Seltzer Squad – Staying Sober In The City

Sobriety can be a serious subject but it doesn’t always have to be. 

And I love to find real people talking about their drinking and sober journey with humor and honesty.  

One of my favorite podcasts to listen to to get a dose of relatable, engaging and seriously funny discussions of life on the sober side is Seltzer Squad with Kate Zander and her and former co-host Jes.

Kate and Jes say they created the podcast to build a community because they were sick of going to the bar and watching their friends get drunk. On the Seltzer Squad Pod they say “We drink seltzer. We talk shit. We don’t pee the bed (anymore). We’re not trying to be role models. We’re just trying to hang out.”

So I invited Kate Zander from Seltzer Squad to have a real conversation about getting sober in the city and what happens once you decide to move off the barstool

If you’re looking for an engaging, relatable and funny conversation about sobriety, this one’s for you. 

In this episode, we dive into:

  • How the pivot from a drinking life to an alcohol-free lifestyle opens space for other transformations
  • Why I love the Seltzer Squad’s Hot Mess Hoedowns because we all need to laugh out loud at our drunken stories sometimes
  • Our sobriety dates are 3 days apart but our drinking and journeys to recovery were very different
  • The importance of boundaries in early sobriety
  • Why Kate and Jes decided to start The Seltzer Squad

  • How to live with a spouse who drinks when you decide to get sober 

3 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More

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My proven, step-by-step sober coaching program will teach you exactly how to stop drinking  — and how to make it the best decision of your life.

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Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free.

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Connect with Kate Zander

Kate is a native North Dakotan, cat-mom, wanna be a van lifer. She’s a forever freelancer, working on various creative projects. When she’s not working, you can find her in the bathtub solving crimes and she hates being cold.

Follow the Seltzer Squad Podcast on Instagram @seltzersquadpod

Learn more about Seltzer Squad at www.seltzersquad.com

Connect with Casey

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Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, 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 is the best sobriety podcast for you.

A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 0.5% of podcasts globally, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

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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Seltzer Squad – Staying Sober In The City with Kate Zander


drinking, podcast, life, people, friends, seltzer, started, talk, person, hard, husband, kids, bartender, listen, thought, squad, pandemic, Transition, early sobriety, sugar cravings, podcast, sober, self-esteem, connecting with people, community, quit drinking, self-awareness, staying sober in the city, sober curious, retreat, in-person connection, value, Sober Slumber Parties, Sober Retreats, transform, milestones, people pleasers, boundaries, quitting drinking, choosing me, life gets a lot better, Couples Counseling Seltzer Squad, pivot, sobriety, sober, transition, alcohol-free, evolve

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Kate Zander


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 buzz, 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. I am really excited for this episode today because we are talking with Kate Zander from Seltzer Squad. If you don’t know the podcast, the Seltzer Squad, it has been on the air for almost 5 years now. They have 200 episodes. It’s Kate and her former co-host Jess. And I started listening to it right when it began. And one of the things I love about it is, there are a lot of sobriety podcasts out there, but Seltzer Squad is just kind of a fun one. It’s relatable, it’s real, you’ll laugh out loud.


And so, I’ll just bring you on Kate to say. Thanks for being here.



Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to chat.


Casey McGuire Davidson  02:10

Yeah. Well, just to start, will you sort of introduce yourself? Tell me a little bit about you, since some folks may not know may not know the pod yet.



Yes. So, I’m Kate. I was half of the Seltzer Squad podcast. And since my co-host and one of my best friends has left the show, It’s just me on my own now. And I mean, my background is… so, I mean, it goes hand in hand with you know, what we were just chatting about. What I’m wanting to talk about, because I feel it very much in transition. I’m going to be wrapping up Graduate school this year. And the podcast actually led me to my sort of career move in life. Also, sobriety led me to it. But yeah, I think, I don’t know, my biography is a mess right now, just because I don’t, I mean, at the end of this journey, I will be a Therapist. But right now, I’m just in school. I’m interning, I’m learning. I’m working my ass off. And that’s pretty much it. I mean, cat mom, beginner gardener. So, it’s just a lot of things right now. Trying to figure out kind of who I am. And especially like post-pandemic, I’m still kind of trying to figure out what that looks like. So much has happened.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:21

I know. It’s like, totally transition. I was talking actually to my Uber driver because I flew to the East Coast last weekend. And he was like, oh, yeah, before the pandemic. And I was just like, it’s such a global event that I feel like 10 years from now, it’ll be like BC, you know, totally pandemic, after pandemic before COVID. Yeah.



That’s like how we judge time now when people are like, Oh, I can’t remember when I’m like, Well, was it before the pandemic or after the pandemic? Was it before Trump or after Trump? Like, there are these big, you know, bigger milestones in culture that have happened? You know, it’s like, what even is time anymore? I don’t even know. I feel like so much has happened. But also, what have I even been doing?


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:03

Yeah, yeah. Well, so question for you. One of the things I thought was kind of incredible. In listening to your first couple podcasts is when you started. You were around 1000 days alcohol-free and was just 60 days sober. I mean, that’s incredible. It was. I think it’s kind of cool to listen to someone and I’m sure it wasn’t like her first go, because I know I had many, many before. Yeah, she had a couple goals. Yep. Yeah. But to hear someone so early in sobriety, talking about things like sugar cravings and going to a bar for the first time and, and you were so much more further along. How did that help you guys with the podcast?



I mean, they think I could kind of give her insight to what I had been through what have worked for me what didn’t work for me, but also I was just really excited because when you become sober, like that’s all you really have going on. And that’s all you want to talk about. And for 1000 days, I didn’t really have anybody to talk to about it or anybody that was going through it around the same time as me. And so, I was just genuinely so excited to kind of help her with her journey a little bit. And, and then also just, you know, just has just unabashed confidence and is willing to talk about pretty much anything at any point in her journey, which I was the opposite. Like, I was got sober and secret and was terrified, you know that my job was going to find out that I was an alcoholic and didn’t want the world to find out. My family didn’t know, like nobody knew. And so, she was just the polar opposite, which was really refreshing to me. And, you know, like, I feel like I got more from the podcast than her because it just helped me really come in into myself a little bit more.



That’s so funny that you said that you had done it completely in secret. I know. A lot of people do that. Right. They’re very worried about what other people think or how it’ll impact them. And then you started a huge podcast that, you know, hundreds.


Casey McGuire Davidson  06:07

Yeah, I mean, have people listened to right. So that’s a big jump, right? Some people decide to like, put it on Facebook or Instagram, and you’re like, I’ll just start a podcast.



Yeah, I hadn’t really not told me that, like, I had done the whole, like, I don’t drink anymore and gone home. Like, you know, I skipped the first Christmas going home to my family. But the next Christmas, I was just like, oh, I don’t drink anymore. Like, it was very like, nonchalant. And then yeah, like, you know, launched the podcast, and basically was like, well, for anybody out there that wants to know, you know, it was like, worried about my in laws, and, but also, there was like, something freeing in that, because, you know, nobody could find the secret out, I guess, because I was in control of who I got to tell. And, you know, I often say like to our audience for the seltzer squad that, you know, I’m still pretty private person, like, I don’t post on social media personally, like, I’m more of a face to face kind of person. But when you get to know me, like, I’m pretty much an open book, but the soldier squat still holds like a very dear place in my heart, where it’s also like, I view them as friends. So, I’m always going to talk realistically about what has been going on in my life. I’m just not like, posting it all the time in the moment for everybody.


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:20

Yeah, that’s kind of funny. I also, when you mentioned, you’re worried about your in-laws. I remember asking my husband who still drinks. I listened to your episode with your husband at 7 years. And he sounds by the way, like the nicest guy. But yeah, I remember asking my husband like, Hey, are you okay with this? If I like, start a podcast, as you know, I am a Coach. And clearly it’s about, you know, being sober. And he was just because he’s a head of a middle school at a private school. Right.


So, yeah, there are a lot of parents, so you know, whatever. There’s a lot to consider. Yeah. And he was like, Why would I care that you stop doing something that’s incredibly, you know, negative for your health? You made a healthy choice, and now you’re helping other people. And I was like, oh. And he was like, you weren’t asking me when you were coming to the auction and getting super drunk in front of all the parents that have. Like, yeah, I guess you’re right. You know, but I go to events and like, the wife of the head of school, it’s like, Oh, my God, I listen to your podcast. And I’m like, you do?



Yeah, I mean, somebody at work. I was at a, you know, at my job. When we started, I again, told nobody. And we’ve got a freelancer who was like, Oh, my God, like, I think I listened to your podcast. And I was like, what? And she was like, Yeah, are you from the Seltzer Squad? And I was like, Oh, my God. And I was like, many mortified, you know, because you’re like, Oh, it is real. Somebody that’s listening on the other end, because, I mean, just like right now, I don’t feel like anybody’s going to listen to us. I feel like it’s just you and me zooming and talking, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:59

I know, right? Takes some of the vulnerability away a little bit, because I’m like, I create it. And I’m like, people can listen or don’t listen, like it’s a little bit removed from going on Instagram. And then you can see in minutes if like, whatever happens, yes.



And you can see in real time and like people are commenting and like, I don’t necessarily want that feedback. Also, like I just want to, like get something off my chest and get it out there and hope somebody hears something that resonates with them and like move on my life.


Casey McGuire Davidson  09:29

Yeah, absolutely. Well, so to start, I mean, I obviously have a little bit different position than you in terms of like, I stopped drinking when I was 40. I had a two year old, an eight year old. I’d been married for 14 years. And I think a lot of women who listen to this are sort of working moms like that. A lot of the emails I get are from people who are working moms, but I thought it was super interesting. Your podcasts Seems like you’re in the city, you don’t have kids, you’re like, sort of have a younger vibe. Do you know what I mean?



I mean, yeah, it’s definitely like a different vibe when you’re in an urban environment, because, like, a lot of people are going out like of all ages. And it’s, you know, it’s common to work really late. And it’s common to go to happy hour with your coworkers afterwards. And it’s a whole lifestyle, you know, obviously, now that I’m a little bit older, and also like pandemic, we’re all a little bit more like home bound. But like my early days of my career, like, I mean, we would drink for days, nights a week, five nights a week and keep going to work. And there was like, yeah, maybe two people on my whole in my whole department that had kids, and they went home, but it was like, you know, single girls, gays, like, that’s just what it was. And I mean, even now, I like my last job. I think only one person, just my boss had kids, and nobody else in my whole team had kids. So, it’s definitely just a different, like lifestyle out here. Not that people don’t have children and can’t have them. But you know, bars are open later, you’re not driving for the most part, you’re taking Ubers you’re taking the train. So, you don’t have to worry about driving. So, there was really not a lot of inhibitors to holding you back. And when you move somewhere, the only way you meet people is if you go out to meet them. And drinking is a very popular thing to do. So that’s what we did.


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:25

Yeah, absolutely. And by the way, I also drank I mean, I was a seven night a week drinker, but I just did, you know, kind of had a party on the couch, on a night with a bottle of wine. So, it’s like different, but also, I feel like most of us who get to the point of sobriety are like, definitely drinking on a regular basis. And you know, it’s sort of your, like, constant companion.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

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


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

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

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




Yeah. And I mean, I think it changes over time, right? Like, I didn’t start going to happy hour and getting blacked out, like when I was 23. That would happen sometimes. But like, the real of it didn’t start happening until like 25, and 26. And when you like, kind of get the soul ripped out of you, and you’re like, Oh, this is what being an adult is. And this is all that there is and, you know, all the trials and tribulations as you start to grow and you know, kind of start to figure out who you are as a person. It’s funny now, because I look back and think like, I did this when I was 27, which I feel like that’s so young. And, but at the time, I felt like I had, like, it couldn’t happen soon enough, if that makes sense.


Like, I had created so much chaos in my life. But now looking back, like, seven years is such a long time. And I feel like I know, I’m young still, but it just felt like a really brave decision to do in my 20s. Because that that was definitely not the norm. It’s much more than norm now. Because you know what I mean, it’s popular, and people are a little bit more, perhaps, like reflective post pandemic, but back in those days, like it was like a, you know, where are sobriety days or three days apart? So, it was very much like what are you doing?


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:06

Oh, yeah, that we were talking about that just before we jumped on? And it’s crazy, because we’re seven years sober, and we quit drinking three days apart? Which, on the exact same year? Yeah. Exact same year? Yeah, literally, days apart. 2016 what I was February 18. And you were the 21st of February.


Yeah. Well, so we were today going to talk about pivots, and how so many people are afraid of stopping drinking? It’s so tied to identity and sort of, what is that evolution going to be? And what’s it going to mean for them? And does that kind of keep you stuck for a long time if you’re afraid of moving in a different direction? So, can you tell us a little bit about sort of where you were when you were drinking? And what that looked like what your fears were a pivoting to like alcohol free life?



I mean, I think the, the irony is, is like, so I was bartending, and I was like very much in that. And that was working. So, I was like doing two jobs, living two lives and not necessarily happy with either. And I met my boyfriend who is now my husband, and I just kind of like observed that, like his lifestyle choices and my lifestyle choices were like very different. And there was one sort of instance that, you know, was like, a Tuesday, and I was supposed to give my friend a ride to the airport. And I wasn’t working until later that night or something. And we started drinking at like, 10 o’clock in the morning, because we’re bartenders, and we slept late, and it’s acceptable to do that. So, we were doing that, and I ended up getting too drunk to be able to drive him to the airport. So, I had to like, beg my boyfriend to come to leave work to come home to give us to give my friend a ride to the airport, which I don’t know why I thought that was the solution at the time, but I did, and he did it. I feel like for me, it was just kind of like, oh, not everyone is doing this. Like, because I kind of thought like, we’re all living this lifestyle, like everyone is doing this. And if they’re not doing it, like they’re just boring or something.


And I think for me, like, I’ve always sort of felt like I hadn’t found my thing. You know, I moved to New York and wanted this job in fashion. Got the job in fashion, and it felt like it wasn’t my thing. And then I got, it’s like, I was going through the motions, which I feel like, it’s common when you’re young and kind of all the time, right? You’re like, do I really want this? Like, this is kind of not what I thought it was going to be. And, you know. So, thinking about quitting was just totally terrifying. Because, you know, I knew that it was really rocking me to like, I was a bartender, like, it was my job to go to the bar and drink. And yes, make drinks, but, you know, it just feels impossible at the time to, to like, ponder about a totally different life. And it feels hard to stand in that when you’re not necessarily like I didn’t, I didn’t and probably don’t have great self-esteem still. And making that decision for myself, I think was difficult, because I was like, Are people still going to like me? Am I going to be able to do the same things? But ultimately, like, I just kept coming back to it like this. This isn’t me, like, on some level, like, This isn’t me anymore, and I was tired of it. If it doesn’t make the change any easier.



Was it really hard to stop drinking while you were still working in a bar?



Yes, it was terrible.


Casey McGuire Davidson  16:36

I mean, it really hurt, right?



I mean, it was, it was hard. Yeah, I think, you know, I, like I had said to you before we, I had like, one year of baby sobriety before I started drinking again, before I got sober for real. During the same time as you and you know, I think, then there was no like, forever element to it. So, it was like, Yeah, sure. Like, you know, we’re, I’m just, I’m just doing a thing. So, like, I’m not drinking right now. And so there was no like pressure about this, like forever decision, I’m an alcoholic, it was just like, I’m not drinking right now. So, I could, kind of, like, kick the ball further down the field. But when I had come back to sobriety, again, it felt much more final this time. Like, obviously, there were still cravings to drink. Obviously, I was still afraid I was going to fail. But I just knew that like me and drinking could no longer be together. And therefore, I don’t know. I mean, part of me still wanted to be a bartender, because I still wanted to be in it. But then the other part of me was like, this isn’t like what I want, like, this is still not it, you know, like I made a better decision, but this is still not it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:41

So, did you end up leaving the bartender gig? After you stopped drinking?



Yeah, like I said, I was always working two jobs. So, I just kind of like phased myself out, like I was taking less and less shifts, and then I was just kind of on call. And then I remember, because I was working in my corporate job with one of my friends I bar attended with, and she had actually already made the transition out. And so, you know, her and I had talked about it. And I was like, Why do I feel so stupid about this? Like, why am I so attached to this? And, you know, she was kind of able to, like, in sobriety, like, let me know, what was up ahead and the things that I was going to encounter. And so, therefore, I think it was a little bit easier because somebody else had done it. And I could ask them questions along the way.


And, you know, ultimately, it was just really good to move myself out of that environment. However, my partner was not moved out of that environment. So, it was difficult, you know, because he was still going out, he was also like, randomly bouncing at like, one of the other bars. And so, he was out until all hours of the night, and it created a ton of friction, because again, I was trying to become this new person, and, you know, not feeling super, like, stable in my sobriety. And I don’t want to say that he didn’t support me, because he definitely did. But he didn’t make it easy. Yeah. In the beginning, yeah. And sometimes still doesn’t, you know, like, when you don’t have the problem that we have? You can, it’s easy to overlook it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  19:11

Yeah, for sure. I mean, my husband still drinks and he’s super supportive of me. But in the beginning, he didn’t understand it at all. Like he just wanted me to, like, not open a second bottle of wine on a Tuesday night, kind of, you know, just not get to the point where I was dead weight, he didn’t actually need to stop.


And when I finally did, I think it really surprised him. But I hadn’t shared so much about what was going on in my own head and what I was worried about and how many trying times I tried to moderate so when I finally told him all the things he was like, what? Like, how it was not. I mean, I was probably 6 months sober before I told him all the things.



Yeah, and it’s hard to articulate that too, right? Because it’s really it comes down to like with loneliness, especially if you’re in a partnership with somebody that still drinks and doesn’t get it, who doesn’t have a problem? And was like, How can I even relate to you? Because you don’t share this issue? Like this issue that I wish I didn’t have? Yeah. And it feels unfair that I have it and you don’t.


Casey McGuire Davidson  20:16

You know, like, there’s some element of jealousy, like, Fuck you, it absolutely out. And, yes, even if it’s your own choice to do it, it’s, you know, I always think when I went to, which I do not recommend to anyone, I happen to book this like hot air balloon thing for my birthday, before I quit drinking. And so, 2 months after I quit drinking, we took the hot air balloon ride on my birthday. And afterwards, there was like, we’ll go to this winery and do wine tasting. And I, you know, of course, went in there and was like, Oh, do you have anything nonalcoholic drink? They did. They were like, oh, there’s water fountain over there. I was like, fuck you. And, and everybody was like tasting red wine. I felt like they were making out with my ex-boyfriend. And I loved him so much more than they ever could, you know, and I was like, I’m going to kill you.



Yeah, I mean, I remember the first time I was with, like, new coworkers, and they wanted to go to karaoke. And I was like, What the fuck? Like, with strangers who are all going to get hammered? And, you know, but I mean, I don’t know. It’s like, I just went, and I had a great time. And I think I had already, you know, at this point, I started the book. I don’t know, I’m starting to podcast yet. So, I don’t know, I just like, look back on, like, old me. And I’m like, You were so cute, and so dumb and so brave at the same time, you know, like making all those choices?


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:45

Yes. And I think that it really helps when you mentioned that your spouse doesn’t get it, like listening to podcast being part of groups connecting with people, because if someone hasn’t struggled with this, they’re never going to understand or if they’re struggling, but still actively drinking. And you kind of need a community of people to share all those, you know, crazy dumb moments that you’re like struggling through and, you know, have them relate to you and laugh with you and give you advice.



Yeah, and I think, you know, like I had, my friends are still drinking, obviously. And they were very empathetic, because they were up close to like, how bad situations would get. And so, they were aware of the problem, even if they weren’t necessarily willing to, like, admit it to me. But they were never like, oh, let’s go check out the shoe make our own mocktails. Like, it was just like, I came to the bar and watch them drink. And just like no one really asked me, you know what I mean? Like, how’s that going? And I think it’s also because it’s, uh, people don’t necessarily want to bring it up, because they don’t want to trigger you. But I also think that that’s a scapegoat for themselves so that they don’t have to bring up something hard and say, How are you doing with this hard thing? And so, you know, it’s like, you still want to go because you want to be included, but then when nobody asks you about the real of it all. You’re kind of like, the fuck am I doing here? You know? I’m at your place. Drinking shitty water fountain water watching you guys. make an asshole out of yourselves. And like, I’m not getting anything out of this.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:18

Yeah, you know, exactly. And I’m always, you know, thinking like, if, when people are saying, Oh, it’s going to be totally boring. If I don’t drink I’m like, is it just boring? Boring, right? Yes. You don’t have to go to that. Right.



Right. Yeah. I mean, I went to I haven’t been to a bar in years, like, belly up. You know, I’ve been to like bars and restaurants. But last week, some classmates of mine and I, we were like, Let’s go out like we haven’t, like, done nothing, school related and forever. So, we ended up going, the person, my classmates suggested, she’s like, Oh, I know the bartender over here. Let’s go. And we sat like belly up to the bar. And it was genuinely just so like, weird to think about that. I haven’t been in that world. And luckily now like, you know, I’m studying therapy. So, my classmates, they’re also studying therapy. So, there’s a self-awareness, right? Like, we had to take addictions classes, so they aren’t necessarily asking me about my drinking life, but they’re also disrespecting, that I don’t drink so it was like, it didn’t come up. And, you know, she didn’t know the bartender and he does bring the free shots over of course, and then I’m like, Oh, guys, like I don’t drink and then they have, they’re like, oh my god, we’re so sorry. And I’m like, no, like, it’s just not a big deal. But like, don’t make it a big deal, please, because you’re going to make me feel weird. And, you know, the bartender was kind of like cavalier about it. And I was just like, I remember you. I remember all the people like you and my life that would make me feel stupid. And I was like, in my head one day, I’ll be like, I told you so. Yeah, you know? Yeah, like proceeded to watch this bartender take like seven shots and you know, two hours, I would like, I remember, like, oh…


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:03

I always bite my husband, my husband laughs at me, because, you know, I, I’m, don’t judge anyone, but occasionally I can recognize when someone’s got the thing. And so, we were in Greece on this food tour in Santorini. And it wasn’t like 10 in the morning. And this woman, there were like various couples. And there was going to be alcohol at places on this food tour. And there was this woman and a couple who showed up and the first one was like Greek coffee. That was the stop, right? Really good Greek coffee. And she was like, Oh, I don’t like coffee. Can I get a beer? And I’m like, okay, she’s like, we’re on vacation, blah, blah, blah. And it was awkward, because they knew we were coming on the food trays. So, the coffee was like, brought out on a tray. So, her beer had to come. It was really big. It took her a while to drink it. It like, threw off the timing. And I was like, leaned over to my husband. I’m like, yeah, she’s on the pack. Because like, it was so important to her and all the awkward jokes. But anyway, I’m like, Yep, I can see it.



Well, I think there’s like, you know, like, we’re all judgy, right? Like, sometimes my joke with, you know, teachers and classmates where I’m like, Is this me talking or therapist talking? Because we might have different answers right now. Like there’s I know the right answer. And then there’s like, what I feel sometimes, and I think that’s okay, too. Like it’s okay to sort of acknowledge. I don’t know, I think it’s okay, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  26:36

Well, so question for you.


I know for Seltzer Squad. It’s like, staying sober in the city.


Tell me about your listeners. Are most of them sort of younger people in the city who are sober curious, or is it sort of all across the US, in the world and various life stages?



I think that I honestly, it’s such a mixed bag. Like I thought, I think our primary demographic is women that are, you know, in the, in between stages of life, where they might be, they have a full time job, they might not have a family yet, they may or may not be in a serious relationship. But also, because we were one of the first sober podcasts really, you know, not the but, like one of the first sober podcast to kind of come out.


I think it’s very broad. Like, I have, you know, moms. I have women in their 60s emailing me. I have people that are 23 emailing me like, it’s a very mixed bag. I don’t. You never know what you’re going to get. And that’s what I love about it. I mean, I’m hosting my first Retreat in a couple of weeks. And like, I have no idea that’s going to be like no idea.



What made you decide to do a retreat?



Well, that. Like I said before, the in-person connection is what I prefer versus like, even like doing a meet up, I feel like that would be really overwhelming. So, a retreat is something that’s, I found a lot of value out of, and one of my close friends who is also Sober, Laurie Harlan, she started hosting these Sober Slumber Parties. And again, like, because I have like, a partner and somebody that kind of showed me the way and show me what to do. She was like, Well, if you ever want to, like co-host one idea into it, so it was like, I love that idea. So, we’re going to try it out and see what happens. Because I don’t know. There’s just something like unspoken about the magic that happens when you’re in real life with people and out of your normal day to day like, yeah, you just get perspective. I mean, I know, I will get perspective. I know, the guests will get perspective, it will just be, you know, hopefully magical for everybody involved to kind of be like, Oh, that’s how she lives her life and what’s working for her and that, Oh, her life might look totally different. And what can I gain from you know, observing that?


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:46

Yeah, I mean, I’ve gotten a number of Sober Retreats since I stopped drinking, and I love them. And one of the things the first one I went on, you know, I’d kind of never been on a trip without like my husband or girlfriends or anything like that. So, I knew one friend on it, but it was she recovers retreat up in Salt Spring Island, BC. That was a yoga retreat. But we also slept in a yurt. And there was an amazing food. And it felt like I was back at summer camp, like sitting around the sharing circles. And we went hiking and went swimming in a lake. I just, I felt like I was 16 Again, which was incredible.



Yeah, and I think there’s something about like, you know, like we said before, sobriety can be such a lonely time that it’s just so important to kind of be vulnerable and know that like, other people are in the same situation that like, we’re truly just strangers with this one very important, very serious thing in common, but there’s so many other aspects to our life that you do need better so poor relationships and better sober connection. So, I’m all about like the IRL meetings and I think we’re That’s all especially like post pandemic, craving that and like down to meet new people. So, of course, it’s scary and overwhelming. But you know, like, we’ll get through it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:09

Yeah. I mean, I think it’s amazing. One thing I noticed, we’re so afraid to stop drinking, because we’re like, my social life is going to be over. You know, I’ll never go out again, I’ll lose all my friends. At least, that was a lot of the fears that I had, like, even if I want to go out with my friends, I’ll just sit there miserable and deprived and everything else, which, you know, it is definitely awkward at first, but then it gets so much better. But one thing I looked at is after I had been a year sober, I mean, this was seven years ago. So, I was on Facebook at the time, I had made, you know, they send you that recap. I had made more new friends in that one year than I probably made in the previous three years, which was kind of incredible. Because when I was drinking, I was pretty isolated. I wasn’t like meeting new people and making connections. And, you know, the sober world is pretty friendly and amazing once you dive into it.



Yeah, and I think even drinking you, right, like, you were wrapped up in it, it’s like you also had, I had friends that like I knew I could really drink with, I had friends that I knew that I couldn’t really drink with I had, you know, so there was just like, all this, like, all this shit going on. Right? So that meeting a new person, I’d be like, well, what if they judge my drinking? Or what if they don’t drink, and then you know, so it was almost like a deterrent, right? Because my drinking just took up so much time. But I think that kind of goes, I think that kind of goes back to what we were saying before about the pivot is like, you have to be okay to kind of like start a new era of yourself. And, you know, thinking back, if I hadn’t stopped drinking, I would probably be sitting there on the same barstool with the same people. And like, not knowing all of the things that I know now about myself, about other people, new friendships, and things like that, that are just a lot more meaningful, and evolved for me, you know, not saying that there’s anything wrong with it, but like, it’s okay to kind of turn into something else. Right. Like, we don’t have to be who we’ve been in our whole lives.


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:12

Yeah, you sort of get to transform and evolve. And, I mean, I think there’s so many when I look back, so many phases in my life that are sort of distinct, you know, the moving to Seattle and being like living with my boyfriend at the time now husband on a floating home, like on Lake Union kayak, you know, and then it was we bought a house and you know, dual income, no kids, lots of dinner parties, and why. And then you have kids and you’re in that like, Mom phase, for a woman, you know, you get to evolve and have a new, exciting time period. And yet, drinking keeps you so stuck in the same cycle. It’s really hard to move away from it and be like, Okay, what else can I be? What can I add to my life? What’s exciting now?



One, I think you hit the nail on the head, that like, somehow we’re told this lie in life that like it’s also supposed to be this like flat or upward curve to everything, right, like we’re supposed to evolve are supposed to change. And we shouldn’t necessarily, like resist that as a culture as much as we do. Because like, moving to these three, these milestones is like, truly a privilege. And like you said, like drinking really does keep us stuck. And it keeps us sort of like buying into that narrative that like, I don’t know, you’re just, you’re like a lot of my drinking was commiserating, right. So, it was like we’re all just getting together and like complaining about the way things are but doing nothing, but creating chaos so that we actually can’t like, fix the things that we’ve been complaining about. And then once you sort of strip yourself of that of the drinking armor, then you’re like, Oh, I actually have to do something like actually do have to grow and evolve and begin the hard work, which is the hardest part. But it like yields the bigger, sweeter reward because you come out with new perspective, with new friendships with the relationships and with resilience. So, it’s like, I know that I can get through anything truly as a sober person versus the person you know, old me that like couldn’t deal with like a fucking flat tire.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:20

Oh, yeah. I mean, when I was drinking, I felt like literally any new thing would be the straw that broke me write a new request from my boss and new, you know, hurdle in my kids getting sick, like everything was too much, because it was strong, like so thin in terms of getting through the day. And now once you stop drinking, everything isn’t such a crisis, like, you have more to give and more space, which makes sense because your nervous system isn’t shot to hell.



It could be got good sleep, right? You’re sleeping better. You aren’t wasting all that time. You aren’t feeling guilty and defensive half the time. But yeah, it’s kind of amazing. And it’s like,

we can lean into these transitions, right? Like, lean into how difficult the early years of motherhood is like, why don’t we lean into that instead, we just like, back away, like with a 10 foot pole, right? I see my friends who now have young kids, and they kind of like elbow each other, like, see, you know, it was just as bad as everybody told us it was going to be and it’s like, what, why do we label it like that? You know, it’s inevitable, right? Like, your kids are going to be little, and they’re going to need you more, and then they’re going to grow up and they’ll need your less like, this is just a season, you have to pivot.


Casey McGuire Davidson  35:35

Yeah, I think that’s interesting, like the idea of a season and the idea of evolution and, and becoming, you know, which I think is exciting and interesting about trans. I do now.


Well, so, before, I mean, I was like the same as you like, every day brought a new crisis. And I just felt like, I could never. Like, I think one of the first things I told my therapist is, I feel like I’m driving in a really fast car, but I’m not driving, I’m in the passenger seat. And I’m just like, the car is out of control. But I can’t, you know, grab the wheel, or put my foot on the brake. I think also, that’s because as women, we tend to people please a lot. And so, a lot of my drinking revolved around making other people comfortable. So, if my friends were drinking a lot, and I wasn’t, I could get coerced into drinking more, and not wanting to go to bars, I would still go to them because my friends didn’t want to miss out on anything fun.


So, I think just like putting ourselves second and not like, having to have boundaries, and having to be very clear about them is something that naturally happens in sobriety, whether you like it or not. It’s like the hardest lesson, I think in the beginning to learn is that like, you just can’t hang, and I have to know my limitations, and be okay with that and be able to communicate that and that’s, I think, still one of the hardest lessons for me to learn is what am I what am I okay with? What am I not okay with? What is serving me and what’s not serving me?



Yeah, absolutely. Well, so I was telling you before we jumped on that one of my favorite parts of your podcast are the hot What Are they hot mess hold downs. And Ms. hoedown?


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:16

I mean, tell us about them, just in case people haven’t listened to them yet.



So, I don’t even know how it began. I think when we just started, first started having guests who were like, can you tell us a fucked up story about when you were drinking to make people feel like less terrible, because just and I’m constantly would share stories about like, stupid shit that we did when we were drinking. And so, when we started having guests, we would say, you know, do you have a hot mess? Highlight or hot mess? hoedown. So, it really was just an avenue for our guests to say, like, you know, one time I got so drunk, I like, shit my pants, or I still think like, the number one hot mess hoedown ever is that this woman was so drunk that her friend went to the bathroom and at a restaurant and call, she was waiting for her friend to come back from the bathroom. She ate the plant on the table. And so, it just evolved into like, people writing stories and writing in about the silly and sometimes sad or sometimes serious things that happened when they were drinking. Because I think when you are in that, like problematic cycle when you’re like, oh, I have a problem, but I’m kind of in denial about my problem.


Fucked up things can start to happen that brings so much shame and you’re really like, you know, like for me, I took a Viking in one day went to get a Brazilian wax and the city started drinking red wine with my friend blacked out and got arrested for assault later because I fucking rip the windshield wiper off my cabs car and started hitting the car with it because I had no money. Does it make any sense? No, it does not. But if you’re drinking it, you’re like, that’s just one of 10 stories, right? That like happened on a random Tuesday? Well, because of the chaos that you were creating, because you were blackout drunk. And so, I think it just became an avenue for people to get something shameful off their chest. And also, for people to hear that like, oh, maybe the thing I thought was the worst. Like isn’t the worst. Yeah. Well,


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:10

and you know, I was listening to one the other day and you guys were just reading stories. But what I mean, I laugh about some of the shit that happened off and look back when you’re out of it. It is kind of funny, right? You’re just like, dude, totally. That was messed up, man. I just so many things. And I love sharing those stories with other women who’ve stopped drinking because they’ve got their own and you can like look back and laugh at it as opposed to like, people who’ve never struggled with alcohol who might look at you and be like, dude, what?


Yeah, well, it’s also like a testament to like the people that think that you don’t have a drinking problem and you’re like, but I did. I did, like, threatened my husband. Like I did almost stab my husband with a knife and then Have you no break up with him the night before we were going to Turkey and then the next day I did hire like a singing telegram person to show up in a gorilla suit and apologize thinking this was a totally normal train of thought. Like normally drinkers don’t have those dramas. Like, only people are probably going to make this up clearly in my, like, hungover drunk state the following day. I was like, What’s the best way I can make it up to this person? Like, I would never do that now. I would also have never make that mistake now. You know? Oh, no, definitely not.


I know. It was, think, that’s like, the battle wounds of the people that get it. Get it and the people that don’t, you know, can have one glass of wine. Put the bottle in the fridge. Bless them.



I was like, What the fuck are bottle stoppers for like, that’s a ridiculous thing.



Yes, still happens. I’ll be like my husband. I’ll be like, aren’t you going to finish that? He’s like, No, psycho. I’m not.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:56

Well, I used to get pissed when my husband would take a glass out of like, my wine bottle. Because I’m like, What a dick. Now I’m going to not have enough, I have to open another one. And it’s awkward, you know, but it was like his fault. In my mind. It’s going to be judgy. What the hell? If he hadn’t taken a glass, it would have been fine.



And that’s like, we’re like that about other areas in our life. Right? Because we have that addictive, like, you know, issue. But it’s like, once you cut out for me, I mean, at least once I cut out drinking the chaos calm down significantly.



Yes. Yeah. And you can see things clearly and you’re just more rational and, and, you know, able to see things. But anyway, I was listening to your hot mess hoedown. And I was laughing really hard, which was fun to do. You know? Yeah, they are classic in distance. So yeah. When I know you talk to your community a lot, and you hear from them quite a bit. What are the biggest challenges that you hear people going through in the early days or when they’re trying to get out of that drinking cycle?



I mean, usually, it’s, you know, it’s all about that pivot, right? Like, I’m not necessarily ready to break up with all my friends or, you know, my partner drinks? Or you? How do I make friends? How do I tell my family? What do I do with my family drinks all the time? And that’s something that we do together. I think it’s just really encouraging people to do what’s best for them. And that’s so scary in the beginning, because that’s, like the last thing that you’re thinking about, right? You’re like, I want to make this change for myself, because I do believe it’s what I need. However, I just don’t want anybody else to be affected by it, even though it really is none of their business and doesn’t have much to do with them. Like me quitting drinking was really a me decision. It just everything else on the peripheral got much better and improved. But it was really like, choosing me, right? So, I would say like, all the beginning transitional stuff, like relationships coming out, and then friendship.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:03

Yeah. No, definitely. And one thing I always try to think about in terms of like, lowering the stakes. I know it’s not always that easy. But, you know, thinking about deciding to stop drinking in the same way that some people think about, like they decided to become a vegetarian or vegan, because it’s a health and lifestyle choice. Like, you wouldn’t expect your partner or your friends to be like, seriously, you’re a vegetarian. This sucks. We can’t go out to eat. Come on, just eat some meat, you know, they just be like, okay, you know, I couldn’t do you know, they might be like, do you mind if I have a steak or whatever? Right?



Yeah, that’s totally true. I mean, I think it’s also you know, Jeff and I have talked about it in terms of like a disease, like you wouldn’t say, like, you know, go have sugar to somebody that has diabetes, or you just, like, if you’re looking at it through like a more pathological lens. This is really a disorder. And this is really, you know, buy some disease. And so, therefore, when you think about it through that lens, it’s much more serious than just like a frivolous decision to not drink on a Thursday. Yeah, it’s like no, like, I got arrested for assault. Like, that’s not the person I don’t want to be. You know, like, I’m not that girl. So, if cutting this out, makes me less of that asshole, then that’s the right choice. Yeah, there’s also like, not many cons, in my mind. Now is like, Okay, you quit drinking. Like, I only see pros now. Like, I don’t really see cons anymore.


Casey McGuire Davidson  44:32

Yeah. Yeah. Because your life gets a lot better usually and a lot clearer and you’re more capable. Well, so you’re going through some pivots right now you’re finishing up school, to become a therapist, which is a new career path. And then also the podcast itself is going through a transition with just leaving Can you kind of tell us what that’s looking like right now?



Yeah. So, I mean, I’ll start with myself because girl Oh, wait, no, no, you know, so yeah, I mean, I will be finally done with school. I’ve been in school since the pandemic started. So, this, this December, I will graduate with my master’s in professional clinical mental health counseling, which is great. The world needs more therapists. So, I’m happy to contribute. And I think also, you know, I wouldn’t have, like, the reason I even went back to school is because so many people were reaching out to us for help. And I didn’t really feel qualified with how to help people in a constructive or responsible way. So, for me, that was like, Okay, well, what, what are the steps that I need to do to, to get where I want to go. So hopefully, this pivot, you know, I’m able to help more people than just, you know, my funny podcast once a week, that I can help them on a much more trained and real level. So that’s me personally, you know, I definitely want to specialize in like, women like us, right? Like, not necessarily people with addiction, but also just maybe people who have trouble prioritizing themselves, maybe people who struggle with boundaries, maybe people who are natural people pleasers.


And then of course, like people with addiction issues, couples will see I’m thinking about doing Couples Counseling, as well. So, we’ll see there’s some more probably pivots coming up with that stuff. And then as far as the podcast, I mean, just made the decision that she no longer wants to be part of the squad, and she will, she’s always going to be part of the squad, but she’s just sort of moved on from that phase in her life, which I totally respect. But I feel like, I haven’t said all there is to say yet. Like, she was kind of like, I don’t feel like I have anything left to say, I think I’ve said it all. And I was like, you know, when we really sat down to talk about it, I was like, I don’t think I’m done talking about it yet. I don’t know quite what that’s going to look like. I’m doing my best to you know, find compelling guests, and still keep the show light and funny and real and bring a little bit of levity to it. So, I don’t know, we’re still in the middle of that pivot. I’ve just finished school literally a week ago, and I start school literally tomorrow, but I have a little bit more room in my life to kind of become inspired again.


I think, you know, I’ve been doing nothing but interning at addiction facilities, rehab centers. So, I’ve been very up close and personal with, you know, the most severe kinds of addiction that, you know, it’s not just like, you know, you having two bottles of wine or me having you know, 10 mixed drinks. It’s like, it’s much more of the deep Thoreau’s of things. And I’m learning a lot and I’m excited to share sort of some of my findings from the highs and the lows of it all and what I’ve learned in school so now that I have a little bit more room in my life, I’m excited to become a little bit more inspired and breathe a little bit of life back into the Seltzer Squad. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  47:41

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, I think that you’re going on an exciting journey, and I’m excited to see where it goes next. I know that as a woman who stopped drinking, I really appreciated your podcast and being able to listen to people who completely get it and at the same time are enjoying living life. alcohol free with some humor, looking back and that’s kind of how I tried to do it too. So, it appealed to me for sure.



Thank you. I mean, the one thing I tell people when, I mean, I tell this to my clients at my internship all the time, like the one thing people don’t plan for in sobriety is how fast things can move once you want them. So, the sooner you get clear on what it is you want out of life, or what you want to pursue next, like, things move in warp speed once you have that extra attention channel. Like, I mean, look at Jess. Since the podcast started, since she got sober, she opened not one, but two of her own private studio tattoo locations. She got married, she’s moved to Brooklyn, like I bought a house. I bought an investment property. I pivoted my career like there’s like the sky is limit and things like moving warp speed. So, while there you feel like you’re giving a lot of things up like you’re also creating a lot of space for the like sort of the pie in the sky things that you never thought you would be able to do. And that happens like a lot faster with the intention once you’re sober. Yeah, would you agree? Oh, completely.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:09

I mean, I could barely like manage my life when I was drinking, kids and work and adulting and home and I stopped drinking. And after I got through the hard part. I mean, I was able to still do my director job at a fortune 500 company and go back to coaching school for nine months on nights and weekends and start my business while still having the house and the kids and everything else. I mean it was kind of incredible and my best my sober bestie Ingrid who also quit 7 years ago. We met in really early sobriety she, you know, VP at a Tech Firm and also opened a tiny bookshop and runs a bookshop, which has always been her dream I mean, and she became a Coach for like anti-Diet cycling, you know, getting out of that, that like diet culture mentality, I guess it’s called diet recovery coaching, which is so needed and the intersection between that and sobriety. So, I mean, the amount of things that you actually can accomplish with energy and ease is pretty amazing. I always think of drinking like this ball and chain, you have tied your ankle, that’s you’re just driving around and being like, is walking so hard?



Yeah. And it’s like the size of a refrigerator box. Like it’s taking up so much space in your life, like in every single room that you’re in. And once you’re like, free of that space, it’s just like, you really can get clear on what you want out of life. And then you got to get the balls. You already did the thing, right, you already quit the drinking. So, like, why not go after the thing? You know, you have nothing holding you back now. Yeah, it’s kind of amazing.



Yeah, I mean, it’s truly like the best thing that I’ve ever done in my life and the hardest.


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:58

Yeah, absolutely. And so, tell people where they can find you?



So, you can find us on Insta @seltzersquadpod? Our website is seltzersquad.com. Please send us hotness hometowns. Please send me ideas for the podcasts. I’ve been getting a lot of those lately and loving them.


And of course, you can listen to your to Seltzer Squad anywhere podcasts are potting. And then, also our episodes schedules switched up a little bit like since last August. We’ve been doing every other week since Jess left the podcasts. I’ve been doing every single week. But only the off weeks are for Patreon subscribers. So, I do have a Patreon fee. You’ll get an episode every Friday. Everybody else, every Friday, a new episode drops.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:42

Very cool. So, anyone who hasn’t listened definitely check it out a link to a couple of my favorites in the show notes. Well, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it.



Thank you so much for having me.


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


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