Why I Stopped Drinking

I’m on the other side of the microphone this week, sharing my story of why I stopped drinking and how I did it.

So if you’re sober curious, worried about your drinking or want to take a break from alcohol, I’m hoping that something in my story might help you.

For me there wasn’t a single ‘aha’ moment when I said “I need to stop drinking!” and magically gave up alcohol and never looked back.

Instead my drinking story was a slow slide.

First having it dawn on me that my drinking wasn’t all innocent and fun.

Then moving through a long stretch of creating rules for myself about when and how much I would drink.

Followed by many years rationalizing why my drinking was no big deal despite all the hangovers and fuzzy nights.

And eventually coming to the realization that alcohol was dragging me down and taking me nowhere I wanted to go.

Quitting drinking was my absolute worst case scenario for the simple reason that I loved it.

I loved opening a bottle of wine and pouring it into a fancy glass. I loved how drinking made me feel. How I could feel the wine softening the edges of a long day. Making me giddy, talkative, amused and relaxed all at the same time.

I loved going out with girlfriends and sharing a bottle of wine over long conversations. I loved bar hopping with my husband on a date night. I loved going wine tasting. I loved curling up alone on the couch with a blanket and a big glass of my favorite Syrah. 

Of course there were also parts of drinking I didn’t like.

The hangovers. Waking up at 3 am and being unable to go back to sleep. Putting on makeup with a headache and bloodshot eyes. Fuzzy memories of the night before. My husband was asking me how I was feeling in the morning. Telling myself I was only going to have two glasses of wine and then always wanting more. The weight gain. The bloating. The thinking about drinking and debating if I could pick up a bottle of wine on the drive home from the office. Trying to make sure that no one noticed quite how much I was drinking. 

I knew I should drink less, but as I climbed the corporate ladder, had two kids and became more busy and weighed down by the responsibilities of life, wine became my primary reward for doing it all. 

I would come home from work and pour a glass of wine while cooking dinner, drink another one while chatting with my husband and kids over the meal, get the kids to bed and settle in and relax with another glass or two while finishing up work emails or watching a show. And then I’d get up, get the kids to school, go to work and repeat the cycle again the next day. 

So what started with a glass or two of wine a night was quickly becoming a bottle….

And instead of stopping drinking, I tried really hard to moderate it so that I would never have to quit completely. 

I made rules about how often I would drink and how much I would consume in a single evening. I tried to only drink on the weekends or only when I was out with friends. I tried diets and health kicks to help me drink less or take a break from alcohol. I switched from red wine to white wine and then from white wine to beer so I might drink less. I signed up for evening running clubs and morning boot camps so that I wouldn’t drink in the evenings. None of it worked.  

As time went on it became increasingly obvious that my relationship with alcohol was dragging me down more than it was lifting me up.  Wine actually wasn’t holding my life together. It was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities. 

So after years of holding on tightly to my love of red wine I loosened my grip and decided to see what my life could be like without it. 

And slowly I started feeling better.

  • I slept through the night, had more energy and less anxiety.
  • I started noticing and appreciating all the beauty around me.
  • Work magically seemed more manageable and less stressful.
  • I was more present with my kids.
  • I ran a 10K for the first time in 6 years.

And when I hit 100 days alcohol-free I decided to keep on going. 

I thought my life would get smaller when I stopped drinking, but it’s so much bigger. 

I become more confident, open, optimistic and adventurous. 

And now I help other busy women change their relationship with alcohol. 

Women who, like the old me, are doing all the things and then coming home and opening a bottle of wine to forget about all the things.  

Your life doesn’t end when you stop drinking. It’s actually the start of a beautiful new beginning. 

If you’re curious about my journey and how I made the decision to quit, tune in to this episode. 

I hope it can offer some inspiration and insight for anyone who may be in a similar situation

In this episode, I’ll share:

  • My drinking history, from college to my early 20s, to climbing the corporate ladder and drinking on business trips and at happy hour, to diving into mommy wine culture and eventually drinking bottle of wine a night to unwind
  • Why it took me years of worrying about and trying to moderate my drinking before I stopped completely
  • What I wrote to myself before I stopped drinking

  • My fears about what my life would look like if I stopped drinking

  • The power of 100 days of sobriety
  • How to identify and manage your triggers
  • How to approach alcohol-free life in a positive and empowering way

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Ep. 97: Diary Of My First 30 Days Sober

Ep. 109: My Diary Of Early Sobriety From Day 30 to Day 60 Alcohol-Free

Ep. 122: My Diary of Early Sobriety From Day 60 to Day 100 Alcohol-Free

Ep. 39: Interview with my Sober Coach, Belle Robertson from Tired Of Thinking About Drinking

Ep. 4 – Introduction To Why I Quit Drinking

Ready to drink less + live more?

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Save your seat in my FREE MASTERCLASS, 5 Secrets To Successfully Take a Break From Drinking 

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

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Connect with Casey

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


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

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

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

A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 1% of podcasts globally, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

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

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

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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Why I Stopped Drinking – Casey’s Story


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Why I Stopped Drinking

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

Hi, there, I’m doing something a little different for this episode, because it’s coming out on the third anniversary of when I started the Hello Someday podcast. So much has happened in the last three years. And it has been just a joy to create this podcast. To talk with so many incredible guests, and to hear the feedback from all of my listeners about what the podcast has meant to you, how it has supported you, what parts resonate with you.


And I love to read every review that you put on Apple podcasts, every post that you put up in some of the sober Facebook groups out there.


And every email I get, telling me which stories and which episodes in which guests have helped you reach 30 days and 90 days and six months and a year. And everything else you tell me that you have listened to my podcast going on walks every day for the last three weeks.


Or some of you start at the very beginning of the podcast, on Episode One and have told me you have listened to the whole thing, which is crazy. Because as of today, there are 161 episodes, so 161 hours of content.


In the last three years, the podcast has also been downloaded 900,000 times, which is such a huge number. I can’t believe it! I am going to be so excited to hit that 1 million downloads mark. But in this episode, I actually wanted to share an interview that I did.


As part of this Sober Summit, I was being interviewed by the host of the Sober Summit and was really honored to be a part of that group, to be a part of the speakers, which also included Annie Grace, and William Porter and 22 other leaders that I’m so excited to be in the company of but I haven’t told my story since Episode 4 when I did an episode about my drinking.


So, if you listen to this, I hope you enjoy hearing me on the other side of the microphone. And I truly honestly want to thank you for listening, for being a part of the Hello Someday podcast, for giving me feedback on what you enjoy, what’s helping you, and what else you want it here, and let’s keep going.



Hi and welcome to the Sober Summit. I’m your host Maggie Klaassens and I’m here with Casey Davidson, a Life and Sobriety Coach and the host of the Hello Someday podcast. Welcome to The Sober Summit, Casey.


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:30

Oh, thanks so much. I’m really excited to be here.



I’m so excited to have you here. Your podcast is amazing. The amount of guests and high profile Authors, Podcasters. Like, it is the real deal. Your podcast is amazing. I’m so excited for people to check it out if they haven’t already. But I wanted to start out for those that don’t know you if you could just tell. Tell them a little bit about yourself where you came from how you got to where you are today.


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:56

Yeah, sure. I mean, my name is Casey. I live in Seattle, Washington. I have two kids. My son Hank is 14, My daughter Lila is 8. We were just talking about it. Almost 9. And when I quit drinking, Lila was almost 2. And Hank was almost 8. So, you know, Hank was about the age Lila was now, so this two days from now, I actually hit 7 years alcohol-free, which is amazing.


You know, a picture popped up the other day from 7 years ago, on Valentine’s Day. And what was amazing is, we were, you know, it was, you post all your stuff on Facebook, right? Anywhere you go, somewhere great or have a cute picture of your family.


And it was a picture, 4 days before I quit drinking at this resort in Arizona, and just gorgeous picture of my kids and my husband. And what I think is interesting about that is I had no idea that I would stop drinking 4 days later. Like, I was deep in worrying about my drinking and then justified my drinking. And then, oh my god, I got to get my shit together when I get back home. But I’ve been doing that for years, and years and years.


And so, what I take from that, for anyone watching this, who’s been in that cycle is, you literally don’t know, when the time comes that you’re like, alright, this is it. Even if it’s the 100th time. That it’s actually going to be the last day you drink, and not in a scary way. In a very, very good, and hopeful way. You just stop drinking because you feel like garbage. And then you don’t drink the next day. And then day 4 comes and probably you’ve gotten more support or direction than you have in the past and the day you usually break. You just don’t. You do something else.


And then on day 15, you don’t break and suddenly it’s day 30. And like, regardless of how many times you have promised and then given up on yourself, it could be 4 days from now, and you have no idea. So, I just wanted to say that because it was top of mind because it popped up for me and I had been worried about my drinking for a very long time.


So quick bit of background, I quit drinking when I was 40 years old. I had always been a big drinker since College. I played on the women’s rugby team in College. I thought that was amazing and fun. And it was. It was also a crash course, almost an instructional guide to problematic drinking to binge drinking to rationalizing, drinking, throwing up and drinking again, the goal was to drink to blackout. Like, for real. We did keg stands, we did funnels, everything was a fabulous story. So, in College, I loved that. I thought I was a straight A kind of Gold Star Girl. Always had been. Always had been a people pleaser. Never cost my parents any trouble. And I went through College still being that girl. But when I drank, in my mind, anything could happen. And that was a positive because I would turn off my responsible, hypervigilant, what do people think of the me? mind. And you know, that was totally worth some mornings spent on the bathroom floor throwing up every 20 minutes in my mind, which is crazy. It’s a good story, right?


I graduated college and you know, after that, I feel like my drinking just sort of evolved and shifted based on the time in my life. So, my early 20s was cocktails out at bars with my friends. I moved to Seattle and lived on a floating home with my now husband. And we would kayak all the time. So, it was six packs of beer in the kayaks. And then we got married and bought a house and it was big dinner parties with all of our couple friends who didn’t have kids and all the bottles of wine. And then we had kids, and it was mommy wine culture. And I just kind of always drank a lot. In my mind. I always drank every night. It just seemed like from growing up, that was what you did.


My parents were not huge drinkers. No one in my family had a drinking issue. I didn’t know anyone who struggled with alcohol before I did, or anyone who had been sober because they had an issue with alcohol. I knew like one person who didn’t drink on the rugby team, and we were just like, Yeah, I don’t know what the hell that’s about. You know, she was awesome. And really good at sport. So, we were like, Alright, you’re in, but no idea why she didn’t.


And so, my parents always had a bottle of wine at dinner, you know, on the, on the table, a glass of wine. And so, I just thought that’s what adults do. It’s sophisticated. It’s romantic. It’s what you drink. I just always drink. I’d never have a glass of wine literally in my entire life. Like, I, in my mind, it’s like, what’s the point? I either drank a lot. My husband was always like, yeah, you drink too, you’re drunk, or you run out till you pass out or you run out like, so I kind of drink a bottle of wine a night. I worried about it. And yet, I justified it. And I worried about it. And I tried to stick to rules. In my mind. It was always like, I want to get healthy, I want to lose weight, I need more energy. It was never like, oh, shit, I have a problem with alcohol. Until it was, you know, had plenty of bad experiences from drinking way too much. Luckily, never anything dangerous. I think my, like, good girl, hypervigilance, like, kind of, kept me in safe situations. And I was very lucky. But like, I was the queen of blackouts and puking.


Like, in the office in the morning on a business trip, as a Director, you know, just super queasy. I even thought that it was like a strategy. Like, if I drink a lot, and I’m hungover, then I cannot be nervous for this huge presentation to American Express in New York City at their headquarters, because I’m trying so hard not to throw up. I mean, I was hungover for every job interview, and yet was constantly promoted. Because I worked really hard. And that was kind of my story.


So, no one really told me that I needed to stop drinking. My husband never said it to me. I was always known as a red wine girl. I was self-proclaimed, a red wine girl. But I was, you know, I went from oblivious, like truly. Like, going to my therapist, and telling her. I mean, of course, I never told her how much I drank because that would be crazy. You know, I did the like, couple classes, couple nights a week. But I told her, I wake up every morning at 3:00a.m. I am so stressed out. I have off the chart anxiety. At that point, I was truly oblivious that alcohol was causing the 3:00a.m. wakeups. I mean, I was 29 years old, did not know that later, I didn’t know that. And I still, you know, went to my therapist, and got my anti-anxiety meds and got Ambien and was working this big job and had kids and was working so hard to hold it together. I mean, so hard. It was like running a marathon with a ball and chain tied to my ankle, trying so hard to make sure nobody noticed and constantly either sort of trying to not drink or rationalizing it and worried that I didn’t have enough wine at home. And in my mind, it was just kind of a death of 1,000 cuts.


I had been a member of an amazing secret private Facebook group for a long time. 10 years ago, I went to a therapist and said, um, my life is stressful. Life is hard to get to that. And by the way, I drink a bottle of wine at night. And he immediately was like, let’s talk about your drinking. And I was like, no, no, no, let’s talk about my boss. And he was sober. He had gone to 12 steps meetings. I mean, 10 years ago, there really was nothing else. And so, I tried a few 12 step meetings, and I actually went for 4 months. It was not my jam. The people there were incredibly nice. I know it helps a ton of people but for me, it was not my jam.


And so, I got pregnant. I was sober for a year. I probably would have only been sober for 4 months otherwise, and my life magically got better. Go figure. But when I wasn’t drinking, and then I decided after my daughter Lila was born, that it was situational that like, I was better now, my job was better. My life was better. I’d done work. So therefore, … can drink again. I’ll just have a couple glasses on a date night with my husband. And it took me 22 months of pretty much about LaWanda night and waking up asking what the hell was wrong with me and you know, all the little things of waking up on the couch because my husband couldn’t wake me up to stop again. And I ended up stopping by hiring a server Coach. That’s what I do now. It was incredibly transformative for me. It was practical, zero labels step by step, empowering, focusing on what I want for the future who I want to be. And I started with just 100 Day Challenge.


I know. I mean, it was too terrifying to think I would never drink again. But at that point, I couldn’t get four days. So, I was like, Alright, I’m paying for this. I’m doing 100 Day Challenge. I’ll get a bunch of personal development work along the way. And I remember 40 days in, standing at my, you know, eight year old son baseball practice, and almost in tears, just thinking this was the kindest thing I had done for myself in years. Wow, that was a lot. Was that what you want to know?



Are you kidding me? That’s exactly. I mean, I can relate to so many aspects of it. I think the “our work culture” these days are just centered around happy hours and drinking, you know, partying hard and working hard. That’s just I think everyone can relate to that no matter what industry you’re in, you know, it also really resonated with me, is that situational? You stories you tell yourself? Because I would do that as well, I would say, Well, you know, I’m a mom of three kids now. And you know, a work is really tough right now. And it was always, you know, it was always something but that situational excuse changed as time went on, right? There was always something. So, I found that really interesting. But wow, what a powerful story. I can’t. That’s a lot in in a very eye opening way. And I know that what you teach right now, in your sober courses, is a lot about understanding what’s going on, you know, internally, to really understanding why we’re drinking or why we don’t want to drink in order to kind of cut that cycle off. Can you talk a little bit about what that means? And why it’s important to know your why.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

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


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

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

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


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:03

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I do private coaching. I also have an online Sober Coaching Course. And obviously, my podcast where they’re, like, 150 episodes of us talking about all the things about women and alcohol and drinking and quitting drinking.


One of the very first things I do with my clients, and I suggest, is diving into two lists. And one is why you want to stop drinking, all the shit. All the shit you feel, all the shit you think, all the crappy stuff that’s happened. Why you want to stop drinking. And 95% of the work I do is really positive and forward looking. I truly believe that. So many of us spend so much time talking shit to ourselves, writing horrible notes to ourselves taking selfies on like, the day you feel like garbage, waiting to have something bad enough happen. So therefore, we will no longer want to drink. And I don’t think it works. I mean, for other reasons, especially like the fading effects syndrome, where you just remember positive things weigh more than negative things in looking back on your life, but it’s important to capture that. And the reason is that when you get to 40, 50, 60 days alcohol-free, you’re going to feel better, you’re going to be happier, you’re going to be like, I was like, I’m better now, I’m happier. Now, I’m not as stressed, I’m not as anxious, I’m more confident, our minds will say therefore, I can drink. And so, you need to have that list to remind yourself of why you started. And then, so that’s your reason.


And then you look at your vision. And I like to capture that in the beginning as well. So, the idea is just what do you want instead? And it doesn’t have to be deep. I think that a lot of us think like, the reason I want to stop drinking or the vision of what I want to do instead, it has to be horrible versus incredible. Right? And I think that’s something that a lot of women who are high functioning overachievers, drinking a ton, but like I used to say, I’m only hurting myself, which when you look at it as a really crazy thing to say, but I’m like, I’m still a great mom. I’m still a great colleague. I hold my shit together. All I do is get drunk and pass out and feel like garbage. Like that’s not so bad. But it’s a mistake to think that it has to be some grand reason that you want to stop some horrible run.


As in, you know, I went to AAA. They say jails, institutions, and death. Like, that’s what’s on the other side. It does not have to be that. And it does not have to be like, my life sucks right now and it’s going to be amazing.


If I stopped drinking, it is enough to say,

I want to stop drinking, because I want to remember the end of shows I watch.

I want my husband to stop asking me what, how I feel in the morning.

I want to stop coming home and overpaying the babysitter because I have no idea how much I’m paying her.

I want to feel better. I want to be confident. I want less anxiety.


And how do you want to feel?
I want to feel healthy. I want to feel proud of myself. I want to run a 10K that I’ve been saying I was going to do for X number of years. I want to be present for the moments for my kids.


I mean, I had little reasons and big reasons. I mean, when I went to the dark side, I knew enough to know that drinking is progressive, drinking does not get better. I definitely zoomed out and said my son is 8. If I keep drinking the way I am, I was drinking a bottle of wine a night. I was not remembering the end of shows. I was passing out on the couch not every night, right? I mean, but often enough that it wasn’t like a shock. When my son is 18, is he going to want to bring his friends home? Like, what is our relationship going to be like? I mean, for me, that was thinking about him being embarrassed, at some point was like, Christ. And I got to tell you, my son is 14 now and you know, he’s six foot, he’s pulling away. He’s not my little 8-year-old boy anymore, but we are super close. And I’m really proud of that.



You know, I love that. I was going to ask you what your kids thought like, does he remember those days? Does he does he remember at all?


Casey McGuire Davidson  22:06

I would say he doesn’t remember it all. And I would also say, he knew I drank a lot. I don’t. I don’t think anything happened. Like I said, it was a death of 1,000 cuts, even if things happened. Because I was drinking. I’m not sure he knew that that’s why they happened. But I mean, trust me like he was five and my husband was out of town, and I drink too much. And I woke up, you know, he had already gone to bed. He was safely in bed, but I woke up to him hysterically crying because it was St. Patty’s Day and he built this like leper contract with gold coins in it. And like the leprechaun hadn’t come because, like forgotten, like shit, like that. And oh my god, the amount of, I mean, I felt horrible. I was scrambling to be like, dude, I’m sure the leprechaun got caught at the neighbor’s in their trap. And, you know, made a joke of it on social media, like hashtag mom fail (#momfail).


I mean, the things we tried to make fun, that we know are, because we drank too much. I mean, you know. Kid wakes up, comes downstairs and it’s like, oh my god, the toothpaste gave me $2 bonus. And I was like, oh, fuck, I forgot. I already know like shit like that, that you’re like, damn baby. I’m not. Hold this together very well.



But I, even if he doesn’t remember it, now I’m sure our kids one day will look back and realize what we’re, what we’ve done for them. Because that was a big reason. One of my big reasons was my three year old knew what wine was, right. And I knew that I drank every night and I’ve gone. Oh. One day, I was just like, gosh, you know, it’s funny to a degree. These kids know what booze is. And then it just stops being funny. And you’re like, wait a second, what am I doing to them that they know what beer, wine and you know, drinking is at? It’s such a young age. It’s one of my big reasons. Why?


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:09

Well, I went to my mother-in-law’s. They live in Florida with my son when he was 3. And you know, same thing. We went to the grocery store. And my mother-in-law picks up a bottle of wine. And he was like, oh, for mommy. And I was like, oh, yeah, for mommy and me. And he, literally at 3 said, you’re going to need another. And that again, also a joke, right? That was the punch line. Like, for a while, but I stopped, and I was pretty open. You know, like, not that I worried that I had a problem. None of that. Like I’m doing a no alcohol challenge for 100 days. But like 30 days in, I was like, hey, Hank, I haven’t had a drink in 30 days. I mean, he’s 8. He’s like, Oh, cool, mom. You know, but, you know, then after 100 days, I said, I’m going to go for six months, and then went to a year. And he knew.


And you know, I mean, when I got to 1,000 days long before I became a Sober Coach, he and my husband went to Target and got, I mean, I have it in my office got this big glass thing, and counted up 1000 individual like glass, marbles, and put them in there. And I came down, and there were flowers in this, this huge thing. That was just amazing that they had done that. So, he’s super proud of me.


And long before I became a Coach, and became open about everything, like, I love that my husband still drinks. It’s not like, Oh, my God, alcohol is awful. Almost all my friends drink, but I also have a lot of Sober friends. And I love that he doesn’t think that our calls required the dinner table the way I thought it was, you know.



I love that. I love that you have that support. That’s amazing that they did that for you. That’s amazing.


I was going to ask you. So, one of the things I did when you know, you talked about it, taking several times to get there, right. This kind of yo-yo drinking, you go up and down. And one of the things I used to do was when I drank and I was ashamed of my drinking that night, because I promised myself that I wasn’t going to drink on that Monday because I wasn’t going to drink on weekdays. And day one. I couldn’t get through day one. At that moment, when I started drinking, and I felt that shame. I started writing down my reasons then. But they weren’t necessarily positive, you know, necessarily like, who I wanted to be. They were all the reasons why I didn’t feel great at that moment. Drinking when I thought that it was going. I was going to be elated, right, I felt like I was going to feel great. And all of a sudden, I felt the shame and going, What am I doing again? Yeah. And I wrote it all down then. Is that that? Oh, yeah. Okay.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

Oh my god. That’s it. I mean, I had a note pad, you know, running list. On my phone when I was drinking, I still have it. I actually pulled it up when we were going to have this conversation. And, you know, it was interesting.


I wrote, like, I’m stuck in a place of fear and anxiety. I wake up at 3am, almost tingling all over my body with anxiety and sadness. I am so tired every morning and every day. I feel deeply unhappy. I’m insecure about work projects and big life and decisions. And my future I have no emotional reserves or goodwill to handle changes. It feels like every new request will break me. I wake up with a dull ache behind my eyes. I spent all day recovering. I sleep terribly. I feel defensive, guilty, paranoid, anxious, annoyed, wanting to hide resentful and angry. Why am I angry? And I always want more wine. It is never enough. I’m putting my life my plans and all my forward progress on hold. And if you looked at my life from the outside, you would have no idea. I mean, I was constantly smiling. I was constantly hustling. I was constantly over achieving.


My husband had no idea I felt that way. And like, just angry. You know what I mean? And scared and sad and insecure. And you know, and I finally told him, I interviewed him on my podcast. We talked about it, but not really. We haven’t talked about everything. I was kind of afraid to be like, so do you remember? Like, he kept being like, let’s do an Episode. I kept pushing him off. Like, I was, I was terrified to do it. And I finally told him that stuff. And he was like, wow. And he was like, that was your reward for your favorite thing in the world. He was like, tell her what she has won. You know that feeling?



Gosh, thank you so much for sharing that. That’s really powerful. I can relate to all of that. Right. And that’s, I think it’s so important to, too, for people to spend that quiet time with yourself whenever you’re feeling any of the emotion that you’re feeling and write it down. I mean, they say really, that there’s so much power in writing that stuff down because there were often nights where I would say it in my head. I wake up and I forget why my why because I told myself in my head, I never wrote it down.


Casey McGuire Davidson  29:44

Yeah, and the thing is that amazed me. We all feel the same things. And all you know, I talked to so many women and I know you do too, and they say, Why can’t I just drink like a normal person? I mean that. That is the phrase that I hear more than anything else. And I’m like, You have no idea what anyone’s relationship with our culture truly is. Nobody had any idea what mine was. I was like, Does anyone in your life know that you feel this way? And they were like, No. I mean, I don’t. You know, they’re talking to me because they don’t want to talk to anyone else about it. And I think, so many more people, but I’ll talk specifically about women, feel the way we do about alcohol, and it’s somehow the third rail that nobody talks about, because it’s been so stigmatized. Like, you don’t want to have a “problem” with alcohol. And I think that’s changing. And I love that. I think there is so much more openness about the fact that like, this is an addictive substance that increases anxiety and depression and hurt sleep significantly and saps your energy. And, you know, it is, it’s something that’s kind of dangerous, and you got to keep an eye on it. And if you go down to drinking too much, there’s nothing wrong with you, that’s actually the natural path for consuming an addictive substance.



Yeah, it’s that fear, that so much is going to change in almost that unknown. That you get that fear, you know, your relationships changing, specifically with your spouse, or your family, or friends, and what people are going to think of you. It’s that fear that really holds people back, I think.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:34

And honestly, like, half the problem is, we love it, or I loved it, like, I loved it so much, despite all the crap that I like, really wanted to keep it in my life somehow. And I really think it’s like a toxic boyfriend, or a sick relationship that, you know, you actually have, like, so many people are waiting. And like, if I just read enough, or if I just know enough, or if I just write enough crappy notes to myself, then I will not want to drink. And the reason is dot, dot, dot…because then, it’ll be easy to not drink, right. And the truth is, you will not stop wanting to drink due to a million different reasons, conscious, subconscious, physical, until you get some distance from an alcohol. It’s like a magnet. The pole is so strong. The closer you are to the last time you drink, that you have to get away from it.


Reset your dopamine level. So, you’re actually happy without it. Start building the muscle of not drinking. So, you have that habit, get out of the craving, withdrawal cycle. See that some of your fears about it, just aren’t true. Until you look back and say, I can’t believe I lived that way. I can’t believe I settled for so little. This thing I loved, was giving me so little and taking so much.


And you know, they say like, your normal is whatever you’re used to. And when I look back, I was like, the bar of satisfaction and reward in my life was so fucking low. I’m sad that I ever settled for that.



Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. Wow. I love that. When we, we talked a little bit about knowing your “Why”. But there’s this whole other aspect of knowing what triggers you.

Yes. Can we talk a little bit about triggers and why? How those relate to your why, too?


Casey McGuire Davidson  33:40

Absolutely. I mean, in my mind. Triggers is anything, you know. I think about it as the behavior and habit change cycle, right. So, there is this thing where you go cue-craving- response.


For a word, cue is something that makes you think of drinking. That’s a trigger, and I drank 365 nights a year or would have, if I wasn’t trying to control it in some way and typically failing. So, a cue. A drink was literally everything, right? It was obviously Friday night. I deserve a reward at the end of the week. Going out to dinner. Always need a glass or a bottle of wine, right? Like, they bring you the wine, the drinks menu first. Yes, those clear triggers – cue to drink. Going on vacation, anything like that. Going out on a date. But like, cues to drink.


We’re also going to the grocery store. They were also 5:00pm. They were also thinking about what to cook for dinner. They were also mommy playdates they were having an extra hour at lunch like none of this was like, you know, “problematic drinking”. You see people do this all the time. You go out to a “work lunch”, they were going to the bar with coworkers at the airport. So, cues to drink everything. And so, everything is to some extent, a trigger. And it’s good to write them down. Obviously, clear triggers are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, right? Halt. Cues to drink, Triggers to drink are overwhelmed, and boredom and celebrations and social anxiety, all those things. But I think, like, when you’re starting to not drink, there are a couple of different things. Drinking is our reward, right. Cue-craving-response-reward.


So, in the beginning, you need to plan a reward for every day, because the worst thing you can do when you’re stopping drinking is, think this is all too hard. I work so hard, I have nothing in my life, all my favorite things have been taken away. So, you want to substitute those rewards with something that is wonderful, something you normally don’t think you have time for. So, I think it’s important.


A cue to drink. A trigger to drink is a long day. So, what are you going to do to break up that day? For a Sober Treat? You know, what are you going to do on Friday night? So, I used to plan them in advance. And on Friday, I would maybe get a pedicure. I’d leave work at 4:30 instead of 5:30, get a pedicure, pick out sushi takeout and watch a movie that I wanted.


Another Sober Treat was joining a gym with childcare. So, on Saturdays, I could go there and not try to kill myself to lose weight, I would sit in the hot tub, I would sit in the Steam Room, I would get a protein packed smoothie afterwards with my kids, they were thrilled, I would go to the garden store and wander around. So, you need to substitute your reward of alcohol every day with your reward of something else.


And so, also obviously, hunger is a big trigger. That’s the number one. The dropping of your blood sugar is no joke. So, I would pack snacks. My Coach told me to do this with protein that I would bring to school. I mean, to work and have it at 4:30 You know, eat before you’re hungry, don’t go into the witching hour and picking up kids and driving past the grocery store and all that stuff. Starving.


So, when my clients tell me, oh my God, I want a drink. First question I always ask them is, Are you hungry? Have you eaten? A lot of times. That, plus a different beverage can help a lot.


The second question I asked them is, Why? And we are really terrible at identifying the emotions, of why we want to check out, why we want to drink. We’re just like, it’s just our Easy button, like any emotion drink, right? And so, sometimes it’s you’re overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s you’re bored. Sometimes you’re feeling resentful that you do everything for everyone else, and no one does something for you. Sometimes you’re like, This is my only night with my girlfriends. And so, you can solve, for any one of those right?


If you’re bored, there are a million things you can do. If you’re overwhelmed, ask for help delegate push off deadlines. Don’t take your kids to things even if you’ve signed up. In those moments, you know, if you’re tired, sometimes we drink when we’re tired. Like, you can take a nap right? Listen to your body. We’re just not used to it. So, eat something and then identify why you want to drink that specifically and also like lower the bar. Overwhelm is a huge trigger, especially if people are trying to do all the things. If you’re a people pleaser, if you’re an overachiever, if you were very competent. So, people are used to relying on you.


If you’re a Gold Star Girl, I want you to try to get a B minus for 3 weeks, like, do the least amount you need to do, and you’ll probably realize that like, magically, you don’t get fired and your kids are fine. But it’s, I mean the worst example I heard of this, which cracked me up, was one of my clients was, like, and I love her, and she is three and a half years older. She was like, Yeah, I wash and change the sheets on my bed every day for my husband. He really likes it. And I was like, Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, don’t. That is insane. I mean, I have my sheets changed every other week like, that is fine, you are not that dirty. You know, it’s no big deal. And I was like, okay, that’s crazy. Don’t do that.


Another client of mine was like, in week one, and she’s like, Okay, I’m stopping drinking. I’m going to work out. I’m going to go on a diet. And I really, really need to clean out my office and my attic. And I was like, that’s great. Fabulous. She’s telling me how awful her attic is. I was like, yeah, how? How long has that been that way? And she’s like, Oh, my God, 7 years. And I was just like, so definitely, when you are trying to quit a highly addictive habit that has been dragging you down? Why would you address something that’s been an issue for 7 years? Like, take a nap, go get a massage, like, watch bad TV? You know what I mean?



I love that. Yes. It’s so funny. Because I think we’re hardest on ourselves, too. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do all these things. And you’re right. It’s okay not to, it’s okay to put yourself first too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  41:17

And it’s uncomfortable, right? I feel like, you know, I was the kind of person that felt like I had to justify everything I had done, how productive I was, in order to like, be loved and exists to justify doing whatever. And a lot of times it was because I felt guilty because I’d been drinking, right. And, you know, I’ve gotten much better at like, if I’m tired, I take a nap. And not feel guilty about it. Because it’s not because I drink a shitload and I’m hungover and I’m trying to not let anyone know. It’s like, dude, I’m tired. Like, you’re so much nicer to yourself.



Yeah, life is hard enough as it is then adding on a layer of drinking. I feel like a lot of moms, you talked about this a bit. But you know, with that mommy wine culture feel like it’s going to make bedtime easier if you’re drinking, when in fact, it makes it harder. I found that truth.


Casey McGuire Davidson  42:17

Yes, it makes it harder. But the need is real. Right? The thing that is making you want to drink is real. And it deserves a solution. It’s just alcohol isn’t the solution.


One of the biggest questions that is really eye opening, and people probably don’t want to answer it, which is why we drink is, what do you get to not think about or not confront or not deal with when you drink? For some people, it’s my marriage. For some people. It’s how much I hate my job. For some people, it’s, I’m incredibly lonely. You know, like, it can be anything and it doesn’t have to be that dire. It can be like, Oh, my God, I really don’t like my child at that time. Yeah, I mean, it’s the stuff that you don’t want to say out loud. And it’s like, of course, you don’t like your child at bedtime. She’s a fucking nightmare right now. Like, this is insane. And the answer is not that you don’t love your child or you’re a horrible mother or anything like that. It’s that, you need help. It’s that, you need to take turns. It’s that, like, Oh my God, put in your phones. I mean, I used to stand there with my daughter when she was having a giant tantrum. Because, you know, you think you know what you’re doing, and you don’t actually. This was my son and like, hold the door, he’d be pulling on the other side. And I’m like, What the actual fuck has happened to my life? Like, I am a competent, accomplished woman. And I am basically in a tug of war over a doorknob with a four-year-old. I mean, I’m horrible, right? But I put a lock on the outside of the door. So, he’d like, give up and I put in earplugs because he was crying and like, he is a fabulous 14-year-old, and nothing was dangerous about it.


I feel like people are going to listen to this and like, totally judge me, but I’m just like.


No, I think everyone can relate to that.




There are times where those kids just press your buttons. And you’re right. I mean, but like,

knocking yourself unconscious and poisoning your body is not a solution. That is just adding another layer of a problem because what do you need? You need quiet, you want to check out? You want to not deal with this. This is fucking hard. Those are things you can solve for. We just don’t want to do it. It’s easier to drink.



I love how you said to have a list of things that you can turn to instead of alcohol because I think one of the things that I wasn’t prepared for when I removed alcohol and I did 100 Day Challenge to, which I think we talk a lot about in this Sober Summit is, the power of that 100 days. Because 30 days just really isn’t enough.


Powerful. You know that 100 days is really when you start seeing that change. I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions that came up. And I didn’t even know I had them. Right. When I drink, it was so habitual, it’s five o’clock every day. And I was a daily drinker, too. And it was just something that I did. And I didn’t even realize that I was numbing myself, right. Like, I didn’t realize those emotions that were coming up. I just, that was something I did. But I realized that when I removed the alcohol, and all of a sudden, I had all these emotions, and No, no way to deal with them.


So, I love the idea of having these ways to treat yourself, because, and this sort of like, list of things that you can pull from because you are going to need them. And, you know, be kind to yourself.


Casey McGuire Davidson  45:58

This is a list maker, but I used to have a list on my phone of Sober Treats, like anything and everything. And actually, I think it’s part of the like, bonus package here. I’m giving my Ultimate Sober Treats Guide for people who opt into that package, but it is 20 plus pages of different Sober Treats that you can tap into. Like, they don’t have to all be huge, they don’t have to all be expensive. You can certainly do that if you want to. But they need to be, sort of, daily.


Daily things you’re looking forward to and saying like, this is my reward for not drinking today, this is how I’m taking care of myself. And what I love about that guy does, I actually got like, 12 of my clients to give me their full. I mean, I knew them, because I work with them, but their full list of Sober Treats. And the reason I like that is, you will be surprised on how many different Sober Treats they have. I mean, like 35 that they can tap into at any moment. And also, how different each woman is, in terms of what the treats are. And both of those I think are really eye opening. Because each of us is different in terms of what gives us peace and calm and joy and excitement and all the things. But you need a lot of them. Right.


And it’s also that, once you stop drinking, you look around and find so much joy and appreciation and just contentment in life. I mean, there is nothing better than coffee in a quiet house in the morning without a hangover. Truly. I mean, that is having sometimes I go to bed, and when I’m going to sleep, I’m like, oh my god in the morning. I get coffee.



I can relate to that. Yeah, and think of how much money you’re saving, not drinking.


Casey McGuire Davidson  48:00

Yes. Yeah, so do a little piggy bank and treat yourself.


Casey McGuire Davidson  48:05

I have. You do have your…I have a Not Drinking app. The one I use is, I’m Not Drinking. It’s just the one I found. But what I like is, yes, it calculates your days, right? Everyone’s like, I’m on day 27 Right? Which is cool, but sometimes isn’t that you’re like, So fucking what?


It’s 27 days right? The what I like about it is it also calculates the bottles or drinks you haven’t consumed. The dollars you’ve saved. So, in my first month not drinking, I saved $550 And did not consume 40 bottles of wine. Can you imagine what I mean? I’m five foot. 340 bottles of red wine on the counter. Because like, I drink a bottle and then sometimes I’d be like, I just need one more class which is crazy. But true. And just, I mean, my god, so in three months, I’ve saved $1,600 And now I’m almost 7 years. Like, it’s well over $40,000. Like, don’t get me wrong. I know I’ve spent that money, but I’ve spent it on yoga retreats, I’ve spent it on weighted blankets. I’ve spent it on amazing weekends with my girlfriends. You know, hiking, all the things but good stuff. My husband will tell you. I’ve spent it all on, in the last, like, year on non-alcoholic beer because it’s now, that’s a thing for me, but that’s okay. Yeah.



Yeah, I love that. Well, before we go, that reminds me, because I do want to ask you, what your favorite non-alcoholic beverages and what your favorite Quit Lit book is, if you have one to share.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:52

Yeah, well non-alcoholic beverage that is very, very easy. My absolute favorite is Athletic Brewing Company. Oh, You love them they are really good. Yeah, they’re golden I used to be an ambassador for them which I was so excited about I had to stop because I now work with you know on the podcast different brands but like athletic hands down my favorite. Also love groovy love their non-alcoholic Prosecco and love their bubbly rose eight. There are other ones I like, too, but by far those are my favorite Quiz Lit.


Damn, that is hard for me. That is hard, like so many good ones. There are so many good ones, I would say. The first book I ever read, but it’s a little bit dark. But the first one that I was, like, Oh, wow, this sounds way too familiar. Was Caroline Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story.

That one? Definitely. You know it had this. You know, she literally talks about it as a love and relationship. My Coach was Belle Robertson from Tired Of Thinking About Drinking. So, her book holds a special place in my heart, and I love her approach.


And for women with little kids, who sort of worked in the Corporate world. I love Clare Pooley’s The Sober Diaries. But like, my God, there’s so many amazing new ones right now. Like, one of my absolute favorite is, Not Drinking Tonight, Amanda E. White. So, like, I mean, I’ve interviewed like 40 Different Quit Lit Authors on my podcast. So, I feel like, like I’m cheating on them by not being like Hollywood occur, and Laura McAllen and Catherine Gray and like, I love you all. Yeah, I can’t choose.



But it’s amazing. Well, we’ll put links to those as they’re all really good fun. So, thank you for sharing. And is there anything else that you want to share? Before we go? This has been so amazing.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:48

Yeah, the only thing I would say is, if you are in that really hard place of drinking and not drinking and waking up with a hangover, like you are not alone, there is nothing wrong with you. And by attending this summit, you should be really, really, really proud of yourself. There are so many people who struggle with alcohol who aren’t here, this is brave.


And I would say, just begin on my website, which is hellosomedaycoaching.com. I have a Free 30-Day Guide to your first month alcohol-free. It is super comprehensive, totally free. And it’s 30 pages of like what to expect on day 4 and day 10 And day 14. And what to eat and drink and what to expect and how you’re going to feel like super practical and step by step.


I also have a Course called, The Sobriety Starter Kit. That’s my full, Sober Coaching Framework. In 70 videos on an app. Lots of women have found that like, that step by step process, having all that support in your back pocket really helps. And then my podcast is the Hello Someday podcast.



Amazing. We’ll put links to all that below so people can easily find you. Casey, thank you so much for being here. This was absolutely incredible. And I just really appreciate you joining us here yet.


Casey McGuire Davidson  53:18

Thank you for having me. It’s an honor.


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


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