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The Truth Behind Social Media Images and Drinking Highlights with Emily Lynn Paulson

The truth behind those online drinking ‘highlights’.

Getting real with Emily Lynn Paulson  

How “real” are all those images you see online?

The perfect Instagram families? The fancy business trips? The carefree Mom’s Night Out? 

Today my guest is an author, a speaker and my friend, Emily Lynn Paulson.

In our conversation Emily and I dig into the truth behind the “Online Drinking Highlights” you see as you scroll through your social media feed. 

Emily and I know that so many women struggle with their drinking, quietly, in private, and in their own heads – just like we did. 

You might look around and see everyone else is posting a photo of the sophisticated cocktails at a bar on a date night, the pictures of friends all drinking together around the fire pit, or the vacation pictures with the margarita at the beach.

And the truth is, you have no idea what anyone else’s relationship with alcohol looks like, or what their marriage feels like, or how well they’re coping with being a parent and with their jobs.

In this episode Emily and I talk about:

  • Why Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook set expectations so high for what a successful woman, mother and wife is “supposed” to be that most women inevitably can’t measure up.
  • The reality of what our lives, our jobs, our marriages and interactions with our children looked like as compared to the pictures we posted online.  
  • Why posting your highlights on social media is such a draw. As Emily says “In those Instagram squares was the life I wished we were living: a happy marriage, a healthy wife, a happy motherhood. Behind the scenes though, we were barely surviving.” 
  • How you can both love your kids and feel grateful for them, and also feel that motherhood is hard, draining and (yes) unfulfilling. 
  • And why finding a safe space of women to share your struggles and honest experiences – both good and bad – can be a game changer in living a happier life. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to navigate the drinking culture of parenthood and “mommy juice”
  • How to connect with your partner again after quitting drinking
  • Why it’s hard to quit alcohol when it has become part of your love language
  • How not to gravitate toward the pretty images on Instagram and take those photos as real life because the hard stuff is hard to look at both on Instagram and in our own lives. 

Emily Lynn Paulson is the author of a powerful memoir about her life, her family, her successes and struggles, excessive drinking and disordered eating, and her realization that drinking wasn’t working in her life anymore. 

Emily is a certified professional recovery coach, She Recovers Designated Coach, This Naked Mind Certified Coach, founder of Sober Mom Squad, and a member of the long-term recovery community. 

She has appeared on media outlets including The Doctors, Parade, Today Parents, and USA Today, discussing how to end the shame and stigma of mental health by and substance abuse disorder.

Emily has been sober since January 2, 2017, her recovery path is focused on ruthless honesty, grace, self-love and is documented in her memoir, Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life.  Paulson’s resources include one-on-one coaching, to help others evaluate whether or not alcohol is serving them in their lives. Paulson resides in Seattle with her husband and their five children. 

Shownotes: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com/21

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking

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Links and Resources mentioned in this episode

Connect with Emily Lynn Paulson

Book: Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life

Website: www.highlightreallife.com

Instagram: Highlight Real Recovery

Facebook: Emily Lynn Paulson

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Listen to more podcast episodes to drink less + live more.

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

READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW

The Truth Behind Those Online Drinking “Highlights”
With Emily Lynn Paulson

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

truth, online, drinking, highlight, memoir, life, family, success, struggle, excessive drinking, eating disorder, finding, honesty, recovery, beyond, filtered life, real, ability, show, good on the outside, painful on the inside, slippery slope, SHE RECOVERS® , Coach, This Naked Mind, sober, Sober Mom Squad, community, shame, stigma, mental health, substance use disorder, journaling, feelings, helpful, process, unraveling, stopped drinking, consciousness, memories, book, podcasts, self help, story, secrets, connected, women, free, embellish, affair, DUI, postpartum depression, facts, powerful, you’re not alone, moral, behaviors, coping mechanisms, learned behavior, Science, important, maladaptive, harming ourselves, societal pressure, encouragement, path, habitually, physically, mentally, dependent, messages, discipline, successful, social media, comparison, damaging, sharing, positive, pictures, expectations, happy, smiling, projection, husband, marriage, comfort, personal turmoil. trauma, joy, demanding more for yourself, connection, commodity, robbery, required, vulnerable, filtered, projecting, version of myself, exist, quit drinking, Facebook groups, Booze Free Brigade (BFB), SHE RECOVERS Together, you’re a badass, it’s gonna be okay, it gets better, similarities, crying, overwhelmed, these are my people, attract, support, sleep, anxiety, boozy, book club, core, friends, cleanse, issue, realize, reasons not to drink, powerful, take breaks, gets easier, experience, brave, love language, our cause is the problem, culprit, pattern, learning period, adjustment, adapt, date, relationship, admitting, scared, cognitive dissonance, deep conversations, solitude, champagne, serenity, surviving, safe space, pandemic, quarantine, work from home, empathy, extrovert, boundary, damaging

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Emily Lynn Paulson

00:02

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.

Today I’m talking with a friend of mine, Emily Lynn Paulson, who’s the author of a powerful memoir about her life, her family, her successes and struggles, excessive drinking and disordered eating, and her realization that drinking wasn’t working for her anymore, that it was a problem and that she needed to start and rebuild her life without alcohol. 

 

Her book is Highlight Real, finding honesty and recovery beyond the filtered life. And what we’re going to talk about today is a topic that I think is really impressive. According to a lot of women, which is the truth behind those online drinking highlights, we want to get real, because I know so many women who realize that they have a problem with drinking, who say, why can’t I drink like everyone else? Why can’t I go out on a date night with my husband and have a cocktail? Why can’t I be like those people in those pictures with their friends having a beer or going to a wine bar and having a glass of wine? And the truth is, we have no idea what anyone else’s relationship with alcohol looks like or feels like behind the scenes. 

 

So many women struggle with drinking and have so many lowlights associated with alcohol in their lives. And yet, all you see, and all you hear about is the highlight real. And one of the things I love about Emily’s book is that she does get real, she gets incredibly honest, and has a real ability to show everyone that what looked so good on the outside was really somewhat painful on the inside and the slippery slope that I know so many of us have gone through and that life is better on the other side. 

 

Emily is also a Certified Professional Recovery Coach. She’s a SHE RECOVERS® designated Coach. She’s a… this Naked Mind Certified Coach. She’s the founder of the Sober Mom Squad, and a member of the long term recovery community. She’s appeared on media outlets, including the Doctor’s Parade, Today’s Parents and USA Today, discussing how to end the shame and the stigma of mental health and substance use disorder. 

 

And Emily, I am so grateful that you are here to talk about this. It’s such an important topic.

 

4:03  

Yeah, I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

 

4:05  

Absolutely. So, just to get started, I know a lot of people listening to this podcast may not know about your book, or what’s it about? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

 

4:16  

Yeah, sure. So I really never set out to write a book. Initially, this was random musings, and journaling. And when I came to recovery, I was just really navigating my way through, How the hell did I get here. And journaling was really a part of my process. And I’ve always been a person who’s journaled, I’ve been a person who’s written letters and, you know, I get my feelings out on paper or on the computer. And so this was really a helpful process for me. So over the course of two years as I started unraveling, you know, one thing to the next once I stopped drinking, I started feeling these feelings and I had to work through those feelings and then from those feelings, I figured out what came from and so on. 

 

And so on, I was left with this really 40 year stream of consciousness of my life. And I thought, memoirs, books, all the self help information out there, podcasts, websites, groups had been so helpful to me. And other people’s stories were so helpful to me. And I knew there had to be someone else out there with a story like mine. And so I just thought, I’m gonna put this in the book, and I’m gonna put it out there. And the other part of it, too, was, so much of this had been so, so much shame and hiding and secrets. And I found the more I shared, the more I connected with other women, the more I felt free, and the more that I saw, it helped other people even if it was one person in one part of my story. And so I knew that it was important to just have it out there. I have done the secrecy thing. I’ve done the lying thing and so for me, just went full opposite into like brutal honesty. And that’s kind of how the book came about.

 

6:06  

Yeah. And I do think it’s so helpful because you know, one of the things that I think is powerful in the book and as you go through all the struggles that you’ve had, and and you are absolutely not alone in any way, you know, you talk about disordered eating, you talk about difficult relationships and your part in it. You talk about caring what other people think about you so much that you do lie and embellish. You know, an affair, which is incredibly hard to talk about. A DUI, which I know a lot of women have had and feel immense shame about it, even postpartum depression. And, you know, what is a really hard thing to be a mom, I mean, you have five kids and I can’t even imagine how difficult five is. We love them. But it is not all you know, ponies and unicorns, right? But in the book, you do go back to the stats, right? Because you’re not alone. So you know, the percentage of people in marriages in the US who’ve had affairs, the amount of the population who have addiction issues and who have disordered eating. And I think that’s wonderful. What made you decide to do that?

 

7:29  

So for me, when I was looking at, again, like, how did I get to this place? How did this sneak up on me? Well, when you read the book, and when I looked through my history, nothing snuck up on me. It was always there. But it’s really hard to see when you’re in the middle of it. And I have, I do have, like, a Science background. I have a Science mind and I like to know facts and figures, behind things. And if you tell me something like, I want to read the textbook about it, I need to know the real story. And so it was important for me to see, I think at first that it wasn’t all my friends. And I know when you’re dealing with shame, reading other people’s stories is so powerful because you know, you’re not alone. And also, it’s not just some moral defect within you. And that’s how I felt like what is wrong with me personally, this person here, like What’s wrong with me? And the reality was there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I was drinking and substance that makes you addicted, like I was using all these behaviors that were coping mechanisms like this was learned behavior. So it was really important for me to learn statistics and science behind it. So I wanted to add that to the book, because really, the book was a process of how I work through things. And I think that’s so important for people to realize, yeah, this is not your fault. You can see patterns, you can see where it popped up. You can see where you fell prey and what your part was. But, you know, there is so much to this. It’s so multifaceted. So that was really important to me to share.

 

8:54  

Yeah, and you’re completely right. I mean, we drink and we use other coping mechanisms that are maladaptive and really harming ourselves for a reason, right? Whether it is because of societal pressure and encouragement to drink, which I truly believe and it’s proven that alcohol is an addictive substance and anyone with enough prolonged exposure to it is going to go down the path of being either habitually or physically or mentally dependent on it. That’s what it’s designed to do. But also you know, societal pressure. Societal pressure and messages that you need to be thin that then is better, it’s more desirable. 

 

You are a person with discipline and who’s more successful than other people pressure to present your best self. You know, you talk about competitive parenting, which falls on mothers. This is a difficult situation and something that really forces a lot of women or encourages them to go down a path of unhelpful behavior.

 

10:07  

Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think that’s where social media and the pretty pictures on the outside really come into play and that’s really harmful. You know, it’s hard enough to look at social media and see everyone’s vacation pictures. I mean, there’s no vacation pictures right now. Like, I feel like this has been one of the benefits of the pandemic. It’s this equalizing no one’s doing anything fun, you know? But it’s easy to look at someone’s picture and say, oh, gosh, she looks so good in that dress. Oh, you know, maybe if I lost five pounds or you see you automatically see the comparison. But again, you’re not seeing what’s going on behind it. And the really damaging piece is when you are comparing yourself to yourself. So here I was, again, I was sharing all the positive things, pictures, the beautiful family, the successful, you know, work trip or or whatever it was. My…my happy smiling picture with my husband when we were, like, going through hell, and wasn’t showing what was behind it. And so I wasn’t even meeting my own expectations of myself. When you get in this comparison trap of yourself. It’s really it’s really damaging mentally.

 

11:20  

Well, and you write one of my favorites. I loved the whole book. But in chapter 15, you talk about projection game. And you write about how your husband Kale looked over your shoulders, you posted a picture on Instagram and said, you know, those little squares aren’t real. But then he wrote that you found comfort in those beautifully filtered pictures knowing they showed you at your best and that’s what you wanted, a family that functioned at its best. You wanted the life you wish you were living, which you were putting out there: a happy marriage, a healthy wife, happy motherhood, you know, and then, yes, behind the scenes you were barely surviving. 

 

Mm hmm.

 

12:04  

Yes. And I think that was the hardest part to reconcile. And I think, too, it really shows you can be going through personal turmoil. You can have trauma, you can have pain, and you still can have joy in there, too. I think a lot of people dismiss their difficulties, they dismiss their trauma because things aren’t so bad. And, you know, I was, you know, our marriage was like, on the brink. But there’s always that but like, but we’re still getting by, but we’re still doing this. And I think so much of it is demanding more for yourself and not demanding more of what you think other people want, or what you think you should look like. But just how you feel and, and so, social media is a tough one for me because I have found so much connection and commodity robbery, but it’s required me to become more vulnerable. And that’s how I found that when I was just posting all the pretty filtered stuff. I was projecting a version of myself that did not even exist.

 

13:04  

Yeah. And one of the things I love, and I’ve talked about this before, I’m a member of a couple secret Facebook groups for people who are struggling with drinking, trying to quit drinking or have quit drinking. And two of my favorites are the Booze Free Brigade (BFB) and SHE RECOVERS Together. Those are the ones who are sort of my home group, if you will. 

 

And I do have a guide on how to find them and how to join because they’re so helpful to me as even now, but especially when I was trying to quit drinking, but in a weird way, those women and a few very good men helped me and I shared with them honestly, things that I never shared with other friends, even friends from high school who I’m still very close to because they understood and there actually was some comfort in sharing with people. who weren’t in my everyday life and have them say to me too and you’re a badass for getting a week and it’s all gonna be okay and kind of, hang on, it gets better.

 

14:12  

Yeah and finding your people is so key if when I you know, I started in and walked into those rooms. I mean, that’s the heaviest door you can ever open. The door to that church basement. I expected to see people who looked nothing like me, acted nothing like me, felt nothing like me. I went into a women’s meeting. They were all women. I figured that’d be the only connection. And no, everyone didn’t look the same. No, everyone didn’t look like me. But the stories I heard, as soon as someone opened their mouth, I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, another person up their mouth. I’m like, Oh my gosh, there were so many more similarities. And I really just sat and I and that’s the first time I opened my mouth and it was like the floodgates, you know, I am in on I was I was sitting there crying just because I was so overwhelmed by the fact that I could say these things, these things that were so locked away that I was so ashamed of, and I’m like, this is all of a sudden, these are my people, these total strangers, things I had never said to anyone. And it’s so powerful when you find those people and now I find those people everywhere now. It’s just so funny because, one thing, I wish I talked about my book as if I had the one sober friend, well, of course, I wasn’t looking for sober friends before. And now, they’re, they’re all around you. So it’s like, what you kind of put out there is what you attract and, and if you’re not being vulnerable with people, you’re not going to find the people you can be vulnerable with. 

 

And that’s what I have found through this recovery process for sure. And when you’re more honest, you get so much more support, and it’s incredible, and even when you’re honest, I do it very well. Forget it. I’m out, I’m a Sober Coach. I host a Podcast. But in the beginning, maybe my first two, three years, I was comfortable once I didn’t feel like I was going to be sort of blown over by a feather, I would say.

 

Oh, I used to drink a lot, but I quit a year ago. And, you know, sometimes it was just people would be like, oh, why’d you quit? And I’d be like, Oh, I, I found that it was making me sleep terribly. And it was pushing my anxiety over the edge. And also, it was a lot harder to achieve my goals in life, like fitness and health and all the things but once you say that, other people open up like they either open up about like, Oh, yeah, actually, it’s something that I kind of have to keep an eye on too. And I’ve taken breaks or I also struggle with anxiety. That’s so hard. That’s wonderful that you’ve done it or some people are like, Oh my god, I could never do that. How you know what, geez, you know, and, and for those people, I just kind of say Stop there. And I say, Oh, yeah, I thought that too, you know, and you don’t have to go further. But when someone is genuinely interested, you know, you, a woman invited me to a boozy book club. And I struggled to say I remember I was like, well, maybe I’ll tell her I wanted to be friends with her, right? I liked her. She was a mom. She was cool. She was in my neighborhood. We had sons the same age. And she was like, Oh, I have this book club. It’s with amazing working women, you would love them. You know, we drink wine. We do X, Y, and Z. And I remember going to my husband and saying, What do I tell her? I want to be friends with her. But I obviously cannot be a member of this book club. Like, why would I do that to myself? So maybe I’ll tell her that I have a running club at night, which I did, but not on that night. Or maybe I’ll tell her that I’m not good at book clubs, which I’m not. I never used to read the book. Now. I do, obviously. But he was like, why don’t you tell her you don’t drink, you don’t drink. And I was just like, oh my god, you know, and this is for my husband, he still drinks. And so I did. And I said my thing about anxiety and sleeping and just feeling better and all the things. And she was like, Oh, I totally get that. And I totally need to take breaks because I need to keep an eye on it myself. 

 

And I’ve struggled with anxiety, and it actually made us significantly better friends and closer and broke the ice than it ever would have been if I just went to the boozy book club.

 

18:35  

Absolutely. And it’s funny because a lot of people ask, and I think assume if you don’t drink, like, you can’t have friends who drink or you can’t, I mean, but I’m like you. My husband is a drinker. Yeah. And he’s a very, you know, once in a while drinker, and he, even at the peak of our drinking, he could leave half of a beer. That was just something I could never do. And that’s not to say he will always be able to do that. I mean, we know it’s a spectrum but he knows. He’s seen me and he knows to keep a check on it right. 

 

But I think, you know, all of my friends who were really core good friends before, who still drink are still my core friends. Now those who maybe aren’t or, you know, nothing bad has happened. But those who feel offended or confronted or are kind of afraid to hang out with me or afraid to invite me places, I know that it’s more about their relationship or their worry, or they think because I’m around there. You know, they don’t want to offend me or, you know, it could be just to hurt feelings thing, or that it makes them confront their own drinking. And I know that because I’ve had friends come around who have said, I couldn’t deal with the book at first. 

 

I couldn’t deal with you not drinking at first. And now I have decided to cut back or now I did this cleanse and realize it’s more of an issue than I thought or someone will come out six months after they’ve stopped drinking and said, Oh, hey, you know, I saw an article you did. I thought I cut back and I haven’t drank for six months. Great. So you just never know what’s behind it. And so just coming out of the gate and being honest, that’s so hard at first, just to say, I don’t drink because you know, the next question is going to be why. And do I go into the whole story? How many reasons do I give? It’s hard, but you’re right, it can be so powerful, and you just don’t know who’s listening. Yeah. And what an impact it can have on them.

 

20:25  

Yeah, absolutely. And not everyone does need to share, right? If that’s something that is going to stop you from taking a break from drinking and looking at how hard it is, and whether it’s better and you know, don’t feel like you need to tell everyone or anyone, just not know that you don’t. And also know that it gets easier and it gets better.

 

20:53  

Yeah, and it’s no one it’s no one else’s business. That’s one thing I say to like, if you really want to be snarky, ask them back. Why do you drink?

 

21:01  

Oh yeah, see what they say? Or, or if there’s so many ways around it to say, you know, yes I do I drink water all the time or there’s fun ways to joke about it. There’s so many different things you can do. And there’s so many reasons not to drink. I don’t want to be hungover in the morning who doesn’t understand that, that there’s, there’s so many ways you can answer that question or just say no, no is a complete sentence. Absolutely.

 

21:26  

And one thing you know, you mentioned your husband, and you mentioned that he still drinks but you know, can leave half a beer which my husband is the same way. But a lot of our marriage and our relationship and dating was about drinking. I mean, when you talk about the drinking highlights, you know, I’ve talked about this before but a lot of our fun times were drinking you know, going to minor league baseball games and getting a pizza and wine afterwards, and sitting on the bank of a river, going to Italy, going to Australia. And the bar is in Sydney. I mean, drinking was fun. And yet, that was not my entire experience. And it was certainly not my experience at the end. 

 

And one of the things I thought was interesting later in your book, and I want to talk about it because I know so many women struggle with this is that even after some real low lights, you know, a DUI and affair,suicide attempt, which you’re so brave, to be so honest about it, you write that in the beginning, it was hard for your husband and that one of the reasons it had been so difficult for you to quit was because alcohol had become part of your love language, and you would use alcohol to lubricate the marriage. And that’s surprising considering that he obviously really wanted you to get better. Tell me about that because so many women say I stopped drinking. They are 75 days in, and a lot of people get better. So I don’t want to scare anyone else, but they’re like, that connection is difficult. Mm hmm.

 

23:10  

It’s definitely up and down. And again, everyone has a different experience. But you know, as you’re reading the book, it’s so easy to see Oh, obviously our cause is the problem, alcohol is a problem. But when you’re living it, really neither of us found alcohol to be the culprit. 

 

Even looking back we’re like, oh, yeah, obviously, it was a problem. We didn’t want that to be the problem because it’s something we both enjoy together. It’s something we both did together. In fact, I don’t know why this just comes up right now. But I remember at our wedding, we had a slideshow and I probably only remember this because I was not drinking at my wedding, because I was pregnant. Otherwise, I probably would have been hammered. But someone said when they’re watching our slideshow, oh my gosh, all the pictures were of you guys drinking and making out. It was pictures of us through a mayor for a relationship. And at the time, it was like Haha, Oh, I know. But it really was, it was just a, it was like a heartbeat of our relationship. I know that it’s social for so many people until it’s not, but we had to take out that part of it and find different ways to connect. And I know for a lot of women like alcohol and sex go together, and when especially when you have traumatic, a traumatic past or traumatic, you know, sexual abuse or sexual trauma, that can become a real pattern. 

 

And so it truly is learning to, you know, do everything for the first time without alcohol. So there’s a real learning period, there’s a “getting to know each other” period. And there’s also that period of “I don’t know how to be around friends”, I don’t know where I could be. I didn’t know if I could ever go to a bar again. Like, I didn’t know you don’t want to test that out too quickly. I didn’t know if there were certain people I could be around, you know, we went on a vacation pretty early on with friends. And everyone was drinking and I wasn’t and I thought I’d be fine. And it was really, really hard for me. And that created conflict with us. Because here I am saying no, you stay, I’m not expecting you to change. But then at the same time, I’m like, but stay here with me. There’s an adjustment. And so what I always say to people is, like, Don’t… Don’t judge anything in the first year. At least, that sounds like a long time. But our relationship has evolved so much. I think in any big wave change, you know, cancer treatment, I mean, at the death of a loved one, there’s so many things that can happen in a marriage that are going to change the dynamic of the relationship. And overall, it’s made it so much better. 

 

But there are things that we’ve had to adapt, and I will say, Kale drinks so much less than he did when we drank together because he didn’t realize, and I didn’t realize how much he drank to connect with me. Because that’s what I did. That’s so… this was something I really put in the marriage. And when I first suggested to Kale, you know, January 2, we went out to lunch and I said I had decided yesterday I’m going to stop drinking. And he was like, Yeah, okay, I get. Yeah, that’s whatever you want to do. But are you sure that’s the problem? I think even still at that point with all those things that happen, because it’s so hard to see when you’re in it. And… and now obviously, he can look back and be like, Oh, yeah, weird, he stopped drinking and now all of those things went away. All those fights went away, all those weird, you know, things that happened with us went away. 

 

And, and so there, you know, there definitely isn’t an adjustment in women I work with. This is something that comes up a lot that, you know, am I going to be able to stay married? Am I? How am I gonna stay married to someone who drinks? How can I have a relationship? How can I date someone who drinks and when I always tell people it’s like whatever the relationship you had, like the real relationship comes out when the booze is gone. So if there was a problem, it may come up. If there’s something that you need to talk more about. It may come up. And so you’re, there’s so many things that can happen in your relationship that could get way better. It could get worse, it could end, who know?. But that’s not a direct result of, Oh, I quit drinking it, it ended my marriage. No, it’s, I quit drinking. And I was drinking over the problems that were already there. Think it just unearths the reasons that you drink in the first place. And so for us, drinking for connection, we just had to find different ways to connect.

 

27:27  

I completely agree with that. And I’ve seen it. I mean, two things happen. One, clearly when you’re struggling with drinking, and most of us keep it really close to the vest because we’re terrified of admitting it. And for me, it was because I didn’t want to have to stop drinking. I thought that if I told someone how much I was worried about it, that I would not be able to drink again. And I didn’t want that to happen. So I kept it inside for years, and then you turn so much. Have that self blame, self hate, etc on yourself. You blame yourself for everything. And because you don’t want someone to question your drinking, you let a lot of stuff go, right? Because if I call someone else out, like my husband or my partner or my best friend, well, I get a lot of shit that is not perfect either. So, I was at the same time and I think my husband was too worried about our relationship. And, you know, I mean, we’ve been together since we were 22 so much of our lives we’re drinking and, you know, as far as he knew, it made me really happy. And, you know, at the same time, I just…when I started to not drink, I told him it was just 100 days because that’s all I could envision. That’s all I could imagine. And that, for him, was I think it helped to some extent, because he was like, okay, it’s 100 days, and we, you know, had to negotiate. Mostly me changing, where we went on dates, changing what we did in the evening, because I didn’t want to go to a wine bar or an Italian restaurant or you know, we took a lot of things like picnic dates, meaning books by the water, which actually was great. It made us feel like we were 25. 

 

But also, once I got to 100 days, I said, Okay, I’m going for 6 months. And he was like, okay, at that point, when I finally just said, I was done, we did everything. Like he was no longer scared that he could see it was better, that I was happier, that our life was more peaceful, that we could still have sex. And then occasionally, he does say to me, yeah, but you never rip off my shirt anymore. You know, all that kind of stuff. And I was like, I had to be honest. We like honey. I don’t remember that. Like, I don’t remember that I was in and out of sex. Like, while having sex like, I was just like, Oh baby, you’re adorable. And you have to look at Honestly, what were the load lights? Right? Because I’m always like, you know, my friends came over. We have so much fun with them. We had a little sleep over with our young kids, and we started drinking it because I put the kids to bed and passed out when the kids went to bed at 8:39 just did not mean it just happened. I’m in bed with them. And I missed the entire night. And how fun was that? My friends were over. We never see them. We planned it. I missed the whole night. They stayed up and looked at the stars and had a fire pit. And the next morning, I was so hungover, so hungover and trying to play off. Why did I miss it, right? Oh, I was just so tired. I mean, so how fun was that? And what am I missing out on? At least I’m awake. Right? Right.

 

30:57  

Right, and you know that’s just it too, is the thinking about things like that. And it’s easy to romanticize Oh, we used to do this. We used to do that. But do I even remember that? And see the pictures?

 

31:10  

Pictures? Yeah. And, and when you’re in a relationship with someone drinking almost, it was the equalizer like, okay, we’re both at the same place. We’re both tipsy. We’re both drunk. We’re both whatever. And there’s so much more connection that can happen when you’re both sober. Yeah, and my husband was the same way because to him, so much of my drinking was happy. I look happy. It looks like I was having fun when I was drinking. So even though we would go on a vacation for a weekend, a weekend away, and there’d be 6 bottles of champagne in the fridge that he would buy, because he knew that’s how much I would drink during the weekend. Even though he knew logically that is a lot for you know, 130 pound woman to put away in a weekend. Yes, he saw that I was happy. I was having fun with him so that’s right, like a lot of learning about alcohol alcoholism is that cognitive dissonance and, and realizing that that’s still not okay and that we weren’t at the same place. So now that that’s one thing I talked about a lot is, I want to be at the same place I want to be, you know, present when you’re present. And even if it doesn’t look the way it looked before, the connection is so much deeper.

 

32:25  

When the honesty and the support is so much deeper, I mean, I also have a lot of women who have conversations they’ve never had in their lives with their spouse and they’ve been married 15 years and it, it is deeper, it is more honest. You know, everything is a trajectory. So if you drinking every night is taking you down a bad path, you being sober, with your marriage, think about 5 years out, 7 years out, 10 years out, it’s going to be so much better. You’re going to get so much more out of it. Mm hmm.

If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule.  You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.

 

33:03  

Yes. And you’ll demand things for yourself that you wouldn’t have before. Yes. It’s… it’s hard to complain about, you know, your husband traveling too much when you have done so much damage. So if you’re working toward your marriage if you’re both have the common goal of the relationship as opposed to this is what you do, this is what I do, then we come together and you know, get drunk and go on a date and have drunk sex like that. That’s not connected, that’s not what I see as connection anymore. And, and also, it’s funny because I didn’t even realize things that I liked. Things that felt good, things that tasted good, until I was fully sober. And because I had taken on so many other people’s things that they like things that they did with their activities, you know, it’s like, wow, what really is my favorite color. What? It’s…it’s so easy when you get in that world to take on other people’s feelings and you know, Again, like sexually with your own husband, who you’ve been married to for 15 years, you know what, what do I like? or What was I just doing? Because I, you know, don’t even remember like, did we have sex last night? Like, that’s not romantic?

 

34:14  

I’m not the only one. No, oh god, no, you’re trying to figure it out in the morning, Jesus. So question for you other than sex with your husband, what are some of the things that you figured out that you liked truly and, and things that you figured out that you were doing? And you didn’t like?

 

34:36  

I realized that I really like talking, like deep conversations with people. And it doesn’t have to be someone I know really well. I like having, like, a good conversation that stimulates my brain, with somebody and something that they’re passionate about, like I love and that’s kind of how I went into Coaching, too. I consider myself kind of an accidental coach because again, I want to learn about addiction and all of these things and how I got here. 

 

And then I realized, I really liked working with other people. I liked listening to people and, and helping them with goals. And I don’t like small talk. And… and I was in the small talk world because it was all about happy hours and let’s go grab a drink, grab a drink here, grab a drink there. Let’s talk about the weather. Let’s gossip. You just do those things, the surface things – gossiping about people was something that I did, and I don’t like, and I don’t do anymore. And I think that’s one of the things that goes hand in hand a lot of times with women who get together in groups and it sounds like a stereotype but it… it happens like, it really does. 

 

You know, I like being alone a lot more than I thought. I avoided being alone at all costs. And if I was alone, I would drink. And so I realized solitude over isolation. There is a big difference between being alone in your thoughts and having them be productive. And…and getting time for myself. I didn’t realize how much I was numbing that away because like if I went in the bathtub, I take a bottle of champagne with me and drink it with that you can’t remember it. You can’t enjoy it if you’re totally hammered. But I, I appreciate, I guess it’s that serenity during solitude, just like being with myself being with my thoughts, and not being afraid of those thoughts, not having shame floating around that you’re trying to numb out. And I like getting to know my kids, and not just surviving them, and so much apparent it is. It’s hard. It’s no joke, like a lot of it is frustrating, and it can be aggravating and thankless. But like you have these little humans living in your house were actually really interesting if you get to know them. 

 

And it doesn’t take a lot you like, you don’t have to be in their face 24/7. Like having these deep, meaningful conversations with them, but just my connection with them is so much deeper than it was before because I was really surviving the day it was surviving, getting through instead of stopping and actually getting to know them. And you know that good. It’s hard. That’s hard to admit. But I think a lot of people can understand that once you get to the end of the day, it’s just you just want to check out and you can, like you can check out with them. You can say, let’s go for a bike ride together. Hey, you want to watch a movie on the couch? Or like you can have both? Yeah. And it doesn’t require substance.

 

37:42  

Well, so let’s talk about motherhood because I know that is a big topic. You know, I’m kind of amazed when I talk to people and I I say stuff about it being hard or my kids annoying me or you know Jesus, you know, whatever, they’re lucky they’re cute. I mean, get honest. And they’re like, Are we allowed to say that? And I’m like hell yes. Yes. But you write about, you know, you’re posting pictures of doing arts and crafts and in the images, no one could smell the alcohol on your breath, or here the slight slur in your voice, and I hear you on that. I actually was never a crafty mom, right. I was a corporate working woman. And that’s not just because I love to work right. It was also because being a full time mom is fucking hard and to some extent thankless and they are adorable. But I have to tell you when my kids were young, my favorite thing was taking pictures of them while they napped because that was the moment they were adorable and chubby and asleep and not requiring things of me, touch, help, Entertainment 24/7, right? So, talk to me about how motherhood contributed to your drinking and how it’s changed since you stopped.

 

39:15  

Think my expectations were so high. You have this idea of what you’re supposed to be of how you’re supposed to act and how you’re supposed to interact with your children and how they’re supposed to look and none of its real, but you can never meet the expert whatever expectation you have, you can never meet that and by the end of the day, it was like why am I not more fulfilled? Yes, I love them. They’re adorable. I’m so glad that my mom and also the sucks like both things can be true and and right.

 

39:44  

Yeah, and also and if you’re a working mom, it’s like now you’ve got to do all the things and juggle working and and then feeling guilty at the end of the day. Did I spend enough time with them? I mean, I am all home, especially right now. I am home with them. all day, every day, and it’s still impossible to spend enough time with your kids. Truly, it really is. And so this standard that we’ve placed on ourselves, I think it’s just just way too high. And so that made me feel I always felt less than, like my, a part of it, too. It’s like we had five kids and I always felt this. Well, did we have too many? Gosh, I can’t handle all of them. They’re not enough, things are not enriched, they’re not, you know, what I was comparing myself to was this unattainable standard.

 

40:34  

And I would, which was other people’s highlights, right? It’s the height. You talk about the perfect Instagram moms who have these very curated pictures of how are they also thin and gorgeous, and even with the messy bun and making sourdough bread, like, what the fuck? Right? My kids are whining and I’m like, you know, you’re not good. It’d be deemed as a family enough and the attitude and and I have good kids, you know what I mean? But even my Facebook feed is a highlight reel of when my son cooks dinner and Nutella popovers and not like yesterday when I had to ask him 17 times to do the dishes and take out the trash and I was so effing annoyed.

 

41:24  

Mm hmm. Yeah, nobody posts even the most honest, vulnerable, open people in the world. I consider myself very vulnerable and honest. I still don’t post pictures of me fighting with my kids. I don’t post pictures of me nagging them to go outside because oh, my God, it’s a beautiful day in Seattle and you must spend time outside because that’s what people do. That’s what you have to do. You still share the pretty things. And Gosh, I mean, the last two months, my Instagram is like pictures of my dog because I’m like, well, this makes me happy. This is nice.

 

41:56  

And you’re my cats. My kitten is here. Like, no I do love you unreservedly. Like, that yard is they cuz they don’t? You know, they don’t like they? I don’t know. They don’t talk. I think that’s why.

 

Well, that’s the thing. It’s like, it’s not like I’m just home with my dog for the last four months. But, that’s what I want to post right now. Like, that’s what makes me happy right now. So you cannot compare to social media and I think talking to other moms and and talking about the struggles it’s so important and talking with in a safe space with other moms because you will you can find when you’re, you know, complaining or sharing or whatever that it’s like, oh, but you should feel so grateful that you have these kids. Okay, yes. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. I’m so glad I was able to get pregnant. I had children. I know there’s so many people who can’t. That doesn’t make it less true that it’s hard. They’re both equal in both truths. Yeah, but so having a safe space with other moms where you can share that and be like, This is why I drank at five o’clock and it became four o’clock and three o’clock because I got to the day the house was a mess.

 

I couldn’t say one thing that I’d actually done and achieved and my kids were still crying and what the hell, I couldn’t even be successful in that. I tried to take him to the zoo the other day, I mean, perfect example. And the zoo was like, kind of open right now. It’s like it’s open. Oh, good, Lord. Kind of like, you have to wear masks. And you know, again, the expectation we used to go kids would run around and be a great outing. It’s kind of a hike, but whatever we eat, it’d be a day you know, we had to save a single file line and wear masks. A lot of things were closed and they couldn’t touch anything. It became like, why did I do this? Can I get Death March? Yes, I wanted them to have fun and now it’s like cattle called Southwest Airlines. Like what?

 

43:47  

I don’t know. Like, I tried and I failed. That’s how that’s really what would start the five o’clock somewhere like routine because yeah, at least I can get home. And I can have a drink. Well, now it’s just like, you know, the zoo sucks right now. Now we know we’re not going to go back until the pandemics are over because that just is not for us.

 

44:09  

Yeah, you know?

 

44:10  

Yeah. So expectations have been adjusted.

 

44:13  

Well, good. I think that right now, and I see this with a lot of women I work with and women online who are sharing honestly. And these are not just women who drink or have quit drinking, these are all all women. With the pandemic, with quarantine, with staying at home and work from home, we have stripped away a lot of our usual distractions, and then you’re left with the people you love, but also the people you live with and those relationships. And that’s, you know, when you say putting in your book, like putting a bottle of wine in your bag and heading to book club is easier. Then looking at what’s there it is hard right? Because prior to this we were so busy right? Don’t you know I talked to my spouse about the week ahead and the schedule ahead. When are you out? When is Hanks’ baseball game? Laila has ballet on Thursday. I’m going to pick her up after school and drive her there. Saturdays were baseball games, you know, all the things. 

 

And honestly, when they’re in school and you have work and you have sports, I only spent like an hour with Mike and the kids in the morning and like really two and a half hours, three hours in the evening, four hours a day and now it is 14. You know what I mean? And you’re left with your relationships and your attention and your challenges and your need to go get a latte without your kids and your need to have time alone and talk to adults and that is hard. Like all that stuff’s stripped away.

 

46:00  

Yeah, yeah, the autonomy part of it.

 

46:03  

Yes.

 

46:04  

Just all of a sudden, not having 6 hours a day without your children when you’re used to it, and not that if you need that much or but it’s… it’s just the change and and all of a sudden, what do I do with this? Like how can I, you know, at first it’s kind of like how do I recreate school and make it equitable and make everyone? It’s like no, I cannot be one person. I’m not 5 teachers, I am one person and what can I do and what can I not do and some things just have to go. And I’ve adjusted my expectations so much. And at first, I was so worried about especially my second grader, he’ll be going into third grade, but it was so hard on our relationship because he thrives in school, in groups in an environment with the teacher, and he hated learning at home. He hated me being his teacher, and you can’t zoom in with a second grader like that, but it’s just If I have a kindergartener, I know it was like an hour once a week that they got in this was a couple weeks after school got out.

 

47:08  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s ridiculous, right? Like he’s pressing the buttons. They’re all talking to each other. Oh, is that your cat? Oh, what’s that in your background? It will show me your toy. It’s like, Oh my god, it’s so much more management. You know, I had to get to the point where I said, My relationship with him is so much more important than the second grade, like if yesterday’s second grade was over, and we don’t hate each other. Like, that’s where I got to the point like, I don’t want to have to choose between doing exactly what they’re doing in school and loving my kid. 

 

Yeah, because there’s no question there. And so I’ve had a lot of things go against my own expectations of myself and what I think my kids should be doing and what I think they should be learning. Because again, I’m… I’m one person and, and I feel I do feel blessed with the ages that they are because you know that a lot. They can stay home. You know, my youngest is 8. If he’s with an older sibling. He can stay home. He’s totally good at staying home. And so I can take one of them out. And so our thing, really this whole summer since we got the dog, it’s like, let’s go to a dog park. You know who wants to go? And I’ll take one or two of the kids, we get time to chat and connect. We get outside. If no one else does anything all day, like, Oh, well, we’ll have our day tomorrow. Yeah. So the amount that this has brought my expectations on myself and my own kids down, I think, no matter what happens next year, or the year after, whenever we’re out of this sucking thing.

 

48:37  

I do think we’ll be at such a better place.

 

48:40  

Yeah. Because at the end of the day, it is, you know, our relationship is the most important thing.

 

48:45  

Well, and you do get to have empathy. I mean, you need to both for yourself and your spouse, as well as your kids. Like, this is hard on my 12 like he used to seem And being independent and walking between classes and having lunch with 12 year olds and going to sports. He is not used to being with his mom and dad and five year old sister. she’d kill me. She’s six all day every day for freaking five months. And my five year old is so our six year old Jesus she’s gonna kill me is so social. She’s such an extrovert, I call her extra. She’s got so much energy, and she’s constantly like playing Barbies, playing with dolls, going on the trampoline with me and playing zombie tag. And, you know, I, I work all day and I’m tired and I just want to sit and yet she’s been sort of ignored all day long. So having empathy for them is important too. But you’re completely right lowering the bar and it is a realization that we don’t need to be as busy as we are. Like we don’t need to be busy in our life. Do what we’re doing right now, ever. I would never not have daycare, or sports or whatever, if not for this, and it is a gift because we are more peaceful in moments. And they I think are learning that I’m human too because I have to be honest and be like, you know what, I just need an hour for myself. And you know, realizing like, my son is like, You work so hard Mom, you know, I’m not puffing myself up. It’s just he never realized that right?

 

50:29  

Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to do everything. I think they’re seeing things from so many different sides and I think it’s different for each kid to, you know, my eldest is almost 16 and so he’s able to go out and distance very well. He’s… he’s seen a lot of friends more than I would have liked him to, but there’s that like a boundary if like letting them go and he has to make his own choices and they’re good about masking up and staying six feet apart and biking. You know, that’s what they really do. So he has been able to maintain a Have that you know my 13 year old is more of an introvert and and so I think initially it was like cool we get to stay home fine and not realizing how much that school interaction forced her to be social and and how much it’s needed so I think it’s making me realize and have empathy for what their individual needs are you know and and finding a way to fill that like if you’re not getting to see friends like let’s go to Target or something like that go for a walk let’s like what can we do because there’s so much we can’t like but can we say yes to right now when we have to say no to so many things.

 

51:39  

Yeah and I know we’re getting to the end of our time but I did want to talk to you about work and drinking and I know you know prior to being a coach and an author and everything you do now, you were a very successful you know, skincare direct sales person and drinking is a big part of that, as is the social presence, right? And the women you work with and the conferences who were really driven around drinking. And that’s part of this sort of sales of getting people on your team too. So tell me about that. And not only the glamour but also what was behind that that wasn’t pictured?

 

52:24  

Oh, absolutely. I mean, that’s really how I got into it. Right. I met a friend for wine. And this is what she was doing. I trusted her. I wanted to drink more wine. I wanted to do more of this right what we were doing right here, and I signed up and I was good at it in the sense that I was drinking a lot and I was meeting a lot of people who were drinking and I was, I could, you know, talk my way out of a paper bag when I was drinking like I you know, I had no, I had no problem.

 

52:54  

I could have sold anything if you gave me enough wine. And… and so this was really He got to be toxic because I would get to the place where, like, I would work with people and not remember the conversations. I wouldn’t remember like I would have people’s financial information and not not remember it.

 

53:15  

I had some situations like at conferences where I was blackout drunk, and yet I was still achieving. So in the eyes of other people, it’s like, Wow, you’re so successful. Oh, you’re doing so great. And… and so that again, that dichotomy. It was like alcohol was fueling the fire. And yet, I thought, I kind of needed it. It became like its own, you know, it was just self fulfilling. I needed it and, and it was also damaging me, but then I needed more and then it was damaging me more. And, you know, it wasn’t until I quit, that I really could look back and have a better view of what I had been doing and how he had been using it. And how damaging it really was. 

 

And again, all these things I was achieving, it’s like, oh, I earned this car. This is awesome. Let me pose by this car can’t believe you earned this car that I know right?

 

54:11  

And the next day I got pulled over and got arrested for DUI after.

 

54:20  

And so did I post that on Instagram? No. But that was one thing I talked about and it was interesting going through this process because you know, I have been a stay at home mom for so long and when I started working again and started achieving and then I had this rice of success and then I got sober. I really went through that process and shared it as I was going through it like okay, this is what you saw on this what was what is what was really behind it. And it really forced me to get honest and and also get honest about what I wanted to be doing like Was this the place I wanted to be was the line of work I wanted to be in was this really true to who? Is this true to who I am? And ultimately, that’s why I transitioned into coaching because it just wasn’t congruent any more. The lifestyle selling that lifestyle, like I just couldn’t get behind it anymore. Since I wasn’t participating in it.

 

55:21  

Yeah, absolutely. And I, you know, again, same thing, right. I was. I remember, you know, back in the day, when I was probably 30. I was working at Getty Images. I was the global Director of Product Marketing for our entertainment business, right, which was so much fun. You know, I went to Toronto Film Festival and I went to fashion week and you know, Sundance and also, very clearly remember that I went down to LA to our la office to interview some customers. Who were extra TV and Entertainment Tonight and back at age 30. That was the be all and end all. And, you know, showed pictures and shared that I was at, you know, out to dinner with co workers in LA we didn’t have kids, right these awesome restaurants and did not share that. 

 

I don’t remember getting to my hotel room that night, like, I would set my alarm before I went out. And I’m shocked that I always made it out back to my hotel room like clear. You know, I was in a gray out right that was functioning. People didn’t know that I didn’t even know that I didn’t remember it until the next day. And I vividly remember that I was a new Director, like I needed to prove myself by going into the LA office and throwing up 5 times in the bathroom in my office. Trying desperately to be quiet about it, which is pretty screwed up and driving with my co workers for extra and entertainment and being terrified I was going to throw up in the car. Like, just I mean, it was a nightmare and shooting myself in the foot. You know, and super embarrassing and then I did it the next night too, cuz you know, WTF and I remember taking a cab with my coworker to a guy, who was married and had kids, to the LA airport and I was so nauseous. And Okay, even after quitting drinking apparently, I got nauseous and cabs, so I didn’t realize that. So this is definitely because I was drinking, but also, apparently I get car sick a lot. But we were driving to the LA airport. And we were pulling up, you know, I was so. So try not to throw up. Like, I was counting the seconds till we got out. And there was a huge backup. 

 

It’s LA, and we were just about to pull up and I literally threw up in the cab, and I didn’t have a bag and I threw up all over myself. Like it was a nightmare. And, you know, I was just, I mean, whatever, like, it was humiliating, like, I don’t even know. And I was like, gosh, I’m so sorry. I just, oh my god, maybe I have the stomach flu. Like, you know, he knew I was drinking the night before. Like, I was 30. I was a Director. And I got out of the car. I mean, just… He paid the bill. Like it was just literally one of the lowest moments in my life. And I got my suitcase. I got the New York Times which was in a plastic bag. Why the fuck didn’t I have that in the seat with me and went to the bathroom, changed my clothes. Put all my clothes in the New York Times bag. And I remember talking to my husband, my mother and my sister and I was like, Do you think he’ll tell anyone? And my husband was like, You fucking threw up on yourself. I’m pretty sure he’s gonna tell someone. I was like, maybe he’ll think I’m pregnant. 

 

And he was like, weren’t you drinking like the crazy person that I was before? Yeah, like, so the advice I got was from my mother. Always carry a throat bag with you. 

 

To this day? 

 

I do because I get nauseous. But the advice for my sister was, this is why you don’t share cabs with people. I mean, just the level of like, this is a drain on your drinking. Let’s solve the other problem.

 

59:43  

Exactly. Let’s look everywhere else.

 

59:47  

Everyone. Really? 

 

Exactly. And so everybody has low lights. They’re posting about being working in LA and hope. I’m sure not everyone is throwing up on themselves, but there’s some Like, you’re like, Why can I drink with everyone else? Why can’t I go to the bar in LA? Why the fuck do I need to be sober? And it’s like, you don’t know. You don’t know.

 

1:00:14  

You don’t, you absolutely don’t.

 

1:00:16  

So, as we’re wrapping up, what advice do you have for women who are terrified about quitting but also like they feel like their highlights online are part of their life and part of their career success and part of you know, it makes them feel better. It’s comforting to look at all your highlights, like what advice do you have if they’re in that place?

 

1:00:42  

My advice is, you can still have those and you will still have those and, and whether you can believe it or not, they will be better because no matter what, even the best, the best possible life you have when you’re drinking is still brought down. Little bit because you know those negative things, you know, the… the bright, beautiful things too. And, you know, to be able to post photos from a trip to France, you know, and people are like, Oh my god, how do you go to France and not drink champagne? Well, because it’s awesome. Like you get to experience everything you remember everything. You can take better pictures, by the way that you could then post on social media if you want to. It just amplifies. It amplifies all those fake highlights and they’re not fake anymore. Yeah, it’s… it’s truly, you know, I would rather experience the lower lows and, and higher highs. But the lows still haven’t been as bad as they were when I was using them.

 

1:01:43  

Yeah, I and I love that you said that because I mean, since I’ve quit drinking. I’ve gone to New York on business and I’ve traveled to Hawaii and Mexico and Amsterdam and Greece and Croatia and all the places. It is good. It’s so good. Our first trip after I stopped drinking, our first big vacation with just us, without the kids, was to Munich for Oktoberfest. And so I always tell people, I say, if you’re worried about the vacation you have coming up, let me tell you, I went

to Munich, and how long was it after you quit drinking? 

 

1:02:22  

Uh, you know, it was about 9 months after, okay, but it was one of those things I was holding out for. So yeah, quit until after what I had that is so common. I can’t get it because I have this trip.

 

1:02:34  

Mm hmm. And I’m so glad I did. Because I got all of that sobriety under my belt beforehand. But it was so incredible.

 

1:02:42  

I mean, I would have been hungover the whole time. I would have been drunk the whole time. I would have had a miserable time. I really would have.

 

1:02:49  

Yeah, I went to Venice, and Dubrovnik, Croatia, when I was four months sober. And it was terrifying. And I was so happy. I didn’t drink because I was like, I don’t want to remember this trip. It’s so when I relapsed on and I love that trip. I loved it then and I love looking back on it now, because it was beautiful. It was hard. But I remember it all and I’m proud of myself. 

 

Mm hmm. Same.

 

1:03:22  

Yeah, it’s so powerful. So my advice would be, you know, don’t assume that you won’t have those highlights when you stop drinking or if you entertain stopping drinking or cut back or whatever. You can have an even better life.

 

1:03:41  

Yeah, I think that’s the perfect place to end this. How can people get in touch with you? I know you’re an amazing Coach. You lead the Seattle SHE RECOVERS® Sharing Circle that I go to every week and it is one of my sort of silver touch. So Jones during this pandemic we actually met more often than we used to, when we got together in person. So, how can people follow you, get in touch with you and read your book?

 

1:04:14  

So my website is highlightreallife.com . And that’s real. I’m on Instagram @highlightrealrecovery . And my book is Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond The Filtered Life, and it’s on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

 

1:04:30  

That’s awesome. And we will put all those links in the show notes. 

Emily, thank you so much.

 

1:04:37  

Thanks for having me, Casey.

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 Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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