Recovery Rocks

Recovery rocks, so let’s smash the stigma of addiction and normalize sobriety. 

Lisa Smith and Tawny Lara are doing just that through their podcast, Recovery Rocks, and their writing and advocacy work in the sobriety space. 

Tawny is a New York City based millennial who writes about the intersection of sex and sobriety. 

Lisa is the author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir of her descent into and recovery from high functioning addiction in the world of New York City corporate law. 

Tune into this episode to hear Casey, Tawny and Lisa discuss:

  • How Lisa and Tawny approach sobriety and why they started their podcast Recovery Rocks

  • Why we need to smash the stigma around addiction and normalizing sobriety
  • The many paths to recovery: Lisa worked a 12-step program and Tawny found support through blogging
  • The thriving non-alcoholic drink scene
  • Why we worked with our doctors to find the right anxiety, depression, mood disorder medications in sobriety
  • How to navigate sober sex
  • The part music has played in Lisa and Tawny’s recoveries

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    About Tawny Lara & Lisa Smith

    Tawny is a New York City based millennial who writes about the intersection of sex and sobriety. Her work is featured in publications including Playboy Men’s Health, Huffington Post, and two essay collections, the addiction diaries and the forthcoming book reimagining of sex and a single woman. She’s also the story developer for the Webby Award winning podcast, Fucking Sober. 

    Lisa is the author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir of her descent into and recovery from high functioning addiction in the world of New York City corporate law. She regularly speaks to law firms, law schools and other organizations. Her writing has been published in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Women’s Health and other publications.

    To learn more about Tawny and Lisa, checkout their websites, www.tawnylara.com & www.lisasmithadvisory.com

    Follow Tawny on Instagram and Twitter @tawnymlara

    Follow Lisa on Instagram and Twitter @girlwalksout

    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.


    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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    Recovery Rocks


    recovery rocks, drinking, sober, lisa, alcohol, sobriety, podcast, recovery, sex, aa, Tawny, lexapro, book, big, talk, medication, listen

    SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Tawny Lara and Lisa Smith


    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.

    Hi there. If you’re listening to this podcast, I’m betting you’ve been going back and forth for a while now on whether or not you should stop drinking. And I want you to raise your hand. If you’ve had any one of these thoughts.

    You might have been thinking, I’m not that bad. I actually don’t want to stop drinking completely. I just want to drink like a normal person. Or maybe you come home after work. And you think I know I shouldn’t drink tonight. But I literally can’t relax or have fun without it. It’s really common to say I’ve tried to take a break from drinking before. But it’s just too hard. I always give up anyway. So what’s the point in trying again? Or here’s one I hear all the time from women. Everyone I know drinks. If I stopped drinking, I will be bored. Or I’ll be boring. I’ll have no fun. I’ll never be invited anywhere. I’ll just sit home and be miserable. Or maybe you can insert whatever your reason is there.

    So is your hand up? If it is that is totally okay. And that’s because taking a break from drinking and changing your relationship with alcohol. This shit is hard.

    And that’s why I’m really pumped to invite you to my completely free 60 minute masterclass the five secrets to successfully take a break from drinking, even if you’ve tried and you failed in the past.

    After you take this free class, you’ll realize why what you’ve been doing up until now hasn’t been working, and what to do.

    Instead, we’re going to cover all the juicy topics, including what questions you need to stop asking yourself, because they’re setting you up for self sabotage, not for success. We’re going to talk about exactly what you need to do differently. So you can stop the exhausting cycle of stopping drinking and then saying screw it, and starting again.

    And we’re going to talk about the real reasons you haven’t been successful. And I’m betting they’re not what you think they are. And this isn’t surface level stuff. I am handing over the strategies and the mindset shifts I go through every day with my private coaching clients. If you’re listening to this podcast, I really encourage you to take a moment and sign up for this completely free masterclass. It will help you on your journey to drink class and live more to feeling better. So if you want to save your spot, go to hellosomedaycoaching.com/class while the class is still available, and I really hope to see you there.

    Hi there. Today we are talking to Tawny Lara and Lisa Smith about why recovery rocks. 


    Tawny and Lisa are sobriety advocates who co-hosts the podcast for Recovery Rocks. Tawny is a New York City based millennial who writes about the intersection of sex and sobriety. Her work is featured in publications including Playboy Men’s Health, Huffington Post, and two essay collections, The Addiction Diaries and the forthcoming book Reimagining of Sex and A Single Woman. She’s also the story developer for the Webby Award winning podcast, Fucking Sober. 


    Lisa is the author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir of her descent into and recovery from high functioning addiction in the world of New York City corporate law. She regularly speaks to law firms, law schools and other organizations. Her writing has been published in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Women’s Health and other publications. 


    Tawny and Lisa, welcome. I’m super excited to have you on. Say hello. 


    We’re thrilled. 


    Yeah, it’s exciting because I’ve been listening to Recovery Rocks for a long time. I love hearing your different approaches, and just your friendships. And also, I told Lisa before we jumped on that the book Girl Walks Out of a Bar came out in 2016, I think, and I quit drinking in 2016. So I read it pretty early in sobriety. 


    I love that so much. Because that is basically, I mean, I wrote the book because I felt so alone in my whole spiral. And I wanted the next person to know that they are not alone. So the idea that you would have read it in early recovery just makes you know, it really means a lot to me. It’s why I wrote the book. 


    Yeah, it’s so awesome. And I told you before that I remember distinctly reading it because my daughter was too. And when I quit drinking, I would like take her to bed and instead of trying really hard to get her to sleep really quickly, so I could go back downstairs and have another glass of wine, I would just stay up there like that was my safe place in the dark rocking her. And so I would read lots of sobriety memoirs on my phone or listen to them on Audible. And so I remember reading yours in the early days, and I also read This Naked Mind and I read Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas. 


    I love that. I love Elizabeth Vargas. This Naked Mind is amazing. I love that but also Elizabeth Vargas, this book, which a lot of people haven’t read really hits that anxiety element of the whole, I mean, she’s panic attacks and all that like to the extreme that I, when I, after I read that I was thinking, wow, we really don’t talk enough about anxiety and, you know, alcohol even though we do sort of, you know, that was one book that really dug into anxiety deep. 


    Yeah. And Tawny, your sobriety date is just a bit before mine, so we just hit six years.



    Yes, we are. We’re, like, almost fraternal twins.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  07:57

    I know. Right? I always talked about like, sober littermates. The people who quit, right? Yes.



    I love that. Yeah, we’re just a couple months apart. I was November 30 of 2015. And you’re, what mid February in 2016? Well, so


    Casey McGuire Davidson  08:14

    tell us a little bit about your podcast and Recovery Rocks and sort of your approach, like what you bring to the show?



    Lisa I think you should answer because it was Lisa’s idea to start the podcast.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  08:29

    Wow. Actually, it was not my idea to start the podcast alright. It was in 2018. And the book had come out in 2016. And I was doing some speaking, but I was getting ready to leave my law firm job in 2019, like summer of 2019. And so I started working with someone to help me kind of brand or kind of develop some content and things what for when I you know, subsequently launched my advisory, which I have now to speak with, you know, I speak to a lot of legal employers, like you said, law firms, big organizations, and I consult on some of these issues with them. And so he said to me in 2018, it’s a summer you need to have a podcast and I was like, no, nobody wants to listen to me have podcast and he said, Yeah, you know, you read 20 minutes of your book, you read a snippet from your book, and then you riff on it for 20 minutes. I was like, nobody’s gonna listen to that. And so we sort of fought over, not fought, but like you have that conversation there. 


    And then when I thought about it later, I said, You know what, I listen to a lot of podcasts. And my favorite podcasts are when people have a conversation, not just one person talking. And I said, I have this friend who is perfect for this podcast. I’m Gen X. I’m 20 years older than Tawny. I have been in 12 Step since day one. I just celebrated 18 years. So that’s crazy. Easy and amazing. So and I got sober in a completely different way. And I always worked and was still working at that point like in very corporate environment very professional, like, you know, that kind of corporate job with all that comes with it both good and bad. And Tawny was writing and, you know, she was doing, she’s a writer, freelance, and with some very big things, you know, and I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting because we could, but we already knew and loved each other. We were very



    close already. You know, we met on Instagram and then met, finally met IRL because we were both sober in New York, you know, so we had a good base and like what we had in common? Yeah, recovery and rock and roll. So that’s, that’s where the name came from.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  10:58

    The Rock and Roll connection. Do you guys play music or you just love it?



    Um, for me, I come from a rock’n’roll house, I guess you can say my dad was and is a heavy metal musician. So I grew up just in that scene, which, ironically, is, you know, we can talk later about how that contributed to my alcohol consumption watching these long haired tattooed men chug Jack Daniels from the bottle. But even in sobriety, like you know, right rock’n’roll is like, such a huge part of my life. And my mom was one of his, one of my dad’s groupies, and that’s how they met. So I grew up, either, you know, at band practice, or going to the recording studio and mom was not, mom’s not a musician, but she’s a like, a muse. I would say like a rock and roll aficionado like she’s a savant. Like she knows every rock and roll trivia question that no, like, no one needs to know it. But she knows every answer. And so she raised me that way, as well. So, rock’n’roll has been a huge part of my whole life. And that I don’t know how Lisa and I realized we had that in common.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  12:21

    I don’t know, I think we did pretty quickly. 




    But like, before, we did, obviously, we talked about music a time before we even did the podcast, and probably just in sort of connecting, you know, out of just after we met, just in conversations, but yeah, so that’s and music has been, for me, like a massive part of my recovery. And it’s funny, because the music that Tawny was exposed to, as a result of her father, like I was, I was listening to that music because I was that age, you know, like, it was my music too. So we both sort of have the same, you know, we do but even on like new stuff, we tend to, like the same stuff in the same style. 


    Okay, I am so glad I asked that question, because I had absolutely no idea. So, Tawny, what bands were your dad in? Like, do I get to ask that or is. 





    yeah, the, I would say the biggest band he was in was, it was called Vicious Rumors. And the band is still around, but there’s like no original members anymore. But they were, you know, like late 80s, early 90s, MTV heyday. And you know, they had a couple of videos at MTV. He toured the world. And you know, that resulted in him not being a big part of my life, which is something I’m still working through. My dad is now in recovery, as well. So you know, we’ve been through a lot.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  13:55

    We have her dad on the podcast. Yes,



    that’s right. He was on an episode. We did a, Lisa and I did a live recording a couple years ago, when my dad was visiting me here in New York. And it was really special because


    Casey McGuire Davidson  14:10

    we had already had scheduled, Ruby Warrington was coming as part of our live event with us. And then it was like, Oh, my gosh, your dad’s gonna be here. Let’s put him on stage. That is very cool. 


    All right, you’re gonna have to send me the link. So in the show notes. I know that you talked about Lisa that you recovered in a 12 step program. I loved how open and transparent you were in your book like it was, it was interesting and fascinating and a great read and you’re right, it made me feel a lot less alone. And Tawny, how did you get sober, decide that drinking wasn’t working for you or drugs? Like how did you sort of step into that recovery space?



    Yeah, This is exactly, you know, why Lisa and I started the podcast because we came at sobriety from such different perspectives. And even still, you know, like, we still have different approaches in certain ways. But if you listen to our show, you see that we are, we still see most things the same way. And it’s, it’s really important for us to show listeners that there’s not just one way. And for decades, AA was the only option. And thankfully, it’s not like that anymore. There’s many other options. 


    You know, I got sober end of 2015. So this is before, you know, sober curious wasn’t really a term yet. I’d been to one AA meeting and it didn’t really feel right for me. And there was just I was like, okay, but like, what, what else I was like, I don’t think I’m an alcoholic, but I, I don’t want to drink anymore. I didn’t really know what to do. So as a millennial, like a typical millennial, I started a blog about it. I was about to turn 30 years old. And I decided to give up alcohol for a year, my 30th year, and I started a blog called sobriety party. And I really just blogged that, that whole wave through, I still have the blog, it’s not as active now, because it’s, my writing has changed to more freelancing and now working on a book. But it began, really just as, hey, this is what I’m going through. And it was for me, you know, it was more, it was definitely for me, but I was posting about it on Instagram, which is how I met Lisa, sharing, you know, blog posts on Facebook and people connecting with me and saying, kind of like you were saying earlier, Casey is like your story is my story. And yeah, so like, that was a big part of it. And I found my therapist nine months into sobriety. 


    That was a, you know, when I tell people my story, they’re like, Wow, I can’t believe you did it alone. I’m like, I did not do it alone. I just didn’t do it through AA. But I realized that finding the right therapist, finding the right support group eventually. But the peer support that I found through sober social media was a lot of what I hear about people love about AA and other traditional support groups. So I connected with people literally all over the world that were sober or, you know, eventually sober curious as that term became more ubiquitous, but I was just sharing from an authentic place. And I have tons of, you know, internet friends that I’ve, I might never meet in real life, you know, and I just think that’s kind of cool. That sobriety is what brought us together.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  17:51

    Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, the sobriety starter kit.

    The sobriety starter kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

    This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

    You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 


    I know some people are hesitant or nervous to put themselves out in social media. I completely and totally get that. And I think one of the cool things about it is like you don’t have to use your real name or, you know, I mean ways to like, dip your toe in without, you know, as you get more comfortable, but I mean, I hear from women all the time like, I live in a small town or I don’t have sober people around me and I’m like, go online there is a universe of cool people out there. 


    And I agree. I’ve made so many, you know, internet friends. I’m actually going in a week to She Recovers Miami. 


    Oh, yeah, we’re gonna, we’re both going to be there. 


    I know, we get to meet there. I mean, I think there are 500 women coming. A lot of my internet friends and people I’ve had on the podcast, I finally get to meet in real life. It’s gonna be fun. 


    I can’t believe like, you know, because when I got sober 18 years ago there was AA and nothing. There was no you know, it was either you got to go into it. When I left detox, you got to like go into AA or you’re basically going to drink again and die. And, you know, that is something that I think the whole, what is so amazing, and what’s like, so I love so much the way that Tawny and I, I’ve never been one of those people who said it’s only 12 step, I just don’t I just, you know, I really do think everybody can have it has their own path and is, you know, whatever, whatever works best for them is great. But there’s not just like, you know, either you say you’re an alcoholic, or you’re out anymore, it’s very much like, Hey, I might be curious. So I’m going to go to this event, or I’m going to Dry January or you know, or I’m going to be California sober. Whatever it is. There’s this continuum now that people can enter, you know, without having, you know, like I did hit like a heinous rock bottom. And they can just see where this is going. 


    I don’t like it, the whole concept of gray area drinking. You know, when I met Tawny and I was just seeing what was going on with us, I was like, This is so cool, because it’s going to be accessible to so many people. And without having to tell your story and go out there, right. I always tell people, like your story is your own. You don’t owe it to anybody else. You don’t have to be shouting about it on the internet, you don’t have to be shouting about it in the office or to your family. So your story, you know, but to be able to have those sources for people out there to just like you said, like, plug in and see what it’s like plug in and see what people are talking about, have so many more resources. 


    Yeah, I mean, I love how you both sort of work on smashing the stigma and normalizing sobriety. And I feel like that is something that has really changed in the last six years. I mean, I first tried to quit drinking nine years ago. And it’s amazing to me, the shift just in those three years. I feel like nine years ago it was also kind of a 80% of it with AA or you kind of did it alone. And when I stopped drinking six years ago, with you Tawny around the same time, it was right when it was beginning. And since then it’s just exploded. And I love how you don’t have to adopt a label and you’re like, oh my god, there are tons of people out there who are talking about, you know, the fact that drinking is addictive, or it didn’t work for them, or they love to drink, but they’re happier without it. Like it’s not quite that big. Oh my god. If I say drinking isn’t working for me, I must have had a, quote unquote, serious problem. And I should feel some shame about it.



    Yeah, you said Lisa’s favorite phrase is smashing the stigma. That’s her. That’s her hashtag, she always. 


    Yeah, that’s really, I mean, that’s why we do what we do. And you know, even though I don’t come from the AA world, I do ascribe to a lot of AA and 12 Step, you know, slogans and mantras, like being of service, I think, our podcast, your podcast, that is how, you know, one of the many ways we are of service. And that helps us, that helps Lisa and I stay sober. The fact that we can create a free resource for people, wherever they are on their sobriety journey, whether they’re doing a dry month, or they’re 20 months, or like 20 years sober. Like you’re welcome to hang out at Recovery Rocks.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  24:40

    Even if you’re still drinking, that’s, Yeah, exactly.



    Good point. Even if you’re just like, I want to listen, we have some listeners that are just like our friends that just like to listen to the, you know, podcast because it’s like, oh, what are Tawny and Lisa doing?


    Casey McGuire Davidson  24:56

    The stigma is what kills people. The stigma is what keeps people out of asking for help. And so like, I like to think that if there was somebody who was really, you know, thinking about like not getting help, and we know from the numbers that this happens, usually in the legal profession, you know that they can see how it’s changing. And it’s a slow process, but it’s changing. Like I love the phrase you use is exactly what I would say like normalizing sobriety. Why would, why is that widespread is something to be not normalized in any sense. Not. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to say, I don’t drink, I’m sober. 


    Yeah. And I know, Tawny, you do a lot with like non alcoholic beverages. And one of my favorites is Athletic Brewing Company and I actually became an ambassador for them just because I love them. And I talk about them all the time. But the big benefit to being an ambassador was like, I’m in the, you know, Facebook group of all the other ambassadors and they’re like, beyond cool, like, I am totally out of my element. They’re like Ironman and ultramarathon racers, and like mountain climbers, and I’m like, Holy shit, I have a podcast. And I’m a mom of two and run around at baseball practice seven days a week, but I’m like, vicariously through them. But the cool thing is, I would say like, some people in there are definitely like, I hit three years sober. I hit a year sober, you know, this is awesome. And then a whole bunch of other people are just like, yeah, I, you know, have, I’m not quote unquote, sober. But like 90% of the time I drank Athletic Brewing Company because drinking beer is horrible for your recovery and really hurts, you know, yeah, heart and all of the things.



    I’m glad that you brought up the non alcoholic drinks scene because I’m obsessed. It’s, if you go to my website, you’ll see that I have like tons of non alcoholic drink brands that I work with, and promote authentically because I, you know, I came from a bartending world. So like I like, I’ve always liked mixology, and I’ve always liked beer. Beer was the one thing I could drink, not quote, normally, because I was very interested in craft beer and just interested in all these different types of hops. And I just thought it was really cool. And this emerging non alcoholic drink scene. Still, it allows me to play with that still, you know, there’s really good non alcoholic beers out there and there’s really good non alcoholic wines and champagnes. And like Katy Perry just came out with the non alcoholic app or TIF. I mean, it’s like, and she’s not Blake Lively, Blake Lively has a seltzer you know, Katy Perry’s not sober. But when she was pregnant, she realized that she couldn’t drink what she wanted to when she was pregnant. So that’s why she started this drink line. And, and I think people like that getting into the non alcoholic drinks space also makes it more accessible because it’s like, a cool hot Popstar, but also the fact that it’s not just for sober people. It’s like something to drink. It doesn’t matter. Anyone can drink this, you know?


    Casey McGuire Davidson  28:19

    Yeah. I noticed when overseas like I went to Amsterdam, and I was, I was kind of in shock. They have amazing non alcoholic beers in every restaurant, which I was like, damn, this is cool. But I went over to my cousin’s house, who is Dutch, she’s Dutch, with her husband, and we were just hanging out with them watching the World Cup. And I looked in their fridge, I was like, Oh, actually, I don’t drink and she was like, Yeah, we have non alcoholic beer. And neither one of them is sober. And I do. And she was like, yes, sometimes we just liked the taste, but we don’t want you know, to get all fuzzy and I was like, that’s crazy. Years come a long way.



    There’s really good drinks. And you know what’s so funny is like Budweiser and Seagrams are coming out with their own version like Budweiser zero sponsored the Superbowl of 2021 and Seagrams just came out with their own non alcoholic spirit line. And it’s because the non alcoholic drink scene is thriving. And I think that is so fascinating. Like New York alone, we have like five booze free bottle shops. And like I would have never in a million years in my, when I was you know, hot mess bartender party girl, I would have never thought that there would be enough non alcoholic drinks to fill a store. Like I was just like, to me a non alcoholic drink was O’Doul’s or like a virgin Daiquiri.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  29:50

    I was about to say, Oh, that was like, that was like the worst when I was quitting drinking. And so one thing I wanted to ask you about is Lisa, you mentioned quote unquote, California sober. And I know what that, like a lot of people who are listening probably don’t know what that is. So can you tell us about California sober? 


    Sure. Tawny might jump in if I’m getting this wrong, which I won’t be well, but my understanding about California sober is that it is someone who does not drink alcohol, but does use marijuana.



    Okay. I think it’s that and also, like psychedelics is included in that. And it’s, I think it’s, it’s not just because there’s a lot of people that smoke weed that are just not big drinkers like that’s not California sober. You know, like California sober is someone who’s like, I’m like stepping back reevaluating their relationship with alcohol. Third, they’re still consuming cannabis, they might do psychedelics, but like, that’s not the big issue for them. They’re focusing on drinking less alcohol. So I think that’s, it’s important to stress that. And there’s also a percentage of California sober people that use cannabis as a form of harm reduction. If I like I should probably get a Xanax prescription, but I don’t want Xanax. So I’m going to use cannabis. I’m going to microdose cannabis, you know, like, yeah, it’s very nuanced. I think it’s great that there’s that some people are like, say will say California sober is not sober. And I think those are people that don’t believe in harm reduction. And the benefits of like medicinal cannabis.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  31:37

    Yeah, and it’s interesting because I remember and again, this was nine years ago, when I went to Alcoholics Anonymous, just for four months, there was a little bit and I think it’s different in every single group, the idea that like, if you’re taking even we talked about anti anxiety meds, anti depression meds, like at one point, I was having panic attacks, and I took Clonazepam, which is sort of can be addictive, too. I only took it for a short period of time, but like, they were like, well, that’s not really sober. And I’m like, but it kind of, you know, it is right? Like you



    can like, just I want listeners to know that like, Lisa and I are rolling our eyes right now.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  32:18

    Because you can’t, your sponsor can’t tell you what medication you should take. Right? 


    That’s right. There is literally in the big book, the big book literally says we are not doctors, right. So the way I learned it from my sponsor was if you are prescribed, if you are honest with your doctor, and they know you’re in recovery, but you are prescribed, like if you, if I had surgery, am I not going to have a painkiller? Like that kind of thing. But if you are, you’re honest about being in recovery, they prescribe and you take that medication as prescribed for the period of time prescribed. That’s how I learned, you know, 12 step and there were people in the rooms who would be like, No, if you’re on antidepressants, or



    even NyQuil, like some people won’t even take ibuprofen, or,


    Casey McGuire Davidson  33:06

    which is a personal choice, but it’s like, don’t I think that and let’s not anxiety, um, and I think a lot of us who drink a lot are self medicating for other things. And it’s proof that they separate the two and I found out like, once I stopped drinking, I felt a ton better. But then after four months, suddenly I had this like, crushing anxiety, you know, whatever it was depression period. And first, I was like, really fucking pissed that I wasn’t fixed. I was like, I get the thing I loved, you know, and this shit is still happening. But it was only then that I like went to my doctor and went to a therapist and figured out what was underneath all of that. So I could finally get help because it was so intertwined with like, hangovers, and you know, not reveal the self loathing that goes with blaming yourself.



    When Lisa and I are very open about the fact that we take medication, and we’ve done since day one, yeah, we’ve done I think two podcast episodes about because Lisa was on medication since day one, and I got on Lexapro at around five years sober. So we did an episode about that. And we were not doctors, but we will definitely share our personal experience with medication because it worked for us. Yeah,


    Casey McGuire Davidson  34:31

    that’s great. If I had some sort of heavy medication or things, I mean, I have to feel like we do have agency right. So if something happened, I was prescribed by Dan for a recovery. I would only want the number of pills and I don’t have my husband hold it, right. Like I probably wouldn’t just because that’s me, but um, but then, if I felt like after that, like, Gee, I’m really missing that Vikki. Then I have to ask myself why and what was the intent? Do I miss the bike again? Because you know, my surgery spot really still hurts? And that’s going to help or am I trying to get out of my head? But I didn’t. And then that’s different. That’s the idea of intense. Yeah. And it goes with the relapse idea too. It’s like, what are you doing? Right? Like, are you, is this what I was looking to? If I had like it in and wanted more, why is that? You know, is it really for pain? And if it’s not, then I gotta like back up and do what I do to sort of, you know, strengthen my sober muscle. 


    When I think like alcohol, there is absolutely no question that some of those prescription meds are highly addictive. Right. And we’ve, we’ve talked about that. I mean, it’s in the news all the time. So I mean, I think there is, you know, something to be careful about. And then there’s also the idea that like, like you said, I love that you talk about mental mental health and medication. I also like, I went on Lexapro, when I was four months sober when I had that, like, huge panic thing. And then after a couple years on Lexapro, I was sort of intermittently having those sort of low periods that sort of descended and then lifted without any trigger, specifically. And so my doctor, you know, diagnosed me with a mild mood disorder. So I went on the Moto G. And I have not in the last four years had one of those, you know, really low periods, which I don’t care what you call it, if you’re telling me I don’t have to feel this way. Yes. Amazing. Amazing.



    I’m glad that you were honest with your doctor, and you asked for what you needed. And I mean, it’s like, Lisa, you Lisa gives me I feel like this needs to be my next tattoo. Lisa. She, she says, Why suffer? Yeah, Ma? Like, if I’m when I was struggling with like, do I want to get on medication. She’s like, Why suffer like,


    Casey McGuire Davidson  37:03

    right? You’re threatening your sobriety, you’re strengthening.



    You don’t have to live like this. And I got, my anxiety got to the point of where it was, you know, impacting my relationship with my partner, it was impacting my daily sanity, my chest felt was so tight, it felt like I could not breathe. I actually I went to the doctor, because I thought I was having chest, I was having chest pains. But they did an EKG, they did blood work. They did all sorts of tests on me. And then finally, my doctor was like, how are you? And I just started sobbing and you know, keep in mind, I’m five years sober at this time. I’m in therapy. I have a fucking recovery podcast. Yeah. And I still didn’t know what was going on with my body, you know, and as soon as I got on Lexapro, my I could, I could breathe, you know, like, the elephant got off of my chest, and I could breathe. And I’m, I’m significantly happier.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  38:08

    No, I went to my doctor at the same time when I was four months sober. And I was like, just wanting to like jump out of my skin and run away and went in there in tears and was like, I quit drinking, I can’t go back to drinking, but I cannot feel this way anymore. So you, me. And, you know, that was the best thing I could have done, but I knew enough to be like, Alright, I’ve, you know, kind of burned my hand on the hot stove of alcohol enough times to know that like, that’s not a solution, but I actually need a solution that will help.



    Good for you. I mean, that really is huge that you asked for that, that you knew you knew that you couldn’t go back to drinking. You knew and you asked for help. And that really is like that’s the hardest part is like people think when you get sober everything gets easier and it can but it gets really messy and ugly first. And this is like you’re saying I quit drinking. Why am I still struggling? Why is this still hard? And it’s like because there’s more to it and for you, you need a medication.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  39:14

    Yeah, I heard from someone that concept of like you have two types of problems that you kind of need to solve for when you stop drinking. The first is like the aftermath problems, right? The hangovers, the foggy memories, getting super emotional. You know, the three am wakeups. Like the aftermath problems, if you get away from drinking, they go away pretty quickly. But then there are the underlying problems which are problems that existed before you drink that when you drink, they become more tolerable. And in my mind, that’s the harder thing to solve for, but once you stop drinking, you can finally do it, you know, and then feel better.



    Yeah, I feel like for me, at least at this point in my sobriety, not drinking alcohol is quote, easy. Like, I’m just, it’s so off the table. The heart, the hard part is the day to day of like, when shit hits the fan. when life happens on life’s terms dealing with that is hard. That’s significantly harder.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  40:21

    Yeah, that’s why like, the first step in AA is the only one that mentions alcohol. The rest of it is you know, about how you deal with the rest of everything. 


    Yeah. So Lisa, I was curious, because I think it’s really good and interesting that you’re going into law firms, and you’re talking to the Bar Association, because I talk to people pretty much in every industry, you know, my clients in her like, well, law, I mean, that’s a huge drinking culture, and then someone else’s they call sales or startups, huge culture, and then some of the like, elementary school teachers, that’s a huge drinking,



    I mean, restaurant in this restaurant industry is terrible. Yeah.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  41:06

    But you know, I have clients who are like doctors and surgeons and nurses and social workers. But like, nobody talks about it in the workplace, because they’re terrified that if anyone knew they struggled with this, it would really hurt them, you know, within their career and their reputation. And at the same time, we know how many people struggle with alcohol, you know, in every space. So what, tell me about the work you do going in there and what the reaction is? 


    Well, a lot of it is education. So right around the time my book came out, a big study came out on lawyers that showed, you know, basically 21% of practicing employers across the whole scope of disciplines had some sort of landed somewhere on the alcohol use disorder spectrum. And it asks those people, why do you not, you know, why do you not seek help for this? And the answer that came back or the answers that came back, like, far and away were, why I’m afraid my colleagues will find out and think less of me, and then to confidential resources, I believe my information is going to be kept confidential. And now we’re back to one. 


    So that’s what I talked about when I say that stigma kills. And I guess it keeps people out of, out of getting help. And so a lot of what I talked about is sort of raising awareness around that. And, you know, it’s funny, like, we were all looking at each other, were talking about how even teachers, even whoever, you know, it is about, you know, the the next thing that I will talk about is how can we make the situation a little, you know, better in the context of the legal profession, but which is very specific, because, like soaked in alcohol at every step, but I’m sure like a lot of other banking, advertising, all these that sales, like, oh, attack, they’re all soaked in it. 


    So what do you do? It’s like, you’re not going to remove alcohol completely. But you have to start looking at these things with some intentionality of like, wait a minute, I’m planning an event. Maybe, you know, not, it’s on a Tuesday night, maybe not everyone in the room is gonna want to drink on a Tuesday night, you know, and we roll those kinds of things out at the horizon because they were subjected to me. But then they started hearing back from clients like thank you for not forgiving that great option at the door of a virgin Mojito. So I didn’t feel like I had to pick up a margarita I was, I’d rather not drink tonight. 


    So, you know, there’s a lot of those things, just what we have to do, it goes back to and I think in any industry is normalized sobriety, just recognizing, like, a lot of people don’t drink period, you know, religion, physical health or sober. And, in fact, these medications that we were just talking about that, you know, I believe medication is one of the most important things that saved my life. And I should not be drinking on that medication. You know, and the way I tell law firms now is like, listen, you’ve got a population coming back after COVID and had a problem before they would pick COVID app and it got worse and we have the numbers since and you’re gonna have a lot of people in your war struggling or are trying, you know, taking medication or doing something where it’s not advisable for them to drink. So what you have to do now you get an opportunity to have a reset. 


    I wrote an article on this for the New York state bar, you have an opportunity for a reset in how you hold all these things. And if you all you have to do is look at it from the perspective of slavery, but are people going to feel justice comfortable whether or not they’re Okay, yeah, I know and I used to always like, like I said, I was on like, anti anxiety meds when I was drinking and Ambien because of course, I couldn’t sleep through the night like, yeah, I was drinking. And in my mind, I was like, Oh, everybody says don’t drink out of it. That’s just like cya for the doctor. 


    That’s right. Yeah, that was my, let me consume this depressing to chase down my antidepressant. 


    Exactly. And let me drink this huge bottle of wine and then take an Ambien. Like, that’s so deep. And yet, I would do it. And like, no wonder I couldn’t function and like, that’s awesome. 


    Yeah. But then that non functioning becomes your new normal. Right? And then when that was the revelation to me, was what a new normal was when I didn’t drink how I felt. And you know, maybe clear headed, I had not been drunk or hungover in like, 12 years like that, you know, and that is when, you know, like I said, your story is your own. You don’t have to share it with people. But one of your superpowers is that you get this perspective, I’ll tell you, like, we sometimes laugh about what people look like when they get sloppy at a wedding or something like that. You see it at a work event. And you’re just like, I do not ever want to drink again, like for me, are like people coming in sort of like cringing and hungover and you’re like, yikes, right? I’m not judging. I was like, girl. 


    Well, so Tawny, can we talk about sober sex? Because like, I am not, I don’t talk about sex, a lot of just like, like La la la. So tell me about your work there.



    Yeah. So when I got sober I, I felt like I had a pretty, like we said, a decent grasp on not drinking alcohol, it’s the other stuff that is hard. And to narrow it down. The thought of going on a date, or having sex, it scared the hell out of me. Early sobriety, I realized how much of my sexuality was linked to alcohol, and how you know, my past relationships started in bars, they were either fellow bartenders, or they were regulars. And alcohol was usually one of the few things that we had in common. So I could not understand how I was going to meet people, like, what is the date gonna look like if I don’t drink? And if I don’t drink, how am I going to feel confident in bed? 


    So that’s how it all started was, you know, again, me being a millennial who takes these questions to the internet. And I just started posting about them, because an even still, there’s not a ton of resources about sober sex and dating. And you know, this was 2016, there was even less resources back then. So I just started posting about it on Instagram, saying, This is something I’m struggling with any tips, blah, blah, blah. And all I just got tons of messages from people like, I’m struggling with this, too. I don’t know, do I put sober on my dating profile? How do I, how do I want to try something new in the bedroom, but I don’t want to take a shot first. Like all of the, you know, these questions were coming from fellow sober people, but also people that still drink that don’t want to lean on alcohol in the bedroom. And that blew my mind. I really didn’t think that, that I didn’t think that that was like an even a demographic. 


    So that just kind of became, you know, in journalism, we say like your beat is what you write about what you talk about. And so like, Ruby, our friend, Ruby Warrington, you know, who coined the term, sober curious. We did an event in Brooklyn a couple years ago, and she introduced me as the sober sexpert, and it just kind of stuck. And people still call me that and so I that’s a lot of the writing that I do is about the intersection of sobriety and sexuality. And you know, I’m, I’m, people call me the sober expert. I am not, I’m not an expert, by any means, but I am. I have I speak from lived experience and tons of journalistic deep dives and research. And I’ve interviewed tons of, you know, sexologist and sex therapists and mental health professionals about this intersection because it fascinates me.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  49:36

    Yeah, no, I mean, I think you know, when I talk to women, women who are single, like you said, that’s a big thing that sometimes holds them back like a limiting belief about what life will be like, when they stopped drinking, or if they do like it, oh, isn’t going to be a liability. You know, it’s hard to find a person anyway. And so I feel like sharing more about that, and you know, I’ve talked to people on the show who are like, Oh my god, your caliber, and people who you’re going to meet and interact with and date is going to be so much better because Oh, so much



    better. So much better. 


    And, you know, it’s not just single people, it’s, you know, it people in relationships, when, when you stop drinking alcohol, or when you cut back, it impacts everyone around you. And you know, if flooding a bottle of wine with your partner is part of something that you do to get intimate together, there’s going to be a shift there, and your partner may or may not be along for that ride. And that is an it’s an uncomfortable question that I get pretty often is like, I want to drink less, I don’t know how to tell my partner, because drinking is such a big part of our relationship, you know, and my heart goes out to people that are in that situation, you know, because I didn’t I didn’t experience that. But it is very difficult. And it’s, it’s difficult for women in general to, to identify and then advocate for their own pleasure. We were not, we were not taught that, you know, if we were lucky enough to get sex ed, it was how to not get pregnant. We didn’t learn about the clitoris. You know, I had to learn about the clitoris on my own. And so it’s just it really is just, I think we’re talking about normalizing sobriety. I think it’s a lot of normalizing sexuality and wit, especially for women, and just reminding women and everyone it’s okay to advocate for what you want. And for me reevaluate. And exactly saying no to what you don’t want. And a big part of my reevaluating my relationship with alcohol was reevaluate still is reevaluating my relationship with sex. And, you know, I’m, again, I am not an expert. I’m six plus years sober. And I’m still on this journey. I am still very much on this journey myself. Yeah.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  52:03

    And you know what, I think it’s interesting. I mean, it’s not just single people as well. I mean, when I stopped drinking, I’ve been married to my husband for 14 years, we’ve been together for like, 17. I mean, we met in our first job out of college. And, you know, I also, I mean, I drink 365 nights a year, so I’m sure we occasionally had sober sex on like, Saturday afternoons, but not the usual, or, like, in the morning. So, you know, once I quit drinking, and you know, my husband, and I started talking about what was the same and what was different and because he still drinks it, you know, we had a conversation and he was like, Yeah, the one thing is like, you never rip off my shirt anymore. And I was like, Honey, I don’t remember that. Like, I’m in and out of consciousness when we were having sex. I mean, I just was, you know, and he was like, yeah, sometimes I wasn’t that comfortable with that. I was like, Yeah, I mean, you know, clearly it was consensual, but yeah, rip off his shirt that be like, you know, whatever. Yeah, but I mean, you know, sober sex it, it takes some getting used to it. On the other hand, I’m not passed out on the couch. On the other hand, it’s way easier to have an orgasm, and then when you’re completely numb. So people do talk about how sober sex is actually really good. It’s, you know, it’s something that you have to get used to, but But it’s, it’s actually way better than, like, passed out sex.



    Well, and that’s, that’s such a good point. Because it’s like, we were talking about, like, mentally, you know, how to prepare to have sex mentally without alcohol. But physically, like liquid courage is actually bullshit. It is. It’s like it’s, it’s a facade. It’s a, it’s complete bullshit, like alcohol, like Lisa said, is a depressant. So, overuse can lead to erectile dysfunction, and it can lead to vaginal dryness. And it can Well, you know, we’re self medicating depression and anxiety to numb our brains. But it’s numbing our senses too so we’re not feeling pleasure to our full capacity when we’re having drunk or even bug FX.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  54:20

    Yeah, well, people go to your website, Tawny, will they be able to find all the articles that you’ve written? Or what’s the best place? Because you’re right, there aren’t a lot of resources out there where people talk openly about this. Yeah,



    that my websites Tawnylara.com. And I’m, you know, all over Instagram and Tiktok where I do like sober sex and dating q&a is people DM questions and I answer them and I think like social media is probably the most up to date if you want like hot tips. But there’s definitely a lot of articles on my website all there.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  54:57

    That’s awesome. And so, Lisa is the best place to find you is that LisaSmithAdvisory.com


    Yeah, with you know, that’s like that’s my, my website but and then I’m on social @girlwalksout. 


    Yeah. And if anyone hasn’t read the book Girl Walks Out of a Bar, loved it, like it’s really good. 


    Yeah, read. It’s a page turner, like I was totally engrossed in it. So you need to read it. 


    Thank you. I really appreciate that. 


    Yeah, well, so I know you guys on Recovery Rocks always do like the Music Minute, right? And so yeah. What would you guys recommend or what’s speaking to you right now in music or what really helped you in the early days of sobriety, as you were kind of moving through it?



    I would say music was such, it is such a big part of my life and being around the heavy metal scene definitely contributed to my substance abuse. Being like a drunk at concerts was just like, my favorite thing in the world. So finding a way to enjoy concerts again, without alcohol was difficult. It was, it was difficult for me, but now I obviously prefer it because I can remember, I remember the concerts, I remember the shows. But I will say my my anthem, my sobriety anthem is Doesn’t Remind Me by Audioslave. And it’s Chris Cornell rip, who he’s talking about, you know, I like this. I like this. I like this, because it doesn’t remind me of anything. And that is what I needed to get through early sobriety was finding new hobbies, finding new friends, finding new drinks and things, just finding new things to do and new humans. Yeah, like I needed, I needed new things that didn’t remind me of anything, because I was creating this new version of myself without alcohol. So, you know, I had heard that song came out like 10 years before, but it found new meaning for me in sobriety.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  57:09

    Yeah, and what about you, Lisa? 


    So I think for me, like there’s both points that Tawny said. It took me a long time to want to go to live music, but now I totally love it. In fact, Tawny and I went to see the Rolling Stones on their last, probably one of their last shows before Charlie Watts died in 2019. They, we saw that show in 2019, before I left New York, and like that was just amazing to have that, you know, to be able to do that. And but for anthem, sort of stuff, like I listen to, like I would find a lot to relate to, and I would listen to music that I learned, you know, when I when I was reading, like I was reading early, although it came out I’ve been sober for a year or two. I think when it came out with Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis’ memoir, and I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers and reading that whole thing made me love them more and hearing like when he writes about the song, Give It Away being about you know, giving it away and surprised some woman in a meeting gave him her coat. And you know, the idea of you got to give it away to keep it I’m like, I love that song. I love it more. So I really identified that. 


    But there were just random songs that I would hear I could pick it up like you hear the Counting Crows songs, like along December that we have, oh, Yankee is about addiction. Yeah, I know, when I was sort of quitting drinking a second time. I heard an NPR Interview with Jason Isbell. And, you know, his, his album at the time was all about, you know, his sobriety journey. And like, the idea of, you know, will they like the man I am now and just, I mean, it was so touching and amazing. And since then I’ve seen Jason Isbell in concert, like, three times, but you know, so feel like any song or story that you hear in that like really tender emotional, like, time when you feel like governing everything and everything’s hitting you so deeply. I mean, it’s kind of amazing. The way like music will bring you to tears in a way when you’re first getting sober that you know, it never will again. Yes, yes. So that music, that particular music that I was listening to at that time, like 18 years later totally resonates with me. 


    Yeah. Well, thank you so much. It has been such an honor to have you guys on the show I loved you know, meeting you sort of in real life in zoom, because I’ve been following you guys from your podcast and on social media and your book, Lisa for a very long time. Oh, thank you. And we should note that Casey will be our guest on an upcoming Recovery Rocks. 


    Yes, episode is wow. Ya know, we love everything you’re doing and what an honor to be with you on the show. So grateful. 


    Oh, I’ll get to see Lisa in person in like a week so that will 


    Oh yeah, I can’t wait. Yeah, yeah, sometime too.



    So someday it’ll happen. 


    Yeah. All right. Thank


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:22

    you guys so much. 


    Thanks, Casey. 


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:46


    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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