LOVE YOURSELF SOBER
A Self Care Guide For Busy Moms Going Alcohol-Free
Are you a busy mom who has been using alcohol as a coping mechanism?
You’re not alone.
My guests today are Kate Baily and Mandy Manners, the authors of the new book, Love Yourself Sober – A Self Care Guide For Busy Moms Going Alcohol-Free, and we’re talking about what to do if you’re questioning your drinking habits and how to create a live you love without alcohol.
Kate and Mandy are certified coaches and sober besties who met online. They are writers, community builders and podcast hosts. They work with women who are questioning their drinking and want to create a life they love sober.
In this episode, we dive deep into:
- Why moms often use alcohol to cope and create space in motherhood
- What to do if you feel sad and disconnected from your life
- How to recognize if your relationship with alcohol has become problematic
- Why exploring grey area drinking and sober curiosity can be positive and joyous
- Practical tools that will help if you realize that alcohol isn’t serving you anymore
- The importance of self care in your sobriety tool kit and why we love sober treats
- Why to ditch the shame if you’ve stopped drinking and gone back to alcohol again
- Mental health, positive psychology, how to ‘sense your no’ and all the tools to live a sober life you love
More about Kate Baily
Kate stopped drinking in her early 40s after she had her youngest child. Stopping was not easy; there was a lot of fear. How would she cope without my helper? She was having to rethink everything, she was fighting the brainwashing and marketing, facing the fears about relationships and friendships changing, not knowing how to switch off, trying to stay calm as really primal fears raged. She worked hard at keeping busy till wine o’clock was past, she ate chocolate, she watched boxsets compulsively. But slowly the days clocked up. She immersed herself in quit lit and reading blogs on the site, made online friends and weeks turned into months. A new habit was forming and gradually felt less like pushing a boulder up a hill.
More about Mandy Manners
Mandy started drinking recreationally when she was 14. She was a curious kid with a nose for adventure and a bit of mischief. In Feb 2014, she stopped and didn’t drink for a year, again it was fantastic; she went through a rebirth of strength, positivity and possibility. She lost weight, quit her job, and decided to move away from the city and start a new life in a smaller town by the sea. She was so positive that after a year she deemed herself fixed and convinced herself that she could drink moderately. From 2015-2017 she drank on and off, she knew she was better without booze, but she wanted to be “normal”. In August 2018 she made a commitment to life-long sobriety.
She realized that if she shared her story, it could help, so she engaged with the sober community on Instagram and Facebook and listened to podcasts and started going to events and realised that there is a really wonderful community of sober people.
“ I don’t regret or feel my sobriety has been forced upon me, I have chosen sobriety for me, my body and my brain. It has been the biggest gift and I am SO happy to be sober.”
Resources & Links Mentioned
Learn more about Kate & Mandy and how they can support you in quitting drinking, head over to their website lovesober.com
Listen to their podcast, Love Sober
Purchase their book Love Yourself Sober: A Self Care Guide to Alcohol-Free Living for Busy Mothers
Support, resources and tools to help you go alcohol-free
Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit. 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 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free
Find My Favorite Sober Facebook Groups, The BFB “Booze Free Brigade” and She Recovers Together
Find out more about Casey and her coaching programs, head over to her website, www.hellosomedaycoaching.com
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.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Love Yourself Sober – A Self Care Guide For Busy Moms Going Alcohol-Free With Kate Baily and Mandy Manners
drinking, sober, people, alcohol, women, podcast, book, day, feel, sobriety, call, life, living, moms, friendships, friends, listening, nervous system, real, self-care, alcohol free, sober besties, Love Yourself Sober, working moms, questioning their drinking, road of motherhood, womanhood, female experience, mental health, journeys, gray area, sobriety, cornerstone, positive psychology, you are not alone, anchor, no shame, no blame, sober treats, rewire the reward system, rewire the brain, dopamine, neurosciences, boundaries, self-compassion, mindfulness, group crowdsourcing, tools, support, resources, Booze Free Brigade, She Recovers Together, SHE RECOVERS®, online space, Love Sober, emotional toolkit, sensory toolkit, identifying emotions, asserting boundaries, Wolfie, fight, flight, freeze, parasympathetic response, super stressed, receptive, connected, mental well-being, abundance rather than deprivation
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Kate Baily and Mandy Manners
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. In this episode, we’re talking about self-care for busy mothers going alcohol free. And I’m so excited to dive into this topic. Because I know there are so many moms out there. Like I was struggling with drinking too much or too often. And who are in the endless loop of starting and stopping and starting again. My guests today are Kate Bailey and Mandy Manners, the authors of Love Yourself Sober, A self-care guide to alcohol free living for busy mothers. And their book is coming out today in the U.S. in paperback. So, if you’re interested in finding it, they will tell us where you can get it, but I assume it’s Amazon.com. And everywhere else. Kate and Mandy are Certified Coaches. They’re sober besties, who met online writers, community builders and podcast host. They work with women who are questioning their drinking and want to create a life they love sober. So, Kate and Mandy, welcome. I am so glad you’re here.
Oh, thanks for having us. Yeah, really excited. Hi. Hi. Hi. It’s awesome. I know we’re talking to both. So maybe we can be like all occasionally be like Mandy, Kate.
What’s up? But I know everyone’s kind of thinks we’re the same person, especially if we’re talking it out of kind of the British law is just like mundane, Kate, so we are actually different people, but I guess we sound same. So, I’m Mandy. If you and I, are.
Yeah. And so, Mandy, you live in France, even though you’re originally from the UK.
Yeah, that’s right. So, I grew up in, in England, in a small town, and then kind of all over my parents live in London. I met a Frenchman when I was out of University. So, we lived in England for about four years together, and then moved here 14, no, 15 years ago.
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:22
So lovely. Crazy. Well, so I know your book is coming out today. And of course, I’ve read it. And I listened to it on Audible as well. And I think it is such a great resource for moms in particular. And also working moms who are busy and trying to do all the things who also are questioning their drinking and trying to get out of it. But will you tell us about why you wrote the book and what it’s all about?
Oh, yeah. Thanks, Casey. So, it’s Kate here now. We’re gonna be doing this way all the way through. Yeah, I mean, I think the heart of it came from our own journey really. We were both busy stressed out mums coping with all the things like you said. And it was just yeah, it was just written from the perspective of our kind of respective journeys really. And as we sort of went along, you know, that the bumpy road of motherhood and womanhood and I suppose into motherhood. And I think for both of us, there was a sort of an escalation, you know, in terms of alcohol use, in terms of mental health, in terms of all of those things, the kind of almost perfect storm of the female experience, I think in this kind of busy, you know, busy modern, modern world that expect so, so much of moms.
So, um, and yeah, so we both quit drinking. We talked a little bit before the way that we’d We stopped for a year, both of us. And we’ll probably go into our journeys a bit more and then started again, after about a year. And it was very much that kind of gray area, what we called gray area of drinking where it was starting to accelerate, but not people wouldn’t necessarily know. And so, when we both started on the cyber journey, about eight years ago, there wasn’t really that much out there, there was still this kind of rock bottom, black and white, sort of, story narrative. And it’s very difficult to kind of understand piece it together to try and articulate it, and then meet our needs, I’d say. And so, that kind of journey, the journey in sobriety and then using sobriety as this kind of cornerstone to, then explore self-care, mental health, positive psychology, tools for living, came out of that kind of one first fundamental act. And really, that book is the sum of all of our knowledge. Okay, I’m saying I, since I with the real way, Islam, so I ran out of relationship. Yes, over the last over the last seven, eight years, I’d say sort of everything we know, really got anything to add, man.
Yeah, I think I mean, we started the podcast. Well, I mean, how we met was through a sobriety online called sober Easter’s, which was, you know, kind of the first place. I mean, there’s so many now, which is fantastic. But, you know, when we were both independently, we didn’t know each other, we’re both sort of searching, you know, as a lot of us do in the middle of the night, you know, when you wake up at four o’clock again, you know, am I an alcoholic? You know, do I have a problem with alcohol, and we found this forum online. And that’s what, you know, we both sort of started blogging there independently. And then through the kind of going backwards and forward period when I came back the sort of third or fourth time, whereas like, you know, okay, sorry, everyone, you know, back again, I didn’t sort of you know, that I thought I was the only one in the world that could moderate but obviously, you know, I’m not and, and at that time, the forum had grown like, hugely, and I remember sort of saying, Kate’s little icon, and thinking that, you know, she, she wrote really well, and I really liked kind of her style. And she had this picture of like, a really nice, sparkly bobble hat. And I was like, I want to be friends with her.
Yeah. And so, I’ve been listening, I started listening to podcasts in in the states this time round. So, I was like, you know, as you do when you come back again, and again, it’s like, right, what can I try now, like, read another book, and I’d started sort of blogging on Instagram, and sort of making a community there. And I was listening to podcast, and I really liked that sort of format. And I was like, you know, I think there’s something missing here. Like, you know, there were wet, really, really good sort of American podcasts, but they just didn’t have that kind of the British experience, essentially, which was, you know, it’s very much kind of that binge drinking from a very young age. You know, we had that whole kind of Britpop era in the 90s, where music was really important. And you know, women drinking a lot was really important. They kind of call it the Luddites kind of period.
So, I wanted to talk about that. So, I asked Kate, we didn’t know each other as I was like, would you want to do a podcast and she was training to be a Coach at the time. And so, I think she was in that she just put her blog, like, Love Sober online. And so, she was like, yeah, she’d never listened to a podcast before we do it.
Yeah, exactly. No idea.
So, we just sort of googled it online. And we’re like, Well, you know, if one person listens, and actually, if it keeps us accountable to like, let’s just sort of do it. And, and Kate had been working on a book, because Kate was a journalist beforehand when working on a book proposal, so it just kind of none of it was planned. It was really organic. And so, she shared the book idea with me. You know, my story was quite a lot of kind of, you know, I had quite a big burnout. I had, you know, problem with PTSD. So, I’ve had quite a mental health story coming in. And Kate had this whole sort of care element where she’d been studying the Science of Happiness, realizing that actually we could, you know, go for treats, make our life wonderful, be really positive about it. And so, it was just a really interesting mix. And so, we sort of brought those two elements together, really, and that’s Yeah, that’s what’s in the book. I suppose, as Kate said, it’s all are all the things we know and have learned, I guess.
Casey McGuire Davidson 09:52
If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.
Yeah, I love that. Because it’s funny, I think it’s so important one that you sort of saw a gap that people weren’t necessarily talking about women’s experiences, for example, in the UK, because I think when you’re going on this journey, and I also listen to a lot of podcasts, it’s really important to hear women like you, you know, women who have the same experiences have the same feelings maybe have the same, you know, work life experience, have children. If that is your experience, to both hear that you’re not alone and it’s going to be okay as well as, like, figuring out tools that can work for you. Because I, you know, it was crazy.
We were talking before the podcast. And all three of us had sort of a similar experience. All three of us stopped drinking for the first time, eight years ago. And all three of us started drinking again after a year. And of course, that was not my first time that I stopped drinking that I got a year I had been worried about my drinking for at least five or six years before that, and sort of debating the same thing, like, do I just abuse alcohol? Or am I actually an alcoholic? God forbid, that’s got to be not the case. So, let me try to moderate for a couple more years. And what I love about us talking about that out loud is because so many women are like, how did you just get it or they’re in the space where they’re like, I’ve stopped but I still want to drink or I don’t want to stop yet. And like that’s a process that almost everyone goes to, until you get to the point where you know you’ve had some time sober, you’ve had gone back to drinking, not that I’m suggesting anyone go back to drinking if you’re sober, because sober momentum is so precious and important. But where you get is you just see that not drinking is both easier and so much better than trying to hold on to that moderation.
Yeah. And I think for me, it was very much because I started, I mean Instagram, not the same places, as it was, you know. Now, unfortunately, the algorithm has kind of changed how people interact. But you know, that it was a really interesting kind of time. And, you know, when I sort of came back to sobriety again, and I was looking at kind of mental health activism, and lots of people talking about kind of depression and anxiety and I was like, Oh my god, I think I might have a story. They’re like, I think something, you know, that maybe I can talk about this, you know, that was the first kind of opening like maybe I don’t need to be ashamed that I had, you know, breakdown and that I had burnout and I found things really difficult. And then I started reading around kind of because I was coming back to sobriety again, and I read Annie grace, and, you know, I read William Porter’s book, you know, Alcohol Explained and I was like, but how cool was it to pray? Hang on a second. You know, alcohol is a depressant, I have depression and anxiety on antidepressants, I struggle to sleep. Like, this is something that people need to know, you know, it’s about that just being informed. It’s like whatever choice you’re gonna make, like, be informed about it and be able to make a choice and be able to look after your brain. And that was a real game changer for me, because it was just like, okay, you know, there’s no shame there, I just want to look after my brain, like, I don’t ever want to be as bad as I was, and feeling as, as sad as I wasn’t and disconnected from my life. You know, and alcohol was part of that. And so, it’s difficult, you know, and, and at the same time on social media, you had all these kinds of like, mommy bloggers, THE mompreneurs. And they were really cool. And you know, red lipstick, and like, living their best life, but still being real. And you know, and so there was this kind of, there was a sense of belonging to women drinking at the end of the day, because it was like, Life was hard. And all of a sudden, we were being able to talk about life, being hard, and being real parents and honest parenting, but what was happening as you were having the gin and tonic at the, you know, the end of the day, but not saying what was happening afterwards. So, it was like, okay, there’s something to do here, you know, there is this like, you can, you can still be that person and have your life. But if alcohol isn’t serving you anymore, and if it’s making you miserable, and it’s impacting on your mental health, and it’s making you, you know, be impatient with your kids, like, just feel really unhappy, like so much shame. It’s just like, you don’t have to do it, you know. And so, it’s about sort of presenting that positive model of, you just get rid of one thing, and then you get so much more.
And you know, and that’s why I love sober, I suppose, because it’s like, yeah, it’s the best decision I ever made. And I know for Kate as well. And I mean, life hasn’t been simple. If anyone listened to our podcasts, we’ve had a lot in the last, you know, few years, we’ve had, you know, Kate lost her sister in law, very suddenly, you know, I lost a friend, you know, COVID. There’s so much that’s, that’s happened. But, you know, sobriety is the thing that kind of keeps us safe, really. And it’s the anchor. So yeah, as much as we can spread that word to other moms and just go You know what, like it like no shame, no blame, like, you are using something that worked for a while. You live in an Arco centric world where everyone’s telling you it’s okay, you know, you’re getting it model back to you by everyone else going, like just have a glass of wine, you’re not that bad. But if it’s not feeling good for you, like there’s another way, and you know, there’s places you can go and friends that you can bake. And that’s what we were just talking about, you know, like, power of kind of the sisterhood, the sober sisterhood is just is fantastic, you know, and it’s not a scary, dark and horrible thing to do anymore. It’s joyous, and just need some tools. And some help away, you know,
and I loved that, I saw that in your book, and I also I listened to your podcast, I’ll link to it. It’s called love sober, it’s beautiful and amazing and real. And I love that you talked about mental health because I also struggled, and, you know, continue to, you know, Medicaid for and deal with, and, and sort of calibrate for anxiety and depression. And I didn’t realize how much drinking was, you know, for many years contributing to that, like, you know, and making it harder for me, you know, I did the thing where I was on antidepressants and drinking a bottle of wine at night. I thought when people said, don’t drink on this, they were sort of just, you know, see ya covering their ass. Like, I didn’t think they were serious, because that seemed crazy. And so it wasn’t until I quit drinking, that I was able to actually Medicaid in the proper way and put the tools in place to make my anxiety, my depression so much better, to the point that like, finally, five years later, I’m off antidepressants and SSRIs. Because, you know, I have the tools in place, and I’ve done a lot of work. But it took a long time. And I’m still, you know, I still all transparency, take a mood disorder, medication that has helped me so much. But when you talk about it, there’s so much less stigma about it.
Yeah, and to be honest, I mean, I don’t I think sometimes there’s a kind of, there’s a real sort of mission to get off antidepressants. Like it’s like, okay, that’s something that I have to do. And I certainly got stuck in that trap that was like, Okay, why, you know, I need to make sure I get off antidepressants. So, I quit drinking, I get sort of much better and things like that. And then I come off my antidepressants with my doctors, you know, approval, and then two months later, I’d be back to drinking and I just never kind of made the link, you know, so it’s like it’s great if you can get there but as you say it’s like the work And the support and the toolkit. And it’s like if I have to stay on antidepressants for the rest of my life that I think I’ll drink, I’ll stay on it for the rest of my life, I finally figured out that it actually, I, for years thought I had depression, anxiety and it which I, I’m sure I did, but it was actually this undiagnosed mood disorder that I never would have figured out had I not been going to therapy and doing all the things and yet still having these highs and lows. And my doctor finally was like, I don’t think this medication is what you need. I think it’s this other one. And in the same vein, like my husband’s like, are you gonna stay on that forever? And I was like, I never want to feel the way I did before. Like, it was scary. And yes, if I don’t have to feel that again, you know, no shame. I’m gonna, I’m gonna stay on it.
But I know a huge part is self-care, Kate. So, I wanted to ask you about all the amazing tools in the book that you lay out so clearly, where women can start taking care of themselves, so they’re not relying on alcohol?
Yeah, I think it’s funny, isn’t it, because I definitely had that the mental health piece as well. And I was I was just trying to think as Mandy was talking, and then and then you were talking in the way that I can sum it up the best is that I just, it was like, keeping up appearances. There was a TV show here in the 80s. About It was like the upper middle, well, the sort of upper working classes middle class. And it was very sort of, I suppose, taking the Mickey out of that kind of aspiring, kind of like everything looking fine, but being a bit shitty onto the surface. And I think that’s like how it was for me, it was like, you know, I felt like I was like, disconnected from my life. Really, you know, and I have two beautiful children, a loving husband, I’ve moved to the burbs was renovating house, I had a job as a writer. And yeah, it was like I was signed on my life, I was never properly connected. And I turned on antidepressants despite, I mean, I have had a really rough trot that it’s listed for this podcast as I really don’t want to depress people. But and I am generally really kind of positive on demand. Always look for the bright spots. And that is the kind of like you said, that’s the sort of self-care toolkit that I assembled since being going sober.
And that second time of going out, okay? It’s not just about quitting booze, it’s about, you know, getting the toolkit. And I think I started the self-care journey. Like I always say, sometimes it’s inside out and sometimes it’s outside in. And I think I definitely started outside in because I didn’t know how to be with myself or practice self-compassion, or, you know, really nurture myself at all. I was just, I was quite like, come on, then let’s just sort out, snap out of it. You know, like, if I was feeling sad, I you know, I have a few voices there. What is your alpha and Rose calls it the committee, you know, come on, then chop, chop. And so, I think I started I’m a big fan still of so retreats of, let’s get some let’s reward ourselves every day for… for… you know, it’s like that I’ve been good. I’ve done well, I’ve been good. You know, because I think we have, especially as women, we have such a negative bias. And we take ourselves for granted and society takes our endeavors and our efforts, often as carers, and you know, we’re not seen or appreciated as much as we should be. And we don’t and it’s almost like we don’t have that skill ourselves.
And I don’t know if it’s the same in the US but in England, it’s very much to really say, you know what? I did really well. I’m really proud of this that’s looked down on a bit in the UK it’s, we’re very, you know, you mustn’t be too big headed. It’s like we’re very good at like, you know, someone says, Oh, you look nice today knew what this old thing or you haven’t slept on ever so tired, or Yeah, yeah, no, it was only 50 pair got it in a kind of sweat.
Casey McGuire Davidson 24:23
I think in the US. It’s slightly different but exactly the same thing that women need. Because in the US, it’s like everybody prides themselves on how busy they are, how little time they have, how much they have on the plate, how much they’re multitasking, like women. A lot of times especially if they’re overachievers are people pleasers feel like their worth is measured in how many things, they crossed off their list and how many plates they’re juggling. Like, they aren’t worthy of being valued. If they just are, they feel like they’re being selfish. They take time for themselves. And, you know, I love that you love sober treats because it’s huge in the work I do. And in my beliefs too, because the thing is, you do deserve a reward. At the end of the day, you have worked hard, you do deserve to downshift and to have fun after being a mom and a wife in it, you know, how isn’t working? If you do that? It’s just the wine. Isn’t the treat? a wire your reward structure?
Yeah, exactly. It is the treat would very much be marketed as, that is the treat. That’s the reward. That’s the solace or whatever. And, and it is really important to like you say to rewire the reward system, rewire the brain, you know, get those little don’t start us on the dopamine hits. It is it, you know, is the neurosciences, is there. So, it sort of started as that, and I’d say it moved on to sort of boundaries. I will say that, you know, you do the day in day out. And underneath it was like plate tectonics shifting. Before I knew I knew what I know was I could sense my No. And that sounds really crazy. You know, I’ve got 14 hours like, I don’t, I often don’t know. I don’t know, you asked me something. And I, you know, whether I want to do something, I have no idea. And so, I started to sense my “No”, because obviously I couldn’t numb out anymore and then feel kind of underneath feel kind of cross and then get to a point and then drink. It was like, oh, okay, I can feel that, that I’m really crossed about that. So that was really helpful. And I started you know, and I loved the mantra. If it’s not a hell year, it’s a hell no. So, I had to make my boundaries really, really clear and just say that that was my guiding principle. And then it became more nuanced. As I got on and I was coming out of my comfort zone, I could be more nuanced and take few risks. But for quite a while I you know, I just sat on the sofa and watched TV. And in the evening, I watched Dallas, which is really embarrassing for the day like yeah,
we always say like, Dallas got Kate sober. And Downton got me sober. Because another thing when we connected it was like, what did you do in the first couple of months was like, I watched down to like, an episode every night because I watched Dallas.
In the beginning, you’re just passing the time. Yeah. Routine those days away from drinking, and it is hard. So yeah, you know, you don’t, like, take on life in your first two weeks. And like, say, I want to do this, and I want to do that because you’re so fucking tired. And yeah, just trying to make it through.
Yeah, yeah. And that doesn’t last. But it’s really, really, I think, again, because we put so much pressure on ourselves. And there’s such a sort of like the cult of perfectionism. I was gonna say, like, I think in the US, it’s more like a, you know, an epidemic of success. You know, it’s really successful driven culture.
Casey McGuire Davidson 28:05
Or like, yeah, the look successful. Yeah, you have it all together? Yeah, I think there are. I think it might have been a British book, that one that’s like, I don’t know how she does it. Or there’s a book it was a couple years ago. I don’t know how she does it. It’s a fiction book. And it was just, you know, the answer is she does it, you know, falling apart inside. Yeah.
I’m not set, though, isn’t it, it’s that kind of just putting those things together sort of a mixture of kind of boundaries. Saying no, expecting more, advocating for ourselves, to not read. And slowly, slowly, the sort of sober path as you tread it. Because you can’t kind of hide anywhere, and you don’t, and you know that it doesn’t work too. And it is making you feel crap. as sort of beautiful, inevitable consequence of the day in day out being with yourself means you get to really know yourself, and you know, what works and what doesn’t. And I think that kind of the really big parts of the sort of more inner work, I’d say were like things like mindfulness, self-compassion, practice, I do a yoga, a lot of yoga, nervous system regulation, I lie down on the floor five times a day. And it’s like, you get the kind of confidence to do things that might look quite strange to the outside world like that. But I was like, actually, that’s me. I know. Now that that’s me reset my nervous system.
Casey McGuire Davidson 29:33
Okay, I want to hear what happens when you lie down on the floor five times a day, like how does that help you and how long.
I just exhale. Because I have a tendency to rush. I had a tendency to rush through the day, trying to get somewhere or missing everything in the process and then getting to five o’clock and then crashing, going, you know, crash and burn moment. So, it’s a real Sort of like, that’s how I pace myself. So, and sometimes I just realized that I’ve got all Anstey. Do you know that word?
Yes. Answer? What you call it? We can’t answer. Like, that’s our accent. I guess I’m really antsy. Yeah, so I realized that just actually, you know, before I wouldn’t know, but I’ve, you know, works. I lie down on the ground, and then I’m not answering anymore.
Casey McGuire Davidson 30:25
And is there a reason it’s on the ground, not on a bed?
I think it’s, well, I think it’s probably to do with your nervous system. It’s probably through grounding. It’s like a somatic technique. Like, okay, they’ll grounded with the floor.
I’m just gonna try it. So. Yeah, only question.
Yeah, try. I mean, I had a client who, you know, she sorts of said, Oh, you know, I use I used quite like sleeping on the floor. And then and you know, and that was really, I sleep really well. And I was like, all right, you know, why did you stop? Why you can’t sleep on the floor? Can you know, is that typical thing is like, because society says it’s like, it should look a certain way. Yeah. And then, you know, she was exhausted. And I was like, Well, why don’t you try sleeping? Not that I give advice to my clients, obviously. Okay, so very good coaching question about it, but and so she went back sleeping on the floor, and she loves it, you know, she just feels more connected with the ground and it feels safer to her and it feels, you know, something that she feels maybe she does want to be with us? And maybe she’s No, she’s single? Oh, yeah. Right. I think it’s interesting, because we talk a lot about kind of, you know, when you start to look into different holistic practices, from different religions from different, you know, sort of different ways of living, you can pick up so many different good tips. And that I mean, this kind of came up because we were thinking about how, you know, the Muslim call to prayer, you know, that they, they lie down on the floor, and they, you know, they sort of pray to Mecca five times a day. And actually, it’s, you know, when you think about it, they’re doing really good breath, breath work and they’re regulating the nervous system. So that was then in Kate was I think, I like to lie down on the floor.
I don’t I don’t think No, but they don’t lie down on the floor it so that’s traffic, but it is down on the floor, like you’re right on the ground. Yeah. And it’s a car, you know, like the reason I kind of do yoga, or maybe we go for a walk in, you know, that whole thing about like, we need to connect with people, right? We talked about that before being seeing other people who we can connect with, and we, we relate to. And so, whether that’s you know, finding your sober besties, your sober tribe, go, you know, like, I love my yoga community. And it’s that whole thing about, you know, that you need to co regulate with people, you need to connect with people. You also need alone time, if you’re busy, stressed out frazzled moms, you’re gonna need tools to soothe your nervous system and sensory overload. I didn’t realize from having my, my son as the last few years, he’s been diagnosed with neuro diverse now through some talks to sort of professionals around that I had no idea that I was. So, I have a sensory processing. Wow,
that’s a huge realization, right. And so, a lot of the time things were too loud for me or too bright for me. And so obviously, what do we do what so many of us drink to make things go quiet? Or to have space? And to sort of soothe out Yeah, to kind of breathe?
Casey McGuire Davidson 33:37
There’s this bubble around you I found, you know, my family makes fun of me now. But I’m like, can you turn it down? Like, I’m really like, everything’s too loud?
Yeah, and it’s, it’s really interesting. So many sort of women in our community have sort of realized that there’s, you know, some add ADHD, some sort of neurodiversity, or some, you know, introversion being sort of highly sensitive, because it is that sort of the impact of the world on you. You know, I mean, certainly for growing up in England, I worked in pubs and bars and clubs, you know, and so you’d walk in and be like, wash like noise at that time, smoke, like, music, all that sort of stuff. And what do you do you go straight to the bar, and you have a drink that I mean, that’s what I did. And it’d be like, I go straight to the bar, and I’d have a drink and then I’d buy to, you know, one to drink straightaway. And one state back to the table because it was oh, completely overwhelming. And then you start to think about your nervous system. I mean, my hack is I have like noise quietening headphones, which are amazing because like sometimes just sitting in the same room with my kids while they’re watching cartoons, it’s like super stressful for my brain like it just so I put them on and turn them on and it’s just like, well, no big deal when you have kids like it’s so rare that you are alone, it’s so rare that the house is quiet. And, you know, a lot of the women I work with, and I know a lot of the women who listen to this podcast have kids, and they’re just like, it’s too chaotic. It’s too loud. I can’t hear myself think. And so, you know, a lot of times, you know, you mentioned neuro diversity and other things. We do self-medicate, like, I know I self-medicated for anxiety and, and all the things but you do think it’s helping you because of the way it impacts your nervous system. And you don’t know about all the, you know, side effects and repercussions.
Yeah, exactly. And so that’s, you know, that’s the work, isn’t it, it’s not just like stopping something that you really want to do. And then leaving yourself in a state of deprivation and trying to cope, like we were trying to cope in the first place. You know, that’s why we sort of started drinking too much. And it’s so it’s like, okay, let’s just get really sort of skillful at looking after ourselves. And, and building our toolkit of different things, you know, what, what do I need, when I’m angry? What do I need, and it doesn’t matter what other people think it doesn’t matter, you know, if no one else does it, if it works for you, and it like helps you and it calms you down, or, you know, I mean, I put on my headphones, and I dance around listening to, you know, drum and bass and sort of really sort of loud hip hop, but that gets my emotions sorted, you know, I can flip my emotions with music, and what a tool that is, you know, fantastic. And, and so it’s just sort of asking yourself those questions of like, what do I need? What’s going on with me? And how can I see you there, you know, and that’s why you know, you work with a coach, or you make friends and communities. So, you can ask these questions and get that sort of peer support of going, you know, what, like, I’m really struggling with the noise. And then they can go, Oh, you should try these headphones. They’re amazing. Or, like, you know, why don’t you go in the bath and like, listen to this, because the boss been super healing for me, you know, I’ve got complex PTSD. That was my safe space.
And, you know, a lot of my healing has happened in the bath, because I’m held. And who knew that right? It means that I can, I can cry, I can think I can, you know, listen, stuff, I can meditate. I can’t meditate sitting down, it’s not safe space for me to do anything like that. But in the bath when I can play with the water, you know, I can, I can. And so, yeah, I guess it’s that thing of just be curious.
And don’t be afraid of what other people think, you know, in the community can be so huge, like, I know, you guys met in a sober group, I also found most of my sober besties. And the support I needed in a sober, you know, secret Facebook group. And it is it’s that, you know, group crowdsourcing of tools that might be able to be used, it’s this support, when you’re getting started, and people just telling you, like, that’s normal, it’s gonna get better. Hold on, I felt that way too. And, you know, it’s also just finding people who you’re like, Wow, she’s just like me, or I want to be friends with her. Like, I always see people and I’m like, oh, you’re cool. Let’s, let’s get to know each other. And just, you know, you get to go on that journey together. And you start to find more support and more resources. It’s like, following the breadcrumbs. So, you find a podcast, and then you find a book, and then you find a tool.
So, I always encourage women to, you know, find those sources. For me, it was the Booze Free Brigade. And I have a guide that I’ll link to in the show notes free guide for how to find that group. And I know we’re both in the She Recovers Together group. And She Recovers, the Coaching Group as well. But there’s so many great resources out there. And I know you have a community as well. Do you want to tell us about that?
I just want to say before we before we do, I wanted to point out, I’d really echo that. And for me, especially the early days, a that was that thing that I didn’t want to go to a traditional recovery face. Be a couldn’t because my husband works in a different city. And I couldn’t have childcare. So, the online space is amazing. And it can you know, and I used to do that is to put the kids to bed, and that time that you would fail, I could watch TV, but I have my laptop on my iPad, and I chat online with other women and it was like so I just can’t we both with Yeah, totally down for communities aren’t where we’re like that is it is so key. But yeah, our community man, did you want to talk about it?
Yeah, I know. I was just gonna say mentioning she recovers there as well. You know, when I kind of came back and was making friends on Instagram, I got put in a group with loads of women that were in the States. And they introduced me to she recovers and, and I flew to LA to the conference on my I did to I was there to meet in person.
And you know, and how crazy is that? Right? Like, I flew from Paris on my own to LA to meet loads of people that I’d never met before, you know, and, and so you do you and it was just the most incredible healing experience for me, you know, shame Booth was amazing for me and just sort of being in that and seeing all those women, just living you know, life sober was incredible. So, you get, he can be brave, you know, and you never know what’s going to happen. Yeah, and I love that because I’m super social. And I needed that I like I didn’t want to just sort of be on my own being sober in France on my own. I don’t know, any sober people where I live. But that’s alright, because I’ve got like, loads of friends all over the world. So. And yeah, so our community is… it’s on Facebook, it’s called Love Sober membership community, or, I mean, everything that we do is available on lovesober.com. So, we have a couple of courses, we were on a three-month program for women love cyber life School, which will start again in March, the 21st, I believe, we have a like a six-week program, self-study program. And then we have the link to the community as well. And it’s it, you know, we try and keep it small, it’s, it has a small membership fee. And we decided not to have an open group. Just for preference and our capabilities to you know, we’re both working mums, like, we just don’t have the capacity to be looking after a really big group. So, safety and that security of those members is really important to us. And we were doing events. I mean, we did a couple of workshops. But obviously with COVID. That’s not happening at the moment. But yeah, we, I mean, it’s just so great to sort of see people making friends and connecting and just that kind of peer support. And just love from other women that just you know, it’s like we get it, don’t worry, it’s fine, like no shame. You know, we’ll get through it kind of thing is just incredibly humbling, really, you know, it’s the opposite of well, it is that whole connection is the opposite of addiction kind of thing, isn’t it? where, you know, it’s definitely the opposite of where I was, which was trying to keep up appearances. Being in my home, hanging out with some school mums who I just literally zero in common with. Yeah, and would like, just go and have mums’ nights, not just when I look back, I’m like, I cannot believe. I know that sounds off. Because I think also you can have stuff like you can hang out with people. Because of your kids. That’s fine. We have circumstantial friendships that are mutually beneficial. Like we have all kinds of connections and friendships, don’t we? But mine in particular, I cannot believe how rubbish and I know none of them will be listed. If they did, they’d be like they’d be so banana begonia they were it was a bit rubbish, wasn’t it? Let’s make friends now.
We can have some proper chats.
But you know, it is that opposite of just squashing everything down trying to cope medicating with bottle of wine, and just pretending everything’s okay. Isn’t it on soap forms? It’s like, no, I feel rubbish today. And I’m gonna chat about it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 43:43
Yeah. I mean, I made some I also quit drinking when I was 40. And I was amazed that in that year, and in the subsequent years, I made so many new friends and I had made you know, I had my friends from work and from high school and from college and local Seattle moms. But it was pretty, you know, small, I wasn’t meeting new people anymore, maybe one or two a year that like became friends. And the year I quit drinking. I made so many new friends and honest friendships and deep friendships and friendships that were so supportive and not surface at all. And that’s a huge revelation at that point in life, that you can expand your world and find, you know, sort of close friendships you probably haven’t had since high school or college.
Yeah, yeah, I felt the same. And I do feel like that I love that phrase. Someone said it to me recently. It’s a bit like to take on those people who mind don’t matter. And those people who matter don’t mind sort of thing. You know, that anxiety you have when you stop drinking. And I know that my friends previous because we’ve made move to a new town. I have older friends who are just have my back and they are, you know, 100% of the people. And yeah, there’s somebody said to me, we recently shine your weird light so that more weirdos can find you.
Casey McGuire Davidson 45:15
Yeah, I love it. I love the phrase of your gonna be too much for some people, those aren’t your people.
Yeah, it’s so true. Like, when I, you know, I had very, very, very secure sort of friendships. Well, I thought so growing up, you know, and then when you kind of look back on them, it’s like, there was a lot of, of molding of me, you know, like, to the point of like, Oh, don’t wear that you should wear this or Don’t say that, you know, and you look back now and go Actually, I don’t think that was a very secure very sort of positive relationship, because I had to be someone else to be cool enough for you, you know. And now it’s just like, just, I’m definitely, you know, much sillier as a sober person than I was when I was drinking, because I was so paranoid. And, and yeah, I’m obsessed with what other people thought or watching what other people were doing and trying to match their behavior, you know, and I was, I was really kind of miserable and serious with my kids, you know, and that was a real revelation that actually, I’m just much more silly now. And just more fun as a parent, you know, and you think you’re gonna lose all that when you stop drinking, because you lubricate those evenings. Oh, we have a jolly time. But it’s not it’s not it’s not authentic. You know, as I was a bit pissed, I had two glasses of wine. And now it’s like, when we play games, and we’re silly, it’s like, it’s real.
Casey McGuire Davidson 46:50
Yeah. And when you don’t feel that way, that’s okay, too, you can take care of yourself. I did want to talk to you. Because, you know, there’s some good stuff that we don’t talk about as much. So just really quickly, before we end, you have a chapter called bring on the sparkle. And so, wanted to you know, talk about the really fun good stuff.
Okay, this is your element. Yeah. And, and it is, it’s up put me on the spot asking,
I’ve got the book.
You know, it’s like, is a typical mom thing, isn’t it? Because it’s morning for you, isn’t it, Casey? And for us, it is nighttime. And because it’s past, it’s about seven o’clock for me at night. My brain doesn’t work. So, I’m just having a look in the book. I yeah, because I was gonna talk about, you know, the, some of the stuff in in the book, because we’re both coaches. A lot of this, it’s all the feedback that we’ve had is that you can dip in and out of it really easily. Yeah, because we really didn’t want it to be onerous and have to plow through loads of texts, we’ve got lots of little personal projects in there about socializing, self-compassion, we’ve got a thing about a whole section on socializing, we’ve got the things that might trip you up, you know, like when you think, Oh, I’m alright, now. And you go back to drinking, like we’ve all done. So, we’ve got a section on those. We’ve got lots of stuff about because we felt that a lot of stuff has to do with our sensory toolkit. And our emotional toolkit, we’ve got a lot of coaching tools in around that identifying emotions, asserting boundaries. So, it really is that sort of stopping you know, getting sober getting through the day getting through wine o’clock. Also, that whole thing about you know, ever I believe everyone has their script, you know that the voice that says, and then it will trot out the reasons why. And one of those real fundamental tools is to get to know that script so that you’re like, Oh, that’s the wine which going on again?
Casey McGuire Davidson 49:08
Yeah, I call it Wolfie. I know, so many people call it the wine wedge. It’s that inner voice that whispers in your ear that drinky it’s a good idea. Yeah, totally agree. Identifying that and realizing that it’s lying to you is just huge.
Yeah. So, it’s, you know, it’s all of that it’s going through all of that. And I think that part of my one of my core values, and now we’re going to say two things as that kind of awe and wonder, you know, like everyone I think one of the biggest fears of you know, when you quit drinking is that we’re going to stop enjoying ourselves. So, bringing on the fun bringing on the sparker, like you said, and part of this I think we can do been reading lately about what they call it. Do you know about ventral vagal anchors? Have you ever heard that phrase, I have it, okay, so in there, the polyvagal theory about our Vegas nerve, the state that we want to be in rather than we know about fight and flight? Now we know about freeze, which is part of the parasympathetic response when we’re super, super stressed. But what we want is to be the opposite want to be open and receptive, connected. And so, we can do things so that the bits in the brain that I like about connectivity, about being pro social, are going to help us heal, right. And they’re going to help us sobriety and they’re going to help our mental well-being.
And you can do some lovely exercises where you just recall people places, places in your house, maybe, and you’re looking for that, that that moment where you just go off, that feels good to me. And it could be a chair in your bedroom where the sunlight hits it in a certain way. And you sit there, and you see the light coming across, and you just get that moment. And it’s really beautiful in it. And even if just you know, maybe your walk by the sea, and you can recall people or places or times of the day, that make you feel like that. And so, there’s a real kind of sense of abundance rather than deprivation.
The other thing that I really love to do is look for those kinds of sparkly bits, like fairy lights, cityscapes, anything that connects us to something greater as well. And there’s that kind of aura or a wonder piece, which is apparently very good for inflammation, lowering our stress levels, resizing our, you know, our problems in a way. And so, I’m a bit of a fan of going into the woods and looking for strange things, finding a bit of sparkle that way.
And, lastly, I have a real love of musical theater, which I didn’t know about until quite recently.
Lee really cuz I used to be in a band, so I thought that was very uncool. And I have found that waiting in the wings surrounded by drag queens and show girls with a ton of makeup on is now definitely my happy place on bring on bring on the sparkle.
Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing. Where did you even find that?
One? I’ve got a local amateur dramatics society. And one of the things that I did about three years ago as I went, I went along and just auditioned and I got a par, one of the Divas in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:25
Oh my gosh, that’s so fun. How to pink wig. Yeah, proper Dolly Parton. It’s it was just the best fun. And yeah, waiting in the wings with a bunch of drag queens is literally if you know it, there’s no one that can be in a bad mood.
Yeah. All the tingles and the joy and everything.
Yeah. That’s wonderful. Well, I know we’re ending but wanted to thank you for coming on your book is wonderful. It is sort of takes everyone through sort of understanding where you are in the gray area and how to think about not drinking, because there’s no one who comes to this place, who isn’t going back and forth for a while, as well as how to get that what I call sober momentum, how to get that time away from alcohol, how to do it in a way that feels like self-care. That doesn’t feel like the end of the world that feels like a healthy choice. And then you know, navigating those speed bumps that come once you’ve quit drinking and like you said, Kate, how to not get tripped up when you have those thoughts of, maybe I could drink again, maybe I could moderate there’s not a single person who doesn’t go through that as well. And then bring it on the sparkle.
Just What’s next? What opens up to you once you stop drinking. So, anyone listening to this, grab the book. It’s out in paperback in the US, Kate, Mandy’s Love Sober podcast is wonderful. Link to it. And you know, just thank you so much.
Thanks for having us. It’s been great.
Thank you so much. It’s so lovely to meet you.
So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more.
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 Free 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking – 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free, 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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