Recovery Happy Hour and Life Beyond The Bottle with Tricia Lewis
Are you worried you won’t have fun without alcohol?
- Is the fear of missing out (FOMO) keeping you from stopping drinking?
Can’t imagine what life would look like without happy hours?
Wondering if there is (actually) life beyond the bottle?
You’re not alone!
My guest today is Tricia Lewis, the creator and host of Recovery Happy Hour, and she’s here to talk about the concerns a lot of women have about life without alcohol.
For years Tricia was emotionally and physically addicted to alcohol but was really good at making it look like she didn’t have a problem.
In November 2016, she decided that balancing a life of being an entrepreneur and a high functioning alcoholic was too much to handle.
She quit drinking and learned how to recover as hard as she drank without looking back.
I’m a huge fan of Tricia’s and her podcast, The Recovery Happy Hour.
The Recovery Happy Hour Podcast celebrates inspiring stories of recovery from alcohol addiction, gray area alcohol abuse and what happens AFTER you get sober.
In this episode, Tricia and I discuss:
- Why FOMO (fear of missing out) stops women from trying life alcohol-free before they ever get started
How perfectionism, people pleasing and anxiety can feed into women drinking
- Tricia’s story, why she gave up alcohol and her life beyond the bottle
- How your tools and recovery can (and should) evolve and change over time
- Non traditional methods of recovery
- Why drinking makes your life smaller and life without alcohol is bigger + more exciting
Want more support, resources and tools to help you go alcohol-free?
You can Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit.
It’s the private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.
Grab the Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First 30 Days
More About Tricia Lewis
Tricia produces and hosts a weekly podcast called Recovery Happy Hour, where listeners can celebrate life beyond the bottle. Weekly guests from all over the world dissect sobriety and the idea that an alcohol free life is not only worth living but more fun than you’d imagine. Recovery Happy Hour has 1 million downloads in all 50 states and over 100 different countries.
Follow Tricia on Instagram @recoveryhappyhour
Learn more at https://www.recoveryhappyhour.com
Want to connect and talk about this podcast?
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 transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.
ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST
The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.
In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life.
Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
RECOVERY HAPPY HOUR WITH TRICIA LEWIS. LIFE BEYOND THE BOTTLE.
drinking, day, life, recovery, alcohol, sober, people, feel, anxiety, good, thought, Tricia, quit, obsessing, hangover, stop, perfectionism, happy hour
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Tricia Lewis
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women. We’re 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.
My guest today is Tricia Lewis, the creator and host of Recovery Happy Hour.
For years she was emotionally and physically addicted to alcohol, but really good at making it look like she didn’t have a problem. But eventually Tricia found that life is an entrepreneur while drinking as much as she was was too much to handle. She quit drinking and learned how to recover as hard as she drank. Without looking back.
Tricia took her last drink in November 2016. And says that life without booze is so much better than she could have ever imagined.
And I am a huge fan of Tricia’s because I love her podcast recovery happy hour, because it celebrates really inspiring stories of recovery from addiction and gray area alcohol abuse. But more importantly, what happens after you get sober and life beyond the bottle.
So Tricia, thank you for being here. Thank you so much for having me.
You know, I’m flattered. Thank you. Thank you for letting me be here. I’m psyched.
Well, when we were just chatting before we started recording, we were talking about how, when you were quitting, you were actually pretty high functioning.
Can you tell me a little bit about your story you said it dealt with sort of perfectionism and anxiety. What was the reason you decided to stop drinking?
Well, the reason why I decided was, well really I don’t want to say I decided my body decided, you know, it goes from high functioning to scary very quickly. And my story starts with just growing up in a very traditional household except I had a sibling who had a really severe drug and alcohol problem. And it’s pretty typical for the loved ones around somebody in addiction to put all their energy towards that person and not really take care of themselves. And what that look like for me as his sister was I was an overachiever. You know, I wanted to make up for any sort of lack of, I just wanted to make things as peaceful as possible in my house, if I could overcompensate for what was happening, I felt like I was I was contributing something to the family. So I was really into earning, you know, validation, earning love and, and just achieve achieve achieve, the more perfect the better. And I carried that, that work ethic with me, you know, into adulthood. I was in the restaurant industry for a long time I was a chef. And in the restaurant industry, you work really long, crazy hours. And it’s pretty common to drink pretty hard, you know, you put in 12 hours and then you go out you you drink at night, and then you get up and you do it all over again. And you know, as long as I wasn’t getting in fights with people or getting DUIs and you know, there weren’t a lot of traditional consequences that you think about when you think about the stigma of addiction or alcoholism. And I was okay, you know, I’m like, Well, I’m
pulling it off. And I was very protective of my drinking, you know, being around somebody who’s causing a lot of destruction for the people around them, including myself. I know how chaotic that is and how much that hurt and I didn’t ever want to be that person. So I made sure that my Drinking was contained. It was in private, or, you know, just Let’s laugh this off. Like, I just didn’t want to cause any destruction. So I was really obsessed with making sure that everyone thought I was fine. You know, if I ever wrote a book about my life, it would be called Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Yeah, let’s just so I just, I kept up with that for a long time, just like, Oh, you know, let’s make sure no one’s worried about us. But I’m still drinking, you know, a bottle of wine at night, you know, and then a couple of cocktails on top of that. Anxiety is also a big part of my story. I think that that started when I was about seven. And that pairs really nicely with perfectionism as well, you know, when you’re not achieving is great of, you know, as great as you want to. You just just I was just so hard on myself. And I was also I didn’t have a coping mechanism to express anger, stress, frustration, these things that I was feeling, I just wanted to pretend like everything was fine. My drinking got pretty scary. Well, I would say I felt like it wasn’t normal. When I was about 23, I noticed I was blacking out a lot. And that didn’t feel funny to me. Like, I feel like if I went out with friends and and somebody would kind of laugh, you know, they talked about that they didn’t remember what they did the night before they could all laugh that off. And to me, that was really frightening. And so I guess, just knowing about, about alcohol and what it does, and and having a history of it and my alcoholism in my family, I knew that I probably was going to have to quit someday. far down the road. Right.
But that I approached that when I was in my mid 30s. I was still working, just working, working and drinking, drinking, drinking. And again, looks like everything’s fine. You know, I’m not No, I Oh, this is expensive vodka. Oh, but I’m doing this at nice dinners. Oh, but these are, you know, $600 shoes. Like, it’s just like, no, I couldn’t possibly I thought I could just outsmart this thing.
But I got a surprise divorce in my mid 30s. And that’s when I needed I started to need alcohol. It wasn’t just like, Oh, I’m stressed out, I’m going to have a glass of wine. It was like, No, I need this in order to get through my day because these feelings are too big for me.
And I didn’t have the coping mechanisms to really process those and work through them in a healthy way. things really came to a head after a weekend of what would look like socially acceptable binge drinking, you know, parties three nights in a row boozy brunches.
And I woke up on a Monday I just couldn’t shake the hangover. And I was I noticed that that whole weekend, I was also really stressed out about my drinking while I was drinking. You know, it wasn’t like I wanted to get drunk. I actually didn’t want to get drunk. It was like No, let’s really try to keep this together. You know, let’s try not to blackout Trisha, like only have to drink lots of water. And I just was obsessing about it all the time, I was obsessing about it while I was drinking it, I was obsessing about it. While planning my drinking. I was obsessing about it when I was recovering from it. It just took over my entire brain. And I woke up on a Monday, I couldn’t shake the hangover, that eventually that turned into physical withdrawals for two and a half days. I always need to mention when I say that, if you are a daily drinker, please don’t stop drinking cold turkey. Please talk to your doctor because you can die from physical withdrawals. And alcohol affects women. So much stronger than it does with men. But after about three days, I finally started to feel better. And I said to myself, Oh, okay, well, I think we’re doing this now. And you know, it had been that’s it three days was the longest I had been without alcohol in at least a year or two. And I thought I listened to a podcast, you know, I thought maybe I could just listen to I don’t know, I don’t know, if I was really committed. At that point. I thought maybe I could just listen to some stories of other people who had quit, you know, maybe I could drink a bunch of green juice and you know, take another two week break or something. But as soon as I heard someone story that sounded a lot like my own. things really started to change. And I realized that it was time. It was time but that, that that shift only happened when I heard someone’s story that sounded like mine, because I had no idea that there were other people like me, that had seemingly normal lives, but also just struggled with this thing every day behind closed doors. And that’s, that’s when you start to realize that
you can do this when you realize that you’re not the only one who shares the same struggle.
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.
I mean, I I love listening to other stories too, because it’s amazing how similar they are for so many people. I when you were talking about perfectionism and overcompensating and anxiety, I mean, that was my exact thing that I was struggling with as well, you know, going through high school and college and then getting out of college and trying to be really, really self sufficient and successful, and yet having this so much self doubt and anxiety and trying to not show anyone. That’s also when I was like, yep, I’m drinking every night. I’m drinking before business meetings and business trips, and just thinking that it was helping me. And then it’s super easy to get to a bottle of wine or more a night. I mean, I did that 365 nights a year. Mm hmm. Yeah.
And also when you’re self sufficient and independent, and you’re used to being able to do everything you need by yourself without any help. It’s really scary and frustrating. When you can’t do that with your drinking. Yeah, can’t you it’s like, I got to a point where this thing was bigger than I was. And it wasn’t just like, oh, wow, I’m hungover every day. And that’s uncomfortable. It was like, No, I’m shaking in the morning. a hangover isn’t a hangover. It’s a detox, you know, I’m shaking in the morning. I’m starting to negotiate with myself all the time of why I can have white wine in the morning and, and why it’s okay. And you start to make up all these crazy roles. And before you know it, you know, you don’t have any control. But you also don’t know how to stop. And that’s the thing. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to say, I don’t know how to do this thing by myself.
Yeah. And you’re not alone. There are so many other women out there. I mean, I know when women listen to podcasts, they’re like, Oh, I thought I was the only one everybody else. You know, why can’t I drink like, quote unquote, everyone else? And I’m like, you have no idea what they’re drinking is like so many of us. Worry and struggle, and don’t ever raise our hands because we think everyone else can drink normally. Right? Andwhat is everyone else? You know, like, everybody else can’t drink like everyone else. I don’t think that I think a lot of people don’t have healthy relationships with alcohol. I think that’s probably more of the norm.
Yeah, that’s exactly it. I’m like, yeah, just like you they go out and they look like they have one or two and then maybe they go home and drink a whole bottle. That’s what I did.
Exactly. Yeah. If you’re starting to drink before you go out and then you need to keep drinking when you go home. Yeah, that you know, that’s a sign that maybe you need to take a closer look at your relationship with alcohol and why you’re wanting to do that.
Yeah. And in my mind, it was just the constant calculation of Do I have enough and home like, Oh my gosh, I only have half a bottle at home. Can I stop on my way home from work? I had little kids at the time before I have to pick up a daycare and they close. And oh, no traffic’s bad. I won’t have time to stop. I mean, that’s a crazy thing to be stressed out about when you have a five year old and a corporate job and your big worry is, Do I have enough time to stop for another bottle of wine? Because I don’t have enough for tonight?
Yes, the mental gymnastics, it’s so much work. It’s so much work. And then I actually got to a point where I would drink a bottle of wine very quickly, and I wouldn’t feel drunk, and I was so mad about that. And then I would have anxiety about that, too. So it wasn’t even it stopped taking the edge off. It just started creating more anxiety. And you just you spiral. And it is a crazy. I mean, you feel like you’re having a nervous breakdown. But it turns out, you’re just ingesting this poison. It’s designed to get you fucked up. And it’s designed to make you physically addicted over time. You know, anyone can become physically addicted to alcohol. And, and that’s not your fault. That is not your fault.
The substance is working as designed. Exactly.
Yeah. And if you can’t say no to that, again, not your fault, and you are not alone.
Yeah. Well, I know that. One of the reasons I love your podcast so much in the things you talk about is you go into non traditional methods of recovery. But I was curious, what was your path? Yeah, so my path was like a buffet of recovery support.
It really was I tried everything. I started out, I went to an a meeting. And I started there. At 12 step work really served me well, for the first year, year and a half, I had a sponsor, I did the steps, I went to a lot of meetings, I enjoyed the community, I but I really enjoyed the step work. And but I also joined a sober Facebook accountability group, you know, and then I was listening to podcasts. And then I went back to therapy. And I was trying exercise, and I was reading Quizlet. And, you know, if my sponsor told me to try something, I would if somebody else that I knew in my sober Facebook group told me to try something, I would, I started seeing all these different options that could potentially heal me, you know, to help me recover. And I was willing to try everything. And that’s the great thing is that, you know, that was almost five years ago, the amount of options that we have now is so much bigger than it was even even just five years ago. So I always like to tell people that you don’t have to do it one way and stick to that way forever. we evolve as people, you know, everything in our lives evolve. And that is a really good thing. That means there’s movement, that things, that means you’re not stuck. So trying everything, and then maybe putting that thing down for a while and picking up this other thing over here. That is a wonderful way to recover, it keeps it interesting, you start to figure out what serves you and what doesn’t, you can always go back to something else if this other thing doesn’t work. And that was my method, I was just like, Alright, I’m just gonna do a little bit of recovery every day. And what that recovery entailed was many different things. And it has continued to change over the past almost five years.
Yeah, no, and I feel like a lot of women try different things both before it sticks, right before they get there. And then even afterwards, they have to keep adding layers of support. So you know, what I always think is like, if you haven’t been able to stop drinking, and you’ve tried a couple things or a couple of approaches, all that means is you haven’t found the right approach or the right amount of support yet. And you can just keep adding things until you find the path that feels really good for you.
Right. And as you work through this process of recovery, and really get underneath the drinking with because it’s not about the alcohol, it’s about what you’re drinking over. Once you start to uncover those layers, you can then tweak your recovery even more, you know, if you realize, oh, wow, I have some
codependency issues, then you know, you can go read this book over here or talk to your therapist about that specific, you know, issue. As you grow, your recovery grows. It’s not necessarily that you’re just trying things at random. It’s that you’re trying things that you didn’t realize you need. And this process will take you layer by layer, you start to meet yourself, you start to learn who you are, and then you can really start to evolve and figure out what you need. What you’re doing on day one will look nothing like what you’re doing on day, 100 day, 1010 years later. Again, that’s that’s a good thing.
Well, and what’s kind of cool, it’s I mean, I always think that drinking is just a maladaptive coping strategy for whatever it is for whatever’s going on. And then the good and the bad is you remove the alcohol, you immediately feel or Pretty soon, a lot better. But all this shit still underneath it all the reasons that you wanted to check out or drink or get out of your own head. And so that’s sort of disappointing. I mean, I was like, I stopped doing And then four months in I had like crushing anxiety and I was like, What the fuck? I stopped drinking, like, why am I not healed? But not to go to therapy and get on medication and start exercising and like, I wish I’d figured out that stuff when I was 17 years old. Like I could have saved myself. 20 years of crap. Yeah. Do you think 17 year old you would have listened to you now though? Yeah, I don’t drink, go to therapy. Take some bad tear good. To my 17 year old self would have been like, You don’t know my life. Okay, fair enough. That’s good.
And something about that four month mark to get it? You know? Yeah. Yeah. In my first year, I specifically remember months, four and five being the hardest. I think that’s because after that first three months, the new and shiny wears off, and it becomes a little less. I don’t know, you know, shit gets real. All of a sudden you’re like, Okay, well, now I have a taste of what it feels like to not wake up physically ill every morning. But then you’re like, but I also have all these feelings. And I don’t know what to do with them. And that’s when the real work starts. A lot of us don’t grow up learning what to do with anger. Yeah, especially women. You know, we’re, you know, it’s just like, again, put on a smile, everything
stuff down any negative emotion. Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, he’s, like, the biggest smile on my face. People always told me, and I was like, I am freaking trembling inside with anxiety, and a hangover, but like, cool that you think of like, the happiest person in the world?
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, we don’t know what to do with those feelings. And that’s part of recovery, you learn what to do with them, you learn to sit with them. Sometimes it’s not about doing anything with them, but just sitting with them. And, you know, that’s when the rubber hits the road.
So what was it for you? Like you said, months, four months? Five, were hard. I know, you talked about anxiety and perfectionism. Like, when you got to that point, what was what helped you?
You know, a big, a big part of this for me that I still work on every day and will probably always work on is being a people pleaser. And thinking and thinking that I have to get everyone’s approval around me for something to be okay. And that also contributes to my anxiety. I still struggle with that, you know, we have good days and bad days. So, learning how to trust myself was a big part of this process and learning what to do what’s right for me without having somebody there holding my hand going, that’s okay, you’re okay, you’re allowed to do that. There’s some weird imaginary, like, parental unit or like government that was just always in the background in my mind, like that. I was like waiting for that approval. And that doesn’t exist. It’s not real. And, you know, I say that, you know, I did 12 step work for about the first year and a half. And I struggled for a little bit because that’s an abstinence based program. And, you know, even non alcoholic beer was frowned upon at certain meetings. I was like, well, I want to try non alcoholic beer. I think that, you know, I think that sounds great. And I wasn’t a beer drinker. It’s not triggering to me.
I love non alcoholic beer. I love it. It’s a great world out there. It’s not for everyone. But you know, you figure out what’s what works for you. But am I in recovery? If I try this? Like, what if some people don’t like this? You know, like, I was so worried about how other people thought I should recover? Because I didn’t know you’re like people
pleasing out here. And then you go to 12 step and you’re like, Oh, I’m people pleasing in 12 step. Yeah.
Exactly. And, and you can’t please everyone, and I started as I started to learn how to trust myself, you know, again, this is part of the evolution, I just would, you know, move over here to this thing, and like, Okay, this feels good. And I did try the alcoholic beer and I loved it. And it’s been a wonderful tool for me, but you know, people pleasing perfectionism anxiety, they’re
very they’re braided together for me. And you I mean, I remember like one of the things I still struggle with was just being highly highly uncomfortable if I think anyone doesn’t like me or approve of me even if I don’t like them, like just somehow feel my security threatened if I think anyone’s like Oh, she’s a bitch are not good enough or whatever. And so that’s really, you know, really hard to deal with and of course, it’s like from childhood and you know, parents moving around or whatever. But nobody tells you that those people that you’re worried about liking you aren’t even thinking about you.
Right? You know, they’re not people are not up late at night wondering like worried or mad at you because you didn’t say hello to them that one day and like, their reaction is about whatever is going on with them. It’s,
yeah, you It should be an absolute relief to know that people aren’t thinking about you, you know, isn’t that a wonderful And you can’t you can’t recover perfectly. You know, if you’re a perfectionist, you’re gonna mess up there are going to be times when you know you’re shaky and you make mistakes. And that’s part of the process, too. You cannot do this perfectly.
Yeah. Oh, completely. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s one of the one of the hardest things and also just learning to sit with uncomfortable emotions and figuring out that you don’t die and they pass and it gets better. And it wasn’t that big of a deal. And when we’re drinking, we’re just like, No, no, I can’t feel this.
Mm hmm. And then that mental habit. It just, your instinct is it’s like you don’t even question that thought anymore. After a while. You just are automatically like, that’s your go to No, I can’t feel this I now I drink No, I can’t feel this. Now I drink and and that just becomes imprinted on your brain. And and it’s it’s hard to break that cycle. But it’s absolutely doable.
Yeah. When one of the things I found was when I was drinking, I would you know, you talked about uncomfortable emotions, like anger, or resentment, or, you know, just frustration, I would not want to express those because I didn’t want conflict. So I would drink and then I’d wake up and turn all those emotions and blame on myself. Like, what’s wrong with you? What the fuck Get your shit together when, you know, my emotion of anger before was like completely justified?
Right? We, we, we all have a right to feel our feelings and our feelings aren’t us.
You know, we are not our feelings. They’re just this temporary thing that happens. And often just sitting and being angry for a while is so much easier than, you know, pushing it down, drinking over it waking up, hung over or hating on yourself. Like that is a 24 hour process, being angry for half an hour, you know, that’s a lot faster. And it those feelings don’t last forever. It is really healthy to be angry. You know, everybody has a right to feel that we we are designed to have different feelings for a reason. You know, there, I think I think with evolution, our feelings were meant to teach us you know, so I don’t know when we became so afraid to feel those things. Turns out, I’m actually a really angry person. Yeah, nope, I didn’t even know. But you hear me talk though. And we’re laughing and we’re having a good time. And, you know, this is me. But when I get angry, I get really angry. But it doesn’t define me. It’s just a feeling. It’s just a feeling that I’m strong enough to feel and get through and then move on to whatever’s next in my day.
Yeah, yeah, that’s great. Well, one of the things I heard you say on a previous podcast that I loved was, you talked about the fear of missing out and that that kind of FOMO was What kept you from not giving it a solid chance for a while or you see that other people are like, I can’t stop drinking, because I want to have fun again, I won’t be able to do this and that it was a big lie. That wastes a lot of time. Can you talk about that? Yes.
You know, that was the inspiration behind starting recovery. Happy Hour because I wanted to talk to that person. I wanted to inspire that person who has who has FOMO and let them know that like the party hasn’t even started. You know, like when you are drinking you’re already missing out. This fear of missing out is here, sister it is here. Like you are already your your Hummer over. So you’re missing things. You’re You’re drunk and blacking out. So you’re forgetting things you are already missing out. Especially if you’re like me, and you would drink like a bottle of wine while watching Netflix alone on your couch. That’s real glamorous, Tricia. Like Really? That’s so fun. You know, that’s not the stuff you brag to your friends about funny. Also, something I hear a lot of people say on my show is that, you know, what am I going to do when I get married? And I can’t you know, have that champagne toast? Like In what world? Do we ever make plans for our behavior for our entire life based on the liquid and a glass that we might have, like six years from now? And what will Does that make sense? But we do it. We do it and we plan our whole lives around this. What if someday, like while you’re planning that you’re missing out on the present, the FOMO is not real. It’s not real. You have to give this thing a chance and live it to understand, you know, the fear of the thing is always so much scarier than the thing itself. So it’s just a big lie we tell ourselves and it’s so it’s so sad because we we end up losing time, you know,
well, and you just reminded me of a memory that I had when you’re like, Okay, you’re already missing out when you’re drinking. I when I had little kids we had this New Year’s Eve party with all of our couple friends at someone’s house and grandma was here. So we were going to sleep over like a night with friends as an adult couple, you know, drink as much as you want. And I was so excited for it. I was like beside myself for weeks, went there, and I ended up drinking, you know, you get there, you start drinking at four o’clock. Don’t remember a whole lot of the night. And what I remember was just waking up, thank God in my guest bed all tucked in. The next morning, brutally hung over. I had not made it to midnight, my husband had no word, no one to kiss at midnight. I don’t remember anything. And I’m like, How fun was that? Like, I literally missed the entire night and was ashamed and shaky and felt like shit the next day.
Some of that is culture. You know, it’s what we ingest in the media. And you see the movies and TV shows that you know, in commercials that show what a good time it is to drink. But that’s not real. You know, they don’t show you the hangover. The next day, you can’t they don’t show you the blackout. Again, it’s like you don’t know until you try it. But for anyone who’s listening that has FOMO. And they don’t, they don’t even want to experiment getting up with alcohol. I just I want you to know, I’ve done the legwork. I’ve done the legwork. It is so much better on this side. But you have to try it and really, really try it like commit to it for a little while to understand that you’re already missing out and it’s it gets it just it can be so good. If you would just stop overthinking it and do it.
And when no like commit to it, give it some time. Like how long do you have like a period of time that you’re like you cannot evaluate whether life without alcohol is good in just 30 days, 60 days first 100 days? Do you have any sense of that? Well,
I think rather than the length of time, I think it’s more important to focus on your what that finish line looks like in your in your brain. So if you’re going to do this for 21 days, well then it sounds like you’re just going to dry out because you’re waiting for that 21 days to hurry up and be over. You know, Heather from she runs ditch the drink love her, she gave me the best metaphor one day she goes, you know, if you’re on a flight, and it’s a short commuter flight, you’re on there for 45 minutes, you’re just gonna sit down, put on your seatbelt and just get ready to get there. Like you’re just waiting to take off your seat belt and de plane. If you’re on a cross country flight, you’re going to settle in, you’re going to get a pillow, you’re going to get a book, you’re going to have your headphones and you’re really going to just sit and enjoy yourself, you’re not going to be like antsy and ready to get there. But that only happens because you’re not just waiting for it to end, you’re really committed to that time and present in it. While you’re there. I think it’s the same with drinking. It’s not like if you’re going to experiment, just pay attention to your body every day in that day, rather than waiting for the day when you’re done. You know, I think that that that experiment is more important than the length of time.
I actually love that metaphor. You’re right, that is so awesome of like, settle into it get comfortable find something you’re going to enjoy doing during this period of time. Like that’s perfect.
Mm hmm. Yeah, really, really commit to it. Because if you’re just waiting for something to be over, then you’ve already got one foot out the door, what are you learning, you know, you’re probably more, you’re probably paying more attention to how annoyed you are rather than all the benefits on the days until your reward is to drink again.
And it’s the same with you know, every dry January and sober October and all those those trends, which are great trends, but you know that if you’re gonna try that, something to pay attention to is are you just waiting until the first of the next month so you can get wasted? If that’s if that’s the case, first of all, you’re not alone. And you’re not a bad person. But that’s important data to really look into and and dig into, you know, why are you wanting to do that, you know, that’s recovery is asking yourself those questions. It’s not so much about being about how long you’ve quit drinking for it’s doing the work underneath it. That’s the recovery.
Well in so I know you’ve said like the life beyond the bottle is a life worth living, which is one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you because I find that so awesome and inspiring. But can you tell me what some of the cool things that you’ve experienced in the last like, four and a half years that you’ve just been like, God life is so much better without drinking.
You know, one of the neatest things that I’ve done is is made a career change. I at the time when I got sober I owned a business. And we were growing and I was building into a new space and was on this, this path that I thought I loved and then as I got sober and started doing some work on myself and really learned who I was I realized that I hated what I I was doing, and it took me some time. But I split with my business partner, I came up with an exit strategy, I closed the business, I got myself out of debt. I mean, I moved back in with my parents for a while, I made a huge life change. And even though that work was hard, and it’s not something that’s like, Oh, yeah, I went on this great vacation with all my drinking money that I saved, I would have never had the guts to do that. If I was drinking, you know, because I, I wouldn’t have taken the time to really understand what I wanted and needed out of life. So making a career change was a was a big surprise to me. And I always thought that it would be really hard to like, go out to eat, and enjoy a nice meal without drinking or go on vacation. And I’ve done all those things. And there’s so much more fun when you’re sober. Because you remember everything. You’re not flushing so much money down the toilet on booze, and you’re not feeling sick every day. Yeah, like going on vacation and being hungover for 50% of it. And then just being drunk for the other 50%. I mean, that might be what I was used to, but man, it sucked.
And I love all my sober vacations, like they’re better than when I was drinking.
They really are and you remember them and you’re present. And again, I hate to bring it back to money. But that’s such an easy metric to and it’s so it’s so instantly gratifying. But, you know, you find other things to reward yourself with and other activities that are more fun. It’s just a matter of getting out of that drinking. You know, thinking right that we’re just that’s our only option, or where I count the all the money I’ve saved not drinking like to this day. Mine’s like $35,000 Okay, I’m gonna I have that too. And I’m looking at it right now. I’m gonna look at it. Let’s see.
Not that it’s competition. No, but okay, check this out. I just crossed over $25,000
Oh, my gosh, I think I drink more expensive stuff. Maybe.
Just so you know, you also have a few I have a number of months on me too. We’re probably about around around the same if you compare apples to apples. So 20 $25,000, right. So that $25,000 is like, two. It’s probably one it’s probably like three first class tickets to Bali and back, you know, like, and the trip to Bali itself. Let’s get real. I mean, huts are like, you know, $7 a day.
I have this thing where every trip I take now I take all the money I would have spent online and you know, I’m sure I spend this money, like seven different ways, but 35 grand, that’s a lot of money. And I buy jewelry from every place like Venice, Croatia. The necklace I’m wearing right now is from Paris like, and I remember it myself. And I’m always like, Oh, yeah, I’m gonna buy my like sober. You know jewelry right now. It’s
so well in the money that you save on on alcohol. You know, that doesn’t even include all the money that we wasted on hangover cures and doctor’s visits and all the other stuff that you do to accommodate your drinking or the drunk shopping like you’re like not being able to drive home like that was
Yes, exactly. So that’s just like, that’s just the beginning of the money that you save.
Well, what I think is cool, too, is that, like, I loved what you said about doing a career change. Because I did that too. I actually, you know, after three years of being sober, I quit my corporate job that I’ve been in for like 25 years, I was like corporate digital marketing. And I always like kind of hated it. Like it stressed me out. All the reorg some layoffs and transitions and different bosses and the goals kept
increasing. But I was just drinking to medicate it to get through it and didn’t have the time or energy to even think through what else I could possibly do. Because I just was barely coping with my life. And then once I quit drinking, and I did some work, my confidence increased, my anxiety went down, I had more energy and brain space. And so I finally had the competence to leave my corporate job. And I don’t think I would have ever done that if I was drinking.
Right. It’s amazing. And you don’t it’s not like you quit drinking to change your career. Like that was just a byproduct and a surprise, right?
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Love the quote about like, it’s not so much about becoming something it’s about unbecoming. All the stuff that was never really you. Mm hmm. Oh, that’s good.
That is really, really good. But and part of, you know, part of my experience was not just like, Oh, I don’t want I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s also that I learned how to say that I can now end that sentence with and that’s okay. Like no deciding that for myself, is okay. I don’t have to worry about what anyone else is thinking. Any The more I don’t have to worry about this imaginary rule I set for myself that, you know, I’ve done this, I’ve decided this, and now I’ve committed to it forever, like I was so just black and white with everything. And now I’m understanding that life is all gray area, and that I have the autonomy to make my own choices. whenever I want.
I can do whatever I want to do, I can change my mind, if I want to do this thing. Great if I want to do that thing. Great. Nobody’s keeping tabs on me. Well, that’s not true. Strangers on Instagram are keeping tabs on me. And sometimes they send me emails, and it’s really annoying.
Oh, yeah. Just you wait, that’s not happened to me. And I’m not creating bad feedback. So if you’re listening to this, please don’t send me hate mail. Because I take it personally. Yeah. And don’t send me hate mail either. Stop that. Yeah. Well, and also, quitting drinking is a hard thing to do. Right? That’s brave. And once you do that, you’re like, I can do anything. Yes. Because it’s
not just the fact that it’s hard. It’s that we’re pushing back against a cultural norm as well. We are sold an idea that you have to drink, you know, you have to drink to deal with your stress to be glamorous to work hard, play hard. There’s all these stories that we tell ourselves as to why we’re expected to drink. So much so that it’s weird. And people give you strange looks. And when you say you don’t drink, you know, that’s why so many people are scared to come out and say, Hey, I’m sober. We’re, we’re pushing
back on this thing, and that we’ve been sold, that doesn’t serve us. And that’s also kind of something I like to focus on. As far as, like, how my show is formatted. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to drinking, you know, you. Obviously, it’s okay, if you have a problem. That’s why you and I are having this conversation. But even if you’re not an alcoholic, or if you’re just drinking a glass of wine at night, but that’s something that you obsess out, you know, over every day, that qualifies you, anything qualifies you, you don’t have to have like, your problem doesn’t have to be bad enough, you don’t have to get to that point of destroying your life to go well. Now I’m done. Like it’s okay to catch it early. Well, you
don’t have to adopt that label. I actually don’t use the term alcoholic to describe myself or almost anyone unless they want to, unless that’s how they identify just because I don’t find it useful. To me. I just I tell people like, I quit drinking. I used to drink a lot. I stopped because I feel better without it. That shit wasn’t good for me.
You know? Yeah, that’s the other thing is like, we get so wrapped up in the labels. And, you know, it’s like, well, I don’t want to quit, you know, but but I’m not an alcoholic. Okay, well, that’s fine. But are you happy?
Yeah. Are you?
Do you wake up in the morning excited about your life? Or are you miserable and hating yourself? That’s the question you need to be asking yourself. I don’t have a problem with the word alcoholic. I mean, I think I probably use that interchangeably with a slew of other words. But it’s not that I just I guess I’m just kind of indifferent about all of it. But getting wrapped up in the labels is the wrong thing to get wrapped up in,
ask yourself, are
you happy, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s where you start.
And if you’re like, not wanting to stop drinking, because you don’t want to adopt a label, just know that you don’t have to, it’s not required.
It’s not required. You can do whatever you want, you can literally do whatever you want.
But one thing, I’ve been listening to a couple of your, your podcasts, and you one conversation that I loved, was when you had with Paul Churchill of recovery elevator, and you were talking about mind, body, and spirit. And, you know, you said that, you know, just what’s happened with you there. You wouldn’t go back to drinking. Because if you decided to do that, you would throw away all the hard work you did on a healthier mind, and a healthier body, clearer mind more evolved relationship with spirituality. And I thought that was pretty inspiring. It’s funny, I don’t remember saying that. You’re like second episode ever, but you said, easy way to flush all that hard work down the toilet.
It’s true. And actually, if I if I were to go back and re record that I would have worded that differently. Because even if you go back to drinking, you don’t flush down. You don’t flush your work down the toilet. That’s that’s data you have forever. I just want to point that out. But, yeah, you know, one of the things that I learned how to do when I quit drinking was just be in my body, period. And that separation of understanding your feelings and knowing when you’re tired or when you’re stressed out. You know, drinking just puts a, it just puts a huge barrier down between you and your body and your intuition and knowing what feels good and what doesn’t. And just being friends with my body now is a is a huge benefit to sobriety, I was able to really discover my own faith in sobriety and my my relationship with God, you know, finding a church that I love connecting with other women that believe the same way that I do. Those are things I would have never found if I had continued down the path that I was on. And yeah, and then of course, feeling good when you wake up, you know, the only hangover I have now is just like when I’m tired, like being tired is like the sober person’s hangover. Yeah, if that’s if that’s my only complaint as far as how I feel physically, that is a great problem to have.
Yeah, I have to say I have a cold now I just got it. I’m coming back from Hawaii, I’m sure. You know, we haven’t left the house in like a year and a half. So I haven’t been sick at all. Every time I get sick. I’m like, Oh, my God, I used to feel this way every day. Like, how did I live with that? And just I was so used to it. I don’t think I even knew what feeling healthy and energized and good with like,
yeah, you don’t even know what baseline is. Because you’re always below you’re always just trying to get to feeling some sort of normal. And now I wake up and I know what baseline feels like, then it’s just a matter of like, how can I make myself feel even better today? I’m not just grasping for straws and finding some way to get through my day anymore. And that’s also like, when you feel sick, then you know what feeling sick feels like, you know, it’s not like you’re when I was hung over. I felt like I woke up with a cold every day, because I just felt so ill. I had COVID last fall. And I remember thinking, I don’t know, if I would have felt this the way that I felt it then because I was just feeling ill all the time when I was drinking, you know, you know what a healthy baseline feels like now,
you know, what’s funny is I just today, someone posted who’s a friend of mine, and one of the sober Facebook groups, the private groups online that I love. And she said she was sick, she had a cold. And it was so crazy, because when she was drinking, she would never admit to being sick, because who
would drink if they had a really bad sore throat or a fever, you know, felt like crap. And so she was like, if I tell my husband or anyone that I’m sick, then I won’t be able to have my bottle of wine tonight. And I was just like, I never did that either. Like you’re like, No, I’m never sick. Because, you know, then it’s really awkward to open your browser. If you’ve been complaining about being ill all day. Yeah, I
never thought about that. I you know, that’s funny of all the weird rules that I created for myself that strangely wasn’t one of them. That I mean, there’s not a whole lot of those that I wasn’t one of them. I do remember, you know, I caught the flu one year and maybe three days into it. I was like, You know what, I can probably have a screwdriver, because it’s orange. You know, it’s got orange juice. I know. Like, or like hot toddies. Like, oh,
yeah, good for you. If
you’re Oh, yeah. No, that’s Yeah, that’s our total sarcasm. Yeah, like, Oh, this Oh, this will burn it out.
To me. This is healthy, you know, and it’s just the shit that we tell ourselves. So we can, so we can keep drinking.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, so tell us about your podcast, because everyone listening to this loves podcast, but they may not know yours.
Sure. So it’s called recovery, happy hour. And the format is, it’s really just me talking about a topic for the first eight or 10 minutes of the show, you know, similar to you. And then I have a guest on every almost every episode. I don’t like focusing too much on the drunk part of the story. I really like talking more about recovery and celebrating what life is like, because you don’t think about drink of not drinking forever, eventually, you move on with your life, you know. And so I wanted to share that part of the story. So I have guests that come on that that have all different ways that they’ve recovered. There’s no one right or wrong way to do this. And so I’ve got anyone that’s, you know, doing 12 step work to yoga retreats to, you know, Facebook accountability groups, recovery coaches, plant medicine, you name it, I’ve just if they’ve, if it’s something that is new, and we haven’t talked about, then let’s bring them on the show. Because if they can’t be the only person who did who needed that modality. So that’s been a really neat part of it that you know, we laugh a lot. And I just want to I want people to hear a conversation between two people who have conquered this thing. They used to hold them hostage, and, and communicate the fact that life didn’t end. You know, it’s not like, Oh, I had to quit drinking, and I’m an alcoholic, and you need to be that penance for the rest of your life.
Yeah, that is not how it works. You know, you have to first of all, you have to laugh at this stuff. So you don’t say you don’t kill someone. And, you know, eventually you get on, you move on to the joy, you know, you move on to the joy and all the new things that you love doing. So we just, you know, we celebrate that. And it’s fun. It’s fun, I think there’s something for everything. There’s something for everyone on there.
Well, I love how you focus on, you know, the optimism and how good life is without drinking, because it is really good. And there is so much opportunity. I mean, I always think that my world got so much bigger after I quit drinking, that drinking actually made my world pretty small. The activities I would do and the people I would hang out with and sort of limiting my life and my choices to kind of accommodate my bottle of wine. And they’d have it which it and he
and you too, you probably made yourself small, you know, like we Yeah, we all, we all do it. Sorry to interrupt. But when you said small, I was like I was like I did that I tried to make myself as small as possible. In order to accommodate all of these unrealistic expectations that I set for myself,
you know, I was pretty guarded and defensive. Like, I didn’t want anyone to look at me too closely. So I didn’t let a lot of people in and you know, you quit drinking, and suddenly you get new friends and new habits. And you know, the beginning is really hard. But afterwards, it gets so much bigger. Mm hmm. Yeah, and not the truth. That is that’s gospel right there. Yeah. Well, anything else you want to say to anyone listening to this, who’s sort of in that tough spot of thinking about stopping drinking, or trying and then going back and forth?
You know, first of all, you’re not alone. There are so many people that feel just like you. And I know for a fact, if you’re listening, I probably never met you. But I do know that you’re more capable than you think you are. We’re all so much stronger than we know. But find your why. And if that is as simple as writing down a list, you know, look at that list, fold it up, keep in your pocket and keep looking at it. And you’re not going to the booze isn’t going anywhere, you know, it’s not going to leave the planet while you quit drinking, never to be found. Again, if you decide you want to go back, it’s still on a shelf at the store I just saw. So. So if you want to try, then then do it. Like really jump in and do it. And if you hate it, you can always go back to drinking. But you’re capable. And I believe in you. I really do. I believe in everybody that wants this. I believe you’re capable. And I believe you can do it. And it’s great. It really is.
Come join us. Definitely Well, everyone should listen to recovery happy hour because it’s just such a
great show. So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more. Thank you so much for having me.
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.