Not Drinking Tonight | Create A Sober Life You Love
What do you do when you realize 1) alcohol is making your life worse and 2) moderating is not working?
That’s where my guest, Amanda E. White, found herself as she started reevaluating her relationship with alcohol.
Her new book, Not Drinking Tonight, is a guide to understanding why you drink, and how to stop drinking and create a sober life you love.
I invited Amanda on the podcast to talk about drinking, not drinking, how to figure out whether your relationship with alcohol is working for you and when to take a break.
In this episode, Casey and Amanda talk about:
How to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol
- The tools you need to heal your relationship with alcohol (and yourself)
- The importance of reparenting, boundaries, self care and self compassion
- How to reframe the decision to stop drinking as freedom – not restriction
- The link between alcohol culture and diet culture
Why the terms alcoholic and alcoholism are outdated and should be retired
Ready to drink less + live more?
This is your last chance to join me for a LIVE Kickoff Session on January 9th for my sober coaching program, The Sobriety Starter Kit.
If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, enroll in the program and grab your invitation to the 2 hour kick off at www.sobrietystarterkit.com.
Grab my Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free
More About Amanda E. White
Amanda E. White is a licensed therapist and the creator of the popular Instagram account @therapyforwomen. She’s also the founder of the group practice Therapy For Women’s Center located in Philadelphia with therapists across the country. And the author of Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love.
To learn more about Amanda and find out more about her therapy services, head over to https://therapyforwomencenter.com
Purchase her new book Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love
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 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.
In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life.
Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Not Drinking Tonight with Amanda E. White
drinking, quit, alcohol, people, feel, book, life, stop, women, therapist, alcoholic, sober, thought, wine, moderate, absolutely, sobriety, culture, talk, problem, self-care, self-love, self-validation, boundaries, create
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Amanda E. White
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.
Hey there! Happy New Year, happy dry January and good job getting through all the ups and downs of 2021. And the holidays. I don’t know about you. But after the holidays, and New Year’s Eve is over, I’m actually excited for things to slow down a bit. And for a fresh start. In January, you get to think about the year ahead. You get to think about what you really want for yourself, and what you want in your life. It’s the perfect time to prioritize yourself and to take better care of yourself. And if you’re listening to this podcast, I’m guessing that one of the things you want to do this year is drink less and change your relationship with alcohol. But I know that even with the best of intentions, and all your resolve, taking a break from drinking is hard. I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that I would take time off get healthier, feel better, and all the rest. And then just said screw it a week or two. And the truth is that when you stop drinking, day five is hard. Day six is hard. Week two is hard. Your mind just starts rationalizing why you don’t actually need to take a break from drinking, that this is dumb, or Life is stressful, where you can just drink on the weekends or cut back or any of that. And even though you told yourself that after the holidays, you would stop drinking, you decide that this really isn’t the best time to do it.
I think you deserve to bring in reinforcements. So, you can make 2022 And your intentions and goals and taking a break from drinking easier. I think you should join the Sobriety Starter Kit course it’s online on demand. And I designed it for Busy Women to help you create a life you love without alcohol. In the course you’ll find the framework, the strategies and the tools you need to stop drinking, you’ll find the support you need for each step of the process. And it’s available when you want it and on your schedule. It’s the sober coaching system I work through with my private one on one coaching clients but at a much more affordable price. And in it you’ll find eight step by step modules, over 50 Sober coaching, video lessons, resources and guides to help you take action right away.
There is an online app that you can put on your phone so you can access it, no matter where you are. And if you join in the next two days before Saturday, January 8, you can get in on a live bonus kickoff for the course on Sunday, January 9, it’s going to be the perfect time to launch all of your 2022 intentions to get more support and to take a concrete step in a new direction.
Here’s the thing, if you’re listening to this podcast right now, you’re ready for a fresh start. I’ve been there and I know that you can feel better than you do right now. The day before I stopped drinking. Here’s what I wrote to myself. I said I want to feel better. I want to wake up without a hangover. I want to stop wondering what I said last night or if my husband’s mad at me. I want him to stop asking me how I feel in the morning. I want to remember the shows I watch at night. I want to stop waking up at 3am with my mind racing and not being able to fall back to sleep, I want to look in the mirror and not seek glassy and bloodshot eyes. I want to feel optimistic and be proud of myself again, I want to feel happy and free and healthy. I want to stop breaking promises to myself, I want to stop worrying about what my drinking is doing to my body, in my mind, I want to stop feeling shaky. I want my anxiety to go away.
So, if you’ve tried before and given up, if you’re tired of making new year’s resolutions that you never keep, I want you to make it easier on yourself, you can go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. And see everything that’s in the course and enroll today, you get the live kickoff with me, which will also be recorded, and you get lifetime access to the course. So, you might be doing Dry January with a bunch of girlfriends. So, you can join as a group. And you can do it together. And you can cheer each other on, you might be doing dry January or saying this new year is the time that you’re going to make this change by yourself. And maybe you live in a household where your partner drinks or where your family drinks, or are surrounded by friends who drink, you need extra support. You need someone to show you what to do day by day, to be in your earbuds to cheer you along. And I can do that for you in this course. And we can make it fun and exciting and feel like self-care and feel like the kindest thing you have done for yourself in a very long time.
If you’re wondering what the course is like, here’s what Melissa told me about what she thought she wrote me and said, I started this Sobriety Starter Kit on my 1 million or so day one. And I’m on day 100. Today, I can’t remember the last time I went six days without drinking much less 14 weeks. For years, the idea of not drinking ever again, has been looming over me as the biggest, hardest and most impossible thing. But The Sobriety Starter Kit breaks down that big undoable thing into manageable chunks. I loved having Casey’s boys guide me and encouraged me every day. This course has changed my life. I’m beyond grateful. So, if you’re ready to make this year different than last year and different from the year before, get your support, get a plan to follow. Join the sobriety starter kit. You can find all the details and sign up now at www.sobrietystarterkit.com. I know it’s an investment, but it’s worth it. I saved the cost of the course, in just my first 30 days not truncate. I’d love to see you there. Alright, let’s jump into the episode. It’s a great one.
Hi there, Amanda E. White is a licensed therapist and the creator of the popular Instagram account therapy for women. And she’s also the founder of the group practice therapy for Women’s Center located in Philadelphia with therapists across the country. I brought her on today because she’s the author of the new book, not drinking tonight, a guide to creating a sober life you love, which just came out. Her work has been featured in dozens of publications, including Forbes, The Washington Post shape, women’s health, magazine, and more. And I’m really excited to have this conversation as we start the new year as we’re in dry January because I think you’re going to learn so much about drinking and not drinking and how to practically take a look at your relationship with alcohol and figure out whether it’s working for you or not and take a break.
So, Amanda, thank you for being here.
Thank you so much for having me, Casey.
Casey McGuire Davidson 09:20
Yeah, I told you before we jumped on this call that I read your book. And I read a lot of books. I love interviewing authors and thought leaders in the alcohol free and sober space. And I truly loved your book. It’s one of the best ones I’ve read. And I also immediately was like, I need to order this in hardcover, and I want to send it or recommend it to all my clients, and I promise you if you listen to my podcast, I do not say that to everyone. So, it’s wonderful.
Thank you so much. It’s a weird feeling to have a book out. But it’s been such an amazing experience. So, it’s so amazing to hear from people who’ve actually read it.
Yeah, yeah. And I, one of the things I like about it is, it’s not a memoir, but it’s born out of your experience. And obviously, you stopped drinking eight years ago. But you’re also a therapist, and you see a lot of clients struggle with their relationship with alcohol. So, it has that sort of dual perspective of personal experience, and also helping others.
Yeah, and that was really my goal. I mean, there are a lot of amazing books out there, there are a lot of amazing memoirs out there. And what I really felt like what was missing was a book that was written by a therapist, and one that was written by therapists who is sober and doesn’t drink herself. So that is the perspective. I tried to take. I think one thing that’s cool that isn’t talked about a lot is just what it’s like to kind of be a therapist. And in the experience, I have of being a therapist, I often understand myself and others more, which was why I really loved being able to pull in example, dialogues from sessions so that other people could really see themselves in those clients. And, you know, sometimes I think it’s easier for us to identify with something if someone’s not telling us it directly. Yeah, we’re not saying this is what’s wrong with you. But we hear someone else’s understanding or conceptualization of something, and we realize that we relate to it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 11:34
Yeah, completely. And I do that as a coach as well, right? Obviously, I quit drinking almost six years ago, I share a lot of my experience with my clients, I know that when I’ve gone to therapy, sometimes I don’t know if this is a therapist practice, it probably is to not share your personal experience, I find a lot of my clients see it really helps them, it gives them permission, to be honest and vulnerable, and to feel like they’re not being judged. And I love that you do that in this book, as well, because I think it’s really helpful. And I found that a lot of therapists don’t get alcohol dependence or addiction or habitual use, like, a lot of them drink. And they will tell you two things go to AA, or I don’t think you are an alcoholic. Why don’t you just cut back? And like, both of those are really difficult for someone who’s brave enough to actually I mean, it takes so much to actually raise your hand and be like, I’m worried about my drinking. So, either one of those I feel like stops women in their tracks.
Yeah, I literally cannot agree with you more about what you just said, that happens so often. It was something that before I found a therapist who I connected with; I’ve experienced as well. It’s something that I think people if you don’t, it’s very interesting, right? Because exactly, it’s like if you are a therapist, who has studied this, you learn based on school based on the methodology that exists that abstinence is the only way. And the only real, you know, support system that we have is 12 Step programs. And I talked about this a lot in the book of just there’s intertwining that happens with 12 Step programs are intertwined with treatment centers, because of just the history of it. So, there isn’t really a separation between that it’s not offered often as just one tool, it is offered as the thing, the only thing that works. So, there are a lot of books that are written from, you know, addiction therapists who see the more depth, you know, the more extreme case of something. And when that’s your perspective, someone saying I’m drinking a few glasses of wine a night, or I’m blacking out once or twice a weekend. It doesn’t necessarily compare to someone who’s you know, like detoxing, it doesn’t seem like a big problem. And that’s really my whole thing is that I’m really passionate about this idea that we should be able to explore a relationship with alcohol, like we explore anything else. So, in therapy, if someone comes to me and tells me I’m not sleeping, well. What can we and you know, I wouldn’t be like Well, you haven’t urine you know, you have insomnia and there’s something wrong with you and we need to like, only do these few things? We would have a conversation about what is that like for you? What is, you know, do you actually have a problem sleeping? Is it your schedule? Are you an early bird? Are you a night owl? What can we do to help you sleep all of these other things? And with alcohol, it’s either you’re an alcoholic, or you’re not. And those are the only two choices so there’s no space to explore?
Casey McGuire Davidson 14:52
Yeah, and with sleep, right? Oh, you’re waking up at 2:00 or 3:00 am How many glasses of wine are you drinking at night? Is that my Yeah, heard of it. You know, like, for years I thought I woke up at 3am literally thought it was because I was so stressed and anxious and have insomnia, didn’t have that connection to the alcohol. I was drinking and went to my therapist and got prescribed Ambien. So, then I was drinking our glasses of wine a night and taking an Ambien. And I mean, dangerous.
Yep, yep. Absolutely. Yeah. So there just isn’t a lot of there isn’t a lot of conversation. I don’t think there’s as much knowledge, I mean, I’m optimistic with some of the research that’s come out that people are finally talking about how there isn’t a good amount of alcohol, right? Like, there isn’t a healthy amount of alcohol for us anymore. But yeah, I mean, therapists are imperfect. And we, you know, we, I think because of our society, because of how ingrained it is, a normal person should be able to drink should be able to drink an addictive substance. You seem like the weird one. Yeah, you can’t, or you’re the one with the problem. Versus talking about maybe the problem is alcohol. As I said, it’s an addictive substance.
Casey McGuire Davidson 16:09
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I completely agree with that. Because, of course, therapists and doctors and all of us, we’ve been raised in the same society, the same culture, where, like you said, from birth, there’s this dichotomy of like, either you’re a normal drinker, which in theory is 90% of society, or you’re an alcoholic, you don’t want to be in that category. So, whatever you do fight against, you know, saying that you have a problem with alcohol, like, Dear God, don’t say that. That’s where I was. And not this idea that like, alcohol is addictive in the same way cigarettes are and cocaine is. And like, sometimes for a lot of people, not just a few, it’s difficult to moderate, if not impossible, and therefore, the substance is the issue, not you, or your willpower, or some disease or deficiency.
Yeah, exactly. And one thing that I’m really passionate about talking about too, that I talk about in my book is, the more you drank in your life, the longer you’ve drank, like bio psychosocial factors, like trauma, genetics, your family history, how you cope with your emotions, all of these things also impact your ability to moderate or not also, so I talked about this in my book, but the more you know, checkboxes you kind of have, the more difficult it is going to be for you to moderate because a lot of our us learn, like our brains literally learned that alcohol is the solution. And you don’t like I give the metaphor in my book, kind of have a if you think of habits like a tire track of a bike, and you’re trying to create a new habit right next to a super deep tire track, it’s gonna be really hard not to fall into that tire track. But if you drive your bike completely the opposite way, it is going to be much easier to create that habit habits don’t just disappear from our brains because our brains are like there’s neuroplasticity, our brains change with everything we do. We’re constantly learning and growing. So that habit isn’t going to go away. But you can create a new habit that is in a you know, that’s more separate from that first habit. And that’s why moderating so hard.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:37
Yeah, and it gets easier. The further you go, the more times you drive on a on a new path. It’s sort of like you’re carving a new way. And so eventually, you get to the point where it’s just automatic, you know, like on autopilot driving to work. Sometimes you don’t even you’re like, Oh my God, how did I get here?
Yeah, and I think one of the coolest things about it too, is I used to be like, Well, I don’t want to stop drinking because that’s so restrictive. That’s so extreme. I want to have freedom to choose to drink or not. And the unbelievable thing is we actually have freedom when we actually make a choice over that when we are actually not in a place of constantly should I how much not enough when we’re like real freedom is being able to just not even think about it. Is that possible? When you moderate it’s just not for anybody?
Yeah, I know when I was drinking, I was constantly deciding, thinking restricting irritated, should Can I have a third glass? Is that too much? Screw it. Oh, no, I won’t drink today. I mean, the amount of restriction in that and paint Yeah, just emotional and physical pain is so high. Hi. And once you get away from it, you just start living life without this constant chatter. But so, I adore your book, there’s so much I want to dive into. I was like taking notes. So first just tell us about it.
Yeah, yeah. So, it is it’s called not drinking tonight, it is broken up into three sections. The first section is why you drink, where I kind of go into the history of alcohol, of mental health of trauma and how that impacts us. I go into evolutionary psychology, evolutionary psychology. The second part is how to stop where I essentially give you tools, I talk about re parenting, really all the places all the things you didn’t learn, maybe when you were growing up that you use alcohol to fill those gaps, like boundaries, self-care, things like that. And then in the final chapter, the final section, I talk about how to stay stopped how to, you know, avoid pitfalls, essentially, and how to create a life you love. So, we talked about how to deal with dating, how to deal with sober socializing, how to tell people that you’re not drinking, I talk about CO addictions, like a very common one that happens for women, specifically, eating disorders, body image, and kind of what the research says about moderating and how to work through relapse.
Casey McGuire Davidson 21:32
Yeah, I mean, every part of it, what I like is that it does not have labels. It’s super relatable, it’s low barrier to entry. It’s not black or white, but also really practical and uplifting and positive. So, I think it’s great. And right in the beginning, you say that, you know, you yourself went through that debate, like, Am I an alcoholic? Do I have a problem with it? What’s going on? And, and two things you said was, alcohol was making your life worse, and moderating wasn’t working. And that’s exactly where I was, too.
Yeah. And I think it’s where a lot of us are, you know, we don’t want to admit it. But alcohol can really have a negative impact on our life. And the moderating can be so exhausting. I mean, I used to spend similar to what you said, countless hours, just thinking if I could come up with the right code, the right amount of alcohol to be relaxed enough, but not too much, that I would do something that I regret and abandon my values. And it was just an impossible, an impossible task to get right.
Yeah. And my favorite was all the strategies for moderating what is you did of course, like not pre gaming, not drinking hard liquor, not taking shots, and then only drinking shots. And you said, I can’t believe I thought that one was a good idea.
Yeah, yeah, I really thought that well, this way, if I measure them, that was what I was very, very interested in the measuring completely. And I was like, Well, if I just measure out, you know, four shots spread out during the night, and then I only drink, you know, soda or something else, then I will drink?
Casey McGuire Davidson 23:30
Yes. Oh, my God. And so, my, my version of that, which was an incredibly bad idea, and please, anyone listening do not take this strategy, because it did not work. But I actually thought, Okay, I’m gonna buy box wine. Because the issue is that I’m sort of compelled to finish the bottle of wine, right? Like there’s a quarter left, there’s a fifth. Yeah, it’s really tempting to have that last glass. So, if I buy a box of wine, I can just have two or three and it won’t be sitting there and looking at me. And by the way, bad strategy did not work. So don’t do that.
I was gonna say, did you end up just finishing the box? Sometimes?
I had no idea. But I know I can’t drink. And by the way, it was crap wine. So
Right. And you can’t see it right? Because it’s in the box. So, you can’t even see how much is left.
Casey McGuire Davidson 24:22
Oh, you just kept refilling it. So yeah, retrospect it actually, of course, I drink more because at least when you finish a bottle, sometimes I would open a second one. But that was like, you know, embarrassing, right? I would wait till my husband went upstairs to say goodnight to the kids and like, hightail it off the couch and try to open it really fast and somehow be back on the couch with my full glass of wine before he came downstairs. So, like, the amount of thinking that went into it. Like that was a little friction between having like, the next glass after I drank that much.
Yep. Yeah, absolutely.
So, I don’t create anything anyway, go through that. And, you know, think about, okay, is this working for me or not? And one of the things I liked about the book was you talked about sort of three different personas that are women, you know, sort of compilations of women that you work with as a licensed therapist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with alcohol. So, it’s not just your story, it’s snapshots of all the women that have the same thoughts and fears and concerns and pitfalls. And that is something I see as well, like they’re, We’re so alike. And of course, everyone has their own unique path and their own unique triggers and stress, but the struggles, the fears, the thought patterns we go through the rationalizations are really common. And one of your personas that you talk about is Briana. And it sounds a lot like many of the women who listened to this program, so I wanted to talk about it. So, she said 34 year old woman who’s married with two kids and is relying on alcohol to deal with the transition to motherhood, and feelings about work for being a working mother. And I was like, Oh, my God, this is me. Yeah. So, tell us about that.
Yeah, that’s a and I picked kind of three separate personas and kind of tried to spread them out in terms of the spectrum of what their alcohol use might look like. And with Breanna specifically, and with a lot of women that are moms that I work with, you know, I think mommy wine culture is a really big thing. It is a really hard transition to motherhood. And wine is often sold to us or drinking, it’s sold to us as the solution to get through it. And the way to cope. And we can end up using it as a way to not set that like really like the alcohol becomes a way that we don’t have to deal with certain aspects of our life. Like we don’t have to set boundaries with our spouse or with our kids. We can drown away maybe the guilt that we’re feeling about being a working parent or trying to balance it. We can it allows us to ignore maybe the fact that we need help, we need to like ask for help for people or have those difficult conversations. And the drink just becomes the way that we can quiet all of those thoughts. But then it just piles up more, more and more.
Yeah, well, not only that, but I also mean, I found that before. I mean, I always drank a lot. I always had a problematic relationship with alcohol, it like lit up my brain, it was my favorite thing. But once I had kids, I was going to work. And I had to hightail it home to pick him up at daycare before they closed at 6pm. And like my job was stressful. My boss didn’t have kids. So that was this constant struggle. So, before I became a mom, I could go to Guitar Lessons after work, I would go to Pilates I would stay at work late to get my work done. And once I had my son, Hank, that kind of went out the window. So, alcohol became my way of multitasking. Right? So, I could quote unquote, both relax, and cook dinner. And I could drink and play Legos for hours and hours. Which, frankly, yeah, better than Candyland. But not much. You know? Love it. Right? You’re supposed to love playing with your kids. And sometimes it’s really hard. So, it kind of numbs you out. It definitely gives you that high before the deep low. And like it makes sense that a lot of women who have kids start to rely on it, even if they’re not a part of the mom wine culture, which I completely was, you know.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think to your point to it can eat it wine because of the way it’s sold to us and advertised is it has these like romantic notions of it. You know, I think of like Caroline Knapp, you know, her book, right? Like I was the first book I read, and I was just like, the first paragraph. It’s called drinking a love story. And there’s a giant glass of red wine on the cover. And of course, I read it while drinking. This was a good decade before I quit. But yeah, her first paragraph, I’m gonna say it wrong was like, I fell in love. And then because the thing I loved was hurting me. I had to stop, and I was just like, oh, yeah, you know?
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So, I think like right like that sold time. It seems more romantic and like we’re doing something with purpose. Like you said, if we’re drinking at the same time, I think the transition with motherhood can be really hard to have like, being more disconnected from friends, especially if maybe your friends aren’t on the same page as you and they aren’t like, in that same, you know, they’re not having kids yet, or whatever. So, it becomes away, it becomes company, it helps us with our loneliness, it really becomes this companion. In addition, when we lose our hobbies, or we don’t have time to do other things that may be used to fill us up too.
Casey McGuire Davidson 30:36
And it feels rebellious. Like it feels like kind of a very small fuck you to adulting you know, I certainly like I’m like, No, I’m still cool. Yeah, even, like, clean it up poop.
Yeah, I mean, I’m not a parent. So, I can’t like but I think that I think that’s such a part of social currency is like I drink. I’m so cool. Like, when I was a yoga teacher, I used to make jokes about drinking in my yoga classes and stuff like that as a way to be like, Don’t worry, I’m not like, you know, I’m not too healthy. I’m still cool. I drink.
Casey McGuire Davidson 31:16
Yeah, it’s like a Yeah, canned for like, I’m still 22 Even though you’re not. Right. And one of the things that when I highlighted when you were talking about Brianna, because I hear this all the time, and it’s part of that insane back and forth and rationalizations. So, she said, you know, she could stop drinking for months at a time. And she didn’t understand why she couldn’t get it to stick. And I hear that all the time. A lot of women are like, Well, I didn’t drink when I was pregnant. So therefore, when I was breastfeeding, so therefore, it can’t be a real problem. I just need more willpower to do it again, or to limit it. The stain stopped, is the issue. But then, you know, and then the I don’t know, if I even really need to stop drinking, maybe I want to maybe I don’t everybody else drinks. If I really had a problem, I wouldn’t be able to stop so easily. I mean, my God, I thought this myself for years. But here’s the part that I was like, yes, because I’ve heard this. What if my problem is trying to stop? What if that’s making me want to drink more? Or women say I’m tired of thinking about drinking, I want my brain to focus on other things in my life. So therefore, I’m just going to drink and stop thinking about it. Tell me about that. Because that you don’t hear that often in books?
Yes, yes. Well, it’s something that I agree. I mean, it’s something that I knew, because I’ve heard it in my practice and working with people. And I think it is that that weird freedom dichotomy of we think sometimes, because we don’t think about alcohol as addictive, we think that we should be able to control it. So, we inadvertently sometimes categorize it in the same way that if you tell yourself, you, won’t you, you know, you can’t do something, you want to do it more, right. Like there’s that phenomenon that we know happen. But it’s not true with an addictive substance, then it’s actually the opposite of that, right? So, like to put this in a real life perspective. If we tell ourselves that we’re not allowed to, you know, I don’t know buy something or something a lot of us can sometimes feel like we really want that or we want to rebel against it, we feel that rebelliousness. And it’s only when we kind of give ourselves permission to do something that sometimes it feels less intense. But the thing about an addictive substance is that when you actually let yourself do it, it actually increases. It doesn’t relieve you of, you know, the craving isn’t fulfilled. Alcohol creates an additional craving on top of it, it creates a thirst for itself. So, it’s actually the opposite where when you stop drinking completely, you won’t crave it because it’s not something that your body actually needs. It’s not something that you need to survive or anything like that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 34:34
If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.
Yeah, I mean, I couldn’t agree more, I’m like, the only way to stop thinking about it, is to build that new bike path, like you talked about to get, I feel like alcohol is like this magnet. And when you’re close to the drinking cycle, the poll is really strong. And it actually does get significantly less over time. So many women are like, am I always gonna white knuckle it? Am I always gonna sit here looking at this glass of wine across the table that someone else is drinking and just feel sadness and loss and craving? And the answer is no. But the only way to get there is to stop for a while.
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. And I think that it is. And it’s something that unless you’ve been there through it, you don’t trust that you don’t believe that necessarily. But that’s really where the freedom comes. Like the freedom comes from not having to worry about whether you’re going to drink not having to think about whether you’re going to moderate whether you’re going to mess up, what’s going to happen, what the plan is for this. Next time you drink. All of those things the freedom comes from, you don’t drink, and you don’t think about the fact that you don’t drink, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone you just don’t drink. It just becomes a part of who you are.
Casey McGuire Davidson 37:54
Yeah, yeah. And, and the, the sort of catch 22 is, it’s incredibly simple. But it’s not easy for a whole host of reasons. So, if you were talking to Brianna, or if a woman is listening to this, and in that, I can stop her while, but I can’t stay stopped. I don’t even know if I need to stop drinking. What do you do to kind of help her through that piece?
I mean, I feel like this is very simple, like you said, but I think it’s really trying to set a certain amount of time to stop drinking, and take it slowly, one day at a time to that goal. Like I think, I mean, my recommendation is starting with at least 30 days 60 or 90 is more powerful, I think especially like that three month amount can help. Because I think what’s also really hard about it is that a lot of times when you stop drinking, you feel worse, and it is gonna make you want to drink again. Because you’re going to realize why you drank. So, until you get sufficient time away from alcohol, it is going to be harder, and it is going to make you feel worse because you’re going to need to build up those tools to live life. Without drinking. A lot of us literally never learned how to socialize without alcohol, how to go on a date without alcohol, how to go to a work function without alcohol, how to have sex without alcohol. A lot of us literally haven’t ever really done it. So of course, it’s going to be hard to do if we’ve never developed that skill, but there is something so empowering about learning how to do that without alcohol. It’s so amazing for your being able to feel empowered, that you know for your confidence that you don’t need to rely on alcohol. Yeah, well to do things.
Casey McGuire Davidson 39:51
Yeah. And I think it’s so helpful for women to know that you will feel worse before you feel better. But it doesn’t lie that long, and it gets easier. Yeah. Because what a lot of women do is they’re constantly getting five days, seven days, two weeks, and they’re saying fuck it, I’m miserable. This is worse than drinking. I’m a nice person. When I drink. I’m more relaxed, whatever it is. And that’s, you’re doing the absolute worst part. Yeah. And over and over. Yeah. For decades. Like, yeah, never get to the freedom. And so, it’s, you know, in the beginning, you’re literally going through physical withdrawal. And I interviewed Anna Lemke, who wrote, Dopamine Nation. So, if anyone’s listening to this and curious, go back to that episode, because what happens is you’re going through physical withdrawal, and you do feel more anxious, have interrupted sleep, have feel just irritated. And then what you are talking about, right, the being uncomfortable, because you don’t have the coping tools for just boundaries and re parenting and conversations and social interactions, which you can learn, and we all should have learned when we were 16 or 18. We just never did.
Yeah, I think that’s such an A that’s exactly the best way to put it is you’re going through the hardest part over and over and over again. Because yeah, that first week, those first two weeks, I think are for sure. The hardest, and it gets easier from there.
Casey McGuire Davidson 41:32
It does. And in your book, you actually lay out sort of a plan and tools. And I think it’s super helpful. I know I have like a 30 day guide 30 tips for your first 30 days, which also helps women kind of go through how to actually stop drinking and things to do. But anyone’s listening to this, like, pick up this book, not drinking tonight, get my free guide that’s on my website. Hello, someday coaching calm, because you don’t need to do trial and error. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can make it really easy on yourself. And you should.
Yeah, yeah. And I think if like, you know, I’m sure you’re talking about this in your guide. It’s like, one of the biggest things I think is a pitfall that people fall into is wanting to change everything, at one wanting to, you know, expecting perfection from themselves, having these big lofty goals at the same time. And I think there’s something really powerful about being compassionate to yourself, giving yourself a break and having not drinking tonight, being enough, you know, one day at a time building up to 30 days and going kind of from there, because that’s a big thing that I see too, is that people want to overhaul their whole life because we want change so badly. And there’ll be easy days and there’ll be harder days. But you can also like, I always kind of tell people not drinking is the most important thing. Think about the most important things you have to do like taking care of your kids maybe going to work and like everything else is like extra credit. Yeah, focus on what you have to do.
Casey McGuire Davidson 43:15
I turn, you know, like pretend you have the stomach flu. And if you are on the couch with a fever and chills, you would not take your kid to swimming practice you would not go to the party you would not you would just tell your boss like I can’t do that project. It’s just not possible right now because and you know, it helps to just kind of be like, what is the lowest bar I need to set. And it’s really hard for women who are used to being overachievers and be multitaskers and like, keeping everything going because they’re like, okay, if I’m gonna stop drinking, I’m gonna lose 30 pounds, I’m going to run every day, I’m going to out. I’ve had clients be like, Okay, I really need to organize the paperwork in my office in my attic. And I’m like, Okay, how long has that been an issue? And they’re like, three years? It’s um, yes. And I’m like, Okay, you’re on day four of addictive habit in your life. Like, yeah, go binge. Just show and take a nap and eat some brownies for God’s sake.
Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. Like, you’re gonna probably need more sleep during this time. And it’s, it’s sometimes some days are just for surviving. And that’s like, really okay in the beginning. And it’s much better than doing this over and over and over again. And I think that is what’s really hard, right? It’s like, you don’t want to fully give, you know, take your let yourself off the hook. You don’t want to fully immerse yourself in this. So, then you don’t give yourself enough of a break. Your expectations are too high, it doesn’t work. You drink again, and then you go through the whole process over and over and over again. whereas if you would have set those boundaries, lowered your expectations, taken that ultimate care of yourself, you would have been, you would have been further along by now.
Casey McGuire Davidson 45:10
Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. So, that’s definitely like one great tip and tool and thing to do, what else do you feel like is super helpful?
Um, I think, really, I’m a really big believer in community and having at least one person in your life, knowing that you’re not drinking, taking a break from drinking, whatever that is for you. It doesn’t I mean, while I think the most powerful thing is finding someone who is also not drinking, you know, there’s so many amazing sober communities, online in person, you know, there’s meetup groups, there’s all kinds of amazing things that are so great right now that I really, really think are important. But I also think, just making sure that someone in your life knows too, so that if you are going to a party, or you’re going to a wedding, or you are going somewhere and you’re not ready, or don’t want to tell someone, yet, you can have someone to reach out to and let them know what’s going on, and you have someone who can support you in that accountability, because accountability, I think, is a big piece.
Casey McGuire Davidson 46:22
So huge. And it just makes it harder to say, Screw it and grab a glass of wine or to have people be like, What do you mean, you’re not drinking tonight, like you could have to. And so just telling them, like, you’re doing a health kick, you know, without argument, drinking makes your sleep worse, it saps your energy, all the things. So just be like, I want to see how good my body can feel when Yeah, a month without alcohol and focus on the health part of it. One of the things I’ve seen on your Instagram, and I absolutely want to tell anyone listening to this, go to Instagram and look up therapy for women, because your account is amazing in terms of the range of things that happen. practical ideas, you know, not just on life without alcohol just on like, the pressures we’re under. But you talk about how you absolutely don’t need to call yourself an alcoholic. And I actually don’t Yeah, I never use that word for myself despite being a sober coach. Right? Which is Korea. Yeah. So, you can say you’re a nondrinker. You’re a retired party, or you’re sober, curious. Your hangover free, you’re taking a break. You know, I just say yeah, I used to drink a lot. But I quit drinking, because I feel better without it. Like, I also call myself an ex red wine girl. You know, but whatever. Yes. You know, whatever is useful to you. You don’t have to announce anything, because that just starts the internal debate in your mind. Like, oh, I’m not sure I am that.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s really interesting. For some people having a label is like the most empowering experience for them. They feel understood, everything makes sense. It’s amazing. And for some people, it doesn’t feel good. It feels really disempowering. It gets people stuck, like you talked about with like, feeling like they’re lying, or they’re not sure if this is really correct. And then they’re breaking down what the definition of an alcoholic is, and all of that stuff. So yeah, I’m a huge believer in you get to decide we don’t use labels for a lot of other things that people stop doing. Yeah. And it works out.
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:48
And you don’t adopt that label for the rest of your life. Right. I mean, my favorite thing is when people were like, do you present tense have a problem with alcohol? And I’m like, Dude, I haven’t had a drink in almost six years. Like, I literally have zero problems with alcohol in my life, you know? Yep. You don’t need to constantly say, Oh, my God, I, I am an alcoholic. You can, if it is helpful to you do it if it helps take it off the table and make it black and white, but it’s not required.
Yeah. And I think one thing that’s really interesting, you know, like before, or when I first got sober, I felt very, like I understand alcoholics and addicts, quote, unquote, these are such specific problems. And as I have been in recovery longer, I’m a therapist who works with a wide range of people. A lot of what I think we can say is an alcoholic or addict problem is like a human thing. It’s like, it’s not just certain types of people that are self-conscious or over Think or are constantly worried about what people think of them or, you know, are impulsive, like, these are human behaviors. These are human concepts that we all have. And that was part of my reasoning for talking about that evolutionary psychology is like, there isn’t something wrong with you either for wanting like, wanting to drink doesn’t make you an alcoholic, necessarily. It is a normal human feeling, to want to numb pain to seek a solution outside of ourselves. Yeah. And you don’t have to like you’re not broken just because of that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 50:36
Yeah. I love that. And so, as a therapist, as someone who’s done all this research for your book, will you talk to us a little bit about the term alcohol use disorder versus alcoholic?
Yeah, yeah. So, it’s really interesting in the research that I learned is essentially the word alcoholic, was started, like in the 1800s, very, very far back. And it really, I mean, if you think about for context, mental health disorders in general, were really treated as issues where people were like, they had moral failings, essentially, that there was something actually wrong with them. People were in asylums; people didn’t think anyone would ever be able to get better. So, this was the context that happened when you know, the disorder of alcoholism was first created, they didn’t have a solution for it, they couldn’t figure out how to stop AI was kind of the first thing that came around, that people felt like this was some type of solution, which is why it got so integrated into treatments. Because a existed before addiction medicine as a specialty existed. So, all of these kinds of rehabs were created even before we knew much about addiction as a disorder. So, I mean, the term alcoholism doesn’t even exist anymore. In the DSM, it’s called the Diagnostic Statistical Manual. It’s what psychiatrists and therapists and psychologists use for diagnosing and they changed it from a few, I guess it’s been like 10 years ago. Now. It used to be abuse, and dependence. So, you either were abusing something, or you were physically dependent on it. And now it’s seen as a spectrum, which has helped reduce stigma because you can have alcohol use disorder now, and it can be mild, moderate, or severe. But because of all of the history of the word alcoholic, which started from the word alcoholism, and then was picked up through AA, people still don’t recognize that alcoholism isn’t actually a disorder anymore. Like it actually is. It doesn’t exist anymore in terms of what the diagnosis is, and people exist on the spectrum now, is it literally not a disease? I just want to like it is not a thing.
Yeah, it is a dead hoarder. It exists. Go with that? Do that? Absolutely. But if you don’t want to adopt that label, that is not actually a label in as you said, the DSM, it actually isn’t.
Yeah. Yes. And it hasn’t been for a long time, even 10 years ago, when the previous version of the DSM existed. It was alcohol or substance abuse and dependence. It wasn’t. It hasn’t been like the word alcoholic or alcoholism hasn’t been in the DSM since like, the conception of the word in like the 1930s. So, it’s very, yeah, it’s very outdated in terms of that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 53:58
Yeah. So, we, you know, a lot of people are just misinformed. You know, I know I was like, zero judgment here. I used to, like walk into work at my big corporate job, you know, hungover from a bottle of wine that before heading into Starbucks, because I’m like, Dude, I need my latte and I need my giant breakfast sandwich. And in my head, I was like, do I just abuse alcohol? Or am I actually an alcoholic? Because if I just abused alcohol, that’s way better. You know, like, I didn’t know that is not a thing. It is a spectrum. You can be mild or moderate. It’s not actually a disease because like, no one in my family drinks and I know a lot of people have, you know, problematic drinking in their family. There’s a history of that. But in mind, it wasn’t. So, I was just like, what’s going on?
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there is so much right like when it was abuse versus dependent there that made it, so people so fixated on Well, I’m not physically dependent. I’m not physically dependent. And that really created I think, an idea in our culture that to be an alcoholic, you are physically dependent on alcohol and with will withdraw from not having alcohol. So, I think that created a really odd dynamic of like you said, people felt like well, yeah, I abuse it sometimes. But I’m not addicted to it. I’m not gonna whip I’m not dependent. Yeah, on it. But there was no conversation about I mean, abuse is a pretty loose term, right? Like, there’s any takes a lot to be physically dependent on alcohol, and it’s very dangerous to get there. And there’s a lot, there’s a lot more work to do. And there’s a lot of harm alcohol can cause in your life before you become physically dependent,
Casey McGuire Davidson 55:55
are physically dependent, right? He’s gone to a doctor do D Yes, it can. Yeah, very, very dangerous.
Absolutely. And people don’t know about that, either. I mean, people think that alcohol isn’t that dangerous. But when you look at statistics, not only is alcohol like one of the most dangerous drugs to detox from, but in terms of harm, it is just one of the most it causes. It’s a drug that causes some of the most harm to which people don’t talk about because it’s very socially acceptable.
Yeah. And nobody wants to look at their drug of choice. Like they don’t even want to
get a drug.
Exactly. Oh, exactly. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 56:32
So, do you like the term gray area drinker?
I do. I do. I think that it is, I think it’s a helpful term for a lot of people. I, in my book, talk about the idea of I also have an eating disorder background. I’m in recovering from an eating disorder. And I also specialize in that in my work. And one term that I like in the eating disorder field is like, we can talk about that people have been engaging in disordered eating. Yeah. And we know that it’s like a prerequisite, we know statistically based on studies that if you’re engaging in disordered eating, which looks like you know, starving, binging over exercising, not being able to eat certain food groups, all those things. We know it’s a prerequisite for and more likely to develop an eating disorder. So, I find just in my clinical work, people are very open to saying I know I have an unhealthy relationship with food, I know I engage in some disordered eating. And it creates a lot more space for us to talk about it. Yeah, so I talked about in my book, I would love the term disordered drinking to talk about because it doesn’t really, you know, we know that it’s on the spectrum, we know that it’s not great. And we could talk about it. And no one would have to say I’m an alcoholic, or I’m not or have a problem or not, they would just say, you know, I don’t really love my behaviors with drinking lately.
Casey McGuire Davidson 58:01
I have a relationship. Yeah, exactly. That. And in your book, you absolutely talk about sort of the link the similarities, the connection between alcohol culture and diet culture, and how both the route of the alcohol and the diet culture are the same? Will you tell us more about that?
Absolutely. So yeah, and this kind of connects to, I think, what we were talking about with freedom, because I think a big thing people feel like is when they’re dieting, and they feel like, a lot of times we can feel like sugar. It we get addicted to sugar, we love the feel, you know, we crave sugar essentially. And what’s hard about it is it is the opposite of alcohol in that if you let yourself eat sugar, and you stop restricting yourself, you don’t crave sugar as much where it is the opposite with alcohol because and I talk a lot in my book about how alcohol is a drug. If you look at the studies, if you look at research, there’s a lot of issues with the sugar research, all of it is based on people not eating enough and restriction and it’s also all done on mice. So, there is actual human research done on sugar addiction. Um, but yeah, essentially both of them are the same because they’re both selling us the idea that there’s something wrong with us. Both diet culture and alcohol culture promise that if we lose weight, by this alcohol, or we buy this, you know, clothing or we look this way in our clothes, we buy this beauty product, whatever, we will be happy, we will be confident our problems will go away, essentially. And I think people don’t think about that as alcohol is there’s a culture you know, we talk a lot about, I think on Instagram, women talk a lot about diet culture and how harmful it is and how it’s teaching. us to, you know, not like ourselves and profit off of ourselves. But we don’t talk about how alcohol does the same exact thing, their profit, I mean, they tell us that we should be able to, you know, and I talked about introversion versus extraversion in my book too. And the cultural idea that we should all be super outgoing, super confident, bubbly, able to walk into a room and not feel anxious with meeting a bunch of people, that there’s something wrong with us, even though that is a, I mean, the most common fear in people is public speaking, it’s a very common normal thing. But alcohol culture tells us that there’s something wrong with you. And if you drink like this, you would be fun and feel competent, and happy?
Well, and what’s interesting is, I know, you mentioned that there is this big conversation going on that diet culture is dangerous and harmful, and, you know, not the prevailing wisdom that we should be out there. And I feel like that conversation, at least to me, is pretty new, but gaining traction really, really quickly. And I have Instagram, both for the conversation around getting out of diet culture, and the conversation about sobriety and life without alcohol. And, you know, I know, with social media there is there is good and bad, and a lot of conversation around that. But also, I find if you follow the right groups and the right people, and I consider you one of them 100% It’s really inspirational.
Yeah, I mean, you have, you have the power to choose what empowers you what feels good on your feet. And I’m a big proponent of, you know, follow people and accounts that, that challenge you but make you feel good and leave you with something kind of better than you were when you first logged on versus getting caught in the comparison trap, or following a bunch of people that are trying to only sell you things.
Yes, yeah. And I know, we were chatting before we before we jumped on the podcast about how we both really recommend not going on a diet or lifestyle change in the early days of sobriety. And that’s so common and so natural, based on the culture we’re in, and, you know, our beliefs around restriction and, and control and willpower, but it really doesn’t allow you to deal with the discomfort of sobriety. And it doesn’t give you the skills. I know, you say the skills that you need for long term success, because willpower and motivation and beating yourself up. It will only take you so far.
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s why we need to actually develop the muscle kind of, to be able to do that long term. And I think it’s unfortunate, but Right, like alcohol is so tied in sometimes with like, taking a break from drinking can be very tied in with diet culture, too, which is what’s hard to navigate sometimes. So, it can be really easy to feel like well, I’m going to quit drinking, and I’m going to change my life. And I’m gonna, you know, have all of this success immediately. And, you know, I’m kind of a believer and you change one thing at a time. Start with like, start with what is the most important thing to start with at first.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:03:35
So in this your book, and this podcast is coming out right at the beginning of January, which is right at the beginning of new year’s resolution where I know, I would be like this year I the same resolutions every single year that included like, I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to get a handle on my alcohol, I’m going to start running, I’m going to stop biting my nails, which I know is bad, but I’ve done it my entire life. And I’m going to learn how to like play guitar and do it for 20 minutes every day. And you know, at least I’ve dropped the dieting and the alcohol. Oh, yeah. Right. But, but you’re right. So, if women are listening to this, and it’s the first week or the second week or the third week of January, I think dry January is wonderful. It gives you an entry to an extended period of time without alcohol so many people do it who are sober, curious are just wanting to take a break and wanting to see how they feel and it’s really socially acceptable now and part of the conversation. So absolutely. You can start with dry January, a lot of people that’s their first month alcohol free and they keep going. But Don’t set yourself up for sabotage by trying to do it all and beating yourself up for not being perfect.
Absolutely. And I think sabotage is the exact right word, I think that we can get stuck in that cycle of self-sabotage where we set this huge goal, that helps us feel better, right? A lot of times we’ll set a goal, but we’ll feel good just setting it because we have this image of who we’re going to be and all of the success and how amazing we’re going to feel when we lose weight and, you know, learn to run and stop drinking and all of these things. But then it’s not possible. And then we beat ourselves up that we didn’t do that. And then we say, Screw it, I feel terrible anyway. And the hard thing about when you beat yourself up is that it’s really hard to stay in that really terrible mindset for too long. So, we crave an escape, and often be escape we crave, and we go back to is often the thing we’re trying to change because it’s our primary coping skill. So, it’s very easy to get caught in the I’m gonna stop drinking, and all these things. It’s hard, I can’t, I’m a loser, I’m not going to change, I feel bad about myself. Now I’m going to drink again to feel better. And then around and around the cycle, we go. And a huge part of my work also is I can’t say enough beating yourself up doesn’t work. I don’t care whether you believe you deserve to be nice to yourself or not. It is ineffective. Yeah, so don’t do it simply because it’s ineffective.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:06:24
And a lot of times, we’re like, Well, if I don’t beat myself up, I’m going to go off the rails. I’ll never write publish anything. But you know, one of the things that I love on your Instagram is you talk about all the things including like, What re parenting looks like, and processing your emotions versus judging them, and how to do self-validation and Free Self-Care ideas. And they’re so important. And by the way, you’re going to be happier, you can enjoy your life more.
And it’s like, is beating yourself up really working. Like, I think for most of us if we’re honest, yes, it can feel right. Like I think beating ourselves up gives us this false sense of control that can feel very good. Like we’re in control, like you said, if we weren’t, we would go off the rails. But for most of us, if we really sit back and look at the evidence we have, it isn’t working or we wouldn’t still be, we wouldn’t still be trying to change it. So, to those people, I say try self-compassion, try to be kind to yourself, you might be surprised that it is more effective, you might, you might not be able to have as much Quick Change, right, as fast change as you can beating yourself up. Sometimes I use the metaphor. It’s kind of like whipping a donkey versus learning someone forward with a stick and building trust, it does take longer to do the ladder. But eventually, if you’re, you know, beating yourself up to try to change, you’re not building self-trust. And you’re actually not going to be able to sustain it long term because you’re using willpower, like you talked about, which is a finite resource, too.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:08:06
Yeah. And a lot of the stuff that you talk about both the tools. And in your book, it’s it really applies to so many things that all women do, even if it’s not alcohol, you talk about eating disorders, and diet, culture and hustle culture, and gambling and I’m sure shopping like all the things.
Yeah, I think there’s just a lot of overlap. And that is kind of one of the interesting things is I would i i would love more people, even if you don’t have a problem with alcohol to read it because I think I think alcohol is the the entry point to the book. But I would say two thirds of the book really applies to so many people because it is taught like I said, it’s not just the alcoholic or the addict or the alcohol drinker experience. It is the human experience of we all have these tendencies and these spots where we might need to grow. Almost everyone I know needs re parenting of some kind not because our parents were bad but because psychology and boundaries literally didn’t exist until nice until the 1950s. So, we like are just learning all of these ideas too.
Mm hmm. Yeah. And I have so many women I work with who stopped drinking and then they’re like it’s this period of like all these are Ha’s and transformations and realization some of which are uncomfortable like, holy shit, I have horrible boundaries, or I don’t like how this person talks to me or I’m really unkind to myself or I’m over scheduled and, and that is difficult and good, because actually yakking at that and making small changes and recalibrations will serve you for the rest of your life.
Absolutely, absolutely. And yeah, it’s like being alcohol free is, is the ultimate thing in presence, you’re, you have to be fully present for your life, which is amazing because you get to be way more present for joy and excitement and wonder and all of these amazing things. But it also does involve facing some of the things that you were numbing some of those blind spots that we all have. But the great news is you can work through those
Yeah. I love it. So, I know a lot of women listening to this are gonna want to follow you get in touch with you read your book. So, what’s the best way for people to do that?
So, you can go to my website, which is amandaewhite.com. Or you can follow me on Instagram @therapyforwomen. I’m also on like, to talk and Twitter and some other places, but Instagram is my main thing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:10:56
Yeah, that’s awesome. And if any woman’s listening to this, and is in kind of that difficult place of questioning their drinking, going back to it, debating if it’s really a problem, any advice for like the first step?
It’s a great question. I think my advice is to try 30 days, you know, because I think, give up whether you have a problem, you don’t have a problem, you should stop drinking, you can’t stop drinking, how long? You know, I think so often our first thought, and people ask us this, when we say we’re going to stop drinking is what forever? You’re never going to drink again, ever?
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:11:35
Oh, my God, that’s like the first question.
First question. And it’s the most unimportant question, in terms of you don’t have to make that choice, right now. Take it one day at a time, take a break, see what it feels like, see how your life changes. And you can continue to renew your lease on not drinking, you know, week after week, month after month and really give it a shot. Because you’re not going to know what you don’t know until you try it.
Yeah, and dive into its right dive into some of the mindset shifts dive into some of the tools that are out there. Don’t try to do it alone. And you know, there are amazing communities out there. And, you know, thought leaders to follow but also just try some new approaches. Right, like if what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, bring in a little more support?
Absolutely. Absolutely. And there’s all different, you know, kinds and levels. Yes, support too.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:12:38
Yeah, yeah. Well, I have loved this conversation. Thank you so much for coming on.
Thank you so much for having me.
Hi, there, I hope you got a lot out of that episode. And before I jump off, I wanted to remind you that if you are ready to do this not drinking thing right now right at the start of 2022. And bring in support and bring in reinforcements. You have two days left to enroll in The Sobriety Starter Kit to get the free bonus to our live kickoff of the course on Sunday, January 9 with me. It’s going to be a crate event. And it will help to launch your new year’s resolutions. With energy. It’s the perfect time to get more support. And to take a concrete step in a new direction. I know we all have willpower and motivation and resolve. But keeping that going when regular life and work. And kids step in, and it’s been a hard week, and you’re going out to dinner on Friday night. It’s easy to forget why you’re doing this thing. But you want this year to be different than last year and different from the year before. You want to feel better and healthier. And not think about drinking or not drinking anymore. You want to stop worrying about whether you have enough at home or not liking how you look in the mirror in the morning. And I want to help you do that. So go to www.sobrietystarterkit.comv and sign up for the course. I would love for you to join me in the live kickoff this coming Sunday. And if you can’t make it, it’ll be recorded so you’ll get that as well. You get lifetime access to the course, and I know it’s going to help you. Alright, hope to see you there….
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.