends in sobriety
- Why Kim wanted to find a sober social community and created Sober in the Suburbs
- What we love doing with our friends these days
Resources mentioned in the episode
3 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More
Join The Sobriety Starter Kit, the only sober coaching course designed specifically for busy women.
My proven, step-by-step sober coaching program will teach you exactly how to stop drinking — and how to make it the best decision of your life.
Save your seat in my FREE MASTERCLASS, 5 Secrets To Successfully Take a Break From Drinking
Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free.
Connect with Kim Kearns
Kimberly Kearns is the author of On the Edge of Shattered: A Mother’s Experience of Discovering Freedom Through Sobriety. Kearns is a podcast host, a podcast writer and a featured speaker. She is proudly sober. A wife to an incredible husband and a mother to three beautiful children, Kearns currently lives in the suburbs of Boston in Needham, Massachusetts.
Kearns co-hosts the podcast The Weekend Sober and was the head writer for season Betsy of the Webby Award-winning narrative podcast F*cking Sober: The First 90 Days. She is the founder of Sober in the Suburbs, a social community outside of Boston, MA. Writing has always been an escape for Kearns, even as a little girl. Being able to express herself in words and getting lost in her imagination has served as a source of comfort to her as far back as she can remember.
Learn more about Kim Kerns at www.kimberlykearns.com
Follow The Weekend Sober Podcast on Instagram @theweekendsoberpodcast
Follow Kim on Instagram @asoberandstrongmom
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.
ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST FOR SOBER CURIOUS WOMEN
Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.
Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol-free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this is the best sobriety podcast for you.
A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 0.5% of podcasts globally with over 1 million downloads, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.
In each episode, Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life.
Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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!
Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS
Thank you for supporting this show by supporting my sponsors!
Learn more: https://hellosomedaycoaching.com/sponsors/
READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Navigating Friendships In Sobriety with Kim Kearns
drinking, friends, people, sober, talk, stopped, sobriety, husband, life, knew, day, group, cool, podcast, thought, started, friendships, blacked, told, Colby, navigating friendships in sobriety
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.
Today, we are talking about
navigating friendships in sobriety
And I know this is a topic that so many of you have written to me and asked about and I wanted to address it because it’s one of the biggest fears that stop women from taking a break or quitting drinking most of us who drink a lot. surround ourselves with other drinkers, maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s your group of girlfriends. That was definitely true for me. I was in a big drinking group. And it’s challenging to stop drinking and navigate those social occasions. And also, it’s challenging to meet other friends who don’t drink.
So, my guest today is Kim Kearns. She’s been on the podcast before we talked about our first holiday season, not drinking. So I will link to that in the show notes. You may know her she’s the author of on the edge of shattered a mother’s experience of discovering freedom through sobriety. Kim is a podcast host, a podcast writer and a featured speaker and she’s proudly sober. She’s a wife to an incredible husband and a mother to three beautiful children. She lives in the suburbs of Boston and tells her story of sobriety to inspire others every day on her substack her blog and her Instagram accounts. She hosts the weekend sober podcast, and was head writer for season Betsy of the Webby Award winning narrative podcast fucking sober the first 90 days. She’s also the founder of Soper in the suburb, a community outside of Boston. Writing has always been an escape for Kim, even as a little girl, and I am so glad you’re here.
Thank you. That was a long intro. Kind of annoyingly long. I should trim that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:22
No, it’s totally cool. Well, I have you on for the first time we connected with each other because you went to a small liberal arts school in Maine and I went to a small liberal arts school in Maine, which unfortunately has been in the news this week because there was a mass shooting in the town. I went to college in in Lewiston, and all the students are locked down multiple days later because of the manhunt, which sucks. It’s awful. And I’ve been in touch with so many of my college friends recently just because that obviously we’ve been talking about it. And that’s been cool, but I know when I was in college, I was a member of the Women’s rugby team. I was a huge drinker like Kay Stan, big drinker and blackouts and you know, all the things and you were a big drinker in college too. Yep.
So, I went to Colby you went to Bates and for stuff I did. I was thinking about you when I heard the news and it was I actually yeah, I definitely thought about you so very scary. And I’m sorry. But yes, back to our drinking stories. Yes, we do have the small NESCAC rural drinking in the you know, boonies of Maine history in common right, literally, nothing else to do like play sports and go to cake parties. Yeah.
And it was cold for many months. I think it started it was there’s you know, many times there was snow on the ground by this time of year snowed in April May I It was cold up there. So we just drank and drank to the point of blacking out and dark. Yes, cold and dark. Yeah. Oh, by
Casey McGuire Davidson 05:11
the way, I cannot. One of I can’t regret things in my life because obviously it was fun. And I made a ton of friends, and my path led me to my husband and my kids in my life, which I love. But like, why the fuck didn’t I go to school in like California or North Carolina? My son is looking at Colleges right now. And I’m like, Dude, no offense to Eddie, would like, do not go to North New England. Like, Life is short. We were long underwear, under our formal dresses, like ripped in the like, coat room? I mean, really?
Yes, it got dark. You know, back to that point. Like I’m still thinking about how get dark at like two o’clock in the afternoon. Like what the hell? It was so miserable and cold. I mean, I love Maine. It’s beautiful. And
Casey McGuire Davidson 06:01
it’s nice. I mean, the summers are gorgeous Acadia National Park is incredible. As soon as it got nice, we were caught.
Yeah, I know. We never got to enjoy the actual beauty of Maine.
Casey McGuire Davidson 06:13
So, I’m so sorry. I’ll say one more thing. I’m so sorry. It happened. And I have so many wonderful memories of the people there. But we used to fucking go to Walmart for a good time. That’s how sad it was like we would drive 40 minutes to where L.L.Bean was because it was open for 24 hours at a time and like hanging out with it in the tents. So, I drank a lot in college, but, you know, you probably don’t think I’m anywhere near as cool anymore. Now that you’ve heard that.
Well, yeah, I mean, that is where I Well, my drinking story started before Colby, I you know, started drinking in high school. And, you know, on theme with what we’re talking about today, I always drank to fit in with the social scene was, you know, the gateway to connecting with others and finding friends. And that started at a very young age. And I grew up in Connecticut, you know, went to parties in the backyards of my friends’ houses, in their pool houses, in you know, snuck booze from our parent’s liquor cabinets and replaced it with water. You know, I started doing that at a very young age, the age of 14. And that continued all through high school. Had a Jacoby, work hard, party hard mindset with some incredible friends, like you said, friends that I still talk to. You, today, have on a group chat on, you know, group texts that we talk every single day, wonderful friends, but, you know, we all drank a lot. And, you know, I felt like I always surrounded myself with people that drink similarly to me.
You know, I continued that sort of party herd mentality. Past Colby were many, many of my friends and my spouse, my husband who I met at Colby, they slowed it down. I did not. I didn’t think there was any reason to I kept drinking. I thought there was no reason to drink unless I was getting drunk. So that was how I drank. That was a good time. Yeah, that was, you know, if I was going to. I was just having this conversation with someone yesterday, if we were going to have a beer at lunch on a Saturday, like, why would you have one, you know, like, I drink to get drunk. And remember, you’re watching a football game or something that was silly, to just sip on a beer. So, that was always what I did. And I loved being social, being around people and in alcohol made me feel more comfortable in my skin. And I didn’t realize it at the time. But I was, you know, in my 20s, super anxious and it had that social anxiety, and found that comfort through alcohol, hanging out with my peers and friends and social gatherings. But I think what kept me in this cycle of drinking and struggling with alcohol for so many years through my 30s was ultimately the concern of what my friends would think, if I stopped drinking and how it would be perceived by others. If I were to stop and quote unquote, “be seen” as somebody who was sober or in their eyes, somebody who quote unquote, had a drinking problem that kept me in that place of sort of being caged and stuck for so many years and I refuse to ever, you know, face my problem. So, I instead tried to force myself to, quote unquote, “be a better drinker” and key John Paul my life because I couldn’t face ever been in this group of friends that I surrounded myself with in the town of Needham outside here, outside Boston with I couldn’t imagine being part of this group as the one person that did not drink.
Casey McGuire Davidson 10:15
Yeah, so and you know what’s interesting, so I was also in a very big group of drinkers. I mean, I think that’s super common, we would, you know, total mommy playdate drinking total, We’re escaping our husbands, and we’re drinking, you know, and our kids, but also before we all became friends, when I first moved to Seattle, when I was like 2526, and all of the women were working, a lot of them were the primary breadwinner in their family, even though like all our husbands work, too, it was just, you know, these like, quote, unquote, we thought we were these high powered working women who were super successful. I mean, lawyers and doctors, and, you know, executives, and whatever. And it was just how we operated. I wasn’t as scared of losing my friends, because I honestly felt really, really close to them. And despite us all being huge drinkers, we have all gone through tons of shit together and talked about all the deep stuff. Like it wasn’t social friends, it was like deep support friends, if that makes any sense. But I was, so I wasn’t worried that they think I would have a drinking problem. I was more worried about that with work colleagues, like with people who didn’t know me, or people who I met at the bus stop. But I had no idea how I would hang out with them. And I knew they would support me, I knew we would do different stuff, but like our annual stuff, I was like, oh my god, can I not go kayak camping anymore? Can I not go up to Whistler with them? How will we, you know, hang out at our, you know, with our kids, my kid was still two years old at the time. Like we used to have sleepovers where we drank a shitload. So, I thought I’d be miserable. I thought I couldn’t attend. You know, and I honestly thought I would be like, bored and boring and miserable. So, like, I think that’s interesting, because we had different views.
It sounds like, yeah, that is really interesting. I mean, I definitely had, I had that year as well, like, I had that fear that like, I wasn’t going to have fun, and I wouldn’t know how to act. But I do think that my Yeah, my bigger fear was how we other people look at me. Yeah, I struggled. In that regard. My whole life. I was so concerned with how people looked at me and how people perceived me and that concern of, yeah, what would people think of me? How would I represent myself? What would my identity be? Because I was for so long, the token party girl, I was the last I was the first one at the party. And I prepped the party, and I was the last one to leave. And I didn’t know myself as anything other than the girl who had fun and got drunk. And I didn’t think that I could have fun without it. And so that kind of goes along with what you’re saying. But oh, my goodness, I was scared that people would think I was.
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 13:38
And I love that we would like, get blackout drunk and like throw up and all that stuff. And we would be like, Oh, my God, if I stopped drinking, people are going to think I have a problem. Like, in terms of how skewed your mentality is? No, I did hysterical, right.
I was, I was always so blacked out. I was always so drunk. And I mean, falling down and giving myself a black guy and so bruised on Sundays. And yeah, and then that’s like, Oh, I wonder what people will think of me if I stop thinking that if I during game like, Oh, my God. It’s, it’s
so funny. And then, I don’t know if you notice this, and let’s talk about all this.
I want to hear why. Why you finally stopped even with those fears, how you told your friends, what changed how you made new friends, I mean, all the things. But, I mean, I remember and, you know, my girlfriend’s would like we would you know, one of them who could walk to my friend’s house even when we were having our sleepovers and what’s going home like, my girlfriend would pour her a huge glass of wine and put Saran Wrap over the top for like a roadie while walking home. And when we were already ship pay, so that was insane. Not all of my friends but say we had a group of 12. It was crazy to me to realize after I stopped drinking that, like eight of the 12 did not drink like I did. You know, I mean, I knew I brought the party I knew I like you was like the last one there. But I didn’t realize because I was fucking blacked out that like, maybe eight of them were not black.
Yeah, um, I think that that that is true. Yeah, not everybody drank as much as me. And I thought they were. And I do think that they, they did drank a lot. And I and I know that now. Because my friendships have sort of gone like this with some of those people that some friendships have gone a different direction. Yeah. And that happened very quickly after I stopped because I think that um, so when I stopped drinking, I was very, like, I am with most things like dive right in. I’m a doer, I’m all or nothing. And I knew that when I said those words.
So, my husband, I’ve told the story many times that, you know, I woke up that morning, November 28, 2020. I said to him, you know, what would you say if I said I had to stop drinking. And he said, All right, I will help you, I will do this. And I knew I had to hold myself accountable. So, I started writing. But I also told some friends, I told a handful of really good friends. Some of them from Colby that have known me for years in some of them were my newer mom friends that were from Needham. And, you know, had kind of gotten to know me in the past few years knew me only as you know, the mom with the little kids who really liked her three o’clock wine at the playdates, but I needed them to know what I was doing. Because as you tell them, like, what was your presentation?
I called a couple of them. And I said, I asked to go for a walk with one of them. And I asked the other one to come over. And I told both of them that, and these were people that I had sort of confided in before like, I need to slow my drinking down. Like, he wasn’t really mad at me about what I did last night. Like and these were people that you know, we would, these are my friends that I would call on Sundays when I was having those shame spirals. And I would know they would make me feel better. Oh, you didn’t drink that much? Oh, you’re fine. Oh, I don’t remember anything, either. Or, you know, like, we would all kind of make each other feel better. So, they knew.
Epic? Yes. So, they knew that I had some rough days in my past and had been worried in my past about my drinking. I had confided in them like I need to drink last you guys like I just feel awful on lifts, I really need to like not drink Monday through Wednesday. Those are the people that knew sort of like, my inner thoughts. And so, I had I brought them over, went for walks with them and said, I’m going to stop drinking like this is it? I’m done. And I don’t think they necessarily believed me. Maybe they thought it was like those past conversations I’d had with them. But I knew deep down, I was done.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:28
I knew you were done. Because I was like, I’m going to take 100 day break because I couldn’t even go for days.
I knew the time was very different. In the past, when I had tried to do dry January, I knew that I wasn’t done. Like I knew I was like, I’m going back like there’s no way. There’s no, I remember when I did dry January, I was like, There’s no way I’m making it through this month, but I’ll pretend to try. You know, all those other times I tried to moderate I knew that. I wasn’t going to ever quit. Like, I knew that wasn’t the final time but this time, there was a light bulb there was something that went off. And like I said, like when I make a decision, I go all in, and I don’t. There’s just something about my personality that I knew there was no turning back. And also, by telling these people this I was holding myself accountable and I just didn’t put it out there and then like, now that I’m saying this, I can’t go back on it.
So um, yeah, I told these friends and then I told a couple girls from Colby. And they were, you know, at first very supportive. But again, like I said, the moms that that didn’t know me as well and kind of our relationship was focused on drinking. We sort of started to grow apart very quickly. And I don’t know if it’s because my not drinking shined a light on their drinking made them uncomfortable. You know that old story. Everybody can relate to that. Yeah, holding a mirror up to their A relationship with alcohol. That was tough. I think. I also really just isolated. You know, I think that a lot of people do that in early sobriety, I pulled away from them. They pulled away from me, I stopped getting invited to places, even though I wouldn’t take my husband. So, like, I want to hang out with them, but I want them to invite me so I can say no, you know?
Casey McGuire Davidson 20:20
Yeah. It’s like, hurtful, almost, or you have FOMO? Or what I mean, when you tell me what did you feel?
Oh, it was all of the above. I was very hurt. I had FOMO. But I knew that if I were there, I would not be having the best time and I would be probably not, I wouldn’t want to be there. So, but it was also hurtful that. Yeah, it was just like a flurry of emotions. I had so many different feelings. And much like in early sobriety, you know, on any given day, I was happy, sad, mad, frustrated, you know, all of the things and that’s exactly how it was. I didn’t you know, like, that brought up every emotion.
Did you worry that they were talking about you behind your back? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Because that’s what we did together. That’s our when we hung out, we hung out around the kitchen island with a bottle of wine gossiping about whichever friend wasn’t there was a friend wasn’t able to make it to the playdate. Right. Oh, my God. So, like, that’s not that cool. Right? So awful. So, I knew that they were likely talking about me. And one of my main goals in sobriety was to stop gossiping, because, yeah, you don’t totally like yourself.
Okay, so that’s interesting to me, because we took very different approaches. And it sounds like we had different friends group not in a “judgy” way, just in an actual way. Because most of my friends I’d known for like 15 years, when I quit drinking, it just happened that we formed really early, and we became this really tight group. And we were like, ridiculously loving on each other, like, Oh, my God, you’re amazing, blah, blah, blah, we touch it, it was about our husband’s boss boxes, and about sometimes like just our parents and our siblings, but it wasn’t about each other.
And so, you have some very good friends, I would say, I do. I was very, I would say my Colby friends, my good friends up like 1520 years. We’re not like that. But I had some other friends that were.
Casey McGuire Davidson 22:45
That’s the difference, right? Whether they are situational friends, or kind of heartfelt friends and a lot of my friends are very earnest in a very good way. And so, but also big drinkers. And I also took a different approach when I stopped drinking, right, so I said, I’d do 100 day, no drinking challenge. Now, for some of them, I was more honest. But I mean, there was no question that they knew I was worried about my drinking, like, picture 7 years before I stopped drinking, we went up to Whistler girls weekend, it was actually Mother’s Day weekend. And apparently, of course, that was blacked out. I got completely shit faced and was crying and asking them if I they thought I was an alcoholic. So, you know, they had some, you know, and of course, I don’t remember it at all, is that I did it the next site too. Oh, but it outrank with them for a good dozen other many years. So, it was not a complete surprise, but at the same time, you know, it was like 100 days.
So, I, you know, certainly had done so I tried to avoid social events, I had to go to a few, like, one of my best friend’s flew in from Ohio for like, one weekend, right? And I hadn’t seen her in 4 years. I was like, Alright, I got to go to this. And I called my friend in advance and was like, Okay, I’m not drinking. Even if I asked you, please do not give me any alcohol. Like, you know, don’t let me do it. And I went there. I made it through an hour and a half. And then I turned to my friend, it was like, oh, fuck it. I’ll have a glass of wine. And she was like, No. And I was like, what, though? Like, she was like, No, I’m not doing it. And that was it. No, I’m kidding.
But so, when we when I stopped for 100 days, we just altered what we did. Like we went on walks, we went to yoga, we didn’t go after happy hour, we did other things instead. And then by the time I got to 100 days, we’ve eased into it right? And I was stronger. I was not strong but stronger. So, and I’ve made some sober friends like that period of time where I was not drinking, but also not saying forever, I think it like, with my husband with myself with my girlfriends, like eased us into. Okay, she’s still fun. But I do remember going my very best friend who lives here who I’ve known since I was 15. We were in boarding school together. And our husbands are very good friends. I went on a hike with her when I was very sober and early. And I was like, I don’t even know who I am anymore. Like, I have no idea who I am. And I remember she said to me, she was like, I feel like I’ve finally gotten my best friend back. Like, you are the person you were at 16 and 17, who I loved. And I was like, you know, it just helped me.
Yeah, I remember, my good friend saying something very similar. She said something like, I love this version of you so much better than the drinking version of you. And yeah, that really opened my eyes to, Yeah, just the way I have regrets about things I said, when I was drunk, we weren’t gossiping about each other. But like, I shared shit that wasn’t mine to share with other people or like, in our close group, which my friends got mad at me about, you know, like, 100. And they were there. Like, I was just talking to someone else, you know? So that felt shitty. And also, like, one of my friends told me like, you’re just not as nice or kind. When you’re drunk. You’re harsh. And a little bit me. And I was like, yikes, you know? And she wasn’t wrong. Like, you know? Yeah.
Wow. And to hear that, it’s like, okay, like, fair, fair enough. Like, yeah, that’s it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:09
If anyone said anything about my drinking, I’m like, What the fuck? You don’t know? Yeah.
Yeah. Well, that is really lucky that you had really supportive friends in your early days that just really zeroed in on your experience and were supportive and took you to yoga and like, did different things. Because, goodness, I know that so many people really feel so isolated, so alone in early sobriety, and feel like they don’t anybody hurtful. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:48
Harder. Like, your husband supported you. I don’t think my husband wanted me to completely stop drinking. He thought I was like, overreacting. He just wanted me to be a regular drinker. You know, but he’d seen me do shit like this before. He wasn’t going to undermine me. You know what I mean? He was like, all right. I mean, he also didn’t like it when I decided I was going to like, not eat carbs and like serve him nothing but salmon and asparagus and told him that shit home that he liked, but he did it, right. You’re just like, Oh, God, this again. And he was like, this isn’t going to last like a month from now. You’re going to be like, dude, bring me doughnuts.
Yeah, but then he was like, okay, he probably started to see the benefits of and that so many husbands are like that, because they’re like, I don’t want my drinking buddy to change. Or like, I don’t want work. You know, it’s like, they don’t understand. That was my husband never, ever saw sobriety as an option. He just was like, being normal drinker. Like, why can you just have one? Like, I don’t get it, you know, because he was the kind of person that would just have one he never understood. Like, what the point of me getting so drunk was and he didn’t understand that it was like, not possible for me to just stop at one. He that I was choosing that. He just never understood the addiction piece of it until I stopped, and I forced him to do all this reading and listen to podcasts. But yeah, that I mean, yes, he was supportive, but it took a little bit to get there. You know, it wasn’t automatic. But I think deep down yes. He knew that nothing good was going to come from the road I was on. Um, but you know, in terms of, just as we before we jump in. Have you had your husband on your podcast?
Yes. Okay. Yeah, a couple of times. It was great. I actually that’s a really good I want to interview him again this season because um, I interviewed him he was like the third episode I want to say, And it was really good. And then I had him like a year later. So, it’s been in and his relationship with alcohol has changed in these over that time. So that’s been really cool. And so now he like barely drinks at all. So yeah, I should interview him again. I’ve also entered kids hear up it really? Oh my gosh, yes. I just interviewed my 9-year-old daughter. Like, last month.
Oh my god, it’s so interesting to hear from them, especially since I stopped drinking when she was six. And now she’s 9. And she still is. It’s really cool to hear from her. What she remembers, and how it’s affected her and changed her and, and how she thinks of me. Now.
Casey McGuire Davidson 30:46
Okay, you are way braver than me. Like my 15 year old son was eight, when I quit. I think I took a year off when he was five. But I took four months off and then I got pregnant. And he knows obviously, right. We’re open about quitting drinking. I’ve been sober coach, I have a podcast, you know, he and his dad got me like 1000 little marbles and like, lifted on the kitchen table with a card when I hit 1000 days, so, but I’m scared to interview him. And also, he’s 15. And he’s a boy. And he does, like talk about his feelings very much. So, I think he’d be very uncomfortable. My daughter would be like, Oh my God, how much airtime do I have? How much can I talk? Yeah, but she’s 9. But she also was too, when I quit drinking. I don’t think she’d remember anything.
No, no, she wouldn’t. But um, yeah, my son is almost 13. And yeah, similar. I’ve had him on here too. A couple of times. He they all love the airtime first of all, yes. Yeah. My mom, my middle guy is a little more shy. So, he doesn’t love it. But the oldest the 12 year old, almost 13. He does like that. So, I’ve always been Yeah, since the beginning, very open and honest with them. And I think that it is, I don’t know, for me, it’s part of the journey. And part of my journey is talking with them. I think that I had so much shame with what I what happened with me in terms of my parenting and, you know, things that I did as a mom, that it was really cathartic for me to talk about our son was 10 when he stopped drinking ish.
Kim kerns 32:37
Yeah, 9ish. Yeah. So, I had to. So, it was during COVID. And he would they were in school part time, like one week on one week off. So are like when we get home when we get school. And when I quit, my husband actually petitioned to have them put into school full time, so I could focus on my recovery. go to meetings every day online, because I like I was like two weeks in and I just had a complete breakdown, like sobbing on the kitchen floor. In front of them. I think like one of them spilled the milk. And I just like walk. And my husband wasn’t he was going into the office because he was deemed an essential worker. He was working in whatever BioTech and so he wasn’t home, and the kids were home, and he was like, Alright, we’re going to get them in school full time.
So Anyways, long story short, we got them to go to school every day. And but my oldest was like, Why? Why are we in school every day? I thought we were home one week back when we. So, we had to tell him, and we talked to him about it. So, he knew very early on. He’s really perceptive, very, like intuitive kids. So yeah, like we were talking about it with them from very early. Alright, maybe
Casey McGuire Davidson 33:52
I’ll ask my son if he wants to be on it and see what he says. But I was also terrified to have my husband on I think I waited to like episode Saturday. I’ve got to look back and he kept asking, like, Dude, are you going to have me on? And I kept putting them off. I was like, oh, yeah, someday I’ve got I’ve got a stack of episodes. I was afraid of what he would say. Like, I am not sure I would want to hear what he remembered or what he thought, you know, I just he was super. I mean, we have a really good marriage, but there are things I’m like, and he was much, much kinder than I thought he might, or I feared he would be and that was very, it was good. I’m glad I finally had the discussion with him. I probably should have had it earlier. But you know, he was super honest. He was kind and it wasn’t, you know, in terms of shame, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was maybe or I feared it would be alright friends, so friends drifted.
Yeah, yeah, so um, friends drifted apart, I did have the friend that told me she liked the sober version of me. She actually ended up stopping drinking within a few months after I did. So, we sort of walked that road together, which was really cool. She’s the one that started the podcast with me. She has since stopped. And now, Katzie is my co-host. But Catherine is her name. She lives in my town, and she became a Mindset Coach. So she is no longer on the podcast, but she was, yeah, walking this journey with me. And that really helped.
Just having one person that was sort of knowing what you were going through, even though I, very early on, felt like, you know, from day one, I felt so alone and isolated. And like nobody knew what it was like to get sober. Certainly, because, you know, I Googled very early, like, I want to say, day one. I Googled sober in the suburbs of Boston. And that’s so perfect that you have that group now.
Yeah, well, that’s why I named it that. So um, there were some AAA meetings in the couple towns over and they weren’t meeting in person because it was COVID. So, I ended up joining the luckiest club and supermom squad, you know, so helpful in those early days, I think I was a member for 6 months. And that’s what really got me through that. But blogging and writing. And, you know, what led to my book was really cathartic and therapeutic. And, you know, but still, I didn’t have a ton of in person sober friends. I didn’t, you know, in the suburbs of Boston in Needham, nobody.
Casey McGuire Davidson 36:46
Nobody, like now that you’ve started the group, have you found way more sober people?
Yes. Now, after I published my book I had, I started to meet a lot of people and people started coming to me a lot of sober curious people. And, you know, I’ve met other eventually, obviously met other people near Boston, and, you know, through the instrument of community, but in my very specific town and surrounding towns, yeah, people eventually started to come to me, and I was going on walks, and coffee dates, and all these, you know, things and I was like, Alright, I need to bring all these people together. Because no, everyone’s coming to me saying the same thing. I don’t have any friends. I don’t, I’m the only one in my friend group that’s, that’s sober or that stopped drinking. And so, it was the same story over and over again, similar to my story, you know, in that we all live in these towns that are so focused on heavy drinking, you know, pouring the bottle of wine in the Yeti and heading to your son’s soccer game on a Friday night, that kind of scene and feeling so overwhelmed by it and not knowing anybody in their corner. So, I started Sober in the Suburbs. It’s basically just like a Sobriety Social Club. And, you know, started this past spring, it’s really grown to hundreds of members all over Massachusetts, in the north shore of mass South Shore, central northern mass. And now, we’ve expanded some chapters to Fairfield County, Connecticut, and DC, and Austin, Texas. And it’s cool, it’s just so you get together in person, or you have online media.
So, there’s so many online Zoom meeting type things, which I think people really feel comfortable with, because it’s behind a screen. And there’s so many options, right. But what I found that people needed, and what I wanted was that in person connection. So that’s what this does. It’s in person. It’s going for walks, it’s meeting for yoga, it’s meeting for a bar class, getting together for coffee and going out to dinner.
Casey McGuire Davidson 38:58
I love because I don’t want to necessarily sit in a circle and share in a circle, and exactly what
it is. So, it’s not forcing you to talk about your sobriety. It’s going out and being social and doing all the things you used to do as a normal human before you stopped drinking. You just doing it without alcohol. So, it doesn’t feel like you’re forcing, being forced to talk about your sobriety. You just go in and doing normal stuff, just without going out to dinner with a group of like-minded individuals. There’s just no ball get it? Yeah. And we have some people that they end up talking about their sobriety just because, you know, but there’s also really deep conversations and people that the connections that are made are incredible. We have a monthly speaker series so last night we had somebody talk about breaking bad habits and creating more mindful better habits for yourself. We have we just we have really cool wellness events every month that get people.
That’s super cool. And I actually had that organically. I was so lucky in early sobriety, like literally at 60 days, so I was a member of online group, lots of people are sort of in those and met this woman, Ingrid that 7 and a half years later, is still my sober bestie. And she was just barely sober. Our sobriety dates are two months apart. And so, she was like, in the first couple of days, I was two months along. And she lived in Seattle, and she lived in tech, and she didn’t have kids. But we both like went to boarding school in Connecticut, like had waspy. Moms like, we had a million things in common. I have so many episodes, my mother doesn’t listen to them anymore. So, thank God.
So, we basically met in person for the first time and hit it off. And you know, when you transition from the like, online friend to like, oh my god, I’m actually texting you. And I don’t know if like the texting friends are different level. Oh, yeah. And you’re scared the first time you text them. You’re like, Dude, I don’t know, friendships as adults are funny. But we became really good friends. And she was I actually did an episode like, Episode 6 or 7. So, I’ll link to it about finding friends in sobriety. And so, she would do what you did. But just organically. She was super social. So, she started hosting these dinner parties with all sober women like Saturday night, downtown Seattle, overlooking the sound and the great wheel. It was like way more exciting and fancy than my life at home in the suburbs with my two kids. And so, we would all go there. And like one of the woman was a stand-up comedian and one of the Christie culture came, who just wrote exit interview, like, which was covered on the front page of The New York Times wrote a sobriety memoir, nothing good can come from this, but this was when she was just working at Amazon. And they were like, I mean, it was we would get together when someone had a sobriety anniversary, like six months, seven months, and she would bring tiaras. I mean, it was just literally the coolest thing ever. But yet, we didn’t sit around being like, oh my god, this is what happened before I quit drinking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We literally were like, fucking wearing tiaras and eating apps. And like, you know, trying every mocktail, and it was so good for us. Yeah.
I love that. I love the TRS. Oh, my God, I’m going to do that.
Yeah, no, it’s amazing. I just planned a wellness retreat in Mexico, for the group and anybody really can join. Yeah, it’s, it’s so exciting. And to know that there’s there is just such a need, people want to still do the same things they did before and showing them that you can and that we still, yeah, can I have fun? Well, because but that was like, right, one of our biggest concerns, like back to what you were saying before? Can I still go? And you know, do the fun things I used to do? Can I go to Whistler and go to that ski weekend? And am I going to be fun, you know, this is basically like, it gives them that opportunity to like dip their toe in. This is a group of women that aren’t going to pressure you to drink or men because it’s actually men and women. This is a group of people that you can go to.
Casey McGuire Davidson 43:48
What’s that? Men in your group to?
Oh, yeah. Oh, and it’s like, come bring your spouse who’s like a drinker if they want and expose them to a situation with people, you know, non-drinking scene, like something you can come to you together. Because I’ve had people say, Oh, I go to my A meetings, but my spouse isn’t allowed to come. So, this is great, because this is something where I can bring my spouse and we can do it together. And so, they’ll come to these speaker these wellness speaker events. And, you know, I had some man say, oh, I can bring my wife to this. This is so nice. So, she came, and they attended it together. And they said, you know, they thanked me at the annual like, this is so cool, because this is something now we can go talk about together and she’s like, I’ve never been involved in his sobriety before. Like, I’m so happy to finally find something that we can do together. So yeah, that’s cool. I just totally went off topic but um. No, no, that’s very cool.
And we also like I love that more of these things are popping up. I was in Seattle and was a member of the she recovers group right when it started like literally Seattle was the first Chapter, I found it because I met someone else online who had been up to their retreats on Salzburg Island BC, which you can drive from Seattle to get there. And it was this yoga retreat with like, sound baths and all the amazing food. And with Ingrid, we slept in a yurt together, like it was just awesome. So, I encourage anyone listening to this, I know it’s scary. I was terrified to even ask my husband to go to my first sober retreat, because I didn’t do vacations without the family, you know, except for weekends in Whistler, drinking heavily. And he was like, you’re going to a sober retreat. Like, they’re scared whenever you do something new. It was so cool. It felt like summer camp, and like I was 17 years old anymore, and I got all the tingles. But I also met a lot of people that truly our friends, and it is a game changer in alcohol free life. So, I encourage. I mean, obviously, if you live anywhere in Massachusetts, look up. Kim will link it.
That sounds amazing. I wish I lived closer. In Seattle, we’ve got a really strong group of, so I mean, there’s so many cool sober women. And by the way, I met them one by one by one. Like, it’s sort of like, Oh, I know this girl, I know this person. And the she recovers group got really close. And we just we have brunches we get together for book signings, you know, and I don’t know about you, but like, one of my favorite sounds in the entire world when I was a kid, or when I was drinking is like this full house or full room of everybody talking. And all the drinks, you know, like just the classes and I just it sounds so happy. It just fills me up. And you can still have that like my friend, Ingrid’s brunches. They’re like 30 women, they’re talking like it’s so loud. And there’s so many voices and there’s such good food and we make like groovy. No Seco 0.0 per second. We make mimosa, like, you can have it.
That no second last night, but groovier. They sent me some it is so good. It tastes like the first time I had it first knowing me. I had three because edit 0.0 Like I felt guilty about this. But I did check the bottle three times to make sure it was nonalcoholic. I was like, holy shit. This tastes the soap. Yeah, it’s so good. Your people online you met them? You went to TLC. You went to sober mom squad? And then how do you meet people in person?
They started to contact me the local people read the book because you read a book. I wrote my book. And yeah, just through Instagram. After reading my book. Yeah, people started to say, and that was ultimately why I wrote my book because I was like, I don’t want people to feel so alone. Like I did. I felt so totally alone. And people would read my book and say, Oh, my God, like your story is exactly like my story. And then I’d say and they’re like, if you ever want to, you know, I live two towns over, I would love to chat. And so like, Let’s go for a walk, let’s grab coffee and then I just was so many people like that. And then I said, You know what, I’m going to do something about this. I need all these people to meet and, and then I hosted an event and posted about it on our town Facebook page.
And then, the Boston Globe picked it up. And then there was an article about it and the globe, and then it just like, it just grew. And then people started. Yeah, people started to hear more about it. And yeah, it’s just started building. And it’s really cool. It’s really cool. Because there is a need, there is a need. There’s a there’s a want. And like I I’m actually speaking at Northeastern University, next in two weeks, and the professor told me something really powerful. He said that, you know, not everybody recovers the same way. And if you can provide one more way for them to recover, then great, you know, this, this may be that one way that allows that person to stay sober.
Casey McGuire Davidson 49:22
And you know, and you do need other people who get it like for sure. I didn’t lose my group of friends. I was very lucky. I did stop going out with work coworkers. And I remember very vividly they were like going out for happy hour drinks downtown. And I said to my husband, I was like, I don’t even like hanging out with them drugs. So why the hell would I do it? You know, I mean, not that they’re bad people but like, whatever. I didn’t have an interest with them. What you know, it just wasn’t my jam. We were only together because we were together. They were very nice, but I supplemented like, I kept my friends and then I added a whole new group of friends. What was amazing to me is I looked at my Facebook friends, when I hit a year sober. And I, you know, they tell you how many friends you make, they send you a recap or whatever, I made more friends.
And by the way, online friends, they are friends. I don’t care what you know, whatever, like you know them, I made more friends in my first year of sobriety that I had in the previous 4 years me Trunci, which am edible, I just, I just my social circle did not grow when I was drinking, you know.
And one last thought, though, but I think that the people that stand by you and continue to support you and continue to check on you and ask you how you’re doing when you go silent, or kind of retreat within yourself. Those people that stick around, those are the real friends, you know, I think they care. And those people that really do love you, you know, they will, you know, they’ll come back, and they will be there for you in the end, even if it if it is hard, and they have to take a little step back from the friendship because they have their own struggles, then that might be the case. But I think that if a friendship is real and genuine, they will be there for you. In the end. You know, I do truly believe that. What’s that phrase? Like there are friendships for a season or whatever, you know, that whole thing? Like, I do think that there are many friendships in my life that have come into it, to teach me things. And I also think there are friends that have been that will be around in my life forever. So, I think it’s the other thing
Casey McGuire Davidson 51:40
I would say in terms of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people who genuinely care about you don’t know what to say, Oh, yeah. I don’t want to bother you. They don’t know what I mean, I had a friend whose husband died suddenly, I had no idea what I mean, of course, I was reached out. I was like, Oh, I’m so sorry. And XYZ and you know, but then I didn’t know how to talk to her. She lived across the country, right? And we did start talking again. And it was like seven months later. And she was like, you know, what’s crazy Island to work. After a period of time off? Nobody mentioned it to me, like nobody. I was in meetings. I was in saw people, they were like, how are you doing? She’s like, No one said my husband’s name. And that’s crazy. But you don’t know what to say sometimes.
That is such a good point. I just gave a talk with the Karen treatment center on this exact top subject. And somebody brought that up. And I thank you for orienting me because that is one of the biggest points is that people are so uncomfortable with the topic that they don’t know how to bring it up to you. They don’t know what they can say to you about it. So they just avoid it altogether. Right? I remember that I had family visiting. And they were here for three days. And they didn’t. And I was like a year sober. posting about it had a, you know, blog that was read by so many people. And they didn’t say anything. And they laughed. And I said to my husband, I don’t understand why they didn’t say anything. I can’t believe it. And I was and I’m so public with my sobriety. I just want to talk about it with everybody. And my husband said, Well, they didn’t know probably how to bring it up. They’re probably so uncomfortable. You are so public in with it. And you were so out in the open with it, but they you forget how private some people are in you forget that not everybody wants to talk about their feelings all the time. 24/7 not everybody is comfortable sharing the way you are. And not everybody knows how to broach the subject.
Casey McGuire Davidson 53:47
They don’t want to say anything wrong. Yes, exactly. I mean, honestly, people say shit, and you’re like, You’re a fucking idiot. So, they’re not wrong, that they might say something that makes you think they’re a fucking idiot. Right? Right.
Right, exactly. In you almost. And then there are friends that you do see on a regular basis that don’t bring it up, right? And you almost have to like, teach them, and train them very, like you have to say, you can drink in front of me. It’s okay. I had a friend say to me once, that she had been avoiding me at our pool, at our club. And she kept sitting like, way across from me and then finally after like, like the end of the summer, I was like, Why have you been avoiding me all summer? She’s like, well, because every time I order a drink at the bar, I was scared to be near you because I thought it would make you relapse. Like, okay, you could have said something to me. I’m not going to grab the like beer out of your hand and start chugging. It’s just because like, you’re drinking near me like um, that’s not going to make me relapse, but also like, I would have appreciated if you had confided in me that this it makes you uncomfortable. You drink around me, I’m fine. So, it’s almost like you have to explain to your friends your level of comfort with their drinking. And it’s possible someone
Casey McGuire Davidson 54:55
early on wouldn’t want to be near someone drinking like It is hard for people to know what to do or what to say. And so, I think just like giving them somewhat the benefit of the doubt, like assuming positive intent, even if they’re not doing what you want to do, can help, right? We are always so worried that people are judging us. And my favorite quote that I lit, I mean, I’m a people pleaser, and I want everyone to like me at all times. But I had to put quotes up on my wall to like, internalize things, and it said, Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Most people don’t even know what they think of themselves. And I was just like, Yeah, you know.
I need to write that down. That is so true. I need to tell my daughter that my nine year old. I mean, that goes right back to what I was saying, that kept me stuck in my drinking cycle, right, like, so concerned about what people thought of me? And yeah, I mean, it’s true. It’s hard to know what else is interesting is you are totally like, even if you don’t know people in the beginning, who don’t drink one, make the effort to find them.
There are online groups. You know, even in the big online groups, you can be like, Hey, here’s who I am. Here’s what’s going on in my life. I’m four months sober. Does anyone live in this area? Like, yeah, you kind of have to tell people a little bit about yourself, so they can self-identify and be like, Oh, she’s like me. So be brave, join groups, where you might meet people I know. It’s scary. Do it anyway. But also, just be patient. Because you know what’s interesting, in my group of 12, three of us have quit drinking, you know, and we like, it’s kind of crazy one, quit drinking through a three years before I did, we originally stopped at the same time, we were both four months sober, and had that talk to each other about it. Like ,one of our good friends in the group of 12 was like, because we were friends. We were in the group of friends, but we weren’t like one-on-one confidant friends, we had different within the group. And they were like, You guys need to get it, you need to talk to this person, because she quit drinking, too. She took the AAA route. It was 10 and a half years ago, there was very little else. And she got really into it. Still sober. And then I was afraid when I went back to drinking to talk to her at all, because I was afraid she judged me I was afraid. She would like me like, whatever. But when I got a month sober, I reached out to her again, now separately, the third person in our group drink for many more years and ended up having to go to the hospital for medical detox, because her organs were failing, wrongly.
Wow, it’s, you know, and she probably drank for four or five more years than we did so. And of course, we lost touch a because that was so rare, but also because she stopped attending things like that was her stopping attending things that even I was doing with friends, but I was very out and sober at the time. All my friends knew it. So, and then there still are people who don’t get it like her sister told me Oh, yeah, we have dinner twice a week and I still drink wine around her, and she’s totally cool with it. And this was it early in her sobriety, and I was like, Don’t do that. Like, she was hospitalized. was an inpatient like, I don’t care if she said she’s cool, you can go a night without drinking. Like, you can have dinner without alcohol. You know, and so people don’t get it either way. But the other thing I’m going to say just interesting. Someone contacted me online I played rugby with she’s now like four or five years sober one of my big drinking friends from one of my previous jobs is now 5 years sober. She’s 6. She contacted me when I was a year sober, telling me she was stopping drinking like people used to drink with a lot like they might be struggling to you might have sparked they may reach out and then you connect with them I’m on an entirely new level.
So true, like have compassion for the friends that may not seem like they’re there for you in your early sobriety and that seem like they’re struggling or whatever, because you just you never know where someone is. You never know what’s going on with the people in your life.
Casey McGuire Davidson 59:35
Yeah. Well, thank you so much for coming on. I know we talked for a long time but I I do think this is a really important topic and I love that we had different experiences, but trust me anyone listening, it’s going to be okay. You’re going to be.
You’re going to be okay. And it is. Always.
Yeah, improving and changing and just like sobriety, like things are always just only getting better, I would say, you know, so you know. So, thank you, Casey so much.
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.