Self Care & Self Love In Sobriety
What does your self love practice look like? Are you chasing love and acceptance from others instead of finding love within yourself?
Self love means taking care of your needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Accepting yourself first is the first step to healing.
Today, I’m talking with self love expert Aubree Nichols who has spent her entire trying to fill her insides with things on the outside only to feel unworthy, lost, and ultimately unfulfilled.
Aubree is talking diving deep into her eating disorder, her battle with addiction and why learning to love herself helped her get sober 15 years ago.
Aubree Nichols is a self love advocate and a writer for Vogue, LA magazine and The Observer. Her superpower lies in her unique ability to share vulnerably about her struggles along the way. From addiction, divorce, eating disorders, to building her empire, Aubree’s raw, real, “tell it like it is” take on her diverse life experiences never fails to connect, engage and empower audiences.
In this episode, Aubree and I discuss:
- Aubree’s recovery journey from a eating disorder and addiction
- The difference between self care and self love
- How to talk back to your inner critic/mean girl voice
- Why you need people in your life who love you, uplift you, and respect you
- The importance of gratitude and appreciation for yourself
- How love for yourself improves all of your relationships
- How past trauma shapes our lives and how to rewrite your script
- What mirror work is and how it can help you in recovery
Links & resources mentioned in the episode
Want more support, resources and tools to help you go alcohol-free?
You can Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit. It’s the private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.
More about Aubree Nichols
Aubree is working on my first memoir, Enough, that will inspire women to reclaim their power and cultivate a loving relationship with themselves and is passionate about inspiring women to cultivate a loving relationship with themselves and reclaiming their power.
To learn more about Aubree, head over to https://www.aubreenichols.com/
Follow Aubree on Instagram for your daily dose of positivity and self love, The Science of Self Love (@aubree.nichols)
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
The Difference Between Self Care & Self Love And Why You Need Both With Aubree Nichols
drinking, life, women, love, people, feel, podcast, thoughts, step, affirmations, mirror, work, pandemic, alcohol, listening, fill, sobriety, meditation, meetings, years, writer, hoping that my words will touch hearts, will make an impact in this world, self-care, working on taking better care of your body, finding a way to turn off and relax and cope, self-love, advocate, foundation of healing, rampage of appreciation, self-confidence, self-sabotage, spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual, meditate, journal, well-being
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Aubree Nichols
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. Today we’re talking about the difference between self-care and self-love and why you need both. My guest today is Aubree Nichols. She’s a self-love advocate. And she speaks openly about her journey with an eating disorder and addiction. She quit drinking 16 years ago. And she and I both talked about before this podcast about how neither one identifies as an alcoholic and doesn’t feel like that term is necessary. So we’re going to touch on that in this podcast. But we’re also going to talk about the difference between self-care and self-love, and how self-love is the foundation to healing. Aubrey is going to share ideas around how to turn self-loathing into self-love how to tackle your inner demons, and how generational stories can shape our stories about ourselves, and how we can change the script. So Aubrey, welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here.
I’m so happy to be here. It’s a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.
Obviously, to get started. Tell me a little bit about yourself and the work you do.
Of course, my name is Aubrey Nichols. I live in Los Angeles, California. I was in New York for almost 20 years. But really, my heart is Texan. And I grew up in Houston, Texas, I’m the oldest of three girls. And the work that I do now is part time, I’m a consultant, I do brand and consumer research after spending a long time and ad agencies. But the work that really makes me feel alive, and really fills me up in the work I believe that I was born and put on this earth to do is spreading the message of self-love. And I am a writer. So, in everything, I write from LA magazine to the New York Times to Vogue. I’m hoping that my words will touch hearts. And that will make an impact in this world.
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:24
That’s great. Yeah, that is amazing. And I’m sure it is so needed in the world. And just to kick off, can you tell me about the difference between self-care and self-love, because I know a lot of us, especially when we’re realizing that something needs to change in our lives that we’re not really happy. And when we decide that we’re ready to take a break from drinking, we talk about self-care, we talk about working on taking better care of your body, finding a way to turn off and relax and cope. That doesn’t involve alcohol. But I know that self-love is that deeper level.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, listen, South Love is not for beginners. And if you want to take the easier softer road, I mean self-care is the way to go. It is it’s the manicures it’s the pedicures, where I talk about the differences. Self-Care is like the physical, the spiritual, maybe meditating the financial, making sure that your bank account is in line and your investments are in order. You know, working out nutritionally intellectually, sexually right? Making sure you’re tending to all of those buckets of you. And really self-love is about one thing. And it’s about your emotionality. It’s about your heart. It’s about your soul. It’s putting your hand right on your heart and asking yourself what is best for my emotional well-being, and tending to that softer side of you, that you may not often share with the world. And in that part of you your essence, there’s all these little nuances that will only be revealed. If you do things like sit in silence, and meditate and journal, learn to go slow, learn to do a lot of being versus learn to be versus do. And then when you tend to that emotional self, and you ask yourself, what is best for my emotional well-being, all of the spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual, sexual, all of those buckets really fall into line. I say it’s the one top one stop shop.
Love. And that sounds like it is a lot of work to do in terms of turning down all those inner critic voices in our head, this sort of hustling for love, you know, it’s hard to sit with yourself, right?
Yeah, I would say, you know, I don’t know, if it’s hard to sit with yourself. It’s hard to sit with myself, it’s a lot easier to run around with my head cut off and check off my boxes on me to do to go to the laundry to, to, you know, to go to Trader Joe’s to make dinner, all of those things. But there’s so much for so many goodies, and so much deliciousness and expansive opening and freedom and learning to sit with myself and understand like, what I really want, that it’s worth it. And I’m definitely coming from a place right now. There are some truths that are bubbling up inside of me that I haven’t really gotten quiet enough to hear. And the way that I know that is because I have people sort of like wanting me to make commitments, like let’s go to dinner, like, let’s do this workout class, let’s do dance class. You know, let’s have a meeting for this. And I honestly, don’t, I’m having a lot of indecision. And that’s because I haven’t really gotten clear with what my priorities are, like, you know, in this moment in time, what I need to be doing, what would fill me up at this at this point, so and that all is really my beloved, my innermost self is begging me to just sit down and listen.
Casey McGuire Davidson 07:42
Mm hmm. Yeah. And I know that you’ve talked about in the past how self-love means taking care of your own needs, and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.
Yeah, actually, a story that I’m working on this singer, songwriter, musician, he put it in a very good way, but it was in terms of burnout. And he said, like burnout is when you’re saying yes, to others more than you’re saying yes to yourself. And I think that we could also apply that to self-love, which is, you know, just really saying yes to yourself, and whatever that is, it’s, for me, it’s putting down my phone and saying, Yes, to an hour of like, no phone, reading book, you know, just breathing, no TV, just being really quiet before I go to bed so I can sleep. It’s saying yes to moving my body even though I don’t feel like it. I never feel like it anymore. This pandemic is made it very weird for me, in terms of working out, it’s saying yes, to sit down and meditation, saying yes to having conversations with women like you. Yeah. And then sometimes it means saying no to whatever gets in the way. It gets in the way. And I would say that, most times, what I have to say no to is listening to the voice of the inner critic, or my inner mean girl, which is the very well-practiced voice that has kept me company most of my life. It’s very familiar voice that tells me like that voice. It was three years old, that I’m not good enough that I could do better or that I’m too fat. And I’m not pretty that I need to go get more Botox, etc. Right is I’m about to do things like step into my power, like sit down and write, work on like an amazing piece that I’m going to do. And so it’s really important for me to just acknowledge the voice of the inner mean girl, but really be accustom about, like, when she pops her head up when she feels like she needs to chime in. And just to say, Oh, thank you. I really witnessed that but No, not now. I’m going to change the tune or Just talk back to her. Like, Hey, girl, hey, don’t have time for that. I really got like some important stuff to do here on this planet.
Casey McGuire Davidson 10:10
Well, and how I know that inner mean girl most of us have, you know, and it is, sort of, stems from off in your childhood where you’re trying to avoid criticism sort of proactively or hurt or rejection. How do you actually do that in terms of building up your self-confidence, your self-love your self-acceptance? How do you talk back to your inner mean, girl? Yeah, in a way that you actually believe it in a way that you feel it in your heart.
Well, okay, the first step with dealing with this inner critic, from my perspective, is to really become aware awareness is like, the starting point of all of this work, right is to become aware of the thoughts and the thoughts that are going on in your head, and to also really surrender to the fact that you are not your thoughts, right? If there’s my favorite quote, and it’s anonymous, it’s by someone, I don’t know who they are, but they were brilliant, says, if you want to see what someone’s been thinking, take a look at their life. So if you want to see what someone’s been thinking about, take a look at their life, because our thoughts dictate everything, they dictate our emotions would dictate our behaviors and actions, which over a long period of time than we build our life around, right. So from my experience of this feeling of not enounces, and needing to fill a void, I built a life around. Like those thoughts. The first step is really separating yourself from the thoughts. And there’s two ways that I was able to do that. Well, number one is journaling, pen to page journaling. So obviously, you’re seeing all these downloading, you know, stream of consciousness, no judgments, seeing all these thoughts go onto the page. And really witnessing that you are just, these are just thoughts. They’re not you. And the second thing is, is to sit in silence or to use like a meditation app, like insight timer, or headspace, and to watch the thoughts flow. And so those are two ways to separate yourself from the thoughts. And then once you do that, then you can start to see them come up, and start to see the ones that aren’t serving you. What has worked for me, versus focusing on removing the thoughts that are not that are negative, and not beneficial to uplifting, my highest, my higher self, is to really crowd out those negative thoughts with positive thoughts. And so that is, the way I do that is with affirmations, with near work with embodied sort of, like embodied affirmations that have been really, it’s been really successful for me. And that’s like, saying things while you’re walking, or while you’re jumping around or dancing, like I’m powerful beyond measure, I’m stronger than I think I’m braver than I think I’m a creative powerhouse. So starting to say those things. And you will start to internalize those messages. And over time, if you do it with practice, then they’ll start to crowd out some of those negative thoughts mean because we do have the power to rewire our brain and create new neural pathways. And I am living proof that that’s possible. Because six years ago, I didn’t think the way or feel the way I do about myself now. It’s all a byproduct of putting these practices these daily practices into my life.
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.
So what happened six years ago.
For me, I had spent a lifetime filling my insides with the outsides, as you mentioned at the beginning, you know, switch tracks from like eating disorders and or anorexia and bulimia, to unavailable men to drug and alcohol addiction. And then finally, at 35, I walked down the aisle, to a man who I thought he could love me for me that I would be a wife, and then I would finally be enough, and I would be happy. And three years into that marriage, I had all the trappings of beautiful, wonderful, abundant life, except I was a shell of myself. So extremely miserable. I could not even look at myself in the mirror was so shrouded in hate, and self-loathing, I finally realized that I had met and married my emotional equal, he also did not value himself. And I started work out with these girls who were extremely loving, supportive, reflected back to me that I was wonderful. And I and that they loved me. And I was like, wow, this love that they’re, they’re telling me that they feel feels way different than the love that my husband is telling me that he feels and any other love that I’ve ever felt in my life to be quite honest. And I just knew that I had to leave the marriage. But I knew that once I did, I had to do some major reinvention from the inside out because I had a soul sickness. It was me, it was my feeling of lack and not enough notice, that was choosing all of these partners and situations and places. And I had to really start over. Like they say, if anyone’s listening and they go to the 12-step program, it’s that concept of the fourth step. Really, it’s like sort of scraping out and detoxing all of your insides. And just making sure that you fill in with only the good.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:15
I love what you were saying about meeting those women. Because I do think it’s important, you know, somewhat you, we talked about how neither one of us sort of we both tried the 12 step program, and I want to talk to you about your experience, and sort of where you are now. I did as well. I went for a short period of time about four months and decided that wasn’t my path. But I certainly took a lot of great ideas from it. And one of the most important ones that I that I took and I repeat to myself is when you look at the people you surround yourself with, when you look at how you’re feeling in relationship to them, or people pleasing to them, or measuring up I love the idea of Do you want what they have. And that’s something that they say in the program, right? If you want what we have, and one of the reasons I love that is because you know as someone who always wants other people to like me and approve of me and those things, it’s really important for me to evaluate, who are the people I’m giving power to judge me because if I don’t want their life, their energy, their base level of happiness, if they don’t lift me up, I by definition, need to disappoint them in order to take care of myself. That one of my clients I work with talks about, you know, go where the love is and it sounds like these women you met and the way they were able to love you and support you and see the best in you was something that really attracted to you to them gave you strength is that right?
Yeah. I mean, I Also, that’s very present for me in my life right now. Because, I mean, I feel like I’m changing and evolving at a pretty rapid pace in terms of, because I’m 43. And my eggs are literally getting older by the second, and I still want to have a child. And I am holding the vision that I’ll find, or my person will find, we’ll find each other by the end of the year, and I’ll be pregnant by then. And so I’m really having to get very clear, crystal clear on who I am attracting. And because I’m sort of an anxious avoidant attachment, you know, just typically have attracted those men who were actually not really available for a relationship. Like about a month ago, someone came into my field and someone who was like, kind of available, right, because I was kind of available. But even in the last month, I’ve just become, I guess, very aware that I have to be very available. So that means I have to dis disappoint this guy and walk away, because there are signs that he is not available, so I have to disappoint him. But in doing so, because we do you know, these people come to our life and they’re in our life for a reason, because they reflect the vibe that we’re giving off the vibration that we are putting out there. And I am putting out the vibration that I am all love that I want love and abundant love. Well, not that I want it they already are it and I already have it. You know? And yeah, I think I didn’t answer your question. But maybe we can circle back to it.
So how have you attracted people in the past? Like the types of people? And how is that changing for you now that you’re doing this kind of work? And what do you hope for in the future?
I honestly, don’t think that I have to do anything to attract people. I think that like the universe just puts people in your path. I mean, it’s like those people that are vibrating at that same level, your emotional equal, they’ll just come to you. I mean, yeah, I mean, I think in the past, I’ve been so desperate to connect. And I find I actually find this to be pretty true for a lot of people who are in recovery. It’s we want to connect, we want to have those trauma bonds, those quick, like, let’s just talk about all our stuff like that hole that I have you have it too. And let’s try to like relentlessly to fill each other. Right. That’s my experience. That was my experience and, and the 12 step rooms, it’s been my experience in life whenever I meet someone, and there’s this fast friend feeling. I know that’s a trauma bond. And it’s not bad or good. It’s just done. I want that, right? No, I want a secure attachment. So I think it’s just like noticing the kind of connection that I’m having with people and what it feels like. And then the big twist is, is for example, when I leave before I leave the house today, I’m going to do my breath work, I missed it and silence and meditation. And I’m going to go out to the world with that vibe. I’m also going to go out and I’m actually just realizing this right now, I’m going to prime the day. So what I’m going to do is, I’m gonna like before I leave the house, I’m gonna prime the day and say, oh my gosh, I am so happy and grateful. Just gonna be doing like rampage of appreciation. I am so happy and grateful that I have noticed amazing day that I did start it out today with a podcast getting in the ocean. I love my apartment. Yeah, I went to the I’m so proud of myself, I did laundry yesterday and Trader Joe’s I’m so happy and grateful that I’m getting some new York times pieces published and just like fill up just emanate, that’s an energy, right, and then go out into the world with that energy and try to attract from that place after I’ve already connected with myself. So I’m walking into the world not with a place of from a place of desperation or lack or scarcity. But I have everything that I need right here now. And I desire and I’m going to magnetize people who have done the same for themselves. Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty powerful. Like I get high. I’m getting high right now just thinking about it.
Well, I love the concept of like, you attract the energy that you put out there and then doing the work on yourself and lifting yourself up. You’re gonna bring people to you who share that same energy. I believe that really deeply.
Yeah, and it’s a daily practice, like they talked about and again, 12 steps, it’s a daily reprieve. I mean, this is something. my happiness is a muscle and it’s something that I’m having to work very hard right now. Because all during the pandemic, I mean, at least the select the last six months. I was like, EFF this. I’m tired. I didn’t sleep enough. I don’t want to get up. I mean, I used to be a five a and love the morning, hell yeah. type of woman. And now it’s like, I don’t even know who I am I get out and I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to do this. So I’m having to really, really, again, those, it’s just, they’re just thoughts. Right. So and to just get a handle on those thoughts.
Casey McGuire Davidson 25:37
Yeah, and I think that, you know, as you mentioned, during this pandemic, I live in Seattle, we have been quarantine, for over a year, going on 14 months. Now, my kids have been home for a year, they just went back to school a couple weeks ago, part time, you know, socially distant. And it I mean, I’ve had to go back to all my tools for early sobriety from five years ago, and really double down on them. Because, you know, one of the things that makes me happy that I know is yes, connecting with people having things to do. And I think at the core of that is having things to look forward to, to always be looking forward in a positive way with things that I am genuinely excited about. And working that into just life, right? Life is life their shit going on. But what the pandemic has done is, it’s taken me especially like winter in Seattle, which is dark and rainy, and it gets dark at 4:30. Like, it has been really hard to cultivate things to look forward to including like, my outdoor workouts with women, I love that I used to go to four days a week like those were canceled. And so, I mean, I think what you’re talking about in terms of Lee, you know, realizing that you’re in a really tough place. And going back to like, your foundational aspects of like, Okay, what can I do to cultivate happiness? What can I do to pull myself out? That is a daily practice, and it’s not easy.
Yeah, absolutely. I hear you on that I really honor you for, like, going back to what works. And I mean, also, I think that there has to be a layer of, I’m noticing a layer of like, just radical self-love and compassion, because I’m going to mess up a lot. And I do. And, I mean, there’s just been so much emotionally that’s been happening. I’ve been in therapy twice a week. So what I’m thinking about is just having sea legs. A little bit. And sort of like, getting back to life and what that looks like, and I have a little anxiety about getting back to life. And I worry like, Am I going to get out there and not be cozy and be tired and when I come home, and that’s fine, but I think it’s important to just get out there. Take my life back.
And yeah, I love that idea of taking your life back. I mean, I think, as we all sort of emerge from hibernation, and for a lot of women, and I’m sure for a lot of women listening to this podcast, it’s been a really difficult time, especially for women who have a problematic relationship with alcohol or have been evaluating whether their drinking is working for them anymore, or have been trying to take a break and getting four days and drinking again and dealing with all the hangovers.
This is a really difficult time. It’s a hard place to be. So I love the idea of self-love and self-care and taking your life back and doing that in a really proactive way. Even though it’s hard.
Yeah. And being super compassionate. And this is what I was going to talk about, which I think is so super simple. But it goes to your point about having things to look forward to. The key to my freedom has always been a schedule. And I am a wildflower, ask anyone I know like I’ll float around. Like, it’s hard to pin me down. But the one way one thing that really gives me a lot of freedom. It makes me feel but they feel super safe is his schedule. And I have someone who hosts me an admin who helps me she sends me my Sunday by schedule Sunday night. I look at it and make sure I’ve got like all of the buckets filled like the physical workout buckets, like I need to make sure that I’ve fun and friend time planned in and then here’s the most important part of the schedule. Show up for the schedule, regardless of how I feel Hmm. So show up, you know, and I’m challenging myself to like, put some makeup on, show up, see what it feels like to like pencil on my eyebrows, put on some mascara, and go out there. You know it. It’s really important especially as women. I just, it’s so important for us to feel that and if you’re creative and you’re listening, which we’re all creative. But there’s this like, the drive which is based in our second chakra, which is like our hip area, which is the, the hub for our sexuality, our playfulness, our creativity, it’s like, with the absence of like, beauty and places to go and put on heels if you do that kind of thing, or lipstick, or, and I’m not big on that. It stripped me of my hunger, and away like, and so by taking my life back, it’s about reclaiming my woman, my like, woman who likes to get fancy sometimes and, and it’s activating my creative ideas and my, my desire to be seen by men. And so, I think it’s, it’s all intertwined, so I’m just trying to just keep those channels open. You know if that makes any sense.
Yeah. And it’s a reason to kind of get up and to do things and to feel like there’s some differentiation in each day. Because right now, so many of the days seem the same. And that’s something that I know everybody kind of struggles against. You’ve talked a couple times, or we’ve touched on the 12 steps, how that started. And tell me a little bit about, you know, I know you stopped drinking 16 years ago, what helped you make that decision and what’s helped you since then stay on the alcohol-free path.
That’s such a long time ago, I was just listening to you say it. I was like, wow, yeah, I should be proud of myself. And I am, I think I am I mean, it no matter anytime, is and should be celebrated. Any amount of time that you’ve stopped drinking should be celebrated. I mean, I stopped drinking coffee for one day, the other day, and I celebrated myself. I’m never ever going to do that again. It was a horrible, horrible day.
Casey McGuire Davidson 32:33
I know I can do it. So I know. I drink a lot of coffee. And especially when I used to be at the office, people will be like, you should really cut out coffee and I fuck you. Can I have nothing? You know, I quit drinking. Like, absolutely normal. Everybody tells me it’s a fabulous thing to do, but I am not there yet.
Yeah, I’m not either. So cool. Well, yes. We’re like, I’ll be definitely not there yet. So what happened for me is that I believe I have like a very sensitive ally. I know I have a very sensitive nervous system. I’m an empath, truly highly sensitive person canary in the coal mine. I’m not like some medium work and feel other people’s things, but I certainly can feel things as they happen and feel other people’s energies and I grew up in a home where emotional control was valued over emotional expression. So I was picking up on a lot of pain unexpressed pain, I also am super creative. And so I believe that my a lot of my disease, which potentially I labeled as alcoholism was actually on channels creativity, and, but my root addiction is was anorexia and bulimia and so I was never one for extra calories, which is like alcoholism was not really a thing for me, I did a bunch of like drugs, because that’s what you do when you drink alcohol. At least that’s what I did. And my path to quitting drinking was really dictated by my ability to not cut it out with the anorexia and bulimia I wasn’t able to really get on the road to recovery with for my eating disorder, because every time I would have a drink, it would just open up a tiny little, well, maybe window that I would jump through and then just sort of not be able to make headway. So I did drink a lot. And I didn’t really hit a bottom, but I saw one. And that’s kind of what happened. I there was someone I met who was in the program, the 12-step program of A.A. And she was also an A and she said, you can go to open meetings. If you Go now, then you’ll have six days of sobriety. And I think I went and had a glass of wine that night. And then the next day I went to an open a meeting. And I can say that I didn’t call myself an alcoholic until maybe two months in probably sooner, and then proceeded to go to a meeting not open but close. Because my life got better one day at a time. And for me, that is what, how I define my sobriety. It’s like, my life was better is better one day at a time without drinking, right. And I believe that to be true. And then I did all the things. I went to all the meetings all the time, I had sponsors, I was sponsored. I led meetings, I spoke at meetings, it was my everything. And then I just like to hit a wall, where it was a negative feedback loop and I couldn’t get any upward trajectory. And so then I stopped going to an around your 10.
Casey McGuire Davidson 36:07
Oh, you work for 10 years.
Oh, yeah. Wow. Yeah, I was really into it. Yet, because the thing is, I as an anorexic and bulimic, I was calling myself an alcoholic, but I really just, I there was something that didn’t sit right with me the other Saenz around, you know, your name, your pet is a bad neighborhood, you shouldn’t go in there alone. Or the idea that I have to have a sponsor for every move I make. I mean, that’s the antithesis for everything that I believe in, or everything that I’m aiming for. My goal is to be able to sit, and not only my goal, my experience currently is that I can my head can be saying everything. Above, above, above, you should do this, you should that I can get in breathwork, and meditation, and within 20 minutes, my gut will tell me what I should be doing. Without fail 100% I don’t need to call a sponsor, I don’t need to go to a meeting. I have the power that I need and the and the knowledge that I need right here inside me. And yeah, it obviously pisses me off. It, it did, it just was like, I can’t believe I didn’t know how to live life. And that’s what a did for me it shot it taught me to show up its commitments, to not be afraid of speaking up. It taught me how to be in relationship with other people. And I’ve gone back every year, because it’s such a big part of my story just to meeting to see like, how does this fit? How does this feel, and it still just doesn’t feel right to me.
I loved that you both went to the program for a bunch of years. And then also, you know, could identify, you know, they talk about take what, what works and leave the rest and, you know, also have been able to maintain sobriety and recovery and living the life you want to live without it. You know, I know that that for me. I tried a wasn’t my path. I work with a lot of women who do love it. And I know it’s helped so many women. But one thing I wanted to touch on too is that you said you didn’t have a bottom, but you could see one. Can you tell me more about that?
Yeah, I think I quit at 26. And around enough people in the party life in the scene, where, you know, they’re just like these women who are 10 years older than me and they’re just ragged. And I didn’t want to be like that. And I really love the daytime so much. And it’s just I couldn’t for every five steps forward I would get I would take you know drink one night I would like to lose my phone dropped in the toilet, leaving in a cab lose my credit cards. Some days I would have great nights out drinking. But there’s just but inevitably I would just make me emotionally volatile. And I honestly this is only in retrospect since I’ve done this work. And what I’m really focusing on right now is just when I tried to pick up and play the victim card, it’s like potentially getting wasted or having those drinks and like breaking down was my way of playing the victim card. That’s how I got love in my family of origin. I was the, if I was the damsel in distress. If I was the one falling apart. Then my parents would come in and swoop in and save me and so I really am aware of when I want to be taken I’m I have a need and when want that need to be tended to either by myself or want to try to get it met by someone else? And then I start to break apart or fall apart, so I can get that neat bet. And yeah, it’s like I’m screaming in a way. It’s like now you can’t ignore me more. Yeah, or like, for example, you know, working on these difficult and really exciting pieces for New York Times, like, I really wanted to self-sabotage in the last month, big time. Because I don’t want to step into my power. This is hard, you know, is really stressed. And so how do and I always this is, I always remember about, like, beginning in the program, and they were saying, like, if you drink or if you throw up or break your recovery, over a problem that you’re experiencing, you won’t just have one problem, you’ll have two. And so you know, often that drinking was a response, a way for me to avoid the real feeling that I was actually dealing with. And I do I have that, that all the time.
Yeah, I mean, that makes a lot of sense to me. And I’d never heard sort of drinking as allowing someone to play the victim card or, or to, you know, fall apart to the point where you can’t be ignored by people anymore. I think that’s really interesting. And then an interesting way to put it, when you talked about self-sabotage, that resonated with me a lot, because I always think of drinking as self-sabotage, like, it’s the idea of, at least for, for me, for women who have a problematic relationship with drinking, who, you know, are drawn to it, and yet wake up feeling like shit, where it makes everything harder. I always say like, drinking just adds a problem to a problem. It’s like when you have a headache, and instead of taking aspirin, or going to bed, or drinking water, or whatever it is, to solve the headache, you decide to like, go to your garage and slam your hand in the car door. So
you forget about your headache. Exactly. That’s a really painful way to think about it, but actually, actually very true.
Casey McGuire Davidson 42:30
So it’s really great that you were able to step away from it. And I always think of like, when you walk away from drinking, and this is something that I feel like I heard and what you were talking about with your eating disorder and, and being a way to step away from the self-sabotage, like, in my mind, not drinking is not the end goal. Like the end goal is not to like to go through life without alcohol. Although that is my intention. And I believe that it is very important that I don’t go back to drinking, because I know where that will take me and it’s nowhere good. But in my mind, like not drinking is the foundation that lets me live the life I want and to not self-sabotage, and to do all the other things that I want to do with my life. Like when I drink, it just brings me down and keeps me stuck and takes up way too much of my life in my struggle, just getting away from that or managing that or moderating that. Do you see it as the foundation to because I know you, it’s all these other things that you wanted to work on and wanted to do? Yeah, I think that I just want to
keep my channel clear. Right. And I don’t I just don’t like alcohol. I don’t even like being altered. So yeah, I think that’s one of I want to have a big, full abundant life that’s like, full of love and laughter and creativity and ideas and success and hugs and kisses. And this point, I’m like, all of that good stuff.
Absolutely. I mean, that’s kind of why I left a because they have that line in the book. That’s like, we are not a glum live, but I actually experienced it very much is like a glum lot. It’s like I if I have to, I don’t want to go out to dinner. No, again, I don’t. But I mean, if that’s what’s worked, but it worked for me for a while. And then I just needed some new thoughts. I needed some new tools. And yeah, and I just really think, where I have gotten a ton of relief, freedom. just mind-blowing growth is the idea that I am massed. My life is my own. I can create my own destiny, I can create how I feel. I can create, you know, the relationships that I have the outcomes, I in I wrote myself into existence from that, like, bony little woman with diamonds hanging off me that married this man for happiness. I was not I’m not the same woman that I was. And I did that through journaling in the present tense. I am, I’m nourishing my body, I’m excessive successful. I’m getting consulting jobs. You know, I’m making three figures, or six figures. You know, I just, I wrote myself into existence. And it’s the reason I’m saying it with such fervor right now is because I’m trying to remind myself that Aubrey Yes, indeed, just because shit isn’t as tough as it used to be, that I still, if I want new things in my life, just create it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 45:45
All the vision for it. But it takes some work that takes some visualization, it takes that like, management of energy, and it’s coming from a place today of like, I woke up at 4am. Like it was friggin’ 7am, like, ready to go, and I’m a little tired. So it’s harder to like, it’s harder to put like self-love, or it’s just harder. When you’re tired. Everything’s harder when you’re tired. Yeah.
And I love that energy that you have around, you’re the creator of your life, you’re powerful and important to like, identify what it is you want in life and put that out into the universe. Tell that to yourself in the present tense, like you can have that?
Yeah, or what’s even really fun if you want to get around with like some of your girlfriend is to actually do future gratitude, like so your future casting gratitude. So you’re like pretending? Casey, we’re pretending like it’s like this time next year. And you’re like, Oh, girl, I can’t even believe that you’re even worried about having a baby. And you lean over and pat my stomach and I’m pregnant with twins, you know? And you’re like, we’re like, oh, yeah, we were all worried about this pandemic. And, you know, now we’re out and about, we’re so busy. But it’s in it. You know, we haven’t a new lease on life. Things are so amazing. We’re jet setting across the world. Everyone’s listening to the podcast, it has five-star ratings with like, 5 million downloads on iTunes. It’s crazy. You have like all the clients you could ever want. You’re bringing in coaches from everywhere. Wow. You know what I mean? Yeah, if you can, I mean, it’s fun, right?
Casey McGuire Davidson 47:32
You got it? Well, we did that in coaching school, and like, where are you going to be a year from now? And where are you going to be five years from now? And like, what is your ideal life and like, everything I’ve written out has pretty much come true. Like, I’m going to have a fully booked practice, I’m going to start a podcast, I’m going to be working from home, I’m going to leave my corporate job, like I’m going to do things I love, that have meaning and conversations with really amazing women. The one thing that has not happened is I want to be able to travel four times a year now that I’m not locked into, not locked into a corporate vacation schedule and have that freedom and work from anywhere. And clearly with the pandemic that has not happened. But what are the things that cracked me up? You know, like, I the joke is right at like the beginning of 2020. We all like I’m big into vision boarding, like your affirmations that you’ve talked about and like what you want in life you can bring in, and like so I did all these vision board workshops with like, women I love like, we have a recovery group in Seattle. That’s awesome. And they all came over to my house. And we all did vision boards. And like everybody was sending me the beads and march like just thought it was the they’re like I thought of you when it was like, Hey, 2020 none of this shit was on my vision board. But the feelings are the same, like what you want to bring into your life. Even with the circumstances, you can build that for the future, even when it’s hard, like I’ve got my list of everywhere I’m going to travel and everything I’m going to do when the world opens up, as well as like, you can keep building your business you can keep developing your relationships, you can do all those things, but I love everything you’re talking about in terms of creating, envisioning and, and that work.
Like celebrating like I can even, you know, I thought it was gonna get a modern love and I still will get a modern love piece published. But I remember, like, the vision I had is like my sister was like, reading the newspaper, The New York Times. She didn’t even read the New York Times but like on the toilet or something. And she’s like, Oh my God. And, um, but yeah, just you’d have to like just have fun with it. If you’re listening, just have fun with it, but it’s really about its embodying the emotion. That the woman you want to become would feel. So it’s acting as if it is done. And so it is it is done. Like it’s really stepping into that emotion.
Casey McGuire Davidson 50:17
Yeah. And I did that even when I was quitting drinking, like I was just like, okay, 100 days from now I am going to be healthy and happy. And here’s the month it’s going to be, and this is the woman I’m going to be my anxiety will be down, I will have lost weight, I will be running I actually envisioned, and I signed up for a 10k when I was six days sober. And I had tried not drinking before. And but I was like I am picturing who I’m going to be what I want to do how I’m going to feel. And I remember I quit drinking on February 18. And the 10k was April 24. And it was my son’s birthday, the only reason I remember it. And I hadn’t run a 10k in six years. And I did it. And I did it by myself. I had no friends. And I was like almost in tears when I was running. And it was mostly like I was saying to myself, I’m now a person who does what I say I’m gonna do apps because I spent so many years saying, I was gonna stop drinking and on day four drinking again.
Yeah, it’s super important. It’s super important to have integrity in your word. And just to believe in yourself.
Casey McGuire Davidson 51:35
Yeah. And to look at who you want to be. And having, you know, believing that one of my favorite quotes is something like the difference between people who do or don’t do what they want is like believing that the future can be different than the present or better than the present and that you have the power to make it. So. Yeah, I love that. Well, so you mentioned a couple times mirror work, and breathwork. And I love it because I did a podcast on breathwork was someone who does that. And she did a full breathwork meditation or exercise. So I’ll link to that in the comments. But tell me about both of those, like what those are, and how they work for you and help you with the whole self-love process that you go through.
Yeah, I would say like breathwork is a way. For me, it’s this tantric breathwork what some people think it’s like wild sex. And really all it means is that it’s rooted in the sacral chakra, and it’s about bringing the breath like from your like that Sacral Chakra all the way up your spine, but it’s about activating the body. So think about yourself, like, I don’t know if any of you guys have ever like worked out and you feel like super emotional, when you work starting to work out, it’s really just getting your body like turned on and tuned in. And because the information for me is it in my body, right about how I feel. And then it’s just a series of like sort of aggressive, three sets of 33. And then at the end of the 33, you do a sound release, which is really always amazing. And that’s just to activate the body. And then afterwards, it’s like sitting and meditation, sitting quiet. And then the mirror work has been really awesome for especially because I’ve been wanting to pick myself apart in the mirror as a way of dealing with other difficult emotions I might be avoiding, like loneliness or isolation. And so the way that it has worked for me in the past is you take down a journal, well, there’s a couple different ways number one, you can just look at yourself for like two minutes in the mirror, look deep into your eyes, say I love you and just start to see yourself truly, you want to like with your right eye you want to look into. You want to sit down in the mirror, stand in the mirror and then look into your other right eye. And so your people are the other thing that you can do is to rewire the rewire the neural pathways that so another thing that you can do with a mirror work is to take out a journal, write down affirmations that have nothing to do with how you look at all so you can say I am resourceful. I am creative. I am a great writer. I am so energetic etc. So then you sit down and you look into the mirror look into your eyes and you recite those affirmations to what you’re doing is you’re training your brain, rewiring the neural pathways to look to associate looking in the mirror and associate your reflection with who you are Has it been? Not what you look like. So that’s been really powerful for me, both of those practices have been amazing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 55:07
I love that. And I love sort of what you’re describing is, in my mind, also, something I’ve done, which is like take your most repeated negative thoughts, find the opposite positive affirmation and sort of bring that front and center, whether it’s mirror work, or whether it’s affirmations or permeate it’s quotations on vision boards to replace those thoughts, because you can really do it. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I know you’re a self-love advocate. So for any woman listening to this, what is something you want them to take away and remember about this practice?
Number one, I would say, it’s not an overnight fix. It’s a lifelong journey. So with that, you’re exactly where you should be if you’re listening. But the most important thing to know is that starts with self-acceptance, then maybe self like, then evolves to self-love. And then again, there’s so many nuances and beautiful things to discover about yourself, that you can use will take your whole life to figure it out, so you’ll never be finished. Hopefully, you’ll have enjoyed the process, which is where I am, I’m enjoying the process. And if you have any questions, and if you’ve been listening, feel free to DM me or reach out.
Yeah, Instagram is where the easiest place to find you. Is that right? I know. I love your Instagram. I checked it out. And it’s amazing.
Thank you. Yeah, my Instagram is @aubreenichols. You can find my website. You can DM me. But yeah, I would love to connect and also love to hear what resonated with you in this podcast.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:01
That would be awesome. Yeah, I would love to hear it as well. And so tell me what’s next for you. What are you working on? I know you’ve mentioned a couple times that you’re working on really wonderful writing pieces. But what else?
I’m working on a memoir titled enough how I stopped searching, starving and striving and became the woman of my dreams. So just finishing that up getting to editors continuing to share your story and share of my life getting a book deal. Having a physically, emotionally and spiritually connected relationship and being fully expressed in my life.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:47
Yeah, so that’s what I must.
Well, it has been wonderful to talk to you. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on and to share your message.
Yeah, it’s been my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
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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