Signs You Should Take A Break From Alcohol
Have you been going back and forth about whether you should take a break from drinking but don’t check all the boxes for a person who had a “real problem” with alcohol?
That’s the case for a lot of high achieving women.
You probably work hard every day to accomplish a lot. You’re smart, capable, and productive. You manage work deadlines and finances, business trips and family vacations, school conferences and day care pickups.
And you love to drink. It’s your favorite thing.
You don’t check the boxes that categorize you as an “alcoholic” but you’re also worried that you might have a problem with alcohol.
- Maybe you think about drinking a lot and get irritated if you can’t drink for an evening.
- Maybe you have a glass of wine and immediately want a second or a third.
- Maybe you leave the office and wonder if you have “enough” wine at home.
- And maybe you tell yourself you’re going to take a break from alcohol for a ‘reset’ but have trouble making it more than a few nights.
We think that having a problem with alcohol is black or white. Either you fall into the category of someone who is an alcoholic or has a drinking problem, or you don’t.
And heavy drinking is so normalized that it’s easy to dismiss any worries you have about your alcohol consumption by looking at friends and family members who drink like you do.
You don’t have to have a drinking problem to have a problematic relationship with alcohol.
A lot of women fall into the category of “gray area drinking”, between the extremes of having negative consequences from alcohol consumption and being able to take it or leave it on occasion.
For women there are a number of early, subtle signs that signal you should take a break from alcohol.
They’re different from what you might see if you google “Am I an Alcoholic?”. I’m betting you don’t drink in the morning. Your hands don’t shake. Friends and family haven’t said they’re concerned about your drinking. You haven’t missed work because of drinking. You don’t need to detox from alcohol. You haven’t gotten a DUI. You’re not an alcoholic. That’s awesome!
You don’t need to be an alcoholic to decide that drinking isn’t helping you be your best self.
My guest today is Janet Gourand, the founder of Tribe Sober. Janet and I are going to dig into 30 early signs you can pick up on – things you might think, feel or do – that signal it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with drinking.
Here are 30 signs you should take a break from alcohol
- You make rules for yourself about when you’ll drink or how much you’ll drink and have trouble sticking with them
- You wake up at 2 am or 3 am with a racing mind or anxiety or find it hard to sleep
- You feel less energetic than you used to, mentally sluggish or less effective at work
- Other people make comments or joke about your drinking. You get birthday gifts with a ‘wine theme’
- You only do part of your drinking with others. You have a glass of wine before you go out or pour another drink after you get home
- You’re touchy and defensive about your drinking and downplay how much or how often you drink when talking to other people
- You drink more days of the week than you don’t
- You use drinking as a coping mechanism. If you have a horrible day at work, or get some bad news and your immediate reaction is, “I need a drink” …
- You feel like you’ve got it all together, but alcohol is the one thing you don’t have a handle on.
- Most of your social activities revolve around drinking and you can’t imagine your life without wine
- You wake up and regret how much you drank the night before
- You downplay how much you drink when asked by your doctor or therapist (“I drink a few drinks, a few nights a week…”)
- You don’t have an off switch. Once you start drinking you always want more
- You’ve always got one eye on the booze (at restaurants, how much wine is in the bottle on the dinner table, how much other people are drinking or not drinking…)
- You’re embarrassed by your recycling
- When checking out at the grocery or liquor store you mention that you’re “having a party” because of the number of bottles you’re buying
- You’re annoyed if you have to go to events that don’t serve alcohol
- You don’t remember the end of shows or conversations you’ve had after drinking
- You wake up and check your texts and social media posts in case you wrote something you don’t remember or regret
- You find bruises you don’t remember getting, are clumsy or trip after a few glasses of wine
- You wake up feeling sick from drinking with a headache or a hangover
- Your serving sizes have increased and you’re pouring bigger glasses of wine
- You’ve tried to switch what kind of alcohol you drink so that you’ll drink less
- You have a lingering feeling of fear, unease or doom
- You engineer occasions to drink with colleagues, friends or your partner
- You’ve wondered if you have “enough” alcohol at home or if you should run out for a bottle of wine
- You feel an increase in anxiety or stress
- Your eyes are watery or bloodshot in the morning
- You find yourself outpacing other people when drinking together
- You’re reading this list
Here’s how I can support you in taking a break from alcohol
Join The Sobriety Starter Kit. It’s the private, on-demand sober coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.
Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free
More about Janet Gourand
Janet is the founder of Tribe Sober. She lives in South Africa and has spent many years as a corporate working mom, in both Europe and South Africa, where she came home at the end of the day and drank a bottle of wine or more a night.
When she decided to stop drinking alcohol, she could find very little available support in South Africa. She knew she did not want to go into rehab and decided that AA was not for her. Janet got sober by her own efforts and by attending a workshop in London. As her journey continued, she decided to use her professional background in training and development to design and facilitate her own workshops in order to support people who wish to moderate or quit drinking alcohol.
Janet runs a membership program for women and men. She holds workshops via Zoom which are attended by people from all over the world. If you want more details on membership or workshops just drop her a mail [email protected]
She is married with one son and a chihuahua called June. Originally from London, Janet relocated to Cape Town in 2001.
Listen, follow, and leave a review for Janet’s podcast, Tribe Sober
Head over to Tribe Sober: Help for people struggling with alcohol dependency to find out more information on how Janet can support you on your alcohol-free journey.
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
30 Signs You Should Take A Break From Alcohol
with Janet Gourand
drinking, alcohol, people, wine, life, feel, sign, bottle, thought, night, women, stop, week, Casey, anxiety, glass, realize, sober, bit, take a break from drinking, anxiety, alcohol-free, self-esteem, nonalcoholic, mind space, heart space, gray area drinking, shift your thinking, we encourage and support each other
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Janet Gourand
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.
In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.
Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.
Hi there. If you’re listening to this podcast, I’m betting you’ve been going back and forth for a while now on whether or not you should stop drinking. And I want you to raise your hand. If you’ve had any one of these thoughts. You might have been thinking, I’m not that bad. I actually don’t want to stop drinking completely. I just want to drink like a normal person. Or maybe you come home after work. And you think I know I shouldn’t drink tonight. But I literally can’t relax or have fun without it. It’s really common to say I’ve tried to take a break from drinking before. But it’s just too hard. I always give up anyway. So what’s the point in trying again, or here’s one I hear all the time from women, everyone I know drinks. If I stopped drinking, I will be bored. Or I’ll be boring, I’ll have no fun. I’ll never be invited anywhere. I’ll just sit home and be miserable. Or maybe you can insert Whatever your reason is there. So is your hand up? If it is, that is totally okay. And that’s because taking a break from drinking and changing your relationship with alcohol. This shit is hard. And that’s why I’m really pumped to invite you to my brand new, completely free 60-minute master class, The 5 Secrets To Successfully Take A Break From Drinking. Even if you’ve tried and you failed in the past. After you take this free class, you’ll realize why what you’ve been doing up until now hasn’t been working and what to do. Instead, we’re going to cover all the juicy topics, including what questions you need to stop asking yourself, because they’re setting you up for self-sabotage, not for success. We’re going to talk about exactly what you need to do differently. So you can stop the exhausting cycle of stopping drinking and then saying Screw it and starting again. And we’re going to talk about the real reasons you haven’t been successful. And I’m betting they’re not what you think they are. And this isn’t surface level stuff. I am handing over the strategies and the mindset shifts I go through every day with my private coaching clients. If you’re listening to this podcast, I really encourage you to take a moment and sign up for this completely free masterclass. It will help you on your journey to drink class, and with more to feeling better. So if you want to save your spot, go to hellosomedaycoaching.com/class while the class is still available, and I really hope to see you there.
Hi there. I am hoping that you’re going to take a lot away from this episode because we’re going to be talking about the signs that you might look for or might notice that you should take a break from alcohol. I know in all the years that I was drinking. There were many, many signs that I had an issue with alcohol or that alcohol was impacting my life negatively. And for many years, I was completely oblivious to them. I didn’t know that waking up at 3:00 am were related to drinking too much. I didn’t know that my anxiety was related to that there were lots of little signs along the way that I didn’t understand. And so my guest today is Janet Gourand. She’s the founder of Tribe Sober. She lives in South Africa and spent many years as a corporate working mom, in both Europe and South Africa, where she came home at the end of the day and drink a bottle of wine or more a night just like I did. She runs a membership community and workshops for women and men all over the world with tribes sober, and Jen and I are going to talk about all those signs that you may not even notice that you should take a look at your drinking and may want to take a break.
So Janet, welcome on the podcast.
Well, thank you for having me, Casey, it’s lovely to talk to you.
Casey McGuire Davidson 05:53
Yeah, I’m so excited you’re here. And I’m really glad we’re able to have this conversation. Because I know for a very long time when I was worrying about my drinking, loved it desperately didn’t want to stop. I spend a long time debating whether I just abused alcohol, or whether I was actually a quote unquote, alcoholic and actually had to stop. And that was literally my worst-case scenario. And I know for a long time, I was drinking way too much and sort of oblivious, blaming anxiety and insomnia and everything else on other things. I thought a lot about the way I was drinking was normal. And I also didn’t notice as I was consuming more and more, what were some of the signs that this was becoming more problematic. And I think that might be true for a lot of women listening to this podcast.
I’m sure it says Casey. Yeah, I really identify with you when you said, do what you wanted to just keep your drinking in control? So you wouldn’t ever have to give it up completely. That was that’s the worst-case scenario, isn’t it? Because I just couldn’t imagine my life without alcohol. So I wasted I mean, I always say that I spent 10 years in the moderation trap, as I call it now. Because I couldn’t face the thought of life with no alcohol. I ended up trying to cut down and I made all the rules and I failed all the rules. And I went round around and I had these voices in my head, you know, that was saying, you’ve got you’ve got to do something about your drinking and then other voices, which would say, but how are you gonna have fun, you’re gonna, we’ve got friends. So that 10 years, and if I could give somebody, what does she do approach, she says things that I wish I knew when I was younger, if I could give someone a tip, it would say, if you’ve got to the stage where you’re drinking is on your mind. Don’t bother with cutting down, don’t bother with moderation, because the chances are that you can’t, you know, just ditch the stuff, do the work and go on to create a beautiful new life, because I wasted a decade in that place.
Casey McGuire Davidson 08:12
Yeah, and you’re kind of in the purgatory place, right. And a lot of it is just wanting to hold on to drinking so much that you really are prioritizing that. And not just drinking but trying to control your drinking or moderate your drinking or worrying about it. Over 90% of other things that could capture your mind and your imagination. And I mean, I get it right, we were both there. Nobody who loves to drink wants to give it up. But I think that if you can just say, okay, instead of moderating this time, I’m going to set a goal for a longer period of time, continuously alcohol free. So instead of trying to drink two times a week, or just on the weekends, or two drinks a night, just say, Alright, I’m going to start out and go 30 plus days without alcohol, and see how good you feel and do the work while you’re doing it. It’s going to be easier, you’re going to get so much more out of it. And you’re going to shift your perspective on what life without alcohol, it’s like.
Absolutely. I mean, we run challenges at the moment here in South Africa spring. So we’re running our cyber spring challenge. We’ve done it every year for four years now. And it’s 66 days without alcohol. We say to people so that you know they don’t feel pressurized. Just see how many alcohol-free days you can manage out of 66 and many people do manage the full 66 and then they say things like, well, I feel pretty amazing. I think I’m gonna try for 100 and I’m more and more convinced that’s the way to do it. You know, don’t think I’m never having another drink or don’t think oh, I’m going to cut down just go for an alcohol-free period just so be curious you know, how is your life gonna look and feel? It’s probably going to feel worse at the beginning and then it will get.
Casey McGuire Davidson 10:13
Yeah, absolutely and I’m currently reading a book called dopamine nation because I’m interviewing the author in Olympia soon. And she talks about how every time we drink, it just spikes this dopamine in your brain. But then your body compensates, you’re basically navigating life with a dopamine deficit. And that’s why you feel like garbage. And so you actually have to get away from the alcohol to feel normal and I only say that because you mentioned that you’ll probably feel worse for a little while which the first two weeks, maybe three weeks are the absolute hardest and then you start to feel all the benefits of optimism and happiness and peacefulness and all the good stuff. So you’re right I mean I completely agree with you if you’re sober curious if you feel like this drinking cycles getting you down, it’s a really great time to not try to moderate or cut back or not drink tonight, but to give yourself the opportunity to say okay, I’m going to take a break completely for a while and see how my body feels.
Yeah, and one of the most tedious things about starting on this journey is the friends isn’t it? They’ll say Oh, you’re a bit boring you know, what do you tend to do that for, and you don’t have a problem which in brackets means you drink as much as me, so you don’t have a problem. But so it’s so much easier just to say oh, I’m taking a break from the booze for a while You know, I’m feeling a bit tired and I’m just gonna see try a month or even two without alcohol and then they’ll get off your case if you put it across as like a health kick really, rather than saying oh I’m so worried about my drinking because then they’ll try and talk you out of it or you’re on a health kick and then when they start on it you again in a couple of months you say well I’m good but no alcohol thing and I feel amazing so I’m just going to carry on
for a bit yeah, yeah, and I think that’s the way to do it.
Casey McGuire Davidson 12:21
I think, yes. I think that is the easiest way for not only your friends but also yourself to wrap your head around this and to do it without shame and without blame because it really is a health choice. But let’s talk about all the reasons sort of that like whisper on your shoulder in the back of your mind the things that women might be noticing that they’re worried about their drinking right that’s why they’re listening to this podcast that’s why they’re tapped into this community but they’re like maybe this isn’t a big deal or maybe I you know, they’re debating Do I need to stop do I not need to stop so I thought we could just go back and forth and talk about all the things that we noticed in the early days sort of the subtle signs and then also what we see with the clients and the women and men we work with because they’re you know, I call it like a deck of 1000 cuts all the things that build up that you are sort of like the mini red flags before you have any big rock bottom where you’re like oh shoot I really can’t drink anymore
Yeah, well I think the rules are massive once you start thinking oh you know I need to cut down a little bit so perhaps I’ll one of my favorites was I’ll only drink when I go out and I won’t have any alcohol in the house. So practically every evening I’ll say to my husband Oh, there’s a new restaurant down the road. Let’s go out for a specific night. any excuse you know just to break 12 to keep within the rules in that case, but to have a drink so I think rules are a big one and I come across that with my with my clients a lot you know, they’ve made the rules. And once you start making rules that’s a mini red flag.
Yeah, I mean, I did that too. I don’t know any woman who gets to the point where they’re questioning their drinking where they haven’t spent sometimes the years trying to quote unquote moderate and you may not even realize that you’re doing it, so I did the same thing. I did the I’m only going to drink when I’m out. Which like you I just found a reason to go out like four days a week, right? And I was like, Oh, I don’t feel like cooking dinner or I’ll you know, let’s just hit this spot. And you know, when I was trying to quit drinking, I had a five-year-old and then later an eight-year-old. So I was taking my five-year-old out to eat four times a week which is ridiculous in retrospect. He got very good at eating like the boom noodles, like the Asian place that had great red wine. But I would only drink when I was out, then separate roll, I would only drink when I was in, you know, so I wouldn’t like drink and have two or three and then worry about driving, I often tried to switch to beer or to white wine, because red wine was my jam. So I basically would buy alcohol that wasn’t my favorite. And then of course, the I’m only going to have two glasses, or I’m going to drink water in between each wine or only drink on the weekends. I mean, all of that stuff is a big sign that it would be easier or better for you to just take off the table for a period of time and see how you feel.
Yeah, the choosing wine you don’t like cuz I was a white wine girl. So I thought, right? I’m gonna switch to red wine, first of all, because I don’t like it much. And secondly, because red wine is good for Yes. Right? Which is Oh, we go read that one article that says justified our drinking was sponsored by the alcohol in this article.
Yeah, yeah. But I think one thing we should recognize as well, when we start making those rules is that we’re actually in the contemplation stage, you know, for any change, you have to go through number of stages. And stage one, or stage one is pre contemplation. And that’s when you haven’t even thought about not drinking or thought about your drinking at all. And then the next stage is contemplation when you are a bit worried, but you certainly don’t think I’m going to give up drinking. And then gradually, you go through the stages and you get into action. And, and then you know, you have to stick with it. So just if you are in that stage of making rules, just accept that you’re actually contemplating taking a break.
Casey McGuire Davidson 17:00
Yeah, you’re on the path, you are on the path. I mean, so many women struggle with this. And never take an honest look at alcohol or how it’s working in their lives. And so I think that a lot of women, it takes them a number of years to go back and forth on alcohol and whether or not it’s serving them, and experimentation, before they decide that life is better without it. And Janet, I think you and I were talking about the one thing that we both wishes is that we had not wasted quite so many years in that really hard and painful place. We didn’t realize how much better life would be how much more energy and joy and peace we would have in our lives, when we were trying to cling so hard to drinking. So be proud of yourself for listening to this. And do yourself a favor. And you know, don’t spend as much time debating as we did, because life really is better on the other side.
Yeah, yeah, that’s my only regrets that I didn’t do it much, much earlier.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:07
Still making rules for yourself about drinking. That’s a huge one. Yeah, another one that I did not realize was associated with drinking for the longest time was the wakeups at 2:00 or 3:00 am. For me, I did that I remember I did that. I mean long before my son was born. And I would wake up in the middle of the night, I would have a racing mind, lots of anxiety, I would be really worried about oh my god, if I don’t fall back to sleep, I’m not going to be able to function in the morning at work. And I did not realize it was associated with the wine I was drinking at night, I went to my therapist or my doctor and told them I was having insomnia and at work stress was getting to me. So if you are waking up or 2:00 or 3:00 am that is a huge sign that you should take a look at your drinking or take a break from drinking because it is completely associated with your alcohol consumption.
Yeah, yeah. And I would also say if you’re in therapy for your anxiety and those Wake-Up Calls, then and you do drink, then try a couple of months without alcohol and you might find that your anxiety decreases dramatically.
Yeah, yeah, that is huge. I mean, another sign that that I think is like you’re feeling more anxious, right? Because alcohol absolutely makes anxiety worse. And you know, it’s like the chicken in the egg, right? Because we drink because we’re anxious and then drinking makes anxiety worse, but you’re right. If you’re in therapy, dealing with your anxiety and you drink. Removing alcohol is one of the best things you can do to lessen anxiety.
And often the therapists don’t go there because it’s like the elephant in the room.
Casey McGuire Davidson 20:00
Yeah, well here I just thought of another one, which is you lie or minimize your drinking to your therapist and you’re a doctor. Yeah, for me. I mean, the standard answer is right. Oh, do you drink or you’re filling out for me like a couple of drinks a couple nights a week like that, for me was, you know, it wasn’t a battle on the half, seven nights a week.
Apparently, the doctors are so used to that, that they just double it automatic.
Yeah, but even if they double the couple drinks a couple nights, that wasn’t close to what I was drinking.
I think another red light certainly I had that was when you have no off switch. You know, once you start drinking, that’s it. Really, the bets are off, even if you promised yourself because it’s a rule that you’re only having two glasses of wine that night, you know, you swallow for and then come home and have another one. You know, the next morning, three o’clock in the morning, you wake up thinking, Oh, you know, because I don’t know about you, Casey, but my self-esteem would just hit the floor every time I didn’t keep to my role. So thank god, I’m so useless. I’ve got no willpower. But of course now I understand. It’s not much to do with willpower. It’s about how you see alcohol. Once you realize it adds nothing but trouble to your life, then you can let it go.
Yeah, I mean, the idea of no off switch. That’s, that’s a huge sign. Because for me, I mean, my husband, and this was long before I even thought of stopping, he just be like, yeah, you just drink until it’s gone, are you he was so kind to me fell asleep, right, which was passed out. Like if I’ve never had a glass of wine in my entire life like it, it was always more is more and more is better. So yeah, no off switch, that’s a huge sign that you would be well served by just taking a break as opposed to trying to moderate longer. The other thing that I would say in terms that sort of goes along with no off switch is the idea of always having one eye on the booze or on the bottle. Meaning that you’re sort of constantly aware of how much alcohol is around for you to consume. I know that for a long time, when I would go to restaurants with my husband or with friends, I literally would calculate like, I would have two glasses of wine, and dinner would be winding down. And they were be about to come with the dessert menu or the check. And I would be like watching the waitress trying to figure out if I could signal her to order another glass of wine before it became weird. Like that was like 60% of my brain. Only 40% was on the conversation here.
Yes. So identify what we’d like Casey, I would go into a restaurant. And I’d well before I’d said a large loss of sarafine on blog, please, before I even sat down and be looking for the wine waiter. And he come over or she’d come over and we have a debate about what wine we were going to order. And I’d make eye contact, you know, bit of small talk and that person for me was the most important person. And I’d always you know, think all right, she’s over there. I’ll be looking at the bottle, obviously, do we need? Is everybody all right? And I’d be looking at everyone’s glasses as well. And you know, were they drinking more than usual? And how is that one only got one glass? Yeah. It hasn’t moved all night. How do people do that?
Casey McGuire Davidson 23:51
Or you’re worried like you’re calculating? if everybody’s drinking, like we got to order another bottle. You know, like, this isn’t enough. When are they going to want to? Or how do I position it in a casual way. I know that my husband usually drank beer. And if not, his second choice was white wine. But every once in a while, I would open up a bottle of red and you’d be like, oh, I’ll have some of that. And I would literally be upset because if he took a glass of it, then that wouldn’t be quote unquote enough, right? So then I was gonna have to open another bottle of wine and I’d be like, now you’re making it look weird. Like I was like irritated at. And I mean, that’s a huge sign if you are really aware and care about how much you’re going to be able to drink. Is there enough? Is it weird? Can I order another one? Like you don’t even realize how much better you’re gonna feel when you don’t have to do that anymore.
Yeah, and how you can actually participate and enjoy the conversation. Little bit preoccupied, and did you choose to do the desert as wind? You know, they come and say, deserts let’s take your order and I’ll say, Oh, you know, I don’t really do desert, so I’ll just have another glass.
Casey McGuire Davidson 25:17
Oh my god I did that all the time or like I went through a phase where I would like start ordering port or the desert vines, thinking that this was like really sophisticated my parents right after they got married, they were in the Foreign Service and they were based in Portugal. So they were very into port so we would go out to restaurants would be like, oh yes, I’d like the port. Really just want to consume more alcohol. And I love how we’re like, oh no, no dessert for me. Like it’s this amazing.
Yeah, I always felt very sophisticated saying that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 25:51
Yeah, but I mean, alcohol is so much sugar in it. It’s, it’s crazy. But yeah, all those tricks, like I even used to joke like, Oh, I consume my calories in wine, man. No, that’s like, those are the little signs that for a long time you’re not even aware of, like you may make a joke out of some of these things or, or have these habits and not realize that they’re all signals of the amount of Mind Space and Heart Space. And just the importance that alcohol consumption has taken on in your life.
Yeah, yeah, I think I think another big sign is when you think about your activities and what you do with your spare time, if they will seem to revolve around alcohol like-minded, think that’s a bit of a warning sign. I always used to say, you know, people might talk about their hobbies and I’d say oh, well I’m very social, you know, my hobbies are socializing by which of course, I’m at drinking with my friends. And your life actually gets a little bit smaller and smaller over the years. And the sign of a true alcoholic is you know, they won’t be interested in anything that doesn’t involve drinking, and their life will get smaller and smaller until they’ll need to drink just to feel normal. So you know, nobody wants to go to that sad place and the road with the rules that’s you know, a step along that road, isn’t it? There are so many people that are almost alcoholics, as I always call it and they always say alcoholism is a spectrum. You know, you have the nondrinker at one end, be alcoholic, meaning the poor old man in the park, you know, that’s homeless with these bottles, he’s lost everything, because that’s how society sees an alcoholic. But in the middle of those two extremes, that’s where most of us sit, you know, millions and millions of people are on that spectrum. And some of us were edging dangerously towards the alcoholic and because we’re so skilled at holding it all together, you know, and putting on this Superwoman act. Nobody dreams that we have a problem.
Casey McGuire Davidson 28:05
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Well, I think that part of this is just the idea that there is this spectrum right of alcohol use disorder or of gray area drinking, that there are the portion of society who actually can, “take it or leave it” or drink very rarely, is very small. And most of the people in this world who drink, drink increasingly heavily over time, right, that is the way alcohol is designed, it’s designed to make you dependent on it, to get you to consume more to get you to consume more often. And when you pair that, with our society and our culture where alcohol is celebrated, and available, 24 seven, at every event, it is almost inevitable that you are going to consume more and more often. And just know that I think the idea that I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t want to be in that category keeps a lot of people drinking for many, many years, when it is not helping them live their best live. So I love this conversation, because anyone can decide that drinking, it’s not helping them live their best life. And there, you know, I’m so glad I wish I’d stopped earlier. But I’m so glad I stopped when I did. Because if I was drinking a bottle or a bottle, and a bit more of wine a night, three minutes, three to five nights a year, when my son was eight, I can’t even imagine what my life would look like what my relationship with him would look like 10 years out when he was 18. I mean, he may not even want to bring his friends home, to hang out at dinner, if I was drinking that much. 10 years out. And so I just realized that life is so much better without it. But you can decide to stop drinking at any point and experiment being alcohol free. And like the wine is going to be there. Right? If you take 100 days off, it’s not like the wines going to be taken away and it will be unavailable to you. But you likely will decide that you don’t want to go back to it because life is better without it.
Yeah, yeah. I think we need to get curious, don’t we? Let’s just think about different lifestyles, you know, we become vegetarians. And we’re not surrounded by people saying, Oh, go on, just have one steak. It’s a bit of a tough choice. But it’s so worth just taking a break.
Casey McGuire Davidson 32:46
Well, and I love that you said that a sign is that all the activities seem to revolve around alcohol. And I think that’s it’s so common, and it’s the chicken in the egg, right? Because drinkers surround themselves with drinkers. And we like to drink. So we involve alcohol and most things we do. So, you know, I used to do a lot of like happy hours after work with colleagues. I did our anniversary weekends were always at wine tasting weekend’s football games had a lot of beer. I mean, there is always a reason to drink. But yeah, if all of your activities involve alcohol, it’s, it’s really hard to break away from it, and it’s a sign. The other thing I would say assign is, is if you were annoyed, if events don’t include alcohol, and I know this was me, like if I went to a baby shower, and there was no alcohol served, I’d be like, what she doesn’t drink doesn’t mean that we don’t like what the heck, that’s one person at a 20. So that would be really irritating to me. Another thing that was like, I did not realize this was a huge sign. But when my son was a newborn, I joined a group for early parents support where they paired us with like eight other parents of newborns. And we met once a week for 12 weeks. And our kids, I mean, they were infants, right? And we went to the first gathering, and it was five to 7pm on a weeknight. And no alcohol was served. And I was so irritated. I was like it’s after work. We’ve got these babies, we need to still have fun. Like they were like serving us like diet cokes and you know, goldfish, and I was just like, I don’t I can’t do this for 12 weeks. So of course I offered to host the next gathering at my house with like, all the wine and beer to kind of demonstrate how the you should go to set the tone.
Casey McGuire Davidson 34:50
But like, we were sitting around with like, two-month-olds like why would we possibly need a party to talk about sleepless nights and TV And all that stuff, I mean a huge sign that I was annoyed that the event wasn’t going to include drinking that I didn’t even want to go two hours after work. And yet, I did not realize it as at the time as a problem.
Yeah, yeah. And I think the way that we convince ourselves well, everybody drinks a lot. So I’ve got a nice story, one of my tribe, sober colleagues, that he helps me to run the workshops these days, but I met him when he came to a workshop because he had a problem. But he’s, he’s stopped now. And he sees his elf life, obviously, much more clearly. And he’s got his own company, you know, a small company, like many companies in South Africa, they have a fridge, you know, they have all the booze, a big fridge, and the employees can just go and help themselves to whatever they want. Once it gets to about four o’clock, you know, and there’s this quite a big drinking session on Fridays. And he said that I still remember him at this workshop was five years ago, and he said, Oh, he said, you know, our company where it’s very boozy, you know, it’s investment banking. And that’s just how it is. And you know, I don’t know how I’m going to code, that’s going to be my biggest fear, because I would ask them what their fears were. And these days, he said that what happened was, you know, he stopped and me told his colleagues and whatever they said, but you know, don’t mind me, the booth is there just carry on as before, but he noticed that the bill was going to Atlanta, Allendale. And what it was, is he was setting the tone, you know, and, and it because he was the boss, you know, the other people thought, Oh, well, I’d better have a drink with him, you know, otherwise, my career is going nowhere, this kind of thing. So that’s so that’s just such a typical story, isn’t it? Because we want to convince ourselves that it’s part of the denial. Everybody drinks as much as I do. And very often they don’t.
Casey McGuire Davidson 36:58
I know. And a lot of times, you’re not even aware of that. until you stop. Yeah. Yeah. Here’s another one. I don’t know if you experienced this, but like, you’re very aware or embarrassed or conscious of your recycling. Was that something you noticed?
It wasn’t a huge one for me, but I hear it a lot, you know, on the on our workshops, shops, and also what about the cashiers when we go and buy your booze and you think I better not go there tonight? I went there last night. I remember it’s explaining once that, Oh, I’m having a bit of a pulse. Oh, my God,
Casey McGuire Davidson 37:41
I always like, yo, you Yes. So both. First, I would say embarrassed about recycling that was for me, because, you know, if you drink, so at least seven bottles a week, sometimes more. So maybe I had 10 bottles of wine in my recycling every week, that is a lot that shoots heavy. So I would like drink a bottle of wine, put it in my recycling, put newspapers on top of it. So like, it wouldn’t be obvious that there were four bottles in there. I would like to try to take the recycling out myself, so that my husband wouldn’t do it. You know, these are all the small things that you’re like this, there’s no issue here. I just don’t want him to be judgy about it, or Yeah, so that’s like, I think an early psychological sign, or I would like for myself a glass. And then I would put the bottle like behind the coffeemaker sort of to hide it from myself. So like all these little tricks, but you’re right about the cashier. So I would go to the grocery store. And then in the US, you buy six bottles of wine and you get a 10% discount like they give you a little carrying bag. And so I would always just make this sort of awkward small talk with the cashier like, oh, gotta get the discounter Oh, having people over I mean, I bought six bottles of wine every single week, so I don’t know who I was trying to kid. But you know, you would almost feel like you had to make these little jokes about it. Because clearly it was something that you felt uncomfortable were born with. Right?
Yeah. And what about the bruises? Did you ever get bruises? Myself, and some of my girlfriends you know we got the bruises and we used that we gave them a name we call them UD eyes and identify drinking incident. We must have banged ourselves somehow and you know you’d wake up music. Oh, I don’t remember doing because of course you didn’t feel a thing probably.
Casey McGuire Davidson 39:47
Yeah. That that you would you would just sort of wake up and identify like, Oh,
yeah, what happened there and I knew just shrug it off and forget to about it well
Casey McGuire Davidson 40:00
I did a lot of like tripping at like I remembered going with Laura and out to dinner with the whole team and like you know every one of the sides just name it very concerned about how much everyone was drinking Could I pour myself another class Could I signal the waitress? Could we be like hey, we’re having such a great bonding experience let’s go to the bar for one more before we head back and then walking home and like tripping and trying to play it off or skinning my knee I mean, and trying to be like oh god these heels on these streets I mean, just all the excuses and defensiveness and stuff but yeah, bruises tripping, embarrassing moments that dropping things right?
Yeah, yeah, we just get so clumsy and the blackouts I mean the blackouts were no laughing matter for me though they were extremely serious towards the end of my drinking career and that’s what made me change but throughout my drinking I would have the you know, those blurry end of evening blackouts I’d wake up in the morning and the first thing I would look for is where’s my jacket? Where’s my where’s my hat? And they were always there but I have no memory of bringing them back you know because you kind of go on automatic pilots and thank goodness you know I never drove although in here in South Africa I was quite shocked by the number of people that drink and drive and don’t think anything of it. But because I was brought up in the UK, they’re so strict they’re the kind of brainwash that you never do that but yeah, the end of the evening always a bit blurry. You know, how did I get here? Yes, it was a text field. So brought me home. Well, yeah, well, I
Casey McGuire Davidson 41:53
remember getting I mean, you know, at a work party at a work holiday gathering. Course though, the night got fuzzier as I went on, it was at my CEOs house. And my boss, who was the VP of Marketing ended up taking me home because I couldn’t drive. And the next morning, I was like, Where’s my phone? Where’s my phone, I finally did find my phone, you know, the app on the apple thing. And it was where her houses which is a good 40 minutes from where I live, I She didn’t even know the phone was in her backseat. And so that, you know, again, super embarrassing, right? A went to a work party, I was a director, I was married, I had kids like, this is ridiculous. couldn’t drive home boss had to drive me home, lost my phone. I don’t even want to know what I was like in the car. And then just the mover compensation of trying to somehow play it off like this is normal or Okay, or no big deal. And worrying what you might have said or done or how it looks like. It is exhausting. But yeah, waking up in the morning, making sure you have your stuff like that you have enough that you get brought everything home. The other thing is what about rolling over and checking your text or your Facebook posts or anything to be like, Dude, what did I say? Or do at the end of the night?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I definitely did some of that. One of my big ones was some wondering why my husband was just, you know, a little bit cool in the morning or, or even was extremely soul kicked for the whole day, not wanting to ask, because I just didn’t want to know, basically, yeah, and overcompensating, you know, being really nice.
Casey McGuire Davidson 43:45
Oh, my God, I had that all the time. I actually had my husband on the podcast. And we did two interviews about our relationship drinking and not drinking and what he noticed, because he never told me to stop. And we didn’t really talk about it that much. But I would use to roll over in the morning. And he would be like, how do you feel? And I would be like, what a deck? Like even asking that because it felt loaded. It felt passive aggressive. Obviously, I felt like garbage. But I didn’t want him to know that because that would call into question my drinking. So I be like, What? I’m fine. I’m good. Like, I would look at him too closely. I wouldn’t want to engage. There was just all this tension and defensiveness and yeah, overcompensating so yeah. I think if your partner in the morning is cold, or does dinner, you’re feeling defensive. Like you’re trying to evaluate what happened the night before to figure out whether you need to make up for something big fine, and it’s exhausting.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. We were talking before about the exhaustion of it all and holding it all together and pretending that everything’s fine. Whereas inside where we’re deeply worried, and then when we do quit, we, we use all that energy for to create a completely new life. I always say we need to create a life we don’t want to escape from. Yeah, because somehow while we’re drinking like that we’re escaping. You said it, didn’t you in another interview that it was only when you gave up drinking, that you realize that maybe you know, you’ve done enough of the corporate thing, it was time for a change. Whereas if you carried on drinking, you probably never would have really had that realization?
Casey McGuire Davidson 45:41
Yeah, yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have because I was just trying to get through the day, and I thought that drinking was helping me. And then I also first I thought drinking was helping me cope with my life. And then I thought that the fact that I couldn’t cope with life was the alcohols fault, right? So it flipped from one to the other. So I felt like why Can everyone else manage this corporate job and the pressure and life and kids and I can’t. So I blamed myself. And you know, one of the amazing things about stopping drinking is that you can actually separate all of that stuff from each other, piece it apart, and be like, Okay, this part of my life is way better now that I stopped drinking, right, my anxiety is less, I’m less rushed. I can remember more, I’m more energetic, I’m sharper and clearer. And it’s not that everyone else can handle this job in this life, and whatever, it’s that the way this is being set up is intolerable, and not good enough. And I need to shift some things about the way I’ve, you know, set up my life so that I can be happier. So it’s not either or it’s sort of all of the all of the above. And you just can’t figure it out when you’re drinking.
Yeah, yeah, and of course, alcohol sub source energy and our motivation. We find that in our community, you know, it was such a familiar pattern for all of us we get home from work, we open the wine switch on the TV, and that was the evening taken care of, but now you know, people are just doing such interesting stuff and they’re getting creative and, you know, meeting new people, and we just kind of get our mojo back.
Casey McGuire Davidson 47:29
Yeah, so I think you just touched on something you know, we talked about an increase in anxiety as being a sign early sign a subtle sign that alcohol may be an issue Another one is your energy, right? If you just feel so tired, and like you don’t have as much energy as you used to that you’re sluggish. Maybe that you’re less effective at work that your just kind of holding it together. That can be a good sign that you should take a break from drinking.
Yeah, yeah, I mean I’m a bit older than you and I just feel like I’ve been given a second lease of life you know, I feel completely different to how I would have felt I’m sure if I’d carried on drinking you know and if there is anybody a little bit older listening to this I would say it’s absolutely one of the best things you can do as you get more mature because I mean the health risks are just massive you know as you get older I’ve had breast cancer and I’m convinced that’s linked with my decades of heavy drinking many women in our community have had breast cancer and the evidence is backing up you know the link is proven now so it’s dangerous stuff especially for us women you know and drinking a bottle a night that seven bottles that we can the this the low risk limits are a bottle and a half a week and but they’re very hard to stick to you know, it means just drinking one law. I always said well, if that’s all I can drink, I’m not really bothered. It’s not worth it. I’d rather ditch the stuff.
Casey McGuire Davidson 49:10
Yeah, yeah. And I think that even those low risk limits are increasingly being disproven right I mean the American Cancer Society I mean way too little too late finally admitted that the only consumption of alcohol that does not impact your cancer risk, it’s actually zero. You know, years they held on to the one glass of wine a night for women to for men, and that actually is not true. There’s just such a heavy alcohol lobby. So you know, I get it when I was drinking, I did not want to hear this at all. And I also was like, you know, vices, everybody’s got one I don’t smoke, I work out I do all these things. So I like to drink so what and I get that, but the idea that it’s healthy, and find you isn’t true, right? So just, you know, it bothered me for years once I stopped drinking, that the medical community was not being honest about it at all, you know, in the same way that they are about smoking and the risks to that. I think I’ve mentioned to you, but Katherine gray, who wrote the unexpected joy of being sober, told me about a 2019 study that came out of the UK, that showed that the cancer risk of drinking a bottle of wine for women is the equivalent of smoking 10 cigarettes for women. And for men, the equivalent of drinking a bottle of wine is the same as the cancer risk of smoking for cigarettes for men. So first, it’s significantly worse for women, just in terms of the way our body metabolizes alcohol. But additionally, you know, I think so many women out there would be like, Oh, my God, I would never ever smoke 10 cigarettes, like that’s crazy. And yet, we’re consuming that or more daily, seven days a week.
Yeah, I mean, this information has just got to come out into the public domain now, because the really shocking thing is in 1988, the World Health Organization produced a study that proved that alcohol was a carcinogen, you know, and that’s been buried, and because there’s so much advertising, alcohol in the media, you know, the information isn’t getting out there. And finally, you know, I sense that it is getting out a little bit more, but we need to, you know, I’ll call these to have a cigarette moments, because once we realized that, that cigarettes gave us lung cancer, most of us thought, Well, I’m over them that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 51:52
Yeah. Well, so in terms of early science and subtle signs, that you might have an issue with drinking, or you could benefit from taking a break. One that I had very, very early on was others making comments about how much you drank, and I think Saturday Night Live did this skit recently with at Bryant that was so spot on. And it was a you know, her birthday party in the skit, and everyone was giving her these little, you know, kitschy wooden signs with sayings on them referring to her drinking, but I had that for years, right? People would give me cork board kits that you used wine bottle, you know the wine stoppers to make the kit, or for Christmas, people would give me the rabbit, right? The, the quick opener of the wine bottles, right? The powered one. So you could you could open your wine bottle really, really quickly. People would give me wine charms, people would comment on how much I drank like just be like, Oh, well, Casey’s gonna for sure have this. Or you know, it was just, you know, some, this was like my grandfather, he golfs and like every damn gift anyone ever gave him was something about golfing because nobody could think of anything else. Like, every gift I got, or a big part of it was related to drinking. And that’s a big sign.
Yeah, because it’s become part of your identity. And I was the same I just used to convince myself on the life and soul of the party, you know, that’s just how I am. But now that I don’t drink after all these years, I’ve started to get to know myself better. And I’m actually more of an introvert than an extrovert. And I love spending time on my own and reading and doing walking in nature by the sea. You know, I don’t really want to go to policies and be the telling jokes anymore. So helps you get in touch with yourself. But yeah, definitely be. I always remember a friend sent me and I laughed, but I was quite hurt. He said, Oh, I met I met this woman the other day, you’ll really like she’s, she’s great fun. She drinks until she falls. You’re gonna get on so well with her. I know how I’m perceived.
Casey McGuire Davidson 54:17
Yes. And like others commenting on how much you drink. I remember, even you know, there are stories, of course, of so many women whose kids go to kindergarten and they draw a picture of their mom and mom’s holding a wine glass or, you know, what’s your mom’s favorite drink and it’s wine. I mean, that is super common. But I remember when my son was two or three. We were at Christmas with my mother in law in Florida, and we went to the store. And my mother in law picked up a bottle of red wine. And he said, Oh for mommy. And she said, oh yes for mommy and me. And he said you’re going to need another one. have others making comments and how much you drink? Yeah, that happens and that was long before that was six years before I finally stopped drinking right but I was aware of it. The other thing I would say that like follows on that really closely is you’re really touchy or defensive about your drinking, right? It’s like people comment on it and you’re really touchy about it. I mean, I used to always be like, well my life is really stressful it’s no big deal I do everything else this is my one treat. I used to tell my husband like you knew what you were getting into right kind of thing like you married me You knew I was a drinker. He was sort of like a kind of thought you’d grow out of it like we met, and you know,
like yeah, I said that as well. I used to say well to my husband who was liking me for years to stop but or to cut down No, he never said stop he just said cut down. And you know, I we have rattles about this obviously, because I would try to cut down and I’m trying really hard, but I was just using the willpower and then the wheels would come off and we’d have a big fight. And I remember saying to him during one of these fights, you know that that it’s just who I am, you know, I drink to let my hair down. I drink to relax. It’s just you know how I was angry and just you know, trying to justify it. very touchy, as you say.
Casey McGuire Davidson 56:33
Yeah, justifying it, trying to downplay it. Yeah. Trying to make sure people don’t notice blaming it, blaming whatever’s going on and other stuff like your stress or not feeling well or, or trying to pretend you feel fine sand, no one will mention it just that kind of defensiveness for
I used to say, Oh, I don’t do such a lie.
Casey McGuire Davidson 56:58
Yeah, yeah, I know. Or you feel like garbage and you get through it anyway, because you don’t want anyone to realize it’s because you’re hung over. Which again, is like this vicious cycle because sometimes you’re just tired and you need to rest and if you’re drinking and you believe that you’re tired because you were drinking or that if you rest people will think that you drink so much you can’t function. You won’t allow your body to rest right and then you’re just in that cycle of meeting wine to like, get that energy hit, which then brings you the crash so feeling touchy feeling defensive about your drinking, justifying it, downplaying it, you know, rationalizing and trying to attribute symptoms to something else is a big sign
a lot of signs Yeah,
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:51
well here’s one other one and this was like classic for me using drinking as a coping mechanism right so if you have a horrible day at work or get that news, I need a drink you know, like anything that happens a glass of wine a drink is your way to cope with it
and you deserve it I was always telling myself that I deserved a drink which then turned into six well so what made you think I deserve to drink what were all the reasons?
Well, if I’d had a bad day at work, or if I’d had a good day by the way I deserve to drink it was my ritual it was the end of the day. That was that was what I did.
Casey McGuire Davidson 58:37
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. What about if this was me as well you feel like you’ve got it all together you can do anything you set your mind to except getting a handle on this alcohol thing. Did you
Yeah, I used to get increasingly angry with myself because I thought well you know I’ve got this amazing job that I’m holding down and you know, I know I’m a good mom and marriage is okay. Drinking and so you know, why can’t I manage the drinking of a strong person I always achieve my objectives but why can’t I manage this simple thing? So that that used to drive me mad Yeah, the fact that I couldn’t do it and it was what’s tiring is it’s just this nagging voice in your head and over the years it gets louder and louder and then you’re fighting Of course with the subconscious which is saying but you’ll never have fun again you know all your friends or did shoot so you’ve got this conflict, and it’s very tiring and that feels like anxiety as well. And of course we drink to drown those voices out so it’s really a vicious cycle. Yeah, it’s such a relief to get off that. That treadmill.
Casey McGuire Davidson 59:56
Yes. Yeah. What about you’re serving sizes increasing, like you somehow increasingly get the bigger and bigger glasses of wine. Or I would even go to some restaurants. And they would ask me like, do you want an, you know, five ounce or an eight ounce and be like, Oh, yeah, definitely give me the eight ounces. And then I would still have three.
Yeah, yeah, well here I mean, it’s, which again, is all about the normalization of alcohol. They don’t even have small balances. Now, you just get gets a huge dose. And I lived in France for a few years, because my husband’s French. Occasionally if you were in like a country town, and you went to a small restaurant, they bring you losses or not. So what’s this? I wash? A glass?
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:00:49
Yeah, exactly. I mean, when I used to go wine tasting, and they pour you the tiniest pores, I’d be like, what the hell is this and whoever spit stuff out, like I’ve never spit out at a wine tasting.
That he was you all supposed to, though. Amazingly, we’ve got a lady in our community that’s given up drinking, who is a wine expert. She still works as a wine expert, and she doesn’t drink, and she always spits, obviously. But the fact that it doesn’t trigger her think she was she says,
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:01:21
That’s crazy. To me, for sure. Well, so clearly, you’re waking up hung over more often. In my mind, you know, so many of us try to limit our drinking, but drinking often more than two glasses a day or drinking every day. I mean, those are really big signs. That it’s something that’s becoming more and more important in your life. What else can you think of?
Yeah, I think people get obsessed with quantities as well. I mean, obviously, if you’re drinking a bottle a night, it’s too much. But I say to people, however, about your drinking, even if it’s only a few glasses a week, if you’re worried about it, then do something about Yeah,
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:02:09
yeah. I mean, a big sign would be you’re listening to a podcast like this, right? Like that.
Your little switches off? No, yeah,
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:02:19
no, but it’s just, you know, a be super, super proud of yourself, that you’re even doing this, like so many women struggle with this. And they’re not tapping into resources, I mean, realize that it takes a long time to change your relationship with something as powerful as alcohol, as marketed to you as alcohol as ubiquitous that surrounds you constantly, where there’s always an occasion to drink. I mean, this is not small stuff. This is big and important and good. And also, there is a whole universe of amazing people out there who’ve decided that drinking isn’t serving them, who used to love drinking as much as you’d love drinking, and who were having a ton of fun and really amazing lives without it.
Yeah, and just to add what you were saying, Casey about getting in touch. Did you see that study that the templates that they asked 250 people in recovery? How long was it since the moments when you knew you have a problem, or if you were worried about your problematic drinking, how long between that moment, and when you reached out and got some help. And the average they worked out the average and it was 11 and a half years? I below that tells me there’s all these people kind of trapped in that place that we’ve been talking about. And indeed, I was the F 10 years. So I believe that statistic they came up with so I would say to people, you know, don’t wait that long.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:03:56
Yeah, don’t wait that long, because it’s definitely better once you get help once you get resources. But I completely agree with you. Like that’s one of the reasons I want to have this conversation because there are so many things that women may experience all these signs. You know, why can’t I manage this, I’m touchy about my drinking. People are commenting on it. I’m waking up hungover. I’m wondering where my keys are, where my wallet is all this kind of stuff. And yet women feel one that they’re the only one who is thinking about this struggling with this, whatever. They’re feeling pure pressure to keep drinking everyone around them is minimizing it and inviting them for the next happy hour. And if they even venture to say, I’m worried about my drinking, they’re immediately told Don’t worry about it. It’s normal. You’re okay. And so I think just you know, so many people Google, you know, do I have a problem with drinking and they You’re having trouble with the law, you’re physically shaking your can’t hold drinking in the morning drink?
No. I never drank the full thing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:05:11
I know. And so many women are like, Well, I’m not in that category. Therefore, there’s nothing to see here. And I did it forever. And there are so many more red flags or subtle signs along the way. That Dear God, don’t wait till you’re drinking in the morning. And by the way, I always like, I don’t drink in the morning, unless it’s a mimosa, and I’m out to brunch. And in that case, like, that doesn’t count because it’s a morning drink, right?
It’s probably, yeah, right?
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:05:46
You have different drinks for different occasions, right? So after dinner, it’s port in the evening, it’s wine. If you’re at a sports game, it’s beer. But that may be early afternoon, right? Like it’s, you know, we always say that we don’t, you know, don’t drink during the day unless, right? The occasion does it. The other thing I would say that that I’ve seen is you just feel an increasing sense of sort of fear or unease I call the doom I felt kind of doom. And just this inability to relax or enjoy your life, I think that that’s a sign if you drink, that you should take a look at it, because you don’t even realize how much it contributes to just overall and happiness and emotional instability and depression.
Yeah, and that’s why if you join a community of people, you know, on this path, it’s such a relief, because you realize, well, it’s not just me, it’s lots of people like me. And another thing I would say to encourage people is I know, hundreds of sober people, I think, and I’ve never come across anyone that said, Oh, I think I regret giving up drinking, they’re very, they’re always, you know, saying how wonderful it is. And it’s not wonderful immediately. So you have to be patience.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:07:10
Yeah, be patient with yourself. But also just keep doing the next right thing. Keep trying, keep taking the next step. I think like every single time you try to stop drinking, if you say screw it and go back to it, there’s something to learn there. There’s something to learn about what your trigger was, or what you weren’t getting, or what you’re afraid of. or, you know, where you need to take a break before you get to that point, or how you might need to be prepared for that wedding or that date night or that girls’ trip without it. Or maybe you just need more nonalcoholic beer in your life. So you can substitute or nonalcoholic Prosecco or something else. So yeah, there are a lot of you know, this is a process of trial and error. But as you said, like if you tap into a community or a coach or a group, it is so much easier because you’re crowdsourcing, not just the encouragement, and hope and solidarity, but also the practical, practical tips and lessons that you need.
Yeah, and many people do struggle for a while. And we’ve got a lady in our community, she’s just written a blog, actually, I’ll send it to you. And she’s called her blog at four-day ones. That’s how many times she went back to zero in a year or so. But she kept trying, she kept trying, she never gave up. And every time she fell, you know that people in the community would say, well just get back on the buses, we call it you know, you’ll, you’ll be fine. Try and notch up a little bit of a longer super stretch the next time and gradually, you know, her super stretch, it’s all joined up and now she’s now about four months over and you know, we’re all so proud of her. So if you are struggling, then just keep going. Don’t give up on this. It’s too. It’s too valuable to give up on.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:09:07
Yeah, absolutely. And I used to. I don’t know if you did this too, but I would only do part of my drinking with other people. I would often have like a drink before a date night or going out while I was putting on my makeup or I would go out and have two or three drinks with other people. And then wouldn’t want to drive home obviously if I drank too much. So I would come home and then open another bottle of wine and drink at home. You know the amount of rationalization that you can do make so that even to yourself, this seems like absolutely no big deal that you have a drink before you go out to drinks went out with other people and then more drinks when you come home is amazing. But I think a sign early is if you don’t do all your drinking with other people you sort of prepare or post party?
Yeah, because drinking alone, what you’re doing is you’re building a relationship with that wine. And I’ve met people, I was probably one of them, that would turn down social occasions because they’d rather be at home with their wine. when nobody’s judging them. They’re completely relaxed and drinking as much as they well.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:10:19
My favorite thing was like having a party by myself on my couch on Tuesday. Yeah, yeah. And then the other thing also is not remembering the end of shows or conversations. That was big for me, like my husband would always be like, we talked about this. And I was like, I literally had zero imprint on my brain. I didn’t know whether he was messing with me, or whether he was honestly telling me that we talked, I honestly could not remember, and I would watch shows and have to watch them a second time. Because I didn’t remember. So that also is, is, you know, sort of a big sign.
So you could joke we didn’t know each other while we were drinking. We would have got up to all sorts. I’m sure.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:11:08
I know. I know. It’s awesome. Well, I feel like we’ve covered a lot of things that aren’t always on the standard. Do I have a problem with drinking lists, hopefully things that that women listening to this can sort of have a light bulb go off and be like, Oh, yeah, that all sounds really familiar. Maybe it’s time for me to take a longer break from alcohol just to see how good I feel without it. Instead of trying to moderate trying to say, I’m not going to drink till Friday night. And then I’m only going to have two drinks, or I’m only gonna drink once a week, right? Because actually taking a complete break from it is so much easier than trying to drink once a week or only on the weekends. We’re only two drinks.
Yeah, I mean, sometimes I think Imagine if they marketed a pill that he took, you know, for a while and it made your skin clearer. Your eyes brighter, you lost weight, you had more energy, you felt happier. People queue up to take it. Well, that’s what sobriety does for you.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:12:20
Absolutely. Well, so I’m sure people listening this conversation are going to want to get in touch with you, Janet on learn about tribe sober. Will you tell us a little bit about your membership community and where people can find you?
Sure, yes, it’s called tribesober.com. So that’s the website. All the information about the website about the membership is there. Yeah, we have an international community. We’re all on a chat group together. Do you know that we have lovely chats? I mean, because we’re in different time zones now.
It never stops. It’s 24/7. So there’s always somebody there to listen, you know, if you’re down or you’re desperate for a drink, and you need to be talked out of it. And we have people that say, Oh, I’m at a wedding, and I’m standing here in my high heels for six hours. And it’s really too much, you know, we just, we encourage and support each other. And we always say that connection is the opposite of addiction. And I really believe that and yeah, that’s our membership. And then we have workshops and coaching as well.
Yes, your podcast is called Tribe Sober. That’s one Casey.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:13:38
Oh, yeah, I know. I’m really excited for that interview to come out. That’ll be wonderful. All right. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming on and I hope anyone listening got a lot out of this conversation.
Thank you. It was a pleasure.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:13:55
Hey there before I jump off this episode, I want to remind you that you can sign up for my brand new 60-minute masterclass, The 5 Secrets To Successfully Take A Break From Drinking, even if you’ve tried and failed in the past, by going to hellosomedaycoaching.com/class. Now, this training will not be around forever. So if you’re interested in figuring out what you’ve been doing up until now, and why it hasn’t been working, and exactly what to do. Instead, I encourage you to take a few moments, sign up, pick a time that works for you, and actually attend the session. I’ll teach you how to shift your thinking. So you can get out of the really shitty cycle of starting and stopping and starting again, and it’s okay if you’re thinking that you don’t actually want to stop drinking. I promise you, if you attend this class, you will change the way you’re approaching this process. So save your spot. Go to hellosomedaycoaching.com/class, and I can’t wait to see you there.
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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