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The Sober Diaries With Clare Pooley | Stop Drinking + Start Living

The Sober Diaries – How to stop drinking and start living with Clare Pooley

Is alcohol messing up your life? 

That’s the question that Clare Pooley, author of The Sober Diaries, started with when she found herself a middle aged, over educated and over privileged mom of three whose long love affair with high priced good quality wine was going nowhere but downhill. 

Clare wrote The Sober Diaries: How One Mom Stopped Drinking And Started Living, based on her blog, Mummy Was A Secret Drinker, about her first 365 days of living without alcohol.

The Sober Diaries is one of the first books I recommend to all of my clients as they stop drinking.

In The Sober Diaries Clare tells her story of building up sober days while at the same time uncovering how deeply her love of wine was connected to her identity as a successful working woman, a fun adult and her life as a mom of 3 children.

I love the way The Sober Diaries takes you through the days and months of early sobriety in a funny, insightful, relatable and realistic way. 

If you read it during your first few weeks or months, you’ll see your own experiences in Clare’s as she moves through Day 14 “Sober Mornings”, Day 26 “Oh God, It’s Friday”, Day 91 “The Wine Witch”, 100 Days and when it gets easier – all the way through Day 365.

It’s a great read (or listen), especially for women with kids, who started drinking in the corporate world or in the mommy wine culture. 

In this episode, Clare and I dive into:

  • Why Clare doesn’t regret the things she did when she was drinking but rather the things she didn’t do – the things she could have achieved if she hadn’t let all those days slip through her fingers. 
  • Why the immediate benefits of giving up alcohol (better sleep, clearer skin and eyes, a healthier body) are good, but the biggest benefits come much later
  • The fact that well educated, middle aged women are becoming the most likely group to drink problematically 
  • How Clare (and I) stopped drinking without traditional 12 Step Programs like AA and why choosing that path to living alcohol-free is even easier for women today
  • Why Clare thinks we need to change the “brand imagery” around not drinking and reframe going alcohol-free from something that one might ‘have to do’ to something you want to do
  • How our social media feeds are doing us a disservice by normalizing excessive drinking
  • Why the the most difficult part of quitting drinking for Clare was learning to deal with emotions without having wine as a crutch
  • Why Clare thought that her life without drinking would be dull and boring but discovered that it was way more exciting than when she was drinking
  • Plus we somehow manage to talk about Sex In The City, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Absolutely Fabulous

About Clare Pooley

Clare is a British blogger, author and novelist. She spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. 

Realizing that her ‘wine o’clock’ habit had spiraled out of control, Clare started writing a blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, which has had nearly three million hits. Her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published in 2017 to critical acclaim.

Clare’s debut novel – The Authenticity Project, was inspired by her own experience of exposing the rather grubby truth about her own seemingly perfect life, and is being published in twenty-nine territories in 2020. Clare’s talks include a TEDx talk – Making Sober, Less Shameful.

Clare lives in Fulham, London with her husband, three children, two border terriers, and an African pygmy hedgehog.

Connect with Clare Pooley

To learn more about Clare, head over to www.clarepooley.com

Follow her on Instagram: @clare_pooley

Connect with her on Facebook: @SoberMummy

Connect with Clare Twitter: @cpooleywriter

Order her books, The Sober Diaries: How One Mom Stopped Drinking And Started Living and The Authenticity Project

Subscribe to her blog:  Mummy Was A Secret Drinker

Listen to her TEDx Talk: Making Sober, Less Shameful

SUPPORT, RESOURCES AND TOOLS TO HELP YOU GO ALCOHOL-FREE

Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit. The private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process. Click here to learn all about the self-study course.

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First 30 Days

Listen to the podcast on The Best Quit Lit For Women Quitting Drinking to hear more about The Sober Diaries and other books to inspire your alcohol-free journey.

Get the free guide to The Best Quit Lit Books For Women

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Connect with Casey

Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

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

READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW

The Sober Diaries – Stop Drinking, Start Living With Clare Pooley

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

drinking, life, alcohol, book, quit, day, wine, people, sober, feel, inspirational, TEDx talk, thought, read, women, alcoholic, drinker, husband, fears, date nights, stop, podcast, Sober Diaries, mom, stopped drinking, secret drinker, 365 days, living without alcohol, overprivileged love affair with high priced, good quality wine, relationship, broken heart, Making Sober Less Shameful, novel, The Authenticity Project, vacation, summer, family, escape the pandemic, virtual pond, day one, life without alcohol, step by step, books, memoirs, quit drinking, life is fine, what happens next, Sober Coach, fears, in the beginning, thoughts, women, form of therapy, writing this blog, felt exactly the same way, I am not alone, it is such relief, struggling, inner voice, addictive, typecast imagery, spectrum of issues, it makes so much sense to me, I just didn’t know where I fit, categories, harmful, alcohol, crack cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, treat it as fun, language, imagery, disease, recovery, alcoholism, words, not helpful, negative, being sober is a positive thing, nondrinker, sober warrior, terminology, positive, rest of my life, defining myself, living my life, to describe it in ways that reflect that, I’m happier without, a healthy choice, live a better life, stop numbing out, Google, I was scared, Kindle, Am I an alcoholic?, do you drink alone? And do?, Do you drink in the mornings?, is alcohol messing up my life?, myth, rock bottom, getting off that slippery slope, before you get to rock bottom, sticking on it, build it up, serious negative consequences, truth, deciding, it’s a choice, lifestyle choice, nonalcoholic beers, ginger beer, millennials, accepted thing, wine, cosmopolitans, cocktails, feminism, liberation, strong, independent woman, crazy, sold to us, sophisticated, bottle of wine, connoisseur, hobby, not a habit, relationship with alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous, quiet about it, mocktails, alcohol free beers, Instagram, sober influencers, visual medium, pseudonym, I am super, blog, viral, The Best Quit Lits For Women, amazing, smart, accomplished, cool women, hear their voices, drinking is part of my personality, hold your hand, worthwhile, relaxation, emotion, wine to numb your way out, feel the fear and do it anyway, self-help book, realized, deal with fear, I’m doing something really important, auto cue, tele prompts, audience, streamed, changed my life, Learning to deal with all your emotions, courageous, resonated so much, regrets, amends, managing, coping, dream, too scared of failure, I started writing again, life gets bigger, more fun, more exciting, make deeper friendships, relationships, feel more joy, let go, keeping you stuck, achievements, transformation, transform your life, routines, self-label, red wine girl, organized, husband, married, marriage, stronger, family life, healthier, triggering, reflecting, building relationships, fulfilled life, you deserve to be happy, exposing the fact, perfect life, portraying on Instagram and Facebook, not totally reality, kindness, community, uplifting, beautiful, cracks, allow the light to get in, makes us real, flaws are just part of who we are, you are not alone

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Clare Pooley

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.

Hi there. Welcome to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. I’m really excited about my guest today, who is Clare Pooley. Her book, The Sober Diaries: How One Mom Stopped Drinking and Started Living is based on her block Mummy Was A Secret Drinker, which describes her first 365 days of living without alcohol. Clare, at the time she stopped drinking, was a middle aged. Her words, over educated, overprivileged, formerly overweight mom of three, who had a long love affair with high priced, good quality wine until she realized that the relationship was going nowhere but downhill. So, she showed at the door and started blogging to take her mind off her broken heart.

 

And Clare has done so much work. She’s done an inspirational TEDx talk called Making Sober Less Shameful, and a link in the show notes of this episode. So, you can watch it. She published a novel, The Authenticity Project earlier this year. I read it on vacation this summer with my family by a lake in Bend, Oregon. And it was exactly what I needed to escape the pandemic and all of life for a while. So, Clare, thank you for being on the podcast.

 

02:42

Well, thank you for having me. It’s so exciting to meet across the virtual pond.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  02:47

I know. And I told you before we got on, I was thrilled when you wrote me back when I reached out to you to say that you were happy to be on the podcast. Because your book, The Sober Diaries is one of the first I recommend to all of my clients as their first stopping drinking. Because not only do you take people through the early days, what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling on day one, and day 14 and day 33. But you also do a really wonderful job of sort of contrasting your life when drinking and your life without alcohol. And really highlighting how much better it is incrementally step by step.

 

03:32

Oh, thank you. It went off. When I quit drinking, I read so much stuff I was became addicted to reading books. That was my new addiction. I had a whole load of stopping drinking books piled under my bed. And I found that all the memoirs, generally that I read were about the drinking days, they were about people sort of drinking lots and doing stupid things and all the sorts of things that I’ve done. And I ignored away thinking, Yes, yes, that sounds fairly familiar. And then at the end of the book, they’d say, and then I quit drinking, and now my life is fine. And I thought, well, hang on, hang on. How did you quit drinking? And in what way was your life Fine? And how long did it take before it was okay? And what did it feel like? And I had so many questions like that, that I couldn’t find answers to. And that’s really why I wanted to publish The Sober Diaries, which is the story of what happens next. You know what happens after you quit drinking?

 

04:27

Yeah. And I mean, I love that because that’s what people need. I mean, when I quit drinking, I ended up doing it with a Sober Coach and I sort of wrote her every day on day one and day three and day 17. So I have that log of exactly how I was feeling exactly what my mind was doing my fears about going out to dinner with my husband and who I was and how irritated I was and just strung so thin in the beginning. And you know, you call it the wine which it was all those things. Thoughts about like, maybe I’m overreacting, maybe this isn’t a big deal. And so other women need to hear that, because a lot of times people are like, yeah, you quit and you’re happy. But you’re clearly, you didn’t love drinking as much as I did. You know, your friends were not as big drinkers as mine are, your husband didn’t drink? And, you know, we all have the same thoughts regardless.

 

05:23

Yeah, you know, and that was the amazing thing I found when I started writing my blog. And that started the blog, about 2 or 3 days after I quit drinking, and it was my form of therapy. And I wrote in it every day. And, you know, I, I honestly thought I was the only person who was going through the sorts of things I was going through, I thought I was the only person with this voice in my head that, you know, kept talking to me about… about how much I should drink, and when I should drink, and if I should drink, and all that sort of stuff. And, and when I started writing this blog, I found out that I wasn’t unique at all, and I wasn’t alone. And you know, I didn’t need to feel so ashamed because there were 1000s and 1000s of other women like me all over the world who felt exactly the same way. And that was such a relief

 

06:11

It is such a relief. And there are women out there struggling with this who are smart and hardworking and love their kids and, you know, do all the right things. And yet, the inner voice telling you to drink and to drink more, and that drinking is a good idea, and that you’ll feel less anxious, if you just open that bottle is there. So, it’s not that you’re a weak person or a bad person. It’s a thing that happens to everyone because it’s addictive.

 

06:41

Yeah. And I think part of the problem is that as a society, we’re taught to believe that you are either a normal drinker who drink doesn’t have an issue with alcohol, or you’re an alcoholic, and an alcoholic, looks a certain way and acts a certain way. And, you know, there is a sort of there was a typecast imagery around that person that didn’t fit with who I thought I was. And you know, where I was with my alcohol issues. And I think now there was much more of an understanding that actually, alcohol addiction is a whole host of shades of grey, it’s not as clear cut as normal or alcoholic, there is a whole spectrum of issues in between. and, you know, I…I know now. I now, I understand that. It’s, you know, I it makes so much sense to me, but at the time it you know, I just didn’t know where I fit because I didn’t fit either of those categories, I think.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 07:45

Yeah. No, I completely and totally agree. And you actually talk about this really, clearly and well, in your TEDx talk about Making Sober Less Shameful, because you talk about how addictive alcohol is as a drug. I think you said it’s, it’s more addictive than cocaine.

 

08:05

Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s extraordinary, actually, because we didn’t treat it like a drug at all. We treat it as a sort of perfectly harmless substance, but it is, you know, the fourth most harmful drug to the human body have, you know, any drug available, according to a study that was done by a chap called Professor not in the in the UK, he was one of the government advisors. And, you know, he said that the only three drugs that were more harmful than alcohol, were crack cocaine, crystal meth, and heroin, you know, and that, was it. So, you know, so it is horribly harmful, but at the same time, you know, we, we treat it like, it’s just a bit of fun. And you know, and when you get, you know, when somebody gets addicted to alcohol, people tend to blame you, they blame you for being addicted rather than blame the drug for being a drug. Yeah, you know, it’s a bit screwed up. Really,

 

09:07

oh, it’s completely screwed up. And you talk about in your in your TEDx talk, but it’s because whenever anyone sort of falls off the cliff, and I agree with you, it’s a spectrum, right? No one when I stopped drinking was really telling me you need to stop. You know, my husband was like, do you really need to open bottle number two on a Tuesday? I was like, well, I, you know, I’m having a party in my living room after the kids like me. Yeah, totally. But, you know, no one was saying you need to stop and yet when I stopped, it was heard like, Oh, you must have a problem. You know, that is that.

 

09:44

Hang on. I’m the one that’s not taking an addictive drug. So why do I have the problem? Oh, my God, that’s my favorite guy. Have a problem and I do. So yeah, it is it is completely as we would say in the UK asked about it. Um, but so I think the whole sort of, you know, the whole language and imagery and everything that we use around alcohol addiction is just is not helpful. You know, we talk about disease, and we talk about recovery, and we talk about alcoholism, and all these sorts of, you know, all these, these words and imagery that actually is, is very negative. And whereas, actually being sober is such a positive thing, you know, and, and I like to talk about being a nondrinker. Rather than being an alcoholic, and I like to talk about being a clean drinker, or being a sober warrior, or, you know, all that sort of all that sort of terminology, which I think is much, much more positive. And it’s not saying that, not because I’m in denial, you know, I know, I was addicted, I completely put my hands up to hurt. And I had all the terrible behaviors that go with addiction. And I’m not denying any of that. I’m just saying that, you know, I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life defining myself by all those negatives, because I think what I’ve done is a really positive thing. And the way I’m living my life is a very positive way to live life. And I want to describe it in ways that reflect that. Well,

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  11:20

I’m so glad that you said that. And that’s one of the reasons that I wanted to have you on the podcast because I feel the exact same way. I don’t actually use the word alcoholic to describe myself at all, I don’t think it’s helpful. I feel like it doesn’t matter. And I’m not even sure if I am. And if I start thinking about it, it throws me off my game. I know that I was addicted to alcohol, it is addictive. And I don’t screw with it anymore. And I’m happier without it. But I’m super proud to have quit drinking this really addictive substance that is all around us as sort of a healthy choice to live a better life to stop numbing out.

 

11:59

Yeah, did you? Did you use to Google? Am I an alcoholic late at night?

 

12:04

I actually didn’t probably because I was scared. I know everyone else in their grandmother did. But I didn’t. But I did read Drinking, A Love Story. That is my first book. And I hid it in my Kindle, which is ridiculous, because I didn’t want my husband to see it. So, I would like read it. And then I would open like three other books when I was done. So, it would like push down the page, which is the stupidest thing like he ever looked at my Kindle. And when I read it, I wrote myself a note saying, Oh my god, I think I’m an alcoholic, like in a Word document. And then I was like, I need to stop. This is a serious issue. And then I came back to the word document 4 days later and wrote Just kidding, I was over.

 

12:52

I used to, often in a, normally when I was drunk, Google, Am I an alcoholic and used to get those quizzes that you had to answer, and it would say do you drink alone? And do? Do you drink in the mornings and all this sort of thing? And I would answer some of the questions I’d say yes. And some I’d say no. And then I’d say okay, what I do, and then it would come up with the answer, which was you may or may not be another. Well, that’s not really a very helpful is it? And, and it took me a long time to realize I was asking the wrong question. And the question wasn’t, am I an alcoholic? Because who the hell knows? And who the hell cares? The question is, is alcohol messing up my life? Yes, it was very simple. Yes, it was. And it had been years. And if I’d asked myself that question, I would have quit probably a lot earlier. Instead, I was far too busy trying to work out whether or not I was an alcoholic. And the other issue is that goes alongside it is this myth that you have to get to rock bottom before you can quit. And I’ve heard people say that over and over again. Oh, you can’t quit until you get to rock bottom. Who the hell wants to get to rock bottom? Why is that a good idea? Yeah. You know, so I think getting off that slippery slope before you get to rock bottom is a wholly good thing and sticking on it until you know you’ve lost your home and your family and your job and everything else seems to me to be a bit crazy. Well, yeah.

 

14:12

And it’s also it’s not I feel like we build it up to be such a thing that the only people who would quit drinking are people who’ve had such serious negative consequences that they literally cannot drink anymore. Where the truth is that deciding, you know, in my mind, deciding not to drink can be the same as deciding to be a vegetarian, or a via, you know, like, it’s

 

14:37

a choice.

 

14:37

It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s, you know, people talk all the time about like, minimizing gluten and sugar and all that shit. Like, you know, taking out alcohol, which is a cancer-causing toxin is so much more effective than like screening out gluten from your diet. And yeah, you know, it’s not so you can go to a dinner party and just be like Oh no, actually, I’m drinking. You know, I brought my own drink. I drink nonalcoholic beers. I drink ginger beer I drink, you know, mo ketos with no alcohol in them. It’s the same as saying I’m gonna, you know, eat the like, vegetarian lasagna instead of the meatless.

 

15:16

Yeah, you know, what, amongst millennials, you know, sort of the under 25 it that is a really well accepted thing. You know, I mean, there is not such an issue about choosing, you know, to live a life without alcohol is, you know, whereas amongst my generation is, I’m not sure if it’s the same in the US, but it is still seen as being really strange,

 

15:46

is that I mean, you said in your research that well educated, middle aged women are the most likely to drink problematically. And I see that just in my own life with my friends. You know, women in the corporate world, women with kids who used to work like, we drink a ton and normalize it. It is not weird for people to drink a bottle of wine at night. like everybody’s like, Oh, yeah,

 

16:10

I do that, too. Everyone was doing it weren’t but that’s certainly the way I felt because, you know, social media feeds are full of jokes about wine o’clock, and mommy’s little helper. And, you know, we’re all sort of egging each other on. And, you know, and I think a lot of it has to do with the way alcohol was marketed towards us. And, you know, I grew up in the I mean, I was a teenager in the late 80s. And, you know, and it was the, it was the era of Bridget Jones. Yes. In the city and mother, and absolutely fabulous. I didn’t know that you had that over us. And it was all women drinking and drinking lots of wine and cosmopolitans and cocktails. And, and, you know, I, I was, I think I was I, I honestly felt that drinking as much as the men was a form of feminism, and yes, liberation. And it was all about being a strong, independent woman. And, you know, and it was crazy, you know, why is doing yourself so much harm, something that goes along hand in hand with feminism. It doesn’t make any sense. But, but that was really the way it was sold to us, I think. And, you know, and then on top of that, we all, were the first generation really, that had high pressurized jobs and kids, and we were trying to juggle everything. And alcohol was just a really quick and seemed like a very simple way of winding down at the end of the day. And, you know, and wine in my book, because it was, it could be seen as sophisticated. And, you know, if you spent enough money on a bottle of wine, you’re a connoisseur, right? You know,

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  18:10

that you said you went for the high priced?

 

18:12

Yeah. ridiculous amounts of money on wine, because I thought if I spent enough money, then it was, you know, it wasn’t. You know, it was, it wasn’t an issue. It was… it was about being… Yes, about being a connoisseur. And it was a hobby and not a habit. And so yeah, so it’s, it’s crazy. But that’s certainly the way I think our generation grew that to have a relationship with alcohol the way we do.

 

18:41

And so, you’re saying millennials aren’t the same way? They aren’t relying on it in this? Tell me? Tell me a little bit about that.

 

18:48

So Well, I know again, I don’t know the figures for the US. But I imagine it’s pretty similar in the UK, about 25, between 25 and 30% of under 25. Don’t drink. You know, now, when I was at university, I know anyone who didn’t drink, yes, me or nobody at all. So, things are changing. And, you know, I think for a lot of younger people, they don’t see in the same glamorous way that we did. So, I think.. I think things are changing, and there are a lot more, you know, so when I quit drinking, which was 5 years ago, people didn’t really talk about it. It was very, you know, an Alcoholics Anonymous, you know, has the word anonymous in the title. Everybody was really quiet about it. And there was so much shame wrapped up in the whole sort of issue of addiction that it was sort of you know, I used to when I first quit, I never didn’t tell anyone, I was sort of part of the people in my blog, but, you know, I used to fake drinking so I would I would drink it, you know, drink mocktails and I would drink alcohol free beers. No Pretend. I was drinking, you know when I wasn’t, which is crazy. Whereas now the you know, if you look at Instagram, it’s filled with sober influences.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  20:08

I love that. I think

 

20:11

people being really out and proud about it. You know, and that makes such a difference. On Me, I love Instagram for that, because Instagram is such a visual medium, you know, and, you know, I hid behind a pseudonym. And you know, and I didn’t show my face at all. And I love the fact that people are out there saying, this is me, and I am super. And you know, Harar is checking things.

 

20:39

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.

 

The work you did and are doing helped so many people I mean, so including myself, right if you hadn’t started your blog, so many women wouldn’t have read it. I mean, it went viral all these people were connecting through it, you were helped and then your book exponentially. So I mean, I did a podcast episode on The Best Quit Lits For Women. And I was thrilled because I got all these amazing, smart, accomplished cool women I know to talk about the books that helped them quit drinking, and you know, so you can hear their voices. And I think I had three different women talk about the Sober Diaries, and talk about like, I read this when I was one month sober. I actually read this before I quit drinking. And just I get goosebumps, because the books you’re putting out in the world where someone says, Oh, yeah, drinking was a huge part of my personality. And I worked and I was terrified that my life and my social life would be over. And now, it’s better. And I can hold your hand in your book, you really hold people’s hands through month one month two, I mean, it’s amazing.

 

23:55

Well, you know, I mean, I still get, I still get messages every single day from people all over the world saying, you know, that they’ve, they found it helpful, and that, you know, that, like me, they felt very alone. And they were scared and, you know, didn’t know what to expect. And it helped and that, you know, it was it was really scary publishing.

 

 

24:18

I can’t imagine I was anonymous for so long. And then you know, publishing a book under my real name. And I you know, I was terrified. And it seemed like a really good idea until a few days before and then I thought what am I doing? Is it too late to pull out? And of course, it was too late to pull up. Yeah. And my publisher said organized you know, I was gonna be on national TV and national radio and all in the serialized in the press and all sorts of things. And I thought oh my god, I’m going to tell everybody the worst things about my life and you know, I’m not sure my in-laws have given me yet. So yeah, it was terrifying, but it was, so it was really worth it. So, hearing people like, You say things like that, you know, just makes me realize it was all worthwhile.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 25:04

Yeah, yeah. Well, so last night was just marking up your book and I had, you know, 25 different sections that I was like, Oh, we should talk about this. But I wonder if you might if I read something from your date, 365 poses when you went to a year. So, you said, Now I realize how easy it is for drinking to evolve from social lubrication, to self-medication, you start off drinking at times of celebration, then you begin drinking for relaxation, then commiseration, apprehension, agitation. Before long, you’re using alcohol to deal with any emotion at all. But then when you get used to using wine to numb your way out of tricky situations, you get to the stage where you’re unable to cope with them in the raw, in fact, you’re unable to cope with almost any situation and the raw, you become more anxious, more fearful, more depressed. I mean, that was the exact pathway that I went down,

 

26:06

And the thing is, that happened so gradually that you didn’t notice. And then you suddenly get to a point where you look at your life. And you think, how did I get here? How did I go from being somebody who was really confident and brave and outgoing to being somebody who, you know, can’t pick up the phone to somebody they’ve not met without a glass of wine for, you know, to give them to give them courage? You know, I mean, it was, it was crazy. And it took me a while to put two and two together and to realize the reason I got to that point was my drinking. But yeah, it does, it seeps away at you. And you know, there’s a book I read quite early on in my sobriety, which I found really helpful, which is feel the fear and do it anyway. You know, it’s a classic self-help book. It was published a long time ago by a lady called Susan Jeffers. And that’s, I think that’s really one of the main things that has changed in my life is, you know, I’ve learned to deal with fear. And I realized that not only can I do it, but I realized more importantly, that all the best things in life exist on the other side of your maximum fear. So now, when I’m scared about something, I think, Okay, this is because it’s important, you know, this is, I’m doing something really important.

 

So the TEDx talk, for instance, that you mentioned, I was terrified about doing that, you know, I thought, I watched loads of TEDx talks, Ted Talks, and I assumed that, that there was some sort of tele prompts in an auto cue. And that people will read in from an auto cue. And that’s not the case. They don’t let you use notes or auto cues or anything, you have to learn your 15-minute talk, you know, and do the “deliver the whole thing without notes”. And I hadn’t done that sort of thing since I was at school. You know, it was a long time ago, it was. So, I was terrified that I’d stand there and just freeze and not know what to say. And it was, you know, there’s a big audience, it was being live streamed, and it was really scary. And it was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done. But I would never have done that one. I would have been far too scared.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 28:24

Or like drink.

 

Yeah, so yeah. So that that has really changed my life. Learning to deal with all my you know, when you learn to deal with all your emotions, it makes you courageous in a way that, you know, I hadn’t been since I was a child probably.

 

28:44

Well, one of the things that I underlined, and I was just like, yes, this because it resonated so much with me, as you said, one of your biggest, I think it was in a section about regrets. You said, you didn’t, so much regret the things you’ve done. Which was true for me too. I mean, that I went to a briefly and I was like, I don’t think I’m a bad person. I don’t have a ton of amends to make. I didn’t, you know, that didn’t resonate with me as much as you said, You regretted the things that you didn’t do, that your world kind of got smaller, and the days kind of slipped through your fingers as you were sort of just drinking and recovering and managing and coping. And that resonated with me too. Because you said that you wondered what you could have achieved in your life in those years. Had you not?

 

29:32

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And also, when you have kids and your kids are growing up really fast. You know, I thought actually, their childhood is just slipping through my fingers, you know, and I’m not present in the moment, enough to sort of, you know, really cherish their childhood. So, so yes, it’s um, and you know, the What’s interesting when I talk to people who quit drinking is how much stuff they managed to fit into their lives in it. So, I look at the 10 years before I gave up drinking, and I didn’t achieve huge amount at all. I mean, I, you know, I had kids and I, my kids grew up sort of, you know, started growing up, you know, hopefully well and happy. But you know, but I didn’t really achieve anything else. And since I quit drinking, I’ve published two books, I’ve done a TEDx talk, I’ve met people all over the world, I’ve sort of, you know, my life is much, much bigger than it ever was before. And, you know, and I wasn’t expecting that I wasn’t, you know, I didn’t realize quite how dramatic that that change would be. But yeah, I think if I hadn’t been drinking, I would have, I would have been become a writer much. It was always my dream. And I just, you know, just put off trying, I guess, because I was too scared of failure. And it wasn’t until I quit drinking. I started writing again. So yeah, so who knows what I might have done if I hadn’t been drinking. But you’re right. I don’t actually regret the drinking days. I didn’t regret the things I did. Because you know, at the time, it was fun. Let’s be honest. You know, I had a great time, it just got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 31:25

That’s exactly it. I mean, I talked to clients all the time. And one, I hear a couple of things. A lot, one of which is it wasn’t all bad. I had a lot of good times. It was a lot of fun. And I was like, Yeah, me too. Absolutely. It’s just like you said earlier, at some point, is it good enough to keep going? Is it making your life worse, or better, and all the fears that you have around how your life might be small and depressing and bad, and whatever, when you stop drinking, that’s actually it’s the farthest thing from the truth? Your life gets bigger and more fun and more exciting, and you make deeper friendships and relationships and feel more joy. And, you know, it’s just time to let go of the thing that is sort of like keeping you stuck, like making the days pass without big achievements, without big joy.

 

The way I think about it is, you know, if you drink to take the edge off the bad things, what you’re also doing without realizing is taking the edge off all the good things, too. So, when you stop, you have to deal with the bad things, but the good thing has become so much better. So, it’s like turning, it’s like turning the color on you know, the color contrast on your television screen. Yeah. Everything?

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 32:50

Well, and let’s be clear, like your beginning part sucks, right? There are so many women who do the first four days, the first seven days, the first 14 days, maybe even the first month of not drinking, and then they go back to drinking. And that is literally the worst fucking part of it. All right, so you’re doing the worst part over and over. And you’re thinking, that’s what life without alcohol is. And it’s

 

33:16

exactly which is why, which is why dry January, for instance, you know, can be a bad thing in some ways. Because, you know, if you only do a month, as you say, you’re doing the hard bit without the good bit having kicked in yet. So you’re just getting a bad impression of what life without alcohol is like, you really need to give it 100 days before you start, you know, before the balance shifts, and it becomes less and more, you know, and then the balance keeps shifting over time until they’re sort of good bits get better and better. And the hard bit hard bits get easier and easier. But 100 days is about that tipping point. So, a month isn’t really enough. And, you know, again, I thought because people weren’t talking about quitting drinking, there wasn’t an understanding of that, you know, I thought that, you know, within about three weeks, I would get to, you know, the point at which, you know, things would stop changing, you know, but I didn’t realize that she thinks carried on changing for about two years. So, yeah, I have no idea.

 

34:21

Yeah, one of the things that, you know, a lot of my clients who I work with them originally, they sign up and say, Okay, I’m committed to doing 100 days without alcohol. Hopefully, they’re excited for it. They have, they think, you know, a lot of them have never gotten past a four day seven before. But, you know, we’re sort of like, okay, we’re committing to this. And the reason is that there are there’s those predictable, you know, highs and lows, the depths, the fears that come up the challenges that come up, and you describe them so perfectly in your book, that if you give up on day 33 when it’s hard and you have a bad day, and you’re like I haven’t drank in 33 days, my life’s not better. Therefore, I might as well drink. It’s like, No, you know, you’re having a shit day that happens in life. You know, your life

 

35:10

actually, isn’t necessarily to blame everything that goes wrong on the fact that you’re not drinking. Because you know, as you say, life isn’t always easy Anyway, you know, whether you’re drinking or not, it’s sort of, you know, some days are good, and some days are bad. And that’s just the way it is. But, yeah, it’s very easy to think of sort of feeling miserable days, because I’m not drinking is, you know, sometimes you just feel miserable, you know,

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 35:34

just because you’re fully feeling human being. But if you don’t drink the next day, you don’t have a hangover, you’re the wine, which doesn’t come back so strongly, and, you know, you’ll feel better. Like, it’s, it’s so much better. But I love the 100-day concept, because, you know, in your book, too, I think it’s around day 1,2,3, where you talk about your transformation. And everybody is like, and I did this too, I was like, I have not in my first month because I was kind of a bottle and a half of wine a night, seven nights a week, girl, I had not consumed 40 bottles of wine, like and I’m five, three, so ingesting that much is insane. But I was like, how am I not skinny? Like, look at the calories I have not consumed. And the transformation happens. It just your body is so messed up. You said, you know, for you it was day 1,2,3 or something when everybody was like, what have you been doing? You’d look them?

 

36:34

Yeah, it’s like turning wrenches to pitango. Again, happen immediately. Yes, you know, I think, you know, you’re initially your, your whole body goes into shock, in a way, you know, is just sort of you have to take a while for everything to recalibrate. But, but you know, you do you do start to notice against them after about 100 days, and all sorts of things in your hair gets shiny, or your skin gets better, you lose, you generally lose weight, or at least you look less puffy.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 37:07

You know, your face gets less puffy, pretty quickly, and your eyes like you can Yeah, and yes, you get less blotchy. And you can sleep. I mean, just you know, it goes on and on and on, you know, and it’s I think all the, you know, quitting smoking is also has a dramatic effect. You know, you’re a big smoker. But, you know, other than that, I can’t think of anything else that can transform your life so dramatically, both sort of mentally and physically than giving up alcohol in just so many different ways. But, you know, I have this, I have this, this, this way of thinking about, you know, we were talking about regrets and, and, and looking back at our lives. And, you know, the way that what I often say to people is I have this theory that we are all given when we’re born a lifetime amount of alcohol that we can. And some people manage to spread it out across their whole lifetime. And other people like me just drink the whole lot really fast, and don’t have anything for the next bit of their lives. And thinking about it like that means I don’t feel like I missed out, I sort of think, okay, I’m just that I’m an all or nothing sort of person, you know, I’m not good at, you know, you can be a bar of chocolate, I eat the whole thing in one go, I won’t eat, you know, one square.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 38:26

Me too. I am not a moderator. And you know, and I did the same with alcohol. I had my lifetime supply. And I drank it all before the age of 45. And then I had to quit. And that’s, you know, that’s not unfair. That’s just the choice I’ve made.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 38:42

Well, and one thing I love so on Dave 14, you talk about sober mornings, and how revolutionary and amazing they are. And I totally agree, I kind of got my first full night’s sleep on day nine, I think my mog about it and it was just, you know, you talk about the night terrors and insomnia and how that had plagued you for years. And that, you know, in just two weeks, suddenly, you’re still incredibly tired and irritated and your minds trying to question everything you’re doing but your body is here. Yeah.

 

39:17

And you know, actually, one of the big side effects I had for the first few weeks is feeling utterly exhausted. And I think that shows what we put our bodies through the fact that quitting drinking makes you so tired, you know you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus.

 

39:37

Yes and I think that just shows how bad it is because you know, it shouldn’t giving up something you know, anything else should not make, you know, make you feel that that exhausted? Well, you’re

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 39:56

in physical withdrawal, like your body is physically withdrawing. From the drug and the only thing that makes it feel better is the drug. Unless you’re out covering, it’s just you know, it’s a healing process. And when you’re healing from anything sleep, it’s really helpful. But, you know, there’s a great trick I discovered for the first the early days. So, you know, if you’re in the first week, or two or three of not drinking, you know, just a really neat little trick, which I found really helpful is just to switch your timeframe. Switch the hours of the day that you do things. So, when you quit drinking, the hardest, hardest time is the evening because that’s normally when people drink. So, you know, I used to start drinking at about 6:00p.m. That was my wine o’clock. And I carried on drinking until I went to sleep, but I didn’t you have in the morning. So, mornings, to me were never associated with alcohol. But evenings were absolutely associated with alcohol. So, when I quit drinking evenings were really, really hard. But mornings were fabulous, because I’d wake up feeling reinvigorated and energetic and proud of myself and all those things. So, what I started did in the early days was I went to bed really early, because I thought Actually, I want less evening and more morning. So, I just switched my day. So, I started going to bed when my kids went to bed at about 8:00p.m. And I’d wake up at about 5:00a.m. which feeling great. And that time switch is just really helpful because it means you only have two or three hours in the evening to get through, you know, a lot more.

 

41:30

Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. And it’s so helpful. I did, I started working out in the morning at 5:30. So, I got up at 5, and, you know, doing that got all my anxiety out and it also gave me a really good excuse to get out of bed really early, same as you. And the days I wasn’t working out I was just sitting at 530 in the morning but with my cup of coffee in my quiet home like you I had young kids, so I just was like any time alone.

 

42:00

My love that and the hours between 5:00a.m. and 8:00a.m. you know that my rice and you did the house is quiet so you can think more clearly and think more laterally? You know it’s a magical time and you know no drinker. Everything’s by there is magical.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 42:19

Oh my god, they’re probably falling back to sleep from the 3am wake up just stressed beyond belief and exhausted about how I am going to. Yeah, my day. Exactly. I do not miss those 3:00a.m. way.

 

42:31

And again, it’s everybody is you know, drinkers in a share so much in common. And actually, the getting sober. We again, we share so much in common. But, you know, one thing that almost every big drinker I’ve spoken to has said is 3:00a.m. is that particular time. And I think that that’s when you know because you get you often go to sleep very easily when you’re drinking because you’re sort of a nice enticed into sleep. But then you know, as your body processes all the toxins, it wakes you up at 3:00a.m. And you’re often really dehydrated and sort of you know, and you know those terrible hours when you start you know, hating yourself and they’re awful. I wouldn’t even want to go back there.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 43:17

No, but you know, once you like you said day 14 sober sleep, sober mornings feeling good. Just, it’s only two weeks, like just get through the first two weeks and your trick about switching your hours going to bed early. I used I had a 22-month-old. I think our stories are very similar because you also quit drinking when you I was going to bring it up. You said not the girl he married, and you had been married maybe 13,14 years. Drinking? Yes. So, I was married 14 years to when I quit drinking. And I had a 22-month-old and I used to rock her to sleep in her room. Whereas normally I would be desperately trying to get her to bed and run downstairs to keep drinking. I put in my earbuds I listened to all the quit lid on audio tape, all the sober podcasts, all the things that I would just rock her to bed for an hour, because I wasn’t drinking anyway. And then I would just go straight to my room and, you know, put on my iPad and watch a show and read a book and tuck in. And that helped me just not go back out there saying right.

 

44:29

I used to I used to cook the evening meal in the morning. So I could then just reheat it sort of because the other thing is I associated cooking with drinking because you know I would start drinking at 6pm I would start cooking for the family and while I was cooking I would be you know I’d be drinking a glass of wine and those two things went together in my head. So, you know again, switching your routines so that you don’t have so many associations with Drinking is really helpful. So, I would cook prepare food in the morning. And then you know, and I apologize to my husband and said, Look, you know, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll prepare something in the morning, you heat up, eat when you want, I’m going to bed. And I would go to bed with a hot chocolate and some toast, and

 

45:24

Oh, I love the hot chocolate. That’s awesome. So, one thing that comes up a lot, it came up for me, I had a lot of fears about it. I know it comes up with women, I talked to you and you talk about it. In the chapter on day 33, non the girl he married, which is fears around what your spouse will think of you not drinking, whether they’re going to be disappointed whether, you know, we have so many associations, like I used to self-label myself a red wine girl, like I was a fun girl, I was the one who organized all the wine tastings all the date nights, all the weekends away. And that was what I did. And so, you know, my husband, sure he wanted me not to open the second bottle of wine on a Tuesday night and to you know, not pass out on the couch, quote, unquote, falling asleep. That’s what I call it, or have a hangover in the morning, but he didn’t really, you know, he wasn’t sure I needed to stop forever or needed to stop at all.

 

46:28

And so, you said then think about your husband. He never wanted me to stop, he wanted me to cut down. But I couldn’t cut down I tried to cut down for years, I would have loved to have cut down but I just it just never worked. And it would drive me crazy. You know, there’s sort of constant chatter in my head, the more I tried to cut down the more my wine, which was sort of, you know, get cross some sort of, you know, and yeah, it just didn’t work. But he didn’t want me to quit altogether. And I was terrified that I was sort of changing the rules of our relationship, you know, he didn’t marry a non-yet he married the party girl, you know. And I think part of the issue was that I was judging his reaction based on my own issues. So, I know that if he had told me that he was quitting drinking, I would have been horrified, you know, I, I rarely would have found that really hard to deal with. And so, I assumed he would feel the same. But the truth is, he’s not an addict, he doesn’t have the same relationship with alcohol as me. So actually, you didn’t really mind, you know, he sorts of he and what he says now is that, you know, he’s not only as it made our whole marriage and relationship much, much stronger, and our family life much happier. But he drinks less himself, because he doesn’t have me constantly opening another bottle of wine and egging him on. So, he feels much healthier, too.

 

So, you know, I think if you have a partner who does not have an issue with alcohol, they probably will find that, you know, the upsides of you not drinking way, way outweigh the downsides, and will be totally supportive. The thing that is tricky is if your partner is also an addict, and I have a number of messages from people on a regular basis, saying what do I do, I’ve given up drinking, I’m really happy about it, I’m really proud of myself, my life is so much better. But my partner still drinks really problematically and doesn’t like the fact that I don’t drink. And I don’t like the fact that they’re killing themselves. And I don’t know what to do. And that is really, really, really hard. Because as we both know, nobody can tell you to quit drinking, it’s something you have to just hide yourself. And, you know, what I hope is that in that situation, you know, providing such a great role model and showing how much better life can be without alcohol will persuade, you know, your partner to do the same thing. But the truth is, you can’t make them you know, you can’t you just have to wait till they’re ready to make the choice themselves. And if it’s not possible for you to wait, then then you know, maybe it’s best to let them try and do it on their own. You know, and that’s really hard. Yeah. And in addition to that, your life is going to be better, regardless of what Yeah, absolutely. Do the right thing for you.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 49:36

Yeah, well, because then you’ll be happier. And, you know, I always think that when one person in a relationship changes, inevitably the entire relationship changes. So, whether or not you know, like you if my husband had told me you need to not drink, I would have been so defensive and resentful and rebellious and almost things, right? You know, at the same time, there’s no one who drinks like any woman out there who’s whose partner is an addict or drinks problematically or has that Wolfie voice or whatever you call it, they have the same thought in their head that you do they know what that 3am wake up feels like, they know how awful they feel, the next day, they know their depression, anxiety is, is getting worse. And if you’re living with someone who is coming out of that, and suddenly saying, I feel better, I’m up at five in the morning, I have energy, my life is more calm, I have to think that that, inevitably, is something that they in their low moments reference, you know, and you can just provide support

 

50:48

and try it for what is difference between push factors and pull factors in it. If nobody, I don’t believe gives up alcohol successfully or easily because they feel they have to, you know, give up alcohol but want to because you can see you can picture a life without it that is so much better than the life you’re in. And you’re right. If you live with somebody who is drinking problematically, then you are you know, you can show them what that life looks like. If you you know, trying to tell somebody that they have to change, they have to do things differently that you know, threatening somebody, none of that works. It just you know, it just it just doesn’t work and and often it backfires. And the more pressure you put on somebody, the more they end up drinking to cope with the, you know, increased self over loading and fear and all of those, you know, negative emotions, because that’s what we do. And we’re addicts, you know, we numb those emotions with drinks. So yeah.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 51:52

Yeah, yeah. And I. So, I did want to I did want to bring up what you said, because this is a huge, huge fear that so many women have. And you said that when you were on day 33, you actually sort of geared up the courage to ask your husband if it bothered him that you stopped drinking, and whether he missed having a drinking partner. And, you know, he, like you said was not an addict did not have that same voice in his head that constantly wanted more. But he said it was a good thing. And he wanted more details. And he said that you no longer fall asleep or watching TV. So, you can genuinely like watch shows together, that you were less grumpy that you didn’t keep him awake, tossing and turning. And that he doesn’t have to drink really fast to make sure he gets the chair.

 

52:43

Yeah, exactly.

 

Yeah, and you flip that when you say Oh, but my life so much more exciting when I’m drinking. And the truth is, you what your life is most of the time is your partner is seeing that you fall asleep watching the TV, you’re super grumpy. You’re up tossing and turning all night and you are greedy about the amount of alcohol you get, like that’s what you’re like God, but doesn’t he know.

 

53:10

I think there are probably some nights that he does still miss you know, there’s a special date night. So, you know, and we still have great date nights. But you know, there’s sort of, you know, I’m sure there are sometimes when he thinks Oh, it would be nice if Clare was drinking with me. But, you know, there’s a very few and far between and I do hear there was no way he would swap those for everything that comes with it.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 53:37

Yeah, yeah. And you can you know, yet you know, my husband is definitely on occasion been like, I don’t know if I should say this. I’ve been like, but you never rip off my shirt anymore after a date. I’m like, Oh, Oh, honey, I don’t know that. Like, I remember. I know it sounds bad. But you know, we do still like before Coronavirus. We went to Greece, we went to Amsterdam, we, you know hiked through Santa Remi, like we went on a boat tour like life is still good. The difference is absolutely we go out on the deck on the Greek islands. And he drinks his beers, and I drink my nonalcoholic drinks like yeah,

 

54:22

and that, I think is a really good trick if you’re the sort of person who can deal with alcohol free drinks, and some people find a bit of a trigger. So, you know, I always give the caveat. If you find it triggering, then don’t do it. But, you know, I found alcohol free beers and mocktails and things like that really helpful because it sort of tricked my brain into thinking it was a bit of time to relax. And, you know, so I find on a date night if I match what my husband is drinking, but with the alcohol-free version, it still feels like we’re doing exactly the same thing. You know, and I still feel as relaxed as he does. I still have as much fun as he does. So, you know, so the only difference, as you say is that he’s drinking alcohol, alcoholic beer, and I’m drinking the nonalcoholic beer. But you know, other than that is just so yeah. And the other thing I found about dates, funnily enough, is that when you’re not drinking, you’re so much more. So, you’re so much more inventive about what to do on date nights, because our date nights were always let’s go to the restaurant and eat all the food and get trashed. That was all we’ll get we’ll party and drink lots and get trashed, you know, and that was it. And you know, now I’m much more inventive. So I might sort of say, oh, let’s go to the theater, you know, or, let’s go to an art gallery, or let’s go for a really nice boat trip, or, you know, there’s Yeah, there are so many other things that, you know, that we do now with date nights, or I do when I’m meeting friends, then I used to, you know, I used to be, you know, I think I think we’ve become very lazy as, as drinkers about how to how to relax and unwind because we automatically, automatically just think, Oh, you know, where should we go to have a drink? You know, so they’re much more fun things to do with life.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 56:14

Yeah, and also, I mean, I, I loved how you talk about that. Because, you know, even in your book, in the early days, you were reflecting on your friendships, and saying, I actually look at my calendar now, when you’re not drinking, and you have seven social events this week, but only one of them is a drinks party, the rest our walks and coffees and, and a million other things with friends where you actually have deeper.

 

56:39

Yeah, and yeah, it’s funny, because I mean, I realized that, you know, I used to, I go to a, we used to go to a party, and I would see, I would talk to about 20,30 different people, but I would say the same thing. And I went there, the next day, I wouldn’t be able to remember what any of them said to me. So, you know, it’s not a great way of building relationships, really, you know, whereas now I need to go friend and go for a walk for now. And we’ll have coffee, and we’ll, you know, we’ll offload, and we’ll share our hopes and fears and dreams. And, you know, that makes them much stronger and deeper relationship than talking at a party about the latest celebrity gossip and then forgetting what you said, anyway.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 57:25

Although the celebrity gossip is no, no, no, I, but I mean, I think that’s one of the one of my biggest fears when I quit drinking was that it was going to be a life of isolation, that I would have no fun and no friends, and that I would never be able to hang out with my friends at parties again. And the truth is that in the beginning, I needed to alter I needed to hang out with my friends, but not at parties. Right. It was too hard for me to go to a restaurant with them on drinking wine and mean not. So, we did. We did brunches. Instead of dinners. We did walks instead of happy hours. We did you know hikes. Other things, which I had to initiate right? You have to because everybody’s like you said, you get a little lazy, there’s a shorthand, sometimes, hey, let’s get drinks just means I want to see you. It’s literally like calling tissues. It’s just the brand name. But then after that, like now I can go to a barbecue or go out to dinner with you know, I worked in corporate and everybody’s like, oh, let’s go for drinks. In my mind, I take that now as face value, we are going to go somewhere and have drinks, it doesn’t mean outcome, you know, but you sort of go through phases, and in no way do you actually become super isolated. If you are able to make it.

 

58:54

I think the truth is that I still have friends that I used to have, and I have a whole load of new friends as well. But there are some friends, the friends I had, who drank the same way that I did. And, you know, the with those, those friends, our relationship was very much based on the drinking. So when I quit drinking, some of those friends found it hard. And you know, as a result, I see them less than I used to probably and that is way made up the fact that you know, as I said, I’ve got a whole load of new friendships and my other friendships I have a much deeper but you know, there there will be some people who who don’t find it easy, but that’s their problem and not your problem. You know, and, and it may well be that one day they will come to the conclusion that they also want to give up drinking and they will come to you and say how do I do it? So, so yeah. Even for me where you know so much of my life was based on drink. There’s Only a handful of friends that would fall into that category.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 1:00:04

Yeah, my barometer is always, if doing something is not going to be any fun if you’re not drinking.

 

1:00:16

And that goes for people as well as you’re like, we’re thinking about with parties, for instance, you know, sometimes, you know, sometimes even now I’ll go to a party and I’ll think, Oh, this is no fun because I’m not drinking. And I have to remind myself, it’s like, no, this is no fun, because it’s actually no fun. And just might stop you realizing that quite so fast. But you know, but it’s not because you’re not drinking is because it’s just not an event.

 

1:00:46

Yeah. And, and that applies to people that applies to events that applies to like, all the things we think we should do. Like, I had a client who was saying, Oh, my God, I have three little kids, and I just am dying eggs for Easter. And I fucking hate it. And I want to drink, and I was like, stop. Just if that makes you want to drink; you don’t have to do that. And she was like, never. Expression, Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 1:01:18

I have never heard that. I can’t remember who it was.

 

1:01:21

I said that. But yeah, I was like, don’t die of eggs.

 

1:01:25

I love that.

 

1:01:28

I know, just like, if it makes you want to drink, it’s the thing that you want to drink, to tolerate the need to change.

 

1:01:36

Not that you stop drinking, you become much better at listening to your own instincts. You know, and, and because drinking masks all that, you know, when you stop drinking, you’re sort of you’re more able to listen to that voice that says, Yes, I should do this, or more of this. And no, I should do less of that. And, you know, and you can act on that, you know, I think it’s really worth every now and again, just taking stock of your life and thinking what are the things that give me joy? And what are the things that I ate, and doing more of the more the things that give you joy and less of the things that you hate, you know, and if you keep rebalancing like that, you know, that’s the secret to living a happy, fulfilled life.

 

1:02:15

And you deserve to be happy. Like it’s, you know, when you’re drinking you, I mean, I just spent way too much time beating myself up and trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. And you know, telling myself I wouldn’t do something and doing it again, and, and it just was kind of a crappy place to live. I was working really hard to make it look really good on the outside. But I was just exhausted and frankly, physically ill

 

1:02:41

quite a lot of the time. Yeah, I know, I was the same, you know, it’s that sort of thing of the sort of, you know, the swarm that looks like gliding along on the surface, but underneath as his little little legs, paddling away, trying to keep the show on the road, you know, what life feels like? You know?

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:00

Yeah. Well, so one of the things before we go, I wanted to ask you about was your book, The Authenticity Project, because I loved it. I love character driven novels that take me to places where I am not and dive into their lives and their emotions. My husband likes, you know, and zombie novels. So, we are like, night and day, but your book came out and just absolutely loved it. So, tell us.

 

1:03:29

well, um, it’s called The Authenticity Project. And it was inspired by what I’ve been through, because I realized that telling the truth about my life, you know, and exposing the fact that the perfect life that I was portraying on Instagram, and Facebook was not a total reality, not only changed my life, but it changed the life of all these other people who knew read it. And I thought, well, what would happen if everyone was more honest about their, you know, what was really going on in their lives? And then I thought, well, you know, I told the truth about my life in a blog, you know, and on the internet. But would it be interesting if somebody did it in an old-fashioned notebook. And that was where the idea of the authenticity project came from. So, it started by an artist called Julian who’s 79, and very lonely, and he gets this green exercise book. And he writes on the front, the authenticity projects and insight, he writes, the truth about his life and how lonely he is. And he leaves the notebook in a cafe, where it’s picked up by the cafe owner, Monica, who writes the story about her life and leaves the book somewhere else. And the book is passed through six different people who all get to meet each other, and they all help transform each other’s lives. So, it’s really about it’s about kindness. It’s about community. It’s about, you know, the power of being authentic. And the power of truth. And and it’s, it’s good, fun and uplifting.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 1:05:07

Yeah, I mean it, you know, I think just the part you said about, you know, whether it’s everyone lies about their lives or just nobody tells the whole truth, right, we put out our most flattering versions. And the reality is, is Messier. But just being able to see how in the book and what I’ve experienced in my life, like when you’re honest, you get to find out what’s actually going on in everyone else’s life and feel less alone. And it’s beautiful.

 

1:05:40

Yes. And so, and the other, one of the themes that goes through it is, is the fact that, you know, we actually those flaws are things that we try so hard to hide, are actually the things that make us really unique and human and special. And there’s a quote, I chose for the front of the book, which is a Leonard Cooke, Cohen, lyric. And it goes, ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. You know, and that, to me, summarize the whole thing, you know, it’s those cracks,

 

1:06:16

that, you know, we’re so ashamed of that actually, you know, allow the light in there. They’re what makes us real. What I hope is, as people get to know, their characters, they realize that their flaws are just part of them. That’s what makes them makes them who they are. And, you know, I think people hopefully fall in love with them, despite their flaws, you know, or even have their flaws. And so yeah, so yeah.

 

1:06:45

Or in the book, some of the characters they have these needs, are these wants, or these dreams, or they’re these desires that they sort of keep up this facade that you know, who I am and what I actually need and that they’ll never get met, unless they are, they share what they actually want. Because nobody knows what’s missing in their lives. So, they aren’t. Exactly.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 1:07:08

Exactly, yeah. And you get to dive into your neighborhood in London, which, you know, sitting here in Seattle, Washington for a year, not traveling or even going out to dinner. It was lovely to like, read about cafes, and painting classes and apartments in a city that I don’t get to visit.

 

1:07:26

Great thing about literature, isn’t it as you can travel without leaving your own room? So I love reading books that in cities that I don’t know so, and Seattle is one of the cities I desperately want to visit.

 

1:07:44

Oh, Seattle will come when Coronavirus. It’s a beautiful city. You have to come in the summer. It’s gorgeous. All lakes and mountains and great restaurants. Amazing coffee. I mean, yeah, absolutely. And not just Starbucks, although I used to work at Starbucks in the corporate. So, I love Starbucks, but they’re just a million other amazing coffee shops around too, all right. So, is there anything you want to leave listeners with about? My favorite thing about the Sober Diaries is, you know how one woman stopped drinking and started living? So, anything about how your life has changed? Or what they can accept?

 

1:08:25

Yeah, I mean, I would just say if you’re listening to this, and you feel alone, you’re not alone. And if you’re listening to this and you’re feeling scared, then you know, please don’t be scared. Because, you know, although is not an easy thing to do. It’s you will never ever regret it. And, you know, your life will be transformed in so many different ways that you know, you can’t even comprehend sitting where you are. So, you know, so be excited, because it’s going to be amazing.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson 1:09:00

Thank you. That’s perfect. Thank you for coming on the podcast.

 

1:09:04

Oh, thank you guys.

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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